The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood @Authormary @panmacmillan #hist/fic #saga #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood. I was so surprised and absolutely delighted when a copy of this book landed on my doormat, so my huge thanks to Pan Macmillan for my amazing book post.

Any regular visitors to my blog may be aware that I am a big fan of Mary’s work, she also writes under the pseudonym Maggie Mason. This author definitely knows how to write a saga, so if you love your historical fiction then you need to check out some of her books.

Let’s look at the first in this new trilogy by Mary…

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The Jam Factory Girls is an uplifting and emotional novel of friendship set in the heart of pre-WWI London from bestselling author, Mary Wood.

Life for Elsie is difficult as she struggles to cope with her alcoholic mother. Caring for her siblings and working long hours at Swift’s Jam Factory in London’s Bermondsey is exhausting. Thankfully her lifelong friendship with Dot helps to smooth over life’s rough edges.

When Elsie and Dot meet Millie Swift, they are nervous to be in the presence of the bosses’ daughter. Over time, they are surprised to feel so drawn to her, but should two East End girls be socializing in such circles?

When disaster strikes, it binds the women in ways they could never imagine. Long-held secrets are revealed that could change all their lives…

Purchase from Amazon UK – Mary’s book are very accessible and you usually see them in the supermarket and you can of course order them from your local book seller.

My Review…

It is always an absolute treat to read a book by this author, especially when I get to read the first book in a new trilogy. The Jam Factory Girls is the first in this new trilogy and it is a wonderful book from start to finish.

This book introduces two Eastend girls Elsie and Dot, and also the Jam factory owners daughter Millie. An unlikely friendship blooms between these girls, they just get on so well. Millie’s friendship would be looked down upon by her parents just as the girls’ friendship with Millies would be. In an era when social classes are still very evident, and classes should not mix it is an unusual relationship, to say the least.

For me, Elsie was the main character of the three and her story is told more so than the others, but the author knows how to weave a tale that involves the three. Hardship, poor working conditions and living conditions are described and show that even when times are tough, there are always those that are in a worse condition.

The over-riding feeling through this book is one of friendship, loyalty and wanting to do the right thing. Not always easy when a good deed can be seen as charity and pride is a priority. The story tells of not just the friendship between the girls but also includes the going on in the factory, the rise of women calling for their own rights in the workforce.

This is an absolutely fabulous book and one that I adored. The author has once again transported me back in time and delivered such a heartbreaking at times story, but one that also injects hope for the future into it. If you are a fan of sagas and historical fiction then this is a book that is definitely one that should be on your list. If you have read any of this author’s books then you know you are going to be in for a wonderful read. The Jam Factory Girls is a book I would definitely recommend. 

About the Author…

Mary Wood

Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers on her Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels
And on her web page: http://www.authormarywood.com
She is also on Twitter: @Authormary

Mary welcomes all contact with her readers and feedback on her work.

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

Stormy Days on Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Stormy Days on Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke. This is an author who I absolutely adore, I have read several of her books and featured my reviews on here. For me, this is a must-read author for those who love historical fiction and romance sagas.

Here is more about her latest book…

Stormy Days On Mulberry Lane

London 1950
Peggy Ronoscki is happily settling into life running her guesthouse on Mulberry Lane, surrounded by close friends and family. Life just seems too good…
But then disaster strikes.
Pip, her beloved son is left in a coma following a devastating car crash and a young girl collapses in the market leaving Peggy no option but to nurse her back to health.
As things begin to go awry, Peggy worries she has brought trouble to her doorstep?
Can her life ever return to normal? Or has Peggy’s good nature led her astray?

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

Stormy Days on Mulberry Lane continues the story in the series, the focus is again on “Peggy of the Lanes” and her family and friends.

Life is starting to return to normal after the end of WWII, but certain things still remind them that things still have a way to go. Some things are still in short supply, but things are moving forward. Peggy and Abe are settled into running the guest house, cakes, pies and pastries are made on a daily basis.


The community who live in the Lanes or visit are made very welcome by this close-knit community. Peggy and Abe are well thought of and respected, and both work all hours. Peggy’s return to the Lanes has been a godsend for some and the warm, friendly reputation that he had is once again there for all to see. She meets people new and old.

The author has once again written a story that continues with the thread of family, friends, community and spirit. It is great to return to the series with this new book and catch-up with the old characters as well as meeting the odd new one.

The series has moved on and is set in the ’50s, things are moving forward as characters grow up, new babies are born and different challenges are to be overcome. The author has created such a wonderful and heartwarming series that really does feel like reuniting with old friends. I do think you could read any of these as stand-alone books, but to be perfectly honest I would advise reading in order to get the full impact of what each of the main characters has been through.

This is a book that would definitely appeal to readers of sagas, historic fiction and want a read that is full of warmth, hospitality and a sense of belonging. A gorgeous read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

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

Social Media Links – Website Twitter Bookbub
Newsletter Sign Up: HERE

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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


A Cornish Betrothal by Nicola Pryce @NPryce_Author #historicalfiction @CorvusBooks #PublicationDay #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Cornish Betrothal by Nicola Pryce. I would also like to wish Nicola a Very Happy Publication Day and also give a big thank you for my copy of this book.

This is the latest in the Cornish Saga series and yes it can be read as a stand alone but you would be missing out on some wonderful previous books.

Let me show you what this is all about…

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Synopsis…

Cornwall, 1798.

Four years have passed since Midshipman Edmund Melville was declared missing, presumed dead, and Amelia Carew has mended her heart and fallen in love with a young physician, Luke Bohenna. But, on her twenty-fifth birthday, Amelia suddenly receives a letter from Edmund announcing his imminent return. In a state of shock, devastated that she now loves Luke so passionately, she is torn between the two.

When Edmund returns, it is clear that his time away has changed him – he wears scars both mental and physical. Amelia, however, is determined to rekindle their courtship and nurse him back to help. Luke, who has always understood that Amelia’s love for Edmund would take precedence, backs away.

But soon, Amelia begins to question what really happened to Edmund while he was missing. As the treads of truth slip through her fingers, she doesn’t know who to turn to: Edmund, or Luke? 

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

It is so good to pick up a novel by Nicola Pryce and be transported back in time in the county I live in. This is part of a series and as I have read previous books I am obviously going to say they work better when read in order, but, I do think they work as stand-alone.

Set in 1798 in an around Truro with jaunts to Falmouth, Bodmin and Plymouth areas. This is a story of lost love.

Edmund had been lost in the Caribbean, missing and assumed dead. Proof of his death was discovered and this gives his fiance, Amelia, the confirmation she needs that he is gone. She is a young woman who has a love of herbs and their uses in medicine. Dr Luke Bohenna has encouraged her and more importantly has been her friend. Over time their feeling s grow. It is when the future looks certain that the past raises its head and news of Edmund’s survival is heard.

How can a woman be in love with two men especially when she thought one of them had died. When he reappears she does expect him to be changed given the hardship he went through, but Amelia still finds it a shock.

I really do enjoy this authors books and I love the almost sereneness as I read. It is a pleasure to be taken back into a simpler time and the pace of life was slower. That doesn’t mean it was safer though, people are devious, they are greedy and they are also manipulative. So it does sound quite bizarre for me to mention how serene it felt to read, but that is how it felt for me. The story does have drama and tension and it is a real page-turner,

There are some wonderfully vivid descriptions and this complements and adds to the sense of place. Cornwall has rugged coasts, stretching moors, noisy harbours, and ever-changing weather and this is all brilliantly woven in to create a stunning backdrop to this storyline that has a mysterious and sinister storyline. One of the characters does bring a slightly spooky feel to the story and this I really liked and again it fits in well.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and once again the author has done a wonderful job of capturing the sense of time and place. A brilliant storyline and one that readers of historical fiction, sagas and romance will adore. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Nicola Pryce
Image and Bio taken from Authors Amazon Page

Nicola Pryce trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. She loves literature and history and has an Open University degree in Humanities. She’s a qualified adult literacy support volunteer and lives with her husband in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. She and her husband love sailing and together they sail the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure. If she’s not writing or gardening, you’ll find her scrubbing decks.

Pengelly’s Daughter is her first novel, then The Captain’s Girl, The Cornish Dressmaker, and The Cornish Lady. A Cornish Betrothal will be published in November.

Nicola is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Historical Writers’ Association.

Visit – WebsiteTwitter Amazon Author Page (this is an affiliate link)

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

Until We Can Forgive by Rosemary Goodacre @HeraBooks @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to one of the Bloggers opening the Blog Tour today and to share my review today for Until We Can Forgive by Rosemary Goodacre. This post also has a great sadness to it as this wonderful author passed away earlier this month. My thoughts are with her family xx

We’re honouring her memory with her last book and blog tour, finishing off the trilogy that she leaves as a legacy” by Rachel @rararesources

I would like to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for introducing me to Rosemary’s writing with earlier book tours. My thanks once again to Rachel for my stop on this Tour and also for arranging my copy of this book.

Let me show you what the book is about…

Synopsis…

They survived the Great War, but will life ever be the same?

Spring 1919: WW1 is over and a fragile peace has descended over the country. Now living in Cambridge with husband EdmondAmy Derwent is settling into her new life as wife and mother to little Beth. But the shadow of the Great War looms large, particularly as the injuries Edmond sustained at Ypres still take their toll on him today.

Edmond’s cousin, Vicky, has now grown into a fine young woman, eager to help her country. Throwing off her privileged background to train as a nurse, she spends her days tending to the many soldiers still suffering the after-effects of their time on the battlefield.

Meeting Maxim Duclos, a young Frenchman who has arrived in Larchbury, fills her heart with joy – but when it is discovered that Maxim may be hiding the truth about his past, Vicky is faced with an impossible choice. Follow her heart’s desire and risk her family’s disapproval or keep her family – but deny herself the chance of true love?

The war may be over, but Edmond, Amy and Vicky must all face a new battle, finding their own peace in a country wounded by loss.

Purchase Links

AMZ: https://amzn.to/3ichWUY

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2GHIIqv

My Review…

(I wrote this review before I was aware of the authors passing)

This is the third book in The Derwent Chronicles and continues the story of the characters from the previous books. Because this is an ongoing story I am going to say it would be better to read the books in order, but they also do work as stand-alone.

This is set just after the end of World War I, some men have returned home, some are still in Europe and of course, there are those that will never return. The author does such a wonderful job of depicting life as people try to look forward, to new starts and also to peace. For families to return to some sort of normality and daily routine.

While this book doesn’t have the danger of the War there are still plenty of other things going on in everyday life that add drama, tension and also danger. Everyone has lost someone and feelings over the repatriation of the fallen is mentioned along with Poppy Day, the building of the Cenotaph and also the troops that remain in occupied Germany.

While some have been discharged due to injuries there are still those who are enlisted. Each one has there own problems whether it is coming to terms with living a civilian life or wanting to be back home with loved ones. There is still animosity towards Germany and also a wariness with the Americans, the country wants to get back to how things were but with so much change there has to be compromise.

The author has done a wonderful job of continuing the story of Amy and her husband Edmond and those that cross their paths. There is a real sense of wanting to get on and not to complain, worry or moan as things are still fresh from the years during the war. As I mentioned, this has a different backdrop but there are still struggles and worries.

A wonderful next instalment in this saga that sees how opinions of family and friends can make things difficult, how friendships and relationships can overcome differences. It is one for those who love historical fiction, sagas and family life. A wonderful read that had me hooked and One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Rosemary Goodacre is thrilled to have a three book deal with Hera Books. Her World War I romance Until We Meet Again will be released on 31/10/19. Her heroine, Amy, faces many challenges as she works as a nurse and struggles to spend time with Edmond, her sweetheart.
Previously Rosemary has had a novella published, entitled A Fortnight is not Enough, and a science fiction story in the anthology Telescoping Time.
Rosemary has always loved languages and travel, mainly in Europe. In her spare time she enjoys country walking, bridge and classical music. She lives in Kent, England.

Here are the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

A Place to Belong by Cathy Mansell #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Place to Belong by Cathy Mansell. This is one for historical fiction readers and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Synopsis…

A Place to Belong is the gripping and heartwrenching novel from Cathy Mansell, set against the sweeping backdrop of Dublin and rural Ireland in the 1940s. 

She lost everything in one night. Now she must fight for happiness.

It’s 1943 and Ireland has escaped the worst of the war raging in Europe, but life is not without its hardships. When fire breaks out at the convent in Cavan where she has spent the past ten years, orphan Eva Fallon barely escapes with her life.

She’s offered a bed for the night by Ma Scully, whilst her nephew Cathal, visiting from Dublin, helps battle the blaze. Seventeen-year-old Eva has never known such kindness but she’s too proud to take advantage, and finds a job at Blackstock’s farm, setting in motion a chain of events that will change her life forever.

Amidst tragedy and hardship, the only ray of light is the friendship of Ma Scully and her growing, secret love for Cathal. And through it all Eva clings to her hope that one day she will find a place where she can truly belong.

Purchase link – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

This is the first book I have read by this author and I absolutely adored it. I am so pleased that there are several more books for me to read by her.

This is set in 1943, WWII rages in Europe. Ireland is not affected as much by bombs like the UK and apart from rations life does seem to progress as normal for Eva. The story begins when there is a fire at the orphanage where Eva lives. Not everyone gets out. Eva comes across the wonderful character of Ma Scully, a straight-talking woman who keeps her eye on Eva. Once Ma realises that Eva is indeed trustworthy she helps her to find a job on the Blackstone farm as a scullery maid. Life there is hard and the mistress Aggie holds no favour for Eva, in fact, she goes out of her way to be as horrid as possible.

A turn of events causes Eva to leave quickly and she makes her way back to Ma Scully. Bad news seems to follow Eva as much as bad luck. Eva finds her self in the midst of an investigation that is no fault of her own. But, as much as there are many nasty people in the world, Eva has the good fortune to have met some very genuine, honest and caring people, especially in Ma Scully and her nephew Cathay.

This was such a gorgeous story that completely wrapped me up. A fabulous historical fiction that starts with a tragedy and finds Eva followed by heartache and worry. Eva is such a lovely character her innocent outlook on life and her naivety are just so nice to come across in a story. But obviously, with those nicer qualities, there are those that will try to take advantage. Don’t think for a moment thought that Eva is a walkover, she will stand up for herself and fight her corner.

I really enjoyed the descriptions of the settings, with the odd mentions about the war helping to keep me firmly planted in the time of the story. There are some mentions of politics, but only briefly as the main focus of the story is Eva and the people who come into her life.

A truly wonderful story that I think readers of historical fiction, historical romance will enjoy. I loved the setting, the characters and the storyline and I would absolutely recommend this wonderful book.

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

The Second Marriage by Gill Paul @GillPaulAUTHOR @RandomTTours #RandomTTours @AvonBooksUK #histfic #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to finally share my review, and also help close the Blog Tour for The Second Marriage by Gill Paul, this is such a wonderful book and I cannot wait to show you what I thought. In fact, it’s one of those historical fiction that I say “just go and buy it – right now!”

My huge thanks to Anne at random Things Tours for my spot on the blog Tour and also for arranging my e-copy of this book.

This was published in the US under the title Jackie and Maria.

Synopsis…

JACKIE
When her first marriage ends in tragedy, Jackie Kennedy fears she’ll never love again. But all that changes when she encounters…

ARI
Successful and charming, Ari Onassis is a man who promises her the world. Yet soon after they marry, Jackie learns that his heart also belongs to another…

MARIA
A beautiful, famed singer, Maria Callas is in love with Jackie’s new husband – and she isn’t going to give up.

Little by little, Jackie and Maria’s lives begin to tangle in a dangerous web of secrets, scandal and lies. But with both women determined to make Ari theirs alone, the stakes are high. How far will they go for true love?

You can purchase your own copy at Amazon UK

My Review…

I absolutely adored this book, I mean the names Kennedy, Onassis and Callas just ooze rich, lavish, well-documented lifestyle with the possibility of something a little shady in the background. The book is historical fiction and this gives the author a chance to give a voice to the characters and also to add some creative embellishments. The author does discuss at the end of the book various ways she has adapted, changed dates or added extras and why. Also, there is a fabulous few pages that covers the actual facts around the main characters as well as a comprehensive list of resources.

OK! How to write e review about this book! I am aware of the names of the Kennedy’s, of Aristotle Onassis and also of Maria Callas but only basic facts so I approached this book as I would any other historical fiction. The story was one that alternated between Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas, how they met Aristotle, their thoughts about him and also how he managed to become part of their lives.

The author includes the heart-breaking accounts of JFK assassination as well as his brother Bobby’s death. The effect it had on Jackie and what led her to become Jackie O. I don’t know how much is true, but as I mentioned earlier I am reading this purely as historical fiction don’t know all the facts. But how the author tackled the subject of Jackie, JFK and life were truly heart-breaking and it really made me feel for her.

Maria’s story is equally as heart-breaking. I knew she was an amazing opera singer and that she was a bit of a recluse and Diva, but I knew nothing of the other connections. This was a real eye-opener for me and she really did have a very rough ride in life.

This is a fabulous historical fiction by Gill Paul, she has woven a story of love, life, death, convenience, profit, betrayal, scandal and as whole lot more. I found the story of the two women t be fascinating and also very sad. It has been written so well and I was so absorbed in it that I read it over two days. It is a story that I cannot even come close to writing a review for that does this book justice.

If you like historical fiction that has factual or real life people and events in it then you should really pick this book up. I definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history.

Gill’s novels include Another Woman’s HusbandThe Secret Wife, about the romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second daughter of Russia’s last tsar, who first met in 1914,  Women and Children First about a young steward who works on the Titanic and The Affair set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fell in love while making Cleopatra. No Place for a Lady is about two Victorian sisters who travel out to the Crimean War of 1854–56 and face challenges beyond anything they could have imagined.

Follow the Author – TwitterFacebookWebsite or Check out her Amazon Author Page HERE

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

 

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

All We Left Behind by Danielle. R. Graham #hisfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for All We Left Behind by Danielle R. Graham. Let me show you what this book is all about…

A powerful and incredibly moving historical novel inspired by an untold story of the Second World War.


Vancouver 1941
As the war rages around the world, Hitler’s fury is yet to be felt on the peaceful shores of Mayne Island. Sweethearts Hayden and Chidori are in love.


But everything changes after Pearl Harbor.
Now seen as the enemy, Chidori and her family are forced into an internment camp. Powerless to help them, Hayden joins the Royal Canadian Air Force to bring about an end to this devastating war – the thought of Chidori is all that keeps him alive.


Can they both survive long enough to be reunited?  Or will the war be the only thing to separate their love?

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

This is a historical romance and fiction story that is set during WWII. It is set out as a time slip and it flows effortlessly between the lives of two people before the war, during and what happens to them after.

Chidori is a Japanese-Canadian and Hayden is Canadian, their story is told in journal entries and also from log book entries. The two have been friends for years and gradually they realise that they have formed a relationship that goes beyond friendship.

When WWII starts there are rumours about what may happen, but it is when Japan attacks Pearl Harbour that real changes happen. Those living in Canada that are of Japanese origin are being moved to internment centres, it doesn’t matter if they were born in Canada or not. So Hayden and Chidori have to deal with being exasperated.

This is a story that I really enjoyed, it has a setting that I have not about before in this era of history. The author knows this area well and I though it cam across well as she described various aspects of the town. The characters of Chidori and Hayden were really good, Hayden being a bit of a hot head, and even though he has a temper it is only shown when there is a mistjustice. Chidori is more calm and serene, she is able to keep Hayden calm and together they balance each other very well.

The story is told mainly from Hayden’s perspective and Chidori’s part is told in the journal entries and I really liked the mis of the two styles. It fills in the gaps and gives more information.

This is a lovely story and one that I really enjoyed as, I think, will other readers of historical fiction and romance set in WWII. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal @esmacneal #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal, I have had this book on my TBR since it came out last year and I read it last month. Let me show you what is is all about…

The Doll Factory, the debut novel by Elizabeth Macneal, is an intoxicating story of art, obsession and possession.

London. 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment – forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning. 

When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love.

But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening . . . 

I have had this book on my tbr since it first came out last year. I have wanted to read it but kept putting it off until now. I have to say I wasn’t sure what I was expecting and I didn’t read the synopsis until after I had finished the book! To be fair though, even if I had read the synopsis prior to reading I think I would still have been surprised by how dark this book turned.

Let me backtrack, and start with the cover and say that now I have read the book how amazing and so appropriate this cover is, that glass dome encompasses the story perfectly and has a lot of things in it relevent to the story of Iris.

Iris and her sister Rose have been working in a rather depressing and soul destroying business making dolls. When there is a chance for Iris to leave and have the nerve to join an artist as his model, she takes it. Rose isn’t impressed and neither is Silas.

Silas is besotted with Iris, but she doesn’t see him as he thinks she does. He watches her, hoping that she will take him up the various offers her proposes. She however has no time for him, she has her own life and a chance to be something.

Now I did mention this book takes a dark turn, and well to be honest I am not going to tell you why or how even though I am bursting to. The author takes a route that leads its way to this dark thread that is part of the story. It has been done so well, it starts off quite subtly and then worsens over the course of the story. It seems to fit well with the setting.

Now the setting is London, wealth is evident as The Great Exhibition opens so showcase the industry and culture, a place where the who’s who would have been seen. But balanced against that are the slums, side-streets and squalid alleyways where the poor live. This contrast between living conditions, social class and opinions seem to share the ideals behind the various characters. Some wanting to move up, others reluctantly making the most of their lot in life and others just wanting to be accepted.

This is a book that I am so glad I have finally got around to reading, it is a beautifully written book about life in 1850’s London, about life, love, betrayal, art and yes as the synopsis states “obsession and possession”. A fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

Elizabeth Macneal was born in Edinburgh and now lives in East London. She is a writer and potter and works from a small studio at the bottom of her garden. She read English Literature at Oxford University, before working in the City for several years. In 2017, she completed the Creative Writing MA at UEA in 2017 where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury scholarship. 

The Doll Factory, Elizabeth’s debut novel, won the Caledonia Noel Award 2018. It will be published in twenty-eight languages and TV rights have sold to Buccaneer Media. 

Follow the author on Twitter

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

76 Silver Street by Anna Shenton #Bookreview

I am still playing catch-up on books I read in December and still have not shared my thoughts about them with you. Today I am delighted to share my review for 76 Silver Street by Anna Shenton.

Let me show you what it is all about…

76 Silver Street – A Historical Romance: Set in the suburbs of Manchester: A gritty, scandalous story of courage, passion, love, loss, lies and sexual desire.


Imagine, how it feels, to be dumped on your aunt’s doorstep by your mother. Your aunt takes you in as if her own; goes without herself, to keep you warm and safe.

Nineteen years later, in the suburbs of Manchester 1905, you become house keeper, in the next town, for a handsome young man in hope of finding true love; but find yourself being subjected to his, and his mate’s drunken, coercive behaviour.
Then one day, your aunt calls for help from her hospital-bed, to take over her rundown boarding house before it goes bust.

Such is the plight of Rosa Brown. She owes it to her aunt to help in her hour of need and sneaks off out of town, escaping the sordid life she lives, without a word to anyone.

Met by Jack Howard on arrival, in Pembertown, Rosa’s heart plummets when her eyes meet with the dingy filthy place, and Jack’s devilish manner, who thinks she’s mad and has no intention of helping to get the place up and running before it goes bust.

Rosa is shocked when faced with all the ruffians and commoners knocking on the door and struggles to keep the roguish, rampant Jack Howard’s hands off her.

Sprucing the place up and filling it with respectful paying guests, proves harder than expected.

Now, filled with fear for her aunt, and her own wellbeing, will Rosa ever find the love of her life and be free from trouble?

The cover kind of sets the feel for this book, it has a sultry look to it. The story inside was wonderful and also quite a believable one. Rosa is given the chance to run her Aunt’s boarding house in Manchester. Rosa accepts this as it is a chance to move away from her past and get the chance to start anew.

When she first arrives at the boarding house she meets Jack, and let’s say that they don’t exactly hit it off. Jack has been running the place, but it seems to Rosa that running it down would be more appropriate. She soon gets to work to get everything up to standard, not something that goes down so well with Jack as this means more work for him.

This is a wonderful read and the author has packed quite a lot into this 120-page book. I liked the use of the local Manchester dialect, and there is a handy glossary at the back, though it makes sense in the context it is used. There are a couple of backstories for Rosa and Jack, and these for me added to their characters and gave a reason for how they reacted in the beginning. The author has added some wonderful descriptions of the rooms, and again these add to the general feeling and setting of the story.

I really liked the contrast between the characters, Rosa being more of a lady than Jack is used to and Jack is a through and through rogue, but he does have a bit of something about him that you just can’t help but warm to.

This story moves along at a brisk pace, and once I had picked it up I found that I could only put it down when I had finished it. It was a gripping story with fabulous characters. In fact, I would love to think that there would be a follow-up. A historical fiction and romance novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and would definitely recommend.

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

#TopReads (Part 2) – Books I have loved this year (2019) by genre – Romance, Rom-Com & Historical Fiction #MeAndMyBooks

Welcome to my round-up of the books I have loved this year. Today is the turn of Romance, Rom-Com and Historical Fiction.

Yesterday saw my Top Reads for Crime, Thriller, Mystery and also Fiction. You can see this post HERE.

Tomorrow will see the turn of Fantasy, Dystopian, Children’s Books and Non-Fiction. Then on Christmas Eve I will have a Top 10 Books of the Year Post, there is one book that is my #1 Book of 2019.

Many books cross genres, so I have listed these books in the genres that work for me 🤔 For Romance & Rom-Com, these books may not all necessarily have a strong romantic theme, but I love seeing all these wonderful covers side by side – my logic knows no bounds 😂❤

Romance & Rom-Com

Historical Fiction

Come back tomorrow for more fabulous reads 🙂 xx