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The Midnight Bargain
The Midnight Bargain | C.L. Polk
In a world reminiscent of Georgian England, where married womens magic is taken from them to protect their unborn children, a sorceress must balance her desire to become the first great female magician against her duty to her family. Beatrice is a sorceress who practices her magic in secret, terrified of the day she will marry and be locked into a collar that will cut off her magic to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus, permitted to pursue magic as her calling just as men do. But her family has traveled to the city for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means socialize and negotiate to secure the best marriages. Beatrices family is in severe debt, and she is expected to make an advantageous match. In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magusbut before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. When Beatrice summons a minor spirit to help her get it back, the spirit exacts a price: Beatrices first kisswith the rival sorceresss brother, the handsome and compassionate Ianthe Lavan. As Beatrice becomes more entangled with the Lavan siblings, the choices that once seemed clear become harder: if she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and destroy her chance to be with the man she loves; but if she marrieseven for loveshe will lose her magic, her dreams, and everything that makes her who she is. Beatrice must choose oneand regret the other forever.
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LitStephanie
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Mehso-so

I was torn between so-so and pick on this one. Beatrice is a young magician trying to escape marriage because she wants higher education, and married women in her society can't practice magic and have zero rights to autonomy or property. She then meets a guy who seems better than others and so is torn. I like the depictions of gender- and class-related oppression and quietly rooted for a womens revolution that resulted in the murder of many men,👇

LitStephanie including Beatrice's father (spoiler alert, that doesn't happen), but all the magic spells were a bit hokey. There is a chapter where the young eligible women have to bring a luncheon basket to a charity picnic, and the winning bidder for each gets to eat the lunch in company with the woman. It made my blood boil more than it already was while reading this. Smash the patriarchy, LOL! @SamAnne 2w
16 likes1 comment
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TaraTLK
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Oh gosh, a historical romance, but with magic. Really enjoyed this story of a woman trying to make it through her season without getting married, because marriage means stopping magic, but then meeting a really hot dude, whose sister is also determined to not marry and how they try to get all that they want.

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katy4peas
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Thank you Becca @LoverOfLearning for the #BWS package goodies! The Isabel Sterling book is a sequel to the one I just read and the C.L. Polk is a new one that sounds really good! Regency England witches?! I love the bright green candle and can‘t wait to try the tea with the little teapot mesh ball tonight. Thank you!! 💕Happy Halloween!! 🎃👻🧙🏻‍♀️💕

mklong Regency England witches you say? Stacked! 3mo
LoverOfLearning Awe yay!! I really hope you reading these. You'll have to tell me all about it! And ha I bought that tea for myself and it is delicious! Enjoy! 🧙‍♀️🧹🖤 3mo
46 likes1 stack add2 comments
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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

This was good. Fantasy can be hit or miss for me, depending on the type of fantasy. This was urban fantasy, so more my “thing”. There is also a romance mixed in, but not too much romance for my liking, either. Overall, I liked it.

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ElspethY
Pickpick

Very cool concept and world building, loved the feminist take on magic! All relationships very well built, great characters.

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HPBookBug
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Favourite page so far! Love these quotes ?❤️. Also "I forgot myself", "I hope that you will forget yourself again"...

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BookBr
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Pickpick

What a beautiful book! Take a sidestep into a world where magic is real, and the trials and tribulations of a Regency romance tale on a whole new dimension. The depth of characters was outstanding — the lead male, Ianthe, was particularly interesting to watch grow and change and mature. The MC, Beatrice was conflicted in authentic & important ways, & there were some real moments on the way to an absolutely satisfying conclusion. Highly recommend!

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BookBr
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Okay, I didn‘t *mean* to read two smash-the-patriarchy books in a row, but I‘m not mad about it either…😂

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kellyann28
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Mehso-so

Well....this book was not what I expected 😂 I had no idea it was set in a fantasy-Regency era.
I will mail this to you on Thursday @Erinreadsthebooks !
#LMPBC @TheBookKeepers @ads0123

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kellyann28
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This came maybe Friday or yesterday (professional mail-checking slacker over here). When I get done with one book I'm reading, this will be next! 💚💛 #LMPBC
@TheBookKeepers @ads0123 @Erinreadsthebooks

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TheBookKeepers
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Mehso-so

Finished! Going into the mail this weekend for #lmpbc @kellyann28 @ads0123 @Erinreadsthebooks

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Lindy
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Pickpick

When this was in the Canada Reads competition, the description seemed too romance-y but I‘m glad I tried it. While the arranged/forced marriage premise is overused in fantasy novels, I appreciate how it‘s used here to address the issue of women‘s rights to self-determination. The cast includes light & dark skin colours & the characters are well-developed. I stayed up late to finish listening to the #audiobook read by Moira Quirk. #CanadianAuthor

29 likes1 comment
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Lindy
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“What will people say?”
“Whatever they please,” Beatrice said. “Are their opinions more powerful than a father‘s love for his daughter?”
Father bowed his head.

26 likes1 stack add
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Itsmerachaelb
Mehso-so

Love the world and the premise but the execution was a bit clunky.

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underground_bks
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Pickpick

Get ready for an utterly delightful romp through a Regency-era world full of romance, feminism, and infernal magic! The fortunes of her family rest on Beatrice forsaking magic and making a match this Bargaining Season, but she plans to make The Great Bargain between sorcerer and spirit instead. Then the Lavans arrive—feminist Ysbeta and her handsome, wealthy, compassionate brother Ianthe...Will Beatrice choose marriage or magic, family or freedom?

23 likes1 stack add
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TheBookKeepers
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@ads0123 @Erinreadsthebooks @kellyann28 This arrived today! #lmpbc Also this photo doesn‘t do it justice, I love the cover art & how it shimmers!!

Readergrrl Very pretty cover! In another life, I would be a book cover designer!! 10mo
71 likes1 stack add1 comment
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xicanti
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We‘re halfway through Canada Reads! While I‘m bummed my fave got voted off yesterday, I‘m not too surprised. Aside from last year, the book I loved the most has left either first or second ever since I started following the event.

The arguments have actually swayed me this time around, too. Even though I loved BUTTER HONEY PIG BREAD a bit more, I‘m now rooting for HENCH to win. #CanadaReads2021

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MsMelissa
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I decided to take my lunch break at the bookstore. I‘m suffering from pandemic fatigue (who isn‘t?) and am really missing seeing my family, friends and work colleagues face to face. I felt a little book retail therapy might help lift my mood 😊

LeahBergen Good decision. 👌🏻 11mo
AmyG New books sound wonderful. I have the same fatigue you have. 11mo
squirrelbrain Great idea! 11mo
See All 9 Comments
MsMelissa @LeahBergen @squirrelbrain Trips to the bookstore always make me happy 😊 11mo
MsMelissa @AmyG Some days I‘m fine with things, but other days (like today) this whole situation just gets me down. I can‘t wait to get vaccinated, but likely won‘t qualify here until autumn. (edited) 11mo
AmyG Yes-some days are tough. I hope you are able to get vaccinated sooner...maybe with the J & J vaccine out. My husband gets it Friday. 11mo
MsMelissa @AmyG Unfortunately, I‘m in Canada, and are vaccination efforts are pitiful to date. 11mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I've been adapting to pandemic life fairly well, but some days I just miss my family & friends. I hope the new books and a new day help! 11mo
Sassy_Steph Listening to the lost apothecary! It‘s so good!! 10mo
48 likes9 comments
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TheKidUpstairs
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Happy I Read Canadian Day!!!

What was the last CanLit title you read?

MayJasper Gosh! I don't think I have ever. Someone put me right please. 11mo
TheKidUpstairs @MayJasper I'm happy to give recommendations! What are your favourite books/genres? 11mo
amber_ldsmom I need some suggestions, too! I like haunted house stories, classics, historical fiction, and middle grade. 11mo
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MayJasper Thanks @TheKidUpstairs 😊 I like general fiction, classics, fantasy, whodunnits and historical. 11mo
Simona I don‘t know☺️ and I would appreciate some recommendations for contemporary literary fiction. 🙏 11mo
Linsy Rupi Kaur is the last Canadian author I read (last year) but I‘m hoping to get back to Ami McKay this year! The Witches of New York is one of my absolute favorites!! 11mo
TheKidUpstairs @MayJasper @amber_ldsmom historical fiction: Helen Humphreys (The Lost Garden and Afterimage are my faves), Gil Adamson (The Outlander, Ridgerunner), Margaret Atwood (Alias Grace), Michael Ondaatje (In the Skin of a Lion) 11mo
TheKidUpstairs @MayJasper for fantasy picks my favourites are Eden Robinson's Trickster trilogy (starts with Son of a Trickster), Cherie Dimaline (The Marrow Thieves, Empire of Wild), C.L. Polk (The Kingston Cycle starts with Witchmark, and The Midnight Bargain) 11mo
TheKidUpstairs @amber_ldsmom you might like this one, I haven't read it yet but I just got it in a swap and have heard great things 11mo
TheKidUpstairs @Linsy I've been meaning to read Ami McKay forever! 11mo
TheKidUpstairs @Simona for contemporary literary fiction: Patrick DeWitt (French Exit), Richard Wagamese (Ragged Company), Katherena Vermette (The Break), Miriam Toews (Women Talking), and I'm currently reading and living 11mo
MayJasper Thank you so much @TheKidUpstairs I will check out your recommendations 👍😊 11mo
TheKidUpstairs @MayJasper and for whodunit, Louise Penny is the queen of Canadian mystery (start with Still Life), and i really like Ausma Zehanat Khan (start with 11mo
Simona I loved Women Talking any the tagged book sounds like “my book”. Thank you for recommendations 🙏 11mo
TheKidUpstairs @Simona anytime! 11mo
TheKidUpstairs @MayJasper you're so welcome 😁 11mo
71 likes16 comments
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Laughterhp
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Mehso-so

This is a low pick/high so-so. There was just something missing from this book that stopped me from loving it. It‘s a book that‘s definitely in my wheelhouse: fantasy, magical, historical romance.. but I didn‘t love it. I also thought it was really long, even though the audio was less than 12 hours.

I‘ll read other C.L. Polk books, because I loved Witchmark. I just didn‘t care for this one. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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TheKidUpstairs
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Pickpick

"Pokemon, but make it Jane Austen"

My second read from the #CanadaReads selections (at this rate I might actually get to them all before the debates start!).

This was a fast, fun, feminist tale of magic, spirits, friendship, and choice. One I likely wouldn't have read without the push from CanadaReads, but I'm glad I did. I don't know if I'd say that every Canadian should read it, but it's still a solid read!

janeycanuck I wanted to get this for my SO for Valentine‘s but it wasn‘t in stock at my indie... I got him Hench, instead, which he‘ll probably like more but I‘m more interested in this one 🤪 12mo
TheKidUpstairs @janeycanuck i hope he enjoys Hench, it was great. I nabbed a copy of this one right on time through OverDrive. When I requested it, I was number 10 on 9 copies so I got it really quick. I just looked again, and if I requested it today I'd be number 139. The power of #CanadaReads 12mo
BookishTrish 🤣🤣🤣 12mo
65 likes3 comments
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BookishTrish
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Pickpick

An utterly charming pick: feminism, friendship, romance, magic.

59 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Laughterhp
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1. Tagged on audio and Kingdom of Copper
2. HP and the Sorcerers Stone
3. Murdoch Mysteries series - Detective Murdoch series, Except the Dying and the whole series. The TV show is so much better!

#WeekendReads

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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

I was on hold for this through Libby and it came through just as I had finished watching Bridgerton (for the second time). Like in the that series, the young female characters in this book find themselves at the mercy of their scheming parents trying to secure them marriages. Beatrice has the weight of her family's future on her shoulders, their fortune is gone, everything depends upon her marrying well. Continued below in the comments:

MidnightBookGirl She meets the lovely and wealthy Ysbeta, who is also expected to marry to increase her mother's empire. But neither woman wishes to marry, because marriage means an end to practicing magic until they are past childbearing age.

Of course Beatrice falls for Ysbeta's gorgeous, smart, kind, and charming brother, complicating her plans. Ysbeta falls for no one, as she's just not into men or women, which is awesome.

Continued:
12mo
MidnightBookGirl As the two women bond over trying to help one another become full mages (maybe not the right word, I listened to this on audio), their time is running out. With terrifying planned marriages on the horizon for both women, Beatrice and Ysbeta must decide if they are to make a stand or lose their magic and their dreams.

I really enjoyed the magical aspects of this book. Beatrice wasn't quite as compelling as Ysbeta, but I still enjoyed her. Cont:
12mo
MidnightBookGirl I was a lot more weary of the spirits than either of the two ladies, and I was super suspicious of Nadia until a lot further in the book... and I still find that part of magic weird, but at least it was memorable! I definitely look forward to reading more of Polk's books! There is a bit of insta love and conversations that could have fixed misunderstandings, but it was fun and full of magic. Book 15 of 2021 12mo
58 likes5 stack adds3 comments
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BookishTrish
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So far this book is like if Bridgerton was feminist and had magic.

Saknicole Your words are all it takes for me to want to read that book haha. Sounds like a great combo! 12mo
55 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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JacqMac
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Pickpick

Normally I‘m not a fan of anything labeled feminist. Not because I don‘t believe in equal rights for women, but because they are usually filled with hate for men. I also have a great distaste for romance novels. But this didn‘t have the man hate. And the love was beautiful. And there were sorcerers and mages and spirits and magic. I don‘t know that it will be my top pick. It was a little long and a lot predictable. #CanadaReads2021

MsMelissa I‘m glad you enjoyed it! 12mo
57 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Blueberry
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Pickpick

My second book for #CanadaReads2021. Both have been quirky reads.

NataliePatalie Pretty cover 12mo
61 likes1 stack add1 comment
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JacqMac
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I love this cover. I hope the writing is as good. I‘m going in. #CanadaReads2021

MsMelissa Of the Canada Reads books this one and Hench are the only two of real interest to me. I own Hench, but not this one. I‘m really looking forward to your thoughts on it. 12mo
JacqMac @Book_Fiend_Melissa I bought this one and Hench at the same time. I‘m not sure about the others either. 12mo
62 likes1 stack add2 comments
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JacqMac
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#bookmail is the best part of these stuck at home, pandemic days. I can‘t wait to get started on these. I‘m trying to finish my library book fist though. So many books, so little time.
#CanadaReads2021

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xicanti
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The final Canada Reads list is out! I‘m thrilled THE MIDNIGHT BARGAIN made it in, and I‘m excited to read all the others.

The only one I might have trouble getting in time is TWO TREES MAKE A FOREST. Hopefully the library‘ll buy a bunch more copies and maybe make it a digital Express title. It was popular before this and I figure the holds list is set to explode.

Lindy Two Trees Make a Forest is my top pick from this bunch. I haven‘t read the Polk yet, but I‘m confident TTMaF is better! 12mo
xicanti @Lindy I look forward to reading it! 12mo
LoveToReadLiveToRead The Midnight Bargain was great! 12mo
See All 6 Comments
xicanti @LoveToReadLiveToRead right??? By the end, I couldn‘t put it down. 12mo
LoveToReadLiveToRead @xicanti I‘d love to read more books in that world if she decided to write them, maybe one with Ysbeta 🤞🏻 12mo
34 likes6 comments
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xicanti
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The Canada Reads Longlist is out! The only two I‘ve read are THE MIDNIGHT BARGAIN and THUNDER THROUGH MY VEINS (both of which are amazeballs), so I burned a bunch of battery life requesting everything else. There are a couple things my library doesn‘t own yet and a couple more a million other people want to read ahead of me, but I hope I‘ll manage to read whatever makes it onto the shortlist.

candority Oh! Thanks for sharing. I‘ve read The Lonely Hearts Hotel and Jonny Appleseed, which were both good, but I‘ve had so many of these on my radar! (edited) 13mo
xicanti @candority a lot of these sound really good! I‘m excited I was able to borrow YIDDISH FOR PIRATES right away. 13mo
41 likes2 comments
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Redwritinghood
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Mehso-so

Maybe 2.5⭐️ This was rather cliche and often slow at times. The author created some interesting characters but didn‘t give them enough interesting things to do. It is a basic romance story at heart. #hoopla

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xicanti
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Pickpick

This morning, I reached a point where I absolutely could not put THE MIDNIGHT BARGAIN down. I had other stuff to do, but my heart didn‘t care. I NEEDED to know how it ended.

It‘s an intense, layered look at how women navigate a society where none of their choices are great. It‘s a story about friendship, and support, and how outside pressures impact relationships. And it‘s frickin‘ magical, all the way through. 4.5 stars

PandaPanda Loved this as well!! (edited) 14mo
xicanti @PandaPanda ❤️❤️❤️ C.L. Polk has definitely earned a spot on my Favourites list. 14mo
PandaPanda @xicanti do you think there will be another? I feel like there‘s some definite storylines to explore 14mo
xicanti @PandaPanda I‘d definitely be on board for a same-world-different-characters continuation. Or a book focused on Ysbeta‘s adventures! 14mo
PandaPanda @xicanti yes I was thinking Ysbeta and her adventures!! 14mo
38 likes4 stack adds5 comments
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xicanti
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Breakfast involved strawberry yogurt, C.L. Polk, and what started life as a properly foamy cappuccino.

I‘m about halfway through THE MIDNIGHT BARGAIN now, and while it hasn‘t hit me as hard as Polk‘s Kingston books, I‘m loving it. It‘s full of great worldbuilding and interesting gender dynamics.

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xicanti
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Tonight‘s plan: read as much of C.L. Polk‘s latest as I can cram into my eyeballs. It‘s off to a durned good start.

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thegirlwiththelibrarybag
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@esurient made me do it 😉

This beautiful book arrived today, the lighting doesn‘t show off the full metallic glory of the cover... I‘m quite looking forward to reading this... except some other bookmail arrived today 😂 and now I don‘t know which I want to read more!

esurient Haha! Can't wait to learn what you thought of it. 📚 1y
48 likes1 stack add1 comment
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PandaPanda
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Pickpick

Part regency romance, part Harry Potter (if Hermione wasn‘t allowed to go because she‘s a woman). This book was awesome. At first I found it hard to get into the complex world building but pretty shortly fell into it. I hope there‘s a sequel as there‘s definitely still some stories to be told.

58 likes2 stack adds
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PandaPanda
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The carriage drew closer to Booksellers‘ Row, and Beatrice Clayborn drew in a hopeful breath before she cast her spell. 🧙‍♀️📖

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

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PandaPanda
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Yes! Look at what just came in from the library. Very excited to get into this one.

daisyheadmaesie Oh myyyy 😍 This cover! 1y
PandaPanda @daisyheadmaesie also a wonderful book to match the wonderful cover. Sort of sad I didn‘t buy this one rather than get it from the library... but unfortunately can‘t buy all of them. 1y
daisyheadmaesie @PandaPanda If only! 😫 1y
42 likes3 comments
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esurient
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My TBR list just keeps growing and growing.

https://whatever.scalzi.com/2020/10/14/the-big-idea-c-l-polk-2

thegirlwiththelibrarybag I had been wondering what I should use my book depository discount coupon on! 1y
9 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Lostinagoodbook
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Pickpick

Happy book birthday 🎉 to THE MIDNIGHT BARGAIN by @clpolk
A delightful regency era fantasy.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
#bookreview #reading #NetGalley #fantasybooks .
Full review at:
https://lostnagoodbook.wordpress.com/2020/10/13/the-midnight-bargain-c-l-polk/

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Liberty
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🎉IT‘S NEW BOOK DAY!🎉 I‘ve been reading e-galleys almost entirely during the pandemic, so my reserves of physical ARCs are dwindling but there are indeed many more amazing books out today! Several that I am excited about or looking forward to reading include Ring Shout, Black Sun, In the Study with the Wrench, How to Write One Song, This is All Your Fault, The Heartbeat of Iran, Cat Ninja, and The Magic Fish. What are you excited to read? 📚❤️📚

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TheShaggyShepherd
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Pickpick

I'll be honest: Sometimes I judge a book by its cover. Whaat? And this was one of them. I know I had to read it as soon as I saw it and the blurb solidified it. Since then, I have heard so many good things about it. I finally picked it up on a whim one morning and was not able to put it down until I finished it completely that same day!

Full review:

https://theshaggyshepherd.wordpress.com/2020/10/12/book-review-the-midnight-barg...

57 likes4 stack adds
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OneMoreChapterISwear
Pickpick

This magical period piece was incredibly charming! With loads of women fighting misogynistic societal views regarding what type of person they were expected to be, who they were allowed to associate with and whether or not they should be permitted to perform Magic plus the age old dilema of whether to fulfill family obligations vs doing what your heart desires. I'd gladly buy this book for a friend, myself or even my tween daughter!

4 likes1 stack add
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danimgill
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Pickpick

It took me a little while to really get into this book but once I did I was absolutely hooked. Beatrice and Ysbeta's struggle to escape the seemingly unavoidable fate of having their magical powers stripped away upon getting married really resonated with me and I was so invested in both their journeys. I also just loved this niche of feminist historical fantasy - I need more of it in my life! Out October 13.

34 likes1 stack add
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Kaylamburson
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Pickpick

The Midnight Bargain has had me in its clutches for the past two days straight, and I can't wait for Oct so the rest of you can read this amazing magical and feminist book set in an era reminiscent of Georgian England.

There's the perfect amount of suspense peppered with romance, and I felt the characters come alive as they toil with life-altering decisions.

I‘m also in love with Ianthe Lavan, so he‘s officially my new book-boyfriend.

Laughterhp Is this a sequel to Witchmark? 2y
Kaylamburson Nope, this is a standalone! @Laughterhp 2y
74 likes2 comments