#Review | Uncovering The Merchant’s Secret by Elisabeth Hobbes #UncoveringTheMerchantsSecret @ElisabethHobbes @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks
Hello my Sunshines, on this cold day! I have the massive pleasure and hugely excited to be sharing my review of this amazing book with you all; Uncovering The Merchant’s Secret by Elisabeth Hobbes. Honestly, I’ve read it back and I did worry if I have babbled a wee bit too much in this one, but there was so much I wanted to say. So as ever grab that cuppa and a snack or your choice (you will need it) and enjoy!
A man with no past…
…could she hold the key to his future?
Shipwrecked merchant Jack Langdon wakes with no memory and steals a kiss from a beautiful stranger—widow Blanche Tanet. As he recovers in her castle, passion flares between them. Jack’s fascinated by her independence and courage but, discovering his identity is not what it seems, Jack must first uncover the secrets of his own past if they’re to have a future together…
I love, love, love this book!! I have been a huge fan of Elisabeth Hobbes work since that very first book of hers I read; the Outlaws Revenge, which was actually one of the first medieval romances I read and from those first few bloody pages I was hooked like a fish on a line. Every year I wait with baited breathe to see what new adventure I am going to go on and with every new book Elisabeth shows time and time again what a marvel she is, yet this one is in my humble opinion the best yet! Especially the heroine; Blanche is easily one of the best heroines Elisabeth has written. I love her steely strength, her passion, her loyalty, her unwavering thirst to do all she can for her people, even if that means less then proper means to get what she wants and needs, which belays that fact that she has a vulnerable side, one which is well hidden beneath the padded Blaiz Mor disguise.
I think I have been waiting for this book for such a long time, a woman in control who dresses up as a notorious pirate? Yup, this book is what has been missing from historical romance.
After the death of his wife, Jack Langdon has fallen into a deep depression of pain and grief. Even his secretive life as a wine merchant; which really is a cover for something else, that something I refuse to tell you about as it would give way too much about Jack and the life he leads. He goes from day to day in a haze of gloom and with a deep desire to join his dead wife on the other side – honestly, this guy could break any heart with his Heathcliffe-Esque gloom and sadness – which is why he takes dangerous risks and gambles with his very life with deadly bar fights and making the acquaintances with smugglers.
It is on one of these very occasions when he is seeking passage from France to England that he takes a very shifty stranger up on his much too generous offer of passage on his ship – honestly, this guy has trouble written all over him! The ship he has taken passage on becomes shipwrecked on the coast of Brittany, which isn’t exactly accident of natural causes either, it was the villages who wrecked the ship and then went on to pilfer from the wreckage and the dead. Something their fearless and notorious leader isn’t too pleased about!
Jack is on death’s doorstep when out of the mist appears an apparition of whom he first believes to be his late wife coming to collect him and to take him to the other side – hmm!!! That does sound like something out of Wuthering Heights, but believe me, there is no ghostly arms through windows or digging up of corpses, I think I went slightly off-topic there. – But it isn’t his late wife, it is the Madame of the little rock he has landed on and the women who will not only bring him back to life but change it.
Blanche Tanet – is easily the best heroine that has sprung from the brilliant mind of Elisabeth Hobbes – she isn’t just a wealthy twice-widowed woman, but she is the Captain of her own fleet which she ruthlessly leads as the notorious pirate; Bleiz Mor (Sea Wolf) she didn’t permit the wrecking of the ship and is obviously furious that her people would go behind her back, putting so many in danger. She finds a lone survivor on the beach and instantly feels drawn towards the mystery man, so much so she knows she needs to keep him alive, there is an unexplained pull towards him – which really is not suspiring, this guy is hot, hot hot – you know me, I always have had a thing for brooding fragile heroes, I can’t help it they are my catnip, add in the fact that this guy can’t even remember his own name and I am lost forever.
Honestly, I need a cold shower and that’s when he is on his death bed, once Jack is fully fit…well…I don’t think my overactive mind and heart can take such swoon-some sexiness…those arms, well errrmmm…I need my heart-eyed emoji’s or a gif for this…#DoubleSwoon!!!
I really, really liked Blanche she is a complex individual, she has many responsibilities adorning her cloak’s shoulders; she has the care of her little community within the walls of her fortes to think of, her crews on her many ships, the villagers and now she has in her care an unknown man who may or may not be an enemy spy. She has a ruthless reputation once she is garbed as the Sea Wolf, and parts of that character are embroiled with her own tenacious and strong will, but that strong will of enforced iron is about to be tested once our lovely Jack begins to regain his feet.
The main plotline is really all about how Blanche and Jack getting to know each other, learning not just about one and other and the secrets that so cleverly entwine throughout the story, but there is also a sense of self-discovery for both. Obviously, with Jack trying to regain his memory but Blanche realises a few truths about herself and her way of life, she also shows huge amounts of courage as she allows someone in and opens up something which she has been determined never to do, I love how every step of their blossoming romance unfolds right before our eyes, its all so beautifully written.
Don’t think for a moment that this gorgeous book is all about Blanche fighting her internal fluttering for the handsome Englishman and said Englishman trying to remember who he is and all the while they fall under each other’s spell, oh no! This is an Elisabeth Hobbes book remember, so obviously, there is tension between the sparring character’s; Jack and Ronec are brilliant enemies you just know that these two are going to butt heads sooner or later. Imagine, two alpha male wolves circling and baring their teeth, each wondering who is going to make the first move, then you have an idea about how brilliantly written Jack and Ronec are.
If you hadn’t guessed already, I loved this book. Elisabeth’s already brilliantly enthralling writing has just gone up a gear. There isn’t a single thing I don’t love about this, it’s full of intrigue, lust, emotion secrets and untruths. It has a real buzz to it, it simmers with danger and tension, the characters are brilliantly written, each full of personality and the detail of Brittany is so vivid, I love it all.
This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Elisabeth. Xx
Uncovering the Merchants Secret is available now.
#GuestPost and #Review | Her Dark Knight’s Redemption (Lovers and Legends #8) by Nicole Locke #HerDarkKnightsRedemption #LoversandLegends #Giveaway @NicoleLockeNews @MillsandBoons @HarlequinBooks
Hello Sunshines! Have I got an amazing, epic post for you all today, not only am I sharing my review of the brilliant Her Dark Knight’s Redemption (be prepared for waffle), but I also have an exclusive guest post by Nicole where she will be introducing us all to that brutishly handsome Knight himself, not only that but I have teamed up with Nicole to bring you the most amazing giveaway – really it’s a doozy and not to be missed! Honestly, I’m sure it’s not healthy to be this excited…So settle back, grab that cuppa and enjoy!
‘This man was shadow and night…
He was Darkness.’
Homeless Aliette is saved from punishment for stealing by a mysterious knight. This stranger informs her that to stay alive she must claim his child as her own. She should fear the knight’s power, and yet it’s clear there’s more good to this man than he’s prepared to show. Can she break down the barriers of the tortured knight she calls Darkness…?
Oh, my! Oh, my! Oh, my! Nicole Locke, you have out completely outdone yourself!! You have well and truly cemented yourself as the best Medieval Romance Author!! This is – well, I honestly don’t have the words to fully describe the wealth of emotion that is swimming through me at the moment. There are words that I could brandish about to describe just how extraordinarily good this book is; such as amazing, flawless, stunning, inspiring, beautiful, dark, delicious, deadly, gorgeous, sexy – Hmmm, I may have just described the delectable hero there! – but honestly, this is just too damn good, that my little brain can’t handle it. I am a wreck, I am a simmering cauldron of emotion!
I love how different this is from the other books in the series, it is far darker then what I have read before from Nicole, and the sexual chemistry between Aliette and Reynold is like sparks shooting from a blazing fire, it’s sizzlingly hot, there may not be a lot of bedroom action but the attraction between our couple is instant, the air crackles like thunder and lightening around them as they both are consumed with lust for the other. Every scene is full of heated glances and a tingling tension that even the reader can feel running down their backs and then there is this beautiful sweetness between them, times where he is human his love of reading and teaching her to read made me not only swoon but fall in love with him that little bit more.
Reynold – those who have been following this series may remember him from ‘The Knights Scarred Maiden’ and if you’re like me then you would have been avidly awaiting his story and oh my!! I cannot begin to express how much I adore this dangerously dark and deadly man, you know me I do love a bad boy especially one who not only needs to learn to love and trust but needs love to unfreeze his frozen heart…Sigh! Honestly, this lone wolf is a menace, how am I ever to look at another hero again? I am ruined, who wants a clean-shaven goody-two-shoes when there is a dark knight with a nice backside lurking in the shadows?
Hmmm, it seems my waffling and lurid thoughts have well and truly taken over this review, I have just realised that I haven’t actually said anything about the book…stop perving on Reynold and get on with the review!!!
Reynold is wealthy, powerful, manipulative, dangerous with a hunger for vengeance and blood, in some way another he has been playing deadly games with his enemies for as long as he can remember, a game that continues and one that he is determined to win whatever the costs – that is until a little surprise lands in his lap, in the form of a scrawny little girl by the name of Grace who the strange women who arrive with her claims is his, being the super cynical and menacing creature that he is, he has to stop himself from killing the old woman on the spot as he doesn’t trust or believe a word she says. But he soon learns the truth, and little Grace finds herself in the care of her broodingly handsome predator of a father. In the care of a man who has a hardened fragile heart and too many secrets and shadows.
Now he has Grace in his care, what is he going to do with her? His lifestyle of devilment and games isn’t the place for a baby, plus he knows that the moment anyone of his enemies finds out about her, she will be in huge danger – something that our cunning plotter will not hear of – especially if his family learn how quickly she has become his Achilles heel.
Oh, I have to mention that scene when Aliette meets him and he is holding Grace close to his well-formed chest…sigh that could melt any heart!
Our heroine Aliette is currently homeless, she is a really good young woman, she is resilient and a survivor. She has taken under her wing an elderly couple who have found themselves in difficulty and a young thief; Gabriel, the four of them have become a little family. Being abandoned by her birth family many years ago, Aliette knows more than most the importance of sticking together to survive. It is because of young Gabriel that puts Aliette into the sphere of our brutally gorgeous mastermind, she is taken from the street and thrust into the calculating gaze of Reynold. She is the answer to his problem of what to do with Grace, and he will damn well make sure that Aliette complies with his scheme.
Aliette can’t trust the seething cauldron of danger that is standing looking at her as though she were a piece of meat, she is unnerved by him and incredibly attune to her primal womanly feelings for him, she is instantly attracted to him but not enough to tell him who she is or anything about herself of her life, and especially not about her little family who depends on her. No matter how much she demands he release her he refuses instead offers her a pretty odd position in his household.
I won’t say too much, but throughout the book, we are kept on this constant dizzying will they open up to each other or won’t they, it is mesmerising and ….well too damn good!
As it says in the authors note, this is a turning in direction to the Lovers and Legends series, and I am really loving where this is going, and cannot wait for more especially mesmerizing mercenary Knight; Louvre, now he is a man that I really can’t wait to get to know – you know me I have a one-track mind and you all know that I was drawn to the rougher and rugged heroes, which explains why I was so taken with Reynold. But Louve, I feel will be different, he has that ferocious and dangerous side, But I think there is something else simmering beneath the surface.
I love the really dark and brooding feel of this book, like the hero it has a really different feel to it then the other’s in the series, it is a lot edgier then Nicole’s other work and I utterly love the new direction her writing and this series is going in. Anyone who knows me knows that more Gothic feel romances are my Achilles heel I love the brooding and the dangerous feeling that you really can only get from a well written Gothic, historical romance and this is easily the finest I have read. From that first chapter when we meet the darkness himself you know you are going to be in for a real deadly threat. Every page is like walking along a spiders web to get to the finale, to your Knight but along the way you are unsure if at any moment you are going to either fall to your doom or be captured by the spider in search of her dinner.
This will probably sound a wee bit odd, but at times I was so wrapped up in the story that I forgot I was reading a romance. Usually, you know that the characters are going to have their happily ever after, and all will be well once they have got past their own issues, but here the question of whether or not they would actually allow the other in was constant, it kept me glued. I was completely taken in with them, I loved getting to know Aliette and Reynold as individuals and as a couple, they are fabulous!
I think you may be able to guess how much I loved this book, I could keep whittling on and on about how amazing, seductive, tantalizing this book is, but I really don’t want to sound like a broken record, I’ll just finish with – Read This Book!!!
This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Nicole, massive apologies for how late this review is.
Her Dark Knight’s Redemption is available now, do go and grab a copy!
Exclusive Guest Post
Top Ten Things About Reynold of Warstone by Nicole Locke
- He’s hot, and the writer who wrote about him couldn’t put it in the story often enough for her liking.
- He’s actually in three of the Lovers and Legends series, and she’s writing about him in her current novel as well…just to prove her point she thinks he’s hot.
- He’s a villain in pretty much all the stories whether the reader knows it or not. The entire series of #LoversandLegends has been a game to him. However, in Her Dark Knight, he gets to be a lover and a legend (lol).
- Reynold knows torture. Not only can he dish it out, but he’s got this really evil mother who likes her sons to prove their loyalty to her by holding their left hand over an open flame. This scar in his hand is why the heroine, Helissent, in The Knight’s Scarred Maiden thought she could talk some sense into him to not be so villainy (he’s scarred, she’s scarred…they could share). Of course, he wouldn’t bond with some gentle baker who lusted after his enemy, but can’t blame a woman for trying.
- He’s got three brothers. He’s glad one of them was killed (saved him the mess and made him wealthier). He’s making plans to kill the other two. After all, it’s them again him…and he’s far too arrogant to think anyone else deserves to live more than him.
- He speaks several languages and loves to read anything he can get his hands on. If he can’t find something, he has books commissioned for him. His favourite book is Tales of Odysseus. If asked, he’ll tell you he likes the adventures, but in truth, the part that intrigues him is Odysseus’ need to return to Penelope and Penelope’s devotion to Odysseus. His parents would kill each other if given the chance, but something of this tale makes him long for something other than the games he plays.
- He waits in shadows and darkness. It’s all part of his game so he can observe his next prey without being observed. It often surprises and unnerves people, but the writer thinks the habit is part of his charm.
- He’s really rich. He’s inherited a ton, stolen even more and he’s stashed the money all over England and France. Some of his cache is in Mei Solis, the home of Nicholas and Matilda from Reclaimed by the Knight. He spreads his coins around so that he’s never without in case his brothers’ back him in a corner.
- There truly was only ever going to be one heroine for a man like him: Aliette. She’s uneducated (but loves stories). Doesn’t have a family (so she’s adopted people..a little tidbit she keeps as a secret). Doesn’t have coin or food or truly any proper clothing. In fact, she lives on the streets. And one thing she cannot stand is waiting. Who has time for dilly dallying or games?
- So when Reynold captures Aliette and blackmails her to play his game? He doesn’t stand a chance of winning. Good thing he’s so cute.
About the Author
Nicole discovered her first romance novel in a closet, where her grandmother, the godmother in the romance black market, was hiding hundreds. Knowing her grandmother wouldn’t approve, Nicole hid in the closet to read them. It was only a matter of time before she was found out and given an offer she couldn’t refuse: enjoy them, but out in the living room please. Oh, and if she could go to the store and get a few more…. A few more? Nicole got two jobs.
Inexplicably, Nicole stopped reading romances (she blames her handsome university English professor, who she was trying and failing to impress). So she didn’t discover them again until, at work, where another black market book swap occurred. Instead of swapping for another forgettable book, Nicole chose a romance (which she still reads).
Needless to say, she didn’t return to work (good thing it was after 5:00 pm) and she didn’t immediately return home either. At that moment, she insists Etta James was singing “At Last”. It was only natural she’d start writing romances as well.
Currently, she lives in Seattle with her two completely opposite children, who if not for their birth certificates and their red hair, she’d argue they weren’t related, and her husband, who if not for his red hair, would have returned them.
I have the most amazing Giveaway for your all, Nicole has so generously donated a print copy of Her Dark Knights Redemption and a pair of Odyssey Book Earrings – which, I have a pair of these earrings and they are absolutely gorgeous – for one lucky winner!
How to Enter?
To be in for a chance of winning this amazing prize, then just tell me who your favourite Badboy/Lovable Rogue is (This can be from a book, tv or film) Mine is below, to some, it isn’t a surprise, as always pictures and gifs are welcome!
The giveaway is not only open here, but across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook too, same rules apply; just like the giveaway post and comment with your answer. (Each post you comment on is a separate entry, eg; If you comment here and on all the social media posts then that is four entries) Sharing is also hugely appreciated, but not mandatory.
Finally, Good Luck my Sunshines!
*T&C’s – Closing date is Wednesday 15th January at 9pm GMT, the winner will be chosen at random and will be announced shortly after, the winner will be contacted directly by myself whether that be by email or DM via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. This Giveaway belongs to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals and it is not sponsored or endorsed. Giveaway Open Internationally.
#Review | A Midsummer Knight’s Kiss by Elisabeth Hobbes #AMidsummerKnightsKiss @ElisabethHobbes @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks
Hello my wonderful followers, I am so excited to be sharing my review of this amazing book; A Midsummer Knights Kiss by Elisabeth Hobbes….In fact excited may be an understatement, I may need sedating with copious amounts of tea, you can be sure there will be a gif involved in this review….anyway, enough of the waffling grab that cuppa and enjoy.
A stolen moment…
…to reunite them!
Since her mischief-making childhood with Robbie Danby, Rowenna has curbed her impetuous nature and become a lady. When she meets Robbie again in York he’s close to claiming his knighthood, and their newly awakened affection inspires in Rowenna a decidedly adult impulsiveness! Yet Robbie’s heart appears to belong to another…unless a Midsummer kiss can change everything…?
My, oh my!! I have become swooning, melting, besotted mess on the floor because of this beautiful book….if ever there was a need for a #DoubleSigh then this is. It seems like an age since I read the Rogue Knight and was first introduced to the Danby brother’s (Yes, I have missed the first book; the Blacksmiths Wife, something that will be rectified).
The starts of when Rowenna and Robbie are children with the best opening scene concerning Geese – yes, you read rightly; Geese, something which did bring back childhood memories of being chased by the wretched things; honestly you all may laugh, but it was horrific…but, you don’t to read about my issue with Geese, you want to hear about this gorgeous book. From that first fun and enlightening chapter you can easily see that there is a very strong bond between them but there is also a spark, a hint of what will be a fabulous romance – even if at first they don’t realise it themselves. It’s lovely to see them as children, not understanding those little feelings and twinges they were feeling around each other, then when Robbie founds out something which will change his whole life and he leaves to start his Knight training, Rowenna is left behind it is these years apart that Rowenna especially knows that what she is feeling for Robbie is far more then just friendship and cousinly love.
We then fast forward years later when our hero and heroine are grown and finally reunited, Robbie is the brave, loyal and devilishly handsome Knight in training, he is full of idea’s of what his future will hold and dreams to be a great Knight, dreams which also happen to involve him marrying pretty lady-in-waiting; Mary. When they stop off at York, Robbie soon reunites with childhood best friend, Rowenna who he soon realises is as different from the little sprite he had left behind she is now a beautiful very lady-like young woman who posses far more charm and grace then he ever remembers and an even more wilful then he remembered. Now he is back and he now not only must figure out exactly what he wants but there is another dark secret that is lurking in the shadows , the secret that changed his whole perspective on his life all those years ago. There are obstacle in their way throughout, does one follow ones heart, or do as one is dutifully bound to? This question does appear throughout and it is a joy to watch as Rowenna and Robbie orchestrate their way through the trials that they must face.
Rowenna and Robbie are perfect for each other, they both have issues and their difference in character compliment the other perfectly; such as Rowenna and is bright, sparky, feisty and full of energy (that does at times get her into trouble) and Robbie is far quieter, he is charming, brave, brooding, thoughtful – at times – he definitely over thinks everything apart I think they just about manage adult life but together they are a strong force, they have an unbreakable bond that connects them, which has lasted the test of time since they were children.
This is a mesmerising and atmospheric, romantic adventure through a beautiful city in a time of unrest and upheaval which also happens to he the highly anticipated return of the Danby’s this time we have moved to the next generation in the form of Rowenna and Robbie. What I particularly loved about this, was watching Rowenna and Robbie discover themselves, they grow into the fabulously complex individuals right before your eyes.
I just loved it…
I have got to mention Robbie’s friend; Cecil, he is a fabulous character, personally speaking as much as I adore Robbie, I thought that Cecil stole every scene away, even though they are very different, their personalities are a little like chalk and cheese there is a underlying friendship and respect between them that makes for great reading and I really do hope that one day Cecil will get his own story…not that I’m hinting…oh, OK I am!
This has everything that we have come to expect from an Elisabeth Hobbes book; danger and unease, tension both from certain aspects of the story and crackling tension between Rowenna and Robbie. Humour, intrigue, romance, gorgeous settings, flawless historical detail, but there was more to this book then just a stunning back drop of York and a brilliantly portrayed romance, i felt that Ms Hobbes had really put her all into this book, there is an unmistakable passion for the story and the history that comes through the writing. Something else I did picked up from this is that I really need to read the Blacksmith’s Wife, that book has been sitting on my kindle for way too long, after reading and loving Rogue Knight and this I need to know Hal and Joanna’s story
This is a stunning book, enthralling and thrilling story which does take the reader on a marvellous journey, the character’s have more hurdles then in an Olympic sport which keeps the reader completely engrossed you are willing Rowenna and Robbie on, you become desperate for them to find their happiness, as there are few characters who deserve it as much as these two do. There is nothing that can say against Elisabeth Hobbes writing, she really is a master in her own right, she will grab your attention and never let you go until the last word and even then the story will stay with you a lot longer.
It’s a richly textured in emotional depth, excellently detailed so much so the story comes alive with sparkling clarity.
This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Elisabeth. x
A Midsummer Knight’s Kiss is to be released on 3rd October and can be pre-ordered now, and I definitely say go and grab a copy as soon as you can.
#BlogTour | A Conspiracy of Wolves (Owen Archer Series #11) by @CandaceMRobb #AConspiracyOfWolves #Review @HFVTB #HFVTBBlogtours
Hello my wonderful readers! I have the huge pleasure to be todays stop on the brilliant blog tour for; A Conspiracy of Wolves by Candace Robb, I am so excited to be sharing my review of this amazing book with you, plus there is a chance to win a hard copy at the end of this post. So, grab a cuppa, make yourself comfortable, you know what I’m like when I start babbling.
A Conspiracy of Wolves by Candace Robb
Publication Date: August 1, 2019
Severn House/Crème de la Crime
Hardcover & eBook; 256 Pages
Series: Owen Archer, Book 11
Genre: Historical Mystery
When a prominent citizen is murdered, former Captain of the Guard Owen Archer is persuaded out of retirement to investigate in this gripping medieval mystery.
1374. When a member of one of York’s most prominent families is found dead in the woods, his throat torn out, rumours spread like wildfire that wolves are running loose throughout the city. Persuaded to investigate by the victim’s father, Owen Archer is convinced that a human killer is responsible. But before he can gather sufficient evidence to prove his case, a second body is discovered, stabbed to death. Is there a connection? What secrets are contained within the victim’s household? And what does apprentice healer Alisoun know that she’s not telling?
Teaming up with Geoffrey Chaucer, who is in York on a secret mission on behalf of Prince Edward, Owen’s enquiries will draw him headlong into a deadly conspiracy.
My goodness, just how brilliant is this book? Full disclosure; I was at first a bit tentative about reviewing this, mainly because with it being book eleven in the Owen Archer series, I did worry that I had come into the series way too late to truly be able to enjoy it, I didn’t know if the previous stories were linked in anyway or if I would be missing out on anything by not reading the previous ten books; but I loved the sound of this so much that I just went for it and oh, boy am I pleased that I did, this is amazing – how has this series past be by for so long? H
I really didn’t need to worry about not enjoying it or not being able to follow the story, if I didn’t know this was apart of a series, I would have read it like a stand-a-lone, but saying that I am eager to read more of Owen Archer – who is a stunning hero, my god how much have a fallen head over heels for this one eyed, marksman and medieval detective? Be still my beating heart, it is definitely a moment for a #DoubleSigh 😉
Set during the 14th century in York, after the brutal death of Hoban Swann; a member from one of the most prominent families in York, Hoban’s father asks Owen Archer to help and investigate what happened. Owen is currently grieving after a friends death, but not knowing where his future lays, Owen accepts the case. It first appears as though the victim has been attacked by something dog or wolf like, as his wounds could only come from such a savage beast, yet Owen has other idea’s, from his first look over the body he soon realises that the killer must be human, and then when another body is discovered and Owen thinks that these two attacks must be connected some how…but how? – Well, I ain’t going to tell you, am I? 😉 So with his friend Geoffrey Chaucer (Yes, the very one, and no not the Paul Bettany one either ;-)) honestly, Chaucer is a hoot, the way he irritates the hell out of Owen with his constant babbling and writing is very funny, there is quite a bit of one eye rolling from Owen.
I do love the relationship between Owen and Chaucer, when I first met them I would never have thought that they would have such a great if odd friendship, I don’t know if Chaucer has been a constant fixture thought the series, but from this I would say he has because there is such a ease between them, I really love how these two are written a fictional character and a real man from history good friends. I love it.
As the investigation progresses Owen think that healers apprentice Alisoun knows far more then what she says and going from the way the story opened I would have to agree with him, I do really like Alisoun, she is a interesting character she is trying to learn the ways of the healer and yet she is unsure of how to make her own way in that world, I love how her character develops through the story.
Anyone who follows my reviews will have an idea of what the book is like, as I am a bit of a creature of habit and do tend to stick very closely to what I like, I love a good historical mystery, I love following the investigation and trying to guess where the story is leading some times you can guess where there the investigation is going, but this one took me by surprise. I first though this person was involved then quickly changing my mind to that person – honestly I would have found most of the cast of characters guilty for something, and then; boom this mind-blowing ending that made me sit back and go “Woah, that was unexpected!”
Overall this is a seriously great, edge of your seat, page turning mystery that grabs you from that very first sentence. It has a real edginess to it that is not for the faint hearted, the writing is some of the best I have come across it is very clear that Candace Robb has a passion for the era and these stories, as you can feel it in the words the details are incredibly accurate everything from the clothing to the dialogue is bang on the mark with historical accuracy. While reading and as you delve deeper and deeper into the mystery you feel the tension that swirls around Owen’s shoulders as he tries to find out what is going on, and for me that is the perfect historical, I love that realism.
A brutally, realistic and edgy mystery that you won’t wish to end.
About the Author
I’m Candace Robb, a writer/historian engaged in creating fiction about the late middle ages with a large cast of characters with whom I enjoy spending my days. Two series, the Owen Archer mysteries and the Kate Clifford mysteries, are set in late medieval York. The Margaret Kerr trilogy is set in early 14th century Scotland, at the beginning of the Wars of Independence. Two standalone novels (published under pseudonym Emma Campion) expand on the lives of two women in the court of King Edward III who have fascinated me ever since I first encountered them in history and fiction.
I am a dreamer. Writing, gardening, walking, dancing, reading, being with friends—there’s always a dreaming element.
Blog Tour Schedule
Do check out the other blogs which are participating in the blog tour.
Friday, August 2
Review at A Book Geek
Saturday, August 3
Feature at The Writing Desk
Monday, August 5
Feature at Book Addict Rambles
Wednesday, August 7
Interview at Bookish Rantings
Saturday, August 10
Feature at Clarissa Reads it All
Sunday, August 11
Excerpt at A Darn Good Read
Tuesday, August 13
Review at Passages to the Past
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a Hardcover copy of A Conspiracy of Wolves by Candace Robb! To enter, please use the Gleam form here : Conspiracy of Wolves
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be 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 is chosen.
#Review | Reclaimed By Her Rebel Knight by Jenni Fletcher #ReclaimedByHerRebelKnight #MedievelRomance @JenniAuthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks
Hello my dear readers! Do I have an amazing book to share with you today, or what? I have the massive pleasure to tell you a little about the incredible; Reclaimed By her Rebel Knight by Jenni Fletcher. This book is simply stunning, I know that I may have over done the gushing on here, but it’s so amazing, so grab your cuppa take a seat and enjoy and apologies for the long review you will have to endure.
Married to a perfect stranger
Reunited with her warrior husband
When Constance inherited her father’s lands she had no choice but to marry cold-hearted Matthew Wintour. He left her for the battlefield without even a wedding night. Five years later Matthew has returned—a valiant knight! But Constance is no longer a frightened girl. And this time she must reach out to discover the honourable man behind the armour and what pleasures await them in the marriage bed…
My, oh, my!!! Jenni Fletcher you have out done yourself, this is how you write a Medieval love story; captivating, evocative, thrilling, enchanting, it’s a feast for the senses and has one of the best endings ever! Another shining gold star to be attached to Jenni Fletchers cap, this is sensational! By far one of the best Medieval romances I have read – and I have read a fair few – but this is as perfect as you can get in a Medieval romance;
When Constance is orphaned at the tender age of fourteen, if she was to keep her property and her fortune out of the King’s hands she must marry. She ends up married to Matthew, who just after their wedding leaves England for Normandy to do his duty and serves the King, or as my gran used to say; ‘he went off to find a war’ while Constance must leave her home; Lacelby and live with her uncle until her husbands return – whenever that maybe!
The story and their marriage really start five years later, in 1214, Matthew returns Constance can’t say she is happy or sad about that as she doesn’t know the man that she is to spend the rest of her life with, neither got to know each other in those few moments together, they were just children, she can’t even remember what he looks like. Neither of them wanted this marriage, but it was a necessity to save her from the ruthlessness of the King. Even though she doesn’t know the man she must share a bed with, she is determined that she will try and be a good wife and make this unwanted marriage work for them both.
I instantly felt a connection with Constance, she is a wonderful character, she is a strong and resilient young woman, who takes everything in her stride, never one to complain and she has a quietly soothing side to her that can ease the brooding of beasts, she is always rational but as you will soon see she possess a lioness heart of courage when the time comes. She was forced to leave the only home she has ever known, become married to a man she doesn’t know and then left again before the wedding night. Any other woman would become a wailing shrew, but not our Constance. She is uncertain of how to act around Matthew, she is worried about their marriage, yes she is more then equipped to run a household, but she knows nothing about men, especially not one as large, brooding and distant as her husband.
Matthew, oh Matthew!! Be still my overly beating heart, honestly I need sedating, he is just….#DoubleSigh!! I don’t have the words for just how amazing this man is, I need my swooning gif…..
Anyway, he may be the finest, most loyal and trust worthy hero I have come across in a long time. For once we have a hero that isn’t complex, his emotions and his responsibilities are in utter turmoil, but he knows what he wants, he wants the best for everyone and he strives to bring peace and clarity. Is there anything more heroic then that? He is genuinely a good man, who has an awful lot weighing on his ridiculously broad shoulders, not only having to deal with the political mess, having to protect those he cares about from any repercussions from what is about to happen and most importantly he wants to make amends and do what is right by Constance…phew, I’m tired just thinking about it all. Do you see how vague, I’m being? Very good reason there is a major plot entwined within this glorious love story, one that I refuse to give away.
What I love about Constance and Matthew more then anything is that they are very relatable and very realistic couple, they are flawed especially after they were pushed together in a marriage of convenience, yet they work, they face a turbulent journey to their HEA but they work through their issues, they do what so few couple is romances do, and they actually talk. Yes there is a spark when they meet, they are both drawn the other because they have both changed so much, they were just kids when they married and now they are in their prime – or how Matthews says to Constance when he first see’s her “You’ve…grown” he says while looking at her bosom. I love that, it’s awkward and funny.
But don’t just think that this is run of the mills love story, oh no! There is a serious and deadly sub plot that will have you perched at the edge of your seat, going “Oooh, eek, wow!” if your a nail biter, you may not have any nails left by the last page.
This book is a testament to just how bloody amazing Jenni Fletcher’s writing is, she has a gift for storytelling, she flawlessly entwines a beautiful and enchanting love story with passionate historic detail, you become immersed in their world. Her passion for era come through her writing with such clarity, you are transported to the Medieval era through the strong and accurate details, and you fall in love with her beautiful and realistic dialogue, this is stunningly perfect!
Oh, and before I forget, do read the historical notes at the front and the back, they are so enlightening.
This was a Arc from the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you Jenni. x
This glorious book is out today, and can be purchased from Amazon and I cannot recommend it enough, so grab a copy while you can.
#Review | Secrets Of A Highland Warrior (Lochmore Legacy #4) by @NicoleLockeNews #SecretsofAHighlandwarrior #LochmoreLegacy @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks
Hello everyone! I am so excited and saddened to be sharing my review of this amazing book; Secrets of a Highland Warrior by Nicole Locke, I cannot believe that we are on the last book of the Lochmore legacy, I may need a good weep, someone bring the tissues as I will be crying a river of tears by the end, bring the comfort chocolate and Kleenex.
The key to his past…
…lies with the enemy sharing his bed!
Part of The Lochmore Legacy: a Scottish castle through the ages! Rory Lochmore had expected to wage battle, to claim land and finally secure his standing within his clan… Instead he won a wife. A McCrieff wife. Their convenient marriage could unite the two long-feuding clans forever. But can a political alliance give way to a passion strong enough to stand the secrets of the past?
So here we are, the last ever book in the Lochmore Legacy – unless of course there is going to be a Lochmore Heirs or something spin off?….Hint, hint! Anyway, it has taken me ages to write this review, mainly because I started bawling like an infant every time I came to say goodbye, I just couldn’t do it, but I have battled on and hopefully a review of this fine book will come through my waffle.
Anyone who knows me, will know how much I love a marriage of convenience, I love how the couple have to work that much harder for their happily ever after. I love their banter, their waspish sniping and then then the moment that they finally give in makes it all the more beautiful to read, and this is where Ms Locke comes into her own.
Even though this is the final book in the series, I cannot express how much I have been looking forward to reading it. To finding out the secret that has plagued the Lochmore’s and McCrief’s for century’s, why did these two mighty clans hate one an other? What got between them? Who are Ailsa and Rory? If your have been reading this series, I know that you would have been asking your selves these questions and here we find out all the secrets and lies. I knew that this finale book would be well worth the wait, as Nicole Locke is a fantastic author, for me she is one of the reigning champions when it comes to Medieval Romance, I adore her work she is in a class all of her own, but this, well this is certainly special.
In this finale book of the series, we have travelled back to 1293, where we finally find out all the secrets and the mysteries that have been building up over the last three books. Where we meet Rory Lochmore – oh, Rory!! Be still my thundering heart – and Ailsa McCrieff join their warring clans with their marriage of convenience, some thing neither of them wanted especially with the enemy.
I love the sniping, bantering and chemistry between Rory and Ailsa, they are enemies and that is what makes them all the more engaging, their battle for happiness is real and engaging. I do like that there is a real sense that if Rory and Ailsa allow themselves to put the family feud behind them they could make it work, all the sooner then they do. They both have issues, there is a lot of distrust between them, but you instantly see that there is a spark in the air when they meet. They are both hugely likable, and complex individuals, who you will instantly form a bond with. I love when they finally see that there marriage could be more then joining their feuding clans, it could be a proper marriage with something more, it is then that really moves the story onwards.
Ailsa is a great character, I love her feistiness, her intelligence and her caring nature. She is also brave and very out-spoken, something which Rory admires hugely, even if he doesn’t show it. Likewise with Rory, I got a strong sense of a vulnerable side to him as soon as we meet him, he wants to prove himself not just to his father but to the whole clan, he wants to show everyone that he can be Chief, he can be a strong resourceful leader. He has a sense deep down that he doesn’t belong and it is that what keeps hi going and pushing forward, it is that sense of not fitting in, of not being accepted that makes him become the man he is. Which if you ask me, there is nothing at all wrong with the man wo has invaded my dreams with those glorious arms, with that mighty chest, that ability to wield a sword and his sense of purpose….swoon! Please someone stop me, before I start on about his pert, well-formed, leather clad backside….oops, too late 😉
Like the previous books, there is more to just this then a sensual and beautifully portrayed romance, as ever with Nicole Locke there is a sense of danger and mystery. With a poisoning, unease and mistrust at every corner, not to mention the mystery that surrounds Rory, something that the ingenious Ailsa starts to unravel as the story progresses.
Just a word on the epilogue, written by the wonderful Janice Preston and Oh, my goodness, it is glorious. It is such a beautiful and fitting end to what has been a dramatic, inspiring and bewitching series. That epilogue lets everything all into place, it’s an enchanting and powerful piece of writing.
Over all, this is glorious! I love the story, it takes the reader on a magical and dramatic adventure, that is expertly and intricately woven into what is a true love story. The character’s brilliant, each one is well defined and likable – not to mention gorgeous, swoon-worthy, sexy, intelligent and full of real conflicted emotion. Bu, what really caught my eye and my imagination was the writing, the way Nicole has described each scene, you have this glorious picture in your mind, your can feel the textures of the clothing, the aromas, the sounds, it’s tantalising and vivid.
I am astounded yet again by this series, each book has been beautiful and atmospheric, each one has been such a joy to read. There is a real mixed emotion or sadness that this series has come to an end, and gratitude and awe that Nicole, Elisabeth, Lara and Janice have allowed us to follow their heroes and heroines through the ages. Thank you all for bringing such a varied and inspiring set of books to the world.
This was an Arc via the author in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Nicole. X
Secrets Of A Highland Warrior is to be released on 27th June and can be pre-ordered at Amazon. I cannot recommend that this book be read, so do grab your copy.
#BlogTour : Listen To The Wind (The Orphans of Tolosa #1) by @Susanne_Dunlop #Review & #GuestPost #ListenToTheWind #TheOrphansOfTolosa @HFVTB
Hello everyone! I have the great pleasure to be todays stop on this wonderful blog tour for; Listen To The Wind by Susanne Dunlap. Let me tell you that I have a mammoth post for you all today; Not only will I be sharing my review of this splendid book, I also have an exclusive guest post by Susanne for you all – and it is an amazing post and there is a chance to win a cop of Listen To The Wind. So without further ado, sit back and enjoy.
Listen to the Wind by Susanne Dunlap
Publication Date: April 22, 2019
Publisher: Bellastoria Press
Format: eBook & Paperback; 388 Pages
Series: The Orphans of Tolosa, Book 1
Genre: Historical Fiction/Medieval
Sent away from their families for their own protection when they were very young, Azemar and Azalaïs become separated when they are forced to flee from the band of outlaws who served as their supposed protectors. Armed only with scraps of memories and the wits and intelligence that have helped them survive brutal conditions, they struggle to find each other again and discover the mysterious past that links them across distance and time. Who are they? And do they hold the secret of the legendary Cathar treasure? All they know is that knights and monks spell danger, and they must find a way to survive at all costs if they are to fulfill their destiny—and preserve their vanishing culture.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Kobo
Guest Post by Susanne Dunlap
One of the best things about being a historical novelist is having the opportunity to delve deeply into a period and imagine the world as it was at that time. Perhaps that’s why, in order to put in the months (or years) of researching and writing a historical novel I have to become completely passionate about my subject and my characters—real or invented.
Most of my novels have taken place in the modern world, from the 17th-20th centuries. But something about the world of thirteenth-century Languedoc caught me and simply wouldn’t let me go.
It all started in grad school. I was studying music history at Yale University, working toward a PhD, and loving every minute of the research and writing. When in the medieval seminar I found out about the women troubadours (trobairitz) of Languedoc in the 12th and 13th centuries, I was utterly intrigued. Apparently all 20 of the trobairitz historians know of came from one small region of what is now southern France, but was then its own patchwork of political entities and its own culture. They didn’t even speak French, but spoke what is now referred to as Old Occitan, and was then sometimes referred to as Lemozin.
The troubadours and trobairitz wrote courtly poetry in very complex metrical forms. The subjects were love, of course, but in the case of the trobairitz, the love was decidedly earthly. They spoke of disappointments, of unrequited love, of friendship, and passion—where the men tended to go in a more esoteric direction, making the object of their love poetry the idea of a lady rather than an actual living, breathing, woman.
So, I thought, these women who weren’t afraid to be honest must have been strong, intelligent, educated, and imaginative. What’s not to like?
Very little is known about the real lives of the trobairitz, so I found myself creating characters and a story that integrated the poetry and music, and captured the volatility of the period. Because trobairitz came from the educated upper classes, Jordane de la Moux d’Aniort, daughter of a baron, is the trobairitiz in Listen to the Wind.
The Orphans of Tolosa trilogy (of which Listen to the Wind is book one) takes place as the culture of the region is being crushed by the inquisition, which not only sought to eradicate the Cathar heretics, but to impose the legal systems of northern France and subsume the region into the territories ruled by the King of France.
Although the region is now fully part of France, a modern version of the language is still spoken, and the descendants of those fiercely independent people cling to their cultural heritage. In recognition of this heritage, what used to be known as Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrenees is (as of 2016) now referred to as Occitanie, and if you visit there, you’ll see many street signs in both French and Occitan.
It is my hope that readers will not only be drawn into the adventures of the characters in Listen to the Wind, but also appreciate the culture that inspired the story.
More historical tidbits and a glossary of Old Occitan terms featured in the book is at https://orphansoftolosa.com.
Well, what can I say about this book? Thrilling, engaging, illuminating and brilliantly entwined with history and a wonderfully complex story. It takes you on a real adventure through 13th Centaury France, the colourful writing makes every scene so beautifully detailed and vivid you can see it playout like a film in your mind.
I haven’t read any of Susanne Dunlap’s work before, but after reading this – or should that be; devoured – I will definitely be reading more, her writing is so imaginative and atmospheric that you become completely lost in the story and before you know it you have whiled away a full afternoon.
The story opens with siblings; Azalais and Azemar who are living in a orphanage in Tolosa, they live a happy simple life roaming around the woods and surrounding area, making up games with the other orphans abuts knights in shining armour and damsels in distress. Everything in their life is good, that is until a illness spreads throughout the area and the people who were supposed to be protecting them soon turn on them and the other orphans, thinking it them that has caused all this illness and death. The children flee for their lives and in the melee Azalais and Azemar become separated, promising to meet up.
But, all doesn’t go to plan and what should have been a simple meet each other again in the next town turns into years of uncertainty and adventure for our two youngsters. What at first appears to be a very simple story of these two young people trying to forge their way through such hardships and attempting to find one and other again, you soon realise that this is far more then that. There is a ethereal and magical quality to the story, that is both surprising and addictive reading. We soon see that there is more to these two then meets the eyes, they have secrets buried within them that even they don’t know and even though once they have separated and when they try to find their feet they are more intricately entwined to one and other then originally thought.
So when they meet again years later, which is an amazing and gorgeous scene their shared past and destined future soon becomes clear.
This is an intriguing and complex story with lots of secrets and lies interwoven within the characters personal stories, it is charming, exciting and mesmerising. Ms Dunlap’s writing is wonderfully immersive and brilliantly atmospheric, there is a real starlight quality to this book which will grab any readers attention.
Definitely a must read, I cannot wait to see what comes next in this series.
This was a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, thank you Susanne and Amy.
About the Author
Susanne Dunlap is the author of six works of historical fiction. Two are for adults (Emilie’s Voice and Liszt’s Kiss, both published by Touchstone books of Simon & Schuster). Four are for young adults (The Musician’s Daughter, Anastasia’s Secret, In the Shadow of the Lamp, and The Academie, published by Bloomsbury). A graduate of Smith College with a PhD in Music History from Yale University, Susanne grew up in Buffalo, New York and has lived in London, Brooklyn and Northampton, MA. She now lives in Northampton with her long-time partner, Charles, has two grown daughters, three granddaughters, a grandson, a stepson and a stepdaughter, four step-grandsons and one step-granddaughter—that’s a total of four children and nine grandchildren!
In her spare time she cycles in the beautiful Pioneer Valley.
Blog Tour Schedule
Make sure you go back through the blog tour and check out all the blogs which have participated.
Monday, May 13
Review at Bibliophile Reviews
Tuesday, May 14
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Wednesday, May 15
Interview at Passages to the Past
Thursday, May 16
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Tuesday, May 21
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Wednesday, May 22
Feature at Just One More Chapter
Thursday, May 23
Interview at Donna’s Book Blog
Friday, May 24
Review at Passages to the Past
During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away one copy of Listen to the Wind by Susanne Dunlap! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – Listen to the Wind
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– 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 new winner is chosen.