Posted in Book Review

Her Frozen Heart – Lulu Taylor – 4* Review

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“Caitlyn, there’s something I have to tell you. About Sara.”

Caitlyn thinks her marriage to Patrick is a success. For one thing, he is one of the few people not to fall head over heels for her beautiful friend, Sara. Life is lived on his terms, but they are happy. Aren’t they? When a devastating accident turns her existence upside down, Caitlyn is forced to reassess everything she thought about her marriage, what she truly knows about Patrick, and his real feelings for her best friend.In the refuge of an old manor house, she begins to discover the truth.

In 1947, the worst winter in decades hits England, cutting off entirely the inhabitants of Kings Harcourt Manor. For Tommy Carter, widowed at the start of war, it is particularly hard: the burden of the family falls on her. She has the solace of her children, and the interesting presence of her brother’s friend, Fred. But there is also Barbara, a mysterious figure from her past who appears to want a piece of Tommy’s future as well. 

Amazon UK 

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My Thoughts…

An interesting story set in two time periods.There are parallels between the two main female characters Tommy and Caitlyn, and the past meets the present in the middle of the book. The characters are strong and believable; both women have emotionally difficult lives despite superficial wealth.

The plots are easy to follow, but there are enough twists to hold your interest. The setting is particularly vivid in the historical chapters. The description of the snow and cold was rich in detail and realistic imagery.

The female antagonists in the story hide their deceit and obsessive behaviour behind a cloak of friendliness and vulnerability. The psychological thrills are subtle but make the plot darker than you would first imagine.

The writing showed insight into human emotions and coupled with the vivid imagery it turns an ordinary plot into something worth reading.

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

Posted in Book Review, New Books, Release Day Spotlight

5* Review:The Viking and the Courtesan – Shehanne Moore

perf5.000x8.000.inddHistorical BlurbIn 898 AD she wasn’t just from another land.

Wrecking a marriage is generally no problem for the divorce-obtaining Lady Malice Mallender. But she faces a dilemma when she’s asked to ruin her own. Just how businesslike should she remain when the marriage was never consummated and kissing her husband leads to Sin—a handsome Viking who wants her for a bed slave in name only?

She came from another time.

Viking raider Sin Gudrunsson wants one thing. To marry his childhood sweetheart. Only she’s left him before, so he needs to keep her on her toes, and a bed slave, in name only, seems just the thing. Until he meets Malice.

One kiss is all it takes to flash between two times.

But when one kiss is no longer enough, which will it be? Regency London? Or Viking Norway? Will Malice learn what governs the flashes? Can Sin?

Where worlds collide, can love melt the iciest heart?

Historical Buy Links Amazon UK

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Historical My Review

perf5.000x8.000.inddLady Malice is not your typical Regency heroine but she is compelling and strangely likeable. A victim of an arranged marriage, she is still, woefully innocent and unfulfilled. Maybe this is why she enjoys her chosen career so much?

Destroying marriages is an unusual pursuit for a married lady but it keeps her in shoes and stops her thinking about her own disastrous nuptials. Faced with an unthinkable dilemma she seeks out her errant husband to carry out her latest commission, with life changing results.

The time slip is seamless and the shift from Regency drawing room to Saxon village under Viking attack, swift and shocking. Malice’s surprise and fear is tangible but her cynical outlook and sharp tongue remain. Both traits help her withstand the unexpected ordeal, despite the carnage surrounding her.

Sin is less than impressed with the latest slaves but he needs a bed slave to keep his fickle fiancée interested. Malice is no one’s slave but she finds Sin hard to resist. The chemistry between the courtesan and the Viking is memorable, despite the incongruity of their situation.

I loved the inconvenient time travelling and the gradual reveal of its meaning. Malice is prepared to risk all for her man and her strength and tenacity are legendary.

I purposely delayed writing this review for a few days, to see what I could remember. Malice, Sin and their compatriots’ formidable personalities, are easy to recall.

 The Viking and The Courtesan by Shehanne Moore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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Shehanne Moore

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: The Emerald Comb – Kathleen McGurl

23259850Some secrets are best left buried…
Researching her family tree had been little more than a hobby – until Katie stepped onto Kingsley House’s sprawling, ivy-strewn drive. The house may be crumbling today, but it was once the intimidatingly opulent residence of the St Clair’s, Katie’s ancestors. Arriving here two hundred years later, emotion stirs in Katie: a strange nostalgia for a place she’s never seen before… and when Kingsley House comes up for sale, Katie is determined that her family must buy it.

Surrounded by the mysteries of the past, Katie’s pastime becomes a darker obsession, as she searches through history to trace her heritage. But she soon discovers that these walls house terrible secrets. And when forgotten stories and hidden betrayals come to light, the past seems more alive than Katie could ever have imagined.

Moving between the 21st and 19th centuries, The Emerald Comb is a hauntingly evocative novel.

My Review

The Emerald CombThe Emerald Comb’ is two stories; one historical, the other contemporary, cleverly interwoven with conflict, mystery and passion. The action slips seamlessly from Bartholomew St Clair’s 19th century confessions to the 21st century consequences experienced by Katie our heroine. It is an absorbing read.
Katie delves into her ancestry bitten by the contemporary obsession with genealogy. What she finds leads to a house move and more mystery than answers. A possible ghost and a macabre discovery in the garden of their newly moved into house force Katie to question the wisdom of delving into her past. She can’t stop. Genealogy gives Katie an identity and focus, something she is in danger of losing amidst her demanding children and unhelpful husband. Seen only from Katie’s point of view Simon often seems rather a difficult man to like, who treats her hobby with disdain.
The story highlights parallels between the past and Katie’s present life. The secrets both historical and contemporary are resolved in a credible way. The ending is a great bit of dramatic irony. A little inconclusive from Katie’s perspective but complete for the reader who knows what really happened. A classy, readable story.
I received a copy of this book from Carina UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Emerald Comb by Kathleen McGurl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Emerald Comb by Kathleen McGurl

Kathleen McGurl

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