Grieving after the death of his younger brother, Hugh Castle, the Earl of Monnow, finds evidence to suggest it was not an accident, but a failed attempt to kill him. He vows revenge, planning to take advantage of the rumor that he is also dead to uncover the murderer. But Hugh doesn't count on meeting another desperate adventurer, Helen Archer. She has lost the fabled Peckham Necklace at Hugh's home, Ormsby, and risks censure if she doesn't find it. So together, Helen and Hugh hatch the perfect plan. They will masquerade as servants to gain access to Hugh's grand house and accomplish their missions in secret. Unfortunately, it is more limiting to work as servants than they thought, and their plans soon go awry. Increasingly attracted to Helen, Hugh finds it difficult to protect her from the unknown danger stalking the grand halls of Ormsby, and ultimately, he must decide if his heart's desire is truly revenge, or love. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Ruth Urquhart. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/029302/bk_adbl_029302_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In 1632, the Emperor of Hindustan, Shah Jahan, overwhelmed with grief over the death of his beloved wife, Mumatz Mahal, commissioned the building of a grand mausoleum to symbolize the greatness of their love. The story surrounding the construction of the Taj Mahal occurs, however, against a scrim of fratricidal war, murderous rebellion, unimaginable wealth, and, not least of all, religious fundamentalism ruthlessly opposing tolerance and coexistence between the disparate peoples in the empire. At that time, Hindustan comprised all of modern Pakistan and Kashmir, most of eastern Afghanistan, and two-thirds of the Indian subcontinent (roughly north of Bombay to the Himalayas). Beneath a Marble Sky, narrated by Princess Jahanara, eldest daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, recounts their story, and her own as well, a parallel tale of forbidden love enduring censure and extreme deprivations. Beneath a Marble Sky brims with action and intrigue befitting an epic era when, alongside continuous war, architecture and its attendant arts reached a pinnacle of perfection. In a splendid debut, John Shors has crafted an immensely listenable and well-researched historical novel of surprisingly contemporary relevance. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Mozhan Marno. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/reco/007125/bk_reco_007125_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
When graduate student Lucy Larson sees her hot professor, thesis advisor, and employer at a spanking party, she promptly runs and hides. Later, kicking herself for her cowardice, she realizes she missed the opportunity to bring her spanking fantasies to life and sets her sights on seducing the hunky scientist. He ignores her antics until she accidentally ruins his research experiment and then he bends her over his desk for a dozen strokes of the cane. Dr. Todd Daniels would like nothing more than to get involved with his smart and sexy lab assistant, but doing so would be unethical and risk censure from the university. Still, when she deserves a serious spanking, he delivers. Delving into a flaming hot love affair, they must hide their relationship and navigate department politics, a search for his child, given up for adoption years before, and Lucy's insecurities about his commitment. He wants to make it all work, but he isn't sure if their unbalanced power dynamic has longevity as a relationship. In the end, all mentors fall off their pedestals and students must spread their own wings. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Hollie Jackson. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/030330/bk_acx0_030330_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
I'm the binge-drinking health reporter. During the week, I write about Australia's booze-soaked culture. At the weekends, I write myself off. Born and raised in Scotland, the home of whisky, Jill Stark had booze in the blood. Alcohol had dominated her social life ever since she had her first sip of lager, at 13. She thought nothing could curb her love of big nights. Then came the hangover that changed everything. In the shadow of her 35th year, Jill made a decision: she would give up alcohol. But what would it mean to stop drinking in a world awash with booze? This lively memoir charts Jill's tumultuous year on the wagon, as she copes with the stress of the newsroom sober, tackles the dating scene on soda water, learns to watch football minus beer, and deals with censure from friends and colleagues, who tell her that a year without booze is a year without mates. In re-examining her habits, Jill also explores the global love affair with alcohol, meeting alcopop-swigging teens who drink to fit in, beer-swilling blokes in a sporting culture backed by booze, and marketing bigwigs blamed for turning binge drinking into a way of life. And she retraces her drinking steps to Scotland, where getting p***d is seen as a birthright. Will Jill make it through the year without booze? And if she does, will she go back to old habits, or has she called last drinks? This is a funny, moving, and insightful exploration of why we drink, how we got here, and what happens when we turn off the tap. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Vannessa Coffey. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/020809/bk_adbl_020809_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
I have often met with happiness after some imprudent step which ought to have brought ruin upon me, and although passing a vote of censure upon myself I would thank God for his mercy. - Casanova Contrary to how the libidinous legend is often seen through the rose-tinted lenses of Hollywood, the real Giacomo Casanova did not have Heath Ledger's strong, chiseled jaw or the piercing, lagoon-blue eyes of Richard Chamberlain. Rather, portraits of the actual Casanova show a plain, somewhat forgettable face, with a doughy jaw, a prominent, faintly crooked nose, and close-set, protruding eyes. In essence, while he was certainly not unattractive, he was far from someone who would be envisioned as synonymous with womanizing. Nonetheless, Casanova engaged in hundreds of trysts, and whatever the man lacked in aesthetic appeal, he indisputably made up for in charm, mystique, and raw, animal magnetism. He was also quite matter of fact about it all: "Real love is the love that sometimes arises after sensual pleasure: if it does, it is immortal; the other kind inevitably goes stale, for it lies in mere fantasy." Indeed, the fabled erotic exploits of the captivating, charismatic Casanova were so spectacular that his surname has been immortalized with its own entry in Merriam-Webster, among many other reputable dictionaries - "a lover, especially, a man who is a promiscuous and unscrupulous lover." Though Casanova has been cemented in pop culture, above all else, as a silver-tongued, licentious lover, the man was scintillatingly gift-wrapped with layers of artful deceit, vigilant calculation, and an inextinguishable hankering for adventure. He donned many hats, yet each one seemed to be styled especially for him. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Colin Fluxman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/100272/bk_acx0_100272_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
1891...Jolene Crawford Crenshaw, heiress and Boston socialite, went from her family home directly to Landonmore upon her marriage, the mansion she shared with her handsome and charismatic husband. She'd never in her life worried in the slightest over anything as crass as the dollars required to maintain that home or the lifestyle she'd been born to. Her extensive yearly wardrobe, the stables and the prime horseflesh within it, even the solid silver forks and knifes that graced her table, were expected and required to maintain the social standing that she'd cultivated over the years. But suddenly she was a widow with little money and just her pride and her secrets to keep her upright. Max Shelby made his fortune in oil wells and cattle but lost the love of his life the day his wife died, over 10 years ago. Now, his happy, carefree, little girl needs instruction and guidance as she grows into a young lady and his dream of becoming a senator from his adopted state of Texas seems out of reach with few political or social connections. The right wife would solve both problems. As it happens his sister knows of a woman, a recent widow, charming, beautiful and socially astute, but in reduced circumstances, who may want to begin again. Max signed the wedding contract sight unseen. Will Jolene be able to shed her sorrows, anger and fears to begin anew away from the censure and hidden tragedy that marred her life? Is her new husband, confident, strong and capable Max Shelby, the man, the only man, to see past her masks to find the woman beneath? 1. Language: English. Narrator: Meghan Kelly. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/049363/bk_acx0_049363_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
A soldier in Vietnam invents a uniquely absurd solution to the horrors of war. A relatively naïve Wilfred Carmenghetti comes to the Far East to outmaneuver the draft and save the Western world, but when he lands at the First Battalion to join an air-mobile platoon in the 13th Cavalry, the young Army lieutenant is greeted with a profane censure of communism and the offer of a $30 prostitute. Once he gets over his initial dismay, Wilfred accepts his place in this peculiar milieu by bonding with a black rabble-rouser named Joshua Henry and falling madly in love with a dilettante Vietnamese girl. Morris, once a rifle platoon leader who tread in the same rice paddies as his fictional character, writes convincingly of battle, bloodshed and the disarming brevity of sudden, violent death. He also infuses his war story with the black humor prevalent in many modern American war stories like Catch-22 or M.A.S.H. as Wilfred struggles to outmaneuver the incompetently bureaucratic Lt. Col. Clary, his lapdog Capt. Simms and an engaging, philosophical Vietnamese spy. The book, played out in discrete segments following groups of characters on missions that usually relate more to their own motivations than the company line, also carries echoes of Tim O'Brien's similarly toned The Things They Carried. Eventually Wilfred, traumatized by his experiences and absorbed in a debate with himself over the nature of humanity, arrives at a fanciful conclusion that involves recycling the bodies of dead Vietcong to satisfy his superior's appetite for grossly elevated body counts. 'What we need to create is the functional equivalent of war: Everything except the killing,' he says. To wit, the illusion of war. A funny and serviceable satire about the gross rationalizations that propel war and peace.-Kirkus Discoveries
@2@1918: German troops flood back from the Eastern Front for an all-out assault in France, before the Americans can join the war. The under-strength British retreat, and for the first time the real possibility of defeat comes home to a shocked nation. @3@@2@At the front, Bertie struggles to bring his battered battalion out safely, while at home Jessie, secretly carrying his child, knows that sooner or later she must face her family's censure. At Morland Place, Teddy braves local opinion to bring German POWs to work on the land, little knowing how close to home the consequences of his decision will strike. And the terrible news arrives that Jack has been shot down.@3@@2@Men are falling, each one the King of someone's heart. For the Morlands, only love, faith and compassion will keep the family safe until the longed-for days of peace . . .@3@
Now available from Thomas Wolfe&#8217;s original publisher, the final novel by the literary legend, that &#8220;will stand apart from everything else that he wrote&#8221; ( The New York Times Book Review)&#8212;first published in 1940 and long considered a classic of twentieth century literature. A twentieth-century classic, Thomas Wolfe&#8217;s magnificent novel is both the story of a young writer longing to make his mark upon the world and a sweeping portrait of America and Europe from the Great Depression through the years leading up to World War II. Driven by dreams of literary success, George Webber has left his provincial hometown to make his name as a writer in New York City. When his first novel is published, it brings him the fame he has sought, but it also brings the censure of his neighbors back home, who are outraged by his depiction of them. Unsettled by their reaction and unsure of himself and his future, Webber begins a search for a greater understanding of his artistic identity that takes him deep into New York&#8217;s hectic social whirl; to London with an uninhibited group of expatriates; and to Berlin, lying cold and sinister under Hitler&#8217;s shadow. He discovers a world plagued by political uncertainty and on the brink of transformation, yet he finds within himself the capacity to meet it with optimism and a renewed love for his birthplace. He is a changed man yet a hopeful one, awake to the knowledge that one can never fully &#8220;go back home to your family, back home to your childhood&#8230;away from all the strife and conflict of the world&#8230;back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time.&#8221;