Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Friendship, Historical Fiction, New Books

The Secrets of Latimer House Jules Wake 5* Review @Juleswake @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #BlogBlitz #BookReview #WW2 #HistoricalFiction #histfic #secrets #womeninwar #friendship #TheSecretsofLatimerHouse

In the war against Hitler every secret counts…

Society heiress Evelyn Brooke-Edwards is a skilled interrogator – her beauty making her a non-threat in the eyes of the prisoners.

Farm girl Betty Connors may not be able to type as she claimed, but her crack analytical skills soon find her unearthing covert connections.

German ex-pat Judith Stern never expected to find herself listening in to German POW’s whispered conversations, but the Nazis took her father from her so she will do whatever it takes to help the Allies end this war.

Billeted together in the attic of Latimer House – a place where secrets abound – Evelyn, Betty and Judith soon form a bond of friendship that carries them through the war. Because nothing is stronger than women united.

Tucked away in the Buckinghamshire countryside, Latimer House, a grand country estate, stands proudly – a witness to some of greatest secrets of WW2.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter and the Author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

With vibrant characters and based on real-life historical events, this story of courage, friendship and intrigue is an engaging read. Evelyn, Judith and Betty, are three women from differing backgrounds who are billeted together during WW2 at a secret military facility. They all play pivotal roles in the war against Nazi Germany and allow the reader to explore the roles fulfilled by women during this war.

With vibrant characters and based on historical events, this story of courage, friendship and intrigue is an engaging read. Evelyn, Judith and Betty, are three women from differing backgrounds who are billeted together during WW2. They all play pivotal roles and allow the reader to explore the roles fulfilled by women during this war.

The characters are cleverly created and easy to empathise with. Their friendship is realistic and full of humour, love and poignancy. The story has an intriguing ethos and gives the reader a great sense of place and time.

This is an absorbing historical read with vivid characters and events.

Jules Wake

Jules Wake announced at the age of ten that she planned to be a writer. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury brands and not so luxury brands. This proved fabulous training for writing novels as it provided her with the opportunity to hone her writing and creative skills penning copy on a vast range of subjects from pig farming and watches, sunglasses and skincare through to beer and stationery. 

She writes best-selling warm-hearted contemporary fiction for One More Chapter as Jules Wake and under her pen name Julie Caplin, she writes the Romantic Escapes series. 

Between them, the two Js have written eighteen novels, The Secrets of Latimer House being the latest.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Historical Fiction, Saga

A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane Lindsey Hutchinson @LHutchAuthor @BoldwoodBooks #AWinterBabyForGinBarrelLane #Promo #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #Saga #historicalfiction #HistFic #BlogTour

Dolly Perkins and Jack Larkin have grown up in the notorious gin palaces of Birmingham.

It’s a world of happiness and friendship, but also violence and poverty. Now that Dolly runs the Daydream Gin Palace on Gin Barrel Lane she can finally control her own destiny, but sometimes fate still plays its hand.

Keen to expand her empire, Dolly and Jack take on a new pub, but they are in for a shock when a foul smell in one of the bedrooms turns out to come from a body hidden in the wall.

As the police hunt for their suspect, rumours abound, spread by the local urchins – happy to be used as runners for a little bit of food and a coin or two.

But rumours can be dangerous, and as one of the worst winters on record covers everything in snow, Dolly and Jack have to fight for the lives they have made for themselves, and for the urchins that they have come to think of as family.  Will the arrival of a new baby on Gin Barrel Lane bring the promise of new hope, or will the long-awaited thaw uncover new secrets and new tragedies…

The Queen of Black Country sagas is back on Gin Barrel Lane with a rip-roaring, heart-warming, page-turning story of family, friendship and beating the odds.

Amazon UK

Lindsey Hutchinson

Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson.

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

A Blues Singer to Redeem Him Elle Jackson 4*#Review @readellejackson @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #HistFic #MillsandBoonInsiders #HistoricalRomance #1920s #NorthAmerica #BookReview #ABluesSingertoRedeemHim

Nights at the speakeasy…

Spark a dangerous romance

Evelyn Laroque’s performances at Lorenzo De Luca’s Kansas City blues club draw even bigger crowds than his bootleg whiskey. And every time he hears her voice, Lorenzo falls a little harder for the achingly beautiful blues singer. When Evelyn becomes a target for the KKK, Lorenzo faces an impossible choice. Will this son of a gangster turn to the mob if it’s the only way to protect the woman he loves?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The author captures this violent period of North American history succinctly. The story has a dramatic and devastating beginning, but it draws the reader into this time of lawlessness.

Evelyn is still grieving from losing her parents in a violent massacre but determined to realise her dream of being a singer whilst helping her grandmother. Lorenzo is the heir to the De Luca family, entrenched in the mob. He wants to do things differently, but his father’s influence is great. Lorenzo has powerful enemies and someone he wants to protect, but can he do it his way?

This is an atmospheric story with detailed world-building that doesn’t shy away from the prejudice and violence of the 1920s. The romance between Evelyn and Lorenzo is riven with conflicts. They both realise that any relationship would put the other in danger of reprisal, but the attraction is great and the gradual emotional connection even more compelling. The romance is forbidden but inevitable with courageous characters who the reader wants to find happiness.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Historical Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, New Books

The Dying Day Vaseem Khan 5*#Review @VaseemKhanUK @HodderBooks (Malabar House) #HistoricalCrimeFiction #India #HistFic #CrimeFiction #TheDyingDay

A priceless manuscript. A missing scholar. A trail of riddles.
Persis must solve the riddle to find the killer – or die trying . .
.

Bombay, 1950

For over a century, one of the world’s great treasures, a six-hundred-year-old copy of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, has been safely housed at Bombay’s Asiatic Society. But when it vanishes, together with the man charged with its care, British scholar and war hero, John Healy, the case lands on the desk of Persis Wadis, India’s first female police detective.

Uncovering a series of complex riddles written in verse, Persis – together with English forensic scientist Archie Blackfinch – is soon on the trail. But then they discover the first body. As the death toll mounts it becomes evident that someone else is also pursuing this priceless artifact and will stop at nothing to possess it . . .

Harking back to an era of darkness, this second thriller in the Malabar House series pits Persis, once again, against her peers, a changing India, and an evil of limitless intent.

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

My Thoughts…

The second book in the Malabar House series has vivid historical detail, vibrant characters, and a tantalising mystery to solve. Set in 1950s Bombay, the legacy of WW2, British rule and the cultural and religious divisions make this a fascinating read.

Persis Wadis is the first female inspector of police. She achieved national infamy from her position and previous case. A believably complex woman driven by her need to succeed in the face of family doubts, institutional misogyny and self-doubt, she analytically approaches her cases but often puts herself in dangerous situations.

The story has an engaging balance of investigation and personal exploration of the detective’s life. Her father’s bookshop is a special place for Persis, and many clues to her cases are discovered within the pages of the books.

A multi-layered mystery with shadowy characters, political intrigue and echoes of WW2 illuminates India’s role in WW2 as another source of tension between India and its colonial past. Intricate cyphers and puzzles are woven into the plot for the investigation team and reader to solve. An engaging mix of action, cerebral detective skills and introspection make this a page-turner.

Hints of romance, friendship and family drama make this an authentic and entertaining historical crime mystery with characters and historical details that resonate.

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

Captivating the Cynical Earl Catherine Tinley 4* #Review @CatherineTinley @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #HistoricalFiction #RegencyRomance #CaptivatingtheCynicalEarl #HistoricalRomance #MondayBlogs

The cool, aloof earl

And the enchanting lady


For Jack Beresford, Earl of Hawkenden, emotional entanglements are the path to pain. But when his brother brings his new wife and her best friend to his country home, everything changes. Lady Cecily Thornhill is both vibrant and beautiful, and Jack finds himself increasingly captivated by her sunny nature. Yet he must resist her charms, for in a month she’ll be gone—unless his frozen heart thaws before then…

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

My Thoughts…

This is an engaging Regency-style romance with a well-written plot and multi-layered characters. The historical world-building is excellent, and the reader gets a good sense of place and time. Both of the main protagonists are a little world-weary despite their relative youth. Cecily has a mother who refuses to live within her means, ​and Jack is damaged from lack of nurture in his formative years.

The dialogue is challenging and witty from their first meeting, but as they get to know each other, the put-downs are less frequent and the conversations more flirtatious and respectful. The romance builds from a tentative friendship and makes it enjoyable reading.

Catherine Tinley

Catherine Tinley is an award winning author of historical romance. She writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. Her first book, Waltzing with the Earl, won the Rita Award for Best Historical Romance 2018, while Rags-to-Riches Wife won the RoNA Award for Best Historical Romance 2021. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, Sure Start, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now manages a maternity hospital. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, cats, and dog. 

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

The Housekeeper of Thornhallow Hall Lotte R. James 4*#Review @lottejamesbooks @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #HistoricalRomance #Gothic #HistoricalFiction #histfic #BlogTour #BookReview #TheHousekeeperofThornhallowHall

She arrived as a housekeeper
Will she leave as a countess?
To some, Thornhallow Hall might be tarnished by tales of vengeance and ghosts, but to new housekeeper Rebecca Merrickson it represents independence and peace from her tumultuous past. Until the estate’s owner, William Reid, the disappeared earl, unexpectedly returns… After clashing with him over the changes she’s made to the house, Rebecca slowly unearths the memories that haunt brooding Liam—and her defiance gives way to a shockingly improper attraction to her master!

Amazon UK Amazon Harlequin

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

My Thoughts…

The characters in this Gothic style historical romance are easy to empathise with. Rebecca is clever, independent and kind, and her introspective reflections are humorous and insightful. William is a credible anti-hero, but as Rebecca gets to know him, she discovers his guilt and emotional pain.

Their relationship is reminiscent of The Beauty and Beast fairytale in parts and is full of emotion, poignancy and romance. Whilst the gothic element is present, this could have been more developed earlier in the story.

This is an engaging historical romance. The main protagonists deserve to find happiness with each other.

 

Lotte R. James

Lotte James trained as an actor and theatre director, but spent most of her life working day

jobs crunching numbers whilst dreaming up stories of love and adventure. She’s thrilled to

finally be writing those stories, and when she’s not scribbling on tiny pieces of paper, she

can usually be found wandering the countryside for inspiration, or nestling with coffee and a

book.

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

Out of the Bower A.E. Walnofer 3*#Review #AEWalnofer @rararesources #histfic #RegencyRomance #HistoricalRomance #historicalfiction #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs #OutoftheBower

London, 1817: When Barclay Durbin, a young street preacher, encounters Honora Goodwin, injured on a London street, he doesn’t know she has just escaped from Titania’s Bower, a brothel. Taking her to his ancestral home to recover amongst his family, he falls in love with the vivacious girl and comes to believe that she is divinely appointed to become his wife.

Honora begins to feel similarly and knows that the good-hearted gentleman’s attentions would likely ensure her future happiness, but she is intent on liberating Celia Woodlow – the friend she was forced to leave behind at the Bower. Telling Barclay only parts of her own story, Honora enlists the besotted young man to help her.

When their plan goes awry, Honora realizes that only the truth can deliver them from the emotional and societal maelstrom in which they find themselves. But if she divulges all, what will become of Honora and Barclay’s budding attachment? And will Celia ever gain her freedom?

Out of the Bower tells the tale of a forbidden romance, an ardent friendship, and the ever-essential redemption of self.

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

My Thoughts…

This story manages to explore the depravity, poverty and social inequity of Regency England without being overly graphic. It follows the fortunes of two young women forced into prostitution and a young preacher drawn to their plight.

The believably crafted characters and well thought out plot make this an interesting read. The writing style and vocabulary make this something that has to be concentrated on, but if the reader is prepared to immerse themselves in this period, it is a thought-provoking read.

A.E. Walnofer

A.E. Walnofer spends weekdays mobilizing the soft tissue and synovial joints of patients, and weekends typing out stories that are incessantly brewing inside her head. There are lots of these tales and she hopes to share many more of them with you in the future.

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Giveaway to Win 3 x E-copies of Out of the Bower by A. E. Walnofer (Open INT)

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*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 Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Romance

The Clockmaker’s Wife Daisy Wood 5*#Review @daisywoodwriter @AvonBooksUK #histfic #family #secrets #WW2London #womeninwar #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs

The world is at war. And time is running out…

London, 1940. Britain is gripped by the terror of the Blitz, forcing Nell Spelman to flee the capital with her young daughter – leaving behind her husband, Arthur, the clockmaker who keeps Big Ben chiming. 

When Arthur disappears, Nell is desperate to find him. But her search will lead her into far darker places than she ever imagined… 

New York, Present Day. When Ellie discovers a beautiful watch that had once belonged to a grandmother she never knew, she becomes determined to find out what happened to her. But as she pieces together the fragments of her grandmother’s life, she begins to wonder if the past is better left forgotten… 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This book begins quietly, a young woman and the man she loves climbing the clock tower that houses the iconic clock and Big Ben bell in London in 1939. This gentle love story draws the couple into the London Blitz in 1940 and a secret that lasted over eighty years.

The historical parts of this story are well-researched with authentically crafted characters. The contemporary chapters are also well written, and the solving of the family mystery is immersive and intriguing.

This is an emotional story of courage and secrets that affect a family for a lifetime. The plot flows well, and the pacing keeps the reader engaged until the poignant and satisfying conclusion.

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

A Deadly Coincidence Keth Finney 3*#Review @lume_books @ukcozymystery #cozymystery #Norfolk #WW2 @lovebookstours @lovebooksgroup #BookTour #BookReview #Ad #Gifted #ADeadlyCoincidence #ALiptonStFaithMystery

A deadly secret in the heart of a quiet country village.

In sleepy Lipton St Faith, the locals are getting used to their new rationing books and blackout curtains. The Second World War has brought much change to the small Norfolk village, as well as Lieutenant Eddie Elsner, on a mission all the way from America. But when the local postman is found dead, suddenly the war feels much closer to home…

The police are quick to declare it an unfortunate accident, but young, spirited Anna Grix is less convinced. After striking up a fast friendship with the newly arrived American, she teams up with Eddie to dig into this apparent accident. Full of unexpected twists and turns.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Set in Norfolk during WW2, this is a cosy style mystery. The well-described setting and pertinent historical details set the scene for the two amateur sleuths independent, vicar’s daughter Anna and American Lieutenant Eddie Elsner, to solve the death of the local postman.

The story’s quick pacing engages the reader, and there is an interesting array of characters. The mystery has the necessary twists and a surprising ending. The dynamic between the two main protagonists is amusing but a little overdone. The dialogue reflects the historical period, but like some of the characters is a little stereotypical.

Overall this is a lighthearted cosy mystery in an atmospheric setting with a partnership that could develop into something special.

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

The Last Daughter Nicola Cornick 5* #Review @NicolaCornick @HQStories #HistFic #timeslip #WaroftheRoses #supernatural #romance #Mystery #intrigue #secrets #family #BlogTour #BookReview #TheLastDaughter

A secret hidden in the past.A family bound by a dark legacy…

Ever since her sister disappeared eleven years ago, Serena Warren has been running from a ghost, haunted by what she can’t remember about that night.

When Caitlin’s body is discovered, Serena returns to her grandfather’s house, nestled beside the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall in Oxfordshire, determined to uncover the truth. But in returning to the place of her childhood summers, Serena stands poised at the brink of a startling discovery – one that will tie her family to a centuries-old secret…

Taking readers from the present day to the Wars of the Roses in the 1400s, and with an enthralling mystery at its heart, The Last Daughter is a spellbinding novel about family secrets.
____

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A dual timeline novel set in Oxfordshire following the lives of Anne Lovell during the War of the Roses historical period and Serena, in current times, drawn to the area when her twin sister’s body is discovered. The two stories are linked believably, and the supernatural element is well written.

The historical element brings this tumultuous period of English history to vibrant life. The intrigue, mysteries and politics are dramatised fascinatingly. Serena tries to discover what happened to her sister as she researches her family history. Her memories return as she connects with the place and its past.

This is an absorbing story, both timelines draw the reader into their worlds, and the connections between the two are perfectly woven.