Downton Abbey

I’m sitting here and waiting for the second season of a show that hit our shores last year on my local WTTW Chanel by the name of ‘Downton Abbey’. I am such a sucker for anything History in general and English in particular. I swear in my past life (if you believe in those) I must have been born English!

Well, I loved this Masterpiece Theater show so much that I thought to let some of you that haven’t heard of it, know that the second season is upon us in about 23 minutes.

The show is set in Edwardian Era, following the lives of the aristocratic family and their servants. It reminds me a lot of ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ from years ago.

The series is created by Julian Fellows (Gosford Park), starring Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, and Elizabeth McGovern. Last year it brought itself six Emmy Awards out of twelve nominations, and one of them went to Dame Maggie Smith (the mother of my Muse Toby Stephens) and I couldn’t be happier for her and the show.

The rumor is that the show is one of the most expensive ones ever produced (and I do believe it) and the reason for the short season (it consists of only four episodes per).

Trailer for the first Season:


Season Two Trailer:


By the way, the show is filmed at Highclere Castle and the place is breathtaking.

Instead of me telling you how good the show is, why don’t you check it out for yourselves?

Here is the link to ALL of its EIGHT episodes (both seasons) and a Christmas Special. ENJOY!


“In Total Surrender” by Anne Mallory

STORY: The first kiss was dangerous enough…

Andreas Merrick is the king of London’s dark underworld, having amassed unimaginable wealth and power…and a fierce reputation that leaves even the bravest men quaking in their boots. Yet one person is maddeningly unintimidated by his fearsome presence: the persistent Miss Phoebe Pace.

And one kiss always leads to another…

Equal parts honey and steel, Phoebe will stop at nothing to find her missing brother and save her family. Though associating with Andreas means peril and scandal, she never expects to experience a passion so intense that it threatens to consume her. But enigmatic Andreas is no ordinary man to love. He brings dangers from all sides – without and within – while tempting her beyond her wildest dreams…

REVIEW: This is my first time reading Anne Mallory, and I was glad to have stumbled on to her! As this was a part of her ‘Secrets’ series, I thought it best to read them all, and I was glad that I did. That’s not to say that the stories can’t be read or can’t stand alone. I chose to do it only because of my own personal preference. I found out that even though each book tells its own individual story, I always get the ‘feel’ for it by reading its predecessor first. “One Night Is Never Enough” helped me greatly to understand Andreas and his personality and I highly recommend it as well.

Andreas Merrick was one of those heroes that you can’t help but fall in love with, especially when introduced to his painful past. As for the heroine, Phoebe Pace, she will steal your heart with her gullible nature and sunny disposition. As I was reading it, I kept seeing Meg Ryan’s smile and funny banter while Toby Stephens’ throaty voice was Andreas in my mind.

The relationship between the two was developed in stages and that was perfectly fine with me. Their wit, their sparks, and their opposite personalities were very enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining. The chemistry, sexual tension and the anticipation created by the author, was so well written that once those two came together, I couldn’t help but sigh!

Anne Mallory’s style of writing was refreshing and every character she introduced us to was three-dimensional and the plot kept the story moving with measured speed. The author does an outstanding job in drawing you into the story and caring for the characters she created. If you love your hero intriguing, quiet and strong while he falls for a bubbly, bookish and brave heroine, you just can’t miss this story! It is a fun, moving and an overall exciting read.

*To buy this book, click on the cover*

*To learn more about the author, click on her name*

* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*