My Week In Books w/e 17th March

So last week I managed to read 6 books. A good week for reading and a good week for reducing my NetGalley shelf to 14 now. Talking of NetGalley, I had a good peruse through and discovered that they send a weekly update for whats on my shelf. How had I missed this!!, it’s very handy because it lets you know if you have any books to download, how many are on your shelf to be read and also if a book on your shelf has been published.

I am also on Annual leave this coming week, and very pleased about that as well.

Wohoo GIF

I have not got anything planned on the blog, and I may not be as active on social media either. So taking time out and a chance to do a bit of long over-due Blogmin 😦

So let’s have a look at what I read shall we…

The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson – I bought this one and read it straight away, normally I buy a book and it sits on my tbr for a while. The reason I read this as soon as it arrived through my letterbox was because I had a very nice email from Michael Joseph books inviting me to read the 2nd book via NetGalley.

I loved The Darkness, loved its main protagonist Hulda and you can read my full review HERE


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The Island by Ragnar Jonasson – Is the second in the Hidden Iceland Trilogy, and it is different in some ways to the first but still has the same wonderful descriptive, atmospheric details that I am coming to expect from this author. Again this is another one that I absolutely loved and now I have to wait till 2020 until the final book is released… I have it on pre-order


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The Rumour by Lesley Kara – I have had this on my TBR since it was first published and I bought the hardback while doing my weekly shopping. I quickly got caught up in the story, a simple rumour that turns this story head over heels. I completely got caught up in this very clever story that had turns I didn’t expect and when I got to the end well… Holy Shit Bags!!!!


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A View To A Kilt by Wendy Holden – I received this one via NG, I really liked the idea of the story and it looked like a fun read. While I did enjoy this story and the humour, it didn’t quite hit my expectations, but I still read it and enjoyed it.


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The Little Vintage Carousel by the Sea by Jaimie Admans – Oh just look at that cover, if that doesn’t cheer you up on a miserable march day then I dont know what will. The story inside is just as stunning as the cover, it had me smiling and smirking on many occasions, some fabulous facts that compliment a not so straight forward romance story.


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The Afghan by Andrew Turpin – I have been a fan of this author and his main protagonist Joe Johnson for a while now. I have read the previous books in the series and now there is a prequel, so if you have not come across this author then this is the ideal place to start. It is a prequel to the first 3 books and is a link to the 4th book ‘Stalin’s Final Sting’ Reviews for both books will be on their way soon.


Well that’s it for another week.

Happy Reading Folks ! 😉 xx

The Cornish Lady by Nicola Pryce @NPryce_Author @rararesources #Giveaway (Open Int) #review

I am delighted to be bringing you my review for The Cornish Lady by Nicola Pryce as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My huge thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Nicola for my e-copy of the book.

This is the 2nd book I have read by this author and it is the 4th in the Cornish Saga series. The books can be read as a stand alone, and I will be reading the rest. Let’s have a look and see what The Cornish Lady is all about…

Cornwall:1796

Educated, beautiful and the daughter of a prosperous merchant, Angelica Lilly has been invited to spend the summer in high society. Her father’s wealth is opening doors, and attracting marriage proposals, but Angelica still feels like an imposter among the aristocrats of Cornwall.

When her brother returns home, ill and under the influence of a dangerous man, Angelica’s loyalties are tested to the limit. Her one hope lies with coachman Henry Trevelyan, a softly spoken, educated man with kind eyes. But when Henry seemingly betrays Angelica, she has no one to turn to. Who is Henry, and what does he want? And can Angelica save her brother from a terrible plot that threatens to ruin her entire family?

Purchase Links: UK US

This is set in the Truro and Falmouth area of Cornwall in the mid 1790’s. The main character is Angelica Lilly. The background of her, her brother and other members of her family and their friends are gradually revealed over the course of the story.

Angelica interacts with various people along the way, from all walks of life and with the same ease, though she thinks she is an impostor in the more aristocratic of houses. Despite her lack of confidence she is well thought of and often invited to visit the lavish estates of her friends who hold her as an equal.

Now you may think that Angelica will be very lady like, well that’s not always the case. She is not adverse to a spot of tree scaling or climbing out of a window, or in for that matter. She is a bit of a tomboy at heart and has an awareness of things of importance going on not only in the are but also around the world. She understands and holds intelligent, well supported conversations of the topics concerning others at the time.

Various characters are introduced during the story and I found them very memorable for various reasons, some good some bad and I’ll let you decide for yourself. Lords, ladies, gardeners, actors, guards, apothecaries, and old friends are all mix together in the book.

The plot revolves around a few things, some of the main ones for me were discovering exactly who Henry Trevelyan is. What Angelica’s brother had got himself caught up in. There are many other things going on and they flowed seamlessly into one another making for a hugely enjoyable read. Add into this prisoners and a bid for freedom, love and confusion, some devious plots and you have grounds for a really good story.

I really enjoyed the historical aspect of this story, various items of the time have been woven in and the pace really does suit. I really enjoy the inclusions of those all important sights, sounds and smells, though maybe not all the smells… added to that the mannerisms, costumes, foods and leisure activities and just about everything was just spot o for me. It was very easy to visualise the settings, but I do have a slight advantage in that I can see Pendennis Castle and Falmouth from my house. It’s only 9 ish miles as the crow flies, a whole lot longer by road.

This is another compelling read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is a historical fiction / romance that has so many interesting sides to it and it is one I would highly recommend.

If you fancy reading a copy why not enter the Giveaway below and see if you can win your very own.

Giveaway to Win a signed copy of The Cornish Lady, a box of Cornish Fudge and some bookmarks (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 by clicking Here Good Luck xx

Nicola Pryce came to writing after a career in nursing. She has an Open University degree in Humanities and is a qualified adult literacy support volunteer. She is lives in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset and when she isn’t writing she’s probably gardening or scrubbing the decks. She and her husband love sailing and for the last twenty years they have sailed in and out of the romantic harbours of the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure: it is there where she sets her books.

The Cornish Lady is her fourth book: The others are Pengelly’s Daughter, The Captain’s Girl, and The Cornish Dressmaker.

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


Social Media Links – Twitter Website Pintrest Goodreads Facebook

Finally, before you go. Why not check out the reviews from the other Fabulous Book Bloggers on the Blog Tour…

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

My Week In Books w/e 3/03/19

Well, February flew by and it saw a few little milestones. My Blog and Twitter account had their 2 year Anniversary’s and I celebrated my Birthday. My Blog hit 500 followers and I am immensely grateful to all my followers who share like and comment.

The weather was kind towards us by the end of the month and allowed me a chance to get into the garden and start making inroads into the veg plot. The weather lulled us into a false sense of security as we now have a Yellow Warning for high winds, it is raining, and the fire is lit again.

So now to the books I read last week. They are a very mixed bag I have to say, I do like genre-hopping.

I received a copy of Now You See Her by Heidi Perks from the publisher and my review will coincide with the paperback publication day. This is a fabulous psychological thriller.

The Cornish Lady by Nicola Pryce is for the upcoming Blog Tour. This is now the second book by this author that I have read. What makes this especially nice is that the setting of Truro and Falmouth are just up the road from where I live. A brilliant read and I look forward to reading the previous ones in The Cornish Saga series.

One Law For The Rest Of Us by Peter Murphy, I had read a couple of this authors Walden series. I wasn’t sure about this one given the subject matter, but my god I am so glad I did. So very different from Walden in so many ways.

Sleeper by J D Fennell is the first book in the series. I won a copy of the second book in a giveaway last year and decided to actually read this in order. What a great action packed read.

Finally The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham, again another book that I won in a giveaway and one that I had bought for my kindle. I loved this book a lot, a dark atmospheric crime thriller.

Five books read last week takes my total up to 40 for the year so far. Apparently, I am 7 ahead of schedule in the Goodreads challenge. Quite pleased with that.

I have had a few books drop through the letterbox this past couple of weeks. With the exception of Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls, ( the yellow one), that was another giveaway win, the rest I have purchased myself.

Killer Intent by Tony Kent is the first in this series and having read book 2 first I definitely wanted to read this one.

The 12 Dragons of Albion by Mark Hayden is the 2nd in The Kings Watch series, this is more of an urban fantasy series and after the first book, I definitely wanted to read more.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle is a series I have wanted to read for such a long time, so I decided on the trilogy book rather than individual ones.

Finally The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty, I saw this on Janel’s @keeperofpages Twitter feed and it looked good so I thought let’s give that a go as well.

Well that me for another week.

Happy reading 🙂 xx

The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul #MeAndMyBooks #NetGalley #review

Today I am sharing my review for a fabulous book, The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul. I would like to thank the publisher Headline for accepting my request to read an e-copy of this book.

A Russian princess. An extraordinary sacrifice. A captivating secret….

From the number one best-selling author of The Secret Wife, The Lost Daughter is a sweeping, moving story of the tenacity of love and the power of forgiveness. Spectacular, enthralling and romantic, Gill Paul’s latest novel will stay with you forever.

1918. With the country they once ruled turned against them, the future of the Romanov family hangs in the balance. When middle daughter Maria captures the attention of two of the guards, it will lead to the ultimate choice between right and wrong….

Fifty-five years later…

‘I didn’t want to kill her’. With these cryptic words Val’s father dies, leaving her to unravel a mystery which unites two families who have faced unspeakable tragedy and perhaps to finally offer an explanation which has been long overdue. 

I am going to start by saying that this is a stunning historical fiction read that has been sat on my digital TBR for far too long. I really wish I had picked it up sooner.

It has two timelines, one in 1918 and the other in the 1970s. I was curious how these two would eventually link up as they also span two different continents. A story of tragedy, love, betrayal, and heartbreak amongst the turmoil of 1918 Russia, and in the 70s a daughter trying to discover the meaning behind her fathers’ mysterious ramblings.

What an absolutely fabulous read, full of emotion and completely addictive. From the start, I noticed the details that showed the evidence of a well-researched book. I was immediately transported with the authors take on the story of the Romanov family. Maria is one of Tsar Nicholas II daughters. At 19 Maria is taken from the opulent lifestyle. Russia is in a period of transition, a period of turmoil and suffering that many experienced for many years to come.

In the 70s I met Val, she is confused with her father. He has dementia and is dying, but she wonders if his mysterious conversations have anything to do with his past. They are troubled words and she finds herself unable to leave them alone. She sets out to discover the truth and also finds herself making decisions about her own future.

There is something about the history of the Romanovs and Russian history of this era that really does pique my interest. It may seem a morbid thing to be interested in, but my interest lies in the social class and structure of the time. A time in history that is tragic as people of all classes are persecuted, depending on who is in power. But it is the human resilience and inventiveness of trying to stay alive, rather than bowing down to an authority that would rather you were dead than oppose them. The Author has done an amazing job of mixing fact with fiction to give a glimpse into Russian life at the time.

The story between the two times was one that had me hooked. I found the characters were very easy to follow and recognisable. The alternating timelines were again very easy to keep up with. I found a story that was heartbreaking and hopeful. Heartbreaking because of what had happened, but hopeful towards the possibility of a better future. It had a dramatic and at times tense atmosphere to the reading, I found myself constantly wondering and worrying about the fate of some of the characters. I was totally caught up and mesmerised by the whole story.

The story of Val is a gradual one, she slowly starts to unravel a decades-old mystery that has kept its grip on her father. Her story really did compliment that of Maria. I was unsure how they would link, but when I started to see little things coming together I was even more compelled to read. By the end of the story I was a bit of an emotional wreck… enter the box of tissues…I found the concluding chapters brought everything together beautifully and completely, although I was gutted to have finished the story.

This was an absolutely wonderful read, it has an amazing balance of human endurance to overcome heartwrenching odds. In case you have not guessed it yet, I absolutely adored this story and it is one I would Highly Recommend. Also, it has left me wanting to read more by this author.

Image and Bio taken from the Author’s Page at Amazon UK

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history. Her new novel, The Lost Daughter, is about Maria, the third of the Romanov daughters, who befriended the guards in Ekaterinburg, and a Sydney woman called Val Scott, who is trapped in an abusive marriage. 

Gill’s other novels include Another Woman’s Husband, about links between Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana, and The Secret Wife, about the romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second Romanov daughter, who first met in 1914. Women and Children First is about a young steward who works on the Titanic. The Affair was set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fell in love while making Cleopatra. And 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.

Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A History of Medicine in 50 Objects, and a series of Love Stories, each containing fourteen tales of real-life couples: how they met, why they fell for each other, and what happened in the end. Published around the world, this series includes Royal Love Stories, World War I Love Stories and Titanic Love Stories.

Gill was born in Glasgow and grew up there, apart from an eventful year at school in the US when she was ten. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, then English Literature and History (she was a student for a long time), before moving to London to work in publishing. She started her own company producing books for publishers, along the way editing such luminaries as Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich, Ray Mears and Eartha Kitt. She also writes on health, nutrition and relationships.

Gill swims year-round in an open-air pond – “It’s good for you so long as it doesn’t kill you”– and is a devotee of Pilates. She also particularly enjoys travelling on what she calls “research trips” and attempting to match-make for friends.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

Visit the Author on – TwitterWebsiteFacebook

Thank you for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Falcon of Sparta by Conn Iggulden #Netgally @MichaelJBooks #Review

Today I have my review for The Falcon of Sparta by Conn Iggulden. I read this book via NetGalley and my thanks to Michael Joseph Books for accepting my request.

Synopsis:

In the Ancient World, one army was feared above all others. This is their story.

When Cyrus, brother to the Great King of Persia, attempts to overthrow his reckless sibling, he employs a Greek mercenary army of 10,000 soldiers. When this army becomes stranded as a result of the unexpected death of Cyrus, and then witnesses the treacherous murder of its entire officer corps, despair overtakes them.

One man, Xenophon, rallies the Greeks. As he attempts to lead them to freedom across 1,500 miles of hostile territory seething with adversaries, 10,000 men set off on the long way home.

My Thoughts:

I have read a few books by this author and I think this may be my favourite one…so far…

Spartans, Greeks, Persians, battles, and power struggles… it has the lot, and more. I know the basics of this period in history, around 400BC and going into this book I knew I would come away knowing a little more.

This author does such a wonderful job with bringing history alive with his words. The vivid imagery is easily conjured up from the pages as raging battles, strategy and formations are mixed with harsh marching conditions through deserts, mountains, and plains. Entwined within these is a story of family and power. The mix of historical fact is balanced so that all the information is given in an easily digestible way without being swamped.

The story starts with the wishes of the King, he effectively pits one brother against another upon his death. At the King’s death, Cyrus is only just able to avoid his own death and so forms an army to overthrow his older brother, the new King. Things do not go according to plan, outwitted and outmaneuvered the army is in disarray. A horse-master steps forward with suggestions that make sense and so he leads them on a perilous march.

This is a good sized read at 448 pages and within the few, I knew I was in for a treat as I was enjoying it so much. The flow if fabulous as I got taken into a world of intrigue, scheming and conniving to reach the ultimate goal…Power.

There is not a massive cast list, even though there are 1,000’s involved. It is the main players that are used and they soon became recognisable and familiar as the story was told.

The first part of the book is about control and power, the second is about the army trying to escape and return home. The sheer number of people involved is staggering, an army of thousands and the followers’ number just as much again. The logistics of feeding, moving, clothing this amount beggers belief. A march of 10,000… I just cannot express how mindblowing this is in my mind.

Journeying through rough terrain for hundreds of miles on foot, with little food, being attacked and chased is not for the weak. Choosing life and freedom over death features prominently. It definitely piqued my interest as further reading on the internet followed after finishing reading this book.

If you like Historical Fiction set early in history, that includes epic feats, that combines fact and fiction, then you really should read this one. It is detailed and very readable, with a brilliant flow to it. There is an interesting read in the Authors’ notes at the end, well worth a peruse. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Image was taken from Goodreads

I was born in the normal way in 1971, and vaguely remember half-pennies and sixpences. I have written for as long as I can remember: poetry, short stories and novels. It’s what I always wanted to do and read English at London University with writing in mind. I taught English for seven years and was Head of English at St. Gregory’s RC High School in London by the end of that period. I have enormous respect for those who still labour at the chalk-face. In truth, I can’t find it in me to miss the grind of paperwork and initiatives. I do miss the camaraderie of the smokers’ room, as well as the lessons where their faces lit up as they understood what I was wittering on about.

My mother is Irish and from an early age she told me history as an exciting series of stories – with dates. My great-grandfather was a Seannachie, so I suppose story-telling is in the genes somewhere. My father flew in Bomber Command in WWII, then taught maths and science. Perhaps crucially, he also loved poetry and cracking good tales. Though it seems a dated idea now, I began teaching when boys were told only girls were good at English, despite the great names that must spring to mind after that statement. My father loved working with wood and equations, but he also recited ‘Vitai Lampada’ with a gleam in his eye and that matters, frankly.

I’ve always loved historical fiction as a genre and cut my teeth on Hornblower and Tai-Pan, Flashman, Sharpe and Jack Aubrey. I still remember the sheer joy of reading my first Patrick O’Brian book and discovering there were nineteen more in the series. I love just about anything by David Gemmell, or Peter F. Hamilton or Wilbur Smith. I suppose the one thing that links all those is the love of a good tale.

That’s about it for the moment. If you’d like to get in touch with me leave a comment in the forum or you can tweet me @Conn_Iggulden. I’ll leave it there for the moment. If you’ve read my books, you know an awful lot about the way I think already. There’s no point overdoing it.

Conn Iggulden

Follow Conn on – Goodreads or visit his Website

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

The Road to Alexander by Jennifer Macaire @jennifermacaire @rararesources #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Road To Alexander by Jenny Macaire as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Jennifer for my e-copy of this book.

Synopsis:

What do you do when the past becomes your future?

The year is 2089, and time-travelling journalist Ashley Riveraine gets a once in a lifetime opportunity to interview her childhood hero, Alexander the Great. She expects to come out with an award-winning article, but doesn’t count on Fate intervening.

Alexander mistakes Ashley for Persephone, goddess of the dead, and kidnaps her, stranding her in his own time. Being stuck 3000 years in the past with the man of her dreams wouldn’t be so bad if the scientists of the Time Institute hadn’t threatened to erase Ashley from existence if she changes history.

Ashley must now walk a tightrope, caught up in the cataclysmic events of the time, knowing what the future holds for the people she comes to love but powerless to do anything to influence it.

Join Ashley on her hilarious, bumpy journey into the past as she discovers where her place in history truly is…

Purchase  Link – Click Here

My Thoughts:

This is the story of Ashley and how she travels back in time to meet one of her heroes, Alexander the Great, to interview him. Alexander unwittingly prevents Ashley from returning back to her time and she is left stranded in history and decides to embrace the predicament in which she finds herself.

Now I did wonder how I would get on this story, time travel and ancient history. I really should not wonder when it comes to reading as this author did an absolutely cracking job with the story and completely won me over. I will mention that the author stated in her notes at the end, that she has moved somethings and people around to help with her story. I am aware of something from the days of Alexander but I am not au fait with much of it so I just enjoyed the story as the author saw it.

I would definitely say this is a historical romance as well as being a historical fiction read. It is about two people from very different times, backgrounds, interests, and experiences. The author has managed to inject some humorous aspects into the story that had me smirking, Ashley uses phrases and words that would not have been around at that time, and it gets some of the historical characters scratching their heads. For them, it adds to the mystery behind who or what they believe her to be.

I really liked the way a lot of historical facts has been mixed in with the fiction it made reading details much more interesting. Essentially turning a list of dates, people and places into something a lot lighter reading. There are mentions of battles, gods, religion, philosophy and the beliefs of the time. There is so much from the daily life, health, hygiene pretty much everything you would expect and a lot I didn’t even think about.

While Ashley is the main part of the story, her focus is on Alexander, the man, and the legendary historical figure. By the end of the story, I realised that this author really knows her stuff and has an obvious love of this time period, as it really does show in her writing. I came away knowing so much more than when I started this book, that is a big bonus for me.

I did mention it had a romantic aspect to it. Ashley initially is a little aloof and comes across as cold, where as Alexander is definitely a hot blooded male… thats all I am saying at this point, it does make for some very interesting reading! As the story develops Ashley then seems to thaw a little and others start to see a change in her, she becomes more emotionally engaged.

This is the first book in a series and I cannot wait to see what comes next. This is a really good book and one that I think would definitely appeal to readers of historical fiction and romance readers. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories

Social Media Links –

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See what other Book Blogger think by following the tour

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

The Other Mrs. Bates by Allie Cresswell @alliescribbler @rararesources #review

I am delighted to be finally sharing my review for The Other Mrs. Bates by Allie Cresswell. I say “finally sharing” as I completely messed up on my diary entry for this book, putting it in for January! When my turn for posting on the Blog Tour came I was only able to share a promotional post…I was not a happy bunny. So without further ado, let us see what the book is about and then get to what I thought. 

Synopsis:

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs. Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for.

While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Janeis kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.

When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

My Thoughts:

This is the second in The Highbury Trilogy and it is the authors’ interpretation of what precedes Jane Austen’s Emma. I have read the first book and I would recommend you doing the same, it is definitely worth the time and if you like your Classic Literature then you will love these books.

So, having read and loved the first in the series and loving it I was keen to start the second. This is the story of Miss Jane Bates, she decides to take a position in Brighton as a companion to Mrs. Seally, an invalid who is not as Jane expected. The social “snakes and ladders” are as rife in Brighton as they are anywhere and the pecking order and finding suitable husbands or wives is very apparent. It is not a trap Jane gets caught up in but she does play witness to it.

Brighton is the up and coming place “to be seen” in this Georgian Regency era of British history. People attended functions, took walk and seemed to be out in public rather than being wherever they were staying.

This book was such a delight to read and right from the off I was transported in the era of its setting. The mannerisms and phrases just seemed perfect for the era of the story and also for my expectations. The author has in my mind given an interpretation that precedes Emma very well and has continued in the style.

After finishing this book I am so eager to pick up Emma, but I am holding back until I have read the third and final instalment as this will then lead very well into the classic itself. 

This is an absolute must read for fans of Classic Literature, Jane Austen, Historical Romance and those wanting to try it. It was a real joy and pleasure to read and is a book and a series I would absolutely recommend.

If you want to read my review of the first book in this trilogy, Mrs. Bates of Highbury, you can read it here

About the Author:

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons, and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series

Social Media Links – Website – Facebook – Twitter

Many thanks for reading my review, a like or share would be fabulous:) xx

The Other Miss Bates by Allie Cresswell @Alliescribbler @rararesources #review

I am delighted to be a spotlight post today for The Other Miss Bates by Allie Cresswell as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. I read the first book in The Highbury Trilogy and thought it was absolutely wonderful, so when the invite to join this one arrived I immediately accepted. Now confession and apology time…I should be posting a review for this book and my organisational skills have shown themselves to be severely lacking. I have this tour in my diary, and you may think this is a good thing… the only thing is it is next years diary for January…me and myself need to have serious words… So huge apologies to both Allie and Rachel for my lack of review at this time 😦  So, for the time being, I will shine a spotlight on the second book in the trilogy and a review will be following in the very near future.

Synopsis:

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs. Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for.

While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Janeis kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.

When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

Purchase link   Amazon UK

If you want to read my review of Mrs. Bates of Highbury, the first in the series then CLICK HERE

About the Author:

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series

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The Merest Loss by Steven Neil @stevenneil12 @rararesources #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Merest Loss by Steven Neil as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. My huge thanks to Rachel for the invite and also to Steven for a copy of his book.

Synopsis:

The Merest Loss

A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English
hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?

Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?

The central character is Harriet Howard and the action takes place between 1836 and 1873. The plot centers on Harriet’s relationships with Louis Napoleon and famous Grand National winning jockey, Jem Mason. The backdrop to the action includes significant characters from the age, including Lord Palmerston, Queen Victoria and the Duke of Grafton, as well as Emperor Napoleon III. The worlds of horse racing, hunting and government provide the scope for rural settings to contrast with the city scenes of London and Paris and for racing skulduggery to vie with political chicanery.

The Merest Loss is historical fiction with a twist. It’s pacy and exciting with captivating characters and a distinctive narrative voice.

Purchase Links Amazon UKAmazon USIndependent Author Network

My Thoughts:

This is a historical fiction set in the mid-1800’s. Harriet Howard was a bit of a handful growing up, something that definitely continued into adulthood, to say the least. A woman who finds herself in an impossible situation working for the British Government.

This for me came across as a very well researched story that mixes backroom deals that have implications both in Britain and France, with the corruption and “Gentlemen’s Agreements” of those in a position of authority and power. Harriet finds herself in the midst of this and is suitably positioned to set the wheels in motion for the benefit of politicians.

Into this story is one of the racing world, courtesy of Harriet’s friend Tom and her lover Jem. Here again, the author either has an interest/knowledge of or has researched excellently the details. So many little facts and snippets have been intertwined within the story, and this for me was only interesting and informative, as well as great reading.

The historical content of the story was really well done and I found it engaging, though on the odd occasion I did think that some of the details were given a little quick and just fell off the pacing and feel of the story.

The author has done a wonderful job with this story and it left me wanting to know more, and a trip around the internet for further reading was in order. This book introduced me to a lady I had previously know nothing about and I came away wanting to know more. For me, this is a big bonus, and it shows that the author has definitely engaged my attention for me to spend time on further reading.

The story of Harriet and also the people she met shows a woman who played her part, made the best she could out of an impossible situation. It showed that she was the leading lady she always wanted to be, but not in the way she imagined, a lady that was very much misunderstood and maligned by many, and one I now have a lot of respect for.

This is a really good read and one that would definitely appeal to readers of Historical Fiction, Historical Romance in the mid-1800’s, set in Britain and France. A book that would interest many and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

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Author Bio – Steven Neil has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. In his working life, he has been a bookmaker’s clerk, management tutor, management consultant, bloodstock agent, and racehorse breeder. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire.

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The Glorious Dead by Tim Atkinson @dotterel @annecater #RandomThingsTours #BookReview

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Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Glorious Dead by Tim Atkinson as part of the blog tour with Anne at Random Things Tours and Unbound Publishers. This is a book that is set after the end of WWI.

Synopsis:

What happened when the Great War ended and the guns stopped firing? Who cleared the battlefields and buried the dead? It’s 1918 and the war may be over but Lance-Corporal Jack Patterson ad the men of his platoon are still knee-deep in Flanders mud, searching the battlefields for the remain of comrades killed in action. But duty isn’t all that’s keeping Jack in Flanders. For one there is Katia, the daughter of a local publican, with whom he has struck up a romance. And then there is something else, a secret that lies buried in Jack’s past, one he hopes isn’t about to be dug up.

Purchase link – Amazon UK

My Thoughts:

Well, this is a book that was a real eye-opener that’s for sure. I had never really thought about who took care of the bodies of the fallen during or after WWI or WWII come to that. I was aware of there being Red Cross and Ambulance crews but that was as far as it went. Who was responsible for taking those bodies to their final resting place, in this case, a huge memorial cemetery in Belgium.

The story follows Jack and his group who remain in Belgium after the end of the war. While others have returned home, they remain. Disgruntled is a term that seems appropriate for their mood. It was interesting to read of the conditions the men had to work in not nice at all. The descriptions are of how bodies are found, identified and then managed.

Another thing that I found interesting was how those who died were interred against family wishes. Many wanted their loved ones to be repatriated to their home soil so they could be grieved over, to be visited and remembered. Many families never visited the final resting place of their loved one and knew they knew they would never be able to for various reasons.

The political and personal feelings expressed are woven around Jack, his story and of those he works with gradually emerges. It has a sense of camaraderie and also the wish for most of them to go home. Not all want to return home, stories of returning soldiers with no jobs, no home and living rough are emerging.

A story that took me to a horrific and brutal point in history. As I mentioned at the beginning a real eye-opener. While the story of Jack and his group was good, they actually became secondary for me in this story.

One I think readers of historical fiction would really like and one I would recommend.

About the Author:

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Tim Atkinson is a teacher, author and award-winning blogger. He studied philosophy at the University of Hull and has worked variously as a filing clerk, lay-clerk, chain-man and schoolteacher. He was born in Colchester, brought up in Yorkshire and now lives in Lincolnshire.

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