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A Review of

All the Sweet Tomorrows

by Bertrice Small

 

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Summary

This is the sequel to the book Skye O'Malley, and is Book 2 in a series of romance novels often referred to as the Skye O'Malley Family Saga.

This book continues the adventures of a woman named Skye O'Malley who lived during the era of Queen Elizabeth of England in the 1500's. Skye herself is Irish. It takes the reader on a journey from England to a small duchy on the Riviera to Algeria to Morocco to Paris and back to England.

All the Sweet Tomorrows

 

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Fact Sheet

Title

All the Sweet Tomorrows

Author

Bertrice Small

ISBN

0-345-33473-6

Publisher

Ballantine Publishing Group

Category

Historical Romance Novel

Rating

StarStar

Number of Pages

594

Published In

1984

 

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Description

Set in during the era of Queen Elizabeth in 16th century England, this romance novel relates the adventures of a young Irish woman named Skye O'Malley. This book, which is a sequel to Skye O'Malley, takes the reader from England to a small duchy on the Riviera to Algeria to Morocco to Paris and back to England.

The book opens with Skye finding herself widowed. She enters an arranged marriage in order to secure her son's inheritance, and it doesn't go well. But Skye moves forward with her life, seeing her way through adventure, danger, and passionate love. She overcomes severe adversity, but retains her courage throughout.

The author has clearly done extensive research on the historical era in which she has set her book. She seamlessly incorporates real-life historical figures such as Queen Elizabeth and real historical events such as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in Paris into her story line. The heroine of the book, Skye O'Malley, is portrayed as a very strong, independent, intelligent, but passionate individual.

The reason I've included a review of this book on my web site is that part of it is set in Algeria and Morocco. She travels to these places in an attempt to rescue someone dear to her from slavery.

As I noted above, this book is a sequel to another called Skye O'Malley. Although the story in All The Sweet Tomorrows is theoretically structured to stand on its own, I would urge you to read the first book before you start this one. Although this one offers brief explanations of what went before, if you don't read Skye O'Malley first you'll probably feel as if you walked into a movie when it was 3/4 of the way finished.

Like many romance novels, this book contains some rather steamy sex scenes which are more frequent and more explicit than those I've seen in many other romance novels. Although they didn't bother me, readers who prefer books to be less passionate probably wouldn't appreciate this one. Skye is one lusty woman, and the author treats us to many detailed reports of what goes on in her bed.

 

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Is It Right for You?

 

You Will Probably Enjoy This Book If...

  • You enjoyed its predecessor, Skye O'Malley.
  • You like the genre historical romance novels.
  • You are fascinated by Elizabethan England in the 16th century.
  • You like strong heroines who triumph over adversity.

 

This Book Probably Isn't Right for You If...

  • You would be triggered by a story line that includes rape.
  • You don't enjoy stories that contain many explicit sex scenes.

 

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What I Liked, What I Didn't

 

What I Liked:

  • The lead character is strong, likeable, and intelligent.
  • Bertrice Small clearly did extensive research when preparing this book. Although I certainly would not encourage anyone to think of a romance novel as being a legitimate source of historical or cultural information, I nonetheless was impressed at the overall use of historical detail in this book.
  • The story line is not predictable. It introduces a variety of characters, and takes them through many twists and turns.

 

What I Didn't Like:

  • You'd think that after attending the funerals of three husbands and one child, amassing incredible wealth, finally marrying one's true love, and having four thriving children (all of which occurred in the first book, Skye O'Malley), the poor woman would be entitled to live happily ever after. But not so.
  • Bertrice Small sometimes puts her heroines through excessive amounts of hell. There are times when reading one of her books makes me want to shout, "Enough already!"
  • Although romance novels are certainly escapist reading, I'm happiest when the plots are plausible. In this one, I found certain aspects of the plot too contrived.

 

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Conclusion

If you're the kind of person who enjoys historical romance novels, particularly bodice rippers with a hefty dose of passionate sex scenes, then you'll probably like this book very much. However, if you've never appreciated romance novels, or if you are squeamish about books with large amounts of of explicit sex, this is not the right book for you.

Skye's stay in Algeria and Morocco provides a painful view of North Africa. Although it is not the bulk of the story, it's a substantial enough part of the plot to be grating, even to those of us who enjoy discovering books that are set at least partly in the Middle East or North Africa. I kept waiting for that portion of the book to be over.

Still, despite its shortcomings, I found this to be good "airplane reading" — in other words, something entertaining that could absorb my attention fully enough to make a long airplane ride pass more quickly. I found the first book in the series, Skye O'Malley, to be much more satisfying than this one, but I still found that this one held my attention enough to be worth reading.

 

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Related Books

After finishing this book, if you'd like to read other books by Bertrice Small presenting other adventures in the Middle East and North Africa, there are many available to keep you reading for some time to come. Here is the order I would suggest reading them in, with links (when available) to reviews of them elsewhere on this web site:

  • The Kadin. This was Bertrice Small's first book, and everything else follows it. It is the first in the Leslie Famly series, sometimes called the Cyra Hafisa series.
  • Skye O'Malley. This is the first book in a series about a strong woman named Skye O'Malley and her extended family. Her adventures take her to Algeria at one point.
  • All The Sweet Tomorrows. This is the sequel to Skye O'Malley. Although I was a bit disappointed with this book, I would still recommend that if you liked Skye O'Malley enough to read more in the series, then you should read this before the others. Otherwise, you'll find some of the references to past events and characters in the later books confusing. Part of it takes place in Algeria and Morocco.
  • A Love For All Time. This one comes third in the Skye O'Malley family of books. Part of it takes place in Turkey, and it makes some references to characters who were originally introduced in The Kadin.
  • Love Wild And Fair. This is the sequel to The Kadin and part of the plot takes place in Turkey. It is the second in the Leslie Famly series, sometimes called the Cyra Hafisa series.
  • This Heart Of Mine. I don't plan to review this one for my site, because the heroine's adventures take her to India, which falls outside my geographical scope. But if you've enjoyed the other books about Skye's family so far, you'll want to read this one, which is number four in the series.
  • Lost Love Found. Bertrice Small takes you back to Turkey in this one, the fifth book in her story about Skye O'Malley and her family. Don't tackle this one unless you've read everything above. I made that mistake, and felt entirely confused at all the flashbacks explaining what had gone before.
  • Wild Jasmine. This is the natural sequel to This Heart Of Mine. I don't plan to review this one for my site, because the heroine's time outside of Europe takes place in India, which falls outside the geographic scope that I focus on for this web site. But if you're hooked on the Skye O'Malley series, you'll want to read this one, which is the sixth book in the series.

 

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Disclosures

There is nothing to disclose. I have never had any contact with anyone associated with this book.


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