By Rating

#BookReview
Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore
@PGCBooks @groveatlantic

Synopsis:

It is 1792 and Europe is seized by political turmoil and violence. Lizzie Fawkes has grown up in Radical circles where each step of the French Revolution is followed with eager idealism. But she has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a property developer who is heavily invested in Bristol’s housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war. Soon his plans for a magnificent terrace built above the two-hundred-foot drop of the Gorge come under threat. Tormented and striving Diner believes that Lizzie’s independent, questioning spirit must be coerced and subdued. She belongs to him: law and custom confirm it, and she must live as he wants–his passion for Lizzie darkening until she finds herself dangerously alone.

Weaving a deeply personal and moving story with a historical moment of critical and complex importance, Birdcage Walk is an unsettling and brilliantly tense drama of public and private violence, resistance and terror from one of our greatest storytellers.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Poignant, ominous, and remarkable descriptive!

Birdcage Walk takes us back to Bristol in the late 1790s when France was full of unrest, war was on the horizon, and the British people struggled with impoverishment, scarcity, impending disaster, and financial ruin.

The prose is expressive and raw. The main characters include the maternal, independent, supportive Lizzie and the jealous, iron-fisted, ruined Tredevant. And the plot, although a little slow in the middle, is laced from start to finish with an underlying feeling of despair and a real, palpable bleakness as the ongoing drama, social strife, economic uncertainty, marital tension, and increasing violence unravels.

I have to admit that even though Birdcage Walk is not my favourite novel by Dunmore, it is still a beautiful, haunting tale that highlights her talent of writing historical fiction that moves, informs, and leaves a lasting impression. The passing of Dunmore earlier this year is certainly a tremendous loss for the literary world and to quote from the inscription on the grave of her fictional character in this novel, “Her Words Remain Our Inheritance.”

If you haven’t had a chance to read my review for “The Lie” by Dunmore be sure to check it out here:

 

About the Author:

 

Helen Dunmore (1952 – 2017)

 

Helen Dunmore is the author of twelve books, including The Greatcoat, The Betrayal, a New York Times Editors’ Choice; The Siege, a best seller and finalist for the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; and A Spell of Winter, winner of the Orange Prize.

 

Thank you to PGC Books & Grove Atlantic for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

#BookReview #BlogTour
The Girl I Used To Know by Faith Hogan
@GerHogan @Aria_Fiction

Synopsis:

A beautiful, emotive and spell-binding story of two women who find friendship and second chances when they least expect it. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan.

Amanda King and Tess Cuffe are strangers who share the same Georgian house, but their lives couldn’t be more different.

Amanda seems to have it all, absolute perfection. She projects all the accoutrements of a lady who lunches. Sadly, the reality is a soulless home, an unfaithful husband and a very lonely heart.

By comparison, in the basement flat, unwanted tenant Tess has spent a lifetime hiding and shutting her heart to love.

It takes a bossy doctor, a handsome gardener, a pushy teenager and an abandoned cat to show these two women that sometimes letting go is the first step to moving forward and new friendships can come from the most unlikely situations.


Book Rating: 9/10

Uplifting, absorbing, and delightfully inspiring!

The Girl I Used To Know is a heartwarming story that immerses you in a tale about letting go of the past, embracing the future and discovering one’s true self at any age.

The prose is effortless and fluid. The plot is a wonderful blend of heart, humour, and hope. And the characterization is spot on with a memorable cast of characters, including two strong, determined, resilient women who learn through compassion and friendship how to move on, find true happiness and be unconditionally loved.

The Girl I Used To Know is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, dreams, heartache, infidelity, family, and romance. It is a beautifully written, beguiling novel by Hogan that highlights just how meaningful and powerful friendships can truly be.

 

About the Author:

Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.

 

Thank you to Faith Hogan and Aria Fiction for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

This book is available now. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                    

 

For more information on Faith Hogan visit her website at: faithhogan.com

or follow her on Twitter: @GerHoganFacebook: faithhoganauthor, or Instagram: faithhoganauthor

#BookReview #Excerpt #Giveaway
So Over You by Kate Meader
@KittyMeader @Pocket_Books

Synopsis:

Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s SO OVER YOU, Book 2 in the new sizzling Chicago Rebels series. Middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels…

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won silver at the Games, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then…let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice…


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Sexy, steamy, and sweet!

So Over You is a sizzling second-chance romance that introduces us to the broody, stubborn, handsome Vadim and the feisty, driven, scarred Isobel as they each navigate the loss of a loved one, familial drama, career-altering injuries, undeniable chemistry and insatiable desire.

The writing is lighthearted and fun. The supporting characters are encouraging, loyal, and kind. And the plot, from start to finish, is filled to the brim with longing, lust, emotion, angst, witty banter, and tantalizing romance.

So Over You is the second novel in the Chicago Rebels series and another highly entertaining, thoroughly enjoyable sports romance by Meader who seems to have the formula for writing irresistible rom-coms down to a fine art.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my review of the first novel in the series, Irresistible You, be sure to check it out here:

 

Excerpt:

He leaned in again, smelling of fame, privilege, and raw sex appeal. Discomfort at his proximity edged out the hormonal sparks dancing through her body.

“Does Moretti know that we have history? That you are the last person I wish to work with?”

Before she could respond, someone squealed, “Vadim!” A blond, skinny, buxom someone, who now wrapped herself around Vadim in a very possessive manner. “You said you’d be back with a dwinkie!”

A dwinkie?

Drawing back, Vadim circled the squealer’s waist and pulled her into his hard body. “Kotyonok, I did not mean to be so long.” He dropped a kiss on her lips, needing to bend considerably because she was just so darn petite! Not like big-boned Isobel, who could have eaten this chick and her five supermodel Playmates for a midmorning snack. A group of them stood off to the side, clearly waiting for the signal to start the orgy. And Vadim clearly wanted to give it, except he had to deal with the annoying six-foot fly in the sex ointment.

Why did the lumberjack hotties always go for twigs instead of branches? Did it make them feel more virile to screw a pocket-sized Barbie?

Yep, feeling like a schlub.

But he didn’t need to know that. All he needed to know was that she had the power to return him to competitive ice. This was her best shot at making a difference and getting the Rebels to a coveted play-off spot. Vadim Petrov and his butt-hurt feelings would not stand in her way.

“Do you need to talk about it, Russian?”

She infused as much derision into the question as possible, so that the idea of “talking about it” made him sound a touch less than manly. Big, bad, brick-house Russians didn’t need to talk about the women who done them wrong.

“There is nothing to talk about,” he uttered in that voice that used to send Siberian shivers down her back. Now? Nothing more than a Muscovian flurry.

“Excellent!” Superscary cheerful face. “Regular practice is tomorrow at ten, so I’ll see you on the ice at 9 a.m. Don’t be late.”

Pretty happy with her exit line, she walked away.

Far too easy.

A brute hand curled around hers and pulled her to the other side of the bar, out of the sight line of most of the VIP room. She found her back against a wall—literally and figuratively—as 230 pounds of Slavic muscle loomed over her.

He still held her hand.

If she weren’t so annoyed, she’d think it was kind of nice.

She yanked it away. “Who the hell do you think you are?”

“Who am I?” he boomed, and she prayed it was rhetorical. Unfortunately, no. “I am Vadim Petrov. Leading goal scorer for my first two years in the NHL. Winner of both the Kontinental and the Gagarin Cups. A man not to be trifled with. And you are, who, exactly? The daughter of a hockey great who was not so great when it came to running a team. The woman who can no longer play yet thinks she can offer ‘tips’ to me. To me! You may have pedigree, Isobel, but there is nothing I can learn from you.”

This arrogant, douchewaffle piece of shit!

 

About the Author:

 

Kate Meader was raised on romance. An Irish girl, she started with Catherine Cookson and Jilly Cooper novels, and spiced it up with some Mills & Boon. Now based in Chicago, she writes romances of her own, where sexy contemporary alpha heroes and strong heroines match each other quip for quip. When not immersed in tales of brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose.

 

 

Giveaway:

Kate Meader will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card during release week. To enter, please go here!

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Pocket Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

For more information on Kate Meader, visit her website at: katemeader.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @KittyMeader

#BookReview
Gilding The Lily by Justine John
@JustineCJohn

Synopsis:

A gripping mystery of jealousy, murder and lies.

An invitation to her estranged, wealthy father’s surprise 75th birthday party in New York sees London-based Amelia and her husband, Jack, set off across the pond to meet a whole new world of family politics.

Amelia, now a successful businesswoman, has guiltily never liked her father’s women, but does her upmost to give his new socialite partner, Evelyn, the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could just all get along? But there’s something very dark, determined and dangerous about her…

When Amelia’s father, Roger, becomes ill, Jack grows suspicious that there is more to it. Amelia understands why, but no one else will believe them. They travel back to America to piece together the puzzle, but when Roger goes missing, the couple are driven to their wit’s end. It takes a DEA officer and a secret assassin to bring them any answers. The ruthless truth is something no one expected…


Book Rating: 8/10

Compelling, dark, and menacing!

Gilding The Lily is a character-driven novel that delves into the complicated, entangled relationship between family members and reminds us just how deceiving appearances can often be.

The writing is taut and twisty. The characters are determined, troubled, and secretive. And the plot, told predominately from two perspectives, subtly unfolds all the personalities, motivations, and actions within it to create a tense, suspenseful, cautious tale.

Gilding The Lily, at its core, is a novel about family, secrets, manipulation, jealousy, obsession, and murder. It’s an intriguing debut for John, and I look forward to reading what she comes up with next.

 

About the Author:

 

Justine John became a full-time writer in her late forties, after a successfully running various businesses in London. Her first novel, Gilding The Lily, is a domestic noir suspense story. Animal lover Justine lives in the beautiful Surrey Hills with her husband, rides her two horses and walks her Dalmatians daily.

 

 

Thank you to Justine John for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy now from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

For more information on Justine John, visit her website at: justinejohn.co.uk

or follow her on Twitter at: @JustineCJohn

 

#BookReview #GuestPost
Winter at Cedarwood Lodge by Rebecca Raisin
@jaxandwillsmum @HQDigitalUK

 

Synopsis:

This winter it’s time to fall in love at Cedarwood Lodge…

After years of dreaming, Clio Winters is finally fulfilling her childhood dream of renovating the gorgeous old Cedarwood Lodge in Evergreen and turning it into the perfect destination for celebrations, weddings and extravagant birthday parties. The huge property used to be a bustling holiday camp, now Clio wants to bring it back to its halcyon days – which will be a lot of hard work!

Returning back to the small town of her youth she’s glad to have one of her best friends still around to lean on, Micah who is just as solid as he used to be. But with her own secrets pushing her to run from her glamorous life in New York, she’ll have to tread carefully, especially when the far-too-handsome-for-his-own-good contractor, Kai, shows up on her doorstep…

Sure she’s here in Evergreen to change her life, but there is no way she’s falling in love!

Previously published as three novellas; Celebrations & Confetti, Brides & Bouquets, and Midnight & Mistletoe and now Includes bonus material!


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Absorbing, enchanting, and sugary sweet!

In this latest compilation, Winter at Cedarwood Lodge, Raisin sweeps us away to a wintery paradise where the snow is falling, the accommodations are rustic, the food is scrumptious, and love is in the air.

The prose is light, atmospheric, and well turned. The characters are unique, flawed, and multi-layered. And the story is a compelling tale full of tender moments, humorous hijinks, self-discovery, friendship, family, community, happiness, love, a little mystery, and a whole lot of Christmas cheer!

Overall, Winter at Cedarwood Lodge is a charming holiday treat that’s perfect for a chilly afternoon curled up in front of the fire with a steaming mug of hot chocolate!

If you haven’t had a chance to read my review of The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin be sure to check it out here:

 

And now Rebecca Raisin with:

Twenty things to do this Christmas

When I wrote Winter at Cedarwood Lodge, the whole premise behind the lodge was that it be a place to go where you switch off phones and computers and go back to a simpler way of living where you’re not always contactable 24/7. The idea appeals to me so much, especially around holiday time when you just need to recharge and forgot about work and schedules for a little while.

But what to do if you’re not scrolling through Facebook…?

  1. Write a letter to a stranger. Make them smile!
  2. Invite that neighbor over for dinner, the one who waves but always seems to be alone.
  3. Bake! Lots of cookies, ice them, dust them, eat them!
  4. Get crafty, upcycle something!
  5. Start the New Year fresh!
  6. Plant a herb garden. Big or small, inside or outside!
  7. Cuddle a cat or dog! Visit your local rescue center and ask about spending some time with those adorable fur babies for an hour or two.
  8. Move your furniture around. A change is as good as a holiday or so the saying goes…
  9. Build a snowman, or a sand castle! You are never too old, I don’t care what age you are!
  10. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time and arrange a coffee date.
  11. Make pasta from scratch.
  12. Write a poem or haiku.
  13. Paint your nails.
  14. Make a face mask from natural items in your pantry.
  15. Put fresh sheets on your bed.
  16. Read a book you’ve given up on before and see if anything has changed.
  17. Send a postcard and say wish you were here.
  18. Jump in a puddle.
  19. Compliment someone you don’t know.
  20. Go for a bike ride or a walk.

What else would you add to the list? I hope you have a fabulous festive season and have time to switch off and do something relaxing that you haven’t done for a while.

All the best,

Bec xx

 

About the Author:

 

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance. Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.

 

Thank you to Rebecca Raisin for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review and for participating on my blog today. It’s an honour!

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                                      

For more information on Rebecca Raisin visit her website at: rebeccaraisin.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @jaxandwillsmum or Facebook at: RebeccaRaisinAuthor

For more information about the Tour Schedule click Here

 

 

#BookReview #BlogTour
and a Sixpence for Luck by Lilac Mills
@LilacMills @NeverlandBT

 

Synopsis:

Daisy Jones has hit rock bottom. Or so she believes.

A cheating boyfriend, trouble at work, having to move back in with her mother, and being forced to compare her brother’s loved-up, newly-wed status and brand-new shiny house with her own dire lack of prospects, isn’t what she imagined her life was going to be like at thirty. To top it all off, Christmas is just around the corner!

Daisy, bless her, thinks things can’t possibly get any worse, but when her ancient great-grandmother persuades her to plant a silver sixpence in the Christmas pud for luck, Daisy is about to discover that they most definitely can.


Book Rating: 8/10

Entertaining, heartening, and splendidly merry!

and a Sixpence for Luck is a sweet, holiday read that takes us on a tour of Daisy’s life as she meanders through all sorts of highs and lows, from losing her job, home and long-time love to forging new friendships and finding true love.

It is ultimately a story about friendship, family, self-discovery, and happiness.

The prose is light and fluid. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are unique, quirky, and lovable. And the plot is flirty, fun and full of tricky situations, zany mishaps, awkward moments, delicious chemistry, and heartfelt emotion.

Overall, and a Sixpence for Luck is a delightfully, jolly novel by Mills that will have you smiling from the very first page to the irresistible happy-ever-after ending.

 

Giveaway:

Signed copy of the book and a silver sixpence necklace (International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the Author:

Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologises to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it!

She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun…

When she isn’t hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing (she meant to say “borrowing”) her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.

 

Thank you to Lilac Mills and Neverland Blog Tours for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

This book is available now. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

For more information on Lilac Mills, visit her website at: lilacmills

or follow her on Twitter: @LilacMills or Facebook: LilacMills

#BookReview
The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale
by Rebecca Stonehill @bexstonehill

Synopsis:

A compelling page turner of a buried past resurfacing, set against a backdrop of the 1960’s youth culture and war-torn Crete.

1967. Handsome but troubled, Jim is almost 18 and he lives and breathes girls, trad jazz, Eel Pie Island and his best friend, Charles. One night, he hears rumours of a community of young people living in caves in Matala, Crete. Determined to escape his odious, bully of a father and repressed mother, Jim hitchhikes through Europe down to Matala. At first, it’s the paradise he dreamt it would be. But as things start to go wrong and his very notion of self unravels, the last thing Jim expects is for this journey of hundreds of miles to set in motion a passage of healing which will lead him back to the person he hates most in the world: his father.

Taking in the counter-culture of the 1960’s, the clash of relationships between the WW2 generation and their children, the baby boomers, this is a novel about secrets from the past finally surfacing, the healing of trauma and the power of forgiveness.

A captivating story that will mesmerise fans of Lucinda Riley, Dinah Jefferies and Tracy Rees.


Book Rating: 9/10

Atmospheric, insightful, and profoundly moving!

The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale is predominantly set on the island of Crete during both the 1960s and WWII and is told from two perspectives; Jim, a young man who travels to Matala to live for the moment and be free from his stifling home life and strained relationship with his father; and Alfred, a young man embarking on a journey of survival in a time of utter devastation and destruction.

The prose is expressive, vivid, and eloquent. The characters are multi-faceted, genuine, and sympathetic. And the plot is a sweeping saga filled with life, loss, familial dynamics, secrets, determination, self-discovery, loneliness, friendship, war, survival, forgiveness, and love.

The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale is truly a wonderfully written, poignant novel by Stonehill that does an exceptional job of blending historical facts, remarkable characterization, and heartfelt fiction into an incredibly moving story that reminds us that life is very precious and often all too short.

If you haven’t read my review of Stonehill’s previous novel, The Girl and the Sunbird, one of my favourite novels of all time, be sure to check it out here:

About the Author:

Rebecca Stonehill is from London but currently lives in Nairobi with her husband and three young children where she set up Magic Pencil, an initiative to give children greater access to creative writing and poetry. She has had numerous short stories published over the years, for example in Vintage Script, What the Dickens magazine, Ariadne’s Thread and Prole Books but The Poet’s Wife (Bookouture) is her first full-length novel, set in Granada during the Spanish Civil war and Franco’s dictatorship. Her second novel, The Girl and the Sunbird, was published by Bookouture in June 2016.

 

Thank you to Rebecca Stonehill for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It’s always an honour!

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

For more information on Rebecca Stonehill, visit her website at: rebeccastonehill.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @bexstonehill

 

#BookReview
Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan
@SarahMorgan_ @HarlequinBooks

Synopsis:

She’ll risk everything for her own Christmas miracle…

Determined to conquer a lifetime of shyness, Harriet Knight challenges herself to do one thing a day in December that scares her, including celebrating Christmas without her family. But when dog walker Harriet meets her newest client, exuberant spaniel Madi, she adds an extra challenge to her list–dealing with Madi’s temporary dog sitter, gruff doctor Ethan Black, and their very unexpected chemistry.

Ethan thought he was used to chaos, until he met Madi–how can one tiny dog cause such mayhem? To Ethan, the solution is simple–he will pay Harriet to share his New York apartment and provide twenty-four-hour care. But there’s nothing simple about how Harriet makes him feel.

Ethan’s kisses make Harriet shine brighter than the stars over moonlit Manhattan. But when his dog-sitting duties are over and Harriet returns to her own home, will she dare to take the biggest challenge of all–letting Ethan know he has her heart for life, not just for Christmas?


Book Rating: 9/10

Vivacious, uplifting, and downright swoon-worthy!

Moonlight Over Manhattan, the latest novel in the From Manhattan with Love series, is a delightful, character-driven rom-com set in the snowy streets of New York City that introduces us to the sweet, devoted, caring Harriet and the organized, dependable, stoic Ethan as they discover that everything they need and want they may just find in each other.

The prose is witty and crisp. The characters, including the supporting characters, are engaging, fun-loving, and affable. And the plot is a truly festive treat with lots of heart, humour, soul-searching, heat, spirit, and chemistry.

Moonlight Over Manhattan is undeniably another bestseller for Morgan. It’s enchanting, effortless, and the perfect holiday read.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews for some of the other novels in the Manhattan with Love series be sure to check them out here: 

 

 

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. She is a 3 time winner of the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and has been nominated five times. Sarah lives near London, England, and when she isn’t reading or writing she loves being outdoors.

Look out for HOW TO KEEP A SECRET, Sarah’s first standalone women’s fiction novel, out 2018!

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Harlequin Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Sarah Morgan visit her website at: sarahmorgan.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @SarahMorgan_


 

#BookReview
A Pearl for My Mistress by Annabel Fielding
@DearestAnnabel @HQDigitalUK

Synopsis:

A story of class, scandal and forbidden passions in the shadow of war. Perfect for fans of Iona Grey, Gill Paul and Downtown Abbey.

England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady’s maid in a small aristocratic household.

Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.

Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…


Book Rating: 8/10

Insightful, exceptionally researched, and richly descriptive!

A Pearl for My Mistress takes us back to the 1930s, the interwar period, and gives an in-depth look into the formation of the British far-right movement and Germany’s influence and infiltration of British politics and high society.

The prose is fervent and captivating. The main characters include the scarred, loyal, enamored Hester and the bold, independent, resourceful Lucy. And the plot unfolds chronologically with a nice mix of historical events, intriguing fiction, social strife, forbidden love, political manipulation, and heartfelt emotion that keeps the story flowing from start to finish.

A Pearl for My Mistress is a well written, fascinating novel that highlights Fielding’s incredible knowledge and enormous passion for a period of time that is often forgotten and overlooked.

 

About the Author:

Annabel Fielding, having graduated from the University of Arts London with an MA in Public Relations, is a PR assistant by day and a novelist by night. Being a self-professed history geek, she dedicates her free time to obscure biographies, solo travel and tea.

For more information on Annabel Fielding, visit her website at: historygeekintown or follow her on Twitter at: @DearestAnnabel

 

Thank you to Annabel Fielding & HQ Digital for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

#BookReview
Heart Note by Cassandra O’Leary
@rararesources @cass_oleary #HeartNote

 

Synopsis:

Love is like a fine perfume. The top note draws you in, an instant attraction, but the Heart Note is the true essence. Like true love – a great perfume should be a woman’s perfect match.

At least, that’s what perfume counter manager, Lily Lucas, tells her customers in one of Australia’s largest department stores. 

It’s almost Christmas, the store is bedecked with baubles and Lily has about eleventy billion gifts to wrap and sell. She and her team of spritzer chicks are glamorous, professional and hoping they don’t have to wear the hideous red onesies and reindeer antlers the store manager has in mind.

The high point of Lily’s work life is Christos Cyriakos, ex-cop, security guard, possible Greek god. He’s a mystery box she’d love to unwrap. But can she trust him?

All Lily wants for Christmas is to kiss Christos (and more), catch a band of thieves running amok in the store, and live happily ever after. Is that too much to wish for?


Book Rating: 8/10

Lighthearted, amusing, and delightfully festive!

Heart Note is a charming, holiday novella about department store life and all the havoc, chaos, mayhem, and hijinks that surround this busy time of year.

The characters are unique, easygoing, and engaging. The writing is fluent and smooth. And the plot is a lovely mix of budding romance, gossipy coworkers, festive preparations, attraction, chemistry, and intriguing suspense.

Overall, Heart Note is a captivating, quick, fun-filled read with a little mystery, a dab of emotion, and a lot of romance that is perfect for a wintery day.

 

About the Author:

**Winner of the We Heart New Talent contest, HarperCollins UK. Nominated for BEST NEW AUTHOR in the 2016 AusRom Today Reader’s Choice Awards for excellence in Australian romance fiction.**

Cassandra O’Leary is a romance and women’s fiction author, communications specialist, avid reader, film and TV fangirl and admirer of pretty, shiny things. 

In 2015, Cassandra won the We Heart New Talent contest run by Avon Books/HarperCollins UK. Her debut romantic comedy novel, Girl on a Plane, was published in July 2016. Cassandra was also a 2015 finalist in the Lone Star writing contest, Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America, and a 2014 finalist in the First Kiss contest, Romance Writers of Australia.

Cassandra is a mother of two gorgeous, high-energy mini ninjas and wife to a spunky superhero. Living in Melbourne, Australia, she’s also travelled the world. If you want to send her to Italy or Spain on any food or wine tasting ‘research’ trips, that would be splendiferous. You’ll find Cassandra online, drinking coffee and possibly buying shoes. Oh, yes. And writing.

 

Giveaway – Win 5 x E-copies of Heart Note by Cassandra O’Leary (Open International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thank you to Cassandra O’Leary for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novella is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

 

For more information on Cassandra O’Leary, visit her at the following:

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/cassandraolearyauthor

Twitter – @cass_oleary

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/cassandissima/heart-note/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/cassandissima/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15272644.Cassandra_O_Leary

Website – http://cassandraolearyauthor.com/

 

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