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

The Wronged Daughter by Mary Wood @Authormary #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Wronged Daughter by Mary Wood. Any regulars to my blog will be aware that I am a huge fan of this author and I have enjoyed every one of her books whether she writes as Mary Wood or Maggie Mason.

The Wronged Daughter is part of a series and is the third book, though all can be read as stand-alones… though I would suggest reading them in order.

Let me show you what this one is all about…

Can she heal the wounds of her past?
Mags has never forgotten the friendship she forged with Flora and Ella, two fellow nurses she served with at the beginning of World War I. Haunted by what she experienced during that time, she fears a reunion with her friends would bring back the horror she’s tried so desperately to suppress.

Now, with her wedding on the horizon, this should be a joyful time for Mags. But the sudden loss of her mother and the constant doubt she harbours surrounding her fiancé, Harold, are marring her happiness.

Mags throws herself into running the family mill, but she’s dealt another aching blow by a betrayal that leaves her reeling. Finding the strength the war had taken from her, she fights back, not realizing the consequences and devastating outcome awaiting her.

Every time I pick up a but by this author I am hoplessly addictied within the first page or two, The Wronged Daughter was another one that I immediately felt invested in.

This is the third book in the series and yes you could read it as a stand-alone! But why would you? The series has followed three friends Flors, Elle and Mags, this latest instalment focuses on Mags.

Mags is a fabulous character who showed her resolve when she trained as a nurse and then went to help in Belgium during World War I. On her return she went back to her home and to help in the running of the family business. She is also being swept off her feet by Harold. He is the brother of Flors, and her friend has warned her to be careful of him, but love is blind and he is Oh so charming!

Oh Mags! What a fabulous character she is, one minute I am watching on awe inspired as she deals with the mill and looking after peoples welfare and then the next minute I want to shout into the book to tell her to stop and listen to what other peoples hinting at! My goodness she infuriated me at times! All credit to the Author who brought out such a range of emotions in me while I was reading.

It didn’t take long for me to become interested in the world that had been created for Mags. I got to meet her family and her friends, Betsy, by the way was another brilliant character and in some ways this story was as much about Betsy as it was Mags. Both are entwined in each other as long term friends and so they know each other so well.

Both women have tragedy befall them, while what happens to the women is horrid it is also something that was believable for the time and so it worked well. How vague is that? Oh the pain of not giving out spoilers!

There are various things that happen in the story that are relevant for the time and also the way of things. Even though things have changed, it still annoys me that women became an asset or possession of their husband when they marry. Thank goodness for her forward thinking father! There you go another vague sentence!

The trials and tribulations of Mags seems never ending, when you think she may just find what she wants, the author then does what she does best, and that is to side step the reader and take another unexpected route.

If you have read this author before you will know exactly what I mean. She has a wonderful ability of throwing so much at her characters, it makes the reader care about them but she gets the balance just right. The author delivers a plot that her character can deal with without giving them too much, it keeps the believe-ability of the story flowing.

While the author does put Mags through an awful lot of pain, it has been carefully balanced so that there is also a glimmer of hope and that Mags will indeed have a happy life. Each time you think she will achieve it there is something else to rock the boat. Mixing in other characters and their own problems gives a good perspective of things going on in the lives of others. So it is not just about Mags, I liked how the author mixes various other in as well and it gives different opinions and viewpoints.

I have read a few of Mary’s books, and also books under her other name of Maggie Wood. Whenever I come to write a review I struggle to find the right words to convey just how good her books are. Simply put her books are fabulous, addictive, emotional and definitely fall into the “Must Read” category every time.

With The Wronged Daughter, the author has woven a story that delves into the heartbreaking side of loss within families, also manipulation within marriage and also some surprises from slightly minor characters. She has successfully created a story that shows how women of the 1920’s had to deal with discrimination and stigma.

If you like historical fiction then you will love The Wronged Daughter. It is a book and series I would Highly Recommend.

Born the thirteenth child of fifteen to a middle-class mother and an East End barrow boy, Mary Wood’s family were poor, but rich in love. Over time, she developed a natural empathy with the less fortunate and is fascinated by social history. Mary raised four children and has numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. An avid reader, she first put pen to paper in 1989, and is now a full-time novelist.

Visit Mary on – WebsiteTwitterFacebook

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The Raided Heart by Jennifer C Wilson @inkjunkie1984 @rararesources #histfic #Bookreview #Giveaway (open Int)

I am delighted to share my thoughts with you today for The Raided Heart by Jennifer C Wilson. I would like to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour and also for arrnaging my e-copy of this story.

Check out the #Giveaway later in the post to be in with a chance of winning an e-copy of The Last Plantagenet. You can read my review HERE

Let me show you what it is all about…

Meg Mathers, the headstrong youngest sibling of a reiving family on the English-Scottish border, is determined to remain at her childhood home, caring for the land and village she’s grown up with. When an accident brings her a broken ankle and six weeks in the resentful company of ambitious and angry young reiver Will Hetherington, attraction starts to build. Both begin to realise they might have met their match, and the love of their lives, but 15th century border living is not that simple, as Meg soon finds herself betrothed to the weakling son of a tyrannical neighbour, Alexander Gray. When tragedy strikes, can Meg and Will find their way back to each other, and can Will finally take his own personal revenge on Gray?

Purchase Links Amazon UKAmazon US

The author took me back in history to meet Meg Mathers. She is an essential part of her village and helps organise so many different things in daily life. When she gets accidentally injured by a horse, the owner is charged with helping her. Will isn’t keen to me at the beck and call of Meg, but he also knows it is something he has to do. They have a tentative relationship that gradually grows into a respect for each other and then into something else.

This is a fabulous read that immersed in the setting and time of the story. This is a time where people are wary of being raided and they form alliances for protection.

The author weaves a tale that shows the bond of family as well as of arrangements that are in place to provide support and safety for others. Raiding parties are a constant threat and so marriage is a good way of cementing alliances.

I loved how the author managed to pack quite a lot into her tale and yet kept up a pace that was so suitable. She has successfully woven intrigue and mystery into a story as well as giving the reader a snapshot of history at that time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and found myself eager to keep flipping the pages. If you like historical fiction that has a addictive story-line, had doubt and intrigue and is a great all round read, then grab a copy of The Raided Heart. It is a book I would definitely recommend.

Jennifer C. Wilson is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history and historical fiction whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots on childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east of England for work reignited her pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and has been working on a number of projects since, including co-hosting the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and her time-slip novella, The Last Plantagenet?, by Ocelot Press. She lives in North Tyneside, and is very proud of her approximately 2-inch sea view.

Social Media Links – WebsiteFacebookInstagramTwitter

#GIVEAWAY to Win 2 x e-copies of The Last Plantagenet? (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter Here

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The Rector’s Daughter by Jean Fullerton @JeanFullerton @rararesources #histfic #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts for The Rector’s Daughter by Jean Fullerton with you today. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this wonderful book.

Let me show you all about it…

Charlotte, daughter of Reverend Percival Hatton, has been content to follow the path laid out for her. Charlotte has an understanding with Captain Nicolas Paget – every inch the gentleman – who she expects someday to marry. But then she meets Josiah Martyn, and everything changes…

A driven and ambitious Cornish mining engineer, and the complete opposite to Captain Nicholas, Josiah has come to London to help build the first tunnel under the river Thames. When unpredictable events occur at the inauguration of the project, Josiah and Charlotte are suddenly thrown into an unexpected intimacy.

 But not everyone is happy with Charlotte and Josiah growing closer. As friends turn to foes, will they be able to rewrite the stars and find their happy ever after, although all odds seem to be stacked against them…?

Purchase LinksAmazon UKAmazon US

If you are looking for the ideal book to sit down on a Sunday afternoon then pick up a copy of The Rector’s Daughter by Jean Fullerton because it is fabulous and you will not want ot put it down until you have turned the final page!

Set in 1825 in the Rotherhithe area of London, it is where I meet Charlotte Hatton, the Rector’s daughter. She is a very charitable and is always trying to help those in need. She has an admirer in the form of Captain Paget, a chap I took a dislike to initially and if I am honest my opinion of him didn’t improve.

There are a lot of new people in the area as work to build a tunnel under the Thames is due to begin. One of the workers is Engineer Josiah Martyn a man who has worked his way up from the Cornish mines and learnt his trade. There is a spark between him and Charlotte but they live in different social classes. Charlotte has had her life mapped out and her father believes she should be wed to a man who can provide for her and maintain or better her social standing.

Living and working in the same area, it is inevitable that these two should meet. Josiah is a proud man and has good morals and understands that he is not looked on favourably. But will it be enough!

The story is absolutely addictive, the mentions of the Brunels really does help fix the setting. The various mentions of living and working conditions are fabulous and I love it when an author uses comparisons in a story and Jean does this so well. These comparisons are so well worked into the story and give a wonderful cross-section of society.

The story itself is not straightforward and could have gone in various directions. There are many little twists and ruses on the way that kept this reader eagerly turning the pages. There are several characters that I met in this story, some I liked, some I did not which made for a good balance. I liked the different opinions and attitudes, they are suited for the time and I at times my blood boiled for the way that some of the characters acted and treated others!

The Rector’s Daughter is a fabulous read and I would love to think that there was another book to follow. I hope there is because even though this book finished in a brilliant way I am curious about what could possibly happen next.

A brilliant book that I adored and is perfect for readers of Historical fiction and Romance I would definitely recommend it.

Jean Fullerton is the author of thirteen novels all set in East London where she was born. She also a retired district nurse and university lecturer. She won the Harry Bowling prise in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is half way through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.

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The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott @CScottBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this wonderful historical fiction book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Until she knows her husband’s fate, she cannot decide her own…
An epic debut novel of forbidden love, loss, and the shattered hearts left behind in the wake of World War I

1921. Families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors of the Great War have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He is considered ‘missing in action’, but when Edie receives a mysterious photograph taken by Francis in the post, hope flares. And so she beings to search.

Harry, Francis’s brother, fought alongside him. He too longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last things they ever said. Both brothers shared a love of photography and it is that which brings Harry back to the Western Front. Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, as he travels through battle-scarred France gathering news for British wives and mothers, Harry also searches for evidence of his brother.

And as Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to a startling truth.

An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history, The Photographer of the Lost tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins, and the even greater number of men and women desperate to find them again.

Caroline Scott is a freelance writer and historian specializing in WWI and women’s history. The Photographer of the Lost, partially inspired by her family history, is her first novel.

This is such a poignant, sombre, heartbreaking and beautiful story that I cannot do justice to with my review. It is set in 1921 as people are still trying to come to terms with the loss of family during the first world war. Edie is desperate to discover what had happened to Francis her husband, missing presumed dead does not give her any peace of mind. Is he missing, was he killed or was he suffering from amnesia, she wants to know. Harry served in the war along with his brother, Francis. Harry returns to France and photographs places and gravestones for those back home looking for some sort of closure. Harry cannot remember all that happened during the war and suffers from we now know as PTSD.

This was such a haunting read and I do admit it taking me a little while to get into. I did however go back to the synopsis and give it a proper read and it did make things a lot clearer and things started to fall into place easier. Once I got to grips with the style of the story and the characters I discovered such a beautifully written story. It is one that delved into the way people were coming to terms with the loss of their loved ones as well as how those involved in the fighting were dealing with their own trauma.

The author did such a wonderful job with the character of Edie and it really brought home how dealing with the unknown can stop you from living your life. Her personal pilgrimage to various offices, agencies and hospitals to try to find the slightest bit of information about Francis was powerful. A glimmer of hope that flicked and wavered as she went through disappointment of finding nothing.

Harry has his own journey and it is linked to Edies. He had taken his brothers profession and is a photographer. His work means he accepts commissions from those who want to know the final resting place of their loved ones or the last place they were seen. These photographs are the last touch for a family, a chance to say a final goodbye and have something that marks the end of a life.

This is a powerful story, one that deals with the time immediately after the war. People are trying to live and survive with their loss. There is still hope that those who are missing can be found alive. The story does flit between 1921 and as flashbacks to the war so there are two sides to the story and it makes for a very moving and emotional read.

As I said earlier, it did take me a little while to get into, but once in I found it very difficult to put down. If you are looking for a book that deals with WW! and how people are affected than you really should pick this one up, it is definitely worth it and I Definitely Recommend it.

About the Author Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She developed a particular interest in the impact of the First World War on the landscape of Belgium and France, and in the experience of women during the conflict – fascinations that she was able to pursue while she spent several years working as a researcher for a Belgian company. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in southwest France.


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Until We Meet Again by Rosemary Goodacre @RoseGoodacre @rararesources #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Until We Meet again by Rosemary Goodacre. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this wonderful historical fiction book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

The Great War drove them apart – but love kept them together

Summer 1914: Shy young woman, Amy Fletcher, lives a quiet life in Sussex. An office worker, she lives at home, along with her parents and spirited younger brother, Bertie. But her life is transformed when she meets handsome young man, Edmond Derwent, son of one of the wealthiest families in the small town of Larchbury, and student at Cambridge University.

The couple are falling deeply in love when war breaks out and, eager to do his duty for England, Edmond signs up as an officer. The couple plan to be wed, eager to start a new life together – but their happiness is short-lived when Edmond is sent to Flanders to lead his men into battle. Amy trains as a VAD nurse and is soon sent to France, where she sees the true horror of war inflicted on the brave young men sent to fight.

Separated by war, Edmond and Amy share their feelings through emotional letters sent from the front line. But when Edmond is critically wounded at Ypres, their love faces the biggest test of all – can their love stay strong while the world around them is crumbling?

A romantic, emotional saga set in WW1 – readers of Rosie Goodwin, Katie Flynn and Val Wood will be captivated by this story of love.

Purchase Links – Amazon Apple Kobo

This is the story of Amy and how she met Edmond and it begins just before the start of WWI. They are a couple from different backgrounds, she working class and him from a wealthy background. When war is finally declared Edmond does the honourable thing and signs up and they plan to marry before he goes away. Things however do not quite work out as they should!

This is such a fabulous story that pulls in various things from the time. The Suffragettes and Suffragists, the tensions and fears of the possibility war, people being lost killed or injured in the war and how life must carry on as best it can with a world in turmoil. The author weaves a fabulous story of love and hope in amongst the backdrop of heartbreak and devastation.

I loved the difference of opinion between the two different families. Amy’s’ family are down to earth and humble and they are a contrast to Edmond’s family who hold lavish parties and holiday on the continent. there are some wonderful scenes that are portrayed in the story that highlight these differences, though not so wonderful for Amy.

As Edmond does his duty, Amy feels that she wants to do her part in the war effort and so trains to become a nurse. War affects everyone and so it is for Amy and Edmond when he is wounded. Their spirits are kept strong by letters they write to each other and also from family and friends. This was such an important part of peoples lives as it was the only way of keeping in touch. The real hardships were kept out of these communications and so what people were really going through often went unsaid.

This is a story that is captivating and is a beautiful story of young love that has its challenges against the horror of war. The author captures moments of their story through the letters and also of their brief and infrequent visits.

This is a story that I loved and did shed a tear or two for, it is emotional but also very down to earth in the way it is written, by this I mean it is a story of two people who have met and fallen in love but have a sense of duty to their country.

The author does not over dramatise the wounded and the battlefield situations but does enough to provide a good general picture of life and conditions.

If you like historical fiction and romance then I really do think that you will enjoy this one, I know I certainly did and I Definitely recommend it.

Rosemary Goodacre has previously worked in computing and teaching. She has had short stories published and a novella, A Fortnight is not Enough.

Her father’s family came from continental Europe and she loves travelling.
She enjoys country walking, bridge and classical music. She lives with her husband in Kent, England.

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Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb #Review

I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my thoughts with you all today for Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb. This is such a stunning story that I absolutely fell in love with.

I bought a copy for my kindle, but I am also going to get a paperback when it is published at the beginning of September, it’s that good!

Let’s see what it is all about…

Set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s whirlwind romance and glamourous wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb take the reader on an evocative sun-drenched journey along the Côte d’Azur in this page-turning novel of passion, fate, and second-chances.

Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique, fending off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.

James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love.

What an absolutely brilliant read this was. Set in the 1950’s of Monaco, it has a wonderful atmosphere in the era of Grace Kelly and her meeting with Prince Rainier. The authors have blended a little fact with the fiction to create a stunning and highly addictive story.

The setting is wonderful adding a little of luxury of the country, with the film star and life style of the iconic and well known film star Grace Kelly.

I was introduced to perfumer Sophie Duval and photographer James Henderson. This happens as Grace seeks sanctuary in Sophie’s shop trying to avoid the press and photographers. Over the course of the story that follows I gradually got to know more about the friendship that forms between Sophie and James. They just never quite seem to get together at the right time, there always seems to be something that gets in the way.

For James, photography is his passion, but snapping celebs is not what he wants to do. He wants scenery and locations, not easy when there is someone at home that also needs his time.

Sophie is being pressured to sell her business, a business that she took over from her father. The business is in her bones and her soul, it is everything that makes her who she is.

This is such a stunning story and the authors have captured the feel and atmosphere so well. The visuals that they have conjured up made it so easy for me to imagine so many things from, dresses to scenery they made it seem effortless. There is a romantic tension that builds up between Sophie and James, and as much as I wanted to see them together early on I was glad that the authors kept pulling them apart.

The emotion of the story was something that gradually built up and by the end of the book the dam finally burst. I was in tears and not for the reason that you are probably thinking!

There are notes at the end of the book that gave some extra’s into the life of Grace Kelly as well as about perfumes and how the book came to be. I must admit I did spend quite a bit of time after finishing the book, Googling Grace and her life, I wasn’t quite ready to turn the last page on Grace at that moment and needed to read more about this beautiful lady.

This is a book that I would absolutely recommend.

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