Book Review

#Blogtour | The Place We Call Home Faith Hogan #ThePlaceWecallHome #Review @gerhogan @aria_fiction @BOTBSPublicity

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Hello, Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the blog tour for; The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan, I read this earlier in the year and loved it, so when I had the opportunity to re-share my review for this new blog tour, I delighted to do so. Go on and have a look, I hope you love it as much as I do!

The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Aria Fiction

Welcome to Ballycove, the home of Corrigan Mills…

Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Irish countryside the famed mills have created the finest wool in all of Ireland. Run by the seemingly perfect Corrigan family, but every family has its secrets, and how the mills came to be the Corrigan’s is one of them…

Miranda and her husband were never meant to own the mills, until one fateful day catapults them into a life they never thought they’d lead.

Ada has forever lived her life in her sister’s shadow. Wanting only to please her mother and take her place as the new leader of the mill, Ada might just have to take a look at what her heart really wants.

Callie has a flourishing international career as a top designer and a man who loves her dearly, she appears to have it all. When a secret is revealed and she’s unceremoniously turfed out of the design world, Callie might just get what’s she’s been yearning for. The chance to go home.

Simon has always wanted more. More money, more fame, more notoriety. The problem child. Simon has made more enemies than friends over the years, and when one of his latest schemes falls foul he’ll have to return to the people who always believe in him.

Ballycove isn’t just a town in the Irish countryside. It isn’t just the base of the famous mills. It’s a place to call home.

Best-selling author, Faith Hogan returns with a family tale of love, loss, secrets and finding yourself.

AmazonKobo / Google Play / iBooks

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Set in Ballycove, Western Ireland, The Place We Call Home is a beautifully written, realistic and deeply emotional family saga which spans the generations with its a perfectly interweaving plot which delves into the past and connects it with the present. I love how Faith Hogan delves deep into the Irish way of life in Ballycove, it adds to the story and the characters, which I think makes everything feel very real and authentic.

The setting is absolutely perfect, each scene is vivid and adds a marvellous echoing atmosphere to the story, the setting itself is like an extension of the story like an extra character, always there in the background and adds so much to every scene.

I really won’t say too much about the story as a whole as it is complex and each character’s own story is so interwoven though out that I wouldn’t which to give anything away. But this whole story revolves around the Corrigan and Blair family, who have been mill owners for generations, there are huge secrets and lies, heartache and love. The centre of the community is the mill which isn’t just apart of the family, it’s not a vessel of mystery, but it is peoples lives, roofs over heads and food on the table. I love how the mill is cemented into the book, how realistically it’s importance to the community is written.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the family and discovering the secrets that have been so cleverly hidden and then revealed throughout the book, Faith Hogan never fails to grasp the reader’s attention and their heart with her perfectly written stories, the way she can take every human emotion and the tangled relationship which are within every family is a master class of writing. The wring is strong, intelligent and thought-provoking, you are drawn into the world she has created for her characters, you follow each of them as though you were walking right beside them.

Each character is brilliantly written, true they are not all likeable, but as this is a glimpse of real-life is would be odd if everyone was sweetness and nice, as we all know the world isn’t full of good people and this is again where Faith’s talent at writing every nuance of human life comes into its own.

This is a wonderfully poignant story with family at its heart, full of love and lies. I will admit that it did start off a little slow for my liking but it soon picks up and I soon easily fell into it’s gentle and at times a soothing pace. If you love your family saga’s then this is the book for you, definitely highly recommended.

This was an arc via the publisher and Netgalley, which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour.

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About the Author

13/04/2018 Author Faith Hogan with her dog Penny at her home in Ballina, Co. Mayo. Photo: Keith Heneghan

Faith Hogan is an Irish award-winning and bestselling author of five contemporary fiction novels. Her books have featured as Book Club Favorites, Net Galley Hot Reads and Summer Must Reads. She writes grown-up women’s fiction which is unashamedly uplifting, feel good and inspiring.

Faith’s latest book, The Place We Call Home is published in January 2020.

She writes crime fiction as Geraldine Hogan – Her Sisters Bones is available now!

Faith gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway.

She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter @gerhogan / Website / Instagram

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Blog Tour Schedule

With thanks to, Sarah Hardy at Book On The Bright Side Publicity & Promo for the invitation to this wonderful blog tour. Twitter: @BOTBSPublicity / Facebook: Book On The Bright Side

#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

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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 Philosopher’s Daughter by Alison Booth #ThePhilosophersDaughter #Review @booth_alison @hfvbt

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Hello, Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this fabulous blog tour for; The Philosopher’s Daughter by Alison Booth, I am super excited to be sharing my review of this amazing and book, I hope you fall in love it as much as I have!

The Philosopher’s Daughters by Alison Booth

Publication Date: April 2, 2020
Publisher: RedDoor Press
Format: Paperback & eBook; 356 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

A tale of two very different sisters whose 1890s voyage from London into remote outback Australia becomes a journey of self-discovery, set against a landscape of wild beauty and savage dispossession.

London in 1891: Harriet Cameron is a talented young artist whose mother died when she was barely five. She and her beloved sister Sarah were brought up by their father, radical thinker James Cameron. After adventurer Henry Vincent arrives on the scene, the sisters’ lives are changed forever. Sarah, the beauty of the family, marries Henry and embarks on a voyage to Australia. Harriet, intensely missing Sarah, must decide whether to help her father with his life’s work or devote herself to painting.

When James Cameron dies unexpectedly, Harriet is overwhelmed by grief. Seeking distraction, she follows Sarah to Australia, and afterwards into the Northern Territory outback, where she is alienated by the casual violence and great injustices of outback life.

Her rejuvenation begins with her friendship with an Aboriginal stockman and her growing love for the landscape. But this fragile happiness is soon threatened by murders at a nearby cattle station and by a menacing station hand seeking revenge.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Book Depository | Kobo UK | Kobo US | Apple iBooks

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Praise for The Philosopher’s Daughters

“A lyrical tale of wild, frontier Australia. Evocative, insightful, thought-provoking.” -Karen Viggers, author

?”Booth is superb at the small detail that creates a life, and the large one that gives it meaning.” –
Marion Halligan, author

“Delicately handled historical drama with a theme of finding self, both in relationships and art, backed by issues on race relations in Australia and women’s rights.” -Tom Flood, author and editor

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Firstly, can I talk about that gorgeous cover? There really is something enchanting about it which draws you in and makes you want to pick it up and fall into the book. 

I was attracted to this book as soon as I  read the description, I have a real love of this turbulent, ever-changing era and to be perfectly honest I did think that this was going to be one thing and it turned out to be something completely different, and so much better then I had originally hoped.

This is set on the cusp of the Suffrage movement of 1891, which was another reason I found this so attractive. First in London and then the story moves across the world to Australia and in my opinion that is when the whole book comes to life, in the writing seems to take on a whole different feel it is as though Alison Booth was just waiting for that moment when the reader had settled themselves into hot and dusty, yet dangerously beautiful Australia to really let her talent and passion to breakthrough.

It is obvious that Ms Booth has a lot of love for this aspect of history and not just hour upon hours of research has gone into this but also a little piece of her heart. I think you can always tell in the feel of the writing when the author loves the story and you get that feeling here, it’s captivating.

So the story follows two sisters; Sarah and Harriet, who when the tale opens are living with their radical father and philosopher; James. Sarah soon marries adventurer Henry and in the blink of an eye. they have both sailed off to the other side of the world Harriet a passionate artist with her father. But on James’ untimely death, Harriet now must choose in which direction her life will take, missing her sister she follows Sarah to Australia and this is when these two completely different, yet intelligent, feisty and independent women really come to life.

I was completely blown away by this, it’s beautiful as well as bleak, it’s poignant and powerful, there is a magic that swirls through it as you read, the pull of the beautiful Australian outback, the intrigue of the history and the overpowering love from the people of their land. At the same time, it is hard hitting, I personally found it very uncomfortable to read the way the aboriginal people were treated, the tactless and ignorant prejudice from those whom think themselves superior.

If you only read one book this year, make it The Philosopher’s Daughter, this is a powerful, though-provoking and at times hard book to read, but well worth it. It’s a mesmerizing, eloquent and disarming tale of love, passion and fighting for rights and justice. It’s a story that will make you think of your own choices in life and how the world is, it’s a story of self-discovery, of harsh and unjust treatment of others and a story of family and true friendship.

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About the Author

Alison Booth was born in Melbourne, brought up in Sydney and has worked in the UK and in Australia as a professor as well as a novelist. Her most recent novel, A Perfect Marriage, is in the genre of contemporary fiction, while her first three novels (Stillwater Creek, The Indigo Sky, and A Distant Land) are historical fiction spanning the decades 1950s through to the early 1970s. Alison’s work has been translated into French and has also been published by Reader’s Digest Select Editions in both Asia and Europe. Alison, who holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics, is an active public speaker and has participated in many writers’ festivals and literary events.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, June 17
Excerpt at Donna’s Book Blog

Thursday, June 18
Guest Post at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, June 19
Feature at What Is That Book About

Saturday, June 20
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Tuesday, June 23
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Wednesday, June 24
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Friday, June 26
Interview at Jorie Loves A Story

Monday, June 29
Review at A Darn Good Read

Wednesday, July 1
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Friday, July 3
Feature at I’m All About Books

Monday, July 6
Review at Impressions In Ink

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of The Philosopher’s Daughters! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – The Philosopher’s Daughters

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 6th. 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 Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner #TheJaneAustenSociety #Review @NatalieMJenner @StMartinsPress

Posted on

Hello, Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. I am super excited to share my review of the enchanting book with you, I hope you love as much as I do!

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Format: Ebook, Audio, Hardback

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORYINDIEBOUND | AUDIBLEGOODREADS | BOOKBUB

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AudioBook

The full unabridged text of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY was read by the distinguished English film, television, theatre and voice actor Richard Armitage for the audiobook recording. Best known by many period drama fans for his outstanding performance as John Thornton in the BBC television adaptation of North and South (2004), Armitage also portrayed Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit (2012 – 2014).

YouTube audiobook excerpt

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Praise for Natalie Jenner

Just like a story written by Austen herself, Jenner’s first novel is brimming with charming moments, endearing characters, and nuanced relationships…Readers won’t need previous knowledge of Austen and her novels to enjoy this tale’s slow revealing of secrets that build to a satisfying and dramatic ending.”Booklist (starred review)

Few things draw disparate people together so quickly as discovering they love the same writers. Few writers cement such friendships as deeply as Austen does. I believe that the readers of Jenner’s book will fall in love with the readers inside Jenner’s book, all of us thinking and dreaming of Austen the whole while. What could be better? Nothing, that’s what! A wonderful book, a wonderful read.” ―Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society… A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

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This is a real sweet and feel-good story of love, friendship and the power of reading! If anything this charming tale just goes to prove that books really are the balm for the soul, they can bring so much joy, which is what I am assuming Jane Austen would have loved to hear, that her books have brought people so much happiness and joy.

I have to say that I am immensely impressed by how solid and beautiful the writing is if I didn’t know that this was Natalie Jenner’s debut book I wouldn’t have believed it. This is a gorgeous, heart-warming and inspiring book which really does drum home the power of good friendships.

I have to be honest and say that when I volunteered to review this for this blog tour, it wasn’t the Jane Austen link that caught my attention first, I did love the sound of it but what captured my attention was the era, I love a WW2 or post WW2 novel and I caught up by the idea that the power of books and one author, the history and legacy of a place can help restore the hope in a time that was so fraught with its own challenges, the war is over but that isn’t the end; men are coming home, women are losing their positions, loved ones are lost forever and those left behind are having to cope plus on top of that there is still unease and rationing it was those aspects and how the Society would help rebuild peoples lives that captured me most.

Set during 1948, we are whisked away to the picturesque village of Chawton, the last home of one Jane Austen a place where she spent the last days of her life. Unfortunately, Janes familial estate is under threat which is where a group of completely different people all come together in a shared hope and attempt to save not only Jane’s home but her legacy too, and the Jane Austen Society is born!

Each one of these eight individuals may have come together to preserve history and to keep Jane’s legacy of friendship and love from books alive, they have thrown themselves in on the task, but they each are battling their own personal issues. They are all so different each one is from a completely different world from the next each has come into the village with different reasons, they are all trying to either forget, move on or find a new life, some have suffered because of the war, some are facing the worst possible moments of their lives, some have found themselves in tragedy but. But despite their differences and their struggles, they have two things in common; 1. they all need a friend and 2. they are all passionate about Jane Austen.

I can’t really go into too much detail regarding this book, as apart from each of the members own personal histories and drama, the back blurb practically tells the story itself,, it’s not a taxing heavy read you can sit back and lose a couple of hours easily as you are transported to Chawton. I love the overall feel to this is an enchanting and engaging, its beautiful nod to one of this countries greats, but what surprised me most is that this is Natalie Jenner’s debut book, I would never have thought that as the writing is so clear and rich in detail, it’s definitely easy to read the story flows over the reader like a swirling mist and before you know it you’re near the end and wondering how that happened.

It’s a simple story one that will really hold onto your heart and what I love about it is that it can be enjoyed by all readers of historical fiction, whether you are an Austen fan or not. I know this as a fact as – and yes, I realise that this admission will probably get me outcast for life, but hey, I am all for speaking the truth – I have never read a Jane Austen and I don’t particularly like Pride and Prejudice, I am and always have been a Bronte lass, sorry to all Janeites.

Oh and for those who like audiobooks, I would definitely recommend this one, I am not a big fan of audio, in fact, I can never get into them much preferring to read a book for myself but The Jane Austen Society is narrated by the very talented Richard Armitage (Yes, I know ladies, its Mr Thornton and now we shall all stop and remember that kiss…#DoubleSigh) so whether you like audio’s or not, who can say no to Richard Armitage? 😉

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Spotify Playlist

Spotify users can access a playlist for THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY  here – The Jane Austen Society Playlist.

The playlist includes music from various film adaptions of Jane Austen’s books, as well as film scores by such incomparable artists as Hans Zimmer, Ennio Morricone, Rachel Portman, and Michael Nyman.

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About the Author

Natalie Jenner is the debut author of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, a fictional telling of the start of the society in the 1940s in the village of Chawton, where Austen wrote or revised her major works. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie graduated from the University of Toronto with degrees in English Literature and Law and has worked for decades in the legal industry. She recently founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

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Blog Tour Schedule

Join the virtual online book tour of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, Natalie Jenner’s highly acclaimed debut novel May 25 through June 30, 2020. Seventy-five popular blogs and websites specializing in historical fiction, historical romance, women’s fiction, and Austenesque fiction will feature interviews and reviews of this post-WWII novel set in Chawton, England.

May 25 Jane Austen’s World

May 25 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog

May 26 Frolic Media

May 26 A Bookish Affair

May 26 Courtney Reads Romance

May 26 Margie’s Must Reads

May 26 The Reading Frenzy

May 27 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina

May 27 Gwendalyn’s Books

May 27 Romantically Inclined Reviews

May 28 Getting Your Read On

May 28 Living Read Girl

May 28 The Lit Bitch

May 29 History Lizzie

May 29 Silver Petticoat Reviews

May 30 Cup of Tea with that Book, Please

May 30 Historical Fiction Reader

May 31 Jane Austen in Vermont

June 01 From Pemberley to Milton

June 01 My Jane Austen Book Club

June 01 AustenBlog

June 02 Lu’s Reviews

June 02 The Green Mockingbird

June 03 The Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

June 03 Relz Reviews

June 03 Impressions in Ink

June 04 The Caffeinated Bibliophile

June 04 Life of Literature

June 04 Laura’s Reviews

June 05 Reading Ladies Book Club

June 05 Bookish Rantings

June 06 From the TBR Pile

June 07 Rachel Dodge

June 07 An Historian About Town

June 08 Bringing up Books

June 08 Austenesque Reviews

June 09 Captivated Reading

June 09 Savvy Verse and Witt

June 10 Lady with a Quill

June 10 Drunk Austen

June 11 Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

June 11 Inkwell Inspirations

June 12 Nurse Bookie

June 12 A Bookish Way of Life

June 13 Calico Critic

June 14 Jane Austen’s World

June 15 Stuck in a Book

June 15 Storybook Reviews

June 15 Confessions of a Book Addict

June 16 Literary Quicksand

June 16 Becky on Books

June 17 The Reading Frenzy

June 17 Anita Loves Books

June 18 Chicks, Rogues, & Scandals

June 18 The Write Review

June 19 Diary of Eccentric

June 20 Cracking the Cover

June 21 Short Books & Scribes

June 22 Reading the Past

June 22 Babblings of a Bookworm

June 23 My Vices and Weaknesses

June 23 The Book Diva Reads

June 24 Books, Teacups & Reviews

June 24 Wishful Endings

June 25 Robin Loves Reading

June 25 Bookfoolery

June 26 Lit and Life

June 26 Vesper’s Place

June 27 Foxes and Fairy Tales

June 28 Probably at the Library

June 28 Scuffed Slippers Wormy Books

June 29 The Anglophile Channel

June 29 So Little Time…

June 30 BookNAround

#Review | The Temptations of Lord Tintagel (The Cornish Duke’s #3) by Bronwyn Scott #TheTemptationsOfLordTintagel #TheCornishDukes @Bronwynscott @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

Posted on Updated on

Hello, Sunshines! I hope you are all well? I am super excited to be sharing my review of; The Temptation of Lord Tintagel by Bronwyn Scott. This is the third book in the brilliant; Cornish Dukes series, and I can’t wait for you to meet the gorgeous Inigo, I hope you love it as much as I do!

Genre: Historical Romance / Series: Cornish Dukes #3 / Publisher: Mills and Boon, Harlequin / Format: Ebook, paperback

When his enemy…

becomes his truly tempting ally!

Inigo’s best friend’s life was cut brutally short by his association with the lovely Audevere Brenley and her father. Now Inigo seeks justice. But never did he dream that his greatest ally would be Audevere herself. What begins as business is branded with passion as Inigo rediscovers the intrepid, determined woman he thought he knew. His most dangerous revelation? His own feelings for her!

I have completely fallen in love with this series, Bronwyn Scott has once again blown me out of the water with her beautiful and endearing words, what I love about Bronwyn’s work is she is consistent with her writing, the plots are always intriguing and surprising, the romance is always true and passionate and her research and attention to detail is second to none. Bronwyn could writer a menu or a telephone book and I would devour it like a large slice of apple pie.

I have been looking forward to this one, throughout the previous two books I have been intrigued by Inigo, there was just something about him that caught my attention and I have been so looking forward to reading his story and I am super happy that this book did not disappoint in fact this is easily my favourite of the series.

This is the third book in the Cornish Dukes series, yes they can be read a stand-alone’s as everything you would need to know about the previous books is covered so your not missing out on any crucial part to the series story, but my personal view is that you should read them in order, as I think you will get a far better understanding of the characters and the reasoning behind what’s happening and Inigo himself.

After the death of his best friend, Inigo is out for revenge on those whom he fully blames for Colin’s death, he will stop at nothing to bring the awful Brenley down a peg or two. So, when the very woman he hates most of all; the daughter of the man himself and the woman who pushed Colin to do what he did, approaches him with the perfect way to finally get back at his Brenley then he jumps in. This arrangement between them is just that an arrangement, nothing more or less – or so they both think! Audevere wants freedom, she wants to be far away from her vile fathers manipulating, he is drowning her with his toxicity and she needs to be free of him before he pulls her further down into his pit of manipulation and ruthless obsession, she can only think of one man who can help her flee, a man she had once been good friends with.

Inigo is an amazing character, he is everything you would want from a hero; proud, protective, loyal, cunning, intelligent, sexy, caring, full of charisma and full of revenge. Oh, boy does this man ooze pent up frustration or what!! He is like a swirling cauldron of fire and lust, anger and loss, revenge and passion and Oh, boy do I love him?

This story unlike the previous two is all about the two main characters, Inigo and Audevere (Isn’t that one of the prettiest names?) are the star attractions of the entire piece. The change they go through as characters the way they develop and become the people they end up being is remarkable! It is a beautiful thing watching them grow as a couple and as individuals right before your eyes. Especially Audevere she is hugely complex, she has a lot of issues that need lots of patience and time for her to be able to resolve and at times I was wondering if she was even strong enough to be able to take the steps towards that happily ever after. I was willing her and Inigo on right from the start, so their ending was well fought for and hugely deserved.

There is something about Bronwyn Scott’s writing that just grips me, she has this talent of hooking her readers like a fish on a line, which is amazing; literally from the first page and that’s it I am a hooked. She teases and tantalises with the most fluid and enchanting words, she takes you on a magical carpet ride and by the end, you are exhausted – that is maybe due to staying up until the wee hours reading, though – I think I need to invest in some eye cream!

The engaging and intricate plot is flawless, the romance is fraught with a will they won’t they feel, and the ending is superb, I loved it!

I am super excited if a little saddened that we only have one book left in this amazing series, what will I do when all the Cornish Dukes have ruined me and then left me? How will I possibly survive? Venner is going to break me, I just know it but I still can’t wait to get my greedy little hands on him – I mean; hands on the book 😉

This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Bronwyn. x

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

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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!

***

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. 

***

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 Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore #TheGreatcoat #OffTheBookShelfReview

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Hello, Sunshines, I have raided the bookshelf again for another of my; Off the Bookshelf Reviews and I have the pleasure to be sharing my review of the spooky; The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore, I hope you enjoy it!

A terrifyingly atmospheric ghost story by the Orange-prize-winning Helen Dunmore.

In the summer of 1954, newly wed Isabel Carey arrives in a Yorkshire town with her husband Philip. As a GP he spends much of his time working, while Isabel tries hard to adjust to the realities of married life. Life is not easy: she feels out-of-place and constantly judged by the people around her, so she spends much of her time alone.

One cold winter night, Isabel finds an old RAF greatcoat in the back of a cupboard that she uses to help keep warm. Once wrapped in the coat she is beset by dreams. And not long afterwards, while her husband is out, she is startled to hear a knock at her window, and to meet for the first time the intense gaze of a young Air Force pilot, handsome, blond and blue-eyed, staring in at her from outside.

His name is Alec, and his powerfully haunting presence both disturbs and excites Isabel. Her initial alarm soon fades, and they begin a delicious affair. But nothing could have prepared her for the truth about Alec’s life, nor the impact it will have on her own marriage.

I am a big fan of Helen Dunmore’s work ever since I read; The Lie, many years ago and was so very saddened to hear the world had lost her a while ago. That book haunted me from the moment I read it, right to today. So when I saw this in a local charity shop, I knew I had had it, the cover alone compelled me to buy it.

I think this book is proof that you should never judge a book by its cover alone, which is what I did. Yes, it is by Helen Dunmore, but what really grabbed my attention was the cover, and to be honest, the cover may just be my favourite thing about this whole book.

Oh, Gawd! That sounds awful.

The underlining story of this is all about how deeply unhappy Isabel is, the war is over, Isabel and her husband; Phillip has moved from everything she knew to a little Yorkshire village in the middle of no-where. They take up rooms not so far away from the old airbase, one cold night she finds an old RAF greatcoat in their little apartment, using it to keep her warm this is when life takes an unexpected turn. The greatcoat is the start of all what happens to Isabel, she starts having disturbing dreams leaving her unsettled and feeling more thane then ever. Then one day she hears a tapping at the window and right there is a handsome man pilot called Alec who wants to come in, it’s when he crosses the threshold that the whole story takes on an unexpected turn and we are soon plunged into a realm of what’s real and what’s a dream, what’s a memory and what’s a ghostly encounter as Alec and Isabel start their illicit affair where past and present merge together.

I have to be honest and say that this was a bit of a disappointment, it didn’t have the same haunting feel that The Lie had. The start of the story started off on the right foot, it has everything you want from a mind-bending ghost story with a touch of heartbreak and romance. When Isabel first encounters the ghostly man staring into her window it does send chills down the spine, even more so when she ‘meets’ him but then the plot sort of twisted into something else completely.

To say it wasn’t what I was expecting was an understatement!

But, beneath the initial disappointment, I did actually enjoy it, I was completely glued to Isabel’s and Alec’s rather unsettling affair, it’s heartbreaking and tender, yet at the same time, there are darker moments where Isabel thinks she may be going mad. It isn’t a light read, there is a more sombre feel to it, as the reader you really get a feel of what post-war Britain was like, there was still rationing (I believe rationing didn’t stop in England until around 1956) so people were still living on the bread line, there is a very melancholic feel to it too especially with Isabel who I do think shows signs of depression.

It’s hands down not one of Helen’s best, but it’s a sweetly romantic and enjoyable short read.

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

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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.

***

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!!

***

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/

#Review | A Good Match For The Major by Josie Bonham #AGoodMatchForTheMajor @BonhamJosie

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Hello Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to sharing my review of; A Good Match for the Major by Josie Bonham, I am super excited about this new author and series, I hope you will love it as much as I do!

A Good Match For The Major by Josie Bonham

Series: The Reluctant Brides #1 Genre: Historical Romance / Format: Ebook

Pride meets prejudice – can love blossom.

Beautiful young widow, Lady Eliza Wyndham, is determined never to remarry after a disastrous first marriage. The undeniable attraction that fizzes between her and Major Nathaniel Overton terrifies her. She rejects his advances.

With his pride badly dented, Nat vows to forget Eliza until he finds her in danger from an old adversary of his army days. His protective instincts are stirred and he steps back into her life, but will Eliza be prepared to accept his help?

*A Good Match for the Major is currently free on Kindle Unlimited.

Goodreads / Amazon

***

This is Josie Bonham’s debut and I have to say that she has set the standard very high indeed for her future work, this is a cracking debut and a brilliant introduction to what I know is going to be a fabulous new series.

As soon as I read the back blurb, I knew instantly that this was going to be the book for me – anyone who knows me, or who follows the blog will be able to guess why I was so keen to read this book. But for those who don’t know I love any story where there is a military man, give me a man in uniform any day!!

I really liked that Eliza isn’t your shrinking wallflower debutant, she is a widowed woman who knows her own mind and isn’t too afraid to speak her mind. But under that gumption, there is a vulnerable woman who has been burnt before and is now afraid to go too near the flame – no matter how delectable and honourable that flame is.

Nathanial – oh, be still my beating heart!!….. My, oh my I said I loved a man in uniform and this man stole my heart, he is your stereotypical military man; full of manly pride, stubborn, loyal, protective, charming and a little gruff, but beneath that there lies a bruised heart. A heart that has been dented by the very woman he has fallen in love with; Eliza!

Josie Bonham has created two wonderfully likeable and complex character’s, they both have a past, they both have issues with trust towards the opposite sex, which makes for some entertaining and emotional moments between the two, especially as they attempt to traverse the waters to learn to trust again.

I really enjoyed this, its such a sweet and satisfying love story with an added hint of danger – especially where the villain of the piece comes in. All the characters are a joy to get to know and follow as they fight and find their happiness. The plot moves steadily throughout the story it’s not a straight forward regency romance there is an added layer to it which is engaging.

Overall, I think that this is a great debut, there is a lot of promise for more great things to come from Josie Bonham, and I can’t wait to read more from the Reluctant Bride’s.

***

About the Author

Josie lives in the English midlands, surrounded by towns full of history such as Evesham, Stratford-Upon- Avon, Warwick and Worcester. Which is perhaps why her favourite reads are historical. Out of all the periods to choose from the Regency Era stirs her imagination the most.

The true Regency lasted from 1811 until 1820 but dates as wide as 1789 to 1837 have been included in the extended Regency period. For Josie the true flavour of this era emerges after the iniquitous hair powder tax of 1795, unsurprisingly, scuppered the fashion for hair powder almost overnight.

Josie has always dabbled in stories but it took the combined efforts of her sister and eldest niece to set her on the path to writing novels. Her Regency romances, with a dash of adventure and intrigue, are the result. Despite the ‘help’ of her cat who considers a writing session at the computer an invitation to demand attention.

There is more information on her website at www.josiebonhamauthor.com and on Twitter @BonhamJosie

#BlogTour | Of Darkness And Light (Soli Hansen Mysteries #1) by Heidi Eljarbo #OfDarknessAndLight #Review #HFVBTBlogTours @HeidiEljarbo @hfvbt

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; Of Darkness and Light by Heidi Eljarbo, and I am super excited to be sharing my review of this brilliant book with you all. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Of Darkness and Light by Heidi Eljarbo

Publication Date: May 12, 2020

Series: Soli Hansen Mysteries, #1
Genre: Historical Mystery

 

 

In this first book of a new historical mystery series, a young art historian faces a tough choice in German-occupied Norway.

“Artful prose and at a pace that makes for a can’t-put-down, first-class literary voyage.”–Melissa Dalton-Bradford, bestselling author of Global Mom

Oslo, 1944. Soli Hansen’s passion for art history is and always has been a way of life for her. While she spends her days working in an art shop, WWII is taking its toll on everyone. Apprehensive of the consequences, Soli avoids becoming entangled in the war resistance efforts. She closes her eyes in hopes the enemy will retreat and leave her beautiful country for good.

But when a woman is found dead in the alley alongside the art shop and a painting from the last auction goes missing, Soli is thrown into the thickest of the fray involving both Nazi art theft and the Norwegian resistance.

Once Soli finds her courage, there’s no turning back. Her personal life is turned upside-down with danger, lies, spying, and an incredible discovery.

In this dual timeline novel, Heidi Eljarbo paints a vivid picture of what people are willing to do in desperate times. With unforgettable characters and rich historical details, Of Darkness and Light will keep the reader mesmerized until the last satisfying page.

Perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley, Katherine Neville, and Kate Mosse.

Available on Amazon

***

Praise for Of Darkness and Light

“Interspersing love, hope, and courage, the participants are drawn together in mysterious paths.“Pauline Isaksen, bestselling author of Dying for Justice

“Of Darkness and Light will reel you in and keep you hooked until the end.“ Mette Barfelt, bestselling author of The Solvik Series

***

Full confession time, before reading this I had never read any of Heidi Eljarbo’s work before, even though I have read some really great things, this is the first and I am so pleased that I got the opportunity to be introduced to this hugely talented author’s work, through this incredible book, plus start a whole new series in the process. I can’t wait to read more from Heidi and judging by this beauty this series is going to be a corker!

I loved the sound of this book from the start, I was completely hooked and intrigued by the back blurb and the fact it was likened to one of my whole time favourite historical fiction/timeslip authors; Kate Mosse and I knew that I needed to read this book, and I am so happy to say that I was no disappointed.

I am a big fan of the ww2 era, I think everyone knows about how the Nazi’s used to steal precious art as they moved around and I am fascinated by the people who were trying to stop that from happening and by the people who were trying to retrieve the stolen art and return it. Once you start reading more about that aspect it is hugely fascinating and it is apart of history that still is relevant today as there are thousands upon thousands of stolen pieces of art that were never recovered. But what I wasn’t aware of was Norway’s involvement in the war and its history, and this book really captures all of that and makes the reader want to learn more about Norway’s long and intriguing past.

This is a split timeline novel, the majority is set during 1944, Norway and then at times we jump even further back with a glimpse into Malta; 1600. I am a fan of the split/dual timeline and this is brilliantly crafted. Each timeline is vivid and rich in detail and history, the story doesn’t jump and leap about making it difficult to follow but it flows smoothly, the move from 1944 to 1600 and back again is flawlessly done. My particular favourite part has to be the part set in 1944, there is just something about that era and that aspect of the story that really captures the attention.

Heidi Eljarbo has a brilliant way with words, her writing is engaging and illuminating, every scene leaps out at you and you become full drawn into the story.

I loved that this isn’t your stereotypical WW2 novel, yes there is danger, secrets, lies and the resistance hiding in the shadows, but with the addition of a murder mystery and brief leap back in time to the 1600s then this becomes a real feast for the senses.

Overall a brilliant introduction into this fine authors work, I loved it and I cannot wait to see what comes next in this brilliant new series.

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About the Author

Heidi Eljarbo is the bestselling author of Catching a Witch. She grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as an author, magazine journalist, and painter.

After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have a total of nine children, thirteen grandchildren–so far–in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier.

Their favourite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter. Heidi’s favourites are family, God’s beautiful nature, and the word whimsical.

If you would like to know more, please visit Heidi’s website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, May 12
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, May 14
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, May 15
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, May 18
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, May 19
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Thursday, May 21
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, May 22
Feature at Hopewell’s Public Library of Life

Monday, May 25
Review at Foals, Fiction, and Filligree

Tuesday, May 26
Feature at Books and Backroads

Thursday, May 28
Feature at Bookworlder

Monday, June 1
Review at History + Fiction + Adirondack Spirit

Tuesday, June 2
Interview at Jorie Loves A Story

Wednesday, June 3
Review at Jessica Belmont
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away one copy of Of Darkness and Light in paperback! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – Of Darkness and Light

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on June 3rd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback 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 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.