Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Book Spotlight, Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Holiday Romance

Roses of Marrakech Rachel Clare 4*#Review #BookSpotlight @BookGuild #HistoricalFiction #ContemporaryRomance #Travel #BookReview #HolidayRomance #BlogTour @rararesources

#RosesofMarrakech

Roses of Marrakech is a breath-taking romantic fiction, set between 1944 and 2016. The story follows 36-year-old primary school teacher, Ivy Fielding, who suffers from a lack of self-esteem due to a facial birthmark. Her great-aunt Rose, who has always been her main source of emotional support, has just died, leaving her a bequest as well as her Lavenham cottage to Ivy and her mother. Ivy discovers tragedies in her family’s past while reading her late great-aunt’s diary, and this inspires her to fulfil a childhood dream and she jets off to Marrakech for the summer holidays.

Set against the backdrop of wartime Suffolk and the present-day spice-scented souks of Morocco, Ivy follows a trail of discovery that will change her life and those around her, forever.

But when uncomfortable secrets of the past begin to surface, can she find the courage to confront them, or is it easier to walk away?

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I received a copy of this book from The Book Guild in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Dual timeline novels are particularly popular at the moment, especially where the historical timeline features one of the two world wars.

This story follows Ivy as she takes the trip of a lifetime to Marrakech in Morrocco in 2016, and Rose her recently deceased great-aunt who was a young woman during World War Two.

Ivy’s life to date has been defined by a permanent birthmark on her face. Rose always supported the often bullied girl, and her death forces Ivy to re-evaluate her life.

Finding Rose’s diaries and the hardship, poignancy and romance contained there, makes Ivy take the holiday she’s never been brave enough to take.

In Marrakech, she finds many things out about herself, and how her self-portrayal. affects how others respond to her. She finds romance and regains a little of her self-esteem. Family secrets that emerge challenge her new confidence and courage.

Wonderfully atmospheric, the time in Marrakech is vividly described and gives the book added depth and interest. The historical timeline is predictably sad and full of lost chances. The pacing of the book is a little slow in parts, but as a whole, this is a charmingly heartwarming story of past secrets, loss and self-realisation.

Rachel Clare

Rachel gained a BA (Hons) in French/English at Liverpool Hope University and an MA in Modern Languages Research at Lancaster University before training to be a journalist. She now lives in Lancaster and teaches French in a primary school. She has enjoyed writing stories since she was a child and coming runner up in a Sunday Express story competition gave her the confidence to write her first novel, Roses of Marrakech.

Whenever I go on holiday, I always take my notebook with me. Visiting Morocco and Lavenham a few years ago, I made notes of my impressions of the places I visited and began writing the book when I returned”, comments Rachel. “In the book, Ivy’s struggles with coming to terms with her birthmark are based on my own experiences with cerebral palsy, whilst the characters, Violet and Eleanor are based on my great-aunts who both died of TB in the late 1920s”.

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Posted in Book Review, Romance

Secrets of His Forbidden Cinderella Caitlin Lewis 4* #Review @MillsandBoon @megancrane #CaitlinCrews #MillsandBoonModern #OneNightWithConsequences #BookReview #MillsandBoonInsiders #Secrets #Cinderella

#SecretsofhisForbiddenCinderella

Cinderella’s scandalous secret

Their forbidden passion had consequences!

Overwhelming. Irresistible. Off-limits. Teo de Luz was all those things to innocent Amelia. Until she attends his opulent masquerade ball, and they share a deliciously anonymous encounter! Now Amelia must tell this brooding Spaniard he’s the father of her unborn child.

Teo can’t forget his runaway Cinderella, but discovering her true identity stuns him. His loathing of Amelia’s family means he cannot dismiss her deception! He will marry her. He will claim his heir. And he’ll exact a sensual revenge on Amelia, one pleasurable night at a time…

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

My Thoughts…

Amelia is such a capable character, constantly sorting through the debris of her mother’s constant affairs and marriages. She doesn’t have time for weakness, especially now when she’s finally claimed her life back and is contently living in San Francisco.

Teo, her older now ex-stepbrother, has always been her weakness, something she decided to exorcise by visiting his family’s Masquerade ball a few months earlier. She wore a mask and a heavy disguise, and when the inevitable happened, ran away like Cinderella, into the night. Now, she’s back at the fairy tale castle, forced to share the consequence of her out of character mistake, and reveal that she was his mysterious passionate partner that night.

It’s impossible not to like this modern-day Cinderella and her humour. She truly ruffles Teo’s stern outward facade, in more way than they both imagined possible. His solution is more of a punishment for Amelia, but she finds a way to get under his skin, and soon his heart rebels against his head, but will it be enough for a happy ending?

The chemistry changes from caustic to molten, the more time the couple spend together. There are many conflicts to overcome, but like all good fairytales, this one has a happy conclusion

Great characters, a wonderful modern adaptation of a fairy tale classic and a lovely balance of sarcastic banter and charming romance.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Copycat Diane Saxon 5*#Review @BoldwoodBooks @Diane_Saxon #CrimeFiction #Thriller #BlogTour #BookReview #PoliceProcedural #DSJennaMorgan #psychologicalsuspense

IS HE STILL OUT THERE?

Brand new psychological crime from the author of The Keeper.

When a beautiful, red-haired nurse’s body is found mutilated in her house in Lawley the morning after a date with Detective Constable Ryan Downey, all eyes turn to him.

With a very specific modus operandi, Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan and her team know exactly who the offender is, the trouble is he’s currently serving a life stretch in HMP Long Lartin.

It soon becomes evident to DS Morgan and her team that there maybe a copycat killer is on the loose.

In a race against time, they need to track down the copycat and discover who is pulling whose strings?

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I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The second book in the DS Jenna Morgan series is even better than the first. This book is a mix of police procedural and psychological suspense, and the author fuses them expertly, to produce an adrenaline-fueled story, coupled with an authentic investigative theme.

The police team are believable and full of interesting complex characters. Jenna is a skilled detective, who puts her career first, she is a good leader and a reliable partner, Her relationship with Mason is complex and realistic, and very effective. Romance is not high on her priority list, but it does shimmer in the background, with a past acquaintance. The romantics are given a little hope, as this story progresses.

The crimes are detailed and grisly. The author uses just enough graphic description, to let the reader appreciate the evil of the antagonist, and the horror of the crimes. The plot is well thought out and has intriguing twists. I did work out the solution, but it is well hidden.

The level of psychological suspense and menace the story has is powerful and makes this a real page-turner.

Looking forward to Jenna’s next case, hope its soon.

#DianeSaxon

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Diane Saxon previously wrote romantic fiction for the US market but has now turned to write psychological crime. The Keeper is her first novel in this genre and introduces series character DS Jemma Morgan.  It will be published by Boldwood in October 2019. She is married to a retired policeman and lives in Shropshire.

Read my review of The Keeper, the first book in the DS Jenna Morgan series here