Blog Tour

#BlogTour : You Say It First (Happily Inc. #1) by @SusanMallery #Review and #BlogPost. #YouSayItFirst #HappilyInc @MillsandBoon

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Hello everyone! I have the great pleasure to be today’s stop on this great blog tour for You Say It First by Susan Mallery. I am very excited to be sharing my review of this wonderfully fun book, plus for my themed blog post I will be chatting all about Weddings In Boxes. There is a lot of love on the blog today!

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool’s Gold romances invites you to visit Happily Inc., a wedding destination founded on a fairy tale

Sculptor Nick Mitchell grew up in a family of artists and learned from his volatile father that passion only leads to pain. As he waits on a new commission, he takes a day job as a humble carpenter at a theme wedding venue. The job has its perks—mainly the venue’s captivating owner, Pallas Saunders. Although he won’t let love consume him, for ecstasy with an expiration date, he’s all in.

Pallas adores Weddings in a Box. But if she can’t turn the floundering business around, she’ll have no choice but cave to her domineering mother and trade taffeta for trust funds working at the family’s bank. Then when a desperate bride begs Pallas for something completely out of the box, her irresistible new hire inspires her. Nick knows she doesn’t belong behind a desk, and she knows in her heart that he’s right—where she really belongs is in his arms.

This is book one in the whole new Happily Inc series and what a wonderful introduction, not just to this new series but to this author. I haven’t actually read any of Susan Mallery’s work before ‘You Say It First’ but there will definitely be more of this fine ladies work on my future TBR pile.

Pallas runs the little company Weddings in a Box, at the moment she is in a spot of trouble with her finances. She doesn’t want to give up and have to go and do an ordinary day job as her family would love her to do, she loves Weddings in a Box, she loves making people happy, she just needs to find a way put of the hole she has found her self in;

Enter centre stage gorgeous, sexy god that is the carpenter; OK so Nick may not just be any old carpenter he is a world re known sculptor who at the minute is a bit in limbo he is currently awaiting word of a commission he has gone in for in Dubai but in the meantime he needs something to do.

Nick knows that he is just there temporarily as he waits for the go a head to jump on the plane and fly off to sunny Dubai for two years, but from the moment of meeting down to earth and impossibly seductive Pallas he is a bit torn as to which path he is going to take. Where as Pallas knows exactly that Nick belongs well and truly there, but can they both see past their own personal thoughts about love and actually take the dive?

I really like this, it is a simple down-to-earth and very normal girl meets boy type story, both Nick and Pallas are ridiculously likable which I found so refreshing, it is so nice to come across a bunch of character’s in abook that you can’t but like on the spot it makes watching their journey to their own HEA that more comforting, you can really relate to both they are very much the girl and boy next door who you just know will make a great couple. There are curve balls to the story that both our leads have to over come and I won’t spoil it for you all you will have to read it and see what happens.

I adore the little town of Happily Inc, what a great place with some genuine fascinating people, and I can’t wait to meet more of the residents – especially the furry kind as we have had a little glimpse of in this one.

This is a sweet, imaginative, sexy and very fun romance that will capture the reader’s imagination. The character’s are brilliantly written, they are kind, caring, hard-working, in need of love and very realistic. You will instantly fall in love with them and cheer them on as the story progresses.

Over all this is a great little book that is perfect for the long spring afternoons.

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, thank you the lovely Mills and Boon Insiders team.

Do check out the rest of the great blogs that is being features on this blog tour!

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Blog Post!

Saying, I Do!

You Say It First is basically all along the theme of wedding’s, as Pallas has her own little company which is a Weddings In A Box – which is such a brilliant idea. The different wedding’s and themes that Pallas organises are fun and original and makes for great reading.

After reading this it did get me wondering about the whole ‘Weddings In A Box’ thing which led me to write this post. My first thought of the concept of a wedding in a box is that you build up the wedding at the venue and then dismantle at the end of the day, which I suppose in some case it could be, but while doing a bit of research for this post I found that the whole ‘Wedding in a Box’ is way bigger and at times far more complex then I originally thought.

There are some companies while I was researching that will do exactly what Pallas does and covers everything, and then there are smaller ‘Wedding’s in a Box’ that are just about the little extra touches; such as invitations and table décor. Really this whole wedding in a box craze is huge.

Which got me thinking for something fun for us all to do, if you could have a Fantasy ‘Wedding in a Box’ what would it be like? Would you have a traditional wedding box? Or would yours be themed? What would you wear? Where would your ‘Wedding in a Box’ be sent to (eg: Where would your dream wedding be?) This can be anywhere in the world and off course as this is all make-believe you can have your wedding in a box in any era and who would your dream Bride/Groom be? Lets have some fun you can really go to town on this one, I will share my fantasy ‘Wedding in a Box’ why not share yours?

My Fantasy Wedding In A Box

When I first thought of this post, I was like; Yeah, this will be as easy as chips – how wrong I was! This is actually a lot harder than you think, especially if your like me and have a more eclectic taste, literally my first draft of this part of the post, my fantasy wedding in a box ended up being a wild explosion of Victorian Gothic dresses, lots of black and purple, Scottish traditions, men in kilts – or more accurately Jamie Frasier, Whitby Abbey with Dracula, lots of animals, brass bands, fish and chips with gravy (I am from Yorkshire, it has to be done) and Tom Hardy in various stages of being undressed….you see how my mind works?

How on earth do brides actually makes these decisions in real life? I would be a wreck within an hour! Thank goodness this is just for fun. But, I did finally make my ‘Fantasy Wedding in a Box’ there is not theme, only because I couldn’t stick to just one.

So my Wedding in a Box basically consists of lots chocolate muffins, windswept eerie Yorkshire Moors (Think Wuthering Heights) a touch of Scotland (I do have real love for those old Scottish traditions, men in kilts, lots of tartan, hand tying – so romantic) lots of black, my old dog – off course she would have to be there and finally I would have to add Tom Hardy to my Wedding in a Box, how could I not? Even if it’s just to stand him in a corner for me to ogle at, I’m happy! 😉

There you go, that’s mine now it’s your turn. I will open this up for discussion on Twitter and Facebook so why not hop on over and join in, you know me I love seeing all your picture and Gifs.

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#BlogTour : #Review A Forbidden Love by Kerry Postle @kerry_postle #AForbiddenLove @HQstories @HQDigitalUK

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Hello everyone, I have the very great pleasure to be todays stop on A Forbidden Love by Kerry Postle blog tour, I can’t wait to share with you all my review of this amazing book. So, take a seat, grab yourselves a cuppa and let me tell you a little about this wonderful book.

An extraordinary story against all the odds…

He vowed in his letter to one day meet her again, once the war was over. But it was a letter Maria couldn’t bring herself to read…

Growing up in the humble Spanish town of Fuentes, Maria dreamed of seeing the world and marrying one day. But before her life can truly start, civil war breaks out and Fuentes is torn apart by violence, secrecy and corruption.

Maria vows to take a stand, yet as an unspeakable tragedy rocks her trust in human decency, her heart hardens and the love she once believed in seems far out of reach. But when she falls for an occupying soldier, she questions whether she can truly love someone who is her enemy?

This is the first I have read by Kerry Postle so I did go into this book with my eyes wide open, unsure of what I would expect. But, I can honestly say that I will be reading more of Ms Postle’s work again. This is a spine-tingling, poignant and beautifully written book that is a must read for all historical fiction readers.

A Forbidden Love is set during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930’s, I obviously have heard about the Spanish Civil War but I didn’t really know too much about it and what the people went through during that awful time, but from reading this it has made me want to learn more about this terrible aspect of history.

Growing up a little Spanish town; Fuentes; Maria has always dreamed of marrying and having a fairy-tale happy ever after, but unfortunately for Maria before she can find her Prince charming civil war breaks out and her much-loved village is torn apart by the war that is raging all around her. Her once quiet life has turned into one full of violence and she finds herself surrounded by secrecy, corruption and terror. Being faced with such horror, it understandably has an effect on Maria and makes her question all what she knew, she becomes jaded and cynical about whether human decency really exists any more. This war does change her and changes her views and makes her think that her once much sought after love was nothing but dream, but then she meets an occupying soldier who makes her again believe in love. But, with the war raging can Maria really have the happiness she so wanted?

I have purposely been very vague in this review as I wouldn’t wish to spoil the story for anyone and believe me this book needs to read without any hint of a spoiler. I am a huge fan of novels which you can really learn something from it and this one will definitely make you sit up and take notice. Because of the subject matter it is at times uncomfortable reading, it does make you stop and draw breath at what you have just read but it is a story that must be read, it shines a light on a part of history that is so rarely told. It is obvious that Ms Postle has done her research, it – at times – really bites and transports the reader from their comfy armchair to the savaged war-torn country. The writing is solid, full of passion for the story and compassion for the subject. Overall, this is a brilliant book that will both satisfy and educate the history lovers out there and it is very highly recommended!

This was an Arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, Thank you Izzy!

A Forbidden Love is available now and can be found at Amazon.

Release Day Book Blast: The Lost History Of Dreams by Kris Waldherr @kriswaldherr #TheLostHistoryofDreams via @hfvtb #HFVBTBlogTours

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Hello everyone! Today I have the great pleasure to be helping celebrate the release of The Lost History Of Dreams by Kris Waldherr, this book looks absolutely enthralling and I cannot wait to read it – it’s definitely on my next to buy list – so without any ado, take a look and lets wish Kris a very Happy Publication Day!!

In this captivating debut novel in the gothic tradition of Wuthering Heights and The Thirteenth Tale, a post-mortem photographer unearths dark secrets of the past that may hold the key to his future.

When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead in his bath one morning in 1850, the task of burying his body falls to his estranged cousin, historian turned postmortem photographer Robert Highstead. De Bonne’s will instructs that he should be buried in an unusual chapel, a stained glass folly set on the Shropshire moors, built to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. It has since been locked to all outsiders—especially the rabid, cultlike fans of de Bonne’s final book, The Lost History of Dreams. Only Ada’s grief-stricken niece, Isabelle, holds the key—but she refuses to open the glass chapel unless Robert agrees to her bargain: Before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record the real story behind her aunt’s ill-fated marriage over the course of five nights.

Sweeping and darkly atmospheric, THE LOST HISTORY OF DREAMS is a Gothic mystery about love and loss that blurs the line between past and present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death. And remember, all love stories are ghost stories in disguise.

Now available at LostHistoryBook.com.

Read the first three chapters: EPUB | PDF | Read online

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The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr

Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Atria Books
Hardcover & eBook; 320 Pages

Genre: Historical/Gothic/Mystery

A post-mortem photographer unearths dark secrets of the past that may hold the key to his future, in this captivating debut novel in the gothic tradition of Wuthering Heights and The Thirteenth Tale.

All love stories are ghost stories in disguise.

When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead of a heart attack in his bath one morning, his cousin Robert Highstead, a historian turned post-mortem photographer, is charged with a simple task: transport Hugh’s remains for burial in a chapel. This chapel, a stained glass folly set on the moors of Shropshire, was built by de Bonne sixteen years earlier to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. Since then, the chapel has been locked and abandoned, a pilgrimage site for the rabid fans of de Bonne’s last book, The Lost History of Dreams.

However, Ada’s grief-stricken niece refuses to open the glass chapel for Robert unless he agrees to her bargain: before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record Isabelle’s story of Ada and Hugh’s ill-fated marriage over the course of five nights.

As the mystery of Ada and Hugh’s relationship unfolds, so does the secret behind Robert’s own marriage—including that of his fragile wife, Sida, who has not been the same since the tragic accident three years ago, and the origins of his own morbid profession that has him seeing things he shouldn’t—things from beyond the grave.

Kris Waldherr effortlessly spins a sweeping and atmospheric gothic mystery about love and loss that blurs the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

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Praise for The Lost History of Dreams

Scheherazade-like … haunting… Waldherr writes that ‘love stories are ghost stories in disguise.’ This one, happily, succeeds as both.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

An unexpected delight that grows steadily more compelling as its pages fly by.” —Booklist

A sensual, twisting gothic tale that embraces Victorian superstition much in the tradition of A.S. Byatt’s Possession, Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.”—BookPage

Eerily atmospheric and gorgeously written, The Lost History of Dreams is a Gothic fairy-tale to savor.” – Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of THE ALICE NETWORK and THE HUNTRESS

The Lost History of Dreams is a dark, shimmering gem of a novel, glittering with love lost, secrets kept, and long-buried truths revealed. Wonder, memory, death and passion haunt every page of Kris Waldherr’s powerhouse Gothic debut.” – Greer Macallister, bestselling author of THE MAGICIAN’S LIE and WOMAN 99

Brooding, romantic, and thoughtful, The Lost History of Dreams is a rare bird in that it shines throughout with wit. I loved every page of it.” – Erika Swyler, bestselling author of THE BOOK OF SPECULATION and LIGHT FROM OTHER STARS

With luminous prose, stunning poetry and a fascinating cast of characters, Waldherr weaves a wonderfully atmospheric tale. Not to be missed!” – Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME and THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER

A riveting, addictive read. Sarah Waters fans will be entranced.” – Mary Sharratt, author of ECSTASY and DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHING HILL

A novel of haunting mystery and passion reminiscent of Wuthering Heights and Byatt’s Possession.” – Crystal King, author of FEAST OF SORROW and THE CHEF’S SECRET

“An atmospheric tale of lost love, family secrets, and an inquiry into how our own histories define us, I relished every poetic page.” – Heather Webb, international bestselling author of LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS and THE PHANTOM’S APPRENTICE

With beautiful prose and poetry, Waldherr weaves a darkly seductive Gothic tale of love, art, death, and obsession. You’ll want to keep reading this one late into the night.” – Alyssa Palombo, author of THE SPELLBOOK OF KATRINA VAN TASSEL

A sumptuous feast for all the senses.” – Clarissa Harwood, author of IMPOSSIBLE SAINTS and BEAR NO MALICE

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About the Author

Kris Waldherr is an award-winning author, illustrator, and designer. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, and her fiction has been awarded with fellowships by the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts and a reading grant by Poets & Writers.

Kris Waldherr works and lives in Brooklyn in a Victorian-era house with her husband, the anthropologist-curator Thomas Ross Miller, and their young daughter.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub

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Release Day Blast Hosts

Do take a look at the other blog’s which are featuring in this epic Publication Day Blog Blast.

100 Pages a Day
A Book Geek
A Chick Who Reads
Book Addict Rambles
Book Frolic
CelticLady’s Reviews
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Clarissa Reads it All
Coffee and Ink
Comet Readings
For the Sake of Good Taste
Historical Fiction with Spirit
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Passages to the Past
The Book Junkie Reads
To Read, Or Not to Read

#BlogTour : #Review Shakespeare’s Witch (Pages Of Darkness #1) by @SamanthaGrosser #ShakespearesWitch #PagesOfDarkness #HistoricalFiction via @hfvbt #HFVBTBlogtours

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Good morning everyone! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the mammoth blog tour for Shakespeare’s Witch by Samantha Grosser. I am not only sharing my review of this fascinating yet darkly eerie story, I also have a giveaway to win a copy for yourself. So, grab yourself a cuppa and let me tell you a wee bit about this book.

Shakespeare’s Witch by Samantha Grosser

Publication Date: March 20, 2019
Sam Grosser Books
Format: eBook & Paperback; 358 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Love, Witchcraft, Sorcery, Madness.

A fortune told …
When Sarah Stone foresees Will Shakespeare’s latest play has opened doors to evil, she begs the playwright to abandon it. But Will refuses, aware the play is one of his best. And so rehearsals for Macbeth begin.

Forbidden desires …
After her vision, Sarah fears for her life – she has never known the shewstone to lie, and she turns to her brother Tom for comfort. A strange darkness seems to haunt the playhouse, and when Tom sets out to seduce John Upton, the boy actor who plays Lady Macbeth, the boy sees the hand of witchcraft in his own forbidden desires for men. Then Sarah weaves a spell to win the love of the new lead actor, and John, terrified for the safety of his soul, begins to make his accusations.

The Spirits have spoken …
As rehearsals continue, Sarah and Tom must struggle to convince John he is mistaken and that his sins are his own – their lives and the fortune of the play are at stake. But the Spirits have spoken – will the fate that Sarah foresaw come to pass or is their destiny their own to decide?

Set against the first production of Macbeth in 1606, Shakespeare’s Witch is a seductive tale of the origins of the curse of the Scottish Play.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble

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Well this is certainly different to anything I have previously read! I was intrigued by the sound of this, the moment I saw it, and it definitely grabbed my attention – at times not exactly for the good, but it is a page-tuner. I am a big fan of darker historical fiction, it really grabs my attention and Shakespeare’s Witch is certainly no different. It is darkly unique and spell-binding. It is one of those unforgettable books which will stay with you long after turning the last page.

What I found fascinating about this was that even now I have mixed feelings about it and that started while reading it. On one hand I found it to be captivating and very original and on the other I was mildly confused, a little taken back especially with one aspect – which I can’t go into due to spoilers as this is a major part of the story – I was a little uncomfortable reading those scenes, but once finished it struck me that even though I didn’t like this certain aspect of the plot it was needed and it made the ending all the more moving.

Set in 1606, William Shakespeare has just written Macbeth and the story is set around that very first showing. Will goes to Sarah to consult the spirits whether this play will be a success or not. But, what she sees terrifies her she sees nothing but evil circulating around this play, she pleads to Will not to go ahead with Macbeth that this play is pure evil and has opened the door to the bad spirits which haunt his dreams. Will is rebuffs her pleas and goes ahead with rehearsals for what we all know will become one of his greatest pieces.

Sarah and her brother Tom dabble in the occult after their mother taught them a bit of witchcraft, which was illegal and as we know from history it was an era full of fear and superstition and any sniff of witchcraft lead to a horrific outcome for those who had the finger pointed at them, they had to endure awful treatment during the witch trials and then were sentenced to death. So, for both Tom and Sarah to be more or less openly dealing with such things can and does place them not just in trouble but in danger. At the same time they are working in the theatre as Macbeth is being rehearsed.

Sarah is living in fear of what she saw and at the same time she is also inexplicably drawn to Nick; one of the actor’s who is to star in Macbeth, but being the confused young women she is she does go about things all wrong to gain his love, which is connected to the part of the story that I found very uncomfortable to read. Without giving too much about the story away, this is certainly eye-opening and it does take the reader off the beaten track of what you think is going to happen, and takes them to another much darker place completely.

Overall it does engage the reader and with the twists to the plot it does keep you guessing and turning the pages. It’s is steeped in swirling, eerie darkness, there is romance, magic and sex, plus a touch of dark, grisly history. Ms Grosser has a real gift at story-telling, her writing is strong and articulate she really draws the reader into her mysterious world. I’ve not read any of Ms Grosser’s work before, so this is a great introduction to her books and I will definitely be reading more from her.

This is one of those books that I would class at Marmite; it is you will either love it or hate it. For readers like myself who do love the darker more unique historicals which has a hint of romance, then you will love it. It may not be for the more puritan historical romance lover’s, but if your willing to give it a go then I do recommend it.

This was a complimentary copy from the author via Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour. Thank you Samantha and Amy!

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About the Author

Historical fiction author Samantha Grosser originally hails from England, but now lives on the sunny Northern Beaches of Sydney with her husband, son and a very small dog called Livvy.

Combining a lifelong love of history with a compulsion to write that dates from childhood, Samantha is now bringing her passion for telling compelling stories to the world.

Samantha has an Honours Degree in English Literature and taught English for many years in Asia and Australia. She is the author of wartime dramas Another Time and Place and The Officer’s Affair, and The King James Men, set during the turbulent early years of 17th Century.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Pinterest | Instagram

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Blog Tour Schedule

Do check out the other amazing blogs on this blog tour.


Wednesday, March 20
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, March 21
Review at Book Reviews from Canada

Friday, March 22
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Saturday, March 23
Feature at Broken Teepee

Monday, March 25
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Tuesday, March 26
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, March 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, March 29
Interview at Passages to the Past

Sunday, March 31
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All

Monday, April 1
Review at For the Sake of Good Taste

Tuesday, April 2
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, April 4
Interview at Hisdoryan

Monday, April 8
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, April 9
Review at Bibliophile Reviews

Wednesday, April 10
Review at Macsbooks

Friday, April 12
Review at A Book Geek

Monday, April 15
Review at Donna’s Book Blog
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, April 16
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, April 17
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Coffee and Ink

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away one eBook and one paperback copy of Shakespeare’s Witch! To enter, please use Gleam form/Link which can be found below.

Enter Here – Shakespeare’s Witch

Giveaway Rules

*Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
* Giveaway is open to residents in the US & UK only.
* Only one entry per household.
* No sweepstakes accounts please.
* All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
* The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be chosen.

#BlogTour : In The Shadow Of War; Spies, Love & The Lusitania by Colleen Adair Fliedner @ColleenFliedner #Review #InTheShadowOfWar #Histfic via @HFVBT #HFVTBBlogtours

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Hello my lovelies, I have the very great pleasure to be todays stop on the In The Shadow Of War; Spies, Love & The Lusitania by Colleen Adair Fliedner blog tour. So grab yourself a cuppa and maybe a biscuit and let me tell you a bit about this book.

In 1915 while the First World War raged on in Europe, Americans, and especially New Yorkers, faced their own “silent war” at home. Disgruntled with America’s so-called promise of “neutrality” and overt trade deals with England and France, the German government set up a spy ring headquartered in Manhattan. Their espionage and terrorist networks had tentacles reaching all the way to the German Ambassador in Washington D.C. German operatives planted explosives on American and British cargo ships en route from New York to England, France, and Russia. They plotted to blow up trains, bridges, factories, and even the U.S. Capitol Building

Josette Rogers is the daughter of a rich businessman who must move his family to London when he inherits his uncle’s import/export business. Curtis Carlson is a rising star at the House of Morgan on Wal Street. They each have very different opinions about whether or not America should enter the war.

Josette Rogers is the daughter of a rich businessman who must move his family to London when he inherits his uncle’s import/export business. Curtis Carlson is a rising star at the House of Morgan on Wall Street. They each have very different opinions about whether or not America should enter the war.

Curtis and Mr. Van Camp, a senior partner at Morgan’s Manhattan offices, are sent to England to have $500 million loan documents signed that will help finance the nearly bankrupt British and French governments. Josette and Curtis are both traveling to England on the RMS Lusitania when Josette suspects there is a spy ring on board. Were they sent to divulge the location of the Lusitania?

This is the first I have read by Ms Fliedner, but I was so fascinated by the look and sound of this book, those who know me and who read my reviews will know I have a real passion for this era, and I knew that I just had to read it and I am so pleased that I did because In The Shadow Of War is a wonderfully powerful book that really sends tingles down the readers back. We all know the history of the Lusitania and yet there appears to be so few books out there that feature it’s tragic history, which is definitely one of the reasons why I wanted to read this book.

It’s 1915 and war is raging across Europe, a war that America as yet are in two frames of mind about entering the war, but they are fighting their own ‘silent’ war on their very streets. Which makes the government to set up their own network of spies, New York becomes thick in danger amongst all of this is Josette; an intelligent, opinionated young woman who resolutely does not believe that the US should even enter the war and Curtis a professor come Wall Street banker who thinks that America should help it’s allies; Britain and France. Really these two are so different, they are made from the same cloth, proud, intelligent, passionate but with completely different ideals of what should happen to their country. But, once they both find themselves on the ill fated Lusitania they then must become allies as there is spies and danger everywhere they turn. I can’t really say too much about the plot as there are plot twists and turns at every single corner, there is secrets and lies on every page that to go into to real detail would surely give too many spoilers away and I just can’t do that. But, I will say that the spy plot is amazing and it kept me completely and

This really is an edge of your seat thriller with the hint of romance, there is danger at every turn, spies, and a world that is facing the most brutal and bloodiest of wars where families on all continents are being effected and that human aspect really came across in this. The author does a splendid job at bringing to attention the none battle field struggles and perils that the everyday people from all over the world, from every walk of life had to face day in day out. Not only seeing their husbands, brother’s and son go off to war and worrying whether they will ever be seen again, but there is also the fact that people were starving and desperate. The main plot is brilliant, but is this side story that really captured my attention and I applaud Ms Fliedner for such immersive and powerful writing.

A definite must read for those like myself who love reading about this era, it is an atmospheric, powerful and poignant book that really shouldn’t be missed.

This was a complimentary copy from the author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour; Thank you Colleen and Amy.

In The Shadow Of War can be purchased at Amazon.

#BlogTour : The Earl’s Runaway Governess by Catherine Tinley @CatherineTinley #Review, Exclusive Extract & #Giveaway #TheEarlsRunawayGoverness @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks via @rararesourses

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Hello my lovelies, I am so excited to be one of the blogs to be kicking off this smading blog tour, for the beautiful; The Earl’s Runaway Governess, the new realease by Catherine Tinley. Not only will be sharing my review of this amazing book, but I also have an exclusive extract and a giveaway. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a cuppa and let me tell you about this marvellous book.

The Earl’s Runaway Governess by Catherine Tinley

Genre : Historical Romance

Publisher : Mills and Boon/Harlequin

Who knew living with an Earl…

would lead to such temptation?

Marianne Grant’s new identity as a governess is meant to keep her safe. But then she meets her new employer, Ash, Earl of Kingswood, and she immediately knows his handsome good looks are a danger of their own! Brusque on first meeting, Ash quickly shows his compassionate side. Yet Marianne doesn’t dare reveal the truth! Unless Ash really could be the safe haven she’s been looking for…

Purchase Here

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Extract

The interior of the inn was dark, cosy, and well-maintained. A fire burned in the grate, for the January day was chilly. Marianne made her way towards the wooden counter at the far end of the room, where a woman who must be the landlady was busy pouring ale. As she walked, Marianne found herself warily assessing the strangers in the room. Since the day and hour she had left home she had not felt truly safe, for even a minute. She had no experience with which to assess where danger might lurk, so she found herself constantly on edge.

Her fellow passengers were already seating themselves in various parts of the taproom, and there were also two men who looked like they might be farmers, each with a mug of beer in front of him.

Then she saw him. Her heart briefly thumped furiously in her chest, and the hairs at the back of her neck stood to attention.

He was seated with his back to her, at the table closest to the counter. She could see his dark hair, swept forward in a fashionable style. He wore a driving cloak with numerous capes. She could also see long legs encased in tight-fitting pantaloons and gleaming black boots. He looked like any one of a dozen London bucks. Except this time, she reminded herself, you have no reason to fear him.

She kept walking, soothing herself with calm thoughts. As she reached his table, she turned her head, compelled to confirm it was no one she knew.

This man was a few years older than Henry – perhaps in his late twenties or early thirties. His hair was similar – thick, dark, and luxuriant. But the face was totally different. This man was handsome – or at least, he would be if he were not scowling so fiercely. His strong bones and lean features contrasted with Henry’s slight pudginess and rather weak jawline. And, now that she could see all of him, she realised that his body shape was totally different to Henry’s. He was lean and muscular, with no sign of a paunch. The clothing was similar to that favoured by Henry – and indeed, by all the young bucks of London. There the resemblance ended.

Sensing her there, he looked up from his mug and their eyes met. Stormy blue eyes bore into hers and Marianne felt a slow flush rise. My, but he was attractive! – and, she realised, his gaze was doing strange things to her. Breaking away from that endless, compelling contact, she bit her lip and took the final four steps to the counter.

Yes, Miss?’

Marianne summoned a polite smile. She felt slightly lost and shaky, and she could feel the man’s gaze boring into her back. Still, she managed to reply to the landlady. ‘I am expecting someone to meet me here. I have travelled from London on the mail coach.’

Who is it you are expecting, miss?’

Marianne’s brow creased. ‘I am not exactly sure.’ Inside, panic was rising. What if there has been some mistake? What if there is no governess position? ‘I am to take up a position as governess at a place called Ledbury House. I was told to travel here by mail coach today.’

Ledbury House? This gentleman –’ she indicated the fashionable buck ‘– is also travelling there. Perhaps you are expected to travel with him?’

Heart sinking, Marianne swung round to face him. His scowl had deepened as he listened to their exchange, and he now raised a quizzical eyebrow. ‘Curious’ he mused. ‘And to think I was unaware of the delights this day would hold.’

Marianne was taken aback. She was unsure how to take this. The man’s words were perfectly polite, but something about the tone suggested the possibility that he was not, in fact, delighted. Accustomed as she was to straightforward politeness, his words and tone felt disconcerting. Something of what she was feeling must have shown on her face because, as she watched him, his expression changed to one of chagrin.

I have no doubt,’ he murmured cryptically, ‘that this is a mess of Fanny’s making, and I am expected to fix it. Well, I shall do so this one time, but no more.’ With this enigmatic statement, he drained his mug, then stood. ‘You’d best come with me.’

Not waiting for her reply, he swung away towards the door.

Marianne stood rooted to the spot, uncertainty bedevilling her. Should she go with him? A stranger, and she was to travel with him unaccompanied. Miss Marianne Grant, a lady, would never have done so. Miss Anne Bolton, governess, could.

Conscious that all eyes were all on her, Marianne was surprised to find determination rising within her. Surprised, because she did not often need to be brave. She was normally a placid, timid creature, most at home with a book in her hand and harmony and peace all around.

This unknown gentleman was expecting her to simply climb into a carriage beside him – without any chaperone, maid, or footman accompanying them. Perhaps he had a groom? Well, even if he didn’t, it was clear that everyone expected the governess to go with him and be grateful for the ride.

Although he was handsome and strangely compelling, she was almost relieved to be wary of him – being guarded would be much, much safer than being attracted to him.

Torn between the surprising temptation to sit down somewhere safe and wait for an unknown rescuer, and the (even stronger) temptation to run, to get as far away as she could from the danger inherent in being alone in a carriage with a man, Marianne recognised that instead, her best option was simply to get into the carriage and hope she would be safe with him.

*Extract was provided and used with permission from the author as apart of this blog tour post.

Well this is a beautifully written, hopeful and very loving story that really instils in the reader that love really can appear in the most surprising of places when you least expect it. I have said it before but I will say it again, that Catherine Tinley wondrous writer, she takes the reader on an emotional journey to find that elusive happily ever after, I have always felt that she genuinely loves the era and the stories she writes about as her passion just jumps of the page with every word.

Marianne runs away from home after her lecherous, foul and drunken step-brother makes it abundantly clear exactly what he expects from his ward; Marianne. She knows that for as long as she is under his roof she will never be safe, so she flees and takes a position as a governess under the alias of ‘Anne Bolton’. She hopes that as her position is in the country and far away from London she will be safe, but as we all know nothing is ever as it may appear in historical romance and there is always road blocks in the way. That said road block just happens to be the rakish, rude and society loving new Earl Kingswood; Ash.

Ash neither expected the Earldom or wanted it, he has been raised to live life free and basically to do as he pleases with no responsibility, something which he loathes more than actually having the title. So, you can imagine what a kick in the rump it was that the notorious playboy must put others before himself for a change. He had planned to settle what needs to be settled with the estate and then hop it back to London as fast as his beautiful horses will take him, but things tend to always get in the way especially when h meets Marianne.

You can see that there is a spark between them, there are little glances but in all essence it is a will they, wont they love story; which I found utterly charming. But with Marianne having deep secrets and Ash not ready to commit himself, there is a wall between them. What will happen when Marianne’s true identity comes out? – when that does happen it is a fabulous piece of writing.

Even though I did end up falling in love with Ash, I will admit that it took me a while to warm to him. I can’t explain why, I just didn’t feel as drawn to him at first as I usually do with heroes. There was something very self-centred about him that put me of. He did have to work all that much harder to win me over, but I am pleased to say he did. This is what I love and admire about Catherine Tinley, to be able to completely change the readers initial opinion of a character from; ‘Hmmm, I’m not sure I even like this guy.’ to ‘Oh, my goodness! I’m in love!!’ that is a real gift in writing and there are few authors out there who can so easily accomplish it. So, I whole-heartedly applaud you Catherine!

Whereas I instantly connected with Marianne, she is this an amazing young women, to leave home and everything she knew; her whole life is such a strong act. Yes, she had no choice about leaving she knew that if she stayed something terrible would have happened to her at the hands of her foul, lecherous step-brother. Knowing that one must leave is one thing, but for her actually to do it without even a shred of thought of what would happen to her is another. But, yet she takes the bull by the horn and plunges into her secret life as a governess.

This book really conveys just how powerless women were, not just with Marianne having her awful step-brother becoming her guardian, meaning in the eyes of the law she is his and can basically do as he wishes with. But you also see that power being flaunted in the case of the Dowager Countess of Kingswood and her daughter, I won’t say too much about the details as it would give too much of the plot away but there were times when I did feel a pang of pity for the Countess. This is what makes Ms Tinley’s writing pure, realistic and so brilliantly powerful, that us reader go through a monopoly of emotions as we read.

Overall this is a definite must read, I love the personal journey Ash and Marianne go on through out the story, they both have to get past their own personal issues, but I also like that there is an undercurrent of suspense that runs throughout the story. It’s alike a tingling of what is to come, of something more. I have loved every book of Ms Tinley’s that I have read so I knew that I would be in for something great and it doesn’t disappoint.

Very highly recommended!

This was an Arc copy via the author in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, Thank you Catherine and Rachel.

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About The Author

Catherine Tinley writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings.

After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog and can be reached via the links below.

Website / Twitter / Facebook

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Giveaway

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#BlogTour : #Review What We Find by Robyn Carr @RCarrWriter #WhatWeFind @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonInsiders

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I have the great pleasure to be today’s stop on this great blog tour, I will be sharing my review of What We Find by Robyn Carr. So grab a cuppa and let me tell you about this sweet little book.

Under extreme pressure, neurosurgeon Maggie Sullivan knows she needs to slow down before she burns out completely, and the best place she can do that is Sullivan’s Crossing.

Named for Maggie’s great-grandfather, the land and charming general store at the crossroads of the Colorado and the Continental Divide trails now belong to Maggie’s eccentric father, Sully. She relishes the opportunity to indulge in his simple way of life.

But Maggie’s world is rocked and she must take responsibility for the Crossing. When a quiet and serious-looking hiker, Cal Jones, offers to lend a hand, Maggie is suspicious of his motives—until she finds out the true reason for his deliberate isolation.

Though Cal and Maggie each struggle with loss and loneliness, the time they spend together gives Maggie hope for something brighter just on the horizon…if only they can learn to find peace and healing—and perhaps love—with each other.

This is sweet little, easy to read romance that will be perfect for those who are just starting to read the romance genre. But, for me I thought it was a little too predictable and a little too sweet. Don’t get me wrong it is a lovely story, with a satisfying ending, and the scenery and setting is beautiful, but for me it just lacked a certain magic. This is actually the first I have read by Robyn Carr and even though this particular story didn’t rock my romantic soul I would happily read more from Ms Carr.

Neurosurgeon Maggie is on the verge of a breakdown, she has so much piled on top of her, so much that has happened – some which are absolutely heart-breaking – and she knows that if she doesn’t just step back, take a breath and just remove herself from her stressful life she will burn out completely. So, she packs up and heads home, back to her childhood town – which is what we all do right? When life gets difficult we head to the one place where we are happy and that is usually home. From the beginning your heart really goes out for Maggie, she has had to face some really terrible things – things that would have broken many other’s long before now. But she is strong, maybe not at first but I like how as the story goes along her inner strength really comes out.

Once home at Sullivans Crossing all doesn’t exactly go to plan when, yet again Maggie is knocked over by another tragedy, when her father has a heart attack forcing her to stay on and look after him and the family business. This is where charming Cal walks in and offers a friendly helping hand, usually this is where I would go into a huge detailed chapter of how much I liked the couple and how much I loved the hero, but I felt that I couldn’t really envisage Cal – or Maggie for that fact – there isn’t a lot of description about who they are, yes there is a lot of back ground to tell you how they came to be where they are, but that didn’t enlighten me to who they are, what they looked like. And because of that, I couldn’t connect with them or their romance as I usually would. This is what the story was missing, I am a very visual reader, I like knowing who a character is and what they look like but I couldn’t see the character’s.

Overall a basic, sweet romance, a little cheesy and predictable at times but enjoyable none the less. Perfect for those readers who are more about character history and their past journeys instead of readers like me who like to connect and visual the book.

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, Thank you Sanjana and the Mills and Boon Insiders team.

What We Find is available now and can be found at Amazon.