The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba
The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton is $1.99! I’m hoping this sale stays up and isn’t a leftover from yesterday. This one was mentioned in a Hide Your Wallet from last spring. Cleeton’s historical fictions have been recommended a few times on the site.
At the end of the nineteenth century, three revolutionary women fight for freedom in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton’s captivating new novel inspired by real-life events and the true story of a legendary Cuban woman–Evangelina Cisneros–who changed the course of history.
A feud rages in Gilded Age New York City between newspaper tycoons William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. When Grace Harrington lands a job at Hearst’s newspaper in 1896, she’s caught in a cutthroat world where one scoop can make or break your career, but it’s a story emerging from Cuba that changes her life.
Unjustly imprisoned in a notorious Havana women’s jail, eighteen-year-old Evangelina Cisneros dreams of a Cuba free from Spanish oppression. When Hearst learns of her plight and splashes her image on the front page of his paper, proclaiming her, “The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba,” she becomes a rallying cry for American intervention in the battle for Cuban independence.
With the help of Marina Perez, a courier secretly working for the Cuban revolutionaries in Havana, Grace and Hearst’s staff attempt to free Evangelina. But when Cuban civilians are forced into reconcentration camps and the explosion of the USS Maine propels the United States and Spain toward war, the three women must risk everything in their fight for freedom.
Her Royal Spyness
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen is $1.99! This is the first book in a series of the same name, and I know Sarah has been enjoying these books both on paper and audio. She gave this one a B-:
The allure of the story wasn’t the mystery so much as it was Georgie and her friends. I loved her ingenuity and her way of managing people and situations, her determination and her sense of humor, and especially her friendships.
London 1932. Narrator Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, 34th in line for the throne, is flat broke. She bolted from Scotland — and engagement to Fishface (Prince Stiegfriend) — for London, where she has:
a) built a fire in the hearth
b) fallen for an absolutely unsuitable Irish peer
c) made a few quid housekeeping incognita, and
d) been summoned by the Queen to spy on her playboy son
When an arrogant Frenchman trying to swipe our family estate winds up dead in my bathtub, how can I clear my very long family name?
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife
PODCAST RECOMMENDED: The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison is 99c at Amazon! Lots of triggers for this one, including a pandemic and sexual violence. However, Thien-Kim Lam recommended this speculative fiction on a previous podcast episode, especially for it’s handling of the main character’s liminal gender. I, for one, and very curious!
When she fell asleep, the world was doomed. When she awoke, it was dead.
In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth’s population—killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant—the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power—and the strong who possess it.
A few women like her survived, though they are scarce. Even fewer are safe from the clans of men, who, driven by fear, seek to control those remaining. To preserve her freedom, she dons men’s clothing, goes by false names, and avoids as many people as possible. But as the world continues to grapple with its terrible circumstances, she’ll discover a role greater than chasing a pale imitation of independence.
After all, if humanity is to be reborn, someone must be its guide.
The Vine Witch
The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith is $1.99 at Amazon! I’m obsessed with the moody florals of this cover. Last time we featured this one, a person mentioned in the comments that there are a lot of cats who are “exsanguinated” if that’s something you absoutely do not want. I saw one review that was disappointed the description didn’t overtly mention this was a romance novel. GOD FORBID.
A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.
For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.
Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.