📚Post-War Fiction. Sherry reviews Bloomsbury Girls by @NatalieMJenner, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT📚

Today’s team review is from Sherry.

Sherry blogs here https://sherryfowlerchancellor.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Sherry has been reading Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner.

Book cover for post war fiction Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner, set against a black and white picture of a vintage book store from a free photo from Pixabay
Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

A one-hundred-year old bookstore.

Post WWII era.

Three very different women with something in common.

One a wife and mother, one a career girl and one a recent graduate of Cambridge University. They all work at the bookstore and share common issues even though that’s not readily apparent at the beginning of the story.

The author takes us on three distinct yet interwoven journeys with these women. Real literary figures appear in the tale and interact with the fictional characters which gives the setting, as well as the prose, a realism that was well done.

The social issues at play here are the end of WWII return of the men from fighting and how that affected the workforce that had been relying on women while the men were gone, the societal expectations of wives and mothers, privilege in society and how that affects behavior, and racism. The author gave us a compelling story for each of the women while weaving in these issues in a finely crafted way.

The path each of the three protagonists took and where they ended up was obvious pretty early on to this reader, but the journey of each was fulfilling and interesting.

Overall, I liked the story and the way the author interwove the various narratives. The setting was perfect as it moved the plot along at a nice pace and contributed to the issues facing the main characters. The bookstore was a little microcosm of society contained in four walls. The time period chosen for the story emphasized the issues as well. Sadly, some of the themes covered in the book are still problematic to this day. Some things seem slow to change in society and this book shows that in many ways.

An enjoyable, thought provoking read that was entertaining as well. Not at all preachy, but the author has a lot to say.

Orange rose book description
Book description

The internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society returns with a compelling and heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world.

Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare book store that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager’s unbreakable fifty-one rules. But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:

Vivien Lowry: Single since her aristocratic fiance was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances – most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.

Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she’s been working to support the family following her husband’s breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.

Evie Stone: In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she’s working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.

As they interact with various literary figures of the time – Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others – these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.

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⚓’From his days as an impoverished law student to the lively and glittering court of Elizabeth I.’ Noelle reviews #Tudor #Histfic Raleigh by @tonyriches, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Noelle.

Noelle blogs here https://saylingaway.wordpress.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Noelle has been reading Raleigh by Tony Riches.

Book cover for Raleigh: Tudor Adventurer by Tony Riches
Raleigh: Tudor Adventurer by Tony Riches

I was first introduced to Tony Riches when I read his Tudor Trilogy, about the founding and growth of the Tudor family. With his latest series – the Elizabethans – he populates the Elizabethan court with some of the outstanding characters of the day. The first book had the reader sailing with Sir Francis Drake, the second in the middle of rebellion with Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. In this book, the reader accompanies Sir Walter Raleigh (or Rawley as he was earlier called) from his days as an impoverished law student to the lively and glittering court of Elizabeth I. He doesn’t dance or joust, doesn’t come from a noble family, nor marry into one. He just has an overweening ambition to be a courtier, to wear the rich clothes, and to have the ear of the Queen.


Raleigh is an adventurer from the start, taking part in the religious civil wars in France in his late teens, then in the suppression of a rebellion in Ireland. Raleigh proceeds to finish his education in the Inns of the Court and then is admitted to Middle Temple, which is one of the four Inns of the Court exclusively entitling him as a member of the English Bar as a barrister. He has absolutely no interest in the law and decides he can most easily attain his goals by adventure and piracy. With financial backing from his family – his cousin Sir Richard Grenville and a younger half-brother Sir Humphrey Gilbert – he opts for sea-going adventures to fill his coffers with Spain’s gold, along with those of the Queen, in an attempt to get her attention. He is successful enough to become one of the principal landowners and colonists in Munster, Ireland, for seventeen years. His Irish estates ran into difficulties that contributed to a decline in his fortunes, but he finally becomes a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I because of his efforts at increasing the Protestant Church in Ireland. In 1585, Raleigh is knighted by Queen Elizabeth, whose ear he did have from time to time. She grants Raleigh a royal charter authorizing him to explore, colonize and rule any heathen lands in the New World, in return for one-fifth of all the gold and silver that might be mined there.Most of us know the story of Raleigh in the New World and the lost colonists of Roanoke. No gold and silver are found by the expeditions he funded, but he himself leads expeditions to the Orinoco river basin in South America in search of the golden city of El Dorado, which he never finds.


The author has done an amazing amount of research to bring the people in Raleigh’s circle to life and to let the reader experience the highs and lows of his time at court, and his longer time away from it. Raleigh loved Queen Elizabeth and his choice of his life’s paths are always made with her in mind, to the detriment of himself and his family. Riches introduces such notable nobles as Sir Francis Walsingham and the poet Edmund Spenser, and sets the years of Raleigh’s life against an authentic backdrop of the Court, its unending intrigues, and the history of the time. The clothing, food, and customs do not elude the author’s attention, so the reader becomes embedded in the times.


The book ends with the death of Elizabeth, and perhaps that is for the best because the remaining years of Raleigh’s life under the rule of James I were unfortunate. The reader is left with the image of a man who seeks adventure – who, despite or perhaps because of his lowly origins, is determined and focused in his pursuit of wealth and a courtier’s life – and who is also in love with his Queen.


I highly recommend yet another well-written and richly ornamented book by Tony Riches.

Orange rose book description
Book description

Tudor adventurer, courtier, explorer and poet, Sir Walter Raleigh has been called the last true Elizabethan.

He didn’t dance or joust, didn’t come from a noble family, or marry into one. So how did an impoverished law student become a favourite of the queen, and Captain of the Guard?

The story which began with the Tudor trilogy follows Walter Raleigh from his first days at the Elizabethan Court to the end of the Tudor dynasty.

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🪑#psychologicalfiction Pride’s Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehehardt. Reviewed by Terry for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Terry.

Terry blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Terry has been reading Pride’s Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

Book cover for Pride's Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt, set against a background of a couple in silhouette at a coffee tabel from a free picture from Pixabay.
Pride’s Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

4 out of 5 stars

Kary is a writer with more than her share of emotional baggage.  Andrew is a charismatic leading man, while Hollywood princess Bianca fears that her star might be fading, and hopes to keep it shining alongside the presence of Andrew.
Kary suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and this novel certainly gives the reader an insight into what this debilitating illness involves, and the restrictions it imposes on the life of the sufferer; also, I felt it gave the story an unusual slant.  Kary can’t afford, emotionally, to fall in love, but she reckoned without meeting Andrew on a New York talk show – and then the New Hampshire town where she lives is chosen as the venue for Bianca’s new film; here the three lives become emotionally entangled.
Ms Ehrhardt has such an entertaining writing style, easy and conversational.  The narrative is presented in alternate points of view of Kary, Andrew and Bianca, enabling the reader to immediately connect with each of them – my favourite structure.  Pride’s Children: Purgatory is the first of a trilogy, but is complete in itself.
At times I felt the book could have used a tighter edit, to remove some of the detail that slowed the story down, and just to make the narrative more succinct, but it’s still well-written and a jolly good story.

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Book description

Reclusive ex-physician Kary Ashe transmutes personal tragedy into beloved best-selling novels. Actor Andrew O’Connell revels in the enviable status of leading man, with a reputation for perfectionism, an Irish temper, and broken hearts in his wake. Reigning Hollywood princess Bianca Doyle fears she’s already past her peak, and schemes to cement her position in the pantheon with Andrew as mate.

When Kary appears on a NY talk show to support a cherished cause, and becomes obsessed by fellow guest Andrew, movie star, she thinks she’s safe because she will never see him again. While Bianca, watching the show from far-off LA, is confident she can offer Andrew her own coveted insider rank.

But his next movie is filming near Kary’s Sanctuary, with Bianca as costar. Can Kary risk friendship with this intriguing man? Or will Bianca seduce him and meld her star to his? And will either ultimately satisfy Andrew’s twin lusts for fame and love?

Pride’s Children PURGATORY is a powerful literary debut. You don’t read PURGATORY, you live it. A deeply psychological experience, without flinching, from the driver’s seat right behind the eyeballs of three passionate people who can’t all get what they want. The choices, the devastating decisions, the consequences are all presented with the intimacy of a conscience. Ehrhardt conveys to you the gut-wrenching secrets of a disabled writer at the peak of her powers, a charismatic actor waiting in the spot where lightning strikes, and a ruthless woman who sees a golden future if she can but stick the Hollywood landing once and for all, as if you were wearing their skin.

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🧙‍♂️’A yummy little booksnack’. Jenni reviews #Fantasy Short Stories by @rogersonsm, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT🧙‍♂️

Today’s team review is from Jenni.

Find out more about Jenni here https://jenniferdebie.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Jenni has been reading Fantasy Short Stories by Suzanne Rogerson

Book cover for Fantasy Short Stories by Suzanne Rogerson, set againsta a picture on an open book form a free photo from Pixabay.
Fantasy Short Stories by Suzanne Rogerson

Suzanne Rogerson offers delicious tastes of her two existing fantasy worlds, and a delectable hint of a third, in her recently released collection Fantasy Short Stories. The name may be a little obvious, but don’t let that fool you as these three original prequel shorts offer backstory for characters from Rogerson’s standalone, Visions of Zaura, her series, The Silent Sea Chronicles, and her yet-to-be-released Starlight Prophesies series.

As someone who has never encountered Rogerson’s work before, I was immediately struck by the accessibility of her fantasy worlds to the uninitiated. Yes, these are incredible lands with their own dense histories, cultures, and magic systems, but one does not need to be familiar with the novel or series from whence these tales sprang to grasp something of the characters and the perils they face. A mysterious assassin on the hunt, a prejudiced sect seeking to exile those born with magic, boatloads of foreign raiders invading a land with no clear motive—each a gripping little slice of what promises to be a gripping web of plots, intrigue, and mystic arts for those who venture on to read Rogerson’s full-length works.

Adding to these slices of original work, Rogerson also includes two full chapters from the openings of Visions of Zaura and The Lost Sentinel (The Silent Sea Chronicles #1) respectively, just to give readers a glimpse of how these short stories continue years, even decades, after the prequel concludes.

All in all, this short collection of Rogerson’s is a yummy little booksnack, sure to delight longtime fans of her work, and entice new readers into the fold.

4/5

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Book description

A collection of stories featuring favourite characters from Visions of Zarua and ‘Silent Sea Chronicles’, plus a glimpse into the new series, ‘Starlight Prophecy’.

The Guardian
With an assassin picking off wizards one-by-one, Kalesh visits Cassima, a former student, hoping to persuade her to re-join the Royal Wizards and use their protection to keep her family safe.
Kalesh’s newest charge, Paddren, has strange visions which link to a past event known only to a select few. The knowledge hidden in Paddren’s visions is invaluable so Kalesh must guard the boy at any cost.
Can Kalesh keep his students off the assassin’s radar long enough for his order to stop the killer?

Garrick the Protector
Fifteen-year-old Garrick is helping at his uncle’s farm when his cousin’s illegal use of magic threatens the family’s safety.
Mara is in immediate danger from the Assembly who deem all magic as a threat. The only safe place for her is the Turrak Mountains where exiled mystics have found sanctuary alongside the island’s Sentinel.
Can Garrick get Mara to safety before the Assembly catch up with them?

War Wounds
Conscripted to fight off invaders, Calder finds the months of bloody battle unleash a sixth sense buried inside him.
Finally released from duty, he travels home and encounters a mysterious woman who insists his life is destined to serve a higher purpose. Calder rejects her claims, wanting only to return to a simple existence with his wife.
But can Calder pick up his old life when the powers within him have been stirred? And why does he feel such misgivings about his return?
All three stories give readers a tantalising glimpse into the fantasy worlds created by Suzanne Rogerson. 

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Links to:

Visions Of Zarua

The Lost Sentinel (Book #1 of The Silent Sea trilogy)

🐉 Set in the Welsh Marches during the late 13th century. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #Histfic The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride by @LissaMorganAuth #TuesdayBookBlog

The Welsh Lord's Convenient BrideThe Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride by Lissa Morgan

4 stars

The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride is historical romance set in the Welsh Marches during the late 13th century.

The Welsh Marches was a frontier land that straddled what we know today as the borders between England and Wales. In the middle ages it was a place of constant war and rebellion. As this story opens, Eleanor de Vraille travels to Castelle y Lleuad where she is to marry Rhun ab Owain as part of peace treaty deal. The treaty was agreed years ago between their respective fathers and now that Rhun is the Lord, he is ready to get married.

Both Rhun and the castle are, at first, hostile to Eleanor. She doesn’t speak Welsh and she is at a loss to know why Rhun dislikes her so much; she even considers returning to her English home, but there she would face a father who despises her. When a new uprising against the English king begins, Rhun will support his Welsh comrades, which forces Eleanor to choose sides.

I enjoyed Eleanor’s determination to break Rhun’s dislike of her. I haven’t read any other books in this setting and the author’s historical notes at the back were most interesting. A good debut novel.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

 

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Book description

Enjoy the drama that unfolds in this medieval marriage of convenience…A wedding between enemiesA marriage to heal their scars

Hiding a disfigurement, Eleanor de Vraille is already lacking confidence when she arrives at her future husband’s cheerless Welsh castle. And Rhun ab Owain’s open disapproval of her does nothing to make her feel at ease. Their union is to seal peace between their families, nothing more. But Eleanor’s heart rebels—is she a fool to hope for any affection from this strong-willed nobleman with the dark glittering eyes?

From Harlequin Historical: Your romantic escape to the past.

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🚗Warning! Keep Driving🚗 @GeorgiaRoseBook reviews #Horror Black Rock by David Odle @DLeroy1970

Today’s team review is from Georgia.

Georgia blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Georgia has been reading Black Rock by David Odle.

Book cover for horror, Black Rock by David Odle, set against a picture of an tarmac road from a free photo from Pixabay.
Black Rock by David Odle

Black Rock launches you into the action right from the start with a family on a road trip needing to find a rest area and unfortunately choosing the small town of Black Rock. One Officer Jack Snider is introduced at this point. Fifteen years later he is Sheriff Jack Snider and as the story starts to unfold, he slowly realises the events of fifteen years before are starting to repeat themselves.

Pastor Thomas Loggins meets with Benjamin Clark believing him to be someone in need of spiritual help but is left not knowing what Benjamin is, or how he knows the things he does. Thomas is also given a terrible decision to make. A decision that someone in the town has had to make before.

Black Rock is atmospheric, gripping and very well written. It also has terrifically well-drawn characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and highly recommend it to all who like the darker stuff and don’t mind a bit of gore.

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Book description

We all possess secrets. We lock them away. We bury them into the deep recesses of our mind. We go about our day and pretend they aren’t there.

That’s exactly what Thomas Loggins was doing. Going about his days. The head pastor of a small church in a small town. A family man, with a loving wife and a wonderful daughter.

Until one day, that all changed. It began as a typical meeting with a new member of the congregation. But Thomas soon realized this was anything but typical. This man knew things. Things that nobody should know. And he was making impossible demands.

Thomas’s simple life in the quaint town of Black Rock crashes into life or death when the stranger utters, “I know your secrets, pastor, and it’s time to pay the price…”

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🎼Lost are the creatures destined never to be understood.🎼Jenni reviews literary saga The Crooked Little Pieces by Sophia Lambton, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Jenni.

Find out more about Jenni here https://jenniferdebie.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Jenni has been reading The Crooked Little Pieces by Sophia Lambton

Book cover for literary saga The Crooked Little Pieces by Sophie Lambton
The Crooked Little Pieces by Sophie Lambton

3.5/5

Sophia Lambton’s The Crooked Little Pieces follows Isabel and Anneliese van der Holt from the age of six in 1920s Zurich, into their early twenties in Blitz-struck London. Raised by their neurology professor father, each van der Holt twin is exceptional in her own way, with Isabel holding the promise of being a musical prodigy, and Anneliese following her father’s passion for medical sciences. Together they move countries, attend school, nurture and neglect their talents by turns, suffer many of the expected triumphs and heartaches expected in a coming-of-age story and yet… I never quite cheered for these girls.

Protagonists do not have to be good people, and I have certainly taken my own, private glee in following a story through the eyes of some true monsters, but at the end of the day a reader needs a reason to like the people they’re reading about. I never found Anneliese and Isabel likeable. Isabel decides to pursue marriage because being a wife will mean she doesn’t have to keeping trying with her music, and Anneliese becomes obsessed with her therapist to the point that she steals important documents from her, and then attempts to bring them to the attention of the medical community against said therapist’s wishes and best interests. They are both self-destructive, and dismissive of other people as beneath their attention or care.

Don’t get me wrong, Lambton has fully fleshed out both girls. Their characterization is strong, and with the chapters alternating perspective between the twins and their father (until his death) we get a thorough understanding of how they speak, the ways they act in different situations, and why they are the way they are, but that just make their narcissism more blatant and their actions pettier.

Then there is the is the language of the text itself. Lambton has a dreamlike, drifting approach to the story (hence this novel clocks in at over 400 pages), and an approach to sentence structure that does not always lend itself to readability. Take, for example, this sentence from chapter 8, in which a coworker of the twins’ father is propping her elbows up on a counter:

The kitchen top began to hold her weight as she sustained her elbows on it.

It’s not incomprehensible. You and I, dear reader, know what she means about leaning on a countertop, but there is smoother language out there.

All of that said, I should reiterate that this is a 400+ page novel by a young writer who obviously has a grasp on how to create fully-realized characters. She also certainly set up the potential for some interesting scenarios: the push and pull between a flighty, musical twin and her more grounded, scholarly sister. The dynamic of being raised by a scientist father who has, if not a preference, at least a greater understanding of the scholarly daughter as opposed to the musician. The comatose mother who I have not even touched on in this review. The enigmatic, female psychologist who Anneliese begins seeing, bearing in mind that this would be the 1930s and thus the infancy of clinical psychology as we know it today. The universal tensions that came with being in London after one Great War and before the second kicks off. There’s some really good and interesting material to be plumbed there, and I certainly wish Lambton the best luck with her next installment in this series.

However, sadly, to me The Crooked Little Pieces never quite sang.

Orange rose book description
Book description

Lost are the creatures destined never to be understood.
1926. Professor Josef van der Holt obtains a post at an all women’s college overseas. Stuffy London suddenly becomes the site for the unseemly exploits of his half-Dutch and half-German daughters Anneliese and Isabel. When tragedy carves out a hollow in their lives, a severed soul sends the sororal twins along a jagged path: while Isabel takes flight in sensual hedonism Anneliese skirts danger in her role as sleuth. Elusive are the sentiments they seek: swift stopovers of fleeting feeling. Lopsided loves and passions scarcely probable veer each away from the predictable.
And when the obvious appears unstoppable the opposite may achingly be true.
Spanning the twentieth century’s five most volatile decades, The Crooked Little Pieces is a series about inextricable entanglements. Perverse relationships pervade a glossary of scenes. Plots criss-cross over a rich tapestry of twists and tension-fuelling characters: some relatable, others opaque and many “crooked”.
It is television drama. Novelised. 

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🕵️‍♂️Vintage #crimefiction🕵️‍♂️@CathyRy reviews a Shanti de Silva investigation. Break From Nuala by @harrietsteel1, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Cathy.

Cathy blogs here http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Cathy has been reading Break from Nuala by Harriet Steel

Book cover for Break From Nuala by Harriet Steel
Break From Nuala By Harriet Steel

Ceylon hasn’t yet been affected by the war in Europe and Inspector Shanti de Silva and his wife, Jane are taking a short holiday at the luxuriously appointed Cinnamon Lodge in the coastal town of Galle. As always when they were away from Nuala, de Silva was a little concerned how people would view a Ceylonese man and a British woman as a married couple but any worries were soon laid to rest.

What was meant to be a restful break was soon interrupted by a couple of incidents at the hotel — a visit by the local Chief Inspector which de Silva didn’t think was routine and a group of guests, famous diver Elodie Renaud and her party, were taken ill by what appeared to be food poisoning. Seemingly unremarkable, if unfortunate, events initially, but then de Silva couldn’t help but put his policeman’s hat on and investigate surreptitiously when a nightwatchman is found dead and a guest mysteriously disappears.

‘No wonder the manager had looked so uncomfortable, thought de Silva. Were it to come out, a death on the premises, particularly such a grim one, would do the hotel’s reputation no good at all. He shuddered. It sounded like the dead man was the same nightwatchman he’d talked to on the evening he and Jane had arrived at the hotel. He might well have been killed not long after they spoke.’

Break from Nuala is the eleventh outing for Shanti de Silva, and is just as enjoyable as the previous books, although I did miss the regulars. Jane takes a more active role than usual and de Silva treads carefully as he has no jurisdiction in Galle. The cast of characters is diverse with several potential suspects. As the mystery begins to unfold and the investigation gains momentum things edge towards danger.

An enjoyable and well written cosy mystery set in a wonderful location.

Orange rose book description
Book description

It is autumn 1940, and Inspector de Silva and his wife Jane are looking forward to a well-earned holiday. But their hopes of a relaxing break in the picturesque city of Galle beside the Indian Ocean are dashed when death, mysterious illnesses, and a missing guest cast a gloomy shadow.
As they’re drawn into the investigation, the mystery deepens. Is there a villain amongst their fellow guests or further afield? The search for answers will lead them into great danger that has repercussions far beyond the island of Ceylon.

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👩‍🍳Caterer Lucinda Green knows something is missing from her life👩‍🍳@LizanneLloyd reviews #contemporaryromance The Only Exception by @ClaraVal, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Liz.

Liz blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Liz has been reading The Only Exception by Claire Huston

Book cover for contemporary romance The Only Exception by Claire Huston, set against a photo of decorated cup cakes from a free photo from Pixabay.
The Only Exception by Claire Huston

Lucinda’s busy professional life running a catering firm has caused her to put her personal life on hold. Still living in the same house as her ex-fiancé, who betrayed her, she doesn’t believe true love exists, so when her mother phones to say she is getting married again Lucinda is confused.  Meanwhile she has a dramatic encounter in a lift with a handsome actor when they jointly revive a lady who has collapsed.

Alex has steady work in a successful TV series, but he still feels insecure renting a house in his 40s with a young actress he likes but does not love. When he meets Lucinda there are sparks and he keeps thinking about her, even though she is amazingly annoying. It is good to see the relationship from the viewpoint of each of them in turn.

Circumstances throw the couple together again and they discover they share similar values and sense of humour. When both experience professional problems they are each able to provide practical help, but their misunderstandings continue.

The characters in The Only Exception, especially in Alex’s family, are so believable and added to my enjoyment of the plot. A delightful story of modern life where work stresses, scandal and social media all play their part. And of course, a delicious sprinkling of romance.

Orange rose book description
Book description

Lucinda Green knows something is missing from her life. But what? Her catering business is enjoying modest success and she loves her cosy house, even if she does have to share it with her irritating ex-fiancé.

Whatever’s making her unsettled and edgy, Lucinda’s certain that a lack of romance isn’t the problem. How could it be when she doesn’t believe in true love?

But Lucinda’s beliefs are shaken by a series of electric encounters with Alex Fraser, a newly notorious actor who gradually proves himself to be infuriatingly funny and smart, as well as handsome.

Not that any of that matters. Because Lucinda doesn’t believe in all that ‘The One’ nonsense. That’s the rule.

But doesn’t every rule have an exception?

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📱A #youngadult #mystery. Rosie’s #Bookreview of Ghosted by @emily_barr 📱#TuesdayBookBlog

Book cover for young adult mystery, Ghosted by Emily Barr, set with a rose cushions ans Rosie's mug and book shop model.

Ghosted by Emily Barr

Ghosted by Emily Barr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ghosted is a young adult mystery set in 2019. Teenager Ariel immediately had my sympathy; her mum died a year ago, she has just stood up to her bullying father for the first time and she’s afraid that social services will take her away from her pregnant sister.

After school, in a disused room at the back of the shopping centre, Ariel meets a boy, Joe; he’s about to go on a French exchange trip and he’s frightened. They get on well, swap phone numbers and later Ariel sends him a text. But the number comes up unknown; Joe’s ghosted her. The next day, Ariel returns to the room and is surprised to see Joe again; he acts like he doesn’t know her.

On the morning of his French exchange trip, Joe wakes up from a nightmare; the horrible feelings remain and he begins to fear going away on the trip. How bad can it be? It’s only a week. After school he goes to the shopping centre, to a room at the back. He meets a girl, they chat and he can tell she likes him; the year is 1999.

This is the story of Joe and Ariel, friends who meet twenty years apart. Joe’s stuck in 1999 while Ariel lives in 2019, but how can this be? There’s a reason Joe’s here and together they try to solve the mystery

The story builds with chapters dotting back and forth between Ariel and Joe. I thought that there was a good balance between the everyday teenage issues and those of the mystery; I hadn’t tried to solve the mystery myself, but I was eager to read how it all ended. I liked both of the characters and their settings; there were some interesting elements left to think about. Happy to recommend this.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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Book description

An emotional love story with a thrilling twist from the globally bestselling author of The One Memory of Flora Banks.

Ariel’s accidental meeting with a handsome stranger called Joe is completely perfect; they have a connection like she’s never known before. They exchange numbers and agree to meet when he is back from a trip to France. But when Ariel messages him, the number Joe gave her is disconnected. He’s ghosted her. She assumes she will never see him again.

Except she does. Again and again.

Ariel returns to the place she and Joe met, and is stunned to find him there, not in France as he said he’d be, and behaving as if he has no idea who she is.

It turns out that their first meeting has been life-changing for them both, actually it’s even more than that for Joe. But what do you do when – with every day that passes – you’re literally growing apart from the best person you’ve ever known . . . ?

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