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

Tempted by the Runes Christina Courtenay 5*#Review @PiaCCourtenay @headlinepg @rararesources #HistoricalRomance #Vikings #timeslip #ContemporaryRomance #BlogTour #BookReview #Runes #Dublin #Iceland #Giveaway #TemptedbytheRunes

Born centuries apart. Bound by a love that defied time.

She couldn’t believe her eyes. The runes were normally so reliable and she had never doubted them before.

Madison Berger is visiting Dublin with her family for a Viking re-enactment festival when she chances upon a small knife embedded in the banks of the Liffey. Maddie recognises what the runes on the knife’s handle signify: the chance to have her own adventures in the past.

Maddie only intends to travel back in time briefly, but a skirmish in 9th century Dublin results in her waking up on a ship bound for Iceland, with the man who saved her from attack.

Geir Eskilsson has left his family in Sweden to boldly carve out a life of his own. He is immediately drawn to Maddie, but when he learns of her connection to his sisters-in-law, he begins to believe that Fate has played a part in bringing them together. Amidst the perils that await on their journey to a new land, the truest battle will be to win Maddie’s heart and convince her that the runes never lie…

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

My Thoughts…

Maddie, and Gier, are relatable vibrant characters who set out on an adventurous, romantic journey. The author creates a believably vivid Viking world using historical detail and sensory imagery.

Maddie is a likeable, impulsive character whose character develops with her timeslip adventure. The reality of 9th century Viking life jars with her theoretical knowledge, and she has to accept this and learn to achieve her true potential in the Viking world. Gier has knowledge of time travel, and he sees the runes as a sign, Maddie and he will be together. The chemistry between them builds with emotional commitment and proximity. Maddie remains the biggest challenge to their happiness. Can a twenty-first-century woman be fulfilled in a 9th Century Viking world?

This is an engaging tale of danger and desire with characters who resonate.

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), and the RNA Fantasy Romantic Novel of the year 2021 with Echoes of the RunesTempted by the Runes (time travel published by Headline 9th December 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 paperback copy of Tempted by the Runes , a pair of silver Thor’s hammer earrings and a Thor’s hammer Christmas tree bauble (Open INT)

*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 the despatch or delivery of the prize.

Read my review of Echoes of the Runes

Read my review of The Runes of Destiny

Read my review of Whispers of the Runes

Posted in Book Review, Romance, Friendship, Blog Tour, Historical Fiction, Victorian Romance

Farringdon’s Fate Linda Finlay 4*#Review @HQStories #BlogTour #Victorian #corsetière #RomanticSaga #EastDevon #Devon #BookReview #HistFic #HistoricalFiction #FarringdonsFate #LindaFinlay

A house. A dynasty. A gipsy’s curse.

One noble family. Five eligible daughters. A sealed fate.

Nettlecombe Manor, nestled in the rolling hills of Devon, is home to Lord Farringdon and his second wife, Lady Charlotte. As if running the vast estate wasn’t enough, Lord Farringdon has five daughters to keep him busy. Lady Charlotte is determined that the betrothal of the eldest, Louisa, should be celebrated with a ball which is the envy of Devon society and summons a corsetière from Exeter to measure them up for new corsets.  

Apprentice Jane Haydon arrives at Nettlecombe to do the fittings. Having never set foot in such a grand home, Jane is disturbed to hear tell of a gipsy’s curse which has haunted the family for generations, and a local wise woman’s vision that there will never be a wedding at Nettlecombe… 

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

My Thoughts…

Full of historical details, vivid descriptions and vibrant characters, this story is a must for fans of romantic sagas. Set in the late nineteenth century, it encompasses all the societal expectations. The story has drama, friendship, romance and tragedy. The Farringdon’s are under a curse, and it seems that it may well come true,

The story is very detailed and includes the craft of a corsetière, in keeping with this author’s style. Believable characters lyrical story writing make this an engaging read.

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

Cinderella and the Scarred Viscount Sarah Mallory 5*#Review @SarahMRomance @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #HarlequinHistorical #RegencyRomance #MillsandBoonHistorical #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #fairytale #CinderellaandtheScarredViscount

An imperfect proposal…

But a perfect match?

Major James Rossington, Viscount Austerfield, survived Waterloo, but can he survive the Season as London’s most eligible bachelor? Convinced his battle scars make him unlovable, and to escape Society’s matchmakers, Ross proposes a wedding in name only to shy, sensible Carenza Bettridge. Liberated from her cruel stepmother and bullying half-sisters, she blossoms into a confident, altogether desirable woman. He promised Carenza a convenient marriage, but inconveniently finds himself wanting more…

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

My Thoughts…

Ross is a Waterloo hero looking for a suitable wife. He lives with mental and physical scars of the infamous battle. Carenza’s life is reminiscent of Cinderella. The couple’s marriage of convenience is the result of a tentative friendship. The romantic possibilities increase with proximity. This is a lovely romantic Regency fairytale, complete with wicked relatives and an unexpectedly evil antagonist.

Carenza and Ross both have emotional scarring, but it’s rewarding to see their emotional connection grow as their scars begin to fade. There is simmering passion and gentle humour amidst the angst and self-recrimination in this engaging classical Regency romance. It has a spectacular finale with a sinister twist and a magical fairytale ending.

Sarah Mallory

Sarah Mallory is an award-winning author who has published more than 30 historical romances with Harlequin Mills & Boon. She loves history, especially the Georgian and Regency. She won the prestigious RoNA Rose Award from the Romantic Novelists Association in 2012 and 2013. Sarah also writes romantic historical adventures as Melinda Hammond. Sarah lived for many years on the Yorkshire Pennines, taking inspiration from the wild and rugged moors. Then in 2018 she fell in love with Scotland and ran away to live on the rugged North West Coast, which is proving even more inspiring.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books, Romance, Travel

The Lost Girl in Paris Jina Bacarr 5*#Review @JinaBacarr @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #BlogTour #HistFic #WW2 #BookReview #Romance #Drama #secrets #perfume #France #Paris #TheLostGirlinParis

Brand new from the bestselling author of The Resistance Girl.

1940, Nazi-occupied Paris. A powerful story of love, tragedy and incredible courage, about one woman whose life is ripped apart by war and who risks everything to seek justice.

As Nazis patrol the streets of the French capital, Tiena is alone, desperate and on the run. After defending herself against the force of an officer, she must find a new identity in order to survive.

An accidental meeting with members of the Resistance gives her a lifeline, as she is offered the chance to reinvent herself as perfumer Angéline de Cadieux.

However, Angéline will never forget what happened to her and will do everything she can to seek revenge. But vengeance can be a dangerous game, and Angeline can only hide her true identity for so long before her past catches up with her, with some devastating consequences…

Paris, 2003. When the opportunity arises for aspiring journalist Emma Keane to interview world-renowned perfumer Madame De Cadieux about her life during World War Two, she is determined to take it. There are secrets from her own family history that she hopes Angéline may be able to help unlock.

But nothing can prepare Emma for Angéline’s story, and one thing is for certain – it will change her own life forever…

An absolutely heartbreaking, unforgettable historical novel of war, sacrifice and survival.

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

My Thoughts…

Believably crafted characters and vivid historical details bring this story to life for the reader. This story explores occupied France from the viewpoint of a young girl. The author captures the sense of danger and menacing ethos brilliantly. The vibrant descriptions and violent emotions are immersive.

The woman she becomes is a famous perfumer, and again the details give the character authenticity and depth. Her story is retold years later to a young journalist seeking answers about her ancestry. The secrets are devastating, the tragedy of war, and the evil of the occupying regime resonates.

This story balances action and introspection in an addictive way making this an absorbing and heartbreaking read but so worth the angst.

JinaBacarr

Jina Bacarr is a US-based historical romance author of over 10 previous books. She has been a screenwriter, journalist and news reporter, but now writes full-time and lives in LA. Jina’s novels have been sold in 9 territories.

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Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, New Books

The Duke’s Counterfeit Wife Louise Allen 5*#Review @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #MillsandBoonInsiders #HistoricalRomance #TheDukesCounterfeitWife

A feigned marriage

A very real attraction…

When their ship is commandeered, Nicholas Terrell, Duke of Severton, saves stranger Sarah Parrish by claiming she’s his wife! She’s more valuable if their captors believe she’ll bring them a duchess’s ransom, but now Nicholas is compelled to share a cabin with his distractingly beautiful faux bride… Outspoken Sarah enchants him like no debutante ever has. Yet, as a lady’s companion, Sarah’s completely unsuitable for a duke. So surely a real match between them is impossible?

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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…

Sarah is escaping her tragic past by seeking employment as a companion. Nicholas, a Duke, is researching a possible investment into shipping. Both are on a ship attacked by pirates. Nicholas saves Sarah by claiming her as his wife. What follows is a romantic adventure with cleverly crafted characters and absorbing historical details. The romance grows believably from friendship as mutual respect leads to mutual attraction. There are numerous obstacles to romance, but after much adventure and angst, they get their happy-ever-after.

This is an engaging historical romance with dangerous adventure and simmering passion.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Historical Romance, New Books, Victorian Romance

Snow-Kissed Proposals Jenni Fletcher, Elisabeth Hobbes 5*#Review @JenniAuthor @ElisabethHobbes @HarlequinBooks @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonInsiders #HarlequinHistorical #MillsandBoonHistorical #VictorianRomance #Novella #Festive #Scotland #Derbyshire #PublicationDay @rararesources #BookReview #SnowKissedProposals

A snowy Victorian ChristmasTwo festive short stories!

In The Christmas Runaway by Jenni Fletcher: wilful, independent heiress, Fiona MacKay, impulsively runs away to a remote Scottish tower where she’s trapped in the snow with equally headstrong, deliciously dishevelled Angus Drummond.

In Their Snowbound Reunion by Elisabeth Hobbes: fifteen years ago, Amy Munroe and Anthony Matthews were cruelly parted, and each blames the other. When Amy becomes Anthony’s new housekeeper, their passion is reawakened!

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

My Thoughts…

‘Snow-Kissed Proposals’ is set in Scotland and Derbyshire, two festive novellas with independent heroines and wintry settings.

The Christmas Runaway’ is set in northeast Scotland, where Fiona’s ill-considered winter trip leads to conflict, friendship and romance. The bleak and forbidding setting is the perfect place for Fiona and Angus to meet. Their relationship develops from enemies to friends and is full of witty banter and conflict right to the end.

Their Snowbound Reunion’ is set in Derbyshire and is a story of second chances and forgiveness. Amy and Anthony enjoyed a brief but ill-fated romance. When they meet again, there is still something between them. This is a lovely second chance romance with characters that are easy to empathise with and a happy ending.

Both these Victorian romances are engaging and the perfect book to read in front of a cosy fire.

Jenni Fletcher is the award-winning author of 15 historical romances. She has been nominated for 4 RoNA Awards and won the Libertà Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award in 2020. She lives in Yorkshire with her family and can be contacted via Twitter @JenniAuthor. Facebook

Elisabeth Hobbeswriting career began when she finished in third place in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest in 2013.  She was offered a two-book contract and consequently had to admit secret writing was why the house was such a tip.  She is the author of numerous historical romances with Harlequin Mills & Boon covering the Medieval period to Victorian England, and a Second World War romantic historical with One More Chapter. She lives in Cheshire because the car broke down there in 1999 and she never left. Twitter Facebook

Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Humour, Regency Romance, Romance

Never Fall For Your Fiancée 4*#Review #TheMerriwellSisters @VirginiaHeath_ @eternal_books @headlinepg @rararesources #BookReview #publicationday #historicalromance #RegencyRomance

The trouble with lies is they have a tendency to catch a man out.

The last thing Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, wants is a wife.

But since the only way to keep his mother’s matchmaking ways at bay is the promise of impending nuptials, Hugh takes the most logical action: he invents a fake fiancée.

It’s the perfect plan – until Hugh learns that his mother is on a ship bound for England to meet his ‘beloved’. He needs a solution fast, and when he collides with a mysterious beauty, he might just have found the answer to his prayers.

Minerva Merriwell is desperate for money to support her sisters, and although she knows that posing as the Earl’s fiancée might seem nonsensical, it’s just too good an offer to refuse.

As the Merriwells descend upon Hugh’s estate, the household is thrown into turmoil as everyone tries to keep their tangled stories straight. And with Hugh and Minerva’s romantic ruse turning into the real thing, is true love just one complication too many?

Books2Read

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

My Thoughts…

The first book in the Merriwell Sisters Regency romances is a lighthearted story full of laughter, lies and love. The fake romance trope is given a historical twist and delivers a fun, flirty read. Hugh invents a fake fiancée to appease his mother. This works fine until she wants to visit. Minerva doesn’t want to be part of his deception, but she needs funds. Complex with vibrant characters who bring the story to life, this is an engaging read with laughter and love at its heart.

Virginia Heath

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. Twenty-two books and two Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations later, and it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of of Never Fall for Your Fiancée (Open INT)

*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 the despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Cover Reveal, Historical Romance, New Books, Romance

A Desert Scorched Rose C.L. Tustin #CoverReveal #CLTustin @rararesources #Romance #historicalromance #Adventure #1964 #preorder #11November2021 @CLTustinAuthor

Conaria 1964…
Leaving London far behind academic Victoria Barrington embarks on the trip of a lifetime, relishing her chance to explore the previously closed desert kingdom of Conaria. But things are not the way she expected and a chance purchase triggers a chain of events that will change everything.

Tadejah, the spoilt son of the king, anything he has ever wanted has been his for the taking. Ruthless, arrogant and passionately patriotic, when he spots a stolen piece of Conarian history on Victoria’s wrist his rage engenders an outrageous plan for its return.

Stranded in the desert, far from civilisation, her guide vanishes leaving Victoria to battle her heart and face the machinations of a man who has never been denied… welcome to Conaria…


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 Amazon.

Publication Date -11th November

About the author…

.L
C.L.Tustin

C L Tustin was born and raised in the East Midlands but spent her teenage years in Sydney, Australia. Returning to the UK in 1989 via Singapore and the Middle East the travel bug has never left her and she has explored countries and cities across the world.

C L Tustin began writing at the age of 11 when she didn’t see why James Bond had to be a man and created her own female version. Her first published novel “Escaping from the Shadows” was a romance with an undertone of threat set in the social media-free world of 1990; she is currently working on both a prequel and a sequel to this book.

C L Tustin has worked for two major banks, a tool company, the MOD and the NHS. She volunteers for Butterfly Conservation and passionately supports rescue dogs. C L Tustin enjoys sci-fi, writing poetry, visiting cathedrals and has a diverse collection of books.

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Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, New Books, Victorian Romance

Lord Tresham’s Tempting Rival Bronwyn Scott 5*#Review @Bronwynscott @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsiders #HistoricalRomance #VictorianRomance #ThePeverettsofHaberstockHall #BookReview #LordTreshamsTemptingRival

Nothing in common

Except an intoxicating attraction!

Sharing a steamy kiss with Anne Peverett at a Christmas ball is utterly out of character for Dr Lord Ferris Tresham. He’s far too busy treating London’s poor to court anyone. Until Anne is revealed as the herbalist who’s been treating his patients with her homemade remedies! If they unite forces, will Anne be a bigger threat to his practice…or his closed-off heart?

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

Set against a background of Victorian London, this historical romance is notable for its witty dialogue, the chemistry between Anne and Ferris and its focus on poverty and the role of women. Ferris is a dedicated physician, and Anne is a herbalist both want to make a difference in the health of the poor. Yet both are constrained, by the strictures, of Victorian society.

The historical details add to the story’s authenticity as they bring to life Victorian London and the world of herbalists.. The romance is full of internal and external barriers but proximity and a mutual understanding draw the couple together..

Posted in Book Review, Book Spotlight, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Literary Fiction, Romance

When the Music Stops Joe Heap 5*#Review @Joe_Heap_ @harperfiction @HarperCollinsUK #literaryfiction #music #love #life #loss #uplit #serendipity #BookReview #WhentheMusicStops @RandomTTours @fictionpubteam #Paperback #28October2021

Out in paperback today.

This is the story of Ella.
And Robert.
And of all the things they should have said, but never did.

‘What have you been up to?’
I shrug, ‘Just existing, I guess.’
‘Looks like more than just existing.’
Robert gestures at the baby, the lifeboat, the ocean.
‘All right, not existing. Surviving.’
He laughs, not unkindly. ‘Sounds grim.’
‘It wasn’t so bad, really. But I wish you’d been there.’

Ella has known Robert all her life.

Through seven key moments and seven key people, their journey intertwines.
 
From the streets of Glasgow during WW2 to the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll of London in the 60s and beyond, this is a story of love and near misses.

Of those who come into our lives and leave it too soon.

And of those who stay with you forever…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a beautifully written story of life, love, loss and serendipity. Music and the number seven define the parameters of this story which explores Ella’s life and her lifelong love of Robert. The writing is lyrical, as Ella revisits her past at seven pivotal times and introduces seven characters who left their emotional mark on her life.

The flashbacks are vivid and written with historical details and insight. They immerse the reader into the story and make it believable. Throughout, Ella is authentic and flawed. Her mistakes are a reflection of her humanity, and they make you consider your life and choices. The love story is gentle and tragic, but this is real love, and its ending is worthy of angst.

I read this in a day and enjoyed it for its originality, realism and supernatural twist.

Joe Heap

Joe Heap was born in 1986 and grew up in Bradford, the son of two teachers.

His debut novel The Rules of Seeing won Best Debut at the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards in 2019 and was shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Reader Awards.

Joe lives in London with his girlfriend, their two sons and a cat who wishes they would get out of the house more often.

A note from Joe:
At a summer season in Ramsgate, 1959, two ice skaters held a party. My grandfather, a Glaswegian saxophonist who would rather have gone to the pub, was convinced by a comedian on the same bill to come along. My grandmother, another one of the ice skaters, sat down next to him and spilt her drink in his lap. Though she has since denied it, her first words of note to him were ‘Oh no, not another Scot.’

Nobody could have guessed how much would spin off that moment, myself and this book included.