I received copies of these books from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for honest reviews.
The Earl’s heir
And the rebel artist
Artist Artemisia Stansfield has four months to prove herself to the Royal Academy of Arts. When she finds out that aristocratic art critic, Darius Rutherford, has been snooping in her studio, she’s furious! Sparks of anger turn into flames of desire, but one lapse in judgement could give Darius all the fuel he needs to ruin her, as a lady and as an artist! Unless she trusts him enough to take the risk…?
My Thoughts… 5*#Review
This story has a fascinating theme. It’s full of pertinent historical detail that illustrates the struggle of female artists at this time. The chemistry between Artemisia and Darius in this slow-burn, but ultimately passionate romance is memorable. The emotional connection deepens as the couple get to know each other, and support the other through the conflicts they face.
The character and story development are notable, and it’s an enjoyable reading experience.
A missed blind date…
…leads to a chance at forever!
After exchanging messages for months via a dating app, Surgeon Ivy Ross is finally ready to meet up with ‘Mr. Right’. But when work calls her away the chance is lost…until fate intervenes and Ivy’s blind date – Travis King – arrives as her new Senior Medical Officer…aka her boss! Travis and Ivy know mixing business and pleasure is a bad idea, but sometimes bad ideas feel so good…
My Thoughts… 4*#Review
An interesting setting focusing on medics in the Navy is the background for Ivy and Travis’ romance. Meeting on a dating app, chemistry sparks and they decide to meet, but duty calls and Ivy doesn’t show. Their first meeting is unexpected and difficult as the logistics of a workplace romance on a ship are difficult and forbidden.
Both of the characters are relatable with conflicted and believably written romance. Ivy’s dedication to her career, and Travis’ struggle with his mental health, add additional conflict and give this story authenticity.
This is an original medical/military romance.
‘If I kiss you, there’s no going back…’
Hosting South Africa’s wedding of the year at his exclusive safari lodge is Radd Tempest-Vane’s ticket to restoring his family’s empire. As long as he finds a new florist, fast! Brinley Riddell is the perfect candidate. She’s also an immediate distraction.
For Brin, this lucrative job is her chance to be free of the family who never thought her good enough. Radd may be proud, and strictly off-limits, but he’s the sexiest man she’s ever met! Surely one impossibly steamy encounter won’t upend their simple business deal…?
My Thoughts… 4*#Review
This is an atmospheric story, full of vibrant sensory imagery that immerses the reader in the setting. The story follows one man’s quest to rebuild his family’s legacy and a woman’s need to distance herself from her grasping family.
Both characters, are strong and have trust issues, which mean love and romance are not on their life list. A powerful and instantaneous attraction upsets their carefully laid plans and makes for a heated and passionate love affair. Brin has a secret which threatens their new understanding and is the major conflict in this story.
A love that is as decadent, deadly and desirable as the story’ setting is the perfect escapist read.
She’s definitely not invited… But that won’t stop her
Heiress Asha Patel just crashed a party without knowing that the decadent masquerade ball is for exclusive members. The moment she sees gorgeous, delectably sexy French host Mathis Durand, Asha knows she wants membership more than anything. But Durand has something else in mind for the desi bombshell… Is Asha willing to pay the dangerously high price?
My Thoughts… 3*#Review
This story has potential, but the characters are not as relatable as they could be and the mystique and sensuality of the secret club and masquerade ball is not fulfilled. The love scenes are well-written but the emotional connection is lacking for me.
I received a copy of these book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for honest reviews.
Molly’s Diary April 10th
So, I’ve finally done it. I’ve house-swapped my little cottage in Australia for a snazzy bachelor pad in Chelsea. I can’t wait to explore London. Most of all I’m hoping to meet my dream man, my secret fantasy: a perfect English gentleman. Though I’m starting to wonder whether Patrick, my house-swapper, might actually be HIM! Is that ridiculous?
We’ve been e-mailing – and he sounds HOT! Oh, hang on, there’s another e-mail now – can’t wait to find out what Patrick’s been up to… What do you do when you realise the one you want is half a world away – living in your home, sleeping in your bed…?
My Thoughts… 4* #Review
This is a book in, ‘The Holiday’ house swap theme, but with some original differences that make this an engaging read. The couple, swop their homes, correspond by email, and gradually a relationship develops.
The reader gains important insight into both characters, from the emails, and diary entries. This adds to the story’s enjoyment. There’s a twist, which threatens the fledgeling relationship magnified because Molly is looking for an ideal man and has trust issues, but eventually love prevails and there’s a happy ever after.
The romance is gentle and sweet, making this easy to escape with and a heartwarming read.
One Winter Wedding
The perfect place to meet your groom
Once Upon a Wedding – Stacy Connelly Wedding planner Kelsey Wilson’s business depends on her cousin’s wedding going off without a hitch. So when private investigator, Connor McClane shows up to stop the wedding Kelsey must stop him. But as sparks fly between the two might there be a wedding after all…
Bridesmaid Says ‘I do!’ – Barbara Hannay Thrilled to be Bella’s bridesmaid, Zoe throws herself into her duties. But meeting the groom himself, sexy Kent Rigby, ruins everything… What happens when you find the man of your dreams and he belongs to someone else?
The Morning After The Wedding Before – Anne Oliver Emma Byrne takes her role as her sister’s Maid of Honour seriously. But drop dead sexy best man Jake Carmody is determined to loosen her up with a wedding night fling! Yet after the wedding, Jake must deal with the distinctly unfamiliar sensation he might want more…
My Thoughts… 3* #Review
This is a book of three stories, with a Winter wedding theme.
‘Once Upon a Wedding’ features wedding planner Kelsey and Connor, a private investigator. Kelsey has always felt second-best in her aunt’s family. Planning her cousin Emily’s wedding will prove her success to them and herself, but nothing is straightforward. Connor nearly took Emily from the family once before, and now he’s back. Can Kelsey save the wedding? There is a gentle slow-building romance between Kelsey and Connor fraught with conflicts. Family secrets, misunderstandings and trust issues are all explored in this classical romance.
‘Bridesmaid Says “I Do”‘ is a case of the bridesmaid falling for the wrong man, the groom. This book has an interesting setting and a sexy hero even though the romance is sweet. This has a rom-com plot, with the bridesmaid and groom falling in love. A recipe for disaster? Well, not if the bride’s affections are engaged elsewhere. Good characters, a nice romantic plot and a happy ending.
‘The Morning After the Wedding Before’ is a sexy romance about letting go of your inhibitions and responsibilities, and living for the day. Emma and Jake are a likeable couple. Even though Jake seems in control, he soon finds that he’s out of his depth.
This is a mix of romantic genres which will appeal to a wide audience of wedding romance lovers.
Jack Johnson, ex-journalist, newly divorced and feeling unmoored, has bought a 64-foot narrowboat with absolutely no idea how to captain it. So when an attractive stranger takes pity on his dismal attempts and comes aboard to assist him manoeuvre, Jack is only too happy to make her welcome. But it’s soon apparent that Nina is keeping her own secrets and when they stumble into a murder investigation the past begins to intrude. What’s Nina afraid of? And who is stalking the towpaths?
Jack Johnson has a talent for trouble – wherever he goes on his narrowboat, it seems to follow him. Moored up on the River Avon in the beautiful Georgian surroundings of Bath, he’s working at the local paper when a prominent magistrate and heritage campaigner is attacked and drowned. Could it be a serial killer copying the Canal Pusher? Or a biker gang who swore revenge on the magistrate? Against his wishes, Jack is pulled into the investigation by his ambitious editor who wants the scoop. Jack and his friend, Nina Wilde, have also been drawn into another struggle. The moorings of a small settled boating community sit alongside a huge former industrial site that property developers want to fill with luxury housing. Nearby residents are enlisted to petition against the boat people, and as the campaign spirals out of control, lives are threatened. Who is helping their enemies? Another gripping tale of corruption and intrigue from the riverbank, full of dark waters and deadly secrets.
I received copies of these books from the author in return for honest reviews.
A new crime series is exciting, especially when it’s full of rich characterisation and originality. Jack Johnson is newly divorced and still reeling from the emotional and financial implications. Living on a narrowboat is not his first choice, but at least it’s cheap and will give him a place to live and work.
A freelance journalist he has a keen eye for crime, which comes in useful in this series. A complete novice at boating his serendipitous meeting with Nina leads to an unusual but mutually beneficial friendship. Nina has secrets which reveal themselves as the story progresses.
There is a sinister point of view that adds a noir element and draws the intrepid couple into a dangerous investigation. Jack and Nina are complex, relatable protagonists.
The suspenseful plot is well written. The setting is authentic and full of vivid imagery, in stark contrast to the dark crimes committed.
River Rats fulfils the potential suggested in Canal Pushers. Jack has moved down to Bath and is working at the local newspaper for an ambitious editor with dubious scruples. A suspicious death draws Jack and Nina into another dark investigation. Unscrupulous developers threaten a community of boaters and Jack and Nina search for the truth.
The characters continue to develop realistically in a multilayered plot. The setting is easy to visualise and gives the story its uniqueness.
Andy Griffee is a former BBC journalist and media consultant with a fascination for stories. He began his journalism career at the Bath Evening Chronicle, and then spent twenty-five years at the BBC, culminating in his role as Editorial Director of the redevelopment of Broadcasting House. Andy lives in Worcestershire and, when he isn’t writing, rears rare breed pigs, struggles to keep a 1964 Triumph Spitfire on the road and enjoys hiring narrowboats with his wife Helen.
The Inheritance by Anne Allen is one year old. To celebrate all the seven books in The Guernsey Novel series will only be £1.99 on Kindle for a limited time. Each of the books can be read as a standalone too.
1862 Young widow Eugénie faces an uncertain future in Guernsey. A further tragedy brings her to the attention of Monsieur Victor Hugo, living in exile on the island only yards away from Eugénie’s home. Their meeting changes her life and she becomes his copyist, forming a strong friendship with both Hugo and his mistress, Juliette Drouet.
2012 Dr Tess Le Prevost, Guernsey-born but living in England, is shocked to inherit her Great-Aunt’s house on the island. As a child, she was entranced by Doris’s tales of their ancestor, Eugénie, whose house this once was, and her close relationship with Hugo. Was he the real father of her child? Returning to the island gives Tess a fresh start and a chance to unlock family secrets.
Will she discover the truth about Eugénie and Hugo? A surprise find may hold the answer as Tess embraces new challenges which test her strength – and her heart.
A delightful mix of contemporary and Victorian life on Guernsey, with colourfully described historical details, and an engaging contemporary story full of romance, friendship and family drama.
Tess unexpectedly inherits an old house on Guernsey where she spent her childhood, Visiting her inheritance, she is drawn to the rundown house and being at a crossroads in her life decides to renovate and make Guernsey her home again.
Characters from previous stories make cameo appearances, but the story is standalone. The story slips between 2012 and Victorian times, told from Tess and Eugenie’s points of view. Both stories are complex and interesting, and there is a historical mystery for Tess to solve.
The story features a real historical figure, although the story is fictional, his presence as a character adds authenticity and depth.
Domestic abuse is a primary theme in this book, and it serves to highlight, its prevalence, and the differences and similarities between contemporary and Victorian women, in abusive relationships.
The storytelling is enthralling, the setting vividly described and the connections between the past and present meaningful. A lovely mix of believable characters and a realistic but hopeful ending make reading ‘The Inheritance’, a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
Book Six of The Guernsey Novels is another dual-time story set during the German Occupation and present-day Guernsey and is likely to appeal particularly to fans of the book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Treachery and theft lead to death – and love
1940. Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…
1942. Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return.
1945. Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.
2011. Nigel and his twin Fiona, buy a long-established antique shop in Guernsey and during a refit, find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth…
Searching for the rightful owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who opens a chink in her broken heart. Can she answer some crucial questions before laying her brother’s ghost to rest?
Who knew about the stolenRenoir?
And are they prepared to kill – again?
I love this series, it has all the best qualities of a cosy mystery in a breathtaking setting, with just a hint of the supernatural and historical flashbacks that illuminate the present mystery.
Believable, interesting characters are easy to empathise with and draw you into present-day Guernsey and it’s WW2 legacy, most notably the German occupation of the island. The gentle romance and supernatural elements enhance the storyline. The writing is clever as present-day events are determined by their historical roots.
Whilst they are standalone read; characters and situations from previous novels inform this story. If you haven’t read the other books in the series check out my reviews and read them for yourself.
This story is a pleasing, page-turning read, that makes me want to reacquaint myself with the mystical island of Guernsey.
The fifth of The Guernsey Novels, Echoes of Time is a dual-time story set in the German Occupation and present-day Guernsey and is likely to appeal to fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Betrayal, injustice and revenge echo down the years…
1940. Olive marries farmer Bill Falla. The Germans occupy Guernsey.
All too soon Olive realises she has made a mistake. Her life changes when she meets Wolfgang, a German officer-however there’s a price to pay. . .
2010. Natalie Ogier returns to Guernsey to escape an abusive relationship – only to be plagued by odd happenings in her beautiful cottage on the site of a derelict and secluded farm. Disturbing dreams, disembodied voices and uncanny visions from the past. She becomes increasingly ill at ease as someone else’s past catches up with her own…
Her only immediate neighbour, Stuart, is the grandson of the original owners, Bill and Olive.
Thrown together in a bid to find out what happened to Olive, can they each survive the repercussions of the past and move on?
All the ‘Guernsey Novels’ are defined by their memorable characters, vivid setting and intriguing plots, ‘Echoes of Time’, has all of these qualities and something extra that makes it a gripping and worthwhile read.
The cross over and parallels between Guernsey’s past and present are explored in greater detail in this story and Natalie, who returns to the island after a traumatic incident, experiences life in war torn Guernsey, in a most disturbing way.
Escaping her past Natalie witnesses a woman’s life with a startling similarity to her own, is her subconscious playing tricks on her or is what she dreams and experiences real?
The mystery enfolds in 2010 with flashbacks and time slip to occupied Guernsey in World War Two. The historical element is well researched and often anecdotal and blends with the present in a believable, easy to read way.
Characters’ flaws make them authentic and human. Natalie finds friendship when she most needs it but will become something more and is she brave enough to let it?
A poignant, well written tale, set on a beautiful island, perfect for holiday reading and anytime you want to escape.
The fourth of The Guernsey Novels, covering both contemporary Guernsey and the time of the Occupation. Likely to appeal to fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
One family, divided by death – and money
Andy Batiste, at loggerheads with his degenerate cousin, seeks to discover the truth of his family history. Why was his pregnant grandmother forced to flee to France? What really happened to her husband during the German Occupation, sixty years ago? Who accused Edmund, the elder son and Batiste heir, of being an informer? Was he really a traitor – and who murdered him?
With Edmund’s brother Harold now head of the family, enjoying the wealth which ought to have come to Andy’s father, the family is forever divided. Andy yearns to clear Edmund’s name and restore his father to his rightful inheritance.
Andy is introduced to Charlotte Townsend, newly divorced, lonely and struggling with writer’s block and the consuming threat of impending loss. They meet when she returns for healing at Guernsey’s natural health centre, La Folie, and Charlotte becomes involved in Andy’s family history.
Together they embark on a hunt for the truth…
The catalyst for this story is an incident in World War 2. A death accompanied by malicious rumour divides a family. Charlotte, who we met in ‘Guernsey Retreat’, makes a welcome return.
‘The Family Divided’ maintains the mystery and gentle romance, characteristic of this series. This story casts Charlotte in the role of detective as she unravels the secrets and rumour buried in the Batiste’s family’s past, to help and stay close to her new friend Andy Batiste.
Well paced, this story explores the growing relationship between Charlotte and Andy, and lets us glimpse the lives of previously introduced characters, Jeanne, Louise and Malcolm.
I liked the disparity between Andy’s family and Charlotte’s and how it allows both characters to grow and develop. Charlotte’s investigation is believable and what she discovers builds to a tense and well resolved ending.
If you like your mystery with vivid imagery and sweet romance you will definitely enjoy The Guernsey Novels series.
The third in The Guernsey Novels series, likely to appeal to fans of the best-selling book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Two violent deaths. Separated by time, but with a fatal connection…
A man loses his father. A young woman loses her mother. Both in tragic circumstances that lead, when they meet, to surprising revelations from the past.
Louisa needs to find the father she has never known, to warn him of possible danger – for them both. Her search takes her from England to Guernsey. Malcolm’s journey is more complicated: conceived in Guernsey, his bereaved mother emigrates with him to Canada. Many years later he arrives in India, and from here he is led back to Guernsey to open a health centre at La Folie. This was his father’s home and where he was killed at the start of the Second World War.
At the heart of the two deaths lie stolen jewels. Valuable enough to kill for. Twice.
Finding her father brings Louisa more than she bargains for, and her life is transformed, while Malcolm learns that life is, after all, for sharing…
This third book in ‘The Guernsey Novels series is as atmospheric, as the previous two stories. There are two deaths; one historical and one present-day, which force a meeting between Louisa and Malcolm, altering both their lives. The characters are interesting and believable, the setting a delight.
The author’s knowledge of Guernsey and the other Channel Islands gives the story another compelling dimension. This is a must read.
The historical events and their significance are weaved seamlessly into the contemporary plot. There is a welcome return of some characters from ‘Dangerous Waters’ and Finding Mother in cameo roles, which enrich the story.
The plot is easy to follow and provides a perfect foil for the characters to develop, grow and interact. There is intrigue and menace and a myriad of emotions as Louisa balances what she has lost and found and Malcolm tries to make amends for a youthful, foolish mistake. A sweet romance lightens the angst.
I liked the friendship between Louisa and Charlotte and look forward to reading Charlotte’s tale next.
Three women. Three generations. Sacrifices for love…
Who is she really? Nicole is about to find out as she searches for her real mother; the woman who gave her away at birth. With her marriage in tatters, she sets out from England: travelling to Spain, Jersey and Guernsey before the extraordinary story of her real family is finally revealed.
Nicole becomes an unwitting catalyst for change in that family. Two women are forced to reveal long-buried secrets. One going back as far as the Second World War. Lives are transformed as choices have to be made and the past laid to rest…
A marriage damaged, possibly beyond repair prompts investigative journalist Nicole to search for her birth mother. Her decision threatens those who love her, leads to long buried secrets and romantic surprises on the beautiful island of Guernsey.
The setting for the second in ‘The Guernsey Novels series’ is vivid and tangible. The insight into island life makes Guernsey, an important secondary character that informs the actions of Nicole and her birth family.
‘Finding Mother’ is a gently paced story, with nostalgic echoes of magazine serials in the sixties. The characters are outwardly ordinary but their normality cloaks resentment, fear, missed chances and unwavering courage. The emotional tension is realistic and poignant and shrouded in long suppressed mystery.
Addictive and so easy to read; ‘Finding Mother’ builds to a tense crescendo before the secrets are revealed. The characters are complex and believable and make a story of everyday life, memorable.
This story will appeal to lovers of romantic sagas and quality women’s fiction.
Dangerous Waters is the first of The Guernsey Novels, linked but standalone stories, which will appeal to fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Tragedy seems to follow Jeanne Le Page around . . .
Can she really go through it again and survive?
She is lucky to be alive … at sixteen Jeanne was almost killed in a boating accident which brought heart-breaking family tragedy. Now, fifteen years later, Jeanne returns reluctantly to the island of Guernsey following the death of her beloved grandmother. Struggling for breath as the ferry nears the island; she is overwhelmed by a dark foreboding as hazy memories of that terrible day resurface…
Only returning to sell her inheritance – her grandmother’s old cottage – Jeanne has no intention of picking up her old life. But the cottage holds a secret, dating back to World War II and the German Occupation, and Jeanne becomes drawn into discovering more. Then, soon after her arrival, a chance meeting with an old teenage crush leads her to thoughts of love.
Jeanne is forced to face her demons, reliving the tragedy as her lost memory returns.
When the truth is finally revealed, her life is endangered for the second time…
This delightful story reflects the island life it depicts; atmospheric, gently paced and full of mystery and romance. The characters are crafted realistically and easy to visualise. This is not an action packed read but the laid back writing style draws the reader into island society and culture. The cast of secondary characters give the story its depth and variety and bring the island community to life for me.
Contemporary favourites cookery and gardening widen the scope of this novel and prevent it from becoming too self absorbed and dark. The descriptions of the cosmopolitan restaurants, food and the cottage garden are vibrant and knowledgeable; as is the insight into the publishing industry.
Jeanne the vulnerable but talented heroine of ‘Dangerous Waters’ is a writer who returns to her childhood home many years after a traumatic incident drove her back to the mainland. Her chosen career has a dramatic boost when she discovers her grandmother’s hidden secrets and much treasured ancestral recipes.
Coupled with reconnecting with friends from her school days and deciding what to do with her legacy, Jeanne’s day to day life is an absorbing read. Jeanne’s poignant flashbacks reveal her traumatic past. Mystery and dangerous undercurrents threaten Jeanne’s emotional recovery until she isn’t sure who she can trust.
‘Dangerous Waters’ is definitely worth reading and I look forward to the rest of the Guernsey Novels.
I received copies of these book from the author in return for an honest review.
Anne was born in Rugby to a Welsh father and an English mother. As a result, she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learned to love the sea. Now she is based in Devon to be near her daughter and two small grandchildren. Her restless spirit has meant many moves, the longest stay being in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns. Her younger son is based in London – ideal for city breaks.
By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist who long had a desire to write and Dangerous Waters, her first novel, was published in 2012. It was awarded Silver(Adult Fiction) in TheWishingShelfAwards 2012. Since then she has published six more books in The Guernsey Novels series; Finding Mother, Guernsey Retreat, The Family Divided, Echoes of Time- winner of The Diamond Book Award 2017, a finalist in Readersfavorite awards and granted a ChillWithABookAward, The Betrayal, and The Inheritance, published April 2019.
Nora Dervan is ready for her Happy Ever After. With her darling Harry waiting at the altar, and all her family and friends around her. She is certain that her special day will not be forgotten/will be one to remember…
But with her four bridesmaids hiding more secrets, than bottles of champagne. Will her big day be remembered for all the right reasons?
Bea has barely gotten past the fact that her two best friends are dating, and now they’re engaged, whilst cupid’s arrow points in a forbidden direction for Cleo. She is so distracted by her off limits, hot new colleague that she has forgotten Daisy, who has been left dreading the singles table. There’s more romance in the cheesy pick- up lines than Sarah’s own marriage, which hasn’t turned out as she hoped it would be.
Reacquainting with bride to be Nora and her prospective bridesmaids, as they celebrate Cleo’s thirtieth birthday is easy, despite the months that have passed since I read part 1 of the Bridesmaids’ story. Experience, a nerve racking but hilarious weekend finding the perfect wedding dress. There is plenty of tension between bridesmaids Cleo and Bea and Nora and her mum, who seems set on ruining her daughter’s wedding dress buying experience. It’s enjoyable sharing the ups and downs of the weekend and the story ends with an unexpected cliff-hanger that could threaten the stability of the group and turn the wedding into a disaster. This is a quick easy read but there are complex characters and vivid imagery which make this story addictive. I also love the snippets of real wedding memories at the beginning of each chapter. Looking forward to the hen weekend, all the fun without the hangover, what could be better? I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This week I’m participating in the Harper Impulse readathon #SummerImpulse.
The first of my reads was ‘The Reckless Love of an Heir’ by Jane Lark, I love her books, they delve into the less glamorous side of Regency England and whilst this story was more family orientated it still had its serious side and was a great read..
I’ve included a couple older books from authors I like that I haven’t got around to reading and a debut book from a new author, released on 19 August. I will post the reviews for these later in the week.
I’m pleased to welcome Angel Nicholas to my blog today, on the last stop of her blog tour for ‘Dying for Love’. She shares her thoughts on romance in literature and why the addition of suspense makes it more enjoyable for her both to read and write. As a lover of romantic suspense myself I agree. I’ve read ‘Dying for Love’ and included my review below, its definitely worth a read.
Here’s what Angel has to say…
Romantic suspense is a fascinatingly diverse sub-genre that draws on the heat and infamous Happily Ever After of romance while tangling it mercilessly with the ruthlessness of the seedier and often bloodier side of life. It’s my favorite sub-genre to read, and the one I can’t stop my fingers from typing.
Romance draws a great deal of criticism; within the literary world, from readers and non-readers alike. We’re told that romance is too simplistic, that it leads to unrealistic expectations of romance, of men, and of life in general. It’s a “silly” genre with no literary merit whatsoever. You gain no greater knowledge of the world, its history, its people, or nature. There’s no purpose! All of which makes me roll my eyes. Is there any purpose to the popular action flicks? Is there any purpose to ballet? Is there any purpose to music? Life is hard, and I make no apologies for seeking pleasure and enjoyment in whatever guise I deem worthy.
What these naysayers fail to acknowledge, or perhaps refuse to acknowledge, is that romance novels do have merit. They do, in fact, serve a greater purpose. Study after study has confirmed that romance readers are more empathetic and open-minded than their non-reading counterparts. I would wager they’re also more empathetic than non-fiction readers. A story that engages your heart and emotions stays with your forever. You remember the lessons taught to the hero and heroine in circumstances you may well never endure, yet you’ve grown just the same. A romance reader is far more capable of lending a sympathetic ear and tender shoulder to cry upon, thanks to the hours she’s happily devoted to vicariously living a fictional couples trials. And yes, their ultimate happily ever after.
Let’s talk about the oft condemned “happily ever after.” As I mentioned above, and as you’re more than likely already aware, life is hard. We’re seldom granted a happily ever after. Even when we are, there’s the AFTER to deal with. After falling deliriously in love. After the fairytale wedding. After the lazy, lusty honeymoon. After the much anticipated new baby arrives. After…we return to reality. To demanding bosses, long work hours, exhausting commutes, burned spaghetti, dirty toilets, piles of laundry, and endless responsibilities. Books are a pleasurable—there’s that dirty word again—escape from those responsibilities. Based on how many memes are floating around social media bemoaning “adulting,” a welcome escape.
Suspense is a little trickier to explain. Romance is marvelous to read, and even more so to experience in real life. But—you knew one was coming, right?—it sometimes strikes me as too much. Too mushy and sweet and lovey dovey and just gag me with a spoon already. Suspense gives the story an edge. It makes me sit up a little straighter and turn the pages a little faster. I devour a well-written romantic suspense in a way that rarely occurs with straight romance. I’m not sure what this says about me, but I especially love writing the dark side of romantic suspense. I have a stack of books devoted to the psychopathy of serial killers and the deeply emotionally disturbed. I want to know what makes them tick, so I can create a three-dimensional villain as striking in his, or her, own way as the hero and heroine. A well-written villain is a thing of rare beauty. I particularly like a villain that you almost hate to see finally meet his well-deserved end.
I suppose part of the appeal is my need to torture the hero and heroine as much as possible before giving them their well-deserved happily ever after. I want them to earn it! When you read a scene in Dying for Love that has you gasping and wide-eyed, a little shocked and maybe even tearful, feel free to picture me hunched over the keyboard, cackling madly and pausing ever so often to rub my hands together in gleeful joy over the havoc I’m wreaking. It’s a fair depiction, after all.
Death is preferable to what awaits in her forgotten past…
Coffee is the only thing standing between Grace Debry and a straight-jacket since she gave up swearing in honor of her foster mom. A rash of break-ins make her wonder if caffeine is enough. Especially when the notes left behind make it personal. Her brand-spanking new life is more nightmare than dream-come-true.
All Matthew Duncan has wanted since hiring Grace is to have her in his passenger seat, his arms, and his bed. As they grow closer, the feisty brunette proves to be a handful—one Matt is happy to hold. He’s determined to give her the happily ever after she stopped believing in years ago. Unfortunately for Grace, it will take more than Matt’s considerable resolve to keep her safe.
Three’s a crowd—not that he cares. Every move she makes, every breath she takes … he’s watching. Waiting to reclaim what he lost.
The beginning of this story is so sad. The woman’s despair is tangible and the vivid description sets the scene perfectly, for what is to come. I re-read this chapter after I’d finished the book and its impact was even greater. The story restarts, twenty five years after the opening scene and focuses on Grace a clever, resourceful woman with a self-depreciating sense of humour. A series of unexplained incidents unnerve her and threaten to spoil her new life. Passionately drawn to his clever employee, Matt fears the implications both of sexual harassment and the fear of rejection. He denies his desires, until a personal tragedy warns him life is short; so he risks all to get to know Grace on a much closer and personal level. New characters, cleverly introduced ramp up the well written suspense. The reader glimpses pieces of the puzzle with tantalising slowness. The antagonist is menacing, a shadowy figure that threatens everything Grace holds dear. Grace and Matt’s passionate relationship is sizzling and balances the story’s dark suspense beautifully. The combination of the romance and suspense makes this an all night reader, with an unexpected twist at the end and the promise of a happy ever after. Perfect. I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Angel Nicholas spent her childhood writing angst-ridden poetry and hiding behind romance novels. Now the mother of four children and one beautiful grandchild, fiction is still her refuge. Excessive caffeine fuels her typing. The splendors of Idaho inspire her muse. When she’s not torturing her characters, Angel can be found in the nearest coffee shop or shoe store.
2015 has been such an unexpected whirlwind year for me and my family. The year has flown by. It seems ages since I’ve written a blog post that isn’t a book review. So I thought, I would recap on my year so far, as I have a few moments.
The year started quietly enough, I was hoping to finish writing my fourth novel and looking for a home for my third. Then everything changed. My lovely daughter told me she was expecting a baby. As she lives with us that meant drastic home renovations before our lovely new arrival. Fortunately for us, my husband is a renovation superstar and everything in our house was reconfigured a month before our little grandson arrived.
Although I have painted virtually the whole house, painting the nursery was definitely my favourite job.
My grandson Arthur Daniel, who Megan my daughter, named after her maternal grandfather and brother, arrived on 28 October 2015. I was my daughter’s birth partner. Seeing my grandson born was so special and witnessing my daughter’s courage and determination, one of the most poignant memories of my life.
Having a baby in the house again is great, I feel like, I have a new lease of life and I am looking forward to seeing him grow and develop in the coming months and years.
Next week on my blog I will have reviews on Christmas books from Harper Impulse: A Miracle at Macy’s by Lynn Marie Hulsman and Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper by Debbie Johnson. As my favourite season of the year draws closer I will be sharing more Christmas book reviews and some Christmas inspired posts too. With our new arrival, Christmas will be extra special for my family this year.
My other news is very exciting for writer me. I have found a home for my third novel, the romantic suspense The Dangerous Gift. More about that and when it will be released, next week.
I wanted to share the plight of Mohan the elephant with you yesterday and urge you to sign the petition that now has 127,394 signatures.
If you signed thank you.
I am watching the Wildlife SOS twitter and I will post any developments. Currently, they are waiting on the judge’s decision, as to Mohan’s fate.
So a day later than promised, here are the books I am currently reading. It’s an eclectic mix, from poetry to non fiction advice for the corporate work place.
Here are a few highlights:
The Face Transplant – R Arundel. This a fast paced medical suspense thriller written by a surgeon.It has gripping beginning and plenty of hooks to the conspiracy that follows. A page turner so far…
In the Shadow of Winter – Lorna Gray. This is an atmospheric historical fiction story, set in the devastating winter of 1947. There is history, mystery,romance and suspense and I’m hooked.
In complete contrast…
Try Me On for Size – Stephanie Haefner is a contemporary romance full of sexy scenes, passion and innuendos that will make you blush. It has great characters with flaws, hang ups and secrets galore. There is plenty to make you smile and the writing style is easy to read.
I’m over halfway with this one . I should be posting my review tomorrow.
germ Warfare of the Corporate Kind – Noel Warnell is a non fiction book. I’m looking forward to reading this because the first page made me smile.
A Journey to Peace – Jennifer Stevensonis a book of poetry. I love poems although I don’t get the opportunity to read them very often, so reading this will be a real treat for me.
So that’s my current reading, reviews to follow, as I finish them. I hope you’ll check them out too.
So do you see February 14th as the most romantic day of the year or just commercialism at its worst?
For many businesses, notably confectioners,florists, lingerie shops and restaurants, it can be one of the most profitable days of the year.
As a romance writer you would expect me to be a staunch supporter of Valentine’s day and in many ways I am. I love that couples go out on date nights and lovers make an effort to surprise their partners with a gift but neither of these things have to cost a fortune. Most people truly in love would find a handmade gift or a home cooked supper the most romantic gift of all.
What I dislike about Valentine’s day is the hype, the insistence by the commercial world that if you don’t spend a fortune, your Valentine’s gift it isn’t worth anything.
Well take it from someone who has been married for almost 32 years the money doesn’t matter it’s the thought that counts.
So be a true romantic this year and ignore the pressure from advertisers. Give your loved one your time, help with the chores, so you can enjoy more ‘us’ time and have a delicious home cooked Valentine treat à deux.
Here’s my Valentine’s gift to my husband.
Oops there goes the New Year diet 😦
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