It’s my turn on the #blogtour for #HalfaSoul #TenThousandStitches and #LongShadow – a Regency Faerie Tales series by @OliviaAtwater2 with thanks to @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be a part of the Regency Faerie Tales series, consisting of a trilogy of novels: ‘Half A Soul’, ‘Ten Thousand Stitches’ and ‘Long Shadow’. With thanks to @Tr4cyF3nt0n at Compulsive Readers for the invite and @orbitbooks for the review copies.

Do keep scrolling for the blurbs and some bookish chat…

Regency Faerie Tales by Olivia Atwater

The Blurbs

HALF A SOUL

It’s difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you’re a young lady with only half a soul.

Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment – a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season – but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.

If Dora’s reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world. . . but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul.

TEN THOUSAND STITCHES

Faerie godfathers are supposed to help young ladies find love. Unfortunately, no one told Lord Blackthorn that.

Effie has most inconveniently fallen in love with the dashing Mr Benedict Ashbrooke. There’s only one problem; Effie is a housemaid, and a housemaid cannot marry a gentleman. It seems that Effie is out of luck until she stumbles into the faerie realm of Lord Blackthorn, who is only too eager to help Effie win Mr Ashbrooke’s heart. All he asks in return is that Effie sew ten thousand stitches onto his favourite jacket.

Effie has heard rumours about what happens to those who accept help from faeries, but life as a maid at Hartfield is so awful that she is willing to risk even her immortal soul for a chance at something better. Now, she has one hundred days – and ten thousand stitches – to make Mr Ashbrooke fall in love and propose. . . if Lord Blackthorn doesn’t wreck things by accident, that is.

LONG SHADOW

Proper Regency ladies are not supposed to become magicians – but Miss Abigail Wilder is far from proper.

The marriageable young ladies of London are dying mysteriously, and Abigail Wilder intends to discover why. Abigail’s father, the Lord Sorcier of England, believes that a dark lord of faerie is involved – but while Abigail is willing to match her magic against Lord Longshadow, neither her father nor high society believe that she is capable of doing so.

Thankfully, Abigail is not the only one investigating the terrible events in London. Mercy, a street rat and self-taught magician, insists on joining Abigail to unravel the mystery. But while Mercy’s own magic is strange and foreboding, she may well pose an even greater danger to Abigail’s heart.

My thoughts…

HALF A SOUL

This is the first book in a Regency Faeries fantasy series by Olivia Atwater – each book is a stand-a-lone set in Regency England, but one where faeries and magic exists. So, imagine Jane Austen merged with the fae folk who live at the bottom of your garden 😉

In ‘Half A Soul’ our protagonist, Dora, has a problem – and that problem began when a faerie came to claim her soul as a young girl. Fortunately, her sister was on hand with a pair of iron scissors, although a little late – in the nick of time to avoid complete disaster. The outcome: Dora lives her life with half of her soul missing; it’s the half where her emotions come from, so that does have its drawbacks. Regency society, as always, demands young ladies find husbands and this has proven challenging for Dora but not her delightful sister.

In the wider world England is protected by the Lord Socier – who happens to be rather brooding, but with hidden depth and feelings. His role is challenging enough but when children begin to be afflicted by an unusual plague, the role of protector becomes even more difficult, and this is how our love interests meet.

‘Half a Soul’ is a charming, fun read that dives you into a world of faerie escapism set within the popular literary Regency period, I’d recommend ‘Half a Soul’ simply because it’s lots of fun and enables you to escape reality for a few hours. It’s also my favourite of the three reads.

TEN THOUSAND STITCHES

This book follows the life of Effie, who is suffering from ‘Insta Love’ for the dashing Mr. Benedict Ashbrooke. Effie is a great character, who’s a skilled at stitching and embroidering, but socially has a problem with finding love with Mr. Ashbrooke – she’s a maid. So, here sets up the dilemma for the book – mixed into this is the delightful Lord Blackthorn from the faerie realm, who embroils Effie in the fae world, of selling souls and mischievous business – who generally tries to help in the only way he knows. It’s fun, light-hearted and a gentle read with some depth in terms of themes – the poor, servant classes and workhouses.

LONG SHADOW

This book opens with yet another problem – this one’s rather a big drama, as young, marriageable ladies in England are mysteriously dying! The books ties in more to ‘Half a Soul’, as our protagonist is Abigail – the daughter of Lord Sorcier and Dora. The problem seems routed in the court of Lord Longshadow.

Abigail soon finds an ally to help her investigate these dark events, it’s a young woman called Mercy – who’s a ‘street rat’ and a self-taught magician’. The pair set out and work together to find out what’s going on and who’s to blame. Along the wat Abigail and Mercy find out that they are falling for each other too.

This book has some great themes and world building, although a slower pace than the first two, it’s still fun to read with some more serious themes pushing through.

The tour closes today with my post but do check out all the fabulous bloggers on this tour and more bookish chat. Please buy from Independents if you can XX

It’s my turn on the #Blogtour for #WithFireInTheirBlood by @katdelacorte with thanks to @The_WriteReads & @penguinplatform

A simmering supernatural romance set in the crumbling Italian city of Castello, where mafia clans make the rules, dark magic pulses the streets and the sins of the past threaten to consume the present. . .

The Blurb

When sixteen-year-old Lilly arrives in Castello, she isn’t impressed.

A secluded town in the Italian mountains is not where she saw her last years of high school playing out.

Divided for generations by a brutal clan-family war, the two halves of Castello are kept from destroying each other by the mysterious General, a leader determined to maintain order and ‘purity’. . . whatever the cost.

Lilly falls in with the rebellious Liza, brooding Nico and sensitive Christian, and sparks begin to fly. But in a city where love can lead to ruin, Lilly isn’t sure she can trust anyone — not even herself.

And then she accidentally breaks Castello’s most important rule: when the General’s men come to test your blood, you’d better not be anything more than human…

My thoughts

The city of Castello seems to be falling apart and far removed from civilised society – almost like a dystopian Brigadoon (although not appearing every 100 years) through the clouds. It’s to Castello that our protagonist Lilly arrives, relocated with her father from Maine, and she immediately senses something very strange is lurking in the city. Graffiti sprawls on the city walls ‘All witches burn’ and ‘The Saints Live’ but without any Wi-Fi Lilly feels isolated. The opening pages bombard the reader with mysteries and questions and seemingly shifts the setting into the past. It’s clear Lilly’s life has already been challenging and her arrival in Castello looks set to be a rocky ride.

After arriving at school Lilly meets an eclectic bunch of students, from the over enthusiastic, to the withdrawn and the openly hostile. She learns quickly that The General is in control and dictatorship rules. The Sign sprawled on the wall at the school from Dante’s Inferno is a big alarm bell: Abandon all hope, you who enter here’.

This is a YA fantasy read, so you have all the usual threads and angst you’d expect. I did find myself drifting on several occasions – I’m not of a YA age, but I do read and review many YA books. For me, the characters seemed so adrift and Lilly was very irritating at times, particularly how she was drawn to several people at once, and seemed to be easily swayed – maybe she’s just an open relationship kind of girl. I liked the character of Nico, although he was kept to the sidelines, but I assume he’ll play a key part in the next in series.

Overall, this book creates a great fantasy setting, where control, fear and manipulation rule. There’s an undertone of Romeo & Juliet in terms of the warring families.

Do check it out if you enjoy angst ridden drama, with multiple love interests, in a supernatural fantasy setting with a mystery at its core.

The Author

Kat Delacorte was eleven years old when her family moved from the United States to a small town in central Italy. She soon began writing stories about her new friends developing superpowers, and she hasn’t looked back since. She graduated with a BA in History from Columbia University, and lives in Venice, Italy.

It’s fabulous to be a part of the #BlogTour for the brilliant #ThePartyHouse #ThePartyHouseBook by @Lin_Anderson @panmacmillan @RandomTTours with thanks x

I’ve been going through a bit of a reading slump recently – too many distractions thinking about my career changes; coming out of Covid and completely changing direction, ending a business established in the late 1990s; a divorce, securing a home, dealing with my daughter leaving home, caring for a relative with dementia with the daily impact on the family, and finally dealing with palliative care for my beautiful dog, the most loyal and loving of companions. I thought living alone would result in extra reading time but found that I just couldn’t focus on my books. Books have always been my therapy, escapism, my adventures, and discoveries. So, finding I was too distracted to focus was so frustrating. Time passed and I tried not to worry and do other things; I’d started to settle again, dipping in and out of my favourite books, and suddenly there’s a book that comes along and just drags you back in, fuelling that reading passion – ‘The Party House’ was that book for me.

Thank you to Lin Anderson for coming my way at the right time. Do please keep scrolling for some more book chat…

The Blurb

Devastated by a recent pandemic brought in by outsiders, the villagers of Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands are outraged when they find that the nearby estate plans to reopen its luxury ‘party house’ to tourists.

As animosity sparks amongst the locals, part of the property is damaged and, in the ensuing chaos, the body of a young girl is found in the wreck. Seventeen-year-old Ailsa Cummings went missing five years ago, never to be seen again – until now.

The excavation of Ailsa’s remains ignites old suspicions cast on the men of this small community, including Greg, the estate’s gamekeeper. At the beginning of a burgeoning relationship with a new lover, Joanne, Greg is loath to discuss old wounds. Frightened by Greg’s reaction to the missing girl’s discovery, Joanne begins to doubt how well she knows this new man in her life. Then again, he’s not the only one with secrets in their volatile relationship . . .



My Thoughts

Ian Rankin said, ‘The Party House is a real page-turner’ and I must completely agree. This was a one sitting read (albeit with a few snack breaks for stamina and energy) and I kept reading until the early hours and the final page. It was worth the lack of sleep.

Admittedly, I’d blocked out the plot and the guilty pretty much in my head quite early on, (over 35 years reading is a huge part of that) however, it didn’t matter at all; I enjoyed the journey so much. I loved Anderson’s choppy chapter structure and alternative point of views. This really drove the narrative pace and make the “oh, just one more chapter” a breeze – lol!

I’m always a fan of thriller reads set around unusual houses or wild locations and ‘The Party House’ is a great setting for the mysteries, the dramas, and relationships: both locals and outsiders. The setting is the Scottish Highlands – perfect for wilds, mountains, lakes and deep forests plus, there’s a kilt or two along the way!

There’s also a psychological spiral running through the central murder mystery and this relationship really hooked me in. With layers of grief, animosity, tempers, power, trust and relationships – both damaged and complex; I’d highly recommend ‘The Party House’ as a small community is unwrapped in the midst of a new relationship. Buried secrets are raised when a past mystery is shockingly revealed.

I’m off to buy more novels by Lin Anderson…

The Blog Tour

Lin Anderson

Lin Anderson is best known as the creator of the forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod series of crime thriller novels, and for her part in founding the annual ‘Bloody Scotland’ crime writing festival.

‘The Party House’, published on 4th August 2022.

There are 16 novels and one novella in Lin Anderson’s Forensic Scientist Rhona MacLeod Series – follow the below Amazon link for more purchasing information.

Please buy from Independents if you can XX

It’s great to be a part of the #BlogTour for #QuartertoMidnight by @KarenRoseBooks @Headlinepg with thanks to @RandomTTours

Only a secret witness could catch this killer…

A ‘Quarter to Midnight’ is the first book in a new series by Karen Rose and features the Burke Broussard Private Investigation Agency. Rose has many successful published novels: the Baltimore Novels, beginning with ‘You Belong to Me’; the Cincinnati novels, that open with ‘Closer than you Think’ and the Sacramento novels, starting with ‘Say You’re Sorry’. ‘Quarter to Midnight’ begins the New Orleans series. Many thanks for the tour invite, it’s great to be joining this tour today.

The Blurb

Rocky Hebert walks into his death at quarter to midnight one New Orleans night. His son Gabe cannot accept the official verdict of suicide and enlists the help of the Burke Broussard Private Investigation Agency to discover the real cause of death.
PI Molly Sutton knows what it’s like to lose a father in tragic circumstances and will go to any lengths to crack the investigation, as she tries to fight off her growing feelings for Gabe.
They soon realise Rocky was working on an investigation of his own; one that threatened to expose the deep corruption going all the way to the top of the police department. And that the key to the puzzle lies with a young witness to a murder that happened years earlier: Xavier Morrow.

Just what did Rocky know? And who might have shut him up?
As they get closer and closer to the truth, they realise that the killer is not going to stop at Rocky. And that Xavier is in very real danger. Someone will go to any lengths to protect what he witnessed that night coming out…

My Thoughts…

This is the first book in Karen Rose’s New Orleans series set from the Burke Broussard Private Investigation agency and focuses on one particular employee Molly Sutton, an investigator and past US Marine, so not someone to be underestimated. She is tasked to Gabe Hebert – pronounced “Ay-bear” in the New Orleans way and the suspicious death of his father. Firstly, this is a big book (not uncommon for Karen Rose novels), my review copy is 591 pages – but don’t let that dissuade you from picking it up – once you begin, you don’t really notice (a few drops in pace maybe could have been avoided by tightening up, just my opinion) and the pages do turn swiftly.

The prologue introduces us to our victim and we’re into the drama when the smell of ‘death’ alerts us that something significant is going on and Rocky Hebert (Gabe’s father) is in deep, deep trouble. Rocky has recently retired from the New Orleans police department, but his retirement is not going well, but he’s planning ahead in the event of the worst-case scenario.

The central story is about the corruption that lies with power and links to an old murder case, where a witness still needs silencing. Molly Sutton is soon hooked into the case and is trying to deal with the attraction she feels towards Gabe as they try and uncover what really happened to Rocky. This leads them into very dangerous territories where knowing who to trust is hard and dangerous.

I love the setting of the atmospheric city of New Orleans with its vibrancy, flavours and people, but there’s also the swampland that lurks and lures around the edges. At the heart of this story is how corruption bleeds into the city and lives of its people. How people will abuse power for control and riches, but this is balanced by those who are out for truth and justice. As with other Karen Rose reads this is a mystery, suspense romance read and the relationship between Molly and Gabe grows within the emotional drama of the investigation.

A recommended read from me for those who enjoy a modern romance mystery with depth.

The Blog Tour

The Author

Karen Rose


Karen Rose was introduced to suspense and horror at the tender age of eight when she accidentally read Poe’s The Pit and The Pendulum and was afraid to go to sleep for years. She now enjoys writing books that make other people afraid to go to sleep.
Karen lives in Florida with her family, their cat, Bella, and two dogs, Loki and Freya. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, and her new hobby – knitting.

Please buy from Independents in you can XX

#TogetherWeBurn by @IsabelWriter09 @TitanBooks @Sarah_Mather_15

Thanks to Titan Books and Sarah for sending a copy of ‘Together We Burn’ to review – from the atmospheric and passionate cover design to the fantasy escapism inside, everything was a readers’ delight. For some book blurb and chat about this Spanish inspired fantasy adventure, do keep scrolling…

The Blurb

An ancient city plagued by dragons.

Eighteen-year-old Zarela Zalvidar is a talented flamenco dancer and daughter of the most famous Dragonador in Hispalia. People come from miles to see him fight in their arena, which will one day be hers. But disaster strikes during one celebratory show, and in the carnage, Zarela’s life changes in an instant.

A flamenco dancer determined to save her ancestral home.

Facing punishment from the Dragon Guild, Zarela must keep the arena―her ancestral home and inheritance―safe from their greedy hands. She has no choice but to train to become a Dragonador. When the infuriatingly handsome dragon hunter, Arturo Díaz de Montserrat, withholds his help, she refuses to take no for an answer. Without him, her world will burn.

But even if he agrees, there’s someone out to ruin the Zalvidar family, and Zarela will have to do whatever it takes in order to prevent the Dragon Guild from taking away her birthright.

My thoughts

‘Together We Burn’ by Isabel Ibanez is set in a Spanish fantasy land of dragons and its Dragonadors – laced with the flair of flamenco and a brooding, reluctant hero who matches the fire and determination of the heroine. I’ve a soft spot for books featuring dragons and ‘Together We Burn’ is bursting with them.

Dragonadors are the warriors of the arena in the land, Hispalia. Dragons of all shapes and temperaments, from a Morcego – a black, ivory horned dragon, the size of a bull with great bat wings, to the elusive Escarlata – ruby red with giant wings, who can breathe fire continuously for thirty seconds, are hunted in this country. People from far and wide fill the arenas to watch the battle between man and beast. I really felt for the dragons from the start – of how they were hunted, caged and clipped before being essentially slaughtered for entertainment. Most reminiscent of the cruel bull fighting world. Ibanez slowly weaves in a new perspective from Arturo Diaz de Montserrat, a Dragonador who gave up fighting in the ring and who know plays a very different role in this dragon infested world.

After an appalling incident in Zarela Zalvidar’s family arena, both Arturo and Zarela are reluctantly joined out of necessity and this alters the course of the novel. Banter and fiery fuelled moments begin to fizz and we enter pages of secrets, romance and challenges.

Lurking in the background is the Dragon Guild, controlled by its Dragon Master – Don Eduardo Del Pino and they want answers about the tragic disaster of the Zalvidar’s celebratory show, which turned into carnage and bloodshed. Nothing is what it seems and the reader soon questions the behaviour of some of the characters and what lies are being told.

It’s a passionately fuelled fantasy adventure, teeming with romance and bursting with magic and, of course, stunning dragons!

https://titanbooks.com/70962-together-we-burn/

It’s a pleasure to be on the #BlogTour for #TheBay by @AuthorAllieR @headlinepg @RandomTTours with thanks.

The Blurb

The waves are to die for. It’s a paradise they’d kill to keep.

There’s a darkness inside all of us and The Bay has a way of bringing it out. Everyone here has their secrets but we don’t go looking for them. Because sometimes it’s better not to know.


Kenna arrives in Sydney to surprise her best friend, shocked to hear she’s going to marry a guy she’s only just met. But Mikki and her fiancé Jack are about to head away on a trip, so Kenna finds herself tagging along for the ride.

Sorrow Bay is beautiful, wild and dangerous. A remote surfing spot with waves to die for, cut off from the rest of the world. Here Kenna meets the mysterious group of people who will do anything to keep their paradise a secret. Sky, Ryan, Clemente and Victor have come to ride the waves and disappear from life. How will they feel about Kenna turning up unannounced?

As Kenna gets drawn into their world, she sees the extremes they are prepared to go to for the next thrill. And everyone seems to be hiding something. What has her best friend got involved in and how can she get her away? But one thing is rapidly becoming clear about The Bay: nobody ever leaves.

My thoughts…

‘Sorrow Bay’ is the setting for Allie Reynold’s new novel and it’s an atmospheric one. Reynold’s debut novel ‘Shiver’ was another thriller steeped in atmosphere, although a frosty setting high in the French Alps and a deserted lodge mystery. ‘The Bay’ shifts to a tropical paradise and a surfing backdrop to the mystery and dangers in this new driven read.

The thriller focuses on Kenna, who arrives in Australia to surprise her bestie – however she soon becomes embroiled with a group of people with secrets, deceptions and manipulations. Can she trust anyone?

Reynold’s has structured the narrative to drip feed information about the events, introduce mysteries and draw the threads together into a surprising climax. There’re not many likeable characters in the book, people disappear and a gang of arrogant, adrenaline searching and aggressive people lead the reader into their world – the backdrop of the missing rising ominously in the background.

Kenna leads the novel and it’s mainly told from her perspective, sometimes others interject at times; I really enjoyed this structure. Kenna does become a little irritating, but her loyalty and fear for her friend helps the reader stay connected to her and the story.

Reynold’s writing is atmospheric, from the bay to the storm; I enjoyed the setting and how it served as a backdrop to the characters moods and finally their realisation and reckoning.

It’s an enjoyable read with zest that I’d recommend to thriller/mystery readers.

The Blog Tour

Check out all the fab bloggers on the tour.

The Author

Born and raised in Lincoln, England, Allie moved to Gold Coast, Australia in 2004. She lives near the beach with her two young boys.

Many years ago she competed at snowboard halfpipe. She spent five winters in the mountains of France, Switzerland, Austria and Canada. These days she sticks to surfing – water doesn’t hurt as much as ice when you fall on it.

Her first ever job was a Saturday job in a bookstore, at age 14. She taught English for many years and became a full-time writer in 2018.

You can find her on:

http://www.twitter.com/AuthorAllieR

http://www.instagram.com/authorallier

#BlogTour for #SeeNoEvil by @DavyFennell – the highly anticipated follow up to THE ART OF DEATH. With thanks to @ZaffreBooks for the gifted copy and @Tr4cyF3nt0n for the tour invite. #newbook #readers #bookrec

For this killer, it’s death at first sight…

The Blurb

Two men are found dead in London’s Battersea Park. One of the bodies has been laid out like a crucifix – with his eyes removed and placed on his open palms.

Detective Inspector Grace Archer and her caustic DS, Harry Quinn, lead the investigation. But when more bodies turn up in a similar fashion, they find themselves in a race against time to find the sadistic killer.

The hunt leads them to Ladywell Playtower in Southeast London, the home to a religious commune lead by the enigmatic Aaron Cronin. Archer and Quinn suspect Cronin’s involvement but his alibis are watertight, and the truth seemingly buried. If Archer is to find the killer, she must first battle her way through religious fanatics, London gangsters – and her own demons . . .

My thoughts…

‘See No Evil’ is the second book by David Fennell featuring DI Grace Archer and DS Harry Quinn, the first being: ‘The Art of Death’. This can, absolutely, be read as a standalone, however it’s always an idea to start at the beginning of any series for character development plotting. But, it’s really not an issue as Fennell builds important relationship detail into the narrative and as the new plot develops we are drawn into the character portrayal from ‘The Art of Death’ as our principal characters deal with a new threat and perpetrator to hunt down.

I really enjoyed ‘See No Evil’ perhaps more than I did ‘The Art of Death’. In the first book I worked out too early where it was heading, but this time I was hooked into connecting all the pieces together until the end. From the start, Fennell’s character driven narrative hook immersed in fear and creepiness grabs the readers’ attention and introduces a brutal crime that builds as the story progresses. Again, this is not a book for the faint-hearted and there are dark, twisty moments that delve into fanatical mindsets and coercive behaviours.

If you’re a crime and thriller reader, I’d highly recommend both ‘The Art of Death’ and ‘See No Evil’ – a fast-paced, exhilarating crime thriller that explores darker themes and is satisfyingly good.

Please click on the below link to read about the first book in the series ‘The Art of Death’.

The Author

David Fennell

Born and raised in Belfast before leaving for London at the age of eighteen with £50 in one pocket and a dog-eared copy of Stephen King’s The Stand in the other. He jobbed as a chef, waiter and bartender for several years before starting a career in writing for the software industry. He has been working in CyberSecurity for fourteen years and is a fierce advocate for information privacy. David has played rugby for Brighton and has studied Creative Writing at the University of Sussex. He is married and he and his partner split their time between Central London and Brighton. To find out more, visit his website: www.davidfennell.co.uk. Follow him on Twitter: @davyfennell

‘See No Evil’ published 28th April 2022, Zaffre, Hardback, eBook and Audio, £14.99

Please buy from Independents if you can XX

#ReleaseTour for #Retold @mcfrank_author #Fairytale #Retelling #Newbook

I’m delighted to be showcasing M.C. Frank’s RETOLD, please do keep scrolling for some bookish delights…

Blurbs

Retold: A Regency Fairytale Retellings Collection

buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08XQVK88B

Unwanted.

Three boys grew up in an orphanage, abandoned and despised by those who should have taken care of them. They were starved, hit, and abandoned for years.

But they are men now. Gentlemen, so to speak. A little broken, a little damaged and a little destroyed by life, but they hide it behind toughness, money, amazingly folded cravats and, in some cases, illegal activities. Their main strength is each other: they are best friends, partners in crime, a found family.

And then comes the one battle that every gentleman, no matter how brooding, haughty or handsome, must face alone. These are the stories of how they each fight, and lose, the battle against love.

Hooked

Wendy and Lord Darlington

When Wendy Hooke was a little girl, she saved a boy from starvation. The boy, Peter, taught her how to fly. Now the boy is a man, a gorgeous man, and he has forgotten all about her. She watches him take London’s ballrooms by storm, pursued by every designing mama, but Peter doesn’t even glance at her. Because it’s not ‘Peter’ now, it’s Lord Darlington.

Peter hasn’t forgotten the girl who saved his life, but his secrets hold him back. The webs of his secret gang that fights crime on the streets of London are closing in on the greatest criminal of all time, the Viscount Hooke. And Wendy…well, she is his daughter.

Caged

Zella and Pirate Charmont

Zella isn’t crazy. She knows that, but no one else does. And, she has to admit, maybe she does look crazy, locked up here in the madhouse, with hair so long and wild it can practically become a rope.

And it does. One day, she lets her hair down from the tiny window, and someone rudely grabs it like a rope. Like a rope thrown to a drowning man.

“I’m not crazy, you know,” she tells the rugged-looking young man who climbs up, panting as if he is running for his life.

“Sweetheart,” he replies, “I don’t care. If they catch me, I’ll get hanged.”

“Oh. Why?”

“Because, m’ dear. I’m a pirate.”

Seduced

Poppy and Lord Hades

Lord Hades owns a gaming hell that sprawls underneath the city of London like the underworld. It is no secret: the Hell Club is notorious all over Europe. Peers and millionaires travel from Vienna and Paris to enjoy the Turkish baths or play cards with the great political leaders of other countries.

Money and power exchange hands nightly underneath the sparkling ballrooms and gentlemen’s clubs, and no one knows. Until Hades discovers a boy sent to spy on him. But the boy is not a boy.

And she will pay.

Retold includes three dark and sparkling romantic stories inspired by myths, folklore and fairytales, as well as by the glittering world and the roguish gentlemen of Regency London.

They might look like quick, fun reads, but don’t be fooled: these stories are going to break your heart into a million pieces.

M.C. Frank

Author
M.C. Frank

Social Media Links

 Website: mcfrankauthor.com

 Instagram: @mcfrank_author

Twitter: @mcfrank_author

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#TheGoodGirlsGuidetoRakes #EvaLeigh @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonInsiders #HistoricalRomance #BookReview

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy and the chance to read something a little different. Keep scrolling for some bookish chat about ‘A Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes’.

A society darling
A rake never far from scandal
A deal that will change everything…

‘Pure romantic delight’ TESSA DARE

Blurb

When Kieran Ransome’s latest antics result in scandal, his father issues an ultimatum: find a respectable wife or inherit nothing. But as one of London’s most notorious scoundrels, Kieran doesn’t know any ladies who fit the bill…or does he?

Celeste Kilburn is a society darling, beloved by influential members of the ton. But keeping a spotless reputation leaves little room for adventure and she longs to escape her gilded cage. When Kieran, her brother’s best friend, begs for her help Celeste makes a deal: she will introduce him to the right social circles if he’ll show her the scandalous side of London!

Amongst ‘proper’ garden parties and, equally enthralling, wild fêtes and sensual art salons an initial attraction builds to a more tempting desire. But when their midnight exploits are discovered, Celeste’s freedom and reputation are at risk and Kieran must save the woman he loves…respectable or not.

My thoughts…

Firstly, the title didn’t seem to match up with my expectations of the story. The good girl, was actually far from a good girl – she was a feisty, highly sexed, independent woman, thinking far ahead of her time. Being matched with a typical wild rake turned this book into a very hot adventure – for me a little too much! Eva Leigh doesn’t hold back with her erotic language and descriptions of secret liaisons – and this became the dominant plot for a large proportion of the novel.

Celeste and Kieran are well matched in their thirst for adventure and pleasure; the reader is taken on a journey into the hedonistic secret worlds behind the stiff formalities of the upper classes and what begins as a thrilling adventure soon changes into something more serious and dangerous.

Readers who enjoy an historical romance that doesn’t hold back, then do try ‘The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes’ by Eva Leigh.

#BookChat – ‘The Lamplighters’ by Emma Stonex and ‘The Metal Heart’ by Caroline Lea @PenguinUKBooks @picadorbooks – thank you for the gifted copies.

The Blurb

Cornwall, 1972. Three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a mighty storm, but the skies have been clear all week.

What happened to those three men, out on the tower? The heavy sea whispers their names. The tide shifts beneath the swell, drowning ghosts. Can their secrets ever be recovered from the waves?

Twenty years later, the women they left behind are still struggling to move on. Helen, Jenny and Michelle should have been united by the tragedy, but instead it drove them apart. And then a writer approaches them. He wants to give them a chance to tell their side of the story. But only in confronting their darkest fears can the truth begin to surface . . .

Inspired by real events

My thoughts

I loved the shifting of the book’s narrative between the men’s perspective in 1972 and the women in 1992; so let me explain… the base of this story comes from the actual disappearance of three men in the 1900s from a lighthouse situated in the Outer Hebrides. Stonex takes this mystery and weaves her own vision of events into ‘The Lamplighters’ and she’s created an excellent read with a driven narrative. We begin to piece together the parts of the whole story via interviews with those left behind and the narrative of the past.

I love books set by the sea; the isolated and tempestuous setting of this story is really atmospheric and bleak, and it also offers the psychological journey of being in such an environment.

Overall, I found this quite a haunting read, and I kept thinking about it after I closed the final page. With themes of love, loss, grief and hidden truths and I would happily recommend this book.

The Blurb

Orkney, 1941.

Five hundred Italian prisoners of war arrive to fortify these wild and desolate islands.

Orphaned sisters Dorothy and Constance volunteer to nurse the wounded. But while beautiful, damaged Constance remains wary of the men, Dot finds herself increasingly drawn to Cesare, a young man fighting on the wrong side and broken by the horrors of battle. Secretly, passionately, they fall in love.

When a tragic mistake from Con’s past returns to haunt them, Dot must make a choice:

Protect her sister no matter the costs, or save the man who has captured her heart?

My thoughts

An absolutely spell weaving novel by Caroline Lea. I loved her first novel ‘The Glass Woman’ and was delighted to find ‘The Metal Heart’ providing an absolutely absorbing read to.

The island setting of Orkney was a delight and this really enriched the story of love and courage. If you follow the author’s Instagram page there are pictures of the island, these really bring a sense of reality to the story.

Beautiful and satisfying to read; this book comes highly recommended from me.