Delighted to be a part of the #blogtour for #anindiscreetprincess by Geogie Blalock with thanks to @RandomTTours #readingcommunity

Blurb

Before Princess Margaret, before Duchess Meghan, there was Princess Louise: royal rebel. As the fourth daughter of the perpetually in-mourning Queen Victoria, Princess Louise’s life is more a gilded prison than a fairy tale. Expected to sit quietly next to her mother with down-cast eyes, Louise vows to escape the stultifying royal court. Blessed with beauty, artistic talent, and a common touch, she creates a life outside the walled-in existence of the palace grounds by attending the National Art Training School—where she shockingly learns to sculpt nude models while falling passionately in love with famed sculptor Joseph Edgar Boehm.
But even as Louise cultivates a life outside the palace, she is constantly reminded that even royal rebels must heed the call of duty—and for a princess that means marriage. Refusing to leave England, she agrees to a match with the Duke of Argyll, and although her heart belongs to another, she is determined to act out her public role perfectly, even if her private life teeters on the brink of scandal. But when a near fatal accident forces Louise back under her mother’s iron rule, she realizes she must choose: give in to the grief of lost love or find the strength to fight for her unconventional life.

Blog Tour

My thoughts

‘An Indiscreet Princess’ by Georgie Blalock was an unexpected delight – throwing the reader into the world of royalty and its gilded cage; a theme that has continued to this very day and often daily in our current news. 

Set during the reign of Queen Victoria and based on facts about her daughter Princess Louise, ‘An Indiscreet Princess’ fictionalises the fascinating life of a royal born woman with desires to exist beyond the formality and expectations of her ‘royal cage’ and the dominance and majesty of her formidable mother. 

Blalock has created a fascinating story of an artistic woman who attempts to break the mould of her sovereign birth and reach for her dreams – principally the desire to pursue her artistic talents and attend the National Art Training School. I loved Princess Louise’s control, persistence and careful manipulation of her royal life and duties to taste artistic success, friendships and ultimately love. 

It’s also heart-breaking to read of the sacrifices she would need to endure. I really enjoyed the portrayal of Queen Victoria – what a character study! There were so many people I recognised, in particular, the amazing Mr. Brown – the Queen’s indefatigable Scottish servant and most loyal friend. It brought back memories of the fabulous Judi Dench and Billy Connolly film, ‘Mrs. Brown’. 

At the heart of the story is the love between Princess Louise and the unattainable love of her life – sculptor Joseph Edgar Boehm. This relationship has been discussed by historian Lucinda Hawksley (The Mystery of Princess Louise) and therefore the focus of the novel, creating a fascinating account of what their relationship might have been like. 

I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy fictionalised historical figures; it’s a real dip into lives of royalty in an accessible and creative way. It’s also beautifully told by Georgie Blalock.

A delightful delve into a defiant daughter’s desire for living a life of her own in a hopelessly trapped and gilded cage. 

A book of sacrifice, determination and passion. 

The Author


Georgie Blalock is an amateur historian and movie buff who loves combining her different passions through historical fiction, and a healthy dose of period piece films. When not writing, she can be found prowling the nonfiction history section of the library or the British film listings on Netflix.

Georgie writes historical romance under the name Georgie Lee.

Please visit http://www.georigeblalock.com for more info about Georgie and her writing.

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

#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/

Absolutely delighted to be a part of the #BlogTour for #ColdColdBones by @KathyReichs @simonschuster – with thanks to @RandomTTours #readers #newbook #TemperanceBrennan 

THE BLURB

Sometimes, revisiting the past is the only way to rescue the present . . .


Winter has come to North Carolina and, with it, a drop in crime. For a while, temporarily idle forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is content to dote on her daughter Katy, finally returned to civilian life from the army. But when mother and daughter meet at Tempe’s place one night for dinner, they find a box on the back porch. Inside: a very fresh human eyeball.

GPS coordinates etched into the eyeball lead to a Benedictine Monastery where an equally macabre discovery awaits. Soon after, Tempe examines a mummified corpse in a state park, and her anxiety deepens.

There seems to be no pattern to these random killings, except that each mimics in some way a killing that a younger Tempe witnessed, analysed, or barely escaped.


Who or what is targeting her, and why?


Helping Tempe discover the answers is Detective Erskine ‘Skinny’ Slidell, retired but still volunteering with the CMPD cold case unit – and still displaying his gallows humour. But as the two infiltrate a bizarre survivalist’s lair, even Skinny’s mood darkens.


And then Tempe’s daughter Katy disappears.


Electrifying, heart-stopping and compulsive, this is Tempe’s most personal and dangerous case yet …

Publishing 21st July, 2022

MY THOUGHTS

Temperance Brennan ‘Tempe’ is back in Kathy Reich’s latest crime thriller novel, ‘Cold, Cold Bones’.

I’ve been reading this series since the release of ‘Deja Dead’ back in 1997, so the anticipation was high for this latest outing with the Brennan, our forensic anthropologist, and the team.

This is an atmospheric read that immerses the reader, not only in the investigation, but into life in North Carolina during a frigid winter. Once again, Brennan is dragged up front and centre into the crime via a shocking discovery – actually on her doorstep this time. It’s, as usual, a gruesome discovery – a fresh human eyeball! But this eyeball houses a further mystery etched into it: the co-ordinates to a Benedictine Monastery and another shocking discovery.

Reich’s always plots meticulously, with creativity, and rather a lot of drama. There’re several crime threads that are worked into the overarching narrative, and it’s fun piecing all the layers together.

What you also always get with Reichs is Tempe’s family life and relationship dramas added to the mix and in her true style there is someone close to Brennan at risk in ‘Cold, Cold Bones’. Brennan’s daughter Katy is a part of the mystery and eventually dragged completely into danger! The race to find answers speeds up the pace into the final pages.

It’s great to see new characters and, of course, characters than have been with us throughout the series. One of my favourites is Ryan, now long-term boyfriend of Brennan. He’s a great ‘other-half’ both in terms of the investigation, but also in terms of their relationship and it’s development through the books.

As always, I do recommend this series for those who enjoy a good thriller and crime mystery read with drama!

BLOG TOUR

Kathy Reichs

About the Author

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead, published in 1997, won the Ellis Award for Best First
Novel and was an international bestseller. Kathy was also a producer of Fox Television’s
longest running scripted drama Bones, which is based on her work and her novels. Kathy
uses her own dramatic experiences as a forensic anthropologist to bring her mesmerizing
thrillers to life. One of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of
Forensic Anthropology, Kathy divides her time between Charlotte,
North Carolina, and Montreal, Québec.

Please buy from Independents if you can XX

It’s lovely to be on the #BlogTour for #LastTimeWeMet by #EmilyHoughton @penguinrandom with thanks to @RandomTTours #readers #newbook

The Blurb

ONE PROMISE
Aged thirteen, best friends Eleanor and Fin are inseparable. They are convinced that it will always be this way. But to be sure, they make a pact to always be there for each other. And of course, they’ll get married if they’re both 35 and single.

TWO DECADES
Eleanor and Fin haven’t spoken in fifteen years. They live on different continents, but more than an ocean separates them. Everything has changed since the last time they met.

CAN THEY STILL KEEP THEIR WORD?
So, when newly single Fin reappears, there’s no way they can keep their promise. Is there?

My Thoughts…

The ‘Last Time We Me Met’ makes an enduring, emotional and entertaining read from the pen of Emily Houghton. It’s a contemporary romance using the trope of friends to lovers and centres on Eleanor and Finley.

Characters drive this novel, and the lives of our characters is built over the pages, back and forth through the timeline and across differing points of view. I really enjoyed this shifting of time and perspective from Houghton. From their days as youngsters to adulthood, wishes and pacts are not fulfilled; life wasn’t as either expected and the reader is drawn into how things change, why they do and how people can reconnect through the challenges life throws at them. The supporting characters are carefully drawn and work well to bolster the narrative and its themes.

I found this book emotional at times, and I connected with the dementia storyline. Its themes of friendship, misunderstandings, alcoholism, grief and love merge into an enjoyable read. Yes, it may be predictable – but it’s as it should be.

I’d happily recommend this book to people who enjoy this genre.

Check out the fabulous bloggers on this tour:

The Author – Emily Houghton

Emily Houghton

EMILY HOUGHTON is the author of Before I Saw You. She is an Essex girl at heart, but now spends most of her time between London and Suffolk. Emily worked in digital product management at Tesco and Barclays for seven years, and it was during a sabbatical from work, travelling around India, that her first book was born; the first draft is still written on her phone!

After a whirlwind few months, Emily quit her corporate job to live her dream of writing full-time. A true Gemini at heart, she’s got many interests and is a trained spin and yoga teacher. She has a curiosity for life and a passion for all things well-being, one day hoping to create her own retreat space with a lot of dogs! Her writing, while centering around love stories, often touches on deeper emotional themes such as self-love, healing and the power of finding yourself.

Emily says: “Last Time We Met is a story of love, loss and enduring friendship. How sometimes the things that aren’t said are the words we need to hear the most; and how forgiving others is nowhere near as important as forgiving ourselves.”

Please buy from Independents if you can XX

Chatting about #TheSiege by @policecommander @orionbooks #BlogTour #CompulsiveReaders #newbook #readingcommunity #bookbloggers

Once again, many thanks for the tour invite @Tr4cyF3nt0n to join these amazing bloggers on #TheSiege tour. For more bookish chat, please keep scrolling…

Nine hostages. Ten hours. One chance to save them all.

The Blurb

Nine hostages. Ten hours. One chance to save them all.

Lee James Connor has found his purpose in life: to follow the teachings of far-right extremist leader, Nicholas Farmer. So when his idol is jailed, he comes up with the perfect plan: take a local immigrant support group hostage until Farmer is released.

Grace Wheatley is no stranger to loneliness having weathered the passing of her husband, whilst being left to raise her son alone. The local support group is her only source of comfort. Until the day Lee James Connor walks in and threatens the existence of everything she’s ever known. 

Superintendent Alex Lewis may be one of the most experienced hostage negotiators on the force, but there’s no such thing as a perfect record. Still haunted by his last case, can he connect with Connor – and save his nine hostages – before it’s too late?

My thoughts

‘The Siege’ by John Sutherland doesn’t take long to snare you. It’s a tense, driven novel of a volatile hostage situation with depth. By depth, I mean this is a story driven by its characters.

Three central players drive this stomach clenching drama as Lee, a young man gripped by grief, pulled into an online existence and detached from reality is radicalised. He sets himself on an extreme pathway, fuelled by discord into creating and controlling a hostage situation. It’s in this tense setting that he meets Grace and Alex.

Grace is a young widow, burdened by grief and loneliness; she is our warrior within and the events of the novel create a phoenix in her, to rise up against her situation and reach deep inside for that human connection in a situation of fear and threat.

Alex is burdened by a past failed hostage negotiation and has his own demons to battle whilst maneuvering the opportunity to connect and save those now under threat.

Sutherland writes an absorbing and adrenaline inducing read perfect for fans of tense thrillers. It’s dark at times, but it’s also emotional, thoughtful and moves along at a dynamic pace. I’d happily recommend ‘The Siege’.

The Author

John Sutherland

John Sutherland is a father of three who lives with his wife and children in south London. For more than twenty-five years he served as an officer in the Metropolitan Police, rising to the rank of Chief Superintendent before his retirement on medical grounds in 2018.

John is a sought-after public speaker and commentator on a broad range of issues, who regularly appears on TV and radio and writes for major newspapers.

His first book, BLUE, written and published while he was still serving in the Met, was a Sunday Times bestseller.

It tells the remarkable stories of his policing life and describes his long road to recovery following the serious nervous breakdown that ended his operational policing career.

As always, please buy from Independents if you can XX

#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

 Blog: mcfrankauthor.tumblr.com

Facebook Page: M.C. Frank

 Goodreads: M.C. Frank

Subscribe to her newsletter: www.mcfrankauthor.com/p/newsletter.html

#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.