ARC

#Review In The Mouth Of The Wolf (A Romantic Suspense Novel) by Helena Fairfax @HelenaFairfax #InTheMouthOfTheWolf #RomanticSuspense

Posted on

Hello my lovelies, I have the very great pleasure to be sharing my review of In The Mouth of The Wolf by Helena Fairfax, so grab a cuppa and let me tell you all about this fantastic book.

Previously published as A Year of Light and Shadows

“Fans of Mary Stewart will love this romantic suspense. Mystery and twists abound, in a stunning setting. I found it a terrific surprise.”

When actress Lizzie Smith is asked to stand in for a real Mediterranean princess, she’s thrust into a world of intrigue and danger. Alone in a palace by the sea, isolated from her friends, Lizzie is forced to rely on her quiet bodyguard, Léon, to guide her. But who is Léon really protecting? Lizzie … or the princess?

On her return to Scotland, Lizzie begins rehearsals for Macbeth … and finds danger is stalking her through the streets of Edinburgh. Lizzie is once again forced to turn to Léon, for help – and discovers a secret he’d do anything not to reveal.

From the heat of the Mediterranean to the atmospheric, winding streets of Edinburgh, In the Mouth of the Wolf will take you on a journey of mystery and romance. Perfect for fans of Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt and Daphne du Maurier.

This book contains the two romantic suspense novellas Palace of Deception and The Scottish Diamond, plus a bonus short story.

Oooh, I absolutely love this! I don’t think I can really express just how much I adore this book, romantic, exciting, original...I could go on, but I fully expect to be gushing throughout this review. I was instantly drawn to this, it was the cover that caught my attention before I even read the blurb, I loved the look of it! I knew that I would be in for something great as it is written by an amazing author, and oh boy what a treat!

Actress Lizzie has been giving the role of a life time, one that is highly mysterious but one that she really can’t say no to. She is to assume the role of a royal princess who has suddenly disappeared right before she is to be crowned as the next in line to the throne. Lizzie is whisked away to Montverrier; a tiny Mediterranean Island, where she is then locked away in the palace to learn how to be the princess. Locked in her rooms with none to speak to but her bodyguard, the dreamy, serious, handsome as sin, sexy, amazing and very well toned; Leon – my goodness, how much do I love Leon? I’m telling you know, they don’t make men like him in Yorkshire 😉

You can see the romance blossoming between Lizzie and Leon as they spend more and more time locked in her room, nothing happens until later but it is the build of what could happen that I really liked. The little touches that set the air alight with mutual lust and something else, such as her walking in on him working out – sigh!! and them playing chess late into the night, may sound a bit lack-lustre, But I am telling you those moment are sweet, funny, hot – and that’s just Leon; did I mention how much I love this guy?

She soon suspects that something isn’t right in the palace and when her life is threatened and saved by none other than gorgeous Leon – Swoon! She finds out that she has been conned all along, heartbroken and hurt she flees only to find herself back in Edinburgh but it isn’t the same place she remembered it to be there is something lurking in the shadows which calls for luscious Leon, but our lovely Leon has a dark secret of his own. As Hogmanay arrives can Lizzie and Leon finally be the couple they are destined to be without various hurdles being thrown out in front of them?

I love this, it starts out as a girl a bit out of her depth and falls in love with her luscious bodyguard -as you do – but as the story progresses and we move from one part of the story on to the next we soon find that there is so much more to the tale then we originally thought. It’s intriguing, thoughtful, captivating and immensely entertaining. Lizzie and Leon have a real start crossed lovers aura about them, they are such an adorable couple. The writing is as ever perfect, it flows taking the reader on a mesmerising journey from Montverrier all the way to Scotland. Ms Fairfax flawlessly entwines a tender heart-warming romance with a wonderful intriguing sub plot.

A great quick read that will leave fully satisfied.

This was Arc copy from the author in exchange for an honest review, Thank You Helena and apologies for the late review.

Advertisements

#Review The Potter’s Daughter by Jackie Ladbury @JackieLadbury #ThePottersDaughter #HistoricalFiction @ChocLitUK @RubyFiction

Posted on

Hello my lovelies, I have the very great pleasure to be sharing my review of The Potter’s Daughter by Jackie Ladbury, so grab a cuppa and let me tell you little about this sweet little story.

When Daniel Davenport saves Maddie Lockett and her young brother Tom from drowning, an immediate bond is forged between them.

But Daniel is an aspiring doctor and son of a wealthy manufacturer, whilst Maddie is a potter’s daughter from a poverty-stricken area of the Potteries. Even a friendship between the two could be frowned upon, let alone anything more …

But Maddie and Daniel want more, and as they grow closer gossip and prejudice look set to spoil their blossoming romance. Do the young couple stand a chance when there are those who would stop at nothing to keep them apart?

I was fascinated by the sound of The Potters daughter since I first heard about it, there was something different about it that I found utterly intriguing. I do have a soft spot for books where the hero/heroine are working class, don’t get me wrong I have nothing against historicals that lean heavily on the aristocratic stories, but it is very refreshing having two very normal individuals take centre stage.

Aspiring doctor and son to the local wealthy manufacturer, Daniel’s life is set on a course, success and wealth is his future, that is until he rescues beautiful, impoverished Maddie and her brother from drowning. There is an instant mutual attraction between the two young love birds, but prejudice soon raises its ugly head as she is from the poverty-stricken potteries community and he from wealth – well can you see where this is going? They must face so much scorn from those who believe themselves superior to the likes of Maddie and her family, to be honest it was Maddie who really stuck with me. Her story of growing up in poverty, of doing all she can to get herself and her family out of the sewage strewn gutter where they live is not a story that most authors like to focus on, but we readers love it as Maddie’s story is not fluffy it’s raw and very relevant. With so much in Maddie and Daniel’s way can they ignore the snide gossip and fin their happy ever after?

This is definitely my kind of historical, it doesn’t hold back Ms Ladbury has really pulled out all the stops at creating a very relatable and real world and extremely likeable character’s who the reader can get behind and will them to have their so deserved happy ever after. The Potter’s Daughter is like a mixture of North and South with the luscious Mr Thornton – or in their case adorable Daniel and hard hitting drama; The Mill with his very raw and real look on just how difficult life was for the regular working class and for those who tolied long hard hours in mills.

I haven’t read any of Ms Ladbury’s work before now and I will definitly be reading more from her, I really liked her intense, straight to the point and atmospheric writing. She does a wonderful job at grabbing the readers attention. The story is a basic wealthy boy meets poor girl and family tend to get in the way kind of trope, but I love the emotional journey the character’s go on as they find their feet and as their romance blossoms, it is a very sweet little story that I think will appeal to many historical readers.

This was a Arc copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you Liz and apologies for the late review!

#Review Marquess To A Flame (Rule Of The Rogue #3) by Emily Windsor #MarquessToAFlame #RuleOfTheRogue #HistoricalRomance

Posted on


A winter’s heart…
“Debonair, handsome and with a devil’s smile. How could any woman resist?”

The Marquess of Winterbourne has long been guided by his Rules of the Rogue, but as emissary for the Crown, his next mission will break every single one. Sent to the wilds of Cornwall to beguile secrets from a country miss, the last thing this rogue expects is to unearth his own buried heart.

A taste of spring…
“A rogue and a fribble. How could any woman succumb?”

Miss Tamsyn Penrose remains far from impressed by charming London scoundrel Lord Winterbourne, preferring a wild gallop over the moors to flashing black eyes and fulsome flattery. But as danger lurks and prejudice ebbs, she uncovers a complex man who awakens her hidden strength and arouses her forgotten fire.

Seasons collide…

Desire sparks and passion flares in this Cornish land of cove and tor. Can Tamsyn step from the shadow of her past? And will Jack Winterbourne tear up the rules for a woman who maddens his senses and thaws his heart?

A sensual Regency Romance with warmth and wit, this story also includes a fusty valet with a secondary love story, picnics, swordplay, peacocks and…piskies.

Note: contains scenes of a sexual nature.

These books can be read stand-alone or as part of the Rules of the Rogue Series.

#1 An Earl in Wolf’s Clothing
#1.5 Merry Christmas, my Viscount (Christmas novella)
#2 Let Sleeping Dukes Lie
#3 Marquess to a Flame

My, oh my! What a wonderful book, I have been so looking forward to this story; Jack’s story since I was first introduced to him and this series in the previous book; Let Sleeping Duke Lie and I am so happy to say that this doesn’t just live up to my expectations but it surpasses them. I am a late arrival on to the Emily Windsor bandwagon, as ‘Let Sleeping Duke Lie’ was the first of her books that I read, but from then I was hooked by her writing – I love it when that happens, don’t you?

Marquess To A Flame is book three in ‘Rule of The Rogue’ series, for those who haven’t tasted this fine authors work yet then this one just as the following can be read very easily as a stand-a-lone as well as apart of the series. I just love this series, and I am hoping for more – Emily, please you can’t leave me without any rogues, I need more! 😉 this series basically follows a bunch of aristocratic ‘rogues’ who are also secret agents to the crown and lets just say they don’t only investigate skulduggery, but they are more then willing to investigate a ladies petticoats too – Oh, I say!

In this ‘Rules of the Rogues’ book it is all about gorgeous, sinful, mysterious and rakish Jack; Marquess of Winterbourne or ‘The Moth’ as he is called by his agent brothers, much to his embarrassment – my goodness, how much do I love this man! He is really a rake in the first order, a notorious bed hopper with a silky mesmerising, devilish aura which will make any women weak at the knees – well not all, our heroine is the odd one out, at first. He has been handed his next mission, he must travel out to the wild, rugged Cornwall coast to gain the knowledge that has been hidden in the mind of a young girl who for the past seven years has been silent. Information about England’s greatest enemy, the French spy; La Chauve-Souris – who only goes by ‘The Bat’ he is elusive, notorious, deadly with a brutal reputation of never leaving anyone who meets him alive, so what’s so special about this girl? Jack has been ordered that he must find out what she knows about ‘The Bat’ why she was left alive and everything and anything else of use that is lurking within her once closed off head. Easy, right? How wrong you are Jack!

Tamsyn has spend the last seven years silent, scared and haunted by the nightmares which have followed her since the dreadful day which changed her life. As a young girl of sixteen, Tamsyn and her good friend Jonathan accidentally stumbled across none other then ruthless French spy; ‘The Bat’ proving to be as ruthless as his reputation claims him to be, he instantly kills Jonathan. Tamsyn shows far more gusto and bravery in the face of her killer and stares him down, ‘The Bat’ is fascinated by her so he leaves her alive; marking her in more than one way, with the threat that she must never say a word and with the promise that he will come back for her. Since that day Tamsyn has been silent, until now!

He Jack and his faithful valet and general dogs-body and half-brother Miggens – you need to read the book to find out all about this funny, stubborn and loyal man, he’s brilliant! When they arrive in Cornwall Jack is there undercover, he charms and woos her and acts the more or less, proper gentleman, but Tamsyn is no fool, she is a highly intelligent and perceptive young woman, who knows here is much more to the devilishly handsome, uber stylish and entirely intoxicating Jack then he would have people believe and soon she finds the truth about him. But, can she really entrust the smooth talking agent with her inner most secrets, fears…and her heart?

As this is an agent/spy story there is a fair it of that lurking in the background and life doesn’t run smoothly for our endearing couple. They have personal trials and fears to face, they both must learn; to not just to trust another, but allow another into their hearts. I love how their relationship develops throughout the story, she is very taken with him but being a women with secrets, fears and an acidly intelligent tongue which she uses to great effect with him – calling him a fribble, is just the beginning of her mutterings of him. She isn’t like all other woman who fall at his feet, he has to work tat much harder to gain her trust and I think Jack really responds to that, he admires her for how she doesn’t swoon at the sight of him. Yes, he too has his personal issues about not being worthy of true love, and Tamsyn is the balm to his unsettled soul. They are attracted to one and other, even though that mutual desire for one and other is very well hidden, but there are some brilliant moments where the reader is given an insight into the character’s thoughts – I particularly love when Tamsyn thoroughly admires Jack’s riding breeches clad, rear end as he bends over to adjust his boots. Very funny! 😉

The story is fast, thrilling, imaginative, sexy, engrossing, highly addictive and will keep the reader hooked from the onset. I love the character’s and it is so good to see my favourite Duke turn up, with his gleaming green eyes, evil looking cane and with ruthless, sex on legs attitude in-tow. Jack is such a complex, multi layered, sensual man and my goodness, is he hot!! Phew, he would make the polar caps melt with a mere dark eyed glance, love him – did I mention that already? Then there is Miggen’s I won’t say too much about him, but he is such a fantastic character and if the story didn’t end as it did I would so want his story. For the ending, beautiful and so fitting for Jack and Tamsyn!

All in all, a fantastic book! Utterly romantic and brilliantly written, I adore Ms Windsor’s writing, she really is a hugely talented writer who has a real gift.

Perfection, what more is there to say?

This was an Arc copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you Emily!

Marquess To A Flame is available now and can be purchased from Amazon.

#Review Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin @jaxandwillsmum #RosiesTravellingTeaShop #RomCom #Romance @HQDigitalUK

Posted on

The trip of a lifetime!

Rosie Lewis has her life together.

A swanky job as a Michelin-Starred Sous Chef, a loving husband and future children scheduled for exactly January 2021.

That’s until she comes home one day to find her husband’s pre-packed bag and a confession that he’s had an affair.

Heartbroken and devastated, Rosie drowns her sorrows in a glass (or three) of wine, only to discover the following morning that she has spontaneously invested in a bright pink campervan to facilitate her grand plans to travel the country.

Now, Rosie is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime, and the chance to change her life! With Poppy, her new-found travelling tea shop in tow, nothing could go wrong, could it…?

A laugh-out-loud novel of love, friendship and adventure! Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Holly Martin

This is wonderfully funny and original story all about taking chances, grabbing life and just basically coming out of your comfort zone to do something new, something which will set your heart and soul alight with joy. I am ashamed to say this is the first I have read by Rebecca Raisin and it will not be the last, I was instantly enchanted with her easy reading, entertaining and vibrant writing.

 

Rosie is a high achieving chef, hard-working and a perfectionist, who believes she has everything she could ever want in her life. Great job, she sort of loves. Nice husband, who she doesn’t really see too much of, but when they do it’s OK, but she does love him. So she is left reeling and speechless and lost when her husband tells her in no-uncertain terms that their marriage is over, that he has found someone else – who Rosie soon finds out he has been seeing behind her back, and more than that her whole friends network knew about it. Some friends, best get shot of those! Callum basically blames her for their failed marriage, typical man it’s never his fault that he can’t keep his trousers zipped. Without a backwards glance the rat leaves, leaving Rosie devastated not just at the end of what she had always thought was a happy marriage, but also hugely upset over what her soon to be ex-husband said about her. She is staid, a bit set in her ways, predictable and not very adventurous. It is those and other harsh words that lead her to one night after a few too many drinks, she buys a pink camper van called; Poppy and has a whole plan to go on the road selling tea.

 

All very good when you’re full to the brim with wine, but really? Is that even do-able?

 

As it goes; yes, it is. And so, with Rosie takes the plunge, one thing leads to another and she is on the road with Poppy. Which is where the fun and romance really starts, she meets up with some brilliant people, some which are a little eclectic, individual and who have real good hearts especially her new friend and owner of the travelling book shop – really these two are a match made in heaven, tea and books; how perfect is that? Plus she meets someone who she allows herself to have feelings for again, yes there is a wee bit of a romance in-store for Rosie and yes the man she finally ends up with is utterly delectable, but her journey of self discovery isn’t exactly all is as it seems. I can’t say too much as I never like to give away spoilers and I wouldn’t wish to spoiler your reading, but there is a bit of a sinister twist. It is one of those sub plots which really make you think about who you begin chatting to and exactly how much you should share about yourself to others – especially those you meet online.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this, it is in all essence a great romantic comedy. But the difference with this to other’s I have read in this genre is that the author has tackled some pretty taboo subject’s which are more or less unheard of in romance books, such as being victim of a catfish – you need to read the book to find out what all that’s about. This is a fast paced, funny, romantic, heart-warming and realistic book that will have you not only laughing out loud but glued to the page. I loved the character’s, Rosie is a lovely young woman who the reader can really relate to. The writing is fresh, charming, engaging and very enjoyable.

 

This was an Arc from the author via Netgalley, thank you Rebecca.

 

Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop is to be released on 3rd March and can be pre-ordered from Amazon.

#Review Magnolia House by Angela Barton @angebarton #MagnoliaHouse #Contemporary #Romance @ChocLituk

Posted on

I have the great pleasure to share with you all my review of Magnolia House by Angela Barton, grab a cup of tea and let me tell you about this emotional book.


When you open up your home and your heart …
Rowan Forrester has it all – the happy marriage, the adorable dog, the good friends, the promising business and even the dream home after she and her husband Tom win a stunning but slightly dilapidated Georgian townhouse in London at auction.

But in the blink of an eye, Rowan’s picture-perfect life comes crashing down around her and she is faced with the prospect of having to start again.

To make ends meet she begins a search for housemates, and in doing so opens the door to new friends and new beginnings. But could she be opening the door to new heartbreak too?

Magnolia House is a wonderfully emotional and up-lifting book, which will stay with you a long time after shutting the last page. This is the first I have read by Angela Barton, so I came into this book with open eyes and I am so pleased to say that Ms Barton has grabbed my attention with her heart-warming story of moving on after heart-break and I know without a doubt that I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

The story opens to Rowan who basically has everything a woman could want; adoring husband and happy marriage, gorgeous dog, a plan to open her own business and winning her dream house at an auction. All is going more or less to plan, their Georgian house; Magnolia House may be in a bit of a state and need some work, Tom; her husband may be a little pre-occupied but this is their dream and they will make it work. That is until the worse thing that could ever happen to Rowan, does happen, and she is alone with a dilapidated house, no income and having to deal with a double heart-break.

Which is when she decides that the only way she is going to be able to pay the mortgage and all the bills that comes with owning a house and able to afford the work that is needed on it, she opens up the door to flatmates. My heart absolutely went out to Rowan, she has been through the mill anyone who reads this book will shed a tear of how cruel life has been for poor Rowan. She is a good woman, she is just trying to start a whole new life for herself and tragedy strikes and her whole world collapses, any other woman in Rowans’ position would have given up, yet she faces each change with a proper stiff upper lip. She refuses to allow her grief to take control and govern the way she lives her life.

After careful consideration she chooses the people who will share her home -the home she always thought she would share with Tom. Soon between them they start to move forward, forging new relationships and friendships. As Rowan again faces some tough trials ahead of her, some hard truths and skeletons coming out of the cupboard. She also struggles with her mixed feelings for James; one of her flatmates as well as feeling that she is betraying her husband with how she is feeling toward James.

There is a lot of up’s and down’s for Rowan, this book really tugs at the heart-strings, anyone who doesn’t get a lump in their throat after meeting Rowan then they must have a heart of stone. This is emotional, beautifully written, heart-breaking and heart-warming story. I love how realistic the plot is, Rowan’s personal story could happen to anyone, the reader can really relate to her. All the character’s are beautifully created and very likeable, even the secondary character’s such as Tom’s sister Libby who goes through her own issues. Magnolia House is a story that is full of hope, love and compassion, highly recommended!

This was an Arc copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Liz.

Magnolia House is available from Amazon.

#Review Courting The Forbidden Debutant (Scandalous Australian Bachelors #1) by Laura Martin @lauramartin2788 #CourtingTheForbiddenDebutant #ScandalousAustralianBachelors #Regency #Romance @MillsandBoon #@HarlequinBooks

Posted on

Court a beautiful debutante…

Or fulfill his quest for vengeance?

Part of Scandalous Australian Bachelors.

When Sam Robertson returns to London after making his fortune in Australia, he has one mission—revenge on the earl who’d had him wrongly convicted and sent away years before.

But upon meeting Lady Georgina, the earl’s daughter, Sam’s plan is thrown into disarray. Their admiration is mutual, but is his hunger for her stronger than his thirst for retribution?

Oooh, I loved this!! There is nothing about this book that I didn’t like, from the original plot to the fascinating, multi layered character’s who are in equal amounts intriguing as well as enchanting. This is the first I have read by Laura Martin, have I been living under a rock, or something? I have certainly been missing out on a treat with this fine author, but that will soon be remedied as I will definitely be reading more. This is book one in the new – and may I say it, wonderful Scandalous Australian Bachelors and I am eagerly awaiting the next instalment, because I can see that this is going to be a great series.

Sam Robertson returns to England after spending most of his life in Australia, due to being transported their as a child after a wrongful conviction. Now a grown man and a wealthy one, he is back with one thing on his mind; revenge! He has vowed that he will get back at the aristocrat who put him on that transporter ship, he will get back at the man who stole his life from him and to do that he has come up with a cunning plan, which involves the earls precious daughter.

Georgina is beautiful and wealthy and as such she attracts a lot of unwanted attention, she has suitors lining up wanting not her, but her considerable dowry and to be connected to such wealth and prestige. Now at the grand old age of twenty-one Georgina knows that knows that he time is running out, she will have to get married sooner of later. After turning down numerous proposals, she now knows that if she doesn’t accept one she will end up marrying someone of her father chooses for her. The only problem she sees is that she can’t just marry anyone, with her adventurous spirit those who her father would deem worthy of her would bore the life out of her. When just when she think she is destined to be the little bored wife along comes golden, charming and devilishly handsome Sam, who literally sweeps her off her feet and make her envision another life.

Sam was wrongly accused of theft which led to him being sent as a convict to hard labour in Australia, he lost not just his life and freedom but also his family, who all perished soon after he was transported. I completely feel for Sam, because of one high and mighty man who thinks himself god over the poor, Sam lost everything. Anyone who knows me will know how much I love the under dog, the character’s who according to ‘society’ isn’t worth cleaning their shoes just because they are as the ton calls it ‘new money’. I was instantly taken with Sam, he is such a captivating man. He is a wonderfully complex man, he oozes mystery. Because of his time in Australia he has become strong, not just in body but he has a strength of mind that is very rare, you’d think after all he’d been through he would be troubled, but I didn’t get that at all. He came to terms with his new life on the over side of the world and soon became to see Australia as his home. The way he describes his home, the land and even the simple things as day to life, there is really sense of contentment about him. Yet, when he’s focused on his plan to destroy the Earl of Westchester’s daughter and their life there is a real darkness about him that is so in contrast to his golden, cheerful, cheeky and charming persona. It is that different side to him that I really like, he is so fascinating.

I love Sam and Georgina, the chemistry between them is instant. The atmosphere just sizzles between them, they are perfect for one and other. To the ton they are anything but perfect, which yet again shows just how ignorant and prejudiced society was during the Regency era. They are two lonely, adventurous and immediately likeable people who are searching for that piece that is missing, that one special person – even if Sam doesn’t realise it. Sam brings the adventure, sensuality and independence which Georgina craves, and she gives Sam genuine love and companionship which he has been missing out on. He knows that this is the woman who he can finally have that one thing he has always wanted – other than revenge; family.

I love everything about this! Its fun, original, captivating and utterly romantic. The character’s are just brilliantly written, everyone from the two wonderful leads to the secondary character – Sam’s two friends are fun, rakish and charming. The writing takes the reader on a mesmerizing journey, I love how vivid the descriptions of Sam’s life in Australia its a piece brilliant, captivating writing. There is not doubt that Ms Martin is a highly gifted author who I am very excited to read more of and I cannot wait for the next book in the Scandalous Australian Bachelors series, I have a feeling we are going to have a lot of fun with these fascinating men.

Highly recommended!

This was an Arc from the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you Laura.

Courting The Forbidden Debutante is to be released on 24 January and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

#Review A Late Summer Night’s Dream by Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead @MadameGilflurt @e_harkstead @PridePublishing #MMRomance #AlateSummerNightsDream #ContemporaryRomance

Posted on

Today I have the very great pleasure to be sharing my early review of ‘A Late Summer Night’s Dream’ by the wonderfully talented Eleanor Harkstead and Catherine Curzon.

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 79 pages

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Release: 19th February 2019

Among Oxford’s dreaming spires, can a widowed professor and a wide-eyed scholar make their own dreams of love come true?

Simeon Shakespeare is living his academic dream. As an Oxford scholar, he spends his days in libraries and whiles away his nights at the theater. A mix-up over a seat number leads to a very awkward first act, but that’s nothing compared to what happens when the lights go up.

Professor Anthony Meadows is finished with love. Shattered by the death of his husband, he divides his time between his book-lined study and Oxford’s theaters. The last thing he needs is an annoying research student bickering with him over who should sit where.

When Anthony and Simeon discover they have more in common than a shared love of the Bard, it looks as though the stage is set for romance. Yet with the memory of Anthony’s lost love keeping the professor from moving on, can Simeon’s love mend his broken heart?

Pride Publishing / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

I do love reading these two fine ladies work, whether its historical, contemporary or even supernatural (Read The Captains Ghostly Gamble ;-)) Curzon and Harkstead together are such a treat for the romance reader and this is a wonderful addition to their ever-expanding CV.

A Late Summer Night’s Dream is another wonderful novella, set in picturesque Oxford. A love-at-first-sight tale, which sees a young wide-eyed, who is living the scholarly dream, who meets a handsome, widowed professor at the theatre.

I love the concept of this one; meeting a gorgeous stranger who not only dresses well but smells divine – which is so important, don’t you think that they smell nice? And could very well be ‘the one’ because of a mix up with seats at the theatre, giggling and joking through a bad performance of ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ all the while having a hard-boiled sweet chomping woman beside you giving you the evil eye, and finally ending up in the pub sharing a pie supper; just how perfect is that? Now, that is my kind of date! But there is more to this merry little, exceedingly English tale then getting to know one an other over pie and peas there is a real sadness to the tale that pulls at the heart-strings.

When scholar Simeon Shakespeare (Great name!) arrives at the theatre a tad late he finds a nice smelling, suit wearing gorgeous man sitting in his seat. The nerve of the man! But is it his seat, really of has there been a mistake on Simeon’s part? Honestly it can happen, believe me. But the seating mistake is soon pushed behind him as he and the god beside him soon find that they have a lot in common, and as happens in this case one thing leads to another and after the play and a meal they head off to Simeon’s.

Simeon has just come out of a not-so-happy relationship with a man who claimed him to be boring, honestly the nerve of the man, he finds peace in trips to the theatre, in disappearing into books. He isn’t looking for love but he knows that the moment he sets eyes on the gentlemanly Anthony that this is the man for him. He senses there is something about him, there is sadness behind those pearly blue eyes. A sadness that Simeon would love to help heal and which makes his heart bleed for him.

Professor Anthony Meadows is attempting to regain his life after the terrible loss of his husband four years earlier to brain cancer, Anthony knows that Iain; his late husband wouldn’t want him to disappear into his shell, he would have wanted Anthony to carry on and live again; which is the reason why he finds himself at the theatre that night. Anthony is shocked that gorgeous, vivacious and young Simeon would want to be with an older guy like him. As soon as meeting the young scholar; Anthony begins to feel himself enjoying himself again, he is flattered by the attention but he is also confused by that and feels he is betraying his late husband’s memory and he can’t take the relationship further. It is at this point where you think “No, what the hell are you doing Anthony, you fool. Get back in there, Simeon’s brilliant!But never worry, all will come right in the end.

The budding relationship between Anthony and Simeon is so lovely to see blossom, each of them have initial issues, Anthony especially. Not only because of his sadness over his late husband but also because he is very aware of the large age gap between them, that aspect of the story along with Simeon’s patience and how he encourages Anthony to just be himself is so beautifully written.

Curzon and Harkstead just gel together, there is always something very special about their writing. Plus it always is so very realistically and wonderfully English in tone, I could hear Anthony’s plummy tones in my mind as I read – which to me oddly enough sounded something along the lines of a younger James or Edward Fox, weird I know! With a realistic plot, witty and sensual dialogue between the characters this is a charming and delightful read, that ended far too soon.

Definitely another winner!

This was an Arc copy from the authors in exchange for an honest review; Thank you Catherine and Eleanor!

A Late Summer Nights Dream is to be released on 19 February and can be pre-ordered from Amazon; links at beginning of review.