Hello my lovely readers, Today I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the stunning; A Game Of Desire by Sharon Ibbotson, I am very excited to tell you about this book, so as ever take a seat, grab a cuppa and enjoy.
The Queen of Diamonds never loses …
Felicity Fox is a rarity for a woman living in the early 1800s. Not only does she frequent the ‘gambling hells’ where most ladies would not dare to tread, she can also beat any man at his own game. It’s no wonder she’s gained notoriety as the ‘Queen of Diamonds’.
Edward, Earl of Addington, despises gambling and is not exactly enamoured of Felicity Fox either, especially after she tried to swindle his family. Except now the Earl requires assistance from the Queen of Diamonds – and there’s everything to play for. But with Edward will Felicity find she’s involved in a more dangerous game than she’s ever played before?
Ouh la, la! This book is a real gem, first full disclosure that I was drawn to this book the moment I saw the cover, yes I know we shouldn’t judge by covers alone – but, come on look at it, isn’t t gorgeous? Then when I read the blurb, I thought “wow, this is going to be one hell of a great historical” and I am so pleased that my first impression was right on the money, as this is a stunning historical.
This is a brilliant book that has an amazing heroine in the form of Felicity, she isn’t your stereotypical heroine, she isn’t an aristocrat as such, she is a just a regular woman who after a bit of a lousy childhood and after falling on hard times she has picked herself up and made something of herself, and that something just happens to be the best damn gambler there is. With the brains, the looks and the skill of the cards she is a force to be reckoned with. She is the star of the London’s Gambling circuit, a Diamond in the rough which is why she has been handed down the moniker of the ‘”Queen of Diamonds” but all didn’t go to plan, when she was caught trying to swindle the mighty but gullible; Earl of Addington, she was caught by the Earl Son; Edward who banished her from London.
Five years later, Edward is now the Earl and he wants a precious heirloom back that his father had sold, but to get it back he needs the help of the one person he vowed never to see again, the one woman who can boil his blood faster then a cauldron, the woman he banished instead of sending to the gallows. He needs the Queen of Diamonds and oh, how he hates that, he hates everything she stands for, he has seen for himself how gambling, drinking and whoring can destroy a family – as has Felicity, but Edward doesn’t realise this, yet. I’m pretty sure you can guess what Edwards want the brilliant Queen of Diamonds for, Felicity and Edward make a deal, one that could back fire on them both as they both have their hearts on the line.
I really liked Felicity, I love a good independent heroine, especially one who has a little bit of fire and intelligent behind the seductive smile and I really think that Ms Fox aka the Queen of Diamonds, is that. She is caught between a rock and a hard place, she hasn’t had the best start in life but she has made something of herself, yes, it may not be the most respectful career choice, but she is good at gambling, she is good at reading people and she uses her knowledge and her feminine whiles to good use, I really admire that.
I haven’t read Sharon Ibbotson’s work before, but I can see from this book that she is an author to watch out for. This is a very clever and original story, with a spiders web of emotion, out two lead character’s are both brilliantly intriguing and complex individuals, both have a real fragility and a vulnerable side that they keep boarded up so no one can hurt them again, both have issues with trust, with being able to love and with thinking that they deserve love.
This is an sexy, exciting and entertaining romance, that balances the blossoming romance between Edward and Felicity with an engaging adventure. What I particularly liked more than anything is that subtle feminist undercurrent that is ever present throughout the story, as well as that this does have a darker feel to it then your average historical romance, I like the edginess of the story and the individualism of the characters.
Overall, wonderfully written and a definite must read.
This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you Liz and ChocLit.
A Game of Desire is available now and can be found at Amazon.
#Review : Crikey A Bodygueard by Kathryn Freeman @KathrynFreeman1 #CrikeyABodyGuard @ChocLituk @RubyFiction
Hello my lovely readers! Today, I have the great pleasure to be sharing my review of the gorgeous; Crikey A Bodyguard by Kathryn Freeman, this book is amazing and I can’t wait to tell you all a little about it.
A fun heart-warming read. Perfect for Spring!
Fabulous new book from the best selling author of Oh Crumbs and Too Damn Nice. Highly recommended.
She’s got the brains, he’s got the muscle …
When Kelly Bridge’s parents insist on employing a bodyguard for her protection, she’s not happy. Okay, so maybe not every woman is on the cusp of developing a vaccine against a potential biological terrorist attack – but crikey, it’s not like she’s a celebrity!
Ben Jacobs flunked spectacularly out of school, so he knows his new client Dr Kelly Bridge spells trouble for him. But on a conference trip to Rome he finds things are worse than he thought. Not only is he falling for the brilliant scientist, he’s also become horribly aware she’s in grave danger. As they go on the run, dodging bullets and kidnappers, can he resist his feelings and keep her safe?
Ooooh, this is so good!! I mean seriously this is way beyond just being good, this is in a league of it’s own for greatness. Romance, comedy, thrilling action it has everything! This is only the second book I have read by Kathryn Freeman, I was hooked by the first of hers I read; Oh, Crumbs! I fell in love with her serious and realistic and very easy to read writing style so I knew that I had to read this one too. As soon as I read about this I just knew; This book is going to be a good one! Do you ever get that? When you instantly know, that a book is going to be good without even reading the first page? This is what happened here, I just had to get this book in my hands.
Kelly is a scientist who is on the verge of a break through with vaccine for a pox that the government think terrorists could start using in biological attack. After she has been followed and had strange men turn up at her door claiming to read the meter her parents decide that she isn’t save and employ a body-guard for her – much to her disbelieve, she can’t believe tat they would go and do such a thing without asking her first. How could they think she needs a bodyguard, she is just scientist. But they won’t take no for an answer. So in walks ex-special forces soldier and now bodyguard; Ben.
I have fallen hopeless, head over heels in absolute love with the hero; Ben, my goodness!! I am swooning a little at the mere thought of this incredible man, what a hero! Lots of love is going to be showered towards this man and those vivid green eyes. I love how real he is, after leaving school with practically nothing except the notion that education wasn’t for him, he chose to enrol in the military which was the making of him, he found what he was good at, he found his family and more than he loved his job – even when he was going through tortuous special forces training. So when he gets shot and has to leave it broke his heart, which is when Pantha Security Services came in. Not only now does he get to be useful but because everyone in the company is ex forces, it’s like going home. Ben is a complex man, he is a multi-layered man kind, protective, loyal, patient, strong, ruthless, no-nonsense, brusque and undeniably charming.
But he has his vulnerability – yes, I did zone on that fragility part of him the moment I met him – he feels inadequate and rather stupid around those who are higher on the social ladder then himself. So, when Ben finds out that his next job is to be the bodyguard of a scientist, he does groan and worry that this is going to one hell of a long job. That is until he meets; beautiful, brilliant, stubborn, super smart, unbelievably rich scientist; Kelly, who isn’t at all what he thinks her to be.
Even though Kelly doesn’t want Ben or any bodyguard, she fully thinks her parents are just jumping to conclusions – how wrong she is – she takes a real shine to him – again how could she not? She soon learns to trust the large man’s opinion and that he will keep her safe. I really liked the way Kelly explained the science and her job to Ben, after all he isn’t the inly one to not understand science talk.
This is my kind of book, it has everything! A stonking great plot, where you never know what is around the corner. A fantastic romance between two gorgeous people who you know are just crazy for each other. A super smart and independent heroine and rugged ex military hero – with green eyes, sigh! That is definitely my kryptonite. What you think will be a basic woman meets her bodyguard and they fall helplessly in love, soon shows that thus is far, far more than that. Yes, there is romance – after all this is a ChocLit book which are one of the best publishers around for a good old love story, but add to that the fast paced, race against terrorists then you have something very special.
This has a; must be made into a film, written all over it!
There is a real depth and feeling about it that just pulls you in and you literally at the edge of your seat as you devour it age by page, there re times when your heart is in your mouth and then you go; wow!!
Honestly, this book is so good! Thrilling, exciting, fun, witty, intelligent, romantic and it has real heart. Ms Freeman’s writing is so good, stylish, eloquent and so engrossing.
This was an Arc copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you Liz.
Crikey a Bodyguard is available now from Amazon.
#Review : Daughter Of The House (Cornish Tales #5) by Victoria Cornwall @VickieCornwall #DaughterOfTheHouse #CornishTales @ChocLituk
Hello my lovely reader’s! Today I have the huge pleasure to be sharing with you all my review of the amazing Daughter of the House by the very talented Victoria Cornwall. My, goodness this book is just so good! But, don’t just take my word for it, go and take a peek for yourself.
Evelyn Pendragon is spirited but lonely, and largely ignored by her parents whose attentions are taken up with her brother, Nicholas: the expected heir to the family’s Cornish estate and the one who will carry on the Pendragon name.
Stifled by her aristocratic existence, Evelyn finds companionship in an unlikely place when she befriends Drake Vennor, an apprentice gardener on the estate.
But When Evelyn’s life is thrown into turmoil by a tragedy, she realises just how much she has come to rely on Drake. Will family expectations and the burden of the Pendragon name mean she must turn her back on him when she needs him the most?
What a magical story, Victoria Cornwall has done it again! This is book five in the Cornish Tales series, and what I love about this series is that yes, there is something that links them all together, but it’s not huge that you need to read them all in order to understand what’s going on. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t until this one that I even realised what the link was, and I’ve read them from the beginning. These beautiful books are very much stand-alones, they all have their own unique stories and character’s which you will instantly fall in love with whilst reading.
Evelyn Pendragon (don’t you just love that name?) is the second and seemingly unwanted child of Sir Robert Pendragon, she is practically ignored by everyone except her older brother – and favourite child – Nicholas. She lives a lonely life when her brother is with tutors and his parents, she is spirited and wants more than to just sit quietly. She finds that once her governess has dozed off after an afternoon of reading Evelyn can sneak off to her favourite place; the garden! She loves watching Timmons; the head gardener and loves staring out over the beautiful gardens – usually from her perch atop of one of the many statues – it is whilst out amongst the roses; quite literally that she first meets the young Drake Vennor, the new gardeners apprentice and soon the aristocratic lady and the apprentice gardener are soon firm friends.
When her beloved bother sadly passes away, to stop her cousin Mawgan from inheriting the estate Evelyn’s father names her as head of the estate ans soon she is in full training, doing what she would never have thought possible for a mere woman. It is in these difficult times that her friendship with Drake really comes into it’s own, as he is enduring the hard training of being the apprentice gardener and she her own estate training they soon find that they need each other more than they even imagined. I love this part of the story, they really come to each others aid when needed. This is what is so special about Evelyn and Drake they are made to be together, they are a loving couple who really see each other for who they are, but it is the fact that they are true friends first and that is the basis of their relationship. But, all doesn’t exactly go to plan and there is far more in store for both Drake and Evelyn.
I absolutely loved the start of this, the prologue is set in 1870, sixteen years before the actual story begins and it definitely makes you stop and think; well what is going to happen here? There is an edgier feel to that, which will grab your attention and make you keep turning the pages with lightning speed wanting to know what will happen.
Anyone who has ever read a Victoria Cornwall book, then you will know just how gifted she is, and this one is right up there with the best. I love how it tells the story of Evelyn and Drake from first meeting as children’s they grow up into adults. Their love is solid and eternal, from being children you can so easily see that they have a special connection that lasts.
The story is solid, it takes the reader on a wonderfully crafted and engaging journey as Evelyn and Drake find their way in the world, their romance is captivating, it’s so tender and sensual it makes the heart melt watching as they find their happiness with each other.
Daughter of the House is a magical, loving and enchanting romance that will stay with you long after the last page. As always Ms Cornwall has deftly woven a tale of love, lies, secrets and intrigue all wrapped up with a romantic bow. What a real treat!
A gorgeous romance, that has real heart!
This was an Arc copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you Liz!
Daughter of The House is available now and can be found at Amazon and do grab it while you can.
#Review The Potter’s Daughter by Jackie Ladbury @JackieLadbury #ThePottersDaughter #HistoricalFiction @ChocLitUK @RubyFiction
Hello my lovelies, I have the very great pleasure to be sharing my review of The Potter’s Daughter by Jackie Ladbury, so grab a cuppa and let me tell you little about this sweet little story.
When Daniel Davenport saves Maddie Lockett and her young brother Tom from drowning, an immediate bond is forged between them.
But Daniel is an aspiring doctor and son of a wealthy manufacturer, whilst Maddie is a potter’s daughter from a poverty-stricken area of the Potteries. Even a friendship between the two could be frowned upon, let alone anything more …
But Maddie and Daniel want more, and as they grow closer gossip and prejudice look set to spoil their blossoming romance. Do the young couple stand a chance when there are those who would stop at nothing to keep them apart?
I was fascinated by the sound of The Potters daughter since I first heard about it, there was something different about it that I found utterly intriguing. I do have a soft spot for books where the hero/heroine are working class, don’t get me wrong I have nothing against historicals that lean heavily on the aristocratic stories, but it is very refreshing having two very normal individuals take centre stage.
Aspiring doctor and son to the local wealthy manufacturer, Daniel’s life is set on a course, success and wealth is his future, that is until he rescues beautiful, impoverished Maddie and her brother from drowning. There is an instant mutual attraction between the two young love birds, but prejudice soon raises its ugly head as she is from the poverty-stricken potteries community and he from wealth – well can you see where this is going? They must face so much scorn from those who believe themselves superior to the likes of Maddie and her family, to be honest it was Maddie who really stuck with me. Her story of growing up in poverty, of doing all she can to get herself and her family out of the sewage strewn gutter where they live is not a story that most authors like to focus on, but we readers love it as Maddie’s story is not fluffy it’s raw and very relevant. With so much in Maddie and Daniel’s way can they ignore the snide gossip and fin their happy ever after?
This is definitely my kind of historical, it doesn’t hold back Ms Ladbury has really pulled out all the stops at creating a very relatable and real world and extremely likeable character’s who the reader can get behind and will them to have their so deserved happy ever after. The Potter’s Daughter is like a mixture of North and South with the luscious Mr Thornton – or in their case adorable Daniel and hard hitting drama; The Mill with his very raw and real look on just how difficult life was for the regular working class and for those who tolied long hard hours in mills.
I haven’t read any of Ms Ladbury’s work before now and I will definitly be reading more from her, I really liked her intense, straight to the point and atmospheric writing. She does a wonderful job at grabbing the readers attention. The story is a basic wealthy boy meets poor girl and family tend to get in the way kind of trope, but I love the emotional journey the character’s go on as they find their feet and as their romance blossoms, it is a very sweet little story that I think will appeal to many historical readers.
This was a Arc copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you Liz and apologies for the late review!
#Review Magnolia House by Angela Barton @angebarton #MagnoliaHouse #Contemporary #Romance @ChocLituk
I have the great pleasure to share with you all my review of Magnolia House by Angela Barton, grab a cup of tea and let me tell you about this emotional book.
When you open up your home and your heart …
Rowan Forrester has it all – the happy marriage, the adorable dog, the good friends, the promising business and even the dream home after she and her husband Tom win a stunning but slightly dilapidated Georgian townhouse in London at auction.
But in the blink of an eye, Rowan’s picture-perfect life comes crashing down around her and she is faced with the prospect of having to start again.
To make ends meet she begins a search for housemates, and in doing so opens the door to new friends and new beginnings. But could she be opening the door to new heartbreak too?
Magnolia House is a wonderfully emotional and up-lifting book, which will stay with you a long time after shutting the last page. This is the first I have read by Angela Barton, so I came into this book with open eyes and I am so pleased to say that Ms Barton has grabbed my attention with her heart-warming story of moving on after heart-break and I know without a doubt that I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
The story opens to Rowan who basically has everything a woman could want; adoring husband and happy marriage, gorgeous dog, a plan to open her own business and winning her dream house at an auction. All is going more or less to plan, their Georgian house; Magnolia House may be in a bit of a state and need some work, Tom; her husband may be a little pre-occupied but this is their dream and they will make it work. That is until the worse thing that could ever happen to Rowan, does happen, and she is alone with a dilapidated house, no income and having to deal with a double heart-break.
Which is when she decides that the only way she is going to be able to pay the mortgage and all the bills that comes with owning a house and able to afford the work that is needed on it, she opens up the door to flatmates. My heart absolutely went out to Rowan, she has been through the mill anyone who reads this book will shed a tear of how cruel life has been for poor Rowan. She is a good woman, she is just trying to start a whole new life for herself and tragedy strikes and her whole world collapses, any other woman in Rowans’ position would have given up, yet she faces each change with a proper stiff upper lip. She refuses to allow her grief to take control and govern the way she lives her life.
After careful consideration she chooses the people who will share her home -the home she always thought she would share with Tom. Soon between them they start to move forward, forging new relationships and friendships. As Rowan again faces some tough trials ahead of her, some hard truths and skeletons coming out of the cupboard. She also struggles with her mixed feelings for James; one of her flatmates as well as feeling that she is betraying her husband with how she is feeling toward James.
There is a lot of up’s and down’s for Rowan, this book really tugs at the heart-strings, anyone who doesn’t get a lump in their throat after meeting Rowan then they must have a heart of stone. This is emotional, beautifully written, heart-breaking and heart-warming story. I love how realistic the plot is, Rowan’s personal story could happen to anyone, the reader can really relate to her. All the character’s are beautifully created and very likeable, even the secondary character’s such as Tom’s sister Libby who goes through her own issues. Magnolia House is a story that is full of hope, love and compassion, highly recommended!
This was an Arc copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Liz.
Magnolia House is available from Amazon.
#Review A Daughters Christmas Wish (Cornish Tales #4) by Victoria Cornwall (@VickieCornwall) #WW1Romance #Christmas #ADaughtersChristmasWish #CornishTales @ChocLitUK
A Cornish Christmas wish sent across the ocean …
Christmas, Cornwall 1919
A promise to a fellow soldier leads Nicholas to Cornwall for Christmas, and to the teashop managed by Rose; the youngest daughter of a family whose festive spirit has been blighted by their wartime experiences. But as Nicholas strives to give Rose the best Christmas she could wish for, he begins to question whether his efforts are to honour his friend, or whether there is another reason…
This is a beautiful book that captures a moment in history, that really emphasises the emotional suffering that gripped the country. Set after the great war , The Daughters Christmas Wish focusses on the aftermath of that horrendous war. The main character’s Rose and Nicholas have both lost and now trying to move on with their lives, which I think Ms Cornwall has portrayed beautifully, not that I’m surprised as she is a wonderfully skilful writer who can enchant and engage the reader from the very first page.
It’s 1919, the great war is finally over and people are attempting to move on and rebuild their lives after years of heartache and suffering. Nicholas is back home, after the war he couldn’t face returning home without his best friend so he re-enlisted for another year but now he is back to fulfil a promise he made to fellow soldier and fallen friend; Sam. That was to go back to home to Cornwall and give Sam’s fiancée; Rose the best Christmas she could ever wish for. I love the way he comes to make her Christmas special and how she wanted it, he took a poem that she wrote to Sam about Christmas and made every line of that poem reality for her. Which really is the most romantic thing that you have ever read and really shows just what an incredibly kind and honourable and gentle man Nicholas is. He too has been affected by his experiences from the war, those experiences have imprinted on him a sense of needing to over come loss.
Rose doesn’t really feel like celebrating Christmas, she is deeply unhappy, her whole life has completely changed, but not for the good. Rose and her family have all been scarred by the war, her brother Arthur and her fiancée Sam have both been killed on the front which has left her in a deeply unhappy state and that of her parent’s too, who have become grief stricken to the point that they are stuck in the darkness and forget about their daughter. My heart broke for Rose, she is clearly in pain, she is struggling and a bit lost, but she has an inner strength that makes her get up and put one foot in front of the other.
I loved this book, it’s a beautiful and poignant love story that is written with absolute care and sensitivity for the era and subject. The character’s are realistic to the time, they have a heart-breaking tender and sweetness about them that will make you fall in love with them. This is an emotional book that will have you reaching for the tissues and fill your heart with love and joy for the festive season.
I am in absolute love with this book, simply stunning!
This was an ARC via the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Daughters Christmas Wish is available from Amazon.
#Review – One Magical Christmas by Berni Stevens (@Berni_Stevens1) #Christmas #Romance via @ChocLituk
Christmas magic doesn’t really exist – does it?
When Annie Berry collides with Nik Knoll in a car park on the day of her sister’s wedding, it feels like all of Nik’s Christmases have come at once. Annie seems like just the sort of woman he’d like to get to know, and the chance nature of their encounter is almost like, well … Christmas magic.
But Nik has a secret, and he has to be sure that he can trust Annie before he tells her. The problem is that this secret has a Christmas deadline, and time is running out …
Who doesn’t love a magical Christmassy love story? I loved the sound of this from the moment I saw it and I wasn’t disappointed. One Magical Christmas is exactly what it says on the tin, it is a very magical read that is fun, entertaining and a very enjoyable read. This is the first I have read by Ms Stevens and what a wonderful introduction into her work and will definitely be reading more from her.
Annie is helping her little sister with her wedding, her sister has given her just one task and that is to find herself a dress. She find the perfect dress, a beautiful, sophisticated midnight blue number that looks magical and is perfect – even if it did cost an arm and a leg. What she doesn’t know when she sees it, is that this dress is as magical as it looks because this dress changes her life.
Nic runs a children nursery which also includes a few special animals he is on a deadline set by his father because of a huge family secret. For reasons that will be revealed as you read the book, Nic has resorted to online dating – with no success, and later speed dating – equally unsuccessful. He is becoming desperate and time is flying by, he feels that he may fail that is until he literally bumps into the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Only problem, he didn’t get her number!
But he needn’t worry as the magic of Christmas has rubbed off, they soon find each other. They have a fun and sweet romance that may lead to more, but can Nic trust her enough to tell her his family’s secret?
This is a wonderful Christmas story that is so full of magic, the plot is fun and flows easily from one scene to the next. The two lead character’s are so lovable, you instantly like them and are cheering them on. I thoroughly loved reading this book, it is a simple story of boy meets girl but I have to say it’s a good one. I loved the humour, the stylish writing and the engaging dialogue and it definitely makes your feel all festive.
Wonderful book, very recommended!
This was a ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
One Magical Christmas can be pre-ordered from Amazon.