Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Romance, Travel

Whispers of the Runes Christina Courtenay 5*#Review @PiaCCourtenay @headlinepg @rararesources #HistoricalRomance #Vikings #timeslip #ContemporaryRomance #BlogTour #BookReview #Runes #Archaeology #Silversmith #VikingBritain #Giveaway #WhispersoftheRunes

Time is no barrier for a love that is destined to be.

She couldn’t be sure that she had travelled through time … but deep down she just knew.

And her only way back had just disappeared.

When jewellery designer Sara Mattsson is propelled back to the ninth century, after cutting herself on a Viking knife she uncovers at an archaeological dig, she is quick to accept what has happened to her. For this is not the first Sara has heard of time travel.

Although acutely aware of the danger she faces when she loses the knife – and with it her way to return to her own time – this is also the opportunity of a lifetime. What better way to add authenticity to the Viking and Anglo-Saxon motifs used in her designs?

As luck has it, the first person Sara encounters is Rurik Eskilsson, a fellow silversmith, who is also no stranger to the concept of time travel. Agreeing that Sara can accompany him to Jorvik, they embark on a journey even more perilous than one through time. But Fate has brought these two kindred spirits together across the ages for a reason…

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

My Thoughts…

This engaging Viking romance has a believable timeslip element and a vividly written Viking setting, immersing the reader in ninth-century Britain.

Whisked back in time to Viking Britain, Sara adjusts to her time-travelling status better than you’d expect. Rurik shares Sara’s jewellery skills and has met a time-traveller before, so he helps her survive the danger, but can he guard his heart?

Full of adventure and romance, pertinent historical details bring the setting to life, but it’s the characters who keep you turning the pages. Will they survive? Can they be together?

With lyrical writing, vibrant sensory imagery and complex characters, the readers’ time in Viking Britain passes quickly, leaving them with images that resonate and the knowledge they’ve experienced something special.

Christina Courtenay

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014). Whispers of the Runes (time travel published by Headline 24th June 2021)is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

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Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Whispers of the Runes plus a pair of silver Viking style earrings  (Open INT)

Click on giveaway link to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using thegiveaway 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.

Read my review of Echoes of the Runes

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Historical Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Murder Mystery, New Books

A Murder At Rosings Annette Purdey Pugh 4*#Review @APurdeyPugh @honno @RandomTTours #MurderMystery #JaneAusten #CrimeFiction #HistFic #BlogTour #BookReview #AMurderAtRosings

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Using the setting, some notable characters and style of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, this is a classical mystery story investigating the death of Mr Collins.

The lyrical writing style is engaging, and the characters vividly portrayed. The main protagonists’ are constable Archer and magistrate Sir John Bright, the investigation team, but Jane Austen’s characters have delightful cameos which add depth to the well thought out plot. The vulnerability of the servants and their indebtedness to their employers is explored in an insightful way reminiscent of Austens’ acute observations on gender, social class and society.

The mystery is cleverly plotted with comprehensive interviews of the numerous suspects, full of historical details that give an excellent sense of place and time. This is an enjoyable Jane Austen style murder mystery.

Annette Purdey-Pugh

Annette Purdey Pugh grew up in Flintshire and graduated in English from Lancaster University. In a varied career, she has worked as a medical librarian, an optical assistant, and a milkwoman, bottling and delivering milk for almost twenty years to customers in Ceredigion. A writer from childhood, she has won awards for her short stories and poetry at the National Eisteddfod of Wales but was inspired to take up her pen more regularly following an Open University course in CreativeWriting.

A Murder at Rosings is her first novel, and has its roots in a lifelong love of Jane Austen. She still lives on the family farm in West Wales with her husband and three hundred sheep.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Island Mary Grand 4*#Review @authormaryg @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #psychological #suspense #Family #secrets #MurderMystery #TheIsland #BlogTour #BookReview #IsleofWight #MondayBlogs

Where everyone knows everyone, and secrets are impossible to keep…

‘Be careful, you don’t know them as well as you think. Remember – anyone can kill.’

Juliet has returned to the Isle of Wight from years abroad to visit her sick father and to be reunited with her three sisters – Cassie, a professional musician who seems to have lost her way in life, Mira, who is profoundly deaf, is married to the local vicar but their relationship is falling apart, and Rosalind, glamorous and charming but now deeply unhappy and secretive about her life. 

As Juliet’s father lies dying, he issues her with a warning. There is a killer on the loose, and they may be closer than she can ever imagine. He anxiously tells Juliet that he confided a family secret in son-in-law Rhys, and now regrets ever saying a word.

Days later, as the clock strikes one in the morning, a man comes out of Rhys’s church, walks along the path and is run down by a car driven by an unidentified person. When the finger of suspicion points to Juliet, she realises the only way to clear her name is to uncover the secrets her family has been keeping from her for years. But with a killer on the loose, danger is getting closer all the time…

The Island  is set on the Isle of Wight – insular,  claustrophobic, and where secrets are hard to keep.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Set on the Isle of Wight, this is an atmospheric and twisty family orientated mystery and psychological suspense. The book begins with a drama-filled incident before returning to the recent past to illuminate the reader on events leading up to this.

Juliet returns home just in time to see her dying father and listen to his last requests. She is left wondering if they have substance or are the incoherent ramblings of a dying man. Her family appear to be hiding secrets. Have they always been like this, or has her time away given her clarity? When someone else dies, Juliet is drawn deeper into finding out who the murderer is and why putting herself in danger of losing her family’s respect and possibly her life.

Juliet is the main protagonist with additional points of view from her sisters and the killer. The plot has twists relating to the family and the criminal investigation, which leave the reader with many suspects and fewer answers until the climactic conclusion. The characters and familial dynamics are relatable. The plot intensifies, becoming increasingly menacing as the story progresses.

The clues to the killer and their motivations are discernible. I guessed the culprit but not the twists that came before. The multi-faceted characters, sympathetic setting, and well thought out plot make this an enjoyable read.

Mary Grand

Mary Grand is the author of six novels and writes gripping, page-turning suspense, with a dark and often murderous underside. She grew up in Wales, was for many years a teacher of deaf children and now lives on the Isle of Wight where her new novel, The Island is set

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

Sleepless Romy Hausmann 4* #Review @QuercusBooks #RomyHausmann @JoeChristie #Sleepless #BlogTour #BookReview #PsychSuspense

It’s over, my angel. Today I’m going to die. Just like her. He’s won.

It’s been years since Nadja Kulka was convicted of a cruel crime. After being released from prison, she’s wanted nothing more than to live a normal life: nice flat, steady job, even a few friends. But when one of those friends, Laura von Hoven – free-spirited beauty and wife of Nadja’s boss – kills her lover and begs Nadja for her help, Nadja can’t seem to be able to refuse.

The two women make for a remote house in the woods, the perfect place to bury a body. But their plan quickly falls apart and Nadja finds herself outplayed, a pawn in a bizarre game in which she is both the perfect victim and the perfect murderer . . .

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an intricately plotted psychological suspense with complex characters, all of which have noir traits. The story builds from several seemingly unrelated sub-plots into a rich tapestry of darkness.

The characters are hard to like, but it’s difficult not to sympathise with the main protagonist at some points in the story. The detailed plot is a challenging read, but the slow and somewhat disparate beginning clarifies and intensifies as the story progresses. The use of sensory imagery makes this a vivid reading experience.

Romy Hausmann was born in East Germany in 1981. At the age of twentyfour she became chief editor at a film production company in Munich. Since the birth of her son, Romy has been working as a freelancer in television.

Her thriller debut, Dear Child, became a number one bestseller in Germany and is being published in twenty countries.

Sleepless is her second thriller. Romy lives with her family in a remote house in the woods near Stuttgart

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books

The Return of Her Lost Knight Melissa Oliver 4* #Review @melissaoauthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #HarlequinHistorical #MillsandBoonHistorical #BlogTour #BookReview #NotoriousKnights

Her second chance

With her lost love…

To avoid a forced marriage, Lady Gwenllian plans to escape to a convent. She couldn’t possibly honor another when her heart still belongs to Ralph de Kinnerton, the man she had to betray to save his life—only to hear of his death shortly after. So how is it possible he’s here at this knight’s tournament? Now the pull of their unfinished past forces Gwen to question the choice she’d made for her future…

Mills and Boon Harlequin Books Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

The third book of Notorious Knights gives a second chance to Gwen and Ralph after they were torn apart by betrayal and treachery in their youth. Ralph wants to reclaim his heritage, and winning a knightly tournament is the only way. Disguised as a fellow knight, he meets the woman who betrayed him and his nemesis, the cousin who wants his lands and his only true love.

This is a courtly romance that hides danger and deceit. Gwen and Ralph are easy to like, but they have to learn to trust each other to find happiness. There are many conflicts before they can be together, but they are strong characters and are willing to fight for their love.

The setting is well-described, and the writing immerses the reader in the times of Knights and Ladies. Whilst lacking the adventure of the previous two books, the romance is emotional and heartwarming, reflecting the two lovers gentle nature.

Melissa Oliver

Melissa Oliver is from south-west London where she writes historical romance novels. She lives with her lovely husband and daughters, who share her passion for decrepit, old castles, palaces and all things historical.
Melissa is the Winner of The Romantic Novelist Association’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers 2020 for her debut, The Rebel Heiress and the Knight –  Book 1 Notorious Knights.When she’s not writing she loves to travel, paint and visit museums & art galleries.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, New Books

Right to Kill John Barlow 4*#Review @John_Barlow_LS9 @HQStories #CrimeFiction #BlogTour #BookReview #PublicationDay

On a Thursday night in February, DS Joe Romano finds himself back on home turf. He’s following up on the disappearance of drug-dealer Craig Shaw.

It’s the start of a case that could make or break Romano’s career. Because Shaw is about to go from missing to murdered.

While some don’t think Shaw’s killer should be brought to justice, Romano believes every life counts. But he’s running out of time.

The killer is ready to strike again. And Romano will be forced to question whether anyone has the right to kill.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Set in Leeds and the surrounding area, this is a gritty noir style police procedural with an originally crafted detective. Joe Romano believes in justice for all, and for him, that includes criminals that are murdered. Seen from the point of view of the murderer, this story is disturbing and gritty, but it gives the reader insight, into the antagonist’s motivations, from the onset. The story then follows Joe’s viewpoint as he investigations a missing person case turned to murder, in a hostile ethos.

This is a twenty-first-century police investigation exploring political extremism and vigilante justice. Trial by social media is also an issue. It has an engaging pace and plot that keeps the reader turning the pages.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Mystery, New Books, Victorian Romance

Search for the House of Dreams Alison Burke 3*#Review #AlisonBurke @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #HistoricalRomance #HistFic #VictorianRomance #FamilyDrama #SearchfortheHouseofDreams

It is the year 1847 in the elegant city of Bath where 18-year-old Genevre Stratton is treated more as a servant than a daughter in the elegant house where bills are not paid, and the rent is in arrears.                                                                                                                           

Appalled by the dishonesty and overriding social ambition beneath her parents’ veneer of respectability, only her love for her younger brother and sisters keeps her there.                      

Left to cope alone when their false world falls apart, she fights to keep her siblings together, until poverty forces her to yield them to the care of their half-brother, George Coleman.  Handsome, wealthy and charismatic, he is the enemy who becomes her lover.               

To surrender all to her passionate desire for him, or to keep the independence of a new-found musical career on the London stage? This is her choice to make until an unexpected call of duty takes her to Paris.                                                                                     

Must the old, dark secrets she discovers there alter the course of her life forever?

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

My Thoughts…

Set in Victorian times, this story is full of family drama, hard times and unlikely relationships.

Genevre is the daughter of a Victorian household that outwardly appears respectable and wealthy. Betrayal, deceit and a complete lack of parenting skills are what Genevre has to deal with. She desperately tries to keep her siblings together, protecting them from the depravity and deprivation of Victorian society. Her half brother is both her nemesis and salvation. Their relationship is complex and uncomfortable, especially when their feelings develop. It is indicative of this type of society and adds authenticity.

This is a dramatic story and aptly demonstrates the dire circumstance many women found themselves in. The characters are vividly written although many are unpleasant, they all add to the story.

An atmospheric story with strong characters. It gives the reader a good sense of the darker side of Victorian life.

Alison Burke

I was born in Lancashire and started my career by training as a State Registered general nurse. Later, I joined the army and became an officer in Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps. On a posting to Malaya, now Malaysia, I found my true love. This was an ideal setting for marriage with young children, and now my memories are a wonderfully rich source of material for my writing.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Giveaway, Motivational, New Books, Romance, Travel

Happy Dreams at Mermaid Cove Marie Laval 5*#Review @MarieLaval1 @ChocLituk @rararesources #BlogBlitz #PublicationDay #BookReview #Giveaway #uplit #mobilelibrary #IsleofSkye #romance #books #friendship #secrets #mystery #community folklore #HappyDreamsatMermaidCove #tuesdayvibes

From the big city to a little yellow mobile library on the Isle of Skye …

When Jenna Palmer agrees to the new position of mobile librarian on the tiny Arrandale peninsular of the Isle of Skye, she knows she’s signing up for difficult working conditions and mediocre wages. But Jenna needs to get away, and a little yellow mobile library called Buttercup could be her escape to happier dreams …

However, whilst Jenna can get to grips with foggy island roads, local mermaid legends and even big purple monsters, she never expected to have to contend with a boss as grumpy as Daniel McGregor, or a young book lover as enthusiastic as his niece, Katrina.

Arrandale might represent Jenna’s safe port in a storm, but could she and Buttercup also become a beacon of hope to Daniel, Katrina and the entire island community?

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My Thoughts…

A lovely story of starting over and taking a chance on life. Jenna is reeling from an abusive relationship. Running a mobile library on a remote Scottish island seems to be the perfect escape for her. After a dramatic start, she warms to the community that welcomes her. There are plenty of conflicts too, which give her closure and help her realise how her present circumstances are helping her heal.

Her relationships with Daniel the Laird is full of ups and downs. He hides a kind heart and pain behind his gruff manner, but gradually they both learn to trust and share their secrets. The island is wrapped in folklore and mystery, and this adds to the novel’s interest.

Second chances, community and a little healing magic.

Marie Laval

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire for the past few years. She writes both contemporary and historical romance. Her novels include best selling contemporary romantic suspense novels LITTLE PINK TAXI and ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU, which was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Awards, as well as A PARIS FAIRY TALE and BLUEBELL’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC. Her latest novel, ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE, was released in February 2021. Marie also contributes to the best selling Miss Moonshine’s Emporium anthologies together with eight author friends from Authors on the Edge.

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#Giveaway

Giveaway to Win 2 bracelets with glass found on a Northumberland beach, a pack of pencils, a mystery gift and some chocolate. (Open to UK Only)

Click on link to enter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK 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, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Murder Mystery, New Books

A Racing Murder Frances Evesham 5*#Review @BoldwoodBooks @FrancesEvesham #AHamHillMurderMystery @rararesources #cozymystery #murdermystery #HorseRacing #BoldwoodBloggers #BlogTour #ARacingMurder #BookReview #Somerset #MondayBlogs

The next thrilling Ham-Hill Murder Mystery from bestselling cosy crime author Frances Evesham.

A winning horse. A fierce rivalry. A sudden death. 


Belinda Sandford thrills to the cheers of the crowd as her beautiful grey racehorse, ‘Butterfly Charm’, thunders past the finishing post first at Wincanton Racecourse. She feels like the luckiest girl in the world.

But joy soon turns to despair as a stewards’ enquiry overturns the result and awards the race to her long-time rival, Alexandra Deacon.

When Alex is found dead in suspicious circumstances, a host of accusing eyes turn to Belinda and her distraught mother begs Adam Hennessy, her neighbour, retired police officer and publican, to help clear her daughter’s name.

As Adam, and local hotelier Imogen Bishop, dig deep into the murky and powerful undercurrents of the horse racing world, they lay bare the lives and loves of local jockeys, grooms, trainers and owners. 

They soon uncover a web of secrets hidden within the spectacular Somerset countryside as they strive to find the killer in time to prevent more murders.

A brand new cosy mystery series from the bestselling author of A Village Murder.

Amazon UK

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 Ham Hill Murder Mystery series focuses on the horse racing set. Popular in the 1970s and 1980s as a topic for crime and mystery, it was lovely to reacquaint with the horse racing set in this cosy mystery.

When Adam and Imogen are requested to clear a female jockey’s name after the suspicious death of a rival, they uncover many secrets and motives. It’s like ‘Riders’ focusing on horse racing rather than showjumping, but a little less racy.

The cosy mystery ethos is immersive reading, with vibrant characters and vivid settings that complement the twisty plot perfectly.

This story is a perfect escape with crime, mystery and a touch of romance.

Frances Evesham

Frances Evesham is the bestelling author of the hugely successful Exham-on-Sea murder mysteries set in her home county of Somerset, and the Ham-Hill cosy crime series set in South Somerset.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, New Books

In Dark Water Lynn McEwan 3* #Review @LynneJMcEwan @canelo_co #CrimeFiction @lovebooksgroup @lovebookstours #DetectiveShonaOliver #BlogTour #BookReview #preorder #MondayBlogs #InDarkWater #CaneloCrime

Beneath the surface lie deadly secrets…

DI Shona Oliver agreed to move to Dumfries with her ex-banker husband when their teenage daughter got in with a bad crowd in London. As a Glasgow native, she’s back on home turf.

Living on the shores of the Solway Firth allows Shona to continue as an RNLI volunteer, and a call out to recover a woman’s body indicates foul play. Police in Cumbria take the case but links back to Scotland keep Shona’s team involved. As they investigate, reports of people trafficking and a spate of thefts from local shops compete for attention with a large scale drug bust. But Shona’s work may all be in vain when those close to her threaten to tear the case apart – and ruin Shona in the process.

An unforgettable debut novel by a Scottish crime writer to watch.

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

My Thoughts…

This is a well-written story with a good mix of police procedural and family drama. The setting is one I’ve not read about before, giving the story an added dimension of interest. The main protagonist, Detective Inspector Shona Oliver, is a well-rounded character juggling a challenging career, important voluntary work and family life, sometimes unsuccessfully.

This is the first book in a series, and there is a degree of world-building that affects the plot’s pacing. The characters are complex, and the straightforward plot has twists and a few surprises, making me want to read the next one.

A positive start to a police procedural series set on the Scottish borders.

Lynn McEwan

Glasgow-born Lynne McEwan is a former newspaper photographer turned crime author. She’s covered stories including the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the first Gulf War in addition to many high profile murder cases. She currently lives in Lincoln and is in the final year of an MA in Crime Fiction at the University of East Anglia.