Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #NewRelease Victorian #Romance FAIR AS A STAR by @MimiMatthewsEsq

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs here https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading Fair As A Star by Mimi Matthews

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It’s a long time since I read a Victorian romance so this proved to be a nice change. The story opens as Beryl Burnham and her Aunt Hortensia arrive home after spending the past year in Paris. The reason for the trip isn’t revealed until later in the story and creates much empathy for Beryl. The first thing Beryl does on reaching Shepton Worthy is to pay her respects to the curate, Mark Rivenhall, when she notices the church doors are open, signalling Mark was there.
He was soon to become her brother-in-law as Beryl was betrothed to Sir Henry Rivenhall.

Beryl was putting off going home and resuming her life. Somehow her restlessness and inability to fully embrace the happiness she believes she should feel, but can’t quite seem to grasp, overshadows everything else. She doesn’t understand why she feels this way but her friendship with Mark and his sympathetic awareness and sensitivity helps.

“Mark had a knack for lifting her spirits. For making her smile, whether in person, or through the many letters he’d written to her during her absence.”

Mimi Matthews explores the topic of ‘melancholy’ and the shocking way it was dealt with in Victorian times. Unusual as it is to have the heroine of a period romance suffering from what amounts to clinical depression and anxiety, it gives the story a deeper dimension and a different slant and brings into focus what was a taboo subject.

It’s very easy to feel empathy with Beryl as she struggles with low spirits while trying to hide how she feels from others. Henry is too pragmatic, sometimes patronising and aloof, which doesn’t invite confidences of any kind. Not the type of person to waste much time on sympathy. Being able to talk to Mark is a huge relief for Beryl. I can understand how the restrictions placed on the women of the time could have a detrimental effect, not that that would apply to Beryl’s spirited sister, Winnie.

Although it’s clear from the start Mark has strong feelings for Beryl which are reciprocated, neither acknowledge the fact due to the fact Beryl is betrothed. Mark, a man of honour, doesn’t want to betray his brother and treats Beryl with compassion and respect.

The journey to the conclusion makes for a satisfying read. The characters are well defined and one in particular redeems themselves towards the end. Mark’s friend, the forward thinking Dr Simon Black, and Winnie are both interesting and would make good protagonists if, as the title suggests, there are to be more books. A lovely, easy to read story, well written with a serious theme. I’ll have to check out more of this author’s books.

Book description

A Secret Burden…

After a mysterious sojourn in Paris, Beryl Burnham has returned home to the village of Shepton Worthy ready to resume the life she left behind. Betrothed to the wealthy Sir Henry Rivenhall, she has no reason to be unhappy—or so people keep reminding her. But Beryl’s life isn’t as perfect as everyone believes.

A Longstanding Love…

As village curate, Mark Rivenhall is known for his compassionate understanding. When his older brother’s intended needs a shoulder to lean on, Mark’s more than willing to provide one. There’s no danger of losing his heart. He already lost that to Beryl a long time ago.

During an idyllic Victorian summer, friends and family gather in anticipation of Beryl and Sir Henry’s wedding. But in her darkest moment, it’s Mark who comes to Beryl’s aid. Can he help her without revealing his feelings—or betraying his brother?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #PostApocalyptic The World Without Flags by @BenLyleBedard #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading The World Without Flags by Ben Lyle Bedard

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5 stars

I have an endless hunger for post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, but it has to be well-written, feasible, properly researched and edited, with great characters, realistic dialogue and a plot that keeps me turning the pages.  I am delighted to say that this ticked all the boxes.  I loved it.

It’s actually a Book #2, but it’s completely stand-alone; I didn’t know of the existence of Book #1 until I looked up the Amazon links for this review.

Birdie is around sixteen (she is not sure of her exact age), and lives in the Homestead in Maine, where she lives with Eric, who she thinks of as her father.  She has only vague recollections of the Worm, a disease that hit the world a decade ago, around 1990, rendering most of the population zombie-like, though only a few ‘cracked’ and became flesh-eaters.  She is happy enough in her world – but then a traveller appears with news of a coming war between two factions, both of whom want to rebuild the country under their command.

This news leaves the community in a state of extreme anxiety, but worse is to come.  Much, much worse…

Most of the story is about a journey that Birdie must make to ensure her own safety and that of those she loves, through land she doesn’t know, where she will come up against much danger.  The hazardous journey is a post-apocalyptic standard, but it works every time if done well, and this was.  It’s exciting, unpredictable, and Birdie’s development, as she learns more about the world outside her safe enclosure and finds much strength within herself that she didn’t know existed, is a joy to read.

If you love this genre, I recommend highly; even if you think you don’t, I still recommend.  Suffice to say that I’ve downloaded Book #1, and started reading it as soon as I’d finished #2.  One word of warning: it’s rather gruesome at times.  Don’t read it while you’re eating.  I say this from experience.

Book description

The old world is gone. Ten years have passed since a parasitic Worm nearly drove humanity to extinction. When the Worm infected its human host, it crawled up into the brain, latching on and taking command. The result was shambling hordes of infected people called zombies. When the Worm vanished, bringing the majority of humans with it, it left a ravaged landscape. Small communities struggle to survive while bandits prey on the weak and hunger marches in through winter’s gate.

Across this landscape, a young woman must overcome terror and isolation to survive. Driven by determination and loyalty, she must leave the only safety she has ever known. Confronting both death and her own past, pushed to her uttermost limits, she will discover who she is and what she is willing to sacrifice.

The stand-alone sequel to the award-winning The World Without Crows, The World Without Flags is a story of survival, loyalty, and what we suffer for the ones we love.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #RegencyRomance THE SCOUNDREL’S BARTERED BRIDE by @VirginiaHeath_

The Scoundrel's Bartered BrideThe Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride by Virginia Heath

4.5 stars

The Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride is a Regency style historical romance. Lady Lydia Barton’s family are desperate; they plan a marriage contract for Lydia to pay off their multiple debts. Their only choice is an odious lecher – the Marquess of Kelvedon would certainly have enough money to clear the family debts and, sadly, Lydia’s family care little that he would be a dreadful husband for her.

Owen Wolfe spent seven years in a penal colony for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he owns a high end gambling hall in London, but he began life as a stable-hand. Lydia Barton’s impending nuptials interest him, enough for him to put his own offer of marriage on the table. Now there is a choice: an old man with bad breath and a wandering eye, or an ex-convict.

I liked the dark brooding and mysterious Owen Wolfe; his years spent in the Antipodes were an unusual theme for this genre. I also enjoyed the sub-characters who were part of his ‘new family’; they were a fun and lively mix.

Lydia and Owen’s relationship had several expected highs and lows, but they still managed to add a fresh feel to the story arc with their surprising responses to situations. I liked this and read almost all of it in one sitting; a very easy book with which to escape for a few hours.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

Marriage…to the highest bidder!

Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid Owen Wolfe since he’s returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems, like her impending arranged marriage. Until Owen makes her father a counteroffer for her hand. Is Owen purely after her society connections, or dare Lydia hope that the charming stable boy she once loved is still within her ruthless, wealthy new husband?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Rosie’s #Bookreview Of 13th Century Knights Templar #HistFic #Mystery THE TEMPLAR PITT by Stephen J Phillips

The Templar Pitt (The Pitt Family Saga Book 2)The Templar Pitt by Stephen J. Phillips

3.5 stars

The Templar Pitt  is book two of The Pitt Family saga. This book is set in the 1200s and features The Knights Templar. Gervase, a young French carpenter, lives in England; his skills have secured him specialist work for the Templar monks and now he’s been invited to London to design a new building for them.

During excavations a secret document is discovered along with some aged bones, and, similar to book one in this series, Gervase is asked to help solve a mystery – one which could have complicated royal implications.

The author uses an omnipotent narrator to tell the story; at times I felt that some of the characters saw and knew details which were a little too convenient; however, this is just a minor niggle that others might not notice. The Templars were appealing to me, as they were in the first story, and the era in which the story is set works well with the choice of characters. This series might interest those who want to know more about life in the early medieval period.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

In 1201, a young carpenter discovers something in the foundations of a new building he’s designed for the Knights Templar in London, which could alter the shape of history.

He is subsequently thrown into a series of events which could result in the loss of King John’s throne and threaten the stability of the realm.

His life, and that of his adopted son are at risk. So too is his wife, who is kidnapped by a gang wanting to rob the Templars of a massive loan they are making to the king.

Only a concerted effort can ensure England’s stability – and save the Order from embarrassment.

But there will be a terrible cost.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member @judithbarrow77

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Judith Barrow, who also writes book reviews at Judith Barrow Blog

“It’s your review; to write as you want”. I carried  this advice from Rosie Amber (#RBRT) around in my head as I struggled to find a way to put into words what I thought about the first book I’d read and was about to review for her team. I’d never reviewed a book before – or anything, come to think of it.

As a creative writing tutor, I was used to reading essays, stories, poems – but this was different. Five tries later and I decided to break up the parts of the book into sections, as I do for my work: characters, dialogue, settings, points of view, plot etc. A moment of eureka; I didn’t need to tell the story of the book, I could say what I thought were the strong points and what didn’t work for me, because I know any review is subjective, and what I might like or not be so keen on, someone else will always have different thoughts. Writing it that way I could then recommend it to readers who like a book that had a good plot, is character led, told in a certain tense, and so on – or for readers who like particular genres.

One thing I do like with being on the #RBRT team is that if I really can’t get to grips with a book, I’m not expected to finish it; I’ll let Rosie know and that’s the end of the matter. And I don’t give below three stars; I don’t think it’s fair to any writer who has worked hard to produce a book but has probably not used either an editor or a proof-reader. It happens and I always think it’s a shame if the plot/idea is good.

“It’s your review; to write as you want”; something I would say to anyone thinking of joining #RBRT, with the one proviso (which goes unsaid but should be kept in mind) use constructive criticism and be kind. And enjoy the reading. Rosie is approached by many authors of all kinds of genres, eager for the team to review. Their books are put on a list and we can choose the ones we think we might like. I’ve had the chance to read some wonderfully written books of all genres … for free. Although I don’t always manage to review as often as I’d like for Rosie’s Book Review Team, due to other commitments,  I’ve loved being a member since I day  I joined and I’ve made some brilliant and supportive on-line friends in the team. And Rosie is always there for advice and to steer the ship. What more can one ask?

Thank you Judith.

Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #RegencyRomance BEAUTY AND THE BROODING LORD by @SarahMRomance

Beauty and the Brooding Lord (Saved from Disgrace #2)Beauty and the Brooding Lord by Sarah Mallory

4 stars

Beauty And The Brooding Lord is a Regency romance. Serena is fast approaching spinsterhood unless she can find a husband. However, she doesn’t want to marry someone stable and conventional; she is drawn to men of rakish behaviour, although she knows that they may be too much of a risk. What she would really like to do is ‘sample the goods’ before choosing.

Serena arranges an unchaperoned visit to the Vauxhall pleasure gardens with Sir Timothy, but events take a sinister turn. Luckily, Lord Rufus Quinn, known for his rudeness and cold-heart, uses his sense of honour to make a daring rescue and save Serena’s reputation.

I enjoyed the story of Serena and Quinn and how their relationship grew. My only regret was that the ending felt rushed and a little unconvincing, which was a shame as the rest of the story suited the genre well.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

Ruined by a rake

Rescued by the reclusive baron!

Following the death of his fiancée, Lord Quinn swore off all matters of the heart.

But when he happens upon an innocent lady being assaulted, his sense of honor insists he step in and rescue her…even if that means marriage to protect Serena’s reputation!

But his new wife remains distant, a stranger to his bed. Can Quinn help Serena fight her demons, and finally defeat his own?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #SelfHelp #NonFiction THE LIGHT WITHIN YOU by Gemma Smith

The Light Within You: Discover the power you've always hadThe Light Within You: Discover the power you’ve always had by Gemma Smith

3.5 stars

The Light Within You is a self-help book about personal empowerment. Using examples from her own life, author Gemma Smith hopes that her book may assist readers in searching for a life purpose, or will help those who want to make some changes in their current life-style.

Written in an easy-to-read manner, Gemma included a lot of material and ideas; I particularly enjoyed the sections on connection, power words and gratitude. I’ve read quite a lot of books around this subject, but I enjoyed being reminded about some of my favourite concepts.

One downside to reading this book on kindle was the vast quantity of non-essential material at the start; the dedication, quotes from readers, forward etc; this took up the first twelve per cent of the book. It was too much and nearly made me give up reading; most of it could easily have been placed at the back of the book, where I could choose to read it at my leisure.

I think the book would appeal to those readers who are just beginning their journey into this subject and who them might want to delve deeper into particular areas with further reading. However, the book might also appeal to people who want some positive thinking and direction in our current climate.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

The Light Within You is a profound gem for those striving to navigate their way through transitional stages of life, supporting people to find their purpose and harness it with their inner light, encouraging people to shine.

This book is also for those who are on a quest for that glimmer of hope during life’s unexpected challenges. The Light Within You takes you on a journey to discover your life art, your inner passion, that you want to achieve, succeed in and unconditionally love.

Gemma Smith inspires you to find and utilise your inner light in a way that empowers you to achieve anything you set out to do while being aware of the infinite power that lives within you.

This book weaves gratitude and the magnetism of attraction together so that you are able to live a happier, more fulfilled life that is enriched with love and light. You are encouraged to operate on your highest potential to become the best version of yourself that resonates with your inner truth.

During the current climate and rise in poor mental health, this book is an essential read to shred any anxiety, find hope and gain true self-belief. There is an unlimited power, enriched with love and light, waiting to be discovered!

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Supernatural #Horror THE GIRL WHO WASN’T THERE by @NickClausen9

Today’s team review is from Karen, she blogs here https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Karen has been reading The Girl Who Wasn’t There by Nick Clausen

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The story starts when Andy leaves his little sister outside the library. When he returns some minutes later – she is gone.

With The Girl Who Wasn’t There”, Nick Clausen has created an intriguing plot about a boy who wants to save his sister; he is soon convinced that she has been abducted, and luckily gets unexpected advice at his favourite location. “The Girl Who Wasn’t There” comprises authentic characters with sufficient depth; I got very close to Andy and his mindset. Nick Clausen introduces his characters with care. I had a great time reading – this is a very compelling read; I was drawn into the story right away, close to Andy and his allies. The plot offers food for thought, still keeps me thinking. There were some surprising turns, and I was fascinated to see in what manner Nick Clausen’s story reaches the finishing line.

The cover is great – perfect for this story.

This is for you if you like thought-provoking stories and teen and young adult horror and mystery.

A remarkable story to read again.

Recommended.

Book description

Monsters are real. And they steal children.

A young girl disappears without a trace.
The police have no clue as to what might have happened.
The severed family is thrown into despair as weeks go by, and still no sign of her.
The girl’s older brother begins looking for her on his own.
Soon he becomes convinced that a supernatural being has taken her.
Unfortunately, it turns out he’s right …

The Girl Who Wasn’t There is a gripping supernatural thriller.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member @TerryTyler4

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Terry Tyler, who also writes book reviews at https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

I have been a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team (#RBRT) for five and a half years, now.  I first ‘met’ Rosie online when looking for reviews for my own early books, and through her some of the other bloggers who later became part of the team.

I admit to being wary of making the commitment when I joined the review team, but I’m so glad I did; Rosie has created something so positive for the independently published world (the team deals mainly with the self-published or those published by independents), and I am proud to be a part of it.  When I joined, I decided to start my own book review blog – I don’t profess to be a ‘proper’ book blogger as I’m primarily a writer; I don’t take submissions and use it only for reviewing for Rosie and my own reading choices, but it’s something I enjoy doing.

There are two main reasons why I’m so glad I joined the team, equally important.  The first is the discovery of some truly excellent books; now and again, you find a real gem, that you want to shout about; so often these are books that are hidden away on Amazon and you would have never discovered, had the author not submitted.  Here are a few that made me feel this way (link takes you to my review):

The Men by Fanny Calder
The Usurper King  by Zeb Haradon
The World Without Flags by Ben Lyle Bedard
Singularity Syndrome by Susan Kuchinskas
The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J Gyle by James D Dixon
The Unravelling of Brendan Meeks by Brian Cohn

The second reason I love being a part of #RBRT is that some of us have become real life friends, too, enjoying several meet-ups. Here’s to six more years of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team!

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Feel-Good #RomCom THE DETOUR by @JAmmoscato #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading The Detour by Jennifer Ammoscato

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I started this book expecting a light amusing story, which it certainly is but it is also much deeper. It is about friendship, loyalty and love.  We share Michael’s courageous adventure into the real world departing from his safe organised home. This is something we can all appreciate as we cautiously put out a toe from Lockdown.

Clearly Michael has some form of Asperger’s syndrome. He is highly intelligent and has been brought up by a warm, caring mother, but expressing emotions or trying something new is not part of his life.  As he sets out on his long journey across America, we share Michael’s fears of the traffic and the possibility of bedbugs in the hotel, but we also see that he is growing in confidence and independence. There are many amusing incidents often including Puddles the Pug but everything always works out in the end.

I always enjoy reading about journeys, all the more so at present, and I particularly warmed to Michael’s caring friend, Savannah. I can really recommend this book to put a smile on your face and make you feel good.

Book description

Michael Garland’s is so good at getting lost that the thirty-year old coder lives an almost virtual life. He works from home, shops exclusively online—and does not drive. The poor man is shocked to discover his mother’s last wish is that he bring her ashes in the old family Volvo from San Francisco to her childhood hometown of Lebanon, New Hampshire. Guilt for reaching his mother’s deathbed too late will fuel the trip—with additional gas supplied by his mother’s Pug, Puddles, he must bring along. Armed with a GPS, a series of ever-more detailed lists, and the support of his best friend, Savannah, he embarks on an emotional side trip that will change his life.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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