Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Noir, Romance, Travel

The Good Wife Eleanor Porter 4*#Review @Elporterauthor @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #HistFic #HistoricalFiction #TheGoodWife #MondayBlogs #Elizabethan #England

Where will her loyalty lead her?

Once accused of witchcraft Martha Spicer is now free from the shadow of the gallows and lives a safe and happy life with her husband, Jacob. But when Jacob heads north to accompany his master, he warns Martha to keep her healing gifts a secret, to keep herself safe, to be a good wife.

Martha loves Jacob but without him there to protect her, she soon comes under the suspicious eye of the wicked Steward Boult, who’s heard of her talent and forces her to attend to him. If she refuses, he promises to destroy the good life she has built for herself with Jacob.

Desperate and alone, Martha faces a terrible decision: stay and be beholden to Boult or journey north to find Jacob who is reported to have been killed.. The road ahead is filled with danger, but also the promise of a brighter future. And where her gifts once threatened to be her downfall, might they now be the very thing that sets Martha free…?

The brilliant follow-up to Eleanor Porter’s first novel of love, betrayal, superstition and fear in Elizabethan England. A story of female courage, ingenuity and determination.

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I received copies of these books from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for honest reviews.

My Thoughts…

The Good Wife is the sequel to The Wheelwright’s Daughter but readable as a standalone. Martha is married to Jacob and happy. He is her world, but it starts to crumble when he follows his master north. Jacob is worried about leaving Martha, who attracts attention for her healing skills. She is intelligent and wise in natural healing but naive when facing the world’s evils. When Jacob doesn’t return, her world implodes. Forced to flee her long journey is one of danger and self-discovery. She matures with each encounter and every problem she faces.

The historical details make the journey atmospheric and immersive. The characters are vibrant, with intriguing relationship dynamics. I love the understanding she has with her horse. The evil she faces is difficult to read but necessary to the story. There are many poignant and tragic moments, but ultimately the journey is a positive experience for Martha.

Eleanor Porter

Eleanor Porter has lectured at Universities in England and Hong Kong and her poetry and short fiction has been published in magazines. The Wheelwright’s Daughter was her first novel.


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My Review of The Wheelwright’s Daugther – Eleanor Porter

This story is set in Elizabethan England in the late sixteenth century when religious persecution was rife and witchhunts common. Martha is a young woman raised by her grandmother and father. Educated, intelligent with independent ways that make the villagers’ distrustful of her. After her grandmother’s death, there is no one to protect Martha from her father’s drinking, and she is vulnerable to the dangerous, pious priest and the villagers’ superstitions.

Martha experiences coming of age in a dangerous world with little sympathetic support and much superstition. The story is claustrophobic and immersive, as the reader experiences the danger, superstitions and treachery of this historical period from Martha’s point of view.

Authentic, often unlikeable characters draw the reader into this story. Martha is easy to empathise with, and you want her to survive.

Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

The Duke’s Runaway Bride Jenni Fletcher 5* Review @JenniAuthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #harlequinhistorical #MillsandBoonHistorical #BookReview #TheDukesRunawayBride @rararesources #RegencyBellesofBath

From shopkeeper… To Duke’s wife

When Beatrix, Duchess of Howden, writes to her estranged husband offering a divorce, she’s stunned when he arrives on her doorstep with a different proposition: a six-week marriage trial! Quinton Roxbury seems cold and inscrutable, but Beatrix gradually realises his rough exterior hides a heavy burden. As their connection deepens, dare she trust him with her own scandalous past and risk the marriage she never knew she wanted?

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

My Thoughts…

This is the third book in the Regency Belles of Bath series but reads well as a standalone. Marred with scandal, the Duke of Howden’s life is difficult. Contacted by his runaway bride, he strikes a bargain that may lead to happiness or disaster.

Quin the Duke has a satirical sense of humour that endears him. Beatrix, surprised by his offer and her reaction to him, agrees to his proposal. First friends and then romantically involved, as they live together in the family home. Beatrix, damaged by her childhood, wants to help Quin’s family find some positives in their lives.

This is a lovely Regency romance with plenty of conflicts and relatable characters and a heroine and hero that deserve to find love.

Jenni Fletcher

Jenni Fletcher was born in Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire where she writes historical romance novels ranging from the Roman to late Victorian eras. She studied English at Cambridge and Hull and has been nominated for 4 RoNA awards, winning for Short Romantic Fiction in 2020. She teaches Creative Writing at a university in the north of England and her favourite hobbies are baking and, of course, reading.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Extract, Family Drama, Romance, Travel

This Changes Everything Helen McGinn 5* #Review @knackeredmutha @BoldwoodBooks #BlogTour #boldwoodbloggers #BookReview #ThisChangesEverything @rararesources #AudioExtract

Should first love be left in the past, or is first love, forever love…

Sisters Annie and Jess are used to their mother Julia being spontaneous. But when Julia announces she’s flying off to Rome to meet her first love Patrick, whom she hasn’t seen for fifty years, it’s an adventure too far. So, her daughters decide the only way to keep Julia safe, is to go too – without actually telling their mother she has chaperones!

Julia and Patrick’s love story was everything – epic, once-in-a-lifetime, with a tragic ending and life-long consequences.  First love is hard to forget, but sometimes, just sometimes, life delivers a chance to rewrite your story. 

As the eternal city of Rome works its magic, old secrets, old friends and old loves become new possibilities and new dreams. And when the four travellers return home, nothing will ever be the same again.

Join Helen McGinn for a timeless, joyous, unforgettable journey through love, family, and long-forgotten dreams.  

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a multigenerational story with strong female characters and a relatable dynamic between the sisters and their mother. Julia’s three marriages are a source of despair for her daughters, and they don’t want her to make another mistake. Julia has a secret she’s never shared with her children and can’t resist meeting her first love again.

The sisters are different in personality, and despite loving each other, they don’t understand the pressures of their individual lives. There are many poignant moments, particularly in Julia’s story, who was a victim of the judgemental morals in the early 1960s.

The real journey is the emotional one all the characters experience both in the past and present.

This proves to be an engaging family drama.

Helen McGinn

Helen McGinn is a much-loved wine expert on TV and in print and an international wine judge. She spent ten years as a supermarket buyer sourcing wines around the world before setting up her award-winning blog (and best-selling wine book) The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club. She is the drinks writer for the Daily Mail and regularly appears on TV’s Saturday Kitchen and This Morning. Helen lives in the New Forest and Boldwood are publishing her debut women’s fiction title in Spring 2021.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

The Viscount’s Unconventional Lady 5*#Review #TheTalkoftheBeauMonde @VirginiaHeath_ @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #BlogBlitz #BookReview #MondayBlogs

The notorious Viscount And the most gossiped-about lady…

After years as a diplomat in the Napoleonic wars, Lord Eastwood is reluctant to return to London society. His scandalous divorce has made him infamous, not to mention cantankerous! To halt the rumour mill, he should marry a quiet noblewoman – instead it’s bold, vibrant artist, Faith Brookes, who’s caught his attention. They are the least suitable match, so why is he like a moth to a flame…?

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

My Thoughts…

Vibrant characters and interesting historical details make this an engaging historical romance. Society gossip was prevalent in Regency society, much like today often with damaging results.

Lord Eastwood is subject to Beau Monde gossip, but not everything is as it seems. Despite also being a victim of gossip, Faith is initially unsympathetic to Eastwood’s plight. Proximity forces them to acknowledge their attraction, as Faith gradually realises her mistake. Full of misconceptions, witty dialogue and desire this is an emotional and sensuous romance.

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of The Viscount’s Unconventional Lady (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 Book Review, Historical Romance

A Match for the Rebellious Earl Lara Temple 5* #Review #TheReturnoftheRogues @laratemple1 @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonHistorical #HistoricalRomance #BookReview #AMatchfortheRebelliousEarl

Dashing and disreputable…
Now, he’s back in Society’s ballrooms!

Whispers of Captain Kit Carrington—now Lord Westford—have long scandalised the ton…so his arrival at the season’s most-anticipated ball sends society’s gossips into a frenzy!

Miss Genevieve Maitland needs his help to find an eligible match for her sister but assumes he’ll be reluctant to help the family that rejected him. Yet after one spine tingling waltz with Kit, sensible Genny finds he’s not her opponent—but a very tempting ally…!

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

My Thoughts…

Genny is used to dealing with difficult people and situations as a young woman she lived with her grandfather a General in the Spanish wars, and that’s where she met Captian Carrington. Kit Carrington now Lord Westford has no fond memories of the Carrington family except his stepmother and half-sister Emily. Forced back to London he faces a battle with a formidable enemy with his heart at stake.

This is an enjoyable historical romance with vividly portrayed characters. Genny is a coper and a manager out of necessity. Her conflicted romance with Kit makes her long for a different life. The chemistry simmers, as the witty dialogue and subterfuge play out between Genny and Kit. This is a romantic story full of emotion and passion. Reading this is a lovely way to spend a cold winter’s afternoon.

Lara Temple writes strong and sensual Regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter, but do so with plenty of passion.
She lives with her husband, two children, and one very fluffy dog and they are all very understanding about her taking over the kitchen table so she can look out over the garden as she writes and dreams up her Happy Ever Afters.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Historical Romance, Victorian Romance

His Unlikely Duchess Amanda McCabe 4*#Review @AmandaMcCabe01 @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #harlequinhistorical #MillsandBoonHistorical #BookReview #MondayBlogs #BlogBlitz @rararesources

Money can buy her marriage

But will it lead to love?

Miss Lily Wilkins hopes her American money will compensate for her lack of etiquette, as she needs a prestigious marriage to save her sisters’ prospects. Raised to believe wealth was her greatest attribute, she’s stunned when her unconventional ways catch the eye of the notorious Duke of Lennox. He’s far from the safe, sensible match she’d planned on—but Lily might just discover he’s the one she needs!

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

My Thoughts…

This story is full of intrinsic historical interest. I enjoyed getting to know Lily and her sisters even before they set foot in England. Lily is a facilitator she mediates between her parents and her sisters, wanting them all to be happy. Making a good marriage will secure the future for her younger sisters, but Lily is understandably nervous when her mother accepts an invitation to go to England and Victorian society.

Lily and Aidan’s first encounter is lovely and makes them see the real person behind the public persona. They process their feelings away from society’s glare, and attraction grows. The potential financial settlement and Aidan’s past make their romance conflicted.

The ending is romantic, and there’s an informative epilogue. I look forward to Violet’s romance the next in the series.

Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)

 She’s never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion.  She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections. 

 When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook. 

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

A Waltz with the Outspoken Governess Catherine Tinley 4* #Review @CatherineTinley @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #DollarDuchesses @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #HistoricalFiction #AWaltzwiththeOutspokenGoverness #HistoricalRomance #MondayBlogs

A quiet governess…

An unruly heart

Sir Nicholas Denny is desperate to find a governess to care for his boisterous nieces and nephews. Demure vicar’s daughter Mary Smith seems ideal—at first. All too soon Nicholas discovers a different side to her… She’s a beautiful, vivacious woman, even if she infuriates him with her strong opinions! When he waltzes with Mary at a party he knows he’s in trouble—the spark between them is so tempting, but she challenges everything he thought he wanted in a wife!

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My Thoughts…

This book gives a different view of early nineteenth-century society which explores the divide between the rich and their servants. Mary is an independent young woman, unfashionably educated, intelligent and outspoken. Receiving some disturbing news of her father, a Norfolk vicar she ingeniously finds a way to be close to him to help. Sir Nicholas Kenney is dreading the annual visit from his sister, and family hiring additional staff essential, especially a governess.

Mary and Nicholas’ romance is gentle with the attraction building insidiously. Mary’s outspoken intelligent nature appeals to Nicholas despite the forbidden nature of their circumstances. This story explores the vulnerability of servants to those who pay their wages.

There’s both mystery and romance in this story with relatable characters, witty dialogue and a happy ending.

#CatherineTinley

Catherine Tinley is an award-winning author who writes witty, heartwarming, Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. 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, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now manages a maternity hospital. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog.

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Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

One Snowy Night with Lord Hauxton Laura Martin 4*# Review @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonInsiders #Festive #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance #MondayBlogs

Secluded and snowed in

…with the brooding Earl

Runaway debutante Henrietta Harvey will never live down the mortification of accidentally slipping into Lord Hauxton’s bed. So, imagine her horror upon discovering they’re snowed in together the next morning! Yet Henrietta comes to find this gruff, cold man has an intriguingly warmer side. Still, hiding a secret that would shock the ton, she’s resigned to becoming a spinster. Unless she can trust him with the truth, before the snow melts…

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

My Thoughts…

Snow in a romantic novel creates the perfect proximity for would-be lovers. Lord Hauxton seeks the quiet solace of his friends’ country house to try and move forward with his life after a recent and unexpected loss. Artist Henrietta runs to her cousin’s house, after a bitter fight with her mother, about her future. Both after escaping the snowy night, end up in the same room, which is the catalysis to make them question their futures.

Whilst delivering deepening emotion and passion between Milton and Henrietta a few more flashbacks to their pasts would better illuminate their current, internal conflicts. However, with drama, romance and a festive twist, this is an enjoyable winter read.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Romance

The Viscount’s Convenient Bride Josie Bonham 5*#Review @BonhamJosie @rararesources #Romance #HistoricalRomance #Georgian #TheViscountsConvenientBride #BlogTour #BookReview #ReluctantBrides

Luke, Viscount Enstone’s, resolve to avoid a love match is tested to its limit when he accepts responsibility for the Davenport family.

Luke has found it hard to sort out his late father’s affairs. A dishonest secretary and ailing land agent have left the family estates in disorder. With new people in place, he sets off to one of his smaller properties to discover the extent of an obligation that seems out of keeping with the cold-hearted father he remembers. Who is the young woman living at Shepley Hall and what was her connection to his father?

Miss Kitty Davenport has waited for a long time to find out if the new Viscount Enstone will continue the support his father gave to her family and her patience is wearing thin. Will he carry on paying for her young brother’s education and even assist him in finding a career? For herself, all she needs is help to find a suitable position as a companion and to escape from the unwanted attentions of a persistent suitor.

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

My Thoughts…

The second book in the ‘Reluctant Brides’ series is a complete story, so it’s fine to start the series at this point. This is Kitty and Luke’s story. Kitty, like so many women, of this historical period, finds her life determined by men who have financial control over her. After a series of family drama’s, she is now dependant on Luke for a home for her and her younger brother’s future stability. Kitty is a personable and strong character who dislikes being financially dependant on man.

This is a marriage of convenience story with a satisfying slow-burn romance and two characters emotionally damaged by their pasts. Realistically flawed and easy to empathise characters draw you into their world. The authentically produced Georgian setting both in the country and in town immerses the reader in the historical time and place.

This is an engaging and enjoyable historical romance.

Josie lives in the English midlands, surrounded by towns full of history such as Evesham, Stratford-Upon- Avon, Warwick and Worcester. Which is perhaps why her favourite reads are historical. Out of all the periods to choose from the Regency Era stirs her imagination the most. The true Regency lasted from 1811 until 1820 but dates as wide as 1789 to 1837 have been included in the extended Regency period. For Josie the true flavour of this period emerges after the iniquitous hair powder tax of 1795, unsurprisingly, scuppered the fashion for hair powder almost overnight.

Josie has always dabbled in stories but it took the combined efforts of her sister and eldest niece to set her on the path to writing novels. Her Regency romances, with a dash of adventure and intrigue, are the result.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Medical Romance

The Heart of Doctor Steele Colette Dixon 5*#Review @CDixonBooks @crimsonfoxpub @rararesources #histfic #HistoricalRomance #MedicalRomance #BlogTour #BookReview #TheHeartofDoctorSteele

Are the rumors about him true? She intends to find out. 

The mysterious Dr. Steele has taken up residence next door, and scandalous rumors about him are spreading through Margaret Landeau’s small Massachusetts town. Rumors of women he’s ill-used and exploited for his experimental surgeries. Never one to believe gossip, Margaret arms herself with a basket of baked goods and ventures to discover the truth from the man himself.

John Steele has lost everything. His parents, his aunt, too many women he intended to save, and his good name. All he has left is his aunt’s home in a far-flung village and a library he’s stocked with whiskey. He has nothing to offer anyone. Especially not the bold woman next door whose passion for healing reminds him of the man he once was.

But when a dangerously ill girl arrives on his doorstep, pleading for help, Margaret is thrust into his world. She will learn who the real Dr. John Steele truly is, and soon, not even his dark past can stop her from fighting for the brilliant doctor she now loves. But he must deny his crushing desire for her—loving a man like him can only cast a shadow over her own bright future.

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

My Thoughts…

This is such an absorbing story full of historical medical details, the emergence of female emancipation and a misunderstood and scandalous hero. This story explores society’s prejudices against the pioneers of medicine who dared to try something different to help their patients.

John Steele flees to his deceased aunt’s house amid a scandal that threatens to ruin his medical career and has devastated him emotionally. He is the subject of gossip, but Margaret likes to make her own decisions and what she finds is a complex, driven man whose motives are predominately good.

The chemistry between them is sizzling even though Margaret is naive and John anxious for her reputation. The romance is full of conflicts, both external and internal, but worth the angst.

The characters are believably flawed and easy to empathise, the historical and medical detail is fascinating, and the plot is original and riveting.

Colette Dixon

Colette Dixon writes steamy stories with heart and humor about slightly tortured people who learn how love can heal. For more years than she cares to admit, she worked in a hospital while dreaming up love story plots. A farm girl who landed in Chicago, she loves to eat (food made by others), drink tea, and sun herself at every chance she can get to survive the Midwest winter.

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