Posted in Blog Blitz, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Romance

Change of Life Anne Stormont @writeanne @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #BlogBlitz #ContemporaryRomance #Family #Drama #Life #ChangeofLife

Be careful what you wish for…

Wife to heart surgeon and control freak, Tom, and mother to four adolescent children, Rosie feels taken for granted as she juggles family life and her work as a teacher. She longs for a change of life.

When she hits a teenage boy with her car, her life explodes into uncharted territory. The boy is Robbie – and Rosie discovers he is part of a terrible secret that Tom has kept for seventeen years. Then Rosie is diagnosed with breast cancer.

Rosie leaves home and begins the fight for her life. Meanwhile, Tom is forced to learn what it means to be a husband and father. He struggles to keep his family together and strives to get his wife back.

Amazon UK

Anne Stormont was born in Scotland and although she has travelled all over the world – including a teaching exchange to South Africa, four trips to Australia and several visits to the Middle East – it’s where she still lives.

She began making up stories as a child in order to entertain her four wee sisters. But as an adult, being busy with motherhood and working as a teacher, it took a long time and a mortality wake-up call for her to get that first book written.

She’s a compulsive crossworder, yoga practitioner, avid reader, keen walker and enthusiastic gardener. She can be a bit of a subversive old bat, but she tries to maintain a kind heart. She also loves tea, penguins and being with her grandchildren.

Change of Life was her first novel and she has since published three more. Her books are all set in Scotland and are contemporary romances where the main characters may be slightly older but are not necessarily wiser.

You can find out more about Anne and her books at her Website 

Posted in Blog Blitz, Blog Tour, Friendship, Romance

The Secret of You and Me Melissa Lenhardt @MelLenhardt @MillsandBoon #Romance #LGBTRomance #BookBlitz #MillsandBoonInsiders #TheSecretofYouandMe

You always come back to your first love

Nora hasn’t looked back. Not since she left home, and her broken heart, far behind her. But now tragedy calls her back, where she must finally come face to face with ex-boyfriend Charlie, and best friend Sophie. Only now will she be able to confront her past—and reconcile her future.

Sophie seems to have everything. Married to Charlie, with a wonderful daughter and a successful career. Yet underneath that perfection lies an explosive secret. A secret that ripped through their town and destroyed her friendship with Nora. So when Sophie finds out that Nora has returned, she hopes Nora’s stay is short. The life she has built depends on it.

But first love doesn’t fade easily. Memories come to light, passion ignites and old feelings resurface. As the forces that once tore them apart begin to re-emerge, both Nora and Sophie must accept that true love is something worth fighting for.

Amazon UK

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Blitz, Book Review, Family Drama, Historical Fiction

The Black Madonna of Derby Joanna Czechowska 5*#Review @JOCZECHOWSKA #AudiobookReview #BlogTour @AudibleUK #TheBlackMadonnaofDerby #MondayBlogs #MondayThoughts @rararesources

During and after the Second World War, 200,000 Poles were given leave to remain in the UK as thanks for their help during the conflict – this book is a fictional account of just one of those families. Set during the 1960s and 1970s, The Black Madonna of Derby traces the story of the Baran family living in a provincial town in England. Their seemingly ordinary existence hides secrets of past betrayal, madness, and tragedy.

The story focuses on three generations: the elderly grandmother whose proud Polish patriotism hides dark events from the past that affect the present, the mother whose tries to meld her past life in war-torn Poland and Germany with her new life in England and the granddaughter who lives a double life culturally and linguistically – Polish at home and English outside.

The swinging sixties in London is vividly recreated, as is the hardship of life under communism in the Poland of that time. This book is unique in that there are no other novels dealing with the story of second generation Poles in the UK. It is a story that deserves to be told, a story of a group of people who have had little attention in the literature. Listen to what they have to say.

Audible UK Audible

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

My Thoughts…

This is a fascinating story about a Polish family living in Derby during the 196os and 1970s. The family came to England after WW2. Behind the facade of an ordinary family hides the horrors they’ve faced, their secrets and tragedies. It’s an extraordinary story.

The characters are authentic and relatable. The story draws the reader into the characters’ lives, and you care what happens to them. The insights into the 1960s and 1970s in England and Poland are interesting and vividly portrayed.

The clear professional narration brings the story to life.

Joanna Czechowska

The daughter of a Polish father and English mother, Joanna Czechowska was born in Derby and studied history at University College London. She now works as a journalist. The Black Madonna of Derby, published in Polish under the title Goodbye Polsko, is her first novel.

Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of The Black Madonna of Derby (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 Blitz, Fantasy, Release Day Blitz

The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance Lali A. Love #PublicationDay #BlogBlitz @Laliaristo @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

When a demonic parasite turns her classmates into an army of sleepwalkers, sixteen-year-old Jo must confront her celestial identity and reveal the mystery of existence. Guided by the Galactic Council, a Galactic Compass and with the help of her best friends, Jo unleashes the cosmic powers of creation to prevent the Lord of Darkness from enslaving all of humanity into obscurity. 

Will she be able to decode the artificial system in time to save her friends and the sacred Light?

Amazon UK

Award-winning Author, Lali A. Love provides a supernatural thriller of metaphysical and visionary fantasy with her own revolutionary philosophy and unique narrative skills to produce this heart-wrenching and gripping tale.

Lali A. Love lives in the capital city of Canada with her husband and two beautiful children who are her greatest source of pride, joy, and inspiration. As a debut author, Lali loves to write stimulating, character-based novels that invoke an emotional response in her readers. She has done extensive research into epistemology and metaphysics to further her understanding of the Universal Laws of Energy.

In her spare time, Lali is committed to writing her visionary fiction trilogy about spiritual transformation. These mystical novels are based on the journeys of three incarnated Angels that have been brought together in the third-dimensional existence, to realize their Divine Feminine soul purpose. Each of them must experience unique self-realization to overcome the dark demonic entities that are determined to destroy their inner light to derail their Soul mission.  

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Spotlight, Family Drama, New Books, Romance

Summer At My Sister’s Emily Harvale #BlogBlitz @emilyharvale @rararesources #Romance #Summer #Uplit #heartwarming #publicationday #31July #SummeratmySisters #secrets

Twin sisters. One scorching summer. A bucketful of secrets.

Diana’s life is perfect. Her twin sister, Josie’s – not so much. They aren’t identical twins. Perhaps the only things they have in common are agreeing their mother can be a nightmare – and their birthdays. This summer they’ll be thirty-five.
 
Diana has the perfect husband, two talented youngsters, and an adorable dog. She runs a successful business from home, a popular book club, and hosts sparkling parties for her wealthy husband. She always looks as if she’s stepped from the cover of a magazine. Her immaculate second home by the sea, for idyllic summers with her perfect family, was actually featured in one.
 
Josie has a messy, compact flat, dates, but not relationships, and she can’t even keep a houseplant alive. She moves from job to job, goes clubbing with her friends, and always looks as if she’s fallen through a hedge. She loves Diana, deeply, but each year she declines the invitation to spend the summer with her sister. Or any other family holiday. Because Josie has a secret.
 
But is Diana’s life so perfect? Or is she hiding something too? When secrets are revealed this summer, everything will change. Josie could finally have the life she’s always wanted … if she’s brave enough to take a chance. And it all begins with a phone call from their mother.

Publication Date: 31st July

An exciting update from Emily Harvale

I apologise if you haven’t seen me on social media very much recently but I’ve been exceptionally busy working on lots of exciting stuff (technical term) 😂🤩 for my new book, my website … and a map for my new series of standalone stories set in the tiny village of Seahorse Harbour.

The map will ‘go live’ on July 31st, publication day for the first in the series, which is … yep, you guessed it, Summer at my sister’s. Let me explain a bit more.

Summer at my sister’s was originally a standalone, but then I had an idea for a Christmas book, so it became a two-book series, with Book 2 featuring a couple of new characters and most of the characters from Summer at my sister’s (with me so far?) ……

Then …. I had an idea for another completely separate story set in the same village (which I’m writing at the mo.) This one has new characters.
So now, each story in this series will be a standalone with new characters … but as each book is set in Seahorse Harbour, you’ll be able to ‘see’ what’s going on with the characters from the previous books, because you can’t help but bump into people in a tiny village, can you?

I have to say, I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!😍🤩💖🥰 I’ve got so many story ideas, although I’ve only written 2 of the books so far, Summer at my sister’s and the Christmas book, which is called …..

Wait for it……(no, that’s not the title)

Christmas at Aunt Elsie’s

This Christmas book will be available for pre-order from early August. 💖🤩🥰😍

Did I mention that I love this series? And yes – I’m just a little bit over-excited. I can’t wait to share these fabulously feel-good stories with you. I hope you’re a little bit excited too. 🤩💖 xxx

Amazon UK

Thank you so much for allowing me to share a little extract from my new book, Summer at my Sister’s.

This is from Chapter Three. Josie Parnell asked her taxi driver called Jonno, to drop her at The Seahorse Inn. Jonno is friends with the deliciously handsome owner, Mikkel Meloy, and they’ve just leaned into one another and slapped each other on the back. Now Mikkel turns to Josie.

‘Hi. I’m Mikkel. Mikkel Meloy. My friends call me Mik.’

He held out his hand to me and I eyed it nervously, unsure whether or not to take it.

‘You’re not going to pull me into a hug and slap me on the back, are you?’

His dark blond brows shot up and then he gave a roar of laughter as he shook his mane of golden blond hair.

‘I promise not to slap you on the back.’ His voice was strong and gravelly with just a slight trace of a Nordic accent. ‘And if you’d rather I didn’t hug you, I understand. But we’re very friendly people.’

‘Norwegians?’

The gorgeous smile lit up the deepest blue eyes I’ve ever seen.

‘I meant in Seahorse Harbour, but yes, I’m originally from Norway and we’re very friendly there also.’

‘I’m from London, and lately, New York. We carry pepper spray in our handbags.’

He must’ve seen I was joking because he laughed and raised both hands in the air.

‘I’ll wait until you’re ready to hug me then. Do you want a drink?’

‘No. I’d like a pound of sausages.’

A crease formed between his brows but he soon laughed again.

‘Ah. Pretty and funny. I like that in a woman.’

‘I’m off then,’ Jonno said, grinning. ‘If you decide you want a lift to your sister’s give me a call.’ He handed me a card. ‘It’s almost lunchtime so I’m popping home for a sarnie. I’ll be out and about again by the time you’ve had your wine.’

‘Thanks, Jonno, but I’ll be fine. I will give you a call if I need a taxi while I’m here though.’

He waved goodbye to me, gave Mikkel a friendly slap on the arm and was gone in a matter of seconds. Mikkel slung one of my bags on his shoulder and grabbed my cases, wheeling them into the pub.

‘They’re not mine,’ I said.

He stopped for a second, tutted and shook his head.

‘You like to play games,’ he said. ‘I like to play games too.’

From the look he was giving me I had a pretty good idea of the sort of games Mikkel Meloy liked to play. And most of them would involve getting naked, I suspected.

I coughed to clear the images popping into my head and followed him inside. The change from bright sunlight to the dark interior soothed my eyes and meant I had to remove my sunglasses. He deposited my cases right in front of the bar and was behind it in three strides. Long, well-defined, tanned legs, gorgeous-looking bottom hidden beneath khaki shorts, manly waist and a black T-shirt stretched tight across those broad shoulders, kissed at his neck by the curled tips of that golden blond hair, made me drop onto the nearest stool, feeling a little overcome.

‘Wow!’ I said out loud, not realising I had done so.

‘Like it?’ he asked, beaming at me.

For a moment I wondered how to respond and then I realised he thought I was commenting on the inside of the pub as he glanced around and held out his hands as if offering me the entire room.

I quickly took in the white-washed walls, the ropes and nets and other fishing paraphernalia hanging from the black beams and the low, white-washed ceiling. The walls bore photographs of Seahorse Harbour through the ages, some sepia, some in colour, together with paintings of the sea, seahorses, or ships. And there were several ceramic seahorses on the large window sills. I’m not sure what effect he was going for but it somehow worked.

‘Very nice,’ I said, nodding my approval.

The only things that hadn’t changed since I was last in The Seahorse Inn were the name, the black beams and the large fireplace in the far wall. I sat in front of that during a very cold October, many years ago with the man I loved and he told me his decision. A decision that would change my life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this extract. I hope you enjoyed it.

And thank you, lovely, for sharing this on your blog. xxx

Emily Harvale

Emily writes novels, novellas and short stories about friendship, family and falling in love. She loves a happy ending but knows that life doesn’t always go to plan. Her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily loves to connect with her readers and has a readers’ group in which many have become good friends. To catch up with Emily, find out about the group, or connect with her on social media, go to her website at www.emilyharvale.com.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now writes full-time. She’s a member of the SoA, an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. When not writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats that like to sprawl across her keyboard, regardless of whether Emily is typing on it, or not.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Spotlight, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Young Adult

Kissing Daisy Parker Michael Milton #BlogBlitz @mikemiltonbooks @LoveBooksGroup #lovebookstours #YoungAdults #ComingofAge

First loves. Last chances. Street Fighter II.

Daisy is a Sylvia Plath reading, Robert Smith devotee, planning on a summer of Australian beaches with or without her two favourite boys. Obsessed gamer and jealous boyfriend Greg needs the prize money from the Scottish Street Fighter II championships to join Daisy in Oz. She wouldn’t really go without him. Would she?

Scottish-born, English-accented Junaid is the couple’s best friend. Haunted by that school dance and terrified of the future, he finds himself falling for his best friend’s girl. When a disastrous event at the video game tournament brings Daisy and J closer together, Greg attempts the ultimate redemption.

Each makes decisions which alter the course of their friendship, and their lives, forever. But do the answers to life’s biggest questions truly lie in kissing Daisy Parker?

Amazon UK

Michael Milton spent the first 25 years of his life pretending to be other people. After switching drama school for university, he travelled the world as an English teacher and returned home to complete his MA in Creative Writing.

His stories have been long and shortlisted for the Fish Prize, the Bath Short Story Award, the Mogford Prize and the Emerge Impact Creative Writing Prize. Kissing Daisy Parker is his first novel, and yes, he can beat you at Street Fighter.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Murder Mystery

Deadly Secrets Ann Girdharry 4*#Review @GirdharryAnn @Bloodhoundbook #DeadlySecrets @rararesources #CrimeFiction #Detective #Psychologist #BlogBlitz #BookReview

How long can you get away with murder?

In an idyllic Sussex town, Mr Quinn whispers a secret on his death bed. Hours later the person who cared for Quinn is killed.

Mr Quinn’s secret sets off events unlike anything Detective Grant and Psychologist Ruby Silver have ever seen.

A series of deaths follow as a killer tries to cover their twenty-year trail of murder by drowning.

Grant, Silver and the team must track a killer who has been getting away with murder for years. But when treachery, corruption and secrets from the past are used against Sergeant Tom Delaney, the killer turns their attention to one of Grant’s own…

Detective David Grant and Psychologist Ruby Silver are back in this unmissable new crime thriller. It can be read as the sequel to Deadly Motives or as a brilliant stand-alone. 

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

The suspense builds from the beginning of this police procedural. A man shares a deathbed secret, and the person who hears it dies too.

When the story turns inward onto the police team, they behave professionally, which adds to the authenticity. Insight into the mind and motivations of the killer increases the level of menace and brings the antagonist to life in an alarming way.

Fast-paced, with realistic characters, heinous murders and clues in the past and present make this an enjoyable read for crime fiction enthusiasts.

Ann Girdharry is a British, crime thriller author.
She’s a trained psychotherapist and worked as a manager in the not-for-profit sector for many years.


Ann is an avid reader and her favourites are crime and suspense. She regularly talks about her favourite reads to her newsletter subscribers. She enjoys travelling and apart from the UK she’s lived in the USA (where her first daughter was born), Norway (where her second daughter was born) and she currently lives in France.

She was an ERIC HOFFER BOOK AWARD Finalist 2017.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Romance, Travel

Sun, Sea and Sangria Victoria Cooke 4*#Review @VictoriaCooke10 @HQStories #HolidayRomance #Holiday #CanaryIslands #Dancers #Humour #Romance #Friendship @rararesources #BlogBlitz #BookReview #RachelsRandomResources #ThursdayThoughts #SummerReading

Kat swore off dating many years ago, after her marriage ended in a catastrophic mess. Having moved to the Canary Islands for a fresh start, she has never had much time for romance, channelling all her energy into managing all-male dance troupe – the Heavenly Hunks.

With golden beaches, sparkling blue water and relaxing after work with a glass of sangria – or three – for Kat, it’s summer all year round. But despite life being postcard perfect, Kat can’t help but wonder if she is missing out on the most important thing of all… love.

The dancers are all well-known for their flirtatious antics and aren’t looking for anything serious… except Jay. Sitting by the pool, watching the sun reflecting in the water, Kat feels like she can tell him anything.

Handsome, caring and a good listener, he ignites a fire in Kat’s heart that scares her witless. But her relationship with Jay should stay strictly professional… right? There is absolutely no way that she can be his boss and his date.

As the temperature rises, will Kat be able to take the plunge, let go of her past and find romance in paradise?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

If you’re looking for some sunshine and a little romance, this story is for you. Kat’s the manager of an all-male exotic dance troupe in the Canary Islands, sound interesting? Well, it is, but she’s more of a mother than a lover, keeping her relationships strictly business until Jay joins the group and threatens the status quo.

Kat fled to the islands, in the wake of a disastrous controlling marriage. Jay makes her take a look at her life and risk dating again with some hilarious and sometimes poignant results. Jay’s past threatens his future happiness, but his attraction to Kat is hard to ignore.

The story balances fun and more serious moments in a relatable holiday setting. With believable characters and gentle romance, it’s easy to lose yourself in this story. A must-have Summer read.

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Historical Romance

Captured by her Enemy Knight Nicole Locke 4*#Review @NicoleLockeNews @HarlequinBooks @MillsandBoon #LoversandLegends #HistoricalRomance #13thCentury #BlogBlitz @rararesources #BookReview #histfic

Falling for the man

Cressida Howe, the Archer, is a well-tuned weapon. But she’s also a woman captivated by a man—Eldric of Hawskmoor, the warrior knight her father ordered her to kill. Instead, for years, Cressida has simply watched him… Now she’s been captured by her formidable enemy, and her well-ordered world comes crashing down, for Eldric is even more compelling up close. Cressida curses her traitorous heart—this assassin has fallen for her target!

Amazon UK Amazon Harlequin Books

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

My Thoughts…

This 13th-century historical romance is one of contrast. The gentle romance set in a time of abuse and violence. Cressida is an expert killing machine ruthlessly taught by the man she calls father. Eldric is a knight in the king’s service. Cressida has watched Eldric since childhood and cannot kill him when ordered to do so. Eldric has sworn to capture the infamous Archer(Cressida) but when he discovers she’s a woman he’s conflicted in his choices.

The relationship is passionate. The emotional connection is there from the beginning as the two lost souls gravitate to each other. Full of political intrigue and danger this historical romance is intense.

Nicole Locke

Nicole is the author of Harlequin’s Lovers and Legends and Co-Author of The Lochmore Legacy series. If she isn’t working on the next book, she can be reached at NicoleLocke.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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Giveaway (Open INT) to Win 5 x PB copies of :

Captured By Her Enemy Knight

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 Blog Blitz, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Humour, Literary Fiction, Literary Humour, Saga, Short stories

Sometimes In Bath Charles Nevin ​4*#Review @charlesnevin @rararesources #LiteraryFiction #Humour #HisFic #Bath #shortstories #guestpost #SometimesInBath #BlogTour #BookReview

Sometimes in Bath is a captivating story-tour through the city’s history conducted by Charles Nevin, the award-winning journalist, national newspaper columnist, author and humorist.

Beau Nash, Old King Bladud, young Horatio Nelson, Jane Austen’s Mr Bennet, the Emperor Haile Selassie and many more spring to life in episodes shimmering with the curious magic of Britain’s oldest resort and premier purveyor of good health, happiness and romance for the last 2000 years.

Each story has an afterword distinguishing the fiction from fact, adding enthralling historical detail – and giving visitors useful links to Bath’s many sights and fascinations Sometimes in Bath is warm, witty, wistful and will be loved by all who come to and from this most enchanting and enchanted of cities.

Amazon UK The Book Guild

Guest Post – Charles Nevin – Sometimes In Bath

How do you like your historical fiction? Romantic, an exciting escape into the consolations of the beguiling past? Realistic and instructive as well as entertaining? Or all of that?

I’m all for the all-in approach. And I have a great weakness for a touch of humour being thrown into the mix. Which is why one of my very favourite pieces of historical fiction is the marvellous ‘No Bed For Bacon,’ by Caryl Brahms and S J Simon, a wonderfully entertaining re-telling of Shakespeare and his life which clearly inspired the Oscar-winning Shakespeare In Love of Gwyneth Paltrow and Judi Dench fame.

So when I moved to Somerset and fell under that old Bath magic of healing waters, mythic origins, Roman bathing, Georgian larks and the finest cast list ever encountered of charmers, chancers, characters and charlatans, I didn’t need much encouragement to set them down in a series of stories set throughout this richest of histories. Step forward, to name but a few, Bladud, mythical founder and wannabe aviator; a Roman governor with gout; Alfred the Great; Sir John Harington, Elizabethan inventor of the water closet; Beau Nash, Georgian master of its revels; Dr Johnson; Horatio Nelson; Charles Dickens; the Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, in Bath in exile; and, oh, yes, Jane Austen’s Mr Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.

Thus, Sometimes In Bath; which was tremendous fun, and is, I hope tremendous fun, a happy canter through the city’s history, with some balancing poignancy and wistfulness mixed in.

But possibly not that realistic, which presented me with a problem. A career as a journalist entails many things: and one of them (believe it or not) is a compulsion to establish fact and differentiate it from the speculative and the unfounded. I’m one of those sad people who cannot watch any drama ‘based on’ historical events and characters without afterwards rushing to Wiki to find out how based and how true.

So how to combine this with my flights of Bath fantasy? Just expect readers to do their own research? That seemed a little unmannerly, a touch unfriendly, somehow ungenerous, mean.

The solution I hit upon was to follow each story with an afterword explaining what was fact and what was my invention. And, further, to set the story in its historical context.

This has the added benefit of building up a history of the great city chapter by chapter, with an interesting further dash of fascinating fact and anecdote. So you will learn of the theories of Bath’s great architect, John Wood, on magic and druids, and the significance of the layout of his crescent, circus and square, of the mysterious symbols decorating his buildings; of the origin of the Bath Bun and the end of the noted Bath dandy highwayman, Sixteen String Jack Rann; of how the great Roman bath was rediscovered in Victorian times; of John Betjeman and his fight to save fine Bath buildings, and the truth behind his famous poem, “In A Bath Teashop”; of how Haile Selassie regained his Ethiopian throne in a remarkable campaign of the Second World War; and of the city’s great goddess, Sul, begged in writing on little lead tablets by many a citizen in the time of Rome to curse thieves and vagabonds.

You will learn, too, where to see those tablets and find other places and features mentioned in the book: a veritable cornucopia of Bath, compiled with love and fascination and imagination, and written, as I say in the dedication, for all those come to and from the city. And why not you?

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

My Thoughts…

Bath holds a fascination for so many people, even those who have only passed through it. There is a wealth of history, coupled with colourful historical and literary characters embodied in this city. This book, captures many of them, in a humorous, knowledgeable way.

The characters, real or imaginary, are brought to life with astute observation and wit. The engagingly visual descriptions make imagining the characters and settings effortless. Each story completes with a narrative on the fact and fiction and where further historical knowledge is available.

This book is a delightfully different literary adventure to the ancient city of Bath.

Charles Nevin

Charles Nevin has written for, among others, the Guardian, the Independent on Sunday, the Daily Telegraph, The Times and Sunday Times, and the New York Times. Sometimes in Bath is his second book of fiction following Lost in the Wash with Other Things, a collection of short stories. He has also published three books of non-fiction – Lancashire, Where Women Die of Love, a paean to the neglected romance of his native county; The Book of Jacks, a history and lexicon of the name, and So Long Our Home, a history of Knowsley Road, the famous old ground of St Helens Rugby Football Club. Charles lives in an old watermill near Bath, which is ideally placed for his forays into the enchanting city.

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