Complimentary/Gifted Book For Review

#Review : Great British Family Names And Their History: Whats In A Name? By John Moss #GreatBritishFamilyNamesAndTheirHistory #FamilyHistory #NonFiction #JohnMoss @penswordbooks

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Hello everyone, today I have the pleasure to be sharing my review of Great British Family Names and Their History by John Moss, so if your a avid family researcher like myself then you want to stick around and check out this fabulous book.

By John Moss
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 314
ISBN: 9781526722805
Published: 3rd April 2019

For better or worse, what we are is often determined by our family; the events that occurred many years before we were born and the choices that were made by our forebears are our inheritance – we are the inexorable product of family history. So it is with nations. The history of Great Britain has been largely defined by powerful and influential families, many of whose names have come down to us from Celtic, Danish, Saxon or Norman ancestors. Their family names fill the pages of our history books; they are indelibly written into the events which we learned about at school. Iconic family names like Wellington, Nelson, Shakespeare, Cromwell, Constable, De Montfort and Montgomery… there are innumerable others.

They reflect the long chequered history of Britain, and demonstrate the assimilation of the many cultures and languages which have migrated to these islands over the centuries, and which have resulted in the emergence of our language.

This book is a snapshot of several hundred such family names and delves into their beginnings and derivations, making extensive use of old sources, including translations of The Domesday Book and The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, as well as tracing many through the centuries to the present day.

OK, brief confession I did review this book because – and this is rather, selfish of me – I wanted to see if my own ancestors were named in it, after all my family name goes way back to the 1500’s – can you tell, I am on and have been on the family history trail for years? But, alas, my ancestors aren’t significant enough to be placed amongst these great families which are featured in this book. Oh well, we can’t have it all can we?

Anyhow, you don’t want to hear me rabbit on, your hear for a review. So, as you would have gathered from the title this little book is all about British names and their origins, and it is an illuminating read. Its one of those books that you can have on the sideboard or on the book shelf and pull it out and any time, you don’t have to read it in order but flick through it at your own pleasure. Its not a taxing read, in fact I wiled away many hours with this and before I knew it I had devoured it.

I love the layout out of this, its set out in sections for each corner of Britain, and in each section the names from that area or listed alphabetically, which makes navigating the book that much easier especially if you are looking for a particular location of name. If your like me and on the Genealogy trek then this is a must have for any family historians bookcase, even if it is all about the larger more well known and well developed British named. But you will be surprised that you will come across some very well known names and even – like myself – while reading you will go ‘Ooh, I know that name, my second uncles four times removed knew so and so’.

Each name is thoroughly researched, the author has kept their history light but precise so your not bombarded by constant names and facts. I like the brief account of each family name in the book, it is fascinating to read.

This is a must for anyone interested in family history, or specifically British Names and I would be of invaluable use for writers who are looking for a specific family or name to add to their work.

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you Rosie!

Great British name and Their History is available at Amazon and Pen and Sword.

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#BlogTour : #Review An Abiding Fire by M. J. Logue @Hollie_Babbitt #AnAbidingFire @SapereBooks

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I have the great pleasure to be todays stop on this great blog tour and to be sharing my review for An Abiding Fire by M.J. Logue, so sit back grab a cuppa and let me tell you about this book.

About The Book

How do you solve a murder when you are one of the suspects?

1664, London

Life should be good for Major Thankful Russell and his new bride, Thomazine. Russell, middle-aged and battle-scarred, isn’t everyone’s idea of the perfect husband for an eligible young woman but the moment Thomazine set eyes on her childhood hero, she knew they were destined for one another.

But Russell, a former Roundhead, now working for the King’s intelligence service, was never going to have a simple life in Restoration London.

Unable to shake suspicions of his Parliamentarian past, someone seems hell-bent on ruining his reputation — and his life.

Whispers about his sister’s violent murder follow him and accusations of treason abound.

When more deaths occur Russell finds himself under suspicion.

He is ready to escape from the capital, but Thomazine is determined to find the truth and clear the name of the man she loves.

But who is the real killer and why are they so keen to frame Russell? More importantly, will they succeed?

And has Thomazine’s quest put them all in mortal danger?

An Abiding Fire can be purchased HERE

When I first got offered to be a part of this blog tour, I was in two minds; should I take on another review even though my TBR is literally towering above my head? Or do I just go for it as I so want to read this book, as it sounds utterly fascinating? I you can see, I did what I usually do and just dived in and I am so pleased that I did. I was thoroughly intrigued by the sound of this book, even though I haven’t read this author before |I was fascinated by the book ad I can say it was very worth being crushed by my TBR pile to take this one on.

What a fascinating man Russel is, a former Roundhead now the war is over, and King Charles is firmly on the throne Russell made the toughest decision either return to the Kings side or be tried as a traitor. Yes, Russell did choose to stay alive and serve the King then be hung, drawn and quartered but don’t think that he is a turn coat or anything – ok, he maybe but there is a reason behind why he does anything. I was instantly intrigued by this man, he is proud, principled and loyal so why would a man like Russell change sides? Well you will have to read the book to find out more about him. Now the war is over he is free to marry the only women who has set his heart beating faster, but he has is reservations as beautiful, innocent Thomazine is at least half his age and far too sweet to be with a rough old soldier like him. Oh, how wrong he is!

Thomazine can think of nothing better than being Mrs Russell and finally being able to proclaim her love for the old weathered soldier she fell in love with as a mere slip of a girl. But, all isn’t sunshine and daisies for our couple not when Russell is looked on with suspicion and when his own sister is brutally murdered eyes start looking in his direction. It is down to Russell and Thomazine to clear his name and prove that he is the good man he proclaims himself to be.

With danger lurking at every corner and our newly married couple stuck in the middle it is a race to find the truth before those that would do them wrong destroy them.

I love how the story opens, it really sets the reader up for the great dark and twisty tale that follows. It has a real dark undercurrent that is really grabs the attention and keeps you fully engaged right to the end. It is set in an era that we see so little of, especially in romance. I found An Abiding Fire to be thrilling, engrossing and very intriguing. If you are like me and love the darker and grittier historical’s that are more historic fiction then romance, then this will be right up your street. The author has a done a brilliant job at entwining in-depth history with a fabulous ‘who-dunnit’ and at the centre is such a fascinating couple who the reader can really get behind from the start.

The writing has a real depth to it, at times it can be dark and a little heavy so for those who prefer the lighter historical’s then this may not be the best book for them, even though I would say just give it a go. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, it’s fresh and original you get a real sense that the writer is very passionate about the era. I like how it was written so that the reader goes on the journey with the two leads, my only fault with it is I felt that the dialogue was at times a little jumpy.

Well worth a try for those who love their historical fiction.

About the Author

M.J. Logue (as in cataLOGUE and epiLOGUE and not, ever, loge, which is apparently a kind of private box in a theatre) wrote her first short novel on a manual typewriter aged seven. It wasn’t very good, being about talking horses, but she made her parents sit through endless readings of it anyway.

Thirty-something years later she is still writing, although horses only come into it occasionally these days. Born and brought up in Lancashire, she moved to Cornwall at the turn of the century (and has always wanted to write that) and now lives in a granite cottage with her husband, and son, five cats, and various itinerant wildlife.

After periods of employment as a tarot reader, complaints call handler, executive PA, copywriter and civil servant, she decided to start writing historical fiction about the period of British history that fascinates her – the 17th century.

Her first series, covering the less than stellar career of a disreputable troop of Parliamentarian cavalry during the civil wars, was acclaimed by reviewers as “historical fiction written with elegance, wit and black humour” – but so many readers wanted to know whether fierce young lieutenant Thankful Russell ever did get his Happy Ever After, that the upcoming series of romantic thrillers for Sapere Books began.

She can be found on Twitter @Hollie_Babbitt, lurking on the web at asweetdisorder.com, and posting photos of cake, cats and extreme embroidery on Instagram as asweetdisorder.

#Review A History Of Women In Medicine; Cunning Women, Physicians, Witches? by Sinead Spearing @sineadspearing #AhistoryOfWomenInMedicine #WomensHistory @penswordbooks

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I have the great pleasure to be sharing my review of this amazing book; A History of Women in History (Cunning Women, Physicians, Witches) by Sinead Spearing, so sit back grab a cuppa and let me tell you all about this brilliant book.

Witch’ is a powerful word with humble origins. Once used to describe an ancient British tribe known for its unique class of female physicians and priestesses, it grew into something grotesque, diabolical and dangerous. A History of Women in Medicine: From Physicians to Witches? reveals the untold story of forgotten female physicians, their lives, practices and subsequent demonisation as witches. Originally held in high esteem in their communities, these women used herbs and ancient psychological processes to relieve the suffering of their patients. Often travelling long distances, moving from village to village, their medical and spiritual knowledge blended the boundaries between physician and priest. These ancient healers were the antithesis of the witch figure of today; instead they were knowledgeable therapists commanding respect, gratitude and high social status.

In this pioneering work, Sinead Spearing draws on current archeological evidence, literature, folklore, case studies and original religious documentation to bring to life these forgotten healers. By doing so she exposes the elaborate conspiracy conceived by the Church to corrupt them in the eyes of the world. Turning these women from benevolent therapists into the embodiment of evil required a fabricated theology to ensure those who collected medicinal herbs or practiced healing, would be viewed by society as dealing with the devil. From this diabolical association, female healers could then be labeled witches and be justly tortured and tried in the ensuing hysteria known today as the European witch craze.

Well, what a fascinating, illuminating and at times quite harrowing book. I literally finished this in one day, I was completely hooked from the first page. I hate to say it, but before reading this I hadn’t heard of this author before – and I do feel awful for saying that. I’m very sorry, Sinead!

I was intrigued by the book the moment I spotted it and knew I had to read it and I am so pleased that I got the chance to. It is a remarkable read, I found it to be very hard-hitting and yet sensitive to those women it tells the stories of, it is a book that should be read by everyone, not just women who like me are interested in women’s history and celebrating how wonderful these women were but by all. I can guarantee there will be something within these pages that will intrigue everyone.

I really like how this is written, it not only tells the stories of these amazing women but it also highlights just what ignorance and fear can do, how when people fear or don’t understand something such what these fine women were doing or who then Ms Spearing’s voice comes through the history with such clarity that you feel her passion for the subject of which she is writing.

The book is all about the very early medicine women, or ‘cunning women’, healers and those that were basically viewed as witches; not quite people to be trusted. I loved the opening as Ms Spearing tells the story of how this book came about, all about when archaeologist found the remains of a women not buried in the grave yard but on the edge and buried with some very interesting and quite odd items. From there the book goes further in detail about who this women could have been, about the women like her from around the country doing good work healing and helping, these women who were basically the first doctors, these women who were respected one minute and the next tried for witch craft.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, it is a fresh and original book that looks into a different aspect of history.

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Rosie.

A History of Women in Medicine is available from  Amazon and Pen & Sword

#Review The Scandal Of George III’s Court by Catherine Curzon @MadameGilflurt #TheScandalOfGeorgeIIIsCourt #Georgian #History #NonFiction @PenSwordBooks

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I have the pleasure to share with you all my review of The Scandal Of George III’s Court by the hugely talented Catherine Curzon, grab a cup of tea and maybe a biscuit and delve into to some scandalous Georgian history.

From Windsor to Weymouth, the shadow of scandal was never too far from the walls of the House of Hanover. Did a fearsome duke really commit murder or a royal mistress sell commissions to the highest bidders, and what was the truth behind George III’s supposed secret marriage to a pretty Quaker? With everything from illegitimate children to illegal marriages, dead valets and equerries sneaking about the palace by candlelight, these eyebrow-raising tales from the reign of George III prove that the highest of births is no guarantee of good behaviour. Prepare to meet some shocking ladies, some shameless gentlemen and some politicians who really should know better. So tighten your stays, hoist up your breeches and prepare for a gallop through some of the most shocking royal scandals from the court of George III’s court. You’ll never look at a king in the same way again…

Well, this is an eye opener for sure! Whatever you originally thought of the Georgian Court will be completely shadowed by the reality of what went on within this scandalous family. And what a family, phew their exploits made me shattered just reading about them. If you think the Borgia’s were scandalous, wait until you meet the Georgians, this lot were in a league of their own.

I have been reading Catherine Curzon’s work for a few years now and I have loved every word she has written, but I am ashamed to say this is the first of her non-fiction books I have. What! How can that be? Definitely a lapse on my part, which will be rectified!

This reveals the scandals that went on though the court of King George III, and believe me this lot were a hoot. With ‘unsuitable’ marriage, a flurry of mistresses and illegitimate children popping up all over the show, secret marriages, heir sand the spares running around causing scandal at every turn plus a whiff of murder. This family was doing it all, you see this is what happens when TV hasn’t been invented yet, people get up to all sorts.

I love the way this is written, the history side is backed up with sources which are easily accessible for everyone (Check out the bibliography for a list of research sites and books which can be accessed) and then there is the notes in the back which are very illuminating and gives further background to each of the chapters. The thing that I particularly love about this, and what kept me glued and turning the pages was Ms Curzon’s incredibly entertaining writing style, there is a real wit which at times had me giggling away into my cuppa – I did get a few odd looks from the family 😉 especially while reading the ‘Carry On Cumberland’ chapter, which is one of my favourite chapters. So good!

Another of my favourite chapters, has got to be ‘Perdita And Pickle’ which is all about two Drury Lane actresses; Mary Darny Robinson and Dora Jordan – anyone who knows me or follows my posts won’t be surprised that I became completely and utterly engaged with a chapter all about two women who in all essence were regular women forging a path for themselves. I loved this chapter and getting to know these two fascinating women, especially Dora, who knew that she wasn’t an absolute beauty until you saw her legs. She chose to wear breeches – yes, I know, scandalous and you will have to read the book to find out why, but I do I like this lass.

Overall, this is a brilliant! The writing – which is of no surprise given this is Ms Curzon we are talking about, is flawless. It’s fun, engaging, ridiculously addictive and thoroughly entertaining. It’s a history lesson, but not at all like yawning though an old school lesson where the teacher drones on and you fall asleep right at the good bit, no! This is something between Horrible Histories, Time Team (Don’t judge, I know what I’m on about) and a Lucy Worsley documentary (I know wrong era, but you get the drift). This one of those books which once you start, you won’t stop until you turn the last page. When that happens you’ll feel rather out of sorts and wondering where your next Georgian Scandal fix is coming from. Do you think we should start of a GA meeting? ‘Georgians Anonymous’ for all of us who are now addicted to this rather scandalous era of British history.

Scandalously brilliant and thoroughly recommended for everyone who just loves a romp through history.

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you Rosie!

The Scandal Of George III’s Court can be purchased from Amazon and Pen and Sword Books.

#DoubleReview From Duke Till Dawn & Counting On A Countess (The London Underground Series) by Eva Leigh @EvaLeighAuthor #CountingOnACountess #BlogTour via @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonInsiders #Regency #Romance #FromDukeTillDawn

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I have the very great pleasure to be the next stop on this wonderful blog tour with Mills and Boon Insiders, and to be sharing not one review – oh, no! I have a double whammy for you lovelies to read, as I have reviews for both From Duke Till Dawn and Counting On A Countess by Eva Leigh. So sit back for ten minutes and take a look at these two amazing books!

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About Eva

Eva Leigh is a romance author who has always loved the Regency era. She writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, spending too much time on the Internet, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.

Eva also writes in multiple romance genres as RITA-award nominated Zoe Archer.

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From Duke Till Dawn (The London Underground #1)

Eva Leigh launches a seductive new series that sizzles with the dark secrets of London’s underworld…

It’s not my habit to seduce impoverished widows…’

The Duke of Greyland lost his heart – and a princely sum – to a charming, beautiful and destitute widow who, after one passionate night, vanished without a trace. Cassandra Blair grew up on the city streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a rich mark – to be fleeced and forgotten – only she’d never forgotten him.

Years later, chance brings them together again, in a London gaming hell. Grayland is desperate to have her… never suspecting everything about his lover was a lie. But finding herself in dire financial straits, at risk of losing everything, Cassandra has no choice but to beg the man she betrayed for help.

The proud Duke will assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid! But can the real Cassandra – the smart, streetwise survivor – steal his heart all over again?

This is the first I have read Eva Leigh, really? I can’t believe that myself, I must constantly walk around with my eyes closed off to the world, to have missed out on such a fabulous author. But, I can guarantee that this will not be the last, I am determined to read more by Ms Leigh.

I was instantly taken with the premise of this book, was the way the hero is portrayed she is independent, strong, reliant and manages to manoeuvrer her way through a man’s world and manages to hold her head up high and say “Yes, I can do exactly what I want and will have the respect” At times in Historical romances it can be hard to have the heroine really stand out as herself, there is very few authors who can really make their heroines likeable as well as real and Ms Leigh has definitely made it on to that list of the very few who can create a real heroine who you not only can relate to but who is incredible in her own right. Anyone who knows me, will know how much I love a romance where the character is a self made man/woman and yet another reason why I love this book.

Years before Alex; the Duke of Greyland met the most glorious woman he has ever set eyes on, he gave her his heart and soul. For a Duke who lives by the code of responsibility and the rules that surrounds his station letting anyone peer past his aristocratic cool exterior to the sensual man within wasn’t easily done. So, when she disappears with a large amount of his money he is devastated. Now at the ripe old age; of thirty- eight Alex knows that he really needs to get on with finding himself a wife and procuring the mandatory heir, but when he does he is yet again left all on his tod. As the chit goes and elopes with a cavalry officer and runs of to Gretna Green. Yep, Alex isn’t having the best of times and things become even more complicated for Alex as he comes face to face with his ‘Queen’ in an unarmed gaming hell. What the hell was she doing, and more importantly who exactly is this mysterious woman who stole his heart.

I will admit that it took me a while to warm to Alex, but once you get past the moody egotistical and self-pitying Duke and get to the man warm, sexy, sensitive man behind the mask, he is quite the catch. He thinks that because everyone has so far let him for whatever reason he now believes him to be unlovable, unwanted – which is totally wrong, and something he does soon learn.

To say that Cassandra Blake is shocked to bump into the very man who she stole from but the man she has unfortunately fallen in love with after she dumped him so callously is an understatement. She is now working for her old mentor Martin Hughes in his gaming hell, Hughes on finding out about her and Alex’s brief encounter wants to cash in once again and she has no choice but to go along with his plan. After all this man could put her on that transportation ship or even worse put the noose around her neck as he knows all about her life of crime.

One thing leads to another and as with all historical romances our hero and heroine get their happy ever after, but there is some twists to the tale, there is hurts, lies and harsh truths which must be faced before that happens.

I adore Cassandra, again and again she has found herself in a precarious place, from picking pockets as a child to pulling cons and ending up working the floor and tables in a gaming hell – one that unusually has no name. She has been through some really tough times, she has seen her fare share of troubles but she has taken the bull by it’s horn and battled through to become the mysterious ‘Queen’ I found Cassandra to be highly intelligent, resilient, independent, great at thinking on her feet and even though she has spent a life conning and swindling – but all or a good reason- she isn’t heartless or cold. She feels genuinely bad about all the things she has done especially what he did to Alex. She is a kind woman, maybe not an honest one but we can see past that once you get to know her. And her love and friendship with Alex shows just what kind of warm and caring woman she is. All she wants now is to go on the straight and narrow, she’s had enough of the cons and the criminal aspect of her past hanging over her head.

This is a brilliant introduction to a new-to-me author, I love Ms Leigh’s writing style, it’s fast-paced and flows with absolute ease taking the reader on a whirlwind journey through he criminal underworld of London. The research is spot on the mark, the detailing of everything from the clothes, scenery and setting makes the whole story come to life with dazzling effect. The story is imaginative, sensual, atmospheric, rich with allure and shines with regency glitter. I absolutely loved it.

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Counting On A Countess (The London Underground #2)

For a shameless libertine and a wily smuggler in the London Underground, marriage is more than convenience—it’s strategy…


Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth, war veteran and newly minted Earl of Blakemere, buries his demons under every sort of pleasure and vice. His scandalous ways have all but emptied his coffers…until a wealthy mentor leaves him a sizeable fortune. The only stipulation? He must marry within one month to inherit the money. Kit needs a bride and the bold, mysterious Miss Tamsyn Pearce seems perfect.

Husband hunting isn’t Tamsyn’s top priority—she’s in London to sell her new shipment of illicit goods—but she’s desperate for funds to keep her smuggling operation afloat. When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees. After all, her secrets could land her in prison and an attentive, love-struck spouse could destroy everything.

But when an unexpected proviso in the will grants Tamsyn control of the inheritance, their arrangement becomes anything but convenient. Now, Kit’s counting on his countess to make his wildest dreams a reality, and he plans to convince her, one pleasurable seduction at a time..

After reading ‘From Duke Till Dawn’ I was looking forward to reading this book, anyone who knows me will know how much I love a scarred soldier. So the minute I was introduced to Kit in the previous book, I knew that I needed read this one and I am so pleased that I got the chance as this is fabulous! Even though this is only the second book I have read by Ms Leigh I can instantly see that this lady has a skill with creating sensual, engaging and ultimately absorbing stories which will stay with you long after bedtime, or even keep you up way after your bedtime. All readers know what I mean by that, you start reading in bed, promising you’ll just read one more chapter and before you know it you’ve nearly finished the book.

Oddly enough with the previous book, it took an age for me to arm to the hero and yet the heroine instantly struck me and stayed with me. This time it was the complete opposite, I was instantly drawn to Kit, I wanted to shake him for his stupidity, hug when he was feeling blue and just be with him all the time, he has a mesmerizing quality about him that any woman with a pulse will instantly flock to. Anyone who has seen the film; Michael will know what I mean when I say, he was definitely my pie. ;-) Google Michael and you will understand!

Kit; Earl of Blackamoor is sort of stuck in a bit of a rut, since leaving the military with scars – which are definitely more psychological then physical – which make him want to loose himself to drink. He has received the title which he never wanted, and still doesn’t want and all the time flitting from one scandal to the next as he searches for a way to drown his sorrows, his memories, either in the bottom of a bottle, in the darkness of a gaming hell or in the arms of a willing woman. He is definitely on a road to self destruction, but unfortunately for him he has now squandered his inheritance and his now skint. Which really is no good especially as he had his heart set on building a garden where veterans and their families can go and have a little happiness.

But all isn’t doomed as he finds out he has been left a substantial sum from a former commanding officer who not only looked after Kit, but who Kit regarded as more family then officer, but there is one thing that is in the way of him getting his hands on the money; in the will, it states Kit must marry. But, old Lord Somerby was a sly old fox. He knew exactly what would happen to his money if Kit got his hands on it so he put yet another clause in the inheritance contract, not only must Kit find himself a wife, but said wife will ave full control of the money.

So with that in mind, Kit goes on the search when he suddenly and literally bumps into the staggering beautiful, mysteriously clever Tamsyn. But there is more to this fiery red-head then meets the eye. She has her own secrets and her own reason for being in London and her own reasons for suddenly needing a husband, can you seen were this is going? each need to marry, and standing before them is the person who could save both their lives. Match made in heaven! Sort of, that is until a certain smuggling secret rears it’s ugly head sending our couple on a tense, sexually charged and engaging journey which will see them go through so much.

I loved the plot, there seems to be so much going on within one story, a scarred hero and feisty heroine with a marriage of convenience, mixed with a smuggling scheme then you have you hands on a compelling, engaging, fast paced, sensual and very hot historical romance. Yet again this is another wonderfully written, captivating story that will keep the reader glued to the last page.

Highly recommended!

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These two books were supplied by the publisher in exchange for honest reviews as apart of this blog tour, Thank you Sanjana and the Mills and Boon Insiders team.

From Duke Till Dawn and Counting On A Countess can be found at Amazon.

From Duke Till Dawn – Buy Here Counting On A Countess – Buy Here

#Review Her Deceptive Duke (Wicked Husbands series #4) by Scarlett Scott @scarscoromance #HerDeceptiveDuke #WickedHusbands #Victorian #Romance

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Georgiana, Duchess of Leeds, hasn’t seen her husband since he left her on their wedding day for an extended hunting expedition and never returned. But she isn’t the sort to wait around pining for an arrogant oaf who can’t bother to recall he has a wife, no matter how sinfully handsome he may be.

She finds all the fulfillment she requires in caring for the stray cats and dogs of London’s streets. Until, that is, the duke returns, and she uncovers the truth about where he’s been…

Kit, Duke of Leeds, never wanted to be duke. He was content with his life as one of Her Majesty’s most dedicated spies until his brother’s unexpected demise left him forced to marry an American heiress to save the family estate from ruin. The day he married her, he left for a secret assignment in America, with no intention of returning.

Seriously wounded and his cover ruined, Kit’s forced back to London where he finds a townhouse brimming with creatures and a wife who can’t bear the sight of him.

With husband and wife beneath the same roof at last, their marriage of convenience sparks into a passion that’s as undeniable as it is unexpected. But is desire enough to bring two wary hearts together? And once Kit’s wounds are healed, will Georgiana’s love be enough to make him stay?

WARNING: Contains explicit language and steamy scenes.

Well, what a fantastic book! It’s ultra hot, saucy, thrilling, exciting, sensual….I could go on but over the course of this review, I may bleat on a wee bit too much about how amazing this book is. I cannot believe that I have never read Scarlett Scott’s work before, why is that? I must have been walking around with my eyes shut to have missed this fine author, but that will soon be rectified as I will most certainly be reading more from Ms Scott.

This is book four in the Wicked Husbands series seeing as I hadn’t read any of the other before I can whole heartedly say that you really do not need to. I read this as a stand-a-lone, because the story is centred around the couple and not so much the spy network – we will get to that later 😉 I didn’t think that I had missed out on anything from the previous books, true I now need to read the other’s just because this was so darn good.

The story starts with Georgianna and Kit marrying, not voluntarily theirs was the typical arranged marriage of convenience; his Ducal family needed money and she has money as she is the daughter of a wealthy American. Match made in heaven? Not quite, seeing as the moment they are married and before the wedding day is even finished Kit swan’s off without a backwards glance at his new wife and Duchess. To say that poor Georgianna is riled doesn’t even come close to how she feels about her husband, all she can do is stand by and watch his retreating broad shouldered back walk away from her.

In the months while her husband was off on his so called ‘hunting trip’ she has had to find a way to take her mind of the hurt she was feeling when he left, that hurt soon turned into anger and now she feels nothing for the man she was made to marry. She started rescuing animals and nursing them back to health, she has literally filled the house with all manner of animals – which once her husband returns and finds dogs in his master chamber that makes for some very amusing scenes between estranged husband and wife.

He does sound like a cad and really he could have waited a day at least before he fled, but I do like Kit and there is a very good reason why he had to flee. Kit is not just a high and mighty Duke but he is also apart of a secret group of her majesties spies called ‘The legion’ he had to rush off on his latest mission, one that unfortunately for him is the one that nearly gets him killed. He turns up again months later; severely wounded after being shot when his cover was blown. He has no choice but to go home with his tail between his legs as everyone thinks him a traitor, let us just say he isn’t looking forward to the reunion with Georgiana.

I absolutely adore ‘enemies to loverstrope stories, I love the conflict between the couple and the HEA feels so much more earned and these two are fantastic. They argue, rant and rave, they throw abuse and insults at one and other as though it’s as easy as breathing and then there is the making up sex; my goodness me it mightily hot! Kit is gruff, broody, argumentative, he never wanted to be Duke he is far happier in his spying role, he never wanted a wife – especially one as free- spirited and feisty as Georgianna, who would be as happy as Larry to skewer him with something sharp; but the estate and the title needed the money. Yet beneath all that ruthlessness and cold heart there lies a good, loyal, decent and brave man who merely wants to do his duty. Georgianna is a wonderful lady, yes she does hate Kit with a passion for doing a runner, but when he turns up wounded she is the first to jump in and help her husband, but that doesn’t mean life is plain sailing for them especially with an unknown traitor on the loose and Georgianna ready to shoot anyone – including Kit – with her trusty pistol.

I love it!! It is such a great story; thrilling, imaginative fast-paced and supremely sexy. The character’s are well developed from the moment of meeting them you are instantly drawn to into their story but more then that they are immensely likeable and very funny; especially when they want to throttle each other. It is defiantly one that will be read and re-read again and again.

I do have to warn that there is a lot of strong language throughout, and the sex will make the reader rather hot under the collar. So if you don’t like explicit bedroom scenes and a foul mouthed hero then this may not be the best book for you, but I would say give it a go as the story is a corker. With a traitorous and complex plot, sexy spies, brooding dukes and fiery duchesses, plus a mansion full of vagrant animals; what’s not to love?

A must read for all historical romance lovers!

This was a complimentary copy via Aurora Publicity in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Pam.

Her Deceptive Duke can be purchased from Amazon.

#Review Exploring The Lives Of Women, 1558 – 1837 by Louise Duckling, Sara Read, Felicity Roberts & Carolyn D. Williams @WSGUK #ExploringTheLivesOfWomen #WomensHistory #WomensStudiesGroup via @penswordbooks

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Exploring the Lives of Women, 1558-1837 is an engaging and lively collection of original, thought-provoking essays. Its route from Lady Jane Grey’s nine-day reign to Queen Victoria’s accession provides ample opportunities to examine complex interactions between gender, rank, and power. Yet the book’s scope extends far beyond queens: its female cast includes servants, aristocrats, literary women, opera singers, actresses, fallen women, athletes and mine workers.

The collection explores themes relating to female power and physical strength; infertility, motherhood, sexuality and exploitation; creativity and celebrity; marriage and female friendship. It draws upon a wide range of primary materials to explore diverse representations of women: illuminating accounts of real women’s lives appear alongside fictional portrayals and ideological constructions of femininity. In exploring women’s negotiations with patriarchal control, this book demonstrates how the lived experience of women did not always correspond to prescribed social and gendered norms, revealing the rich complexity of their lives.

This volume has been published to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837. The group was formed to promote research into any aspect of women’s lives as experienced or depicted within this period. The depth, range and creativity of the essays in this book reflect the myriad interests of its members.

 

This is a fascinating collection of essays that covers all aspects of women’s history and the women themselves from Lady Jane Grey to Eliza O’Neill and many, many more between, plus there are essays on women’s rights, lives, sports, intellect, novels and even sex. I was intrigued by it as soon as I saw it and it did not disappoint. If you are interested in women’s history and the more under-celebrated figures from women history then this will be the perfect book. It is a compelling, richly historic and fabulously written book which will entertain as well as educate.

I was particularly engaged with the chapter about the three ‘radical’ Mary’s; Mary Wollenstonecraft, Mary Hays and Mary Robinson now I have heard of all three, any woman who each in their own way fought for women’s rights and to educate not just women but men too. I thought this particular chapter was wonderfully written, with great insights into these fascinating women plus highly educational, I never knew that Mary Shelley was the daughter of Mary Wollenstonecraft, how amazing!

Plus, the chapter about women’s running is utterly fascinating, I never knew that between 1700 and 1749 there was a t least 68 ladies running races across the country, how fascinating is that? It was those essays that focused more on the ordinary woman such as the brave women who went down the colliery which really jumped out at me, that is one of the reasons I really connected with this book, was the fact that’s its not all about royals and aristocrats its got a lot of depth into the ordinary woman and what she faced.

For those that are more fond of novel’s and lighter historic non-fiction this may be a little heavy, but I would definitely recommend everyone to read it, and the beauty of this book is that you necessarily have to read it in order, you can very easily jump in an out and it will make a fantastic research book for anyone who writing, if you have a woman in your work in progress then I would definitely have a read of this, it will amaze you.

A great book, and one that definitely should be any woman’s bookshelf.

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Rosie.

Exploring The Lives Of Women 1558 – 1837 can be purchased from Amazon and Pen & Sword.