A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin @HarperFiction #histfic #regency #romance #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin. This is a brilliant read for those who like a good Regency period romance. If you are a fan of “Bridgerton”, a recent NetFlix period drama, then you are going to really enjoy this book.

My huge thanks to Harper Fiction for my e-copy that I requested to read and review via NetGalley.

The season is about to begin—and there’s not a minute to lose.

Kitty Talbot needs a fortune. Or rather, she needs a husband who has a fortune. This is 1818 after all, and only men have the privilege of seeking their own riches.

With only twelve weeks until the bailiffs call, launching herself into London society is the only avenue open to her, and Kitty must use every ounce of cunning and ingenuity she possesses to climb the ranks.

The only one to see through her plans is the worldly Lord Radcliffe and he is determined to thwart her at any cost, especially when it comes to his own brother falling for her charms.

Can Kitty secure a fortune and save her sisters from poverty? There is not a day to lose and no one—not even a lord—will stand in her way…

MY REVIEW

Set in 1818 England, Kitty Talbot has one thing on her mind. THat is snagging herself a rich husband. Now, before you think she is a money-grabbing wench, she is doing this out of duty and for the benefit of her sisters. However, can she fit into the Ton and society without looking out of place?

This is a book that I really enjoyed, it has all the glamour and societal expectations but it is one full of learning curves for Kitty. Coming to London she is well out of her league, she knows what she wants but she doesn’t revolve around the high society echelons. You cannot just walk up to a Countess. Lord or Lady, you have to be properly introduced. This is a problem for Kitty as she hasn’t any connections, well she does have the connections of her Aunt, but they could be, well dubious!

This is a fun read and one that I really enjoyed, there are reasons for Kitty’s actions and when she catches the eye of a certain young, some to be rich, the gentleman then she thinks all she has to do is convince him and his family of her respectability. One problem, he has an older brother!

I did like Kitty, she is a feisty young woman who is determined, to say the least. The downside to her is that she doesn’t have the ‘breeding’ for what she is to embark on. But, to be fair she learns to hold her own. there are some wonderful battles she has to deal with and her ‘breeding’ does stand her in good stead for the most part.

The storyline at times reminded me a little of Pride and Prejudice as well as the TV series Bridgerton ( I have only watched the 1st one!). It felt like a mix of history with the excitement of a modern story but in costume. This is a fun read, but it also does highlight society of the time. It does have the feel of a Young Adult story at times.

Enjoyable, fun, and fast-paced story that I really enjoyed and I would happily recommend.


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

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

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

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

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

MY REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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


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

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

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

The Mersey Mothers
Liverpool 1953

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

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

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

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

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

MY REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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


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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

Purchase Links – Amazon Kobo

MY REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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


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War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm by Rosie Clarke. I have read a few books by this author and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Her latest book is the start of a new series, it was a brilliant book to read.

As always, my huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book via NetGalley.

Cambridgeshire – March 1939


As the clouds of war begin to gather in Europe, the Talbot family of rural Blackberry Farm will be torn apart, just as so many families all over the world will be. Life will never be the same again.


Whilst in London, the Salmons family will feel the pain of parting and loss.


Brought together by war, the two families become intertwined and, as the outlook looks bleak, they must draw on each other’s strength to fight through the hard times.


Lizzie Johnson and Tom were sweethearts until a mistake caused a terrible rift. Lizzie takes herself off to London to heal the pain in a glamorous new job but she still loves Tom. His pride has been hurt – but deep down inside Tom still cares. Can they find happiness before their chance is gone and the whole world is swept into the terrible madness of war?


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm is a new series from the author and it is another fabulous historical fiction set in 1939.

Blackberry Farm is a delightful sounding farm where the Talbot’s, a hard-working and well-respected family in Cambridgeshire. Tom and Lizzie have been together for a while, but one night something happens that leaves her embarrassed and she decides to leave the village and try to find a job in a London hair salon. She falls on her feet when she finds not only a job but also a wonderful family to stay with.

The Salmon’s are another close-knit family who is welcoming and Lizzie soon finds herself feeling welcomed. She finally decides that she needs to confront what happened in the past come what may. She needs to know if Tom will accept her explanation as to what happened and if there is a chance for a future between them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in this new series. It didn’t take me long to work out the characters and their roles in the families. Working between the city and the countryside brings different views and of course ways of living.

As the war is becoming more definite, people are thinking towards the weeks, months ad possible years to come. Some men sign up, others decide to wait to be called and some will apply for exemptions to work in their job. As the inevitable begins, wounded men are starting to return, women are thinking of training to be nurses as well as becoming land girls.

Bringing two new families means that I get to know a whole new set of characters. There are some glimpses of backstories and of course, not all the characters are nice to meet. The way the families live and work is laid out well and the mentions of foods and especially cakes sound amazing. I did like how the author used the soon to begin war as a way for her characters to make use of what they have while they have it.

I liked the contrast between the city and the country and how well the author bridged the gap between the two and also how the families become connected. I was gutted when I realised I had gotten to the end of the book. I did that whole thing of swiping back a page, and forward again, then back again before it sunk in that I had actually got to the end.

This is a book for those readers who like historical fiction and romance, for sagas and women’s fiction set in the early days of WW II. A brilliant opener to the series and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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The Fair Botanists by Sara Sheridan @sarasheridan @HodderBooks #histfic #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for an absolutely gorgeous book. I received a copy of The Fair Botanist by Sara Sheridan via Hodder & Stoughton Publishers. I would like to wish Sara a very Happy Publication Day for such a stunning book.

I have decided to add, or rather, swap this book into my list for #20booksofsummer reading challenge 🙂

It’s the summer of 1822 and Edinburgh is abuzz with rumours of King George IV’s impending visit. In botanical circles, however, a different kind of excitement has gripped the city. In the newly-installed Botanic Garden, the Agave Americana plant looks set to flower – an event which only occurs once in several decades. When newly widowed Elizabeth arrives in Edinburgh to live with her late husband’s aunt Clementina, she’s determined to put her unhappy past in London behind her. As she settles into her new home, she becomes fascinated by the beautiful Botanic Garden which border the grand house and offers her services as an artist to record the rare plant’s impending bloom. In this pursuit, she meets Belle Brodie, a vivacious young woman with a passion for botany and the lucrative, dark art of perfume creation. Belle is determined to keep both her real identity and the reason for her interest the Garden secret from her new friend. But as Elizabeth and Belle are about to discover, secrets don’t last long in this Enlightenment city. And when they are revealed, they can carry the greatest of consequences . . .

You can purchase a copy HERE or from local book shops.

My Review…

I absolutely enjoyed this book, it is a mix of historical fiction, romance and botany. It is set in 1822 in Edinburgh as the Botanical Gardens are being moved. There is excitement in the city as large trees and plants of various sorts are gradually moved to their new home. I did actually look this up on the internet and there is some really good reading regarding this move.

Clementina is a newcomer to the city, she is to live with her inlaws after the death of her husband. She is an artist and has an interest in plants, flowers and trees. She is a reserved woman, a little shy and has lived in the shadow of her deceased husband. Bella is the exact opposite, she also has a botanical interest and one that she hopes will make her fortune.

This was such a brilliant book to sit and read, I found a fabulous story that does have historical facts and of course there is the botanical part of the story. I thought this made fascinating reading as did the section at the end where the author gives more details as to her characters. Those who were real and for these, she did give a little more detail.

This is a historical fiction story, it has some romance, and also some mystery as there are things that occur. I really enjoyed how the author brought her characters together and there is a good mix of them and also different ages. It is a time when Enlightenment is in force, a time when peoples ideas are changing, people are becoming more vociferous. They are challenging ideals, society rules and etiquette and of course, there are those who will not abide by any change from the norm.

As the story progressed I found myself being drawn more and more into the story of the characters, they are, as I mentioned a wonderful. Just the right amount and they were easy to remember. Mentions of various historical figures were great and it helped keep me well and truly in the time and setting of the story.

This is a wonderful read and is one that I thoroughly enjoyed. One for those who like good historical fiction and romance, and one I would definitely recommend.

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Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke. This is the latest in the Harpers Emporium series and I am loving it so much.

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

Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls

LONDON 1917

As the Americans enter the War, there is renewed energy in the war effort.  

With husbands and sons fighting for freedom, the women of Harpers are left to tackle the day-to-day affairs at home and work.

With Ben Harper away, Sally fears she is being followed by a mysterious woman. Who is she and what does she want?

Maggie Gibbs collapses seriously ill in the frontline hospitals and is brought back to England close to death. Can she be saved and what does the future hold for her and her broken heart? 

Marion Jackson’s father is on the run from the Police already wanted for murder. She fears he will return to threaten his family once more.
And Beth Burrows is pregnant with her second child, worried and anxious for her husband Jack, who has been many months at sea.

As Christmas 1917 approaches what will the future hold for Harpers, its girls and their men at War?

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

Set in 1917, the First World War is claiming lives, the results are being felt at home. Family and friends worry constantly about those who are serving, those who have been injured, and those that have not been in contact. Shortages are being felt as some things are becoming more difficult to source for the Harpers Store. Inferior quality products are emerging as materials are being used for the war.

Life still has to go on, work still needs doing, homes need to be looked after, mouths have to be fed and it is when times are difficult and fraught that you rely on people around you. Harpers is the linchpin of the story, it is where many of the characters have met over the course of the story. With each book that is released more characters are brought in.

The main four Harpers Girls are Maggie, Marion, Sally, and Beth. They have come on from their early days at Harper’s. This is the point where I do mention that these books can be read as stand-alone stories, but I do think they are better read in order as the character’s lives are developed more and more with each book.

This one, as the title suggests is set during a point where people are obviously wishing for a return to normality, wondering when it will be over and that loved ones can return home. Life is hard for those left behind, and I like how the author describes how lucky her characters feel to be in situations that they are. They either work or have a family or have someone in their lives that helps them, whether it is a family, partner, or friend.

This is a story that does have sad moments and ones that are fraught with despair. It is not only people who are in the midst of the fighting that falls ill. Things carry on at home as they normally would regardless of what is happening in the world, they add stress and worry. The author brings the feeling of hope and also of despair so well into her stories. She has a wonderful way of giving her characters various events to deal with. These may be worrying or add a sense of dread or intrigue, but they also have a way of making her characters stronger.

This is a story for those readers who like historical fiction, sagas, family drama, and stories with a sense of belonging and of friendship. A book and series that combines the individual tales of the characters and gives an overall sense of hope but with several twists to keep the reader on their toes. A book and series 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 a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire. Rosie’s brand new saga series, Welcome to Harpers Emporium began in December 2019.

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The Lady in the Veil by Alllie Cresswell @Alliescribbler #TheLadyInTheVeil #historicalfiction #bookreview

i am delighted to share my review today for The Lady in the Veil by Allie Creswell. I have read a few, but not all of this authors books and I adore her writing. So when I got a message to ask if I would like to read her latest book I was immediately on board.

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What secrets hide beneath the veil? When her mother departs for a tour of the continent, Georgina is sent from the rural backwaters to stay with her cousin, George Talbot, in London. The 1835 season is at its height, but Georgina is determined to attend neither balls nor plays, and to eschew Society. She hides her face beneath an impenetrable veil. Her extraordinary appearance only sets off gossip and speculation as to her identity. Who is the mysterious lady beneath the veil?

The Lady in the Veil follows on from The House in the Hollow, but stands just as well alone.

Purchase Links – Amazon – UK or US

My Review…

I have not read all of this authors books, probably half of them but I am aware that she writes mesmerising stories in a classic style. This can be read as a stand-alone, the previous book Tall Chimneys was an amazing read, there is a prequel, The House in the Hollow, I have not read that one.

From the synopsis, I was aware of the mysterious veiled lady, Georgina and that she was sent to live with relatives in London. Why she kept herself veiled is something the author holds back until later in the story. Doing this the author keep the mystery and intrigue that surrounds Georgina.

Georgina has spent her life living simply, eschewing society. Preferring her life in the country and the pleasures she finds there. Being brought into a bustling metropolis like London is very far from what she knows. Her arrival at the Talbot house isn’t promising. Lady Jane Talbot takes a negative view.

The author gradually works her characters into the story, she introduces various members of society and she does it to great effect. Her portrayal of Lady Jane is fabulous, she is a character who epitomises the prejudice of ladies of the time. She really knows how to make her opinion and feeling felt.

There are several characters, each one has a place and a purpose within the story. A story that is about opinions, marriages, being seen, scandal and being one of the in-crowd in the upper echelons of the elite. The authors writing harks back to the classics such as Austen, and if you have read any of the Highbury books then you know how well she does this.

This is such a wonderful story that is just so lovely to sit and read. I do love the style of this authors writing. It feels right, the mannerisms, attitudes, phrases, marriages or rather contracts, how the wealthy parade around the town to be seen, take tea, have preambles in the park and the like. It really is a pleasure to read.

Another fabulous story from such a wonderful writer. While I do say that this has the feel of a classic style, don’t think that is over worded. It isn’t, it is a very accessible one. There are some fabulous descriptions, wonderful characters and some serious storylines. It is just a gorgeous read that fans of historical fiction and romance will adore. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Allie Cresswell

I have been writing stories since I could hold a pencil and by the time I was in Junior School I was writing copiously and sometimes almost legibly.

It was at this time that I had the difference between fiction and lies forcefully impressed upon me, after penning a long and entirely spurious account of my grandfather’s death and funeral…..

The teacher had permitted it as being good therapy for bereavement whereas in fact it was only a good excuse to get out of learning my multiplication tables (something I have never achieved).

Clearly I was forgiven. For for my next birthday I asked for a stack of writing paper and my parents obliged, it being more easily obtained and wrapped than a pony.

A BA in English and Drama at Birmingham University was followed by an MA in English at Queen Mary College but marriage and motherhood put my writing career on hold for some years until 1992 when I began work on Game Show.

In the meantime I worked as a production manager for an educational publishing company, an educational resources copywriter, a bookkeeper for a small printing firm, and was the landlady of a country pub in Yorkshire, a small guest house in Cheshire and the proprietor of a group of boutique holiday cottages in Cumbria.

I am currently teaching literature in the community alongside full time writing.

I have two grown-up children, Tom and Abby, and am married to Tim.

I live in Cheshire.

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The Viking Chief’s Marriage Alliance by Lucy Morris @MillsandBoon #historical #romance #bokreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Viking Chief’s Marriage Alliance by Lucy Morris. It has been many, many years since I last read a Mills & Boon book and I have to say I really enjoyed this one.

The Viking Chief's Marriage Alliance (Mills & Boon Historical) (9780008912789)

A challenging wife

For a warrior Viking

When Thorstein Bergson rescues a beautiful woman from a storm-tossed longship, he little expects to broker a powerful marriage alliance with her. This high-status ice queen is not the comfortable wife the warrior chief is seeking. But maybe the bittersweet pain in Gyda’s eyes hides another woman beneath? The one he tasted that first night when she’d kissed him with such pent-up longing…?

My Review…

It’s not often I pick up this sort of romance read, but I am so glad I chose this one. It is a relatively quick read and one I read over one evening.

Gyda has not had the best of married life, and now as her husband has died she is leaving to try a fresh start. Her belongings are lost in a shipwreck near the Northumberland coast. She is rescued by a local chieftain Thorstein Bergsen.

Both Gyda and Thorstein have been married before, both are wary of each other. Gyda is seen as aloof and wealthy, Thorstein as rude and surly. But as much as both characters are opposite there is some attraction, they cannot however trust each other. They have been wronged in the past and are unwilling to be put in that position again. It seems presumptions are the name of the game in this story, but the author does work this very well.

I did really enjoy how the author built up this story, marriages of convenience for beneficial gains can be successful. The author didn’t choose this route for our out main characters, instead, she gave them both a past that made them wary and untrusting. That is until they do not have a choice.

While this is a historical-based story it is also a romance and one that the author has woven some magic with. Not only is there an interesting storyline, but there is also some wonderful descriptions of life, scenery and becoming part of a community. Then of course there is the romance, a wonderful will they/won’t they tense build-up that had me addictively turning the pages.

A wonderful historical romance and one that I was glad to have picked up to read. A chance to read a Viking romance that has more to it than first meets the eye, a story with intrigue, betrayal and a gorgeous sounding leading man! I liked it a lot and I would definitely recommend it.

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

The River Between Us by Liz Fenwick @liz_fenwick @HQStories Also: Liz’s Top 10 Tips- For visiting Cornwall #contemporaryfiction #NetGalley #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The River Between Us by Liz Fenwick. I also have an added extra as Liz is sharing her “Top 10 Tips for visiting Cornwall. As I live in the same area as Liz, I couldn’t help but smile and nod knowingly as I read through her tips! Some of these are quite relevant to any where people holiday!

My thanks to Izzie at the HQ PR team at Harper Collins for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of this book.

Following the breakdown of her marriage, Theo has bought a tumbledown cottage on the banks of the river Tamar which divides Cornwall and Devon. The peace and tranquillity of Boatman’s Cottage, nestled by the water, is just what she needs to heal.

Yet soon after her arrival, Theo discovers a stash of hidden letters tied with a ribbon, untouched for more than a century. The letters – sent from the battlefields of France during WW1 – tell of a young servant from the nearby manor house, Abbotswood, and his love for a woman he was destined to lose.

As she begins to bring Boatman’s Cottage and its gardens back to life, Theo pieces together a story of star-crossed lovers played out against the river, while finding her own new path to happiness.

The River Between Us beautifully explores the mystery and secrets of a long-forgotten love affair, and will be loved by fans of Kate Morton.

My Review…

What an amazing and beautiful book The River Between Us is. The title is also quite clever as it provides not only a geological divide but also one that shows the divide between the classes.

This is a dual timeline story that is so easy to follow. Theo is the present-day character and it is through her unseen purchase of an old cottage on the River Tamar that gives the introduction to the tale from the past.

Theo discovers old letters that had been hidden, they tell a tale of forbidden love, of sacrifice, and of times just before and through the first world war. This is a time when women’s suffrage is being spoken about more. When the country and the world is changing as are peoples attitudes. Some attitudes can never be changed and when it comes to having the right marriage then that is what matters. This is the case for Lady Alice.

The author uses her knowledge of the South West to create a mesmerising and beautifully written story. It is mainly set in the earlier timeline of Lady Alice, this is something that worked so well as some events of the past become quite relevant to the present day.

I do adore the author’s descriptions and this time gardening, flowers and wildlife play a good part. Using the flora and fauna to great effect in expressing emotions is wonderful. The days Lady Alice spent fishing and her time on and around the river are gorgeous.

The present-day timeline is also quite emotional, but for very different reasons. Theo’s move and purchase of a cottage open up a mystery and one that has many links to the past. So, while this story is very much contemporary fiction it is also a mystery. It delves into family, secrets long forgotten and hidden things.

The author paces this book wonderfully, it makes the reading extremely addictive and so effortless. I found myself transported with her descriptions. It was emotional and heartbreaking with the revealing of the past through the earlier timeline and also through the forgotten letters.

It was a wonderful book to read. Mesmerising, beautiful and I adored it very much. It is one I would definitely recommend. 

Check out the other stops on the tour

So here are the Top 10 Tips…

Coming to Cornwall this summer especially if you’ve never been before. Here are my top tips for a successful visit!!

1. The roads are more like lanes and in many cases paths or bridleways, but they are two-way for traffic, really.

2. This leads to passing places…yes passing places and not parking spaces.

3. Do not come to Cornwall with a car if you cannot reverse (seriously)… And not just a few feet. It can be necessary in some cases to reverse half a mile, especially if someone has parked in the nearest passing place

4. Locals are mostly friendly…except when you won’t reverse. They know the roads inside out…they know when you’ve just passed a passing place…reverse willingly. Locals love their Cornwall so please leave it as you found it, free of litter. Especially those old single-use barbecues, plastic bags…

5. Be kind to the serving staff…they are locals who are doing the best they can with all the new regulations…your pint, pasty or plaice may take a bit more time. Be patient

6. Walkers on roads…it’s local custom for the walkers to make it easier for vehicles to get past, not the other way round

7. Tractors…be patient. They still have a job to do while you enjoy your holiday. Also note they generally don’t reverse…see above

8. Beaches…be careful. There are rip currents, rapid tides, weaver fish… Always know the tide times…always.

9. If you are on the water in a speed boat…respect others on the beaches and don’t swamp other small boats, kayaks, paddle boards with your wash

10. Sunblock! The sun is strong here even when it isn’t hot, or clear. Don’t be fooled by overcast skies and forget to apply sunblock because of the cooling breeze…

Most important, take the time to enjoy the unique beauty of Cornwall whether on the coast or inland. It is a place of constant contrast especially in variable weather. It offers wonderful people, wild landscape, magical folklore and divine food. 

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