Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Historical Romance, Victorian Romance

Lilian and the Irresistible Duke Virginia Heath 5*#Review @VirginiaHeath @MillsandBoon #SecretsofaVictorianHousehold @rararesources #BlogBlitz #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #FridayReads #PublicationDay

A reunion in Rome…Sparks an affair to remember!

Responsible widow Lilian Fairclough is persuaded to travel to Rome for a hard-earned break and to let down her hair! She’s surprised to be reunited with passionate, cynical Italian duke, Pietro Venturi. He reawakens her sensual side and intrigues her with glimpses of pain beneath his rakish surface. Enticed into a secret and temporary affair – what will happen once she returns home?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I love older couples romances, and whilst these are becoming more popular in contemporary romance, they are rarer in historical romance, so one is particularly enjoyable to read.

Set in romantic Rome, Lilian, who still mourns her husband, reacquaints with an Italian Duke Pietro, who has only bad memories, of his late marriage, and will never enter that institution again.

A mutual love of art draws them into friendship, but proximity builds the sensual attraction, to sizzling level. The characters are authentic and easy to empathise. The decisions they make, are in keeping with their maturity and the resultant romance is passionate, poignant and permanent, after much angst and conflict.

The final book in the Secrets of a Victorian Household, series it reads as a standalone, but for those who have read the previous books, or like continuity, the epilogue ties everything together.

An engaging read with delightful characters, a vivid setting and a realistic but romantic love story.

#VirginiaHeath

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of Lilian and the Irresistible Duke (Open INT)

Click on Giveaway link

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

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Travel

A Crown in Time Jennifer Macaire 4* #Review @jennifermacaire @AccentPress @rararesources #BlogTour #TheTempusUTimeTravelSeries #timeslip #historical #timetravel #TheCrown #France #Tunis #TheCrusades #SCFI #Giveaway #BookReview #FridayReads #FridayMotivation

#ACrownInTime

In the far future, a convicted criminal is given a chance at redemption. 

Her mission? To save the crown of France by convincing a young noble not to join the ill-fated Eighth Crusade.

But nothing goes as planned, and Isobel finds herself accompanying a hot-headed youth on his way to fight the infidel in Tunis: a battle Isobel knows is fated to be lost.

From the rainy villages of medieval France to the scorching desert of Tunis – Isobel faces her destiny and tries to fulfil her duty, knowing she can never return to her time, knowing that a wrong move can doom the future, or doom her to be burned as a witch.

Waterstones Amazon UK Amazon Amazon Australia

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I haven’t read any previous books in this series. The concept of time travel and the future world, Isobel comes from, is understandable. The historical setting has a good sense of place and time. It is atmospheric and vividly described.

Isobel is a corrector, sent back to the correct history, inadvertently altered by another time traveller. She has nothing to lose. Emotionally damaged after she killed a child in a car accident, she knows that failure means death. Success means life can continue, but in the time zone where she is. Isobel can never go back.

The story is told from her first-person point of view, but even when she witnesses the horrors of the time, her reactions are superficial. Her lack of emotional depth is apparent. Possibly due to her past life experiences. She is hard to empathise. Many of the relationships, whilst acceptable in the middle ages, seem wrong from a 21st-century viewpoint, but they do make the story authentic, despite its fantastical premise.

The sense of adventure, albeit misguided comes across well in this story. The plot cleverly interweaves fact and historical fiction. A considered and well-written time travel story with strong, vibrant characters and a fast-paced plot.

#JenniferMacaire

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in France. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

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Giveaway to Win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate  (Open INT)

Click on Giveaway link to enter

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

Posted in Bookstagram, Fantasy, Young Adult

#Vile @keithcrawford77 #BookstagramTour @LoveBooksTours #LoveBooksTours #Fantasy #Noir @littlwonder #SCFI @LoveBooksGroup #Instagram @Jolliffe01

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Elianor Paine is a Magistrate of the Peace in the Kingdom of Trist and a republican secret agent. She has 6 days to subvert her investigation, supplant war-hero Lord Vile, then coerce his adult children to start a revolution before her masters discover the truth and have her killed. Just how far is she willing to go? And can she change the world without changing herself?

Amazon UK

Keith Crawford

Keith Crawford is a retired Navy Officer, a disabled veteran, a Doctor of Law & Economics, a barrister, a stay-at-home Dad, and a writer. He has written for collections of scholarly works, academic journals, and newspapers including The Economist. He has had more than thirty plays recorded or produced for stage, been listed in a variety of short story competitions (in spite of his hatred of short stories), and runs a radio production company, www.littlewonder.website, which regularly runs competitions promoted by the BBC to help find, develop and encourage new writers.

In 2014 he was lecturing at Sciences Po in Paris and negotiating a contract to write a book on banking regulation when he and his wife discovered to their delight that they were due to have their first child. Rather than writing more work that would only be read by his poor students, and then misquoted by politicians, he decided he would do his bit to stick his fingers up at the patriarchy and stay home to look after his own kids rather than the grown-up kids of rich people. Two more children swiftly followed. Keith has discovered that if you recite Stick Man backwards you get the lyrics to AD/DC’s Highway to Hell.

This (looking after the kids, not satanic rites with Stick Man) allowed him to support his wife’s career, which appears to be heading for the stratosphere, and also gave him the space to write about swordfights and explosions. And spaceships. All of which are more fun than banking regulation. As an extension to his work in radio production, he set up his own small press, and his first novel, Vile, is due to be published in December 2019. More novels will swiftly follow, like buses in countries that don’t privatise the bus companies.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Family Drama, Suspense, Thriller

Hiding In Plain Sight Eoghan Egan 4*#Review @eoghanegan #BlogTour #Bookreview #Thriller #CrimeFiction #IrishCrimeFiction #IrishCrime #smalltown #FamilyDrama #secrets @Lovebookstours @LoveBooksGroup

A vicious serial killer roams the Irish Midlands… with his sights set on the next victim. A successful businessman has found the perfect recipe for getting away with murder. No bodies, no evidence.No evidence, no suspect. High art and low morals collide when graduate Sharona Waters discovers a multi-million euro art scam in play. She delves in, unwittingly putting herself on a direct trajectory with danger as the killer accelerates his murder spree. When Sharona gets drawn into the killer’s orbit, she peels away his public persona and exposes the psychopath underneath. Suddenly, the small town has no hiding place…

Amazon UK

#LoveBooksTours

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

#HidingInPlainSight

My Thoughts…

A brilliant, fast-paced beginning, gets the adrenaline pumping and the mind working, wondering what next?

Then, the frenetic pace slows and a multitude of new characters are introduced, Some have a connection to the ‘Art Dealer’, others don’t, yet. The pacing in this part of the story is slow, but necessary for the reader to meet the players, appreciate their connections and dynamics, and to realise this story is about more than just a serial killer on the rampage.

The setting is atmospheric and the characters are believable, some are easy to empathise, others the opposite, but they all provoke a reaction. The plot is twisty and doesn’t give up all its secrets, there are avenues to be explored at a later date.

The intensity returns as the story progresses. The killer escalates, and the art crime and family drama subplots reach a crescendo as the plot strands fuse. I like the originality of the setting and the fusion of genres, which is cleverly done, making the story authentic and addictive.

A native of Co. Roscommon, Eoghan studied Computer Programming in college, works in Sales Management & Marketing, but his passion for reading and writing remains.

Eoghan’s work got shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Short Story Prize, and Listowel’s 2019 Bryan McMahon Short Story Award Competition. His novel was a contender in literary agent David Headley’s opening chapter Pitch Competition, and during March 2019, Eoghan’s entry won Litopia’s Pop-Up Submission.

A graduate of Maynooth University’s Creative Writing Curriculum, and Curtis Brown’s Edit & Pitch Your Novel Course, Eoghan’s novel Hiding in Plain Sight – the first in a crime fiction trilogy based around the Irish Midlands – will be available in paperback and audio on January 11th 2020.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

Rags to Riches Wife Catherine Tinley 4*#Review @CatherineTinley @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #RegencyRomance #RagstoRichesWife #HistoricalRomance

#RagsToRichesWife

Lady’s maid…

To wedded Lady?

Lady’s maid Jane Bailey’s life is turned upside down by the arrival of wealthy gentleman Robert Kendal. He’s come to take Jane to visit her long-lost, aristocratic grandfather. Travelling together, they succumb to a mutual attraction. Yet Jane knows a maid should not hope to love a gentleman, even if she’s suddenly wearing silk dresses and dining with the Family. Society decrees they cannot marry, but how long can Jane deny her heart?

Amazon UK Website

#BlogTour

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A charmingly, gentle Regency-style romance.

Ned defied his father to follow his heart and marry a servant, and he died before any chance of reconciliation. Jane, his daughter, although gently born, has to work below stairs when her father dies.

Against a background of the social class divide, the vulnerability of servants to abuse, and Regency society’s strict rules. Jane and Robert meet on a journey back to her roots and fall in love, despite the supposed disparity in their social situations. The truth brings its problems, as both adjust to their new roles.

Despite the internal and external conflict love triumphs. The chemistry between Jane and Robert is sizzling, partly due to its forbidden status. The romance is sweet and gentle.

#CatherineTinley

Catherine Tinley is an award-winning author who writes witty, heartwarming, Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog.

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#RagstoRichesWife
Giveaway – Three winners will each receive a signed copy of Rags to Riches Wife, plus a mystery book by another romance writer (two GB/Ireland, one international).
Click on this Giveaway Link to enter

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

#BlogTour
Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Family Drama, Gangland Crime, Thriller

The Liar’s Daughter Claire Allan 4*#Review @AvonBooksUK @ClaireAllan #CrimeFiction #NorthernIreland #FamilyDrama #Secrets #Lies #BlogTour #BookReview

No one deserves to be taken before their time. Do they?

Joe McKee – pillar of the Derry community – is dead. As arrangements are made for the traditional Irish wake, friends and family are left reeling at how cancer could have taken this much-loved man so soon.

But grief is the last thing that Joe’s daughter Ciara and step-daughter Heidi feel. For they knew the real Joe – the man who was supposed to protect them and did anything but.

As the mourners gather, the police do too, with doubt being cast over whether Joe’s death was due to natural causes. Because the lies that Joe told won’t be taken to the grave after all – and the truth gives his daughters the best possible motive for killing him…

A gripping suspense novel about deadly secrets and lies. 

Amazon UK

#BlogTour

I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

There’s a claustrophobic vibe to the story from the beginning. It impacts intensifies, as the plot reveals its secrets. The suspense builds steadily to a shattering conclusion, as all the dark secrets are revealed, but will justice prevail?

A dark story of abuse, and unforgivable betrayal of trust. Joe is dying and he wants his family with him, but why are they so reluctant to come? Why does he want them to? Is it to share what time he has left? Or to ensure their continued silence?

Heidi and Ciara are both emotionally damaged, they share a bond of hate, mostly directed at each other. As the story progresses they have more in common than they realise. Told from multi-points of view, in the past and the present day. Mostly from Heidi and Ciara’s but also Joe, Alex and Kathleen’s. The reader becomes immersed in their anger and pain. The setting is beautifully described and the culture and traditions add an extra layer of tension in an already fraught and intense environment.

The plot is not overly complex, what draws the reader into this story is their empathy and in some cases disgust for the characters, who are both authentic and relatable. I guessed the twist, but the sense of dramatic irony, of knowing something the characters in the story didn’t, gave the story an added twist, rather than spoiling it.

The last chapters are both emotionally draining and satisfying. It’s not a story you enjoy but is one that you can believe in.

Posted in Cover Reveal, Paranormal

The Breaking K.S. Marsden #CoverReveal @KSMarsden @rararesources #NorthernWitch #3 #Witches #paranormal #preorder #20March20 #TheBreaking #NewAdult #Fantasy

#CoverReveal

Mark thought being a witch would be easy, but it has ruined everything.

Now, he has to fight for his friends and the guy that he loves.

Which would be challenging enough, without school being a living nightmare; more demons than he can handle; and witches that have strayed from the light.

#Preorder

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Publication Date: 20th March

 Winter Trials (Northern Witch #1)is currently available for Free mybook.to/WinterTrials
#KellySMarsden

Kelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life – books and horses.
Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has several successful series under her belt.

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#NorthernWitch3
Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Romantic Comedy

The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue Samantha Henthorn 4* #Review #CurmudgeonAvenue @SamanthaHfinds #RandomThingsTours @AnneCater #Ghosts #Humour #Family #home #RomCom #BlogTour #BookReview

The house on Curmudgeon Avenue should be happy now, the nincompoop residents have all met their sorry ends.

But they haven’t quite left…

Now that a new family move in, can the house find peace?

Or are the ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue going to interfere with the goings-on, romance and dramas that new residents bring?

Amazon UK

#RandomThingsTours

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I like this story, with its quirky, varied characters, fantasy-inspired plot, and irreverent commentary on life, death, love, marriage, relationships and sex. Although the story of ‘The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue’, is standalone, it is a progression of the three previous books. To appreciate the character dynamics and the ethos of Curmudgeon Avenue you need to read the books in order, which I haven’t.

The story concentrates on the ghosts, the previous occupants of the house, who met untimely, accidental deaths, their friends and relatives and the house’s new occupants. The characters are larger than life, even in death, and the humour is plentiful.

The plot is complex and character-driven and told from the house’s point of view. It proves to be as gossipy and quirky as its inhabitants past and present. If you are accepting of the paranormal and enjoy a raucous family drama, full of humour, and a generous share of sex, secrets and scandal this will meet your needs on all levels.

Samantha Henthorn

Samantha Henthorn was born in 1970something in Bury, England. She has had short stories and poetry published in magazines. Her books include the Curmudgeon Avenue series (The Terraced House Diaries and The Harold and Edith adventures). ‘1962’, ‘Quirky Tales to Make Your Day’ and ‘Piccalilly’ 

She has two cats, one dog, one gorgeous grown up daughter and one husband. When not reading or writing, she is listening to heavy metal and would be thrilled to bits if someone read her books. 

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Noir, saga, Suspense, Thriller

The Final Trail A.A. Abbot 4* #Review #TheTrailSeries @AAAbbottStories #thriller #CrimeFiction #Domestic #Noir #Revenge #Betrayal #Lies @LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours

Family feuds just got bloodier… A gripping thriller, and a great story of death, revenge and vodka.

To save glamorous Kat White’s life, Ben Halloran killed his gangster father. Now his brother wants to even the score.

The gripping Trail series of British crime thrillers reaches its dramatic conclusion in this compelling page-turner. 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

‘The Final Trail’, is book five in ‘The Trail Series’ set predominately in Birmingham. I haven’t read the previous books in the series, but I enjoyed this one, as the characters are well written and there is sufficient back story.

The immersive, intense writing style makes it easy to connect with the characters and work out their motivations and relationships. The short chapters each from a main characters point of view, lets the reader see developments from several points of view.

Business, family and politics are the points of conflict. The suspense building is good, especially around the political aspects involving Erik. This story explores many areas of life. Business crime, family, love and politics, are all fused into an adrenaline-packed story.

Reading this book makes me want to read the whole series.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

Virgin River Robyn Carr 4*#Review @RCarrWriter @MillsandBoon #BlogTour #BookReview #NetFlix #Romance #SmallTown #StartingOver #Loss #Grief #Friendship #Nursing #MillsandBoonInsiders #paperback


Sometimes all you need is a fresh start

When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees an advert for a midwife in the remote town of Virgin River, she decides this is the perfect place to escape her heartache and to revitalise the nursing career she loves.

However, her hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is uninhabitable, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. But when a tiny baby is abandoned on a front porch, Mel must decide whether to stay and help or cut her losses and leave.

Helped by local barman, and former marine, Jack Sheridan Mel must face her past and finds that there may be a future in Virgin River after all.

Amazon UK

#BlogTour

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon in return for an honest review.

#back cover #VirginRiver

My Thoughts…

Virgin River begins with a familiar and popular trope in the romance genre, of grieving widow, starting over in a small town, away from everything she knew before. Bereaved Melinda, takes up a midwife and nurse practitioner post in a remote rural small town Virgin River. She is promised cosy accommodation, a thriving medical practice in need of her skills and a lovely town to live in.

What she finds is less than ideal. Layered on top of her perilous emotional state, she feels like getting back in her car and heading back to the city, even if the memories there are too painful to live with.

An emotional event makes her stay in the short term because she’s not a quitter, but a consummate professional and big-hearted woman. Little by little the town and its inhabitants draw her in and she begins to enjoy the generosity, caring spirit of a small town, even if it is accompanied by gossip and mostly well-meant interference.

This idyllic story, which captures the small town ethos, has authentic, relatable characters, who you long to know more about. They are why it is an engaging read. There are many other books in this series, so it is likely your favourite will get their own story told, in a later book.

The romance is gentle and sensitive taking account of Melinda’s loss. Although it reflects conservative values to women, this is in keeping with the culture and setting. Contemporary issues are explored too, again viewed from a small town point of view, which is interesting and realistic.

There is a successful TV series based on the Virgin River books, and the quality of the characters and charm of the contemporary story shows why this is the case.