Author: Lulu Taylor

Lulu Taylor moved around the world as a child before her family settled in the Oxfordshire countryside. She studied English at Oxford University and had a successful career in publishing before becoming a writer. Her first novel, Heiresses was published in 2007 and nominated for the RNA Readers’ Choice award. It was followed by Midnight Girls, Beautiful Creatures, Outrageous Fortune, The Winter Folly, The Snow Angel, The Winter Children, and The Snow Rose. She lives in Dorset, England, with her husband and two children.

Photograph by Alicia Clarke.

#BookReview The Winter Secret by Lulu Taylor @MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheWinterSecret #LuluTaylor

#BookReview The Winter Secret by Lulu Taylor @MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheWinterSecret #LuluTaylor Title: The Winter Secret

Author: Lulu Taylor

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Nov. 2, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction

Pages: 544

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The Winter Secret is a thrilling mystery from Lulu Taylor, top ten bestselling author of The Snow Rose and Her Frozen Heart.

‘My dear boy, the place is cursed. It always has been and it always will be . . .’

Buttercup Redmain has a life of pampered luxury, living in beautiful Charcombe Park. Her older husband, Charles Redmain, is wealthy and successful and proud of the house he has painstakingly restored, once owned by a famous ancestor. Buttercup is surrounded by people who make her life delightfully easy. But the one thing she really wants seems impossible.

There are other discomforting realities: her husband’s ex-wife Ingrid still lives nearby although Buttercup has never met her. And it soon becomes clear that all the people who make Buttercup’s life so carefree are also watching her every move. Does she actually live in a comfortable but inescapable cage? And what is the real story of her husband’s previous marriage?

In the late 1940s, Xenia Arkadyoff lived in Charcombe Park with her father, a Russian prince, and her mother, a famous film star. Life seemed charmed, full of glamour and beauty. But behind the glittering facade lay pain, betrayal, and the truth about the woman Xenia spent her life protecting.

Now Charcombe Park is calling back people who were once part of its story, and the secrets that have stayed long hidden are bubbling inexorably to the surface . . .


Review:

Gripping, menacing, and addictive!

The Winter Secret is an unsettling, pacey, atmospheric novel about love, life, loss, secrets, power, control, friendship, family, jealousy, and tragedy.

There are two main memorable characters, Xenia, a young girl in the late 1940s whose life is anything but glamourous when her mother’s starlet lifestyle leads to a neverending rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows. And Buttercup, the present-day Mrs. Redmain whose life is pristine and wonderful until the cracks begin to appear and everything is not quite as perfect as it originally seemed.

The writing is eloquent and descriptive. The characterization is well done with a cast of characters that are distressed, vulnerable, and sympathetic, and a setting, Charcombe Park, that is a character itself with its history, grandeur, isolation, and multitude of secrets. And the plot uses a past/present, back-and-forth style to create tension and suspense as it quickly unravels all the personalities, relationships, behaviours, and motivations within it.

Overall, The Winter Secret is a clever, haunting, absorbing novel that swept me away to a country estate marred by both cruelty and love and immersed me in a story rife with deception and obsession.

 

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lulu Taylor

Lulu Taylor moved around the world as a child before her family settled in the Oxfordshire countryside. She studied English at Oxford University and had a successful career in publishing before becoming a writer. Her first novel, Heiresses was published in 2007 and nominated for the RNA Readers' Choice award. It was followed by Midnight Girls, Beautiful Creatures, Outrageous Fortune, The Winter Folly, The Snow Angel, The Winter Children, and The Snow Rose. She lives in Dorset, England, with her husband and two children.

Photograph by Alicia Clarke.

#BookReview A Midwinter Promise by Lulu Taylor @MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview A Midwinter Promise by Lulu Taylor @MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan Title: A Midwinter Promise

Author: Lulu Taylor

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jan. 14, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction

Pages: 560

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A gripping and compelling gothic novel from Lulu Taylor, bestselling author of The Snow Rose and Her Frozen Heart.

One family across two generations.
A marriage marred by trauma and infidelity.
Lives marked by death, divorce and a shattered family. A dark secret at the heart of a tragedy.

Now the Pengelly family reunites around the sickbed of David, a beloved husband and father, to confront the emotions and the secrets that have divided them over the years.

Set around the beautiful wildness of Tawray, a house near the Cornish coast, A Midwinter Promise by bestselling author Lulu Taylor, is a dramatic story of loss, grief and the legacy of secrets. It is also a tale of reconciliation and renewal.


Review:

Disquieting, moving, and absorbing!

A Midwinter Promise is predominantly set in Cornwall during the 1980s and 90s, as well as present-day that takes you into the lives of Alex and Johnnie Pengelly, two middle-aged siblings who are struggling to come to grips with the complicated relationship they have with their dying father, the hostility between themselves and their stepmother, and the truth behind the life and loss of their mother, Julia when they were children.

The writing is captivating and vivid. The characters are genuine, distressed, and intriguing. And the plot, alternating between timelines, unravels and intertwines into a sweeping saga filled with life, loss, family, heartbreak, parenthood, mental illness, substance abuse, secrets, deception, and friendship.

Overall, A Midwinter Promise is another compelling, intelligent, heartwarming tale by Taylor that reminds us that life is short, psychological disorders are a very real concern with often devastating consequences, and people often do the wrong thing for the right reason.

 

This novel is available now.

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

          

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lulu Taylor

Lulu Taylor moved around the world as a child before her family settled in the Oxfordshire countryside. She studied English at Oxford University and had a successful career in publishing before becoming a writer. Her first novel, Heiresses was published in 2007 and nominated for the RNA Readers' Choice award. It was followed by Midnight Girls, Beautiful Creatures, Outrageous Fortune, The Winter Folly, The Snow Angel, The Winter Children, and The Snow Rose. She lives in Dorset, England, with her husband and two children.

Photograph by Alicia Clarke.

#BookReview Her Frozen Heart by Lulu Taylor @MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview Her Frozen Heart by Lulu Taylor @MissLuluTaylor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan Title: Her Frozen Heart

Author: Lulu Taylor

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Sep. 4, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Historical Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Caitlyn, there’s something I have to tell you. About Sara.

Caitlyn thinks her marriage to Patrick is a success. For one thing, he is one of the few people not to fall head over heels for her beautiful friend, Sara. Life is lived on his terms, but they are happy.

Aren’t they?

When a devastating accident turns her existence upside down, Caitlyn is forced to reassess everything she thought about her marriage, what she truly knows about Patrick, and his real feelings for her best friend. In the refuge of an old manor house, she begins to discover the truth.

In 1947, the worst winter in decades hits England, cutting off entirely the inhabitants of Kings Harcourt Manor. For Tommy Carter, widowed at the start of war, it is particularly hard: the burden of the family falls on her. She has the solace of her children, and the interesting presence of her brother’s friend, Fred. But there is also Barbara, a mysterious figure from her past who appears to want a piece of Tommy’s future as well.

Her Frozen Heart is a thrilling mystery from Lulu Taylor, top ten bestselling author of The Snow Rose.


Review:

Simmering, menacing, and dramatic!

Her Frozen Heart is predominantly set in the Oxfordshire countryside during the late 1940s, as well as present day, and is told from two different perspectives, Tommy, a young widow struggling to keep her family fed, safe, and warm during the harshest of winters, continuing war rations, and an unexpected visitor with malicious intentions; and Caitlyn, a young woman who finds her life unexpectedly turned upside down by the sudden loss of her husband and a secret that threatens everything she thought she knew about her marriage.

The writing is descriptive and unsettling. The characters in both time periods are troubled, determined, protective, and strong. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel subtly into a mysterious tale filled with life, loss, family, survival, heartbreak, betrayal, obsession, romance, misdirection, manipulation, and violence.

Overall, Her Frozen Heart is a clever, atmospheric, brooding thriller that reminds us just how quickly life can spin out of control and just how parasitic some of our relationships can truly be.

 

This novel is available in Canada on September 25, 2018.

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

          

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lulu Taylor

Lulu Taylor moved around the world as a child before her family settled in the Oxfordshire countryside. She studied English at Oxford University and had a successful career in publishing before becoming a writer. Her first novel, Heiresses was published in 2007 and nominated for the RNA Readers' Choice award. It was followed by Midnight Girls, Beautiful Creatures, Outrageous Fortune, The Winter Folly, The Snow Angel, The Winter Children, and The Snow Rose. She lives in Dorset, England, with her husband and two children.

Photograph by Alicia Clarke.

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