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

A Ration Book Daughter Jean Fullerton 5*#Review @AtlanticBooks @CorvusBooks @JeanFullerton_ #HistoricalRomance #WW2 #EastEnd #London #1942 #LondonBlitz #BlogTour #saga #Family #Friendship #Rationing #HistFic #RationBookSeries @rararesources #BookReview #Giveaway #PublicationDay #ARationBookDaughter

Not even the Blitz can shake a mother’s love.

Cathy was a happy, blushing bride when Britain went to war with Germany three years ago. But her youthful dreams were crushed by her violent husband Stanley’s involvement with the fascist black-shirts, and even when he’s conscripted to fight she knows it’s only a brief respite – divorce is not an option. Cathy, a true Brogan daughter, stays strong for her beloved little son Peter.

When a telegram arrives declaring that her husband is missing in action, Cathy can finally allow herself to hope – she only has to wait 6 months before she is legally a widow and can move on with her life. In the meantime, she has to keep Peter safe and fed. So she advertises for a lodger, and Sergeant Archie McIntosh of the Royal Engineers’ Bomb Disposal Squad turns up. He is kind, clever and thoughtful; their mutual attraction is instant. But with Stanley’s fate still unclear, and the Blitz raging on over London’s East End, will Cathy ever have the love she deserves?

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

My Thoughts…

I always enjoy reading books in the Ration Book series because of the authentic settings, historical detail and believable characters. The simple plot allows this character-driven story to draw the reader into London during World War two, making it an immersive reading experience.

This story follows Cathy, a young mother, married to an abusive and bigoted man currently fighting in North Africa. The story reads fine as a standalone, but the series is engaging, and it’s best to read all the books in the series.

This is a story of forbidden love and making the best of your life. Cathy is a courageous and likeable character, as is Archie, her new lodger, and the reader empathises with them. Realistically paced and well-researched. It’s easy to visualise the setting. It incorporates serious issues but manages to keep the story entertaining.

Jean Fullerton

Born and bred in East London Jean is a District Nurse by trade and has worked as a NHS manager and as a senior lecture 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 with both Orion and Atlantic 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 copies of A Ration Book Daughter Paperbacks (Open to UK Only)

Click on this link to enter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will 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 Cover Reveal, Historical Fiction, New Books, Romance

The Secret Notebook Julia Wild #CoverReveal @juliawildauthor @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #romance #secondchance #historical #WW2 #TheSecretNotebook

When Izzie Dean’s beloved nan, Molly Blackshaw, passes away, Izzie returns to the Blackpool bungalow where she grew up, to say goodbye once and for all. When Izzie’s homecoming reunites her with her first love, Justin Swift, every emotion that Izzie has repressed since the day he broke her heart comes rushing to the surface. But then an unexpected discovery changes everything.

Between the pages of the battered secret diary Molly kept during WWII, Izzie discovers a story of love, heartbreak, and the incomparable hardship of life in a world at war. Reading her grandmother’s words soon puts her own story into perspective, and suddenly Izzie realises that the only thing holding her back from happiness, might be herself. Now she just has to convince Justin that they deserve a second chance at forever…

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Publication Date: 8th July

Julia Wild

Lancashire born, I moved to Bedfordshire in the late seventies, married and started a family. I’m a past Hon Sec of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, have been a member since 1993 when I joined their New Writers’ Scheme as a probationer. That came about after winning a week’s historical writing course on the strength of the first chapter of my third Poldark-era romance. The tutor on the last day loved the story and handed me details of the Romantic Novelists’ Association – she said I absolutely must join as they would be able to help me towards publication. 

Some four years later my first published book, Dark Canvas, won the RNA’s New Writer’s Award in 1997, the sixth, Illusions, won the RNA’s Romance Prize in 2003.

After working in the local library service for 18 years, during library cut-backs I took the leap to become self-employed as a writer and worked on releasing my backlist as eBooks for Kindle. 

Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing Charlotte Ledger when she pulled me from the writing wilderness and have now signed a three-book deal with One More Chapter.

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

Duchess If You Dare Anabelle Bryant 3*#Review @AnabelleBryant @KensingtonBooks @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs #TheMaidensofMayhem

From the glittering ballrooms of the ton to the city’s grittiest corners, London has no shortage of wrongs in need of righting–and the Maidens of Mayhem are prepared for the challenge. United by secrecy and sisterhood, these daring women from all walks of life aim to fight injustice wherever it takes them–even into the arms of unexpected love. This feminist take on Regency-era Robin Hoods from USA Today bestselling author Anabelle Bryant is destined to storm readers’ hearts!

Scarlett Wynn’s tragic childhood taught her that life can be cruel to women with little power. So when a local seamstress disappears, Scarlett vows to find out why. Armed with a weapon and her courage, Scarlett scours London for clues–and crosses the unlikely path of Ambrose Cross, the Duke of Aylesford, at an unlikely place: an upscale brothel. The Duke is trying to solve a mystery of his own, and Scarlett is sure they can help each other–if she can resist the attraction that draws them together…

As Duke of Aylesford, Ambrose is duty-bound to protect his family name from scandal no matter the cost. But Scarlett’s fearless spirit forces him to look beyond his world of privilege. Scarlett is as intoxicating as she is dangerous, igniting a fire in him like no other. When the pair learn both mysteries they’re trying to solve are tied to a string of missing women, the tangled scheme they uncover may put their lives, and their growing love, in mortal danger–and lead them to search their hearts like never before…

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

My Thoughts…

This is the first book in the Maidens of Mayhem series with a strong female protagonist determined to find a missing acquaintance despite the danger of doing so. Meeting Ambrose Duke of Aylesford is disconcerting, she knows nothing can come of it, but the attraction is undeniable.

Scarlett and Ambrose share their connections to solve the mystery, which is more menacing than first supposed. There is danger, deceit and passion in this story, which explores the less salubrious side of Regency London.

Despite the gravity of the storyline, this remains a lighthearted read. It promises courageous women, passionate men and dastardly villains and delivers an engaging, escapist read.

Anabelle Bryant

USA Today Bestselling author Anabelle Bryant began reading at age three and never stopped. Her passion for reading soon turned into a passion for writing and an author was born. Happy to grab her suitcase if it ensures a new adventure, Anabelle finds endless inspiration in travel; especially imaginary jaunts into romantic Regency England, a far cry from her home in New Jersey. Instead, her clever characters live out her daydreams because really, who wouldn’t want to dance with a handsome duke or kiss a wicked earl?

Anabelle’s books have been translated into several languages including Japanese and Russian, but writing isn’t all that keeps her busy. Building miniatures, baking and photography are other favorite pastimes. Often found with her nose in a book, Anabelle is just as happy in a room full of people. She enjoys meeting readers, attending conferences and book signings. She has earned her Master’s Degree and is ABD for her Doctorate Degree in education.

A firm believer in romance, Anabelle knows sometimes life doesn’t provide a happily ever after, but her novels always do. Visit her website at AnabelleBryant.com

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Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

A Marriage of Equals Elizabeth Rolls 4*#Review @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsiders #AMarriageofEquals #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequnHistorical #RegencyRomance #HistoricalRomance

Risking everything…

For love!

Having struggled so hard to become a successful business owner, Jamaica-born Psyché Winthrop-Abeni has no interest in relinquishing her freedom or property to a husband.

But when gentleman Will Barclay comes to her aid, their intense connection tempts her into a thrillingly passionate, temporary affair!

It’s the perfect arrangement…until Will feels honour-bound to propose. His offer is one she’d never dared to dream of, but can she trust Will enough to take the risk?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Psyché forges an independent life in England with the love and support of her Grand-Uncle. As a woman of colour in Regency England, she faces prejudice, from society, for her gender and race, which she overcomes. Living above the business she owns, she risks all to help a runaway heiress escape her controlling father.

Will, secretary to Lord Huntscombe, helps her, and there is an instant connection between the two which intensifies with proximity. Will is at odds with his family’s politics and has a secret which may destroy any chance of happiness with Psyché.

Inspired by actual historical figures and the horror of the trade in human lives in Georgian and Regency England, this authentic story reveals the inhumanity and prejudice lurking behind the glamour and romance of the Regency ballrooms.

The romance is conflicted and passionate, but both protagonists are strong and willing to fight for what is right and what they want, so the outcome is positive.

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

A Gentleman’s Promise Penny Hampson 4*#Review @penny_hampson @rararesources #HistoricalFiction #histfic #RegencyRomance #BookBlitz #BookReview

A docile wife is what he wants. A husband is the last thing she needs. Can a quest for a killer teach them that they are both wrong?

Emma Smythe and her brother arrive at Easterby Hall to discover that a handsome stranger has laid claim to their ancestral home and the family title. Have her relatives been murdered, and is her brother next? Determined to find the answers, she has no option but to trust the gentleman who insists that he will help. But danger appears in many guises, and for a woman intent on remaining single, her intriguing protector may prove the biggest threat of all.

The attempts on Richard Lacey’s life begin when he inherits a title and a rundown estate. A coincidence? He’s not so sure. Problems multiply with the unexpected arrival of Jamie and Emma Smythe. Long thought dead, they too are potential targets. Richard thinks he wants a docile, obedient wife, but will the task of keeping headstrong Emma safe from danger change his mind?

Embroiled in a sinister mystery, can Richard and Emma work together to catch a killer? And will this dangerous quest teach them that what they both wish to avoid is exactly what they need?

Filled with intrigue, unexpected twists, and faultless period detail, this slow-burn romance is a must-read for lovers of classic Regency fiction.

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

My Thoughts…

I have read the last book in the Gentlemen series, A Bachelor’s Pledge, but reading the first book is still enjoyable, as the intrigue, mystery and romance, are complete. Set in Regency times, Richard inherits an unexpected title and estate, Emma is used to living by her wits to keep her brother safe.

When Emma returns to the family estate she finds Richard and a series of mysterious deaths, they form an uneasy alliance to find the truth and proximity leads to friendship and romance. The mystery is well-plotted and the historical characters are cleverly crafted with gentle romance and lots of intrigue this is an engaging Regency romance with a suspenseful twist.

Penny Hampson writes mysteries, and because she has a passion for history, you’ll find her stories also reflect that. A Gentleman’s Promise, a traditional Regency romance, was Penny’s debut novel, which was shortly followed by more in the same genre. Penny also enjoys writing contemporary mysteries with a hint of the paranormal, because where do ghosts come from but the past?

Penny lives with her family in Oxfordshire, and when she is not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, swimming, and the odd gin and tonic (not all at the same time).

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

The Warrior’s Innocent Captive Ella Mathews 4*#Review @ellamattauthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #HistoricalRomance #medieval #HistFic @rararesources #BlogBlitz #BookReview #TheHouseofLeofric

An impossible choice:

His family or love

As steward to the Earl of Borwyn, Erik Ward had only admired sheltered noblewoman Linota Leofric from afar – until he has to escort her on a dangerous journey. When she’s kidnapped, he rescues the courageous beauty, revelling in finally having her in his arms. But Erik has a secret plan to reunite his family – now he’s forced to choose between that and his growing feelings for Linota…

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

My Thoughts…

This story happens at more or less the same time as the previous book in the series but with two different protagonists giving the reader another medieval adventure in the House of Leofric series.

Erik finds his loyalties impossibly challenged his social standing makes a marriage with Linota unlikely, especially when he betrays her and his friend. Set in turbulent, unforgiving times, where women have no say in their futures. Erik and Linota’s romance is conflicted. Erik is easy to empathise with, and you want him to find happiness. Linota matures as the story progresses.

The final book in the House of Leofric has good character development, powerful dilemmas and gentle romance.

Ella Matthews

Ella Matthews lives and works in beautiful South Wales. When not thinking about handsome heroes she can be found walking along the coast with her husband and their two children (probably still thinking about heroes but at least pretending to be interested in everyone else).

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

Trouble for the Leading Lady Rachel Brimble 5*#Review @RachelBrimble @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #Saga #BlogTour @rararesources #BookReview #Victorian #Bath #19thCentury #TroublefortheLeadingLady

Bath, 1852.

As a girl, Nancy Bloom would go to Bath’s Theatre Royal, sit on the hard wooden benches and stare in awe at the actresses playing men as much as the women dressed in finery. She longed to be a part of it all and when a man promised her parents he could find a role for Nancy in the theatre, they believed him.

His lie and betrayal led to her ruin.

Francis Carlyle is a theatre manager, an ambitious man always looking for the next big thing to take the country by storm. A self-made man, Francis has finally shed the skin of his painful past and is now rich, successful and in need of a new female star. Never in a million years did he think he’d find her standing on a table in one of Bath’s bawdiest pubs.

Nancy vowed never to trust a man again. Francis will do anything to make her his star. As they engage in a battle of wits and wills, can either survive with their hearts intact?

The second in Rachel Brimble’s thrilling new Victorian saga series, Trouble for the Leading Lady will whisk you away to the riotous, thriving underbelly of Victorian Bath.

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

My Thoughts…

Nancy’s story is the second book in this challenging and compelling Victorian saga. Nancy dreams of being on the stage end in ruin until Louisa ( A Widow’s Vow) saves her. Nancy’s life is not what she wants, but her close friendship with Louisa and Octavia keeps her positive. Limited by her gender and social class, Nancy’s life choices are few. This poignant theme is explored well in this insightful story.

Francis’life in the workhouse still haunts him. He hopes to let go of the horrors through the play he is writing. There is strong attraction when Francis and Nancy meet, but can they fulfil each other’s dreams?

The conflicted romance is passionate, but both driven characters are wary of being hurt. They are easy to empathise with, and you want them to find lasting happiness. The dynamic between Louisa, Nancy and Octavia is relatable and provides humour and realism, adding authenticity.

The setting and historical detail are well researched and give the story its ethos and immersive quality.

This is an engaging Victorian romantic saga with a strong theme of social injustice that resonates.

Rachel Brimble

Rachel lives in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of over 20 published novels including the Shop Girl series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin).

In 2019 she signed a new three book contract with Aria Fiction for a Victorian trilogy set in a Bath brothel. The first book, A Widow’s Vow was released in September 2020 followed by book 2 Trouble For The Leading Lady in March 2021 – it is expected that the final instalment will be released in the Autumn 2021. Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and has thousands of social media followers all over the world.

To sign up for her newsletter (a guaranteed giveaway every month!), click on link Newsletter Sign Up

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Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

Waiting for a Scot Like You Eva Leigh 5*#Review @EvaLeighAuthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #HistoricalRomance #MillsandBoonInsiders #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical

Beatrice Sloane, the Countess of Farris, is a free-spirited widow. After a stultifying marriage, she is now wealthy and independent and determined to stay so. Wherever she goes, a good time is sure to follow!

Captain Duncan McCameron struggles to find a purpose for himself now that the war is over. Discovering his sweetheart had married another whilst he was at war means he’s kept himself closed off from love.

Entrusted to escort Lady Farris to her friend’s estate, these two opposites start on a journey that ultimately involves carriage crashes, secret barn dances, robbers, and an inn with only one bed! But as tensions dissolve into passion, can there be a future for an adventure-loving lady and a duty-bound soldier, or will their differences tear them apart?

 Amazon.co.uk.

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

My Thoughts…

A Regency road trip is not easy to imagine, but the author manages to create a road trip full of adventure, misadventure and passion when Beatrice and Duncan share a coach and a great deal more. Beatrice is an independent widow determined to live life fully now she can. There are some amusing and poignant moments as she does this. Duncan, a soldier without a war, is all about duty, but meeting Beatrice shows him what life has to offer. The question is, can their attraction lead to a lifetime together?

Whilst this story pushes the boundaries of Regency society, it is fun, romantic and passionate. The likeable main characters have an emotional connection that makes a happy life together possible.

Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance

The Bluestocking Duchess Julia Justiss 4*#Review @juliajustiss @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsiders #HistoricalRomance #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #BookReview #HeirsinWaiting

Her good friend…

Is suddenly a duke’s heir!

Miss Jocelyn Sudderfeld is working at Edge Hall, indulging her love of translating ancient texts with her librarian father – and evading the need to marry! She’s always enjoyed a teasing friendship with estate manager Mr Alex Cheverley. Until he unexpectedly becomes the duke’s heir. Now his first duty is to marry a suitable debutante, not consort with an earnest bluestocking like her…so where does that leave their friendship?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a friend to lover romance set within the confines of English society in 1834. Jocelyn is an educated and intelligent woman, allowed to defy society’s conventions by her father as she assists him in his scholarly work. Alex is an estate manager for his cousin the Duke on the same estate. Alex and Jocelyn have an easy camaraderie that builds into unfulfilled attraction.

A drastic change in circumstances pushes Alex towards a suitable marriage. Jocelyn mourns the loss of their relationship but doesn’t want to lose her independence to a man, even Alex. Their romance is conflicted with both internal and external conflicts. The main characters are well crafted and likeable. You empathise with both, but mostly with Jocelyn, who doesn’t want to lose her identity.

The romance is believably gentle, with lively dialogue and a satisfying happy ending.

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.