Thursday, 22 November 2012

Up Close - Henriette Gyland (Choc Lit)

Up CloseUp Close by Henriette Gyland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Those clever people at Choc lit tapped into my psyche again and came up with a tempting and enthralling romantic psychological thriller that ticks all my boxes.

Lia Thomson has recently returned to the UK after having moved to the USA where she has a successful career as a doctor. Back in Norfolk, having recently inherited her grandmothers cottaage, where she was brought up, afterthe sudden and rather mysterious death of her Gran. Mysteries from both past and present begin to haunt her, memories of the death of her little brother Eddie return, even though she was only 4 when he died, disturbing nightmares of water and drowning recur and she begins to uncover sinister facets of her Grandmothers life and death.

Having lived here as a child its inevitable that she'll meet some of her former schoolfriends, she becomes reacquaintanced with her former friend Susannah and when she meets Aidan Morrell she finds him very changed from the companion of her youth, years in the army have left him battle scarred and bitter and he seeks solace in his interests of deep sea diving and painting. He's just the complication she doesn't need especially as he is engaged to the rich and successful Brett waiting for her back in the USA.

The whole book has a dark and sinister feel and is much more than just a romantic novel its a tense and quite disturbing thriller which kept me turning the pages well into the night. Highly recomended to anyone who enjoyed Ninepins or Revenge of the Tide

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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Giveaway - Searching for Captain Wentworth - Jane Odiwe

I was recently the lucky recipient of a lovely review copy of Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe which is a lovely time travel/ dual time frame romance heavily influenced by and featuring Jane Austen.

Having read and enjoyed it and posted my reviews I checked with Jane that she is happy for me to offer my own review copy as a prize giveaway on my blog. So, what is on offer is a pre-loved, read once paperback copy. This is open to UK entrants only.

Id also like to get new followers so I'd like you to promote the giveaway anyway possible by posting a link  on Facebook or Twitter, posting on your own blog, emailing it to a friend or mentioning it on your favourite book related forum or group.

What you need to do is add a comment to this post telling me exactly how you passed on the news about this giveaway, and do one of the following so I have a way of contacting the winner - either do it when you're signed in to blogger, or leave an email address or your Twitter id. Finally follow my blog (theres a link to google friend connect on the right hand side)

Once I've doubled the number of followers to 70 (or on 30th December whichever is soonest) I'll draw the winner. Good luck everyone!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Searching for Captain Wentworth - Jane Odiwe

Searching for Captain WentworthSearching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was invited to review this historical novel I accepted with alacrity because it fits into my favourite genre "dual time" narrative fiction so well.

When I received it I firstly admired the lovely cover. Then I wondered if I'd done the right thing agreeing to read it, when I realised just how passionate the author is about Jane Austen and her works. This book is based very firmly around Janes life and although I've enjoyed several movies based on books by Jane Austen I've never actually read any of her books and I wondered if this was going to make any sense without an in depth knowledge of her work and in particular Persuasion on which this book leans heavily for inspiration.

I needn't have worried it stands alone as a dual time romance and is a lovely flowing story. It begins in the present day when young Sophie Elliott, reeling from a broken romance, longing to be a writer, having lost her mojo somewhat is out of the blue offered the keys to an apartment in Bath and an invitation to occupy the formerly empty apartment for as long as she needs to get back on her feet. Who could resists an offer like that? When she arrives to find it full of dust from years of disuse only the fact that it is situated next door to the house where one of her favourite authors used to live makes her want to stay.

When young and handsome neighbour Josh drops a glove, Sophie picks it up intending to return it and is mysteriously transported back in time to the Regency era, where she happens to meet and befriend Jane Austen herself.

Travelling back and forth between past and present is always a difficult concept to grasp and one has to suspend disbelief somewhat, however it is done with such charm and ease I found it quite easy to accept. As present day offers her friendship with the likeable Josh, the past offers a different friendship with Jane herself and the possibility of love looms with Janes brother Charles.

Whilst Sophie investigates a secret romance she suspects existed between Jane and a mystery man, discovers a chain of coincidences linking her family history to the Austens and struggles with travelling back and forth in time taking its toll on her health.

The setting of Bath is exquisitely described and the authors knowledge of and love for Jane Austen shines through like a beacon.

I enjoyed both the modern day story and the past regressions Sophie experiences and although there are one heck of a lot of coincidences to accept, the whole story is captivating, fun, very romantic and very cleverly constructed. A delight for romance lovers and an absolute must for Austen enthusiasts.

View all my reviews

Monday, 5 November 2012

Miranda's Mount - Phillipa Ashley

Miranda's MountMiranda's Mount by Phillipa Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a super feel good romance. The eponymous heroine is likeable and real, an old fashioned romantic with a modern touch. Miranda has what to some would be a dream job - to others it would feel like a prison sentence. She manages a historic castle on a small island off the coast of Cornwall, St Merryns Mount, which is cut off from the mainland at high tide and at low tide reached only by a narrow causeway across the sand.

She does her job with great pride and a real deep affection for the place she is custodian of, efficiently dealing with staff, and looking after the many visitors dealing with the wide variety of daily events. On rare evenings off she likes to join her friend Ronnie who works with her on the island when the two girls go out on the pull in the local pubs, just a normal, single girl working and playing hard.

Then into her carefully ordered world steps Jago St Merryn, Lord of the castle and straight out of a pirate novel, handsome, unconventional, rich and unwelcome in Mirandas life as his presence at the Mount, when he returns after years of absence, threatens not just her job but her peace of mind.

Instant attraction fizzes between the two from the very start, in some ways he's the stuff of her dreams, he turns her on and she'd love him to make a move on her; but his presence stands to destroy all the security and stability in her life as he is going to sell the Mount, for reasons unknown he won't consider taking over the family castle and she and her friends will soon be out of a job and a home. So Miranda plans to try and thwart his efforts any way she can, which isn't easy especially when she finds him so darned attractive and can't stop fantasizing about the two of them getting together.

As truths are revealed and Jago's past is gradually revealed she realizes she has little chance of changing the man or his mind so what will happen next?

The book paints a lovely picture of life in a stately home, beautifully descriptive and evocative of Cornwall and there's enough lust and passion to make a maiden aunt blush, yet we really get inside the mind of a young woman falling hopelessly and helplessly for the wrong guy, (who you can't help fancying yourself - or maybe that was just me?)

Its always exciting to discover a new author, but it can be a bit daunting when you're invited to review a new book by an author whose work you've never read because, lets face it - theres some awful tosh out there masquerading as literature.

I'm delighted to say this isn't going to join the rubbish heap - Its a lovely read and one I'd recommend very highly to anyone who likes a fun contemporary romance with realistic characters, a great setting and a super storyline with loads going on to keep you entertained from page one right through to the very tantalizing end - whether thats to be a happy one or a tear jerker I'll leave you to find out, when you take your trip to Miranda's mount.

View all my reviews

#TheGiverofStars - Jojo Moyes my #Review #historical #histfic

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