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Hunter Killer (Pike Logan Series) by Brad Taylor | #BlogTour #HunterKillerUK #PikeLoganSeries #Review | @BradTaylorBooks @AriesFiction @midaspr

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Hello, Susnhines, I have the huge pleasure to be re-sharing my review for; Hunter Killer by Brad Taylor, for this publication day blog tour with Midas PR. I can’t wait to share this amazing book with you all again, firstly, I want to say thank you to Gaby and Sophie at Midas PR for inviting me to this tour. 

Hunter Killer by Brad Taylor

Series: Pike Logan Series

Genre: Action, Thriller

Publisher: Aries Fiction

The Taskforce tracks highly-trained Russian assassins to Brazil in this blistering, action-packed thriller from New York Times bestselling author and former Special Forces Officer Brad Taylor.

They’re killing his team. He’s coming for them.

The Taskforce were once apex predators, an unrivalled hunting machine that decimated those out to harm the USA, but they may have met their match.

While Pike is preparing to join the team on a counter-terrorist mission in South America, a friend is killed in South Carolina. The authorities believe it was an accident, but Pike suspects the attack was meant as a message to him. When he loses contact with the team in South America, Pike becomes convinced the Taskforce is under attack.

His men are the closest thing to family he has. He will do anything – even ignore direct orders to stand down – to find them.

Pre-order link here – Hunter Killer

***

Boy, oh boy!! This is an amazing, gritty, fast-paced, edge of your seat thriller right from page one, where it opens in dramatic fashion and doesn’t ease up once, right to the last page. The story grasps your attention and the imagination from the start, it’s a heart-stopping, exciting and riveting. Brad Taylor certainly knows how to fully engage a reader with his intense and engaging narrative and knowledgeable detail.

This is the first book by Brad Taylor I’ve read and it definitely will not be the last, I thoroughly enjoy his lightning speed and gripping storytelling which had me hooked. Hunter Killer is apart of the Pike Logan series, and even though there are aspects that I am assuming are connected with other books from the series you can very easily read this as a stand-alone, I will now be hunting down the previous books in the series to see where it all started.

This is one of those books that you can’t really say too much about, you can’t do an in-depth review off as there is so much entwined with the main story unless, of course, you don’t mind giving away or reading a huge amount of spoilers – something which I resolutely refuse to do. The lead character; Pike is a compelling and very complex man, it’s fascinating getting to know him, even though at times he did come across as though he was constantly living on the edge, his volatile emotions were constantly warring with his reasoning and he has an ever-present anger bubbling beneath the surface which makes self-control difficult especially in times when he needs a level head. I loved getting to know his team and the others in the Taskforce, the relationship between the characters are just as the back blurb says, they are ‘family’ each one is developed marvellously you become invested in this team, but don’t get too attached as with all thriller’s not all will come through the other side.

There are quite a few sub-plots which run side by side with the main story, in some ca this may be seen as busy or trying put too much into one story, but I really liked how these smaller sub-plots work themselves seamlessly within the main plot and how they become resolved before the finale. 

This is a hugely enjoyable, stirring and addictive read and this series is certainly one to follow, if you love your twisty, fast-paced thrillers then you are going to love this one, I can’t wait to dive into more Pike Logan adventures!

***

About the Author

Brad Taylor is the New York Times bestselling author of the Taskforce series, with nearly 3 million copies sold. He channels his decades of experience as a Special Forces Commander in the US army into his thrillers. In the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment—Delta, Taylor commanded multiple troops, a squadron and conducted operations in classified locations. Now he lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife and two daughters.

Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradTaylorBooks and find out more about him and his books over at his website: www.bradtaylorbooks.com.

***

The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan | #BlogTour #Review #TheLondonRestoration #HFVBTBlogTours | @HFVBT @rachkmc

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the massive pleasure to be today’s stop on this fabulous blog tour for; The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan, I am super excited to share my review with all. Firstly, thank you to the publisher and Amy at HFVBT for my complimentary copy and for the invite to this tour.

The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan

Publication Date: August 18, 2020
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook
Genre: Historical Fiction


From author Rachel McMillan comes a richly researched historical romance that takes place in post-World War II London and features a strong female lead.

Determined to save their marriage and the city they love, two people divided by World War II’s secrets rebuild their lives, their love, and their world. London,

Fall 1945.

Architectural historian Diana Somerville’s experience as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park and her knowledge of London’s churches intersect in MI6’s pursuit of a Russian agent named Eternity. Diana wants nothing more than to begin again with her husband Brent after their separation during the war, but her signing of the Official Secrets Act keeps him at a distance. Brent Somerville, professor of theology at King’s College, hopes aiding his wife with her church consultations will help him better understand why she disappeared when he needed her most. But he must find a way to reconcile his traumatic experiences as a stretcher bearer on the European front with her obvious lies about her wartime activities and whereabouts.

Featuring a timeless love story bolstered by flashbacks and the excavation of a priceless Roman artifact, The London Restoration is a richly atmospheric look at post-war London as two people changed by war rebuild amidst the city’s reconstruction.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

***

This is an astounding and breathlessly moving novel set in a fascinating and dark period of our history, I absolutely loved so much about this from Diana’s career as a historian to her secret work at Bletchley – which is easily one of the most fascinating and mind-blowing places ever to come out of the war, that place has been on my to-see wish list for many years, one day I will finally manage a visit – I loved that Diana and her husband Brent just want to discover their love for each other, which is what so many wanted.

The author has really captured their genuine love for each other so beautifully, the frustration that there are still secrets between them. She can’t tell him about her latest job and she certainly can’t tell him about what she did during the war at Bletchley – something which in certain families and places is still a secret today. Then we have Brent, honestly, as much as I really liked Diana, my heart broke for Brent he just wants to live a normal happy life with his wife. He wants to reacquaint himself with the woman he loves, yet it’s not just her secrets clouding his fractured mind it’s his own terrible memories and experiences during the war. Personally, I think he may have a touch of PTSD something which has been handled with such sensitivity.

I love that one of the reasons Diana is called up again is not because of her expertise during her time at Bletchley but because of her day job as an architectural historian and that she knows an awful lot about Christopher Wren whose architectural masterpieces are an integral part of the overall plot especially where this secret agent; Eternity is concerned. I love that, it’s so cleverly interwoven with hers and Brent’s dilemma’s and really keeps you guessing as to who is who and what is going on.

As most of you probably know by now I am a big fan of WW2 fiction and also stories set just after, there was so much uncertainty and still so much darkness and this book really grab’s hold of those two key items; uncertainty and darkness, and sails with it dragging you along on a cracking journey through post-war London which is full of secrets and lies, where the people after so many years of fighting want nothing more than to settle down, but for the likes of Diana and Brent that is easier said than done as they still must fight in one way or another, mainly as both are holding secrets.

The London Restoration is a dramatic, beautifully written, thrilling, sensitive, passionate and intelligent novel from the first page. The cold war, spying element will keep you hooked and the romance will melt your heart. If you love your historical fiction then this is a must. I Loved it!

***

About the Author

Rachel McMillan is the author of The Herringford and Watts mysteries, The Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries and The Three Quarter Time series of contemporary Viennese romances. Her next work of historical fiction, The London Restoration, releases in Summer 2020 and takes readers deep into the heart of London’s most beautiful churches. Dream, Plan, Go (May, 2020) is her first work of non-fiction. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada and is always planning her next adventure.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, August 18

Review at Nursebookie

Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, August 19

Review at Austenprose

Review at Amy’s Booket List

Thursday, August 20

Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary

Friday, August 21

Interview at Heidi Reads

Review at Foals, Fiction, and Filligree

Saturday, August 22

Review at Donna’s Book Blog

Monday, August 24

Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Interview at The Green Mockingbird

Tuesday, August 25

Review at The Green Mockingbird

Wednesday, August 26

Review at 100 Pages a Day

Interview on Jorie Loves A Story

Thursday, August 27

Review at The Lit Bitch

Friday, August 28

Review at Read Review Rejoice

Saturday, August 29

Review at Books and Backroads

Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, August 31

Review at Passages to the Past

***

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 copies of The London Restoration! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – The London Restoration

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Girl From Vichy by Andie Newton | #BlogTour #Review #Excerpt #TheGirlFromVichy | @AndieNewton @aria_fiction

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; The Girl From Vichy by Andie Newton, I cannot wait to share my review with all, and I also have an exclusive excerpt, but first I want to say thank you to Vicky at Aria Fiction for my complimentary copy and for the invitation to this blog tour.

The Girl From Vichy, Andie Newton

Genre; WW2, Historical Fiction

Publisher: Aria

Release Date: 13 August 2020

1942, occupied France.

As the war in Europe rages on, Adèle Ambeh dreams of a France that is free from the clutches of the new regime. The date of her marriage to a ruthless man is drawing closer, and she only has one choice – she must run.

With the help of her mother, Adèle flees to Lyon, seeking refuge at the Sisters of Notre Dame de la Compassion. From the outside this is a simple nunnery, but the sisters are secretly aiding the French Resistance, hiding and supplying the fighters with weapons.

While it is not quite the escape Adèle imagined, she is drawn to the nuns and quickly finds herself part of the resistance. But her new role means she must return to Vichy, and those she left behind, no matter the cost.

Each day is filled with a different danger and as she begins to fall for another man, Adèle’s entire world could come crashing down around her.

Adèle must fight for her family, her own destiny, as well as her country.

Amazon / Kobo / Google Play

***

Exclusive Excerpt

I tried to relax again, putting the woman out of my head long enough to think about the convent, but then someone yelled that the train was making an emergency stop. The train shimmied with a loud squeal, metal on metal, slowing to a crawl, and people popped out of their seats to move into the aisle. The woman gripped her book tightly, eyes strained, and then oddly relaxed like a lumpy blanket just as the French police burst through the doors at the end of the train car.

I bolted to a stand, clutching my chest, first from the sound and then from the looks on their faces as they ran down the aisle toward the other end, boots thumping with rifles slung over their shoulders.

What’s going on?’ I said into the air.

A burly gendarme with grit in his teeth pushed one of the old ladies back into her seat, but she stumbled, throwing a weak little hand against the window to catch herself, which made many of us gasp. More police rushed in and ran down the aisle, only this time the diplomats who’d been reading their papers trailed behind them like dogs on a tether.

The doors closed suddenly on both ends of the train car. A piercing quietness followed. Few people moved, aside from their eyes. Heat waving up from the tracks into our still compartment roasted us like chickens. A baby’s cry from somewhere buoyed the restless uncertainty ballooning among us all, then a whisper of sabotagers swept through the car almost faster than the heat, louder and louder until someone finally said, ‘Résistance.’

Résistance? I stood on my toes, trying to see into the other train car, when a man caught my eyes through the body gaps. ‘They’re invisible,’ he whispered, eyes tormented and grey. ‘Phantoms in the night and in the day.’

I gripped my pocketbook, suddenly feeling nervous, watching police run along the outer edge of the car, looking under the train as if there was something or someone to find. Seconds passed, holding our breaths, mouths as wide as our eyes, waiting for a shootout, arrest or both. Then the police stopped running, lit cigarettes and appeared to be chatting.

The whole train exhaled at once.

Some looked relieved nothing serious had happened; others chuckled as if watching the French police run around with nowhere to go was amusing and worth the trouble. The doors opened, sending a burst of fresh air into the train car. The woman across from me who’d seemed unnerved by the gendarmes rushing around was now in a tizzy, bolting from her seat and pushing herself into the crowded aisle. ‘If you please,’ she said, the heel of her clunky shoe smashing the top of my foot. ‘Out of the way!’

I yelped, though it did nothing but startle the old ladies next to me as she elbowed her way through the train car and past women and children as if she were the only passenger who mattered. I followed the pack, shuffling toward the exit, armpits near my face with hands pushing me on the back.

***

As soon as I read Andie’s debut; The Girl I Left Behind, last year, I was completely enthralled with her writing. I love her passion for the era and the stories she is telling which shines through every word, so I was super excited to be invited to be apart of her new book’s blog tour, I couldn’t wait to read this book and I am so pleased to say that once again Andie Newton has gone above and beyond with her excellent and atmospheric writing.

I am a huge fan of WW2 set novels which feature stories from the resistance, especially when those stories give voices to the brave women who gave and sacrificed so much to fight for freedom and peace. I can’t remember a day in my life when I haven’t been fascinated by the French Resistance – yes, it has to be said that my first introduction to them was through watching Allo-Allo as a child, but then I started learning more about these brave men and women who fought so bravely in the shadows and since I have devoured many – and I mean many books set during this era and then I discovered the brilliance that is Andie newton who has really given this genre a fresh new voice.

Set during the occupation of France where the country has been torn in two, there is the ‘Occupied’ zone and the ‘Free’ zone, but to be perfectly there is little difference as the man in charge of the ‘Free’ zone is actually collaborating with the German’s. In Vichy Adele is hating the new regime, she wants a Free France, she detests those who are collaborating with the German’s she is facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to one of those she detests the most, her only option is to run.

She flees her beloved Vichy and takes refuge in the convent of; Sisters of Notre Dame de la Compassion, what she doesn’t realise is that the sisters who actually helping the French Resistance and soon Adele finds herself enrolled into the cause. I can’t say too much about what Adele does and what happens as it would give too much away about the plot, but if you know anything about the French Resistance then you will have an idea of what’s to come and what Adele and the others in her group must come up against. There is

This is a stunning and compelling book, at times while reading it did bring a lump to my throat and I could feel my eyes going misty. There are times while reading and you become so absorbed into Adele’s story that you are gasping and you get goose-bumps, my heart broke so many times, Adele really goes through the mill she is one of the bravest women, she gives so much for happiness and love. This is right up there with three of my whole time favourite books of this time in history; Citadel by Kate Mosse, In Darkness Look for Stars by Clara Benson and Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. 

Overall, The Girl from Vichy is an emotional, thrilling, nerve-shattering and utterly engrossing story about a group of extraordinarily brave people doing all they can to fight a brutal regime and fight for freedom, they sacrifice everything for the good. This book is astonishingly beautiful, If you only read one book for the rest of the year, then do make it this one.

***

About the Author

Andie Newton is an American writer living in Washington State with her husband and two boys. She writes female-driven historical fiction set in WWII. The Girl I Left Behind is her first novel. She would love to say she spends her free time gardening and cooking, but she’s killed everything she’s ever planted and set off more fire alarms than she cares to admit. Andie does, however, love spending time with her family, ultra trail running, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Instagram / BookBub

***

#BlogTour | Bronte’s Mistress by Finola Austin #BrontesMistress #Review @SVictorianist @AtriaBooks @Austenprose

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of this amazing blog tour for; Bronte’s Mistress by Finola Austin. I was scheduled to post this yesterday, but due to other more pressing matters here at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals towers, I was unable to, apologies to Laurel Ann and Finola. So here it is, better late than never, right? Again Apologies, I hope everyone loves this book too.

Bronte’s Mistress by Finola Austin

Genre: Historical Fiction / Publisher: Atria Books

A beautifully written, highly seductive debut….The chemistry between Branwell and Lydia positively crackles on the page….Masterful storytelling which is sure to delight fans of the Brontës and of historical fiction.” –Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter

This dazzling debut novel for fans of Mrs. Poe and Longbourn explores the scandalous historical love affair between Branwell Brontë and Lydia Robinson, giving voice to the woman who allegedly corrupted her son’s innocent tutor and brought down the entire Brontë family.

Yorkshire, 1843: Lydia Robinson—mistress of Thorp Green Hall—has lost her precious young daughter and her mother within the same year. She returns to her bleak home, grief-stricken and unmoored. With her teenage daughters rebelling, her testy mother-in-law scrutinizing her every move, and her marriage grown cold, Lydia is restless and yearning for something more.

All of that changes with the arrival of her son’s tutor, Branwell Brontë, brother of her daughters’ governess, Miss Anne Brontë and those other writerly sisters, Charlotte and Emily. Branwell has his own demons to contend with—including living up to the ideals of his intelligent family—but his presence is a breath of fresh air for Lydia. Handsome, passionate, and uninhibited by social conventions, he’s also twenty-five to her forty-three. A love of poetry, music, and theatre bring mistress and tutor together, and Branwell’s colorful tales of his sisters’ elaborate play-acting and made-up worlds form the backdrop for seduction.

But Lydia’s new taste of passion comes with consequences. As Branwell’s inner turmoil rises to the surface, his behavior grows erratic and dangerous, and whispers of their passionate relationship spout from her servants’ lips, reaching all three protective Brontë sisters. Soon, it falls on Lydia to save not just her reputation, but her way of life, before those clever girls reveal all her secrets in their novels. Unfortunately, she might be too late.

Meticulously researched and deliciously told, Brontë’s Mistress is a captivating reimagining of the scandalous affair that has divided Brontë enthusiasts for generations and an illuminating portrait of a courageous, sharp-witted woman who fights to emerge with her dignity intact.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

***

Praise for Bronte’s Mistress

“…a page-turning read full of passion and fire…[Austin] dares to give us a main character as flawed as Jane Austen’s Lady Susan and Margaret Mitchell’s Scarlett O’Hara—a real, hot-blooded woman who has desires and passions and isn’t afraid to act on them.” —Syrie James, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte

Brontë’s Mistress gives voice to a woman who, until now, has been voiceless; and, indeed, to thousands of women whose lives, like Lydia’s, were so terribly suffocating.” —Molly Greeley, author of The Clergyman’s Wife

“Confident, convincing and engrossing, and with a sure historical touch, it illuminates another dark corner in the Brontës’ story.” —Gill Hornby, author of Miss Austen

“Rich in heart and detail, Finola Austin’s novel Brontë’s Mistress is a beautifully created tour-de-force.” —Sarah Shoemaker, author of Mr. Rochester

“This is not a book about a nineteenth-century affair – it is about using physical passion and experience to get at the very sense of self that society wanted women of the time to repress and even deny. It is a daring, troubling, and sophisticated first novel, and it heralds a most intriguing new voice in historical fiction.” —Natalie Jenner, author of The Jane Austen Society

***

This is a cracking debut!

This is a sparkling, passionate and beautifully written story full of emotion, scandal and off the page chemistry, Finola Austin has written a compelling and enchanting tale which is so beautifully entwined with the historical fact it flows together like two streams running together to create a river.

Hmm, that was rather profound for me!

I really liked how Finola Austin has written Lydia, in history it is always the woman’s fault and if an affair happens you can bet your last penny that it will be the women in the spotlight. The truth is that there are always two sides to the story and in an affair, there is always two persons involved both know what they are doing and yet it is always the woman who is to blame for any hurt caused, this is where Finola really shines she takes away that ingrained prejudice and we are left with a realistic and inspiring account of the women in the frame.

I have to say that Lydia didn’t completely appeal to me, I can’t put my finger on why, it’s that I was more on the side of the famous named character, no I just there was something there in Lydia’s character that didn’t entirely warm me to her as I normally would have, never the less and rather contradictory I did admire her and at times really feel for her and despite my reservations, I was fascinated by her story.

Lydia is a middle-aged woman whose marriage has turned into a lonely and I think at times wearisome existence, there is real unhappiness in the air around she is a complex and multi-layered creature with many masks that hide a multitude of emotions, there is sadness, bitterness and a roaring passion with no revenue to really set that passion free until she meets young Bramwell. Bramwell is exactly how I expected him to be, he is a volatile, erratic and plagued with many inner demons. Again Finola has handled his character with sensitivity and a raw realism that really brings this tortured soul to life.

Living in an era where society puts so much pressure on women to be perfect to be as they are supposed to be and when they are not they become the spotlight of vitriol and so much hurt. Finola Austin has done the most amazing job at giving Lydia a face, she has given her voice so we can learn her side of the whole saga.

It is clear as a bell that the author has put an immense amount of research into this, Finola’s passion for telling Lydia’s story really shines through, she is a hugely gifted author and I can’t wait to see what she gifts to us next.

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher, which I reviewed as apart of this blog tour.

***

About the Author

Finola Austin, also known as the Secret Victorianist on her award-winning blog, is an England-born, Northern Ireland-raised, Brooklyn-based historical novelist and lover of the 19th century. By day, she works in digital advertising. Find her online at FinolaAustin.com. Brontë’s Mistress is her debut novel.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

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Blog Tour Schedule

Join the virtual online blog tour of BRONTË’S MISTRESS, Finola Austin’s highly acclaimed debut novel August 3 through August 16, 2020. Twenty-four popular blogs and websites specializing in historical fiction, historical romance, and women’s fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, excerpts, and reviews of this early Victorian novel set in Yorkshire, England.

Aug 03 Bronteblog (Guest Blog)

Aug 03 The Reading Frenzy (Interview)

Aug 03 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)

Aug 04 Lu’s Reviews (Review)

Aug 04 The Best Historical Fiction (Review)

Aug 05 The Write Review (Review)

Aug 05 English Historical Fiction Authors (Guest Blog)

Aug 06 Historical Fiction Reader (Review)

Aug 06 Captivated Reading (Review)

Aug 07 Reading the Past (Review)

Aug 07 Diary of an Eccentric (Excerpt)

Aug 08 Book Nursie (Review)

Aug 10 Frolic Media (Interview)

Aug 10 Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)

Aug 10 Bronteblog (Review)

Aug 11 Chicks, Rogues and Scandals (Review)

Aug 11 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

Aug 12 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

Aug 12 Historical Fiction Reader (Interview)

Aug 13 The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)

Aug 14 Silver Petticoat Reviews (Guest Blog)

Aug 14 The Reading Frenzy (Review)

Aug 15 The Write Review (Live Facebook Interview)

Aug 16 Probably at the Library (Review)

#BlogTour | Hunter Killer by Brad Taylor #HunterKiller #PikeLoganSeries #Review @BradTaylorBooks @AriesFiction

Posted on Updated on

Hello, Susnhines, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of this Aries Fiction Blog Tour launch and to be kicking off the blog tour for; Hunter Killer by Brad Taylor. I am super excited to be sharing my review of this thrilling book with you all, I hope you love as much as I do!

Hunter Killer by Brad Taylor

Series: Pike Logan Series

Genre: Action, Thriller

Publisher: Aries Fiction

The Taskforce tracks highly-trained Russian assassins to Brazil in this blistering, action-packed thriller from New York Times bestselling author and former Special Forces Officer Brad Taylor.

They’re killing his team. He’s coming for them.

The Taskforce were once apex predators, an unrivalled hunting machine that decimated those out to harm the USA, but they may have met their match.

While Pike is preparing to join the team on a counter-terrorist mission in South America, a friend is killed in South Carolina. The authorities believe it was an accident, but Pike suspects the attack was meant as a message to him. When he loses contact with the team in South America, Pike becomes convinced the Taskforce is under attack.

His men are the closest thing to family he has. He will do anything – even ignore direct orders to stand down – to find them.

Pre-order link here – Hunter Killer

***

Boy, oh boy!! This is an amazing, gritty, fast-paced, edge of your seat thriller right from page one, where it opens in dramatic fashion and doesn’t ease up once, right to the last page. The story grasps your attention and the imagination from the start, it’s a heart-stopping, exciting and riveting. Brad Taylor certainly knows how to fully engage a reader with his intense and engaging narrative and knowledgeable detail.

This is the first book by Brad Taylor I’ve read and it definitely will not be the last, I thoroughly enjoy his lightning speed and gripping storytelling which had me hooked. Hunter Killer is apart of the Pike Logan series, and even though there are aspects that I am assuming are connected with other books from the series you can very easily read this as a stand-alone, I will now be hunting down the previous books in the series to see where it all started.

This is one of those books that you can’t really say too much about, you can’t do an in-depth review off as there is so much entwined with the main story unless, of course you don’t mind giving away or reading a huge amount of spoilers – something which I resolutely refuse to do. The lead character; Pike is a compelling and very complex man, it’s fascinating getting to know him, even though at times he did come across as though he was constantly living on the edge, his volatile emotions were constantly warring with his reasoning and he has an ever present anger bubbling beneath the surface which makes self-control difficult especially in times when he needs a level head. I loved getting to know his team and the others in the Taskforce, the relationship between the characters are just as the back blurb says, they are ‘family’ each one is developed marvellously you become invested in this team, but don’t get too attached as with all thriller’s not all will come through the other side.

There are quite a few sub-plots which run side by side with the main story, in some ca this may be seen as busy or trying put too much into one story, but I really liked how these smaller sub-plots work themselves seamlessly within the main plot and how they become resolved before the finale. 

This is a hugely enjoyable, stirring and addictive read and this series is certainly one to follow, if you love your twisty, fast-paced thrillers then you are going to love this one, I can’t wait to dive into more Pike Logan adventures!

***

About the Author

Brad Taylor is the New York Times bestselling author of the Taskforce series, with nearly 3 million copies sold. He channels his decades of experience as a Special Forces Commander in the US army into his thrillers. In the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment—Delta, Taylor commanded multiple troops, a squadron and conducted operations in classified locations. Now he lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife and two daughters.

Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradTaylorBooks and find out more about him and his books over at his website: www.bradtaylorbooks.com.

***

Follow Aries

Twitter: @AriesFiction

Facebook: Aries Fiction

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

Amazon Aries Store: https://amzn.to/304NUvM

***

#BlogTour | The Englishman (Raglan #1) by David Gilman #TheEnglishMan #RaglanSeries #Review @davidgilmanuk @HoZ_Books

Posted on Updated on

Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the utterly amazing; The Englishman by David Gilman as apart of this blog tour. My spot on this tour was for Saturday, but due to an unforeseen family issue I didn’t get the chance, but better late than never, right? I hope you love this book as much as I did, go on take a look.

The Englishman by David Gilman

Series: Raglan #1

Genre: Thriller, Espionage

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Format: Ebook, Print, Audio

A clandestine war on the desert border of Mali and Algeria. Murder and kidnap on the suburban streets of West London. A Moscow CID police inspector investigating the assassination of four of her fellow officers by the Russian Mafia. A young MI6 officer facing the possibility that a long-running operation has been fatally compromised.

Connecting them all is the Englishman: Dan Raglan, outsider, exile, one-time member of the French Foreign Legion, fully trained killer.

Raglan’s quest for answers will become a quest for vengeance. It will lead him to the winter-ravaged wasteland of the Sverdlovskaya Oblast and Penal Colony #74, a place that holds Russia’s most brutal murderers. A place of death and retribution.

How will he get in? More importantly, how will he get out?

Amazon / Goodreads

***

The Englishman is a well-written, exciting, fast-paced, action-packed, edge of your seat thriller, which shows real promise this new series, I can’t wait to see what adventure’s Dan Raglan will take us on in the future.

I haven’t read a decent thriller for an age now, in fact, I haven’t come across a good thriller/action series I genuinely wanted to follow since the Payne/Jones series by Kris Kuzneski, but The Englishman has sucked me right back into this compelling genre. The writing is solid, being a typical thriller with an espionage edge you learn what you need to know about the main man; Dan Raglan when you need to know it because Raglan isn’t as developed in-depth as you get with stand-alone’s and characters from other genre’s it keeps the reader hooked with the series as we want to learn more about this mysterious, hardened and guarded man.

A man, I must say has got right under my skin, he is one of those characters who has this aura about him, he pulls the reader into his little sphere like a moth to a flame.

I was fascinated with Raglan, he is a complex, multi-layered man; on one hand, he is a deadly and ruthless trained killer and a bit of a lone wolf with so much in his past; good and bad that has made him the man he is. Yet, there is something beneath that hardened steel, something else that makes the heartbeat that much faster….yet, in other words, this guy is a stud, an action man a man who has the world on his shoulders – plus falling to his feet, and yet even at by the end when and his story was all revealed, i still think there is far more to this man then meets the eye. As a former Paratrooper and who was once apart of the French Foreign Legion, he has seen and done things that to this day still bring nightmares to his nights. Being an orphan his true family has always been his fellow comrades in arms,

David Gilman has done the most incredible job at grabbing the readers attention with such a thrilling, heart-racing opening, I was completely hooked, it’s heart-stopping, I wanted to know how this precise scene all came about, which was soon revealed as each chapter went flying past and we are soon zooming along at break-neck speed from London to Eastern Europe and over to Siberia. The story is intoxicating, with it’s a fast-paced race across Europe to Siberia the detailing of every country mentioned is second to none. The action scenes are gripping and very real, I must warn you though not to get attached to many characters as many don’t come out the other end and the is flawless, David Gilman literally pulls the reader into Raglan’s dark and dangerous world. I honestly, cannot quite put into words just how much I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

If you love twisty, action-packed, surprising, gritty, realistic thrillers that make you think as well as take you on an explosive journey, then this is the book you NEED to read, I cannot recommend it highly enough, and if I rated book on the blog – which I don’t – this would be a solid five stars, amazing!

This was a complimentary copy via Midas PR for Head of Zeus, which I reviewed as apart of this blog tour, thank you, Amber.

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About the Author

David Gilman was raised in Liverpool and educated in Wales. By the time he was 16 he was driving a battered 1946 Ford, ferrying construction workers in the African bush. A variety of jobs followed in different countries: fire and rescue, forestry work, JCB driver, window dresser and professional photographer in an advertising agency. He served in the Parachute Regiment’s Reconnaissance Platoon and then worked in publishing. In 1986 he turned to full-time writing. He has written many radio and television scripts including several years of ‘A Touch of Frost’. In 2007 his ‘Danger Zone’ trilogy for YA was sold in 15 countries. The first in the series – The Devil’s Breath was long listed for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and won the French Prix Polar Jeunesse.

He also writes for younger children. MONKEY and ME has been nominated for this year’s Carnegie Medal. ‘MASTER of WAR’ is the first in a series of HF for adults that follows the fortunes of Thomas Blackstone during the 100 Years’ War.

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Blog Tour Schedule

#BlogTour | Katie’s Cornish Kitchen by Rosie Chambers #KatiesCornishKitchen #Review @RosieCbooks @HQDigital

Posted on Updated on

Hello, Sunshines on this rainy grey day, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of; Katie’s Cornish Kitchen by Rosie Chambers as apart of this blog tour. I am late in posting as my day was supposed to last Friday, but with Wifi issues, I am yet again behind. But, here it is, better late than never, right?

Katie’s Cornish Kitchen by Rosie Chambers

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: HQ Digital

Format: Ebook, Print, Audio

Kindness, community and cake are all on the menu at Katie’s Cornish Kitchen

Pre-order the new feel-good romance from Rosie Chambers

After the heartbreak of being jilted by her fiancé, Katie Campbell has been mending her broken heart in Bali. She has local restaurant owner and new friend Agatha to thank for providing a listening ear in her moment of need. When Katie confides she’s worried about going back to what’s left of her life in London, Agatha has just the opportunity for Katie – to manage her old café in the beautiful, picturesque village of Perrinby in Cornwall.

Although reopening the café and making it profitable won’t be easy, Katie is determined to make the most of her fresh start. She quickly makes new friends in florist Jay, waitress Talia and handsome neighbour Oscar, and focuses on making the café a welcoming place for the community – from hosting floristry workshops to pizza-making nights and even the local knit-and-natter group. But, with the café under threat from the local property developers circulating just as she’s starting to grow closer to Oscar and finally feeling at home, can Katie find the recipe to make her Cornish Kitchen a success?

Escape to Cornwall in this heartwarming romance – perfect for fans of Julie Caplin, Phillipa Ashley and Debbie Johnson

***

This is a really sweet and uplifting story of second chances, fresh starts and how important good, true friends are to a person just when they need it most. I am a sucker for a second chance story, it’s always so satisfying when all comes well for them in the end and this is no different.

I really liked it, yes it was predictable from the off but, with so much uncertainty in the world we need light, enjoyable good fun and a romantic escape, don’t we?

Katie suffers the worst betrayal, jilted by her no-good fiancé she decided to do what any down on her luck not quite bride to be done and tries to fix the fractured heart in sunnier climes. In Katie’s case, she goes to Bali where she meets an old friend; Agatha who is running her own restaurant out there. Personally, I think this part of the story is a little slow, but still a great opening.

Seeing just how down and vulnerable Katie is Agatha offers her friend the second chance she needs, she offers Katie he opportunity to run her old café in Perinby, which is a beautiful little village in Cornwall. Katie knows this is the fresh start and soon agrees, to be honest, who wouldn’t snatch such a chance up? But, can Katie not only find her feet and allow herself to love and live again but also to make a success of the café?

I was instantly pulled into Katie’s world, in fact, that happened from the cover and back blurb alone. I adore this cover, it is so pretty and striking and it works really well with the story, it fits in with Katie’s adventure perfectly, which is another thing I love, I think that matching the cover with the actual story engages us, readers, even more, it’s a visualisation of what is going to happen in the story – now whether that was purposely done by the art department with this book or it’s just my overactive imagination picking up on things that aren’t there, I don’t know, but blimey it perfect!

I love the close-knit circle of friends that Katie soon collects; Jay, Talia and Oscar are so different, and to be honest, you would never think that such an eclectic group of people could be such good friends but they are and they bring a burst of energy and a little quirkiness to the story, which I really liked and I loved getting to know them as the story unfolds. I do like a strong and eclectic mix of supporting characters, I think that when they are written with such clarity and realism as Jay, Talia and Oscar are, they bring a whole new depth to the story.

Like Rosie’s previous book ‘The Year of Chasing Love‘ this is the perfect feel-good, thoughtful, relaxing weekend read, one that you can settle down on a dull rainy day and just allow yourself to be pulled in and escape whatever is going on in your world for a few blissful hours.

I love Rosie’s writing, she has a really easy to read writing style that makes the reader instantly drawn into her stories. I loved the descriptions of Cornwall, every scene is so beautifully written and so clear you can see Katie’s little café in your mind, it’s like you are falling into Katie’s Cornwall.

Katie’s Cornish Kitchen is an adorable, feel-good, inspiring, hopeful and hugely enjoyable book all about grabbing your future and taking the chance for happiness. The characters are well developed and full of quirky charm. It’s well-paced with sadness and happiness and a few surprises are thrown in for good measure, I thoroughly enjoyed!

This was an Arc copy from the publisher via Netgalley, which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour, thank you Sian at HQ.

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Link

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About the Author

Rosie Chambers loves writing uplifting, feel-good stories set in sun-filled locations around the world. Her stories are filled with fun, friendship and foodie treats, which Rosie hopes will bring a smile to her readers’ faces.

She’s always in the market for quirky stationery and is never happier than with a pen in one hand and a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit in the other. A YEAR OF CHASING LOVE is her debut novel.

Find out more about Rosie and her books on Twitter: @RosieCbooks

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Blog Tour Schedule

#BlogTour | The Woman In The Green Dress by Tea Cooper #TheWomanInTheGreenDress #Review #HFVBTBlogTours @TeaCooper1 @HFVBT

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Hello, Sunshines! I have the massive pleasure to be today’s stop on this fabulous blog tour for; The Woman in the Green Dress by Tea Cooper. I am super excited to be sharing my review of this amazing book with you all, I hope you all love the sound of it as much as I do, plus if you are in the US there is a chance for you to win a copy of this brilliant book, do check it out!

The Woman in the Green Dress by Tea Cooper

Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: Paperback, eBook, & AudioBook

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

 

 

A cursed opal, a gnarled family tree, and a sinister woman in a green dress emerge in the aftermath of World War I.

After a whirlwind romance, London teashop waitress Fleur Richards can’t wait for her new husband, Hugh, to return from the Great War. But when word of his death arrives on Armistice Day, Fleur learns he has left her a sizable family fortune. Refusing to accept the inheritance, she heads to his beloved home country of Australia in search of the relatives who deserve it more.

In spite of her reluctance, she soon finds herself the sole owner of a remote farm and a dilapidated curio shop full of long-forgotten artifacts, remarkable preserved creatures, and a mystery that began more than sixty-five years ago. With the help of Kip, a repatriated soldier dealing with the sobering aftereffects of war, Fleur finds herself unable to resist pulling on the threads of the past. What she finds is a shocking story surrounding an opal and a woman in a green dress. . . a story that, nevertheless, offers hope and healing for the future.

This romantic mystery from award-winning Australian novelist Tea Cooper will keep readers guessing until the astonishing conclusion.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Kobo

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Praise

“Readers of Kate Morton and Beatriz Williams will be dazzled. The Woman in the Green Dress spins readers into an evocative world of mystery and romance in this deeply researched book by Tea Cooper. There is a Dickensian flair to Cooper’s carefully constructed world of lost inheritances and found treasures as two indomitable women stretched across centuries work to reconcile their pasts while reclaiming love, identity and belonging against two richly moving historical settings. As soon as you turn the last page you want to start again just to see how every last thread is sewn in anticipation of its thrilling conclusion. One of the most intelligent, visceral and vibrant historical reads I have had the privilege of visiting in an age.” —Rachel McMillan, author of The London Restoration

“Refreshing and unique, The Woman in the Green Dress sweeps you across the wild lands of Australia in a thrilling whirl of mystery, romance, and danger. This magical tale weaves together two storylines with a heart-pounding finish that is drop-dead gorgeous.” —J’nell Ciesielski, author of The Socialite

***

How much do I love this book??

Honestly, I can’t even put into words just how amazing this book is, everything that I love about historical fiction is here, ((she says pointing furiously at the book)) not only has it two of the most engaging, strong and defiant female characters, whose both stories will captivate and you will become fully absorbed into each of these two fine women’s worlds.

This is a beautiful, richly textured, atmospheric and mesmerizing story which not only has two amazing women who are traversing their way through uncertain times. I have always been a big fan of strong and detailed history and this does not disappoint, each and every scene is so vivid, the story entwines clear and passionate history with mystery and emotion, it swirls around the reader like a magical and easily some of the best I’ve read.

Opening in London 1918, that long and bloody war is over, Fleur is waiting for news on her husband; Hugh, but on Armistice Day she gets the worst news any person can receive. Her beloved Hugh is gone and she has been left a huge inheritance in his native Australia, Fleur doesn’t want it she only wants her husband, it’s heartbreaking to read at times. She diced to travel to Australia, find Hugh’s family and hand over the inheritance she believes that they deserve far more than her, but once there I think a little of her broken heart starts to breathe life again and she is soon in the midst of a huge mystery, a secret and a mysterious woman in a green dress…but who is she?

Moving side by side with Fleurs story is one set back in 1853 and revolves around Della a gusty woman who dips her toes into the world of Opal hunting and shop owning but there are odd things happening and Della must tread carefully. As much as I loved Della and how pioneering she is forging away in a man’s world, but I was more drawn to Fleur her story is sad and memorable and really grasped hold of my heart.

I haven’t read any of Tea Cooper’s work before, something which I am planning on remedying as soon as possible, I am in awe of her writing, her knowledge and passion for her native Australia, she has a real flare with words which really captures the readers imagination and attention. Tea Cooper is certainly a skilled and articulate writer with a great mind for knowing exactly what her readers want. The way she has flawlessly intertwined Fleur’s story in 1918 with Della’s story in 1853 is a stroke of genius and I just may be ruined me for all other duel timeline books now.

Overall, this is a cleverly written, beautiful and captivating book, I cannot recommend it more if you love your historical fiction which has drama, a little romance, strong female character’s, mystery and a intriguing plot then this is the book you need to read!

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About the Author

Téa Cooper is an award-winning, bestselling author of Australian historical fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, a journalist and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 16
Review at Bitch Bookshelf

Wednesday, June 17
Review at McCombs on Main
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Interview at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Thursday, June 18
Review at Passages to the Past

Friday, June 19
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Saturday, June 20
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, June 22
Review at Captivated Pages
Review at Books and Backroads

Tuesday, June 23
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, June 24
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, June 26
Review at View from the Birdhouse
Review at Books, Writings, and More

Saturday, June 27
Review at A Darn Good Read

Sunday, June 28
Review at Rejoice in Reading

Monday, June 29
Feature at I’m All About Books
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, June 30
Interview at Jorie Loves A Story

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 paperback copies of The Woman in the Green Dress! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – Woman in the Green Dress

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on June 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback 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.

 

#BlogTour | The Summer Island Swap by Samantha Tonge #TheSummerIslandSwap #Review @SamTongeWriter @aria_fiction

Posted on Updated on

Hell, Sunshines! I have the great pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; The Summer Island Swap by Samantha Tonge. I am super excited to be sharing my review of this charming book with you and I also have an exclusive excerpt for your all to enjoy, I do hope you love this book as much as I do!

The Summer Island Swap by Samantha Tonge

Genre: Contemporary /Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Aria Fiction

Format: Ebook/Audio/Paperback

Sometimes the best holidays are the ones you least expect…

After a long and turbulent year, Sarah is dreaming of the five-star getaway her sister has booked them on. White sands, cocktails, massages, the Caribbean is calling to them.

But the sisters turn up to tatty beaches, basic wooden shacks, a compost toilet and outdoor cold water showers. It turns out that at the last minute Amy decided a conservation project would be much more fun than a luxury resort.

So now Sarah’s battling mosquitos, trying to stomach fish soup and praying for a swift escape. Life on a desert island though isn’t all doom and gloom. They’re at one with nature, learning about each other and making new friends. And Sarah is distracted by the dishy, yet incredibly moody, island leader she’s sure is hiding a secret.

Perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Mandy Baggot and Heidi Swain.

Amazon / Kobo / Google Play

***

This is only the second book I have read by Samantha Tonge and again I was completely hooked with her witty and heart-warming story of friendship and family. I really love Samantha’s writing, you are not only swept away on a fun and enjoyable adventure but with some serious subjects that make you stop and really think about the world we live in.

Sarah hasn’t been on holiday in an age, after a pretty turbulent year she is ready to relax and allow her mind and body to chill and wind down. But as things stand losing her job and not having anything else in the pipeline plus not money, the long-wished-for dream of a holiday is just that; a dream. That is until her sister; Amy wins some money and decides to take them both on a dream holiday, she is going to whisked them both away to a sunny and relaxing island.

I really like Sarah, her story really spoke to me, I related to her far more then I did Amy. She is a very relatable and likable woman, she has always done her best, worked hard and always looked after her little sister. She is the sort of woman that anyone can instantly like, she is a little down on her luck and deserves a little happiness and fun.

Sarah thinks that Amy has booked them a glorious Caribbean holiday, four weeks of nothing but luxury and pampering. Oh, how wrong she is! It turn’s out that the holiday is in fact, a paid voluntary conservation scheme, instead of a month of sunning herself and being waited on hand and foot, it in fact means a month of hard graft.

What I really liked about this book is that even thought there is a hint of a romance, it doesn’t overshadow the main plot, this is all about building confidence, binding those family ties and finding ones feet again, it’s all about friendship and the strength of family and self discovery.

The romance aspect is really sweet, and to be perfectly honest this book would be just as delightful whether there was romance or not.

There is such a important message hidden within, not only to that doing things for your is important to moving forward and coping with past issues. But there is a serious aspect in the conservation side which does make you stop and think.

Overall, a hugely enjoyable, inspirational and perfect escapist story, at times a little predictable but I was completely hooked!

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Exclusive Excerpt

I’ll still have to clear it at work. I’m not sure how Prue will feel about me taking a month off.’

Just the mention of my boss’s name made my stomach knot.

No one’s indispensable. Not even wonderful you,’ she called back.

My chest felt warm. Over recent years, Amy had matured and started to look out for me, cooking dinner and mowing the lawn. However, I’d never lose my maternal feelings towards her. When we were ten and six ours was quite an age gap. As was eighteen and fourteen when I’d had to leave her behind with Dad but promised we’d live together again. I beat the sugar and butter, remembering her tears and his folded arms as I dragged my suitcase past the fountain and out of the huge driveway, into the street. I’d finally realised I had to leave after… I swallowed. No. I wasn’t going to think about that now.

I let Nelly into the back garden, busied myself with ingredients and cleaned up whilst the cookies baked. Their sweet aroma wafted through the air as I carried them into the lounge, on a tray, with two coffees.

Good timing,’ said Amy and turned off her screen, looking pleased with herself. I put the tray on the table and joined her.

Is it all booked?’

She nodded. ‘A modest deposit paid. The rest is due in the middle of June, two weeks before we leave.’

Can’t you at least share which part of the world we’re visiting?’

That would be telling,’ she replied airily and took the largest cookie.

I jumped up and held her right arm firm whilst tickling the armpit. ‘I won’t stop until I find out, Amy Sterling.’

However, she was as strong as me these days and, giggling, held the cookie in her mouth and forced both of my hands away. I sat down once more. I recognised that expression. She was determined to keep her secret. Sometimes, with my impulsive sister, that could be a dangerous thing, like when she’d agreed to do a charity skydive with colleagues at work. She didn’t tell me until the morning of the jump.

Just a clue. A teeny one,’ I said. ‘Please…’

I’ve never seen you this excited before. Well, not since you were made assistant manager. Oh, and the time you found that fancy moisturiser for half price.’

It wasn’t just any moisturiser. The Duchess of Cambridge uses it.’ I pressed my palms together. ‘At least let me guess… the Canary Islands? Barbados? Australia’s an island, right? I mean, you and me – we share most things, don’t we?’

Best buddies, always,’ she said solemnly.

It was a promise we’d made to each other, the day after Mum’s funeral. And sure enough, we confided in each other about our latest celebrity crushes, about our dreams for the future; we put the world to rights over Chardonnay and Pringles. I knew her favourite colour, favourite food, favourite band. She could always tell when I’d had a stressful day at work and, without prying, would make me a hot chocolate, fetch a blanket and switch on my current Netflix obsession.

* Excerpt used with permission of the publisher as apart of this blog tour. 

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About the Author

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.

When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award

Website: http://samanthatonge.co.uk/ Twitter: @SamTongeWriter / Facebook: @SamanthaTongeAuthor

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Follow the Publisher

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

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Blog Tour Schedule

#Review | The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott #ThePhotographerOfTheLost @CScottBooks @simonschusterUK

Posted on Updated on

Hello, Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the incredible; The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott. This book is in no other words, but; stunning!! I may waffle quite a lot throughout this review, but I did get to the point where I just couldn’t find the adequate words to fully do this beautiful book justice. So, I hope you will look past my babble and fall in love with this book as much as I have because this one is very special indeed! 

The Photographer of The Lost by Caroline Scott.

Genre: Historical Fiction, War Fiction

Publisher: Simon & Shuster UK

Format: Ebook/Audio/Hardback/Paperback

Until she knows her husband’s fate, she cannot decide her own…

An epic debut novel of forbidden love, loss, and the shattered hearts left behind in the wake of World War I

1921, Families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors of the Great War have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He is considered ‘missing in action’, but when Edie receives a mysterious photograph taken by Francis in the post, hope flares. And so she beings to search.

Harry, Francis’s brother, fought alongside him. He too longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last things they ever said. Both brothers shared a love of photography and it is that which brings Harry back to the Western Front. Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, as he travels through battle-scarred France gathering news for British wives and mothers, Harry also searches for evidence of his brother.

And as Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to a startling truth.

An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history, The Photographer of the Lost tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins, and the even greater number of men and women desperate to find them again.

Caroline Scott is a freelance writer and historian specializing in WWI and women’s history. The Photographer of the Lost, partially inspired by her family history, is her first novel.

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Praise for Photographer of the Lost

‘[An] impressive debut . . . a touching novel of love and loss’, The Sunday Times

‘There’s only one word for this novel . . . and that’s epic . . . A beautifully written must-read’, heat

‘This excellent debut is a melancholic reminder of the rippling after-effects of war’, The Times

‘A poignant hymn to those who gave up their lives for their country and to those who were left behind’ — Fanny Blake, author of A Summer Reunion

‘The pain of not knowing where a son, brother or husband lies, and the guilt and psychological dissonance that torment survivors, are movingly conveyed in this terrific first novel’, Daily Mail

‘I was utterly captivated by this novel, which swept me away, broke my heart, then shone wonderful light through all the pieces’ — Isabelle Broom, author of One Winter Morning

‘Beautiful, unflinching, elegiac: The Photographer of the Lost is going to be on an awful lot of Best Books of the Year lists, mine included . . . it’s unforgettable’ — Iona Grey, author of The Glittering Hour

‘A beautiful, tender novel which explores the aftermath of the Great War, and the shattered lives left behind. Written with gorgeous prose and a cast of memorable characters, this is a stunning debut which had me spellbound from the first page to the last’ — Hazel Gaynor, author of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter

‘What a stunningly beautiful book this is. Caroline Scott evokes the trenches of WWI and the heartache of the postwar period as vividly as if she had lived it herself . . . this is a powerful, redemptive novel, one that teaches us not only about history, but about our capacity for love. I could not put it down’ — Abigail DeWitt, author of News of Our Loved Ones

‘A gripping, devastating novel about the lost and the ones they left behind’ , RED

***

I read this last year, I don’t know why it has taken me so long to post this review. I can only put it down to other factors which were going in my world at the time, but this has been languishing neglected in my drafts box all this time. Even though all this time has passed as I am reading through my notes I made for this review then, and as I get it ready to post, I am still feeling that underlining sense that I will never read another book that affected me in such a way as this one did. Even now I have the clearest image of the characters and the story in my mind and in my heart and I still feel the tingles that I felt as I read this heart-breaking book the first time last year.

Anyone who follows me and those close to me will know how much I am fascinated and drawn to this era, how much this subject is so close to my heart. Which was why I found this book to review on Netgalley I just had to read it, which I did in one go. It really spoke to me, it got under my skin and buried itself into my heart and got to me on a level that no other book – especially those set during or after the great war – have before. It is isn’t just amazing, I say that far too many times as it is, no this book is very special, it’s a remarkable look at an aspect of history that is so fraught with loss and sadness.

This book has made me into an emotional wreck, I have never read anything as exquisitely heart-breaking, and I doubt I ever will again. This era and the stories of those who lived through it and those who never returned home are very close to my heart, even more so once I learned all about my own ancestors and what they did during the war, and how much they lost. So these type of books always impact on me, but this….this broke me!

My heart broke time and time again, I never genuinely cry over a book, but this literally reduced me to tears, by the end I was a red-eyed, snivelling, broken watering can with tingles up my spine at just how breath-taking this is.

We all know the stories of those brave incredibly young men who went off to war, how they had to not only survive in the those dark, dank and exhausting trenches, only to hear that whistle which tells them to grab that tack and go over the top to cross no man’s land and to face the worst horror that a young man can ever face. Something which was the last thing some of those poor brave boys ever saw. But this book tells a different story connected to the one we know and it’s as compelling and heart-breaking and it also allows the reader to be drawn in and maybe see the war through another set of eyes, those eyes of a loved one who hopes and dreads all at the same time.

The year is 1921, this is the time when the Red Cross and other charities were starting to trace the war dead and the try to reunite prisoners of war with loved ones, this is the year that most of the survivors were being de-mobbed and started to make their way home, and trying to pick up their lives again. Families are trying to reconnect with their loved ones and then there are those whose menfolk haven’t come home yet, or at all. Such as Edie whose husband; Francis is yet to return from the front, he is said to be missing in action but when Edie receives a photograph which has been taken by her husband, she doesn’t understand the meaning of it or why she has been sent this mysterious photograph but a glimmer of hope bursts within her and she starts her search.

Francis’ brother; Harry was also a soldier at the front, he is destroyed by the thought the last things he and brother said to each other weren’t the most loving. He hopes that his brother is still alive which is one of the reasons he returns to France, as well being hired to take photographs and document the war graves for the families. Which is where Harry and Edie’s path cross as they both search desperately for the man they both love.

I hands down can not thank Caroline enough for putting pen to paper and writing this truly stunning book, I have some idea of the long hours and tireless research Caroline obviously put into writing this, I know first hand that once you begin down the research path of WW1 you become fully immersed and you put so much of your heart into the story which you want to tell. It’s obvious that Caroline has a real passion for this era and its history and the stories, her passion, sensitivity and respect for those she is writing about comes through with every turn of the page.

I completely loved it!!

This is a beautiful and poignant, long-lasting nod to all those who never returned home and to all those families who never knew what happened to their loved ones. Francis, Edie and Harry each one of them stole a part of my heart, I was in tears for all three of them and for all those just like them.

The Photographer of the Lost will go down in history as one of the greats of our time, I just know it! It is a beautifully haunting, heart-breaking, compassionate, memorable and stunning book, one that every single person should read, no matter what genre you usually read, do try this. I can guarantee even though most hardened of heart will get a lump in the throat while reading, it really is stunning!!

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About the Author

After completing a PhD in History, at the University of Durham, Caroline Scott worked as a researcher in Belgium and France. She has a particular interest in the experience of women during the First World War, in the challenges faced by the returning soldier, and in the development of tourism and pilgrimage in the former conflict zones. Caroline lives in southwest France and is now writing historical fiction for Simon & Schuster UK and William Morrow.

Caroline can be found on Twitter: @CScottBooks and her website: https://cscottbooks.co.uk/