Victory Bells for the Harpers Girls by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Victory Bells for the Harpers Girls by Rosie Clarke. This is the 6th book in this series and it has been one of ups and downs.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this latest book in the series.

Can the Harpers Girls look forward to some happy times as a new dawn rises over London?

Sally Harper is busy juggling running London’s Oxford Street Store Harpers and looking after her beautiful newborn daughter, whilst her husband Ben is overseas on another dangerous mission, this time to rescue a friend in need.
Young Becky Stockbridge finds herself in a difficult situation which could bring shame to her and her family. Will Becky, with the help of her friends, find her happy ever after and keep her secret?
Marion Jackson is blessed with a son as she eagerly awaits the return of her husband Reggie. But all is not right when Reggie returns. Is Marion strong enough to save her family from yet another crisis?
As the war clouds retreat and the victory bells ring, tears and joy mingle with those of sadness as the world counts the true toll of war and celebrates peace.

MY REVIEW

Each of the books in this series follows the lives of key characters. The Girls made friends and have carried their friendships on through difficult times. Some helped nurses during the War and others did what they could to keep things going. The constant has been Harpers, an Emporium that has had its good times and its bad.

Set towards the end of World War I, this book is again such a wonderful read. It could be read as a stand-alone but I do think it is better to read in order as the lives of the characters have helped define them and their lives.

The war has had an impact on the country and also on families and friends, the constant worry as to who will get that dreaded telegram, who will have letters from family members, who will come back and also those that will never return. I really liked the emphasis the author took on some of the problems those who returned had to deal with, shell shock as it was known was dismissed by many. But for those fortunate to receive the proper care things could be easier for them over time. Encompassing the challenges of those returning as well as those lost gives a balance that felt right. While the obvious happiness of a reunion is evident, there was also a quiet sense of unease and nerves.

As I mentioned, the constant in this book is Harpers Emporium. For those who work and manage the store, there is a constant worry about getting stock and also keeping the business going so that those who work there can still get a wage. Things are in short supply, and there is a lot of moving around to make the shelves look full. Being a close-knit group friendships are as important as family. It is times of worry and distress having a non-judgmental ear is important.

There are changes afoot for a few of the characters and having the means and opportunity to talk things through really brings the closeness of the characters out. This is something that I have really enjoyed with each book I have read. The author has kept the characters moving, progressing, growing and learning. Families expand and unfortunately, families also reduce. Times of joy have a tinge of sadness as things for some will never be the same.

This is another gorgeous book to read. Keeping up with the coming and goings of the characters as they continue their lives is something I look forward to with each instalment. While there is sadness there are also things to look forward to, changes, developments, new plans and new beginnings. If you love your sags and historical fiction stories then this is one you are going to really enjoy. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Shop Girls of Harpers and The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire.


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When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill @bonnierbooks_uk #fantasy #feminism #histfic #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill. This was a fabulous book to read and while it is a fantasy story, the Dragons in this book could be seen as a metaphor for the feminism that lies behind it. As a fantasy read I thoroughly enjoyed it, as a metaphorical read, I can see the points that the author is making. (I hope this makes sense!!!) However you read this or take the message, it is a brilliant story. And… I love the cover 😍

My huge thanks to Bonnier Books UK for granting my request to read this e-book via NetGalley.

Learn about the Mass Dragoning of 1955 in which 300,000 women spontaneously transform into dragons…and change the world.

Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours. But this version of 1950’s America is characterized by a significant event: The Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales and talons, left a trail of fiery destruction in their path, and took to the skies. Seemingly for good. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? Why did Alex’s beloved Aunt Marla transform but her mother did not? Alex doesn’t know. It’s taboo to speak of, even more so than her crush on Sonja, her schoolmate.

Forced into silence, Alex nevertheless must face the consequences of dragons: a mother more protective than ever; a father growing increasingly distant; the upsetting insistence that her aunt never even existed; and a new “sister” obsessed with dragons far beyond propriety. Through loss, rage, and self-discovery, this story follows Alex’s journey as she deals with the events leading up to and beyond the Mass Dragoning, and her connection with the phenomenon itself. 

MY REVIEW

Ok, so I will admit the title of this book really called to me when I saw it. When Women Were Dragons is a reimagining with a definite fantasy thread, the dragons kind of give it away really!

Set in the 1950s this is a brilliant book that mixes historical with fantasy. Women through the years have transformed into dragons, they are never seen, mentioned or talked about ever again. In 1955 when 1,000s of women worldwide changed were still covered up. No one is allowed to mention the word dragon or anything to do with this event.

The thing is, the women have very little control over this change, some could hold it back and others just went with it.

This is a brilliant story that is about women empowering themselves and making the choice as to how they live their own lives. This is a time when women stay home, cook meals, look after the house, raise the children and have a meal ready on the table for when their husband walks in the door. It is very much a patriarchal society and while this story is set in a small area in the US, it was something that was a worldwide thing.

The focus is on Alex, a young girl who is confused by events that are happening, not just to family and neighbours who have changed, but also the changes in her own body. As a young girl, there are expectations of her and what she is to do with her future. Alex however has other ideas, she wants to go on with her education and go to university. Others think that a piece of paper to say you are clever isn’t much use when you are a mother and wife.

This story is very much about discrimination and there are times I got so angry with the attitudes of some of the characters, this is all credit to the author. I do love a story that makes me go through various emotions and this one definitely did that. Anger, euphoria, happiness, sadness and a sense of justice are just some of them. The way the author portrayed Alex and other women was just so good, the way they carried themselves with eyes down at the ground while all the time wanting to look up and to the future made it quite a powerful read.

This was a brilliant book to read, at times I admit it did get a bit far-fetched, but it still kept up the flow and feel of the story. I think at times I actually forgot some of the characters were dragons!

I adored this book and I did like the mix of fantasy with historical fiction. The concept is such a good one and it really appealed to me. This is a story about empowerment as well as a coming of age story. It does carry a powerful message and it is one I would definitely recommend.

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A Taste of Greek Summer by Mandy Baggot @mandybaggot @EmblaBooks #romance #Greece #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Taste of Greek Summer by Mandy Baggot. It is so nice to travel vicariously and especially when it is to Greece!

My huge thanks to Embla Books for my e-copy of this book and to join the Blog Tour to share my review.

Next summer, on the Greek island of Corfu, sparks will fly as dreams come true…

Lydia Broom is living her second-best life. With her dreams of being a chef left in the dust she instead finds solace writing about the dishes she wished she created. When Lydia’s sent to Corfu on an assignment, she’s excited to see what culinary delights the island has to offer, but nothing seems to tickle her fancy – until she tastes the creations of local cook, Thanos Nicolaidis.

After one sizzling afternoon in the kitchen together, Lydia and Thanos both allow themselves to dream of the futures they desperately want. And as they grow closer, sharing secret ingredients and family recipes, Thanos begins to realise he has to show Lydia the parts of him he’s done so well to hide… 

MY REVIEW

What a wonderful summery romance read A Taste of Greek Summer was. This author knows how to tickle the tastebuds with sumptuous sounding food and with a nice helping of romance as well.

When Lydia is hoodwinked by her best friend and co-worker Caroline she doesn’t expect it to have such an impact on her life as it does. Once a brilliant chef and now a food critic and columnist, Lydia still loves food but has put her knives away. What on earth could have happened for her to turn her back on a wonderful career that made her so happy. Well, you will find out when you read this book!

Lydia is the quieter one out of her and Caroline. While Lydia savours and thinks about things, Caroline rushes in and demolishes. The two are real chalk and cheese characters and it would have been so easy for Lydia to disappear in Caroline’s wake, instead, the author balances the two characters and does so with a wonderful storyline and also with some fun.

Going to Greece to get content for articles for the magazine they work for is a great way6 for Lydia to relax and go with the flow. She has got rather stuck in a rut and the trip to Greece may well revive her writing, but it also revives something else.

Food is never far from the pages of this book, from simple mouthwatering local Greek dishes to extravagant and minuscule portions, there is a gastronomic theme throughout, and of course Caroline and her love of chips!

You may think that the wonderful scenery and gorgeous foods would make for a completely happy and fulfilling holiday. Well, that would be too simple and we know that life is never that way. So the author has written a rather interesting story of Lydia and it gives the explanations needed for her backing away from creating menus to just writing about them. It was a revelation that I didn’t expect, but one that felt right. Caroline also has a past that comes out as well.

So. a holiday wouldn’t be a holiday without a little romance. And what a wonderful romantic theme this was. Again wrapped around the love of food and done so well. Tempting, tantalising and tasty.

This book was a one-sitting read for me, I started it while sitting out in the garden on a sunny afternoon and finished later the same night. I needed to know the ins and outs, the mystery and also to find out how things would wrap up. This is definitely one for those who love to travel vicariously, love food, and like their romance. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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The Birdcage by Eve Chase #PublicationDay #NeyGalley @PenguinUKBooks #mystery #suspense #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Birdcage by Eve Chase. This is a wonderful suspense and mystery read set in Cornwall.

My huge thanks to Penguin Random House & Michael Joseph Books for granting my request to read this title via NetGalley.

Kat, Flossie and Lauren are half-sisters who share a famous artist father – and a terrible secret.

Each has found their way of burying it. Over the years they’ve grown apart, and into wildly different lives. But an invitation to Rock Point, the Cornish cliff house where they once sat for their father’s most celebrated painting, Girls with Birdcage, reunites them.

Rock Point is a beautiful, windswept place, thick with secrets, electrically charged with the one subject the family daren’t discuss. And there is someone in the shadows watching the house, their every move. Someone who remembers the girls in the painting. What they did.

The sisters must unlock the truth to set themselves free – and find each other again.

MY REVIEW

Covers are a great way of noticing books and this cover is gorgeous. The cover shows a lovely white house in a cage and as I have now read this book, it is very relevant. The Birdcage is a novel that skips back and forth in time. It has mysterious undertones that are not always obvious.

Three sisters, well half-sisters as they share the same father, but have different mothers. The sisters have been summoned back to the house which has caused painful memories. They have been summoned by their father and it is the first time they have been back for 20 years. The last time was in 1999 for the solar eclipse.

Each sister is nervous as they make their way back to Rock House, each one has something that is easting away at them and each one just wants to get through this reunion and go back to their lives. While they may have tried to put events of 20 years ago behind them, things are certainly going to resurface.

This is a wonderful book that really draws on the wilder side of Cornwall, a country steeped in mystery and one that lends itself to stories like this one so well. The author brings the windswept moors and the crashing seas into the story. In some ways, the unpredictability of the weather also matches the feelings of those in the house.

Each of the sisters has memories from 1999, but some are more deeply hidden than others. The author gives the sisters very distinct characters and personalities, but the one thing they have in common is that they have all drifted. They are not the same people they were and so this becomes a very tentative, stepping on the egg-shells reunion.

I really enjoyed how the author gradually brought in the mystery via each of the main characters, there is a sense of something quite serious happening. When this is finally revealed I sort of didn’t see it coming as such, but it also wasn’t a huge shock as I had realised the author had been very subtly leaving breadcrumbs.

This has a haunting atmospheric feel to it, with the secrets and unsaid things that have lurked in the past. It is one that I think is ideal for those who like family mysteries and secrets as well as contemporary time-slip novels. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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The Weekend Getaway by Hannah Ellis @BookEllis @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Weekend Getaway by Hannah Ellis. This was a wonderful read that fans of contemporary fiction and romance will enjoy.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous story.

This is quite a timely release for this book as The World Pilot Gig Championships are taking place this weekend on The Isles of Scilly.

A weekend away changes everything…
The chemistry between Keira and Noah is instant. After their first date, it’s clear there’s something special between them.
A weekend in Noah’s hometown further cements their feelings, and Keira falls head over heels. Not only for Noah, but his close-knit family and the stunning Isles of Scilly.

There’s just one problem: Noah’s about to move back home and his plans can’t be altered.
It’s too early in their relationship to make life-changing plans, but if they stand a chance of being together, one of them is going to have to take a leap of faith.

Can love triumph over location? And when following your heart, how far should you go?

Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

Keira and friend Mel have been popping in their local Bristol pub for a few months now, and while they have good banter with the barman Noah it hasn’t gone much further. That changes when Mel provides a little intervention as she sees that Noah and Keira obviously like each other.

This was a fabulous book that I only planned on reading a few chapters of, and I ended up reading the whole book over the course of an evening, Yep another late-night reading!

The signs that Mel could see between Noah and Keira were not wrong and the two soon start to find that there is a real attraction. One problem though, Noah is due to return back home to the Isles of Scilly. Does he really want to start a relationship?

When Kiera realises that this relationship will be hard to continue she tries to do the best thing, trying not to get to attached, but this isn’t possible. The attraction and the easy way the two have with each other are natural and effortless. Noah decides that he will invite Keira to his home and meet his family.

There is a lot more to this story than romance and friendship. Both Keira and Noah have things that hold them back, they have very different families. His is a larger family and her very small. the differences and the backstories gradually come out and this makes for some wonderful heart to heart moments and also for admitting truths.

The other characters in this book are brilliant and I am so glad to see that this is the first book in a planned series. I cannot wait to see what lies in store for two characters that will be the focus of the next book!

This was a gorgeous read and it was nice to see the Isles of Scilly being shown off, I still have to visit there and I will one day, I do live in Cornwall after all.

This is definitely one for those who like contemporary fiction, romance and stories about family and friendships. I loved it and I would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hannah Ellis spent many years working in childcare before deciding she’d like to write books. When she’s not busy writing she likes to read, drink tea and eat chocolate. She also enjoys yoga and jogging.

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The Mersey Mothers by Sheila Riley @1sheilariley @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #historicalfiction #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Mersey Mothers by Sheila Riley. I have read a few books by this author but this is the first I have read from the Reckoners Row series, this is book #3!

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley.

The Mersey Mothers
Liverpool 1953

January sees the dawn of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation year as the mothers of Reckoners Row unite in preparation for the celebration of the new Queen.

Meanwhile, Evie Kilgaren is dreaming of her summer wedding to Danny Harris, but trouble looms for Skinner & Sons with a new rival trying to put them out of business, but no one knows why….

Ada Harris is summoned to the bedside of her estranged husband, who, in his dying moment confesses to a deadly secret – he knows who really murdered Evie’s mam Rene all those years ago and the consequences are far-reaching.

Has an innocent man been jailed and is there still a murderer walking carefree?

Will Evie get the happy-ever-after she so longs for with Danny? And will The Mersey Mothers unite and still be friends?
Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

I have read several books by this author and enjoyed all I have read. The Mersey Mothers is the 3rd book in the Reckoner’s Row series. I have not read the two earlier ones and while I do wish I had because the author is fab, this one did read well as a stand-alone novel.

This book opens with a prologue and then jumps forward a few years. Set in Liverpool in 1953 the residents of Reckoner’s Row are hard-working, supportive of their families and also of their community. When one of their own does something to upset the harmony then it is made known, as Ada Harris is all too aware. There is a story about her ex-husband Bert that gradually emerges and how things have changed for the main characters. This may have been present in the previous books but the author includes details so that I didn’t feel as if I was missing anything.

The area is near the docklands and is handy for haulage businesses, and this is what Danny and his fiance Evie are desperately trying to keep going. There is however a rival business that is threatening their livelihood.

In the 50s there are several historical references to keep the reader set in the day. The coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the Korean War and also rationing started to be more relaxed after the end of WWII. The country is starting to move forward, things are improving but life is still hard. This is where the communities, friendships and families are really important. This is one of the things the author really does manage to get across well in her books and The Mersey Mothers have all that sense of spirit and supportiveness.

There are several stories that are brilliantly intertwined in this family saga style story. It is these stories that make this a fabulous book to read. Families and friendships may be tested but there is a sense that the community will always keep an eye out for their own. Things are not always rosy and there are still those who are trying to get one over the rest.

This is another wonderfully addictive historical fiction story from this author. Ideal for those who love reading family sagas and while it can be read easily as a stand-alone novel you do get to see developments and changes over the course of reading a series in order. I adored this one and I would definitely recommend it. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing the Reckoner’s Row series under her own name. She has set it around the River Mersey and its docklands near to where she spent her early years. She still lives in Liverpool.


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What’s Next by Shari Low @sharilow @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #contemoraryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for What’s Next by Shari Low. This was a wonderful read and one that is great for those who like reading contemporary fiction and family life scenarios.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy from the publisher Boldwood Books via NetGalley.

What Next?
Two weeks, four friends and one big bucket list of secrets to unravel…

Val Murray and her best friend, Josie had been planning a ‘Thelma and Louise’ bucket list style holiday.
Now Josie is gone, and Val needs to make the trip before it’s too late.
But Val doesn’t want to do it alone, so she enlists the help of her nieces, Carly and Carole, and their best pal, Jess, who jump at the chance to join Val on a trip of a lifetime.
What Val doesn’t realise is that Carly, Carole and Jess are all at turning points in their own lives, nursing crushing secrets, lies and betrayals.
Somewhere between Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York they all hit a crossroads and have to decide if they want to return to the lives they left behind or let Josie’s last wishes take them on a brand new adventure.
Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

Having read a few of this author’s books now, I have to say this one is one of my favourites – well, so far!

It starts with a bucket list that Val and her friend Josie had thought up. Now that Josie has passed on, Val decides it’s time to get something done about this list. You soon get to realise that Val is incorrigible and so she sort of organises and hi-jacks her nieces and they all go off to America to tick off the items.

The three nieces, Carly, Carol and Jess are, well sort of stuck in their lives or have something going on with them. It gives the 4 women a chance to not only kick back and have some fun but to assess.

This is a fabulous book and I have to say Val is such an amazing character. She is one of those characters who is the cornerstone of the story. While she is loud, bright and a real hoot, she also has another softer and hugely caring side. She is also a dangerous woman to go out anywhere with as she will definitely lead you astray, this makes for some hilarious and raucous moments in the story.

Each of the women has something they need to deal with, none of them is upfront about it. They need a trigger for the secret to be released. So while this trip is for the purpose of fulfilling a friend’s wish, it is also about discovering what needs to change for each of them.

The author has got the balance spot on with this story mixing humour with worries about life, health and family. There are changes and challenges and some wonderful moments that just make you feel that you are not alone in the world. Life for the women has been portrayed very differently for each one, and this was a great way of seeing different perspectives on life and how success is seen or happiness is measured.

This is a fabulous read, it is heartwarming and yeah there were a couple of moments when I had a lump in my throat. Ideal for readers of contemporary fiction, life, family and friendship. A gorgeous read and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 25 novels, including One Day In Summer and My One Month Marriage and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.
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Orphans of the Storm by Celia Imrie #historicalfiction #NetGalley @BloomsburyBooks #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Orphans of the Storm by Celia Imrie. This is a fabulous historical fiction that has been wonderfully researched and offers a glimpse into those on the Titanic.

My huge thanks to Bloomsbury Books for granting my request to read this book via NetGalley. I do wish I had read it sooner as it was a wonderful read.

From internationally bestselling author and celebrated actress Celia Imrie, an epic novel set against the backdrop of the sinking of the Titanic.

Nice, France, 1911: After three years of marriage, Marcella Navratil has finally had enough. Her husband, Michael, an ambitious tailor, may have charmed her during their courtship, but their few years of marriage have revealed a cruel and controlling streak. The 21-year-old mother of two is determined to get a divorce.

But while awaiting the Judges’ decision on the custody of their children, Michael receives news that changes everything.

Meanwhile, fun-loving New York socialite Margaret Hays is touring Europe with some friends. Restless, she resolves to head home aboard the most celebrated steamer in the world.

But as the ship sets sail for America, carrying two infants bearing false names, the paths of Marcella, Michael and Margaret cross and nothing will ever be the same again.

Orphans of the Storm dives into the waters of the past to unearth a sweeping, epic tale of the sinking of the Titanic that radiates with humanity and hums with life.

MY REVIEW

I know I am not the only reader who sees a book and thinks “I really want to read that” and then it gets lost in the mountain of other books. Orphans of the Storm was one of those books and I am so glad I finally got to read it. If you have this on your TBR then I suggest bumping it up and reading it.

When I first saw this I knew it was one that I would enjoy, historical fiction and one that also includes the Titanic. The book is set in 1911, Nice, France. Marcella is going through the motions of divorcing her husband Michael a tailor. The story then goes back and fills in how the couple met, their life together, their two children and how the Titanic is involved.

This story grabbed me from the first few chapters, more so just before the jump back in time! The first half of the book concerns itself more with Marcella and Michael and how things change for her when her children are born. Michael is not the person she thought she had married, and she lives a very fraught life. He is a tyrant and a manipulator to say the least and not a likeable person at all.

The second half of the book introduces Margaret, a woman who has done the “European Tour” and decides to get an early boat back to America. She boards the Titanic along with around 2,24 other people including the crew. We know from history what happens to this ship.

The author has woven such an amazingly heartbreaking story and I didn’t realise how much research had gone into this until the end of the book. This is so interesting to read and it also gave me the chance to hop on the internet for more information.

The author is not one I have read before, but I was aware of her name as regards being an actor. I think in some ways it was her name that caught my eye first.

The story of Marcella, Michael and her children as well as her family and friends was a wonderful yet very sad story. It gave a glimpse into life for women as wives, employees and mothers. Michael is a person who has charm and you soon see how she was won over.

The section of the story dealing with the going down of the Titanic and then the rescue of some of the 2,224 by the passing ship Carpathia was so well done. It gave an account of what was happening to the main people of the story as well as those around them. When the survivors embarked in America the media frenzy was shocking.

This was such a wonderful story to read, I quickly flew through the pages and was gripped. The historical notes and research information at the end of the book are brilliant and very informative.

If you are a lover of historical fiction that is well researched then you really should look at picking this book. I am so glad I finally got around to reading it and wished I had done so sooner. It is a book I would definitely recommend.

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Jeannie’s War by Carol MacLean @carolmaclean @rararesources #HeraBooks #historicalfiction #familysaga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Jeannie’s War by Carol MacLean. This is a fabulous historical fiction story that I really enjoyed.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book via the publisher Hera Books.

War changed her country, but it couldn’t change her spirit


Glasgow, 1939
Despite being shy and reserved, Jeannie Dougal finds herself newly engaged to handsome soldier, Arthur Dunn, the day war is announced. Jeannie accepts, even if she is unsure if a girl from the tenements will fit in with Arthur’s comfortable, middle-class background. But as WW2 takes its toll on the world, her wedding must wait…


As she sets off to work at a munitions factory she meets Eileen, Janet and Annie. As her new friends bond together in war work, sharing their stories of romance, Jeannie is grateful to be settled with Arthur, even if he is set in his ways.


Until she meets a charming Canadian soldier, Bill, and realises she has found a spark she was always missing. But how can Jeannie tell Arthur? And is she strong enough to fight her own battle, with the country already at war…?


An emotional and romantic family saga set in WW2 Scotland and the start of a captivating new series. Fans of Call the Midwife and Katie Flynn won’t be able to put this down.

Purchase Links – Amazon Kobo

MY REVIEW

This is a fabulous book and one that I just couldn’t put down. Starting in Glasgow 1939 rumours of war and the memories of the previous one are on everyone’s mind. More so for those living on Kiltie Street where this story is set.

The author has focused her story on one main family, the Dougal’s. Jeannie is a shy girl and has caught the eye of Arthur Dunn. He is also reserved and so it seems like the two will make a good match. When war is declared many men are due to join up and be sent for training. It is a time fraught with worry and so plans are made for the future. Jeannie and Arthur get engaged like many at the time.

The author weaves such a wonderfully compelling story. Kiltie Street is like many areas and war brings people closer and communities support each other. When bombs start to fall this becomes even more apparent. It is something that affects everyone and all try to do their part.

Although the focus is more on Jeannie, it is also about the rest of the family and also friends. The author has created such a heartwarming story but also has got the balance of fear for those who are at home waiting for news of their loved ones. The ever-present danger of the bombing is something that I feel the author has captured well. Mentioning the areas around Glasgow, factories such as Singer, and also how the River Clyde was used on moonlit nights as a marker.

I thought the pacing of the book was great, although it does move through the war years quite quickly it didn’t feel rushed. It mentions so many things that people have to endure during troubled times and how the family work together and support each other. The younger children evacuated, the older ones doing their bit for the war effort, whether it be enlisting or working in factories. Things such as rationing, food, clothing, Anderson shelters and so much more.

There is also the romance side to the story and this one isn’t straightforward and it also involves various couples, after all this is a community and friendships are formed.

A fabulous story that I happily read over one evening. Ideal for readers who like historical fiction, family sagas during WWII and it is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carol MacLean lives in the Glasgow area. She began by writing pocket novels, having 18 published before deciding to write a historical saga. She enjoys weaving social history into fiction and imagining how life must have been for ordinary people living through different times.
When she’s not writing, Carol can be found visiting museums or walking around the city looking for traces of old Glasgow to inspire her next novel.
Carol is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

She has written 18 pocket novels published by DC Thomson and Linford Romance Series (Ulverscroft).


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Finding Love in Positano by Lucy Coleman @LucyColemanauth @emblabooks #netgalley #romance #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Finding Love in Positano by Lucy Coleman. I am a fan of this author’s writing and her latest book (published yesterday) is another fabulous addition.

My thanks to the publisher, Embla for my e-copy of the book via NetGalley.

Marci James is in love with her job. She’s not had a holiday in five years, but now she’s escaping to the Italian coast after agreeing to pack up her godfather, Richard’s antiques shop.

When Marci arrives it’s apparent that the task is far more daunting than she imagined, and it isn’t long before Nico, her gorgeous local guide, offers to step up and lend a hand. As the two enjoy the Positano summer, and all that the Italian Riviera has to offer, Marci finally lets herself relax and the sparks between the pair soon begin to fly.

But Richard hasn’t just left his possessions behind, he left a secret, one that Marci unwittingly stumbles across it. Will it break her heart after the happiest summer of her entire life?

MY REVIEW

If you are looking for a literary escape to warmer climates then look no further than Finding Love in Positano. A gorgeous-sounding coastal town on the Italian coast.

Marci James goes there to help sort through her godfather’s collection of art, antiques and personal belongings while he is on his honeymoon. The marriage was unexpected and seemingly out of character, but as Marci is the closest family member to him, and she is also the only single person, well it seems to be the most obvious solution. She already works in the family antique business with her brother, her mum is a silent partner.

So off she sets, she has been to Italy before for holidays, so she sort of knows what to expect. What she didn’t bank of though was the scale of the task in front of her or Nico!

Once again the author has captured an amazing sounding place and transformed it on the pages of her latest book. The mix of family and how they work together is great, in the UK the family comes across as a bit more stand-offish, more reserved if you like. While the Italian family of Nico is loud, inclusive, extended and welcoming, and there are many of them. No wonder Marci feels a bit shell shocked when she first arrives.

Family is an important theme in this story, a sense of pride and doing what is best for everyone is something that a couple of the characters have to deal with. Should honour and commitment come before love? Discussing problems and working out alternatives is something that Marci seems more willing to do. But she also discovers some things from the past that only a select few people know. How they will react and what they will do is something that is tantalising for the reader. As is the romance side of the story.

The author always gets the romance balance right for me in her novels, not too steamy but gentle, wary and not always straightforward or predictable. This makes for a story that isn’t all about romance and comes across as more believable.

Another excellent read and one for those who like a holiday style romance, family secrets and an all-around gorgeous contemporary fiction story. It is one I would definitely recommend. 

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx