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

The Good Servant Fern Britton 5*#Review @Fern_Britton @HarperFiction @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam #secrets #TheGoodServant #histfic #royals #duty #saga

The story of Marion Crawford, governess to the Queen – an ordinary woman living in an extraordinary time.

1932. Dunfermline, Scotland.

Marion Crawford, a bright, ambitious young teacher, is ready to make her mark on the world. Until a twist of fate changes the course of her life forever…

1936. Windsor Castle.

At first, this ordinary woman is in a new world, working as the governess to two young princesses, in a household she calls home but where everyone is at a distance. As the course of history changes, she finds herself, a companion, to the future Queen, and indispensable to the Crown. And slowly their needs become her needs. Their lives become hers.

It’s then she meets George and falls in love for the first time. Now Marion faces an impossible choice: her sense of duty or the love of her life.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The Good Servant is a story with a royal flavour, particularly topical in England in June. It hints at a possible scandal in its prologue. The reader realises that this is going to be an emotional journey, and it is. Marion Crawford is an intelligent young woman who wants to make a difference. Fate draws her into a world of privilege but as a servant.

I love the detailed characterisation that draws on historical figures and embellishes their lives with lyrical fictional storytelling. The reader learns about events and people from every viewpoint making this an engaging read. I enjoyed the historical details and the rich imagery in this poignant and well-written story.

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

The Storm Girl Kathleen McGurl 5*#Review @KathMcGurl @HQStories @rararesources #Timeslip #HistFic #ContemporaryFiction #Adventure #Mystery #Family #Secrets #Betrayal #Loss #friendship #romance #BlogTour #BookReview #TheStormGirl #Mudeford

A heartbreaking choice. A secret kept for centuries.

1784. When Esther Harris’s father hurts his back, she takes over his role of helping smugglers hide contraband in the secret cellar in their pub. But when the free traders’ ships are trapped in the harbour, a battle between the smugglers and the revenue officers leads to murder and betrayal – and Esther is forced to choose between the love of her life and protecting her family…

Present day. Fresh from her divorce, Millie Galton moves into a former inn overlooking the harbour in Mudeford and plans to create her dream home. When a chance discovery behind an old fireplace reveals the house’s secret history as a haven for smugglers and the devastating story of its former residents, could the mystery of disappearance from centuries ago finally be solved?

Amazon UK Amazon

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher.

My Thoughts…

In a dual timeline story set in Mudeford near Christchurch in Dorset, divorced, Millie moves into an old historic former Inn needing renovation; as the work progresses, the house begins to give up its secrets. In 1784 Ester lives and works in the Inn at Mudeford. She and many townsfolk are involved in smuggling. The sense of betrayal and danger immerses the reader in the historical part of this story. Historical details vibrantly bring 1784 Mudeford to life. The Inn is the link between the past and present, and the two interwoven timelines create an engaging story full of adventure, mystery and romance.

I love the clever plotting that links the two time periods, the believable characters and the mystery to be solved.

Kathleen McGurl

Kathleen McGurl lives near the coast in Christchurch, England. She writes dual timeline novels in which a historical mystery is uncovered and resolved in the present day. She is married to an Irishman and has two adult sons. She enjoys travelling, especially in her motorhome around Europe but her home is Mudeford, where this novel is set.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books, Saga

A Ration Book Victory Jean Fullerton 5*#Review @AtlanticBooks @CorvusBooks @JeanFullerton_ #HistoricalRomance #WW2 #EastEnd #London #1944 #Secrets #Lies #BlogTour #saga #Family #Friendship #Rationing #HistFic #RationBookSeries @rararesources #BookReview #Giveaway #ARationBookVictory

Jean Fullerton, the RNA-shortlisted queen of the East End, returns with the final nostalgic and heart-warming story of the Brogan family.

In the final days of the war, only love will pull her through . . .

Queenie Brogan wasn’t always an East End matriarch. Many years ago, before she married Fergus, she was Philomena Dooley, a daughter of Irish Travellers, planning to wed her childhood sweetheart, Patrick Mahone. But when tragedy struck and Patrick’s narrow-minded sister, Nora, intervened, the lovers were torn apart.

Fate can be cruel, and when Queenie arrives in London she finds that Patrick Mahon is her parish priest and that the love she had tried to suppress flares again in her heart.


But now in the final months of WW2, Queenie discovers Father Mahon is dying and must face losing him forever. Can she finally tell him the secret she has kept for over fifty years or will Nora once again come between them?

And if Queenie does decide to finally tell Patrick, could the truth destroy the Brogan family?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The final chapter in the ration book series is predominately set in 1944 and explores the approaching end of WW2 and how it affects the Brogan family. The main focus is on Queenie, the matriarch who has a touching romance and tragic loss in her early life. Queenie’s viewpoint alternates between her early years in Ireland in the late nineteenth century and her present life in the East End of London in 1944.

Queenie’s story poignantly told shows how she became the woman she is, particularly her strength of character and love of her family. Billy also has a storyline that gives him defining character development.

I love the family dynamic, the flawed characters that give the story its humour and heartache and the wonderfully described setting that comes to life on every page.

Jean Fullerton

Born and bred in East London Jean is a District Nurse by trade and has worked as an NHS manager and as a senior lecturer in Health and Nursing Studies. She left her day job to become a full-time writer in 2015 and has never looked back.

In 2006 she won the Harry Bowling Prize and now has seventeen sagas published over three series all of which are set in East London.

She is an experienced public speaker with hundreds of WI and women’s club talks under her belt, plus for the past fifteen years, she has sailed all over the world as an enrichment speaker and writing workshop leader on cruise ships.

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Giveaway to Win one of 6 signed copies of A Ration Book Victory (Open to UK Only)

Click on this link to enter the 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 the despatch or delivery of the prize.

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

A Dance To Save The Debutante Eva Shepherd 5*#Review @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #millsandbooninsiders #millsandboonhistorical #harlequinhistorical #historicalromance #evashepherd #victorianromance #histfic #BookReview #ADanceToSaveTheDebutante

A jaded rake

And an innocent debutante…

Seeing Miss Sophia Cooper being rebuffed by a reprobate Duke, Lord Ethan Rosemont does the gentlemanly thing and dances with her himself. He discovers she’s no damsel in distress, but an intelligent woman who’s had enough of the marriage mart. It would be all too easy to give in to the desire fizzing between them – but only if this rake is willing to save her reputation – by marrying her himself…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

A Dance To Save The Debutante’ is an enjoyable romance between a naive but intelligent debutante and a kind-hearted rake. The story gives an insight into Victorian society’s attitude towards women. Sophia and Ethan’s chemistry and unlikely friendship develop into a gentle and engaging romance full of conflicts and soul searching before their happy ending. The two main characters develop satisfyingly. With touches of forbidden passion and fairytale romance, this is a lovely escapist read.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books, Regency Romance, Romance

The People’s Princess Flora Harding 5*#Review #Audiobook #Review #Narrator Julie Teal #ThePeoplesPrincess #HistFic #HistoricalFiction

Step behind the palace doors in this gripping historical novel that is a must read for fans of The Crown and Princess Diana!

Buckingham Palace, 1981

Her engagement to Prince Charles is a dream come true for Lady Diana Spencer but marrying the heir to the throne is not all that it seems. Alone and bored in the palace, she resents the stuffy courtiers who are intent on instructing her about her new role as Princess of Wales…

But when she discovers a diary written in the 1800s by Princess Charlotte of Wales, a young woman born into a gilded cage so like herself, Diana is drawn into the story of Charlotte’s reckless love affairs and fraught relationship with her father, the Prince Regent.

As she reads the diary, Diana can see many parallels with her own life and future as Princess of Wales.

The story allows a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in the palace, the tensions in Diana’s relationship with the royal family during the engagement, and the wedding itself.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

The People’s Princess is a dual timeline historical fiction audiobook inspired by Diana and Charlotte, Princesses of Wales. The narrator makes the characters authentic and easy to visualise. The listener quickly develops empathy with Charlotte and Diana.

Charlotte’s viewpoint stems from a personal journal found by a historian and given to the fictional Diana character before her wedding. The book portrays the Regency period as severe rather than romantic for Princess Charlotte. Diana’s story reflects the public perception of the time before her marriage that later emerged through the media. Her story is one of coming of age, disillusionment and poignancy. Parallels between the two teased out in this historical fiction make it compelling listening.

I enjoyed the creative sensory imagery that brought Regency England and London in 1981 vividly to life, immersing the listener in the two different worlds. It is an emotional story with believably flawed characters and pertinent historical details that make this is an engaging audiobook.

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

The Kitchen Front Jennifer Ryan 4* #Review @JenniferiRyan @panmacmillan #TheKitchenFront #WW2 #WomeninWar #TheHomeFront #BBC @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #HistFic #Friendship #HistoricalFiction #MondayBlogs

Amazon UK

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

btr

My Thoughts…

Set in England during WW2, The Kitchen Front is the story of four women’s attempts to win a cookery competition run by BBC radio. It is based on an actual historical radio programme and evokes rationing and the consequent fallout in an authentic way. The women are all affected by the war in different ways, and all want to win, but a gradual sisterhood develops that is heartwarming and poignant.

There are recipes and historical details that vividly portray how it was on the Home Front, and the characters are believably flawed and genuine. The author’s excellent use of sensory imagery immerses the reader into the place and time and makes this an absorbing reading experience.

Jennifer Ryan

Jennifer Ryan is the author of the Chilbury Ladies Choir. She lives in Ireland with her husband and two children. Originally from Kent and then London, she was previously a non-fiction book editor.

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

A Laird for the Governess Catherine Tinley 5* #Review @CatherineTinley @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #Hebrides #HarlequinHistorical #HistoricalFiction #ALairdfortheGoverness #HistoricalRomance

A penniless governess

And the dour Laird of Ardmore

Lydia Farnham must travel to a remote Scottish island to work for widower Alasdair MacDonald, who doesn’t trust her or her unconventional teaching methods! Yet as his daughter flourishes, so, too, does the intense connection between Lydia and Alasdair. Only she should know better than to fall for the handsome laird when it could leave her without a job, or a home…

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

My Thoughts…

The first book in the Lairds of the Isles series is an insightful romantic tale that highlights the plight of women in early nineteenth-century society through its engaging storytelling and complex characters.

Lydia’s life as a governess is unpredictable and unsafe due to various evil men. The chance to escape to a remote destination instantly appeals, but everything is different, even the language. She wonders how safe she will be on the remote isle with the uncompromising Laird.

The attraction is instant and unwelcome for both of them, but as they get to know each other in the close-knit castle community, they form a tentative friendship. Lydia and Alasdair’s bond strengthened through Laird’s daughter, a lovely character, and tragic events.

The gentle romance and sense of community make this an engaging and uplifting romantic read.

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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Giveaway to Win Two signed copies of :A Laird for the Governess(1 x UK/Ireland Winner, 1 INT Winner)



*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the despatch or delivery of the prize.

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

The Cornish Captive Nicola Pryce 5*#Review @NPryce_Author @CorvusBooks #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #secrets #lies #friendship #historicalromance #HistoricalFiction #Saga #histfic #Cornwall #1800s #TheCornishCaptive

The sixth novel in a stunning series set in eighteenth-century Cornwall, perfect for fans of Bridgerton

Cornwall, 1800.
Imprisoned on false pretences, Madeleine Pelligrew, former mistress of Pendenning Hall, has spent the last 14 years shuttled between increasingly destitute and decrepit madhouses. When a strange man appears out of the blue to release her, she can’t quite believe that her freedom comes without a price. Hiding her identity, Madeleine determines to discover the truth about what happened all those years ago.


Unsure who to trust and alone in the world, Madeleine strikes a tentative friendship with a French prisoner on parole, Captain Pierre de la Croix. But as she learns more about the reasons behind her imprisonment, and about those who schemed to hide her away for so long, she starts to wonder if Pierre is in fact the man he says he is. As Madeleine’s past collides with her present, can she find the strength to follow her heart, no matter the personal cost?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I was drawn in from the first page of this authentic historical fiction set in 1800 Cornwall. There are lots of characters, but if, like me, this is your first time reading a book in the Cornish Saga, a comprehensive list of characters is at the beginning of the book.

Full of historical detail and cleverly crafted characters, this is a compelling romantic saga of one woman’s captivity, liberation and quest for justice. The vivid sensory imagery brings the setting to life. The story shows how few rights women had in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and how vulnerable they were to abuse and loss of liberty.

Friendship, mystery and poignancy make this an engaging and, at times, heartbreaking story to read. Gentle romance riven with conflict, lies and secrets makes you empathise with Madeleine and Pierre.

The ending is climactic and satisfying.

Nicola Pryce trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. She has always loved literature and completed an Open University degree in Humanities. She is a qualified adult literacy support volunteer and lives with her husband in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. Together they sail the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure.

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

The Marquess of Yew Park House Lotte R. James #GentlemenofMystery 4*#Review @lottejamesbooks @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #HistoricalRomance #Gothic #HistoricalFiction #histfic #BlogTour #BookReview #TheMarquessofYewParkHouse

A brooding marquess

And a mysterious widow

On the outside, Henry Spencer, Marquess of Clairborne, has it all: title, fortune and dashing good looks. Inside he’s haunted by nightmares. Seeking sanctuary at his Scottish estate, his peace is disturbed by a new tenant, widow Genevieve de l’Omont. Her beauty and spirit lead to a growing desire that distracts him from his troubles, but as he unravels a mystery from his past, he discovers Genevieve has secrets of her own…

Books2Read

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

My Thoughts…

There is a Gothic feel to this historical romance. Henry, the Marquess, seeks solace in a remote estate from his troubled past. Genevieve enjoys the anonymity the remote area provides after escaping her past. They both seek peace and privacy, and Genevieve values her hard-fought independence. She unsettles his solitude, and there is an attraction they cannot ignore.

Their relationship is conflicted, and the emotional barriers are high, making a happy ever after remote until they learn to trust. I like the Gothic style of this story, with a haunted hero. The characters are complex and easy to empathise with, and the romance is gentle.

 

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, Contemporary Fiction, Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Romance, Travel

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

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

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

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

Christina Courtenay

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014), and the RNA Fantasy Romantic Novel of the year 2021 with Echoes of the RunesTempted by the Runes (time travel published by Headline 9th December 2021) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

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Giveaway to Win a signed paperback copy of Tempted by the Runes , a pair of silver Thor’s hammer earrings and a Thor’s hammer Christmas tree bauble (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the despatch or delivery of the prize.

Read my review of Echoes of the Runes

Read my review of The Runes of Destiny

Read my review of Whispers of the Runes