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

The Raided Heart Jennifer C.Wilson 4*#Review @inkjunkie1984 @OcelotPress @rararesources #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #PublicationDay #BlogTour #histfic #HistoricHearts

#TheRaidedHeart

Meg Mathers, the headstrong youngest sibling of a reiving family on the English-Scottish border, is determined to remain at her childhood home, caring for the land and village she’s grown up with. When an accident brings her a broken ankle and six weeks in the resentful company of ambitious and angry young reiver Will Hetherington, attraction starts to build. Both begin to realise they might have met their match and the love of their lives, but 15th-century border living is not that simple, as Meg soon finds herself betrothed to the weakling son of a tyrannical neighbour, Alexander Gray. When tragedy strikes, can Meg and Will find their way back to each other, and can Will finally take his own personal revenge on Gray?

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#TheRaidedHeart

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

My Thoughts…

Forbidden love in a dangerous place and time.

Meg is a young woman living with her family on the borders of England and Scotland in the fifteenth century. The historical detail in this story is absorbing and well researched, the writing is immersive and you experience life during this turbulent period of British history with the characters.

Circumstances bring Meg into close connect with Will when she suffers an injury. Passion, of a youthful kind, ignites between the two young people, even though they realise they cannot be together. The forbidden romance is gentle and shows how the two come of age in this dangerous time.

Meg is a courageous woman, who understands her position in society, and is willing to sacrifice her happiness to ensure the safety of her family. Her love for Will is strong and something she cannot deny. Will has nothing material to offer Meg, and he knows that her family would never allow them to marry. He fights his attraction, but youthful passion makes common sense a distant memory.

Suspense and menace increase with the story’s progress. Will Meg survive her fate? Exciting, passionate, and ultimately the ending keeps the spirit of true love alive.

If you enjoy experiencing turbulent historical events, with strong characters, and the taste of forbidden love this adventure is for you.

Jennifer C. Wilson

Jennifer C. Wilson is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history and historical fiction whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots on childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east of England for work reignited her pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition and has been working on a number of projects since, including co-hosting the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and her time-slip novella, The Last Plantagenet?, by Ocelot Press. She lives in North Tyneside and is very proud of her approximately 2-inch sea view.

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Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of The Last Plantagenet? (Open Internationally)

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Romance, Novella, Romance -Dark and Steamy, Victorian Romance

The Wicked Lord’s Mistress Scarlett Jameson 4*#Review #TheLordsSeductionTrilogy #VictorianRomance #Noir #EroticRomance #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources

The Wicked Lord’s Mistress is set in the late Victorian period (1886) for fans of upstairs/downstairs dramas and steamy romances. It explores the continuing love story between Lily, a lady’s maid at Torrington Hall, and a handsome, mysterious aristocratic hero called Lord Edgar Wilson.

Lily is surrounded by challenges from all sides. She is being blackmailed by the evil Malkins, she has a secret past that she is trying to hide, and her forbidden love affair with Lord Wilson grows riskier every day. Can their lusty affair transform into the tender and lasting love that Lily craves? And given the differences in their class, is a happy ending possible for them?

Then a new enemy comes into Lily’s life, someone who is determined to destroy her. Lily finds herself facing the greatest challenge of her life, and hopes that Lord Wilson will be her hero.

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I received a copy of the first two books in this series from the author in return for honest reviews.

#TheLordsSeduction #Book1

Lily works as a lady’s maid at Torrington Hall. Haunted by a conniving conman who has bribed her, she is forced to attempt to steal valuables from the glamorous guests who visit. One of these is Lord Edgar Wilson, a handsome and mysterious guest. When he and Lily begin to flirt and he catches her stealing from him, he is furious and declares that Lily must pay.

But as Lily finds herself falling for the Lord, she notices that he, in turn, seems attracted to her…

Will Lord Wilson discover the secrets in Lily’s past? And why does he want her to attend his secret London gentleman’s club with him? Can a lady’s maid conquer the heart of a Lord?

A love story filled with heart and fiery passion, The Wicked Lord and the Lady’s Maid is the first in a trilogy called The Lord’s Seduction.

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My Thoughts…

Book 1 – The Wicked Lord and the Lady’s Maid

This book is a short introduction to an erotic Victorian romance trilogy – The Lord’s Seduction. The story is told mainly from Lily, a lady’s maid point of view. The story throws you straight in with little backstory, but read on, and you will soon grasp that Lily is a victim of a particularly dark blackmail plot by a dangerous, perverted man.

Lily is a victim of circumstance, but she is also attracted to a guest at the house where she works. What happens throws her into his sight, and mutual attraction leads to a dangerous, erotic romance.

This is partly a ‘what the butler saw‘ Victorian saucy affair, but some dark issues are explored concerning the position of women and servants in the late Victorian era.

#TheWickedLordsMistress
Book 2 -The Wicked Lord’s Mistress

The second book in the Lord’s Seduction trilogy follows on from the first . Although, the continuation of the romance can be enjoyed if this is read as a standalone. It’s best to read the first book, in the series, which is short, to fully grasp the main themes of this Victorian erotic romance. The book has some astute observations on Victorian society, and its attitudes, to servants, sex and women.

Lily and Edgar continue their illicit affair, but someone else wants the handsome Lord and is prepared to get him at any costs. Lily’s position becomes increasingly dangerous, and her vulnerability makes this a poignant read. She is a strong character, who goes after what she wants, but she loves someone more than herself, and this makes her susceptible. Edgar is likeable and seems to want to be a good man, but his attraction to Lily blinds him to the dangers of their liaison especially for her.

The romance is risque and sensual but is accompanied by a story that tugs at the heartstrings. The characters draw you in, more than you would expect, and you want Lily to find justice. Making reading the final part of the trilogy essential.

Scarlett Jameson works in publishing by day and by night enjoys writing steamy historical romances. A lover of all things Victorian, she lives in London with her cat. 
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Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Saga

The Rector’s Daughter Jean Fullerton 5* #Review @CorvusBooks @JeanFullerton_ @rararesources #BlogTour #PublicationDay #HistoricalFiction #RomanticSaga #RegencyLondon #1825 #Engineering #FamilyDrama #Poverty

#TheRectorsDaughter

Charlotte, daughter of Reverend Percival Hatton, has been content to follow the path laid out for her. Charlotte has an understanding with Captain Nicolas Paget – every inch the gentleman – who she expects someday to marry. But then she meets Josiah Martyn and everything changes…

A driven and ambitious Cornish mining engineer, and the complete opposite to Captain Nicholas, Josiah has come to London to help build the first tunnel under the river Thames. When unpredictable events occur at the inauguration of the project, Josiah and Charlotte are suddenly thrown into an unexpected intimacy.

 But not everyone is happy with Charlotte and Josiah growing closer. As friends turn to foes, will they be able to rewrite the stars and find their happy ever after, although all odds seem to be stacked against them…?

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

My Thoughts…

Set in 1825, this romantic family saga explores the engineering feat of building the first underwater tunnel in London, by Brunel. The vision of this late Regency event comes across well in this story, but so does the human cost, of such a dangerous undertaking.

Charlotte is the Rector’s daughter, who since her mother’s untimely death has fulfilled the parish duties expected of a Rector’s wife. She is compassionate, clever and courageous, and does what she can to help the parish’s poor and unfortunate. The Rector is judgemental about his poorer parishioners. He is the antithesis of his daughter and prepared to put his material needs above his pastoral duties.

Charlotte meets Josiah, an engineer working for Brunel on the tunnel when he averts a near-tragic accident for her. The attraction although immediate and powerful builds through friendship when they meet on many occasions, through Charlotte’s parish duties and mutual acquaintances. Their romance appears ill-fated, when her father’s desire to maintain his reputation overrides the needs and wishes of his daughter, leading to an angst-ridden emotional climax to this story.

The historical background is well researched and written in a vivid real-time way that allows the reader to experience some of the events of the era. The characters are complex. Many are disagreeable but add to the story. All act in a way that fits with this exciting historical period. The social class divide is marked, but the evidence of change that the future Victorian era witnessed is seen here.

An absorbing plot, with vividly written characters, historical events, and a believable but utterly romantic love story, makes this the perfect book to curl up with on a cold winter’s afternoon.

#JeanFullerton

Jean Fullerton is the author of thirteen novels all set in East London where she was born. She also a retired district nurse and university lecturer.  She won the Harry Bowling Prize in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is halfway through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.

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#TheRectorsDaughter
Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

The Lord’s Inconvenient Vow Lara Temple 5* #Review @MillsandBoon @laratemple1 #Romance #HistoricalRomance #Egypt #RegencyRomance #TheSinfulSinclairs @rararesources #MillsandBoonHistorical

#TheLordsInconvenientVow

‘I have a favour to ask…

I want you to marry me.’

Part of The Sinful Sinclairs. Samantha Sinclair was always Lord Edgerton’s complete opposite. But as Edge meets Sam again in Egypt, it’s clear the years have changed her as much as him. So when she blurts out an impulsive, convenient proposal, Edge’s protective urge compels him to accept. Is it possible for two such different people to be together and find the happiness they both deserve?

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

My Thoughts…

The final part of the #SinfulSinclairs trilogy features Samantha (Sam) and Edward (Edge). Beginning in Egypt in 1814, when Sam and Edge acknowledge to themselves, if not each other there is an attraction deeper than friendship between them. Both are shocked and eight years and a great deal of emotional angst passes before they meet again, in a very dramatic way.

Both are irrevocably changed by their separate traumatic pasts, and this makes Sam brave enough to voice what she wants, but the conflict is just beginning as misunderstanding s and secrets threaten to keep the pair estranged.

The passion is undeniable in this exotically romantic story, and because of their emotional connection, you always know they will overcome the conflicts to their happiness.

Sam and Edge are likeable characters, and their romance is breathtakingly lovely. The perfect end to a memorable romantic trilogy.

#LaraTemple

Lara Temple writes regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion.

After moving around the world as a financial analyst she returned to her childhood love of making up stories and was surprised to discover that other people don’t mind reading them.

She lives with her husband, two children, and Lord Oscar the pooch who are all very forgiving about her taking over the kitchen table when she’s writing.

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Giveaway to Win all 3 e-books of the Sinful Sinclair series by Lara Temple
(Open Internationally)
#GiveawayPrize

Giveaway click here to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Family Drama, Festive Read, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Mystery, Saga

Christmas at Pennington’s Rachel Brimble 5*#Review @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books @RachelBrimble #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #Saga #Mystery #BlogTour @rararesources #BookReview #Festive #Christmas1911

#ChristmasatPenningtons

Gripping drama as Pennington’s department store prepares for a glittering Christmas in 1911, but a killer stalks the women of Bath.

Christmas sees Pennington’s at its most glorious, thronged with shoppers, its grand staircase and balcony adorned with holly, mistletoe, tinsel and lights. It should be the happiest time, but dramas are seething beneath the surface.

For Cornelia Culford, in charge of jewellery, a divorce hearing looms, where she could lose custody of her young sons to her overbearing and unfaithful husband.

For Stephen Gower, being head of security at Pennington’s is the perfect refuge from a tragic past at Scotland Yard. But soon the past will call him back, as Joseph Carter and Elizabeth Pennington beg him to help solve the murder of Joseph’s first wife, now that it seems as if the killer has struck again.

For Joseph and Elizabeth, their marriage depends on exorcising the past. But can it ever be laid to rest?

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

My Thoughts…

This is my first trip to Pennington’s and what a delight it is. Set in historic Bath, this historical romantic saga, with a mystery to solve, is full of contrasts. The glamour, and tasteful glitz of the elegant department store, in contrast to darkness enveloping Bath as a murderer, add their menacing presence.

This is the third book in the Pennington’s historical saga but reads well as a standalone. However, the writing, style, the author’s attention to detail and the vividly portrayed characters make me want to read the first two book in the series too.

There are a number of stories in this book. The lead story features Cornelia and Stephen, both employees of the illustrious store. Cornelia is facing an acrimonious divorce hearing from her abusive and adulterous husband. She is the sole carer for her two children and fears he may use this against her to gain full custody. She has information that may help her case, but is she prepared for the damage it may do to her and her offspring?

Stephen is a policeman from Scotland Yard with a tragic past. As head of security, he hopes this simpler role will give him time to heal and decide how to move on with his life, which is blighted by guilt. However, a murder and a connection to a past cold case draws him in and forces him to face his demons. He finds an ally in Cornelia, and a willing partner as they try to solve the mystery of their employer’s first wife.

An absorbing family drama, with a beautifully described historical setting. Lies, secrets, fear and mystery lie beneath the Christmas glamour and glitz, and a lovely romance fights for life in the midst of all the drama.

Christmas at Pennington’s has something for everyone, drama, love, mystery and romance in a year of social and political change.

#RachelBrimble

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018, A Rebel At Pennington’s February 2019 and Christmas At Pennington’s September 2019.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America and has thousands of social media followers all over the world. To sign up for her quarterly and new release newsletter, click here to go to her website: https://rachelbrimble.com/

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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 Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

A Family for the Widowed Governess Ann Lethbridge 5*#Review @MillsandBoon @annlethbridge #MillsandBoonHistorical #WidowsofWestram #RegencyRomance #BookReview #MillsandBoonInsiders

#AFamilyfortheWidowedGoverness

A governess with a secret…

…meets this ready-made family!

Part of The Widows of Westram: Lady Marguerite Saxby is being blackmailed! Desperate for money, she accepts Jack Vincent, Earl Compton’s offer to become temporary governess to his three motherless daughters. There’s so much she can’t tell her new employer. Only she’s not expecting the all-consuming attraction that makes living under Jack’s roof a constant battle between her head and her heart!

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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…

Part of the WIdows of Westram series, but as I haven’t read the others, it reads well as a standalone. Marguerite is enjoying living as an independent woman, freed by the death of her husband, from an abusive marriage. Her first meeting with Jack is full of confrontation, but that is not her only worry. Blackmailed, she needs money desperately, and it seems working for the Earl of Compton is the only way out.

Passion sizzles between Marguerite and Jack, in this slow-burn historical romance. There are many obstacles to their passion, but Marguerite’s independent spirit makes her brave, whatever the consequences. Issues of trust and fear of being controlled threaten Marguerite’s chance of a new family.

The plot is engaging, the passion and romance lovely, and the romantic ending perfect, very enjoyable.

Posted in Author Interview, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Noir

The Orange Grove Kate Murdoch #Author #Interview @KateMurdoch3 @RegalHouse1 #Lies #Secrets, #historicalfiction #18Century #France #historicalromance

#The Orange Grove

Blois, 1705. The chateau of Duc Hugo d’Amboise simmers with rivalry and intrigue. 

Henriette d’Augustin, one of five mistresses of the duc, lives at the chateau with her daughter. When the duc’s wife, Duchesse Charlotte, maliciously undermines a new mistress, Letitia, Henriette is forced to choose between position and morality. She fights to maintain her status whilst targeted by the Duchesse who will do anything to harm her enemies.

The arrival of charismatic tarot reader, Romain de Villiers, further escalates tensions as rivals in domestic politics and love strive for supremacy.

In a society where status is a matter of life and death, Henriette must stay true to herself, her daughter, and her heart, all the while hiding a painful secret of her own.

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Read my 5* Review of The Orange Grove

Author Interview – Kate Murdoch – The Orange Grove

What inspired you to write ‘The Orange Grove’?

Since my teens I’ve loved everything about French culture—I’ve studied the language and travelled to France numerous times. So, the idea of writing a French book felt like a natural step. I’m also fascinated by the period of Louis XIV’s rule, the extreme decadence of life at court and for nobles in general before the Revolution. This made researching the book a joy because I discovered many details about how people lived, their outlooks, and what their motivations were at different levels of society. 

When you begin a new story, what is the first thing you develop; characters, plot or setting? Why is this?

The setting, because I can’t have an understanding of what might happen in the story and who my characters might be if I don’t know the context of their immediate environment and the historical background.

What is the unique selling point of your story? What do you hope will make it stand out in the historical fiction genre?

A lot of historical fiction focuses on a key event and/or a particular historical figure. In The Orange Grove, I was interested in exploring how a fixation on status and position, prevalent in France in the early 18th century, might have impacted peoples’ behaviour and their relationships. How self-preservation can erode integrity and morality.

Do you find it easy or difficult to write dialogue? How do you make historical dialogue sound natural and believable?

I find it relatively easy once I work out who my characters are. It’s one of my techniques for understanding my characters—I figure out who they are as I write dialogue and watch them speak to one another. Perhaps that’s why I write a lot of dialogue! I would say I’m the most immersed in the act of writing during these ‘conversations.’

What is the best thing about being a writer? Are there any negatives?

The sense of community and understanding shared with other writers. I really enjoy the friendships and connections I’ve made since becoming a writer. I also feel so much joy when a reader understands and enjoys my words, is immersed in my stories. That’s very satisfying. A negative would be being so consumed that it’s sometimes hard to find a balance with other aspects of my life.

Do you enjoy reading? What are you reading at the moment?

I adore reading. At the moment I’m devouring The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt alongside research books for a new project.

What are you currently writing?

I’m writing a dual-timeline story set in World War Two Croatia and 1960’s Melbourne, through the perspectives of three generations of women.

Kate Murdoch is the author of Stone CircleShe exhibited widely as a painter both in Australia and internationally before turning her hand to writing.

Her short-form fiction has been published in various literary journals in Australia, UK, US and Canada.

Stone Circle is a historical fantasy novel set in Renaissance Italy. It was released by Fireship Press, December 1st 2017. Stone Circle was a First in Category winner in the Chaucer Awards 2018 for pre-1750’s historical fiction.

Kate was awarded a KSP Fellowship at the KSP Writers’ Centre in 2019 to develop her third novel,
The Glasshouse.

Her novel, The Orange Grove, about the passions and intrigues of court mistresses in 18th century France, will be published by Regal House Publishing in 2019.

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