Top Must-Read Books Before The Year Ends

Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel

Labor Day, 1976, Martha’s Vineyard. Summering at the family beach house along this moneyed coast of New England, Fern and Edgar are happily preparing for a family birthday celebration when they learn that the unimaginable has occurred: There is no more money. In distress and confusion, Fern and Edgar are each tempted away on separate adventures: She on a road trip with a stranger, he on an ill-advised sailing voyage with another woman.

 

Wars of the Roses: Bloodline by Conn Iggulden

Winter 1461: Richard, duke of York, is dead, his ambitions in ruins, and his head spiked on the walls of the city. King Henry VI is still held prisoner. His Lancastrian queen, Margaret of Anjou, rides south with an army of victorious northerners, accompanied by painted warriors from the Scottish Highlands. With the death of York, Margaret and her army seem unstoppable.

Edward of March, now duke of York, proclaims himself England’s rightful king. Factions form and tear apart as snow falls. Through blood and treason, through broken men and vengeful women, brother shall confront brother, king shall face king. Two men can always claim a crown, but only one can keep it.

 

Mata Hari’s Last Dance by Michelle Moran

Paris, 1917. The notorious dancer Mata Hari sits in a cold cell awaiting freedom… or death. Alone and despondent, Mata Hari is as confused as the rest of the world about the charges she’s been arrested on: Treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers.

As Mata Hari waits for her fate to be decided, she relays the story of her life to a reporter who is allowed to visit her in prison. Beginning with her carefree childhood, Mata Hari recounts her father’s cruel abandonment of her family as well her marriage to a military officer. Taken to the island of Java, Mata Hari refuses to be ruled by her abusive husband and instead learns to dance, paving the way to her stardom as Europe’s most infamous dancer.

 

Crowned and Dangerous by Rhys Bowen

With Darcy driving me out of London in a borrowed motor car, I soon discover that he isn’t planning to introduce me to the pleasures of sinning in secret but to make me his wife! Of course, there are some quibbles to be dealt with, such as my needing special permission from the King to marry a Roman Catholic and the question of where we might live after the honeymoon. Though he will inherit a title, Darcy is as broke as I am.

 

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