Historical Romance

#Review : Daughter Of The House (Cornish Tales #5) by Victoria Cornwall @VickieCornwall #DaughterOfTheHouse #CornishTales @ChocLituk

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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.

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#Review The Earls Countess Of Convenience (Penniless Brides Of Convenience #1) by @MargueriteKaye #TheEarlsCountessOfConvenience #PennilessBridesOfConvenience @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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Hello my lovelies, I have the great pleasure to be sharing with you all my review of this amazing book; The Earls Countess of Convenience by Marguerite Kaye which is the first book in the whole new Penniless Brides of Convenience – to say I have been excited about this new series is an understatement and I am so pleased to say that this book does not disappoint. But, don’t take my word for it grab yourself a cuppa an a piece of cake and have a read.

A countess in name only…

tempted by a night with her husband!

Part of Penniless Brides of Convenience: Eloise Brannagh has witnessed first-hand the damage unruly passion can cause. Yet she craves freedom, so a convenient marriage to the Earl of Fearnoch seems the perfect solution! Except Alexander Sinclair is more handsome, more intriguing, more everything, than Eloise anticipated. Having set her own rules for their marriage, her irresistible husband might just tempt Eloise to break them!

Well, this is fabulous! What a great introduction to this whole new series, I was instantly interested in the Penniless Brides of Convenience just going by the title of the series alone I knew that this was going to right up my street. I was fascinated by the sound of it, I do love stories where the lead character is a little down on their luck and we see them really come into their own throughout the book and this is exactly what happens here.

Judging by this one, I know that the rest of this series is going to be great. I am really looking forward to see what Ms Kaye has got in store for us next and where these Penniless Brides takes us. Alexander, the new Earl of Fearnoch needs a wife! Because of a clause when he inherited the title, if he is to keep his estates he must marry before he turns 30 otherwise everything would revert to his already married cousin and the next in line. Alexander because of reasons you will find when you read the book he doesn’t want this cousin anywhere near the title, so when his friend Daniel says his niece Eloise would be perfect for him he knows that this could be his chance to fulfill the clause. Alexander doesn’t want a marriage in the regular sense, if it was up to him he wouldn’t marry at all due to his choice of career. All he wants is a wife in name only, and Eloise who is as reluctant for an intimate marriage as he is perfect.

After the death of their parents; Eloise and her two sisters are currently living with their aunt Kate, when she receives a letter from her uncle Daniel who says that his friend the Earl of Fearnoch is in search of a wife and dear uncle Daniel has put her name forward as the perfect candidate.

Eloise and her sister’s have a ball guessing what Alexander will be like, it is a very funny scene where the twins are coming out with these hilarious descriptions about the as yet unknown Earl. But, Eloise being the practical older sister she can see ahead that this marriage could be very beneficial for everyone – that is as long as she likes him.

The deal is made, they understand each other and marry but can their marriage really be just in name only? Let me tell you with the seductive looks that pass between them, I think not. There is an energy in the air whenever they are in the same room, they have real chemistry. Eloise and Alexander are a great couple, they both have issues, there is a vulnerability about both of them that is heart-breaking they have both suffered which has ingrained itself on both of them, turning them both cynical towards happily ever after’s. Which is why they work together so well, they can see themselves in the other and it is this part of their relationship that really speaks to the reader and where Ms Kaye comes into her own as a writer.

What I really loved about this one is that the first half of the book is basically Eloise and Alexander getting to know each other, it is them negotiating their marriage deal and finding their feet as a married couple and learning each other’s little tells and quirks. I really love that, and it’s so new for a couple to sit down and actually talk about themselves. True, Alexander doesn’t reveal all, there is more to this man then meets the eye and Eloise senses that too, she knows that Alexander isn’t exactly what he proclaimed himself to be.

I am a huge fan of Marguerite Kaye’s work, I love how descriptive her books are, you can really visualise every scene with such clarity it is as though you have been transported into the book. As always you become utterly submerged into her writing, but I do particularly like this one – I would even go as far as saying that this is one of the best I’ve read – I love the progression of the story and watching Eloise and Alexander find their way is utterly charming. Yet there is far more to this then a marriage of convenience, something which I won’t go into as it would give away the whole story and I can’t have that, you need to read this and find out what the sub plot is for yourself.

The Earls Countess of Convenience is a captivating and tender romance that will make you feel utterly besotted with the story and the character’s; are perfectly written they have real depth and energy. The story is flows gracefully from page one and takes the reader on a wonderfully journey right to the last.

Overall, I cannot recommend this book enough, this really is a heavenly read.

This was an Arc from the author in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Marguerite!

The Earls Countess of Convenience is available now and can be purchased from Amazon.

#Review Unlaced By The Duke (The Lockmore Legacy #2) by Lare Temple @laratemple1 #TheLockmoreLegacy #UnlacedByTheDuke #Regency #HistoricalRomance @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a lovely day! Today, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of Unlaced By The Highland Duke and do have to warn you I may babble on a bit, but seriously this book is stunning! It has taken me a long time to write this review, mainly because I couldn’t seem to find the words to completely express my thoughts. So, without further ado grab yourself a cuppa and let me tell you a wee bit about this book

A plain Regency governess

In bed with the Duke!

Part of The Lochmore Legacy: a Scottish castle through the ages! Unceremoniously packed off to Scotland to care for the Duke of Lochmore’s young son, practical widow Joane Langdale fears she will be ignored—as always. But the deep connection and heated passion that develops between her and Benneit is far more dangerous! When Benneit is expected to propose to another, how can Jo dream of becoming his duchess?

Firstly, before I waffle on about men in kilts – you know it’s going to happen 😉 let me say Lara Temple you have seriously outdone yourself with this beautiful, beautiful book! I found writing this review so hard, not that it isn’t good the complete opposite that this book is way too good to be true, I couldn’t find the right words. This book is testament to the fact that Lara Temple is a master in writing Regency Romance and I am in absolute awe of this fine ladies work.

This is book two in The Lochmore Legacy series, even though you can very easily read them as stand-alone’s I highly recommend that you do read all the series (once all four are released, of course) as there is links that are starting to emerge from the previous book; His Convenient Highland Wedding and I would hate for you to miss out on the mystery that is slowly being unravelled.

Widowed Joane a poor relation of the Duke of Lochmore’s late wife; Bella. Being from a poorer branch of the great Uxmore’s she is used to being basically ignored and treated as nothing more than a servant. She is then unceremoniously passed to the Duke of Lochmore as a governess for his young son Jamie; who is such an adorable and entertaining young lad. Benneit is in the middle of securing a marriage deal between him and Lady Tessa McCrieff, he is hoping that the marriage will not only help him with his plans for a new distillery plus finally put an end to a centuries long rift between the two mighty clans. But, as we know not everything goes to plan in historical romance and with the arrival of prickly Jo.

Jo is an amazing women she takes everything in her stride, she never complains and yet she isn’t a meek little mouse she has a lot of inner strength she has a stubborn, argumentative, witty and sarcastic streak in her that she keeps very well hidden beneath her staid grey gowns. But, be warned, if you ever find yourself on the wrong side of her, take shelter! She is also so caring and loving, she has a real passionate nature all of which Benniet finds so enticing – even if he won’t admit it.

Benniet is, well what a man! He is a brilliant father, when he allows himself to just have fun with his son and the way young Jamie looks up to his mighty father is heart-warming. He does feel a lot of guilt that he doesn’t spend as much time with his son as he would like to, and there is a little bit of jealously at how much Jamie has taken to Jo, and how they seem to be as thick as thieves. He is a good man, a man who is trying to do what is right and he genuinely cares deeply for his estate and those who live on it. As soon as I laid eyes on Benneit I felt that there was a fragility about him, there is something that he keeps locked a way, a pain lurking behind those green eyes that instantly made me love him. Not, to mention how good he looks in a kilt and those eyes…sigh, I have always gone weak at the knees for green-eyed men 😉

Stunningly beautiful, that is the first thing that popped into my mind whilst reading. This is regency writing at it’s very best, with enchanting and beautifully created character’s who are as mesmerizing, as they are realistic. Jo and Benniet are the perfect couple, there is a spark between them that shimmer’s below the surface. They are incredibly passionate even though they do start off rubbing each up the wrong way, the bantering between them is a lot of fun to watch, the frustration and tension that circulates around them is palpable and draws you fully into their personal story. You are willing them on, you know instantly that these two are going to be a sensual and very relatable couple and to me it is their journey to their happily ever after that is truly breath-taking, their relationship develops in a very natural way. It is like watching your two best friends finally realise that they love each other. Oh, and then there is Aunt Morag who lives in her own tower, she is such a weirdly compelling and very entertaining creature.

I have to comment on the scenery, I was utterly blown away with it. The attention to detail captures your attention from the moment Jo, Benniet and Jamie set off on their journey to Lochmore the whole scene is played out in your mind, you see the sweeping landscapes, the rolling seas the wind blowing through the trees. While they are on the boat sailing north, you can almost taste the sea salt in the air, and once in Lochmore you can hear and feel the eerie silence – if you’ve ever been in the middle of an empty wood or in the middle of nowhere whilst walking the dog, you will understand that last sentence. There were moments where I felt goose-bumps while reading, this book is stunning, in every way you can imagine!

Overall, this is exquisite! Beautiful, full of grace and passion, wonderfully atmospheric, a true love story with a hint of a Gothic-ish mystery. I honestly cannot recommend this book enough, I am completely lost for words at just how amazing this book is.

This was an Arc copy from the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much Lara!

Unlaced By The Highland Duke is to be released on 18 April and can be pre-ordered at Amazon, and yes do pre-order it!!

The Lochmore Legacy

The series is linked by setting – a castle in the Highlands of Scotland – and by a feud between two clans that spans the centuries. It is different in that book 1 (His Convenient Highland Wedding) is set in the Victorian era. The heroine makes a shocking discovery, and clues to the mystery are gradually uncovered as we go back in time through the Regency era (Lara Temple), Tudor (Elisabeth Hobbes) and finally Medieval (Nicole Locke), when the truth about that mysterious discovery is finally revealed.

#1 His Convenient Highland Wedding (Victorian) Janice Preston – Available now!

#2 Unlaced by the Highland Duke (Regency) Lara Temple – 18 April 2019

#3 A Runaway Bride for the Highlander (Tudor) Elisabeth Hobbes – 30 May2019

#4 Secrets of a Highland Warrior (Medieval) Nicole Locke – 27 June 2019

If you want to find out more about The Lochmore Legacy, then check out their Goodreads page and the new The Lochmore Legacy Facebook page.

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#Exclusive #CoverReveal : The Dukes Regret (The Duchess Of Gracechurch Trilogy #3) by Catherine Kullman @CkullmannAuthor #TheDukesRegret #TheDuchessOfGracechurchTrilogy

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Hi my lovelies, I am excited to be sharing the very first and exclusive look at Catherine Kullmann’s up and coming book; The Duke’s Regret, which is book three in the The Duchess Of Gracechurch Trilogy and I have to tell you that this cover is so beautiful as soon as I saw it, I was wide eyed as it is so distinctive and classic. But, you don’t want to just take my word for it, you want to actually see it. So, here it is…

The Duke’s Regret (The Duchess Of Gracechurch Trilogy #3) by Catherine Kullmann

Genre: Historical Romance/Historical Fiction

Publisher: Willow Books

Format: Ebook/Paperback

A chance meeting with a bereaved father makes Jeffrey, Duke of Gracechurch realise how hollow his own marriage and family life are. Persuaded to marry at a young age, he and his Duchess, Flora, live largely separate lives. Now he is determined to make amends to his wife and children and forge new relationships with them.

But Flora is appalled by his suggestion. Her thoughts already turn to the future, when the children will have gone their own ways. She knows divorce is out of the question, as it would mean social ruin, but an amicable separation might be possible and perhaps even a discreet liaison once pregnancy is no longer a risk.

Can Jeffrey convince his wife of his sincerity and break down the barriers between them? Flora must decide if she will hazard her heart and her hard-won tranquillity when the prize is unforeseen happiness.

I was born and educated in Dublin. Following a three-year courtship conducted mostly by letter, I moved to Germany where I lived for twenty-five years before returning to Ireland. I have worked in the Irish and New Zealand public services and in the private sector.

I have a keen sense of history and of connection with the past which so often determines the present. I am fascinated by people. I love a good story, especially when characters come to life in a book.

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The Duchess Of Gracechurch Trilogy

Set in Regency England from 1803 to 1816, The Duchess of Gracechurch Trilogy celebrates friendship, family and love.

Wed before she was seventeen in a made match to a duke’s heir, heiress Flora Hassard quickly learns that her new husband has very little interest in getting to know his new wife. Supported by her mother-in-law, she creates a happy home for herself and her children while ‘donning the Duchess’ in a society where she uses her position and influence in the ton to befriend young wives “whose husbands are, well, distant, shall we say? They are safe in that circle, or as safe as they want to be. The older women keep an eye out for the younger ones, warn them of the worst rakes, that sort of thing; keep them out of harm’s way” (Perception & Illusion). Flora is content, but her contentment has come at a high price—she has had to turn her back on love.

Books One, The Murmur of Masks and Two, Perception & Illusion tell the stories of two of the brides Flora befriends while in Book Three Flora herself takes the lead.

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About The Author

I have always enjoyed writing, I love the fall of words, the shaping of an expressive phrase, the satisfaction when a sentence conveys my meaning exactly. I enjoy plotting and revel in the challenge of evoking a historic era for characters who behave authentically in their period while making their actions and decisions plausible and sympathetic to a modern reader. In addition, I am fanatical about language, especially using the right language as it would have been used during the period about which I am writing. But rewarding as all this craft is, there is nothing to match the moment when a book takes flight, when your characters suddenly determine the route of their journey.

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#BlogTour : The Earl’s Runaway Governess by Catherine Tinley @CatherineTinley #Review, Exclusive Extract & #Giveaway #TheEarlsRunawayGoverness @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks via @rararesourses

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Hello my lovelies, I am so excited to be one of the blogs to be kicking off this smading blog tour, for the beautiful; The Earl’s Runaway Governess, the new realease by Catherine Tinley. Not only will be sharing my review of this amazing book, but I also have an exclusive extract and a giveaway. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a cuppa and let me tell you about this marvellous book.

The Earl’s Runaway Governess by Catherine Tinley

Genre : Historical Romance

Publisher : Mills and Boon/Harlequin

Who knew living with an Earl…

would lead to such temptation?

Marianne Grant’s new identity as a governess is meant to keep her safe. But then she meets her new employer, Ash, Earl of Kingswood, and she immediately knows his handsome good looks are a danger of their own! Brusque on first meeting, Ash quickly shows his compassionate side. Yet Marianne doesn’t dare reveal the truth! Unless Ash really could be the safe haven she’s been looking for…

Purchase Here

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Extract

The interior of the inn was dark, cosy, and well-maintained. A fire burned in the grate, for the January day was chilly. Marianne made her way towards the wooden counter at the far end of the room, where a woman who must be the landlady was busy pouring ale. As she walked, Marianne found herself warily assessing the strangers in the room. Since the day and hour she had left home she had not felt truly safe, for even a minute. She had no experience with which to assess where danger might lurk, so she found herself constantly on edge.

Her fellow passengers were already seating themselves in various parts of the taproom, and there were also two men who looked like they might be farmers, each with a mug of beer in front of him.

Then she saw him. Her heart briefly thumped furiously in her chest, and the hairs at the back of her neck stood to attention.

He was seated with his back to her, at the table closest to the counter. She could see his dark hair, swept forward in a fashionable style. He wore a driving cloak with numerous capes. She could also see long legs encased in tight-fitting pantaloons and gleaming black boots. He looked like any one of a dozen London bucks. Except this time, she reminded herself, you have no reason to fear him.

She kept walking, soothing herself with calm thoughts. As she reached his table, she turned her head, compelled to confirm it was no one she knew.

This man was a few years older than Henry – perhaps in his late twenties or early thirties. His hair was similar – thick, dark, and luxuriant. But the face was totally different. This man was handsome – or at least, he would be if he were not scowling so fiercely. His strong bones and lean features contrasted with Henry’s slight pudginess and rather weak jawline. And, now that she could see all of him, she realised that his body shape was totally different to Henry’s. He was lean and muscular, with no sign of a paunch. The clothing was similar to that favoured by Henry – and indeed, by all the young bucks of London. There the resemblance ended.

Sensing her there, he looked up from his mug and their eyes met. Stormy blue eyes bore into hers and Marianne felt a slow flush rise. My, but he was attractive! – and, she realised, his gaze was doing strange things to her. Breaking away from that endless, compelling contact, she bit her lip and took the final four steps to the counter.

Yes, Miss?’

Marianne summoned a polite smile. She felt slightly lost and shaky, and she could feel the man’s gaze boring into her back. Still, she managed to reply to the landlady. ‘I am expecting someone to meet me here. I have travelled from London on the mail coach.’

Who is it you are expecting, miss?’

Marianne’s brow creased. ‘I am not exactly sure.’ Inside, panic was rising. What if there has been some mistake? What if there is no governess position? ‘I am to take up a position as governess at a place called Ledbury House. I was told to travel here by mail coach today.’

Ledbury House? This gentleman –’ she indicated the fashionable buck ‘– is also travelling there. Perhaps you are expected to travel with him?’

Heart sinking, Marianne swung round to face him. His scowl had deepened as he listened to their exchange, and he now raised a quizzical eyebrow. ‘Curious’ he mused. ‘And to think I was unaware of the delights this day would hold.’

Marianne was taken aback. She was unsure how to take this. The man’s words were perfectly polite, but something about the tone suggested the possibility that he was not, in fact, delighted. Accustomed as she was to straightforward politeness, his words and tone felt disconcerting. Something of what she was feeling must have shown on her face because, as she watched him, his expression changed to one of chagrin.

I have no doubt,’ he murmured cryptically, ‘that this is a mess of Fanny’s making, and I am expected to fix it. Well, I shall do so this one time, but no more.’ With this enigmatic statement, he drained his mug, then stood. ‘You’d best come with me.’

Not waiting for her reply, he swung away towards the door.

Marianne stood rooted to the spot, uncertainty bedevilling her. Should she go with him? A stranger, and she was to travel with him unaccompanied. Miss Marianne Grant, a lady, would never have done so. Miss Anne Bolton, governess, could.

Conscious that all eyes were all on her, Marianne was surprised to find determination rising within her. Surprised, because she did not often need to be brave. She was normally a placid, timid creature, most at home with a book in her hand and harmony and peace all around.

This unknown gentleman was expecting her to simply climb into a carriage beside him – without any chaperone, maid, or footman accompanying them. Perhaps he had a groom? Well, even if he didn’t, it was clear that everyone expected the governess to go with him and be grateful for the ride.

Although he was handsome and strangely compelling, she was almost relieved to be wary of him – being guarded would be much, much safer than being attracted to him.

Torn between the surprising temptation to sit down somewhere safe and wait for an unknown rescuer, and the (even stronger) temptation to run, to get as far away as she could from the danger inherent in being alone in a carriage with a man, Marianne recognised that instead, her best option was simply to get into the carriage and hope she would be safe with him.

*Extract was provided and used with permission from the author as apart of this blog tour post.

Well this is a beautifully written, hopeful and very loving story that really instils in the reader that love really can appear in the most surprising of places when you least expect it. I have said it before but I will say it again, that Catherine Tinley wondrous writer, she takes the reader on an emotional journey to find that elusive happily ever after, I have always felt that she genuinely loves the era and the stories she writes about as her passion just jumps of the page with every word.

Marianne runs away from home after her lecherous, foul and drunken step-brother makes it abundantly clear exactly what he expects from his ward; Marianne. She knows that for as long as she is under his roof she will never be safe, so she flees and takes a position as a governess under the alias of ‘Anne Bolton’. She hopes that as her position is in the country and far away from London she will be safe, but as we all know nothing is ever as it may appear in historical romance and there is always road blocks in the way. That said road block just happens to be the rakish, rude and society loving new Earl Kingswood; Ash.

Ash neither expected the Earldom or wanted it, he has been raised to live life free and basically to do as he pleases with no responsibility, something which he loathes more than actually having the title. So, you can imagine what a kick in the rump it was that the notorious playboy must put others before himself for a change. He had planned to settle what needs to be settled with the estate and then hop it back to London as fast as his beautiful horses will take him, but things tend to always get in the way especially when h meets Marianne.

You can see that there is a spark between them, there are little glances but in all essence it is a will they, wont they love story; which I found utterly charming. But with Marianne having deep secrets and Ash not ready to commit himself, there is a wall between them. What will happen when Marianne’s true identity comes out? – when that does happen it is a fabulous piece of writing.

Even though I did end up falling in love with Ash, I will admit that it took me a while to warm to him. I can’t explain why, I just didn’t feel as drawn to him at first as I usually do with heroes. There was something very self-centred about him that put me of. He did have to work all that much harder to win me over, but I am pleased to say he did. This is what I love and admire about Catherine Tinley, to be able to completely change the readers initial opinion of a character from; ‘Hmmm, I’m not sure I even like this guy.’ to ‘Oh, my goodness! I’m in love!!’ that is a real gift in writing and there are few authors out there who can so easily accomplish it. So, I whole-heartedly applaud you Catherine!

Whereas I instantly connected with Marianne, she is this an amazing young women, to leave home and everything she knew; her whole life is such a strong act. Yes, she had no choice about leaving she knew that if she stayed something terrible would have happened to her at the hands of her foul, lecherous step-brother. Knowing that one must leave is one thing, but for her actually to do it without even a shred of thought of what would happen to her is another. But, yet she takes the bull by the horn and plunges into her secret life as a governess.

This book really conveys just how powerless women were, not just with Marianne having her awful step-brother becoming her guardian, meaning in the eyes of the law she is his and can basically do as he wishes with. But you also see that power being flaunted in the case of the Dowager Countess of Kingswood and her daughter, I won’t say too much about the details as it would give too much of the plot away but there were times when I did feel a pang of pity for the Countess. This is what makes Ms Tinley’s writing pure, realistic and so brilliantly powerful, that us reader go through a monopoly of emotions as we read.

Overall this is a definite must read, I love the personal journey Ash and Marianne go on through out the story, they both have to get past their own personal issues, but I also like that there is an undercurrent of suspense that runs throughout the story. It’s alike a tingling of what is to come, of something more. I have loved every book of Ms Tinley’s that I have read so I knew that I would be in for something great and it doesn’t disappoint.

Very highly recommended!

This was an Arc copy via the author in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, Thank you Catherine and Rachel.

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About The Author

Catherine Tinley writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings.

After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog and can be reached via the links below.

Website / Twitter / Facebook

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Giveaway

To be in for a chance of winning one of three signed copies of The Earl’s Runaway Governess, plus a mystery book by another romance writer. The enter via the Rafflecopter form/Link below.

Rafflecopter Giveaway – Enter Here

Open Internationally – 2 x UK winners and 1 x International Winner.

*T&C’s : Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

#Review The Ghost Garden (The de Chastelaine Chronicles) by Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead @MadameGilflurt @e_harkstead #TheGhostGarden #ThedeChastelaineChronicles

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Hello my lovelies, I am so excited to be sharing my review of The Ghost Garden with you all, but I must warn you that this will no doubt end in me babbling and gushing about just how incredible this book is. This book is way too good to be true, but don’t take my word for it crab a cuppa and a biscuit or two and let me tell you a wee bit about this utterly gorgeous book…

Within the tangled vines of a forgotten garden, can a blossoming new love overcome an ancient evil that threatens both the living and the dead?

After losing her brother in the trenches of the Great War, Cecily James is a prisoner of Whitmore Hall, the respected but remote boys’ school where her brutish husband reigns as headmaster. With its forsaken walled garden, a hauntingly tragic past, and midnight footsteps heard from an unoccupied clocktower, Whitmore Hall is a place where the dead are rumored to walk.

Whitmore Hall is a place filled with mysteries and as a ghost garden emerges from the sun-bleached soil, long-buried secrets cry out to be told.

When new teacher Raf de Chastelaine blunders into an impromptu seance, Cecily finds an unlikely and eccentric ally. In a world of discipline and respectability, barefoot Raf is unlike any teacher Cecily has ever met. With his tales of the Carpathian mountains and a love of midnight gardening, he shakes Whitmore Hall to its foundations. Could there be more to Raf than meets the eye? And as he and Cecily realise that their feelings run deeper than friendship, dare they dream of a world beyond Whitmore Hall?

As Cecily and Raf team up to unite long-dead lovers and do battle with an ancient evil that has long haunted Whitmore Hall, Cecily finds her chance of happiness threatened by her tyrannical husband. But is the controlling headmaster acting of his own free will, or is he the puppet of a malevolent power from beyond the grave?

My, oh my! There is no other word for this book, but stunning! The words within are as beautiful as the eye-catching cover. I have so been looking forward to reading this one, as soon as I heard that Catherine and Eleanor were writing a new series with a paranormal twist I knew that I wanted – no, needed – to read it and I can say with out a doubt that this did not disappoint, this could be their best work to date. Which feels a little traitorous to say, as I am a huge fan of their Captivating Captains series, especially the first; The Captain and the Cavalry Trooper, which spoke to me in ways no other story has. But, there really is something very special about The Ghost Garden, it has a real mesmerizing quality about it that really draws the reader in and like the thorny ghostly garden in the story, it doesn’t want to let you go.

Set after WW1, in a remote all boys boarding school; Whitmore Hall is everything what you would think of as a boarding school. On the surface this is a quiet, respectable and honourable place where all the future leaders are taught to be the men they are destined to be. It is run by a man who is just like the school; respectable to the core, but like it’s headmaster the school has many secrets just waiting to be revealed. When things go bump in the night, a ghostly appearance of a weeping woman there appears to be more going on at Whitmore Hall then just educating young minds.

After the death of her brother during the war, Cecily James is alone and trapped in an abusive marriage, stuck with a man who is full of nothing but malice and hate. A man who to world is nothing but a respectable headteacher, but it’s behind close doors that this brute really shows his true colours and as time passes he become more and more vile by the day, leaving Cecily literally fearing for her life. That is until the arrival of the Halls newest Latin teacher; uniquely, charming and ruggedly handsome Rafeal de Chastelaine a man who ‘sees’ Cecily as no-one has ever has seen her before. Raf is just what the Hall – and Cecily – needs, with his love of gardening and biscuits and his ever-present luminous smile, he sets out to not only restore the garden but help Cecily find out the truth of what is going on at Whitmore Hall.

Soon enough Raf and Cecily realise that there is far more than friendship between them and Cecily starts to dream of happiness and a future she would never thought to be able to have. That is if she and Raf can find out what is going on at the hall.

I love the way Cecily is written, she is such a quiet woman she watches more than she contributes – mostly out of fear, I believe – she could have been a meek little mouse, but she isn’t she just doesn’t know how to escape and once you begin to get to know her you see she is far more than the bullied abused woman she appears to be. She is smart, she is liked – even though she has been told she isn’t – she has inner strength that she does keep locked away, a strength that really starts showing itself once she has marvellous Raf supporting her. The things she has to go through is heart-breaking as well as at times difficult reading, but it is written with absolute care and sensitivity.

What I really love about this is that Cecily and Raf are genuine friends first and foremost, which I have always thought that if the characters are friends then they make a great couple. Yes, there is a beautiful romance that forms between Raf and Cecily, and yes the reader can see that there is something special going to happen between them. But, because of everything going on in Cecily’s life, they do start as friends, at a time when Cecily needs one,  in walks Raf. They are perfect together! Raf never rushes her, he is patient, kind and gentle with her – which is Raf in a nutshell. He is such an extraordinary man, he isn’t complicated at all, there is something mysterious about him, but he isn’t complex and the other thing he is; is sexy as sin! Sigh! Who wouldn’t fall in love with a rough around the edges, rugged, tattooed, blue-eyed god who has a thing about never wearing shoes – or shirts, for that matter. My goodness how I love thee, let me count the ways! There really aren’t enough heart eyed emoji’s to fully say how much I adore this guy. I may just have to swoon instead!

This is so different to what we faithful readers have come to expect from Catherine and Eleanor, but in a completely good way. I love how the story is told through Cecily’s point of view, it really gives the reader the chance to get to know this fine, courageous women for who she is. And yes, it does give us all the chance to have long looks at dishevelled Raf; eating chocolate and biscuits, his gloriously tattooed back and pert bottom, plus become utterly lost in those blue, blue eyes – honestly, I really do sound perverse, don’t I?

My word, the ending it’s not only satisfying for the reader it’s just perfect for both Raf and especially Cecily. I did have a choked up, teary eyed moment and even now as I write this I am getting a little misty eyed as I remember a certain scene. It is so beautiful!

The Ghost Garden is a page-tuner for sure, it will keep you glued from the first moment. It’s such a delightful, charming and thrilling book. The writing is exceptionally great – you never know who is writing what as the words just flow flawlessly from one scene to the next. The plot is mesmerizing and full of intrigue with a paranormal undertone and full of twists that will keep you guessing as to what’s around the corner. It has the best character’s I have met, each one from the two leads to the secondary characters are brilliantly written. I am in absolute love with this book, Raf and Cecily have completely stolen my heart, easily the best book of my year!

I cannot wait for more of the glorious The de Chastelaine Chronicles, judging by this beauty this series is going to be absolutely amazing and I cannot wait and I cannot recommend this enough.

This was an Arc via the authors in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much Catherine and Eleanor.

The Ghost Garden is to be released on 23rd April and can be pre-ordered now at both Totally Bound and Amazon UK and I cannot urge you all enough to pre-order this brilliant book.

#Review The Bladesmith by Melinda Hammond @SarahMRomance #TheBladesmith

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Hello my lovelies, I have the very great pleasure to be sharing my review of The Bladesmith with you all today, and this book is amazing!! So grab a cuppa, take a seat and let me tell you a wee bit about this wonderful book.

1745: John Steel takes a consignment of swords to Warenford Keep on the wild Northumberland coast. He suspects that the swords are destined for the rebel army of Charles Edward Stuart, but matters are complicated by his growing attraction to Katherine Ellingham, daughter of a known Jacobite and betrothed to the powerful Lord Warenford.

With Carlisle in the hands of the Jacobites, and government troops patrolling Northumberland, John makes a desperate bid to retrieve the swords from the Keep before his family is implicated in the uprising, but can he succeed, and protect Katherine and her family at the same time?

A tale of high adventure in the turbulent days of the Jacobite Rebellion.

Is it right for me start this review by squealing loudly like a loon? Well, I’m going to; Squeeeaalll!!! My goodness this book is so good – in fact good is way too inferior term to use for just how brilliant this book is. I literally read this in one weekend, it was just too good to put down, I was gripped. I knew that this would be great as Ms Hammond has this rare gift at entwining fabulous historical detail, suspense, adventure and romance all in a wonderfully engaging and atmospheric story.

Set during 1745, in the turbulent and dangerous Jacobite Rebellion, I am fascinated by these darker eras of our history, times which aren’t as featured within historical romances as they should be. When other’s love to focus on the glittery Regency world I love that Ms Hammond takes a stroll through grittier historical times with this glorious book.

John Steel has been asked by his sword maker brother to take a consignment of swords up to Northumberland, to the customer; Lord Warenford. John has an inkling that all is not as it appears, once he reaches the mighty castle. Why would the Lord Warenford need so many swords and what is it about the castle and it’s occupants that has John on edge. He has his suspicions that all is not what it seems, and he comes to believe that his brother’s swords are in fact going to be used by the rebels and if that is the case his family are in danger. Further trouble is added to John’s already heavy shoulders of problems as he begins to be incredible attracted to the women Lord Warenford is betrothed to; beautiful Katherine Ellignham who just happens to be the daughter of a known Jacobite.

Really, John doesn’t do anything by half measures, does he?

There is so much to love about this book, the plot is brilliant and very engrossing – I won’t say too much as there are many twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages at lightening speed. I love the character’s, John is a gorgeous hero inside and out! He is kind, courageous, loyal, protective and immensely clever and he has a real gentle side to him too. Katherine is an amazing young woman and one that I really connected with; her care for her ill father, running and trying to keep the house hold together shows just how strong she is. She is resilient, gentle and intelligent, all she wants is her family to be OK and if that was all I knew about Katherine would be enough for me to really admire her.

The story is fast paced, seductive, and mesmerizing. It has an edgy undercurrent that really grabs the reader attention from the off. Ms Hammond has intricately entwined a gorgeous romance, an edge of your seat adventure and real history with some breath-taking historic scenes and it is the details that really emphasise the turbulent era, with an adventuresome and courageous couple who are as clever as they adorable.

A definite must read, very highly recommended!

This was an Arc copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you Melinda and massive apologies for how incredibly late my review is.

The Bladesmith can be found at Amazon.