THE 9:45 To BLETCHLEY by Madalyn Morgan @ActScribblerDJ #Historical #Romance #SundayBlogShare

The 9:45 to Bletchley (Dudley Sisters Saga #4)The 9:45 to Bletchley by Madalyn Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The 9:45 to Bletchley is book #4 of the Dudley Sisters family WW2 sagas.

This book is about Ena Dudley and her work in a factory making components for top secret Bletchley Park. During WW2 workers in Bletchley were central to the code breaking which British intelligence relied upon.

As with all the books in this series the emphasis is more on the characters and the romantic themes, less so the gritty depth and dark horrors of WW2, that each of the situations the Dudley girls find themselves in.

Once again the book is scattered with nostalgia from the era, as Ena gets herself embroiled in a spy ring whilst appearing to be the love interest for more than one fellow.

Recommended for those who enjoy a light historical romance.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

In the midst of the Second World War, and charged with taking vital equipment via the 9:45 train, Ena Dudley makes regular trips to Bletchley Park, until on one occasion she is robbed. When those she cares about are accused of being involved, she investigates, not knowing whom she can trust. While trying to clear her name, Ena falls in love.

About the author

Madalyn Morgan

Madalyn Morgan has been an actress for more than thirty years working in repertory theatre, the West End, film and television. She is a radio presenter and journalist, writing articles for newspapers and magazines.

Madalyn was brought up in a busy working class pub in the market town of Lutterworth in Leicestershire. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live. There were so many wonderful characters to study and accents learn. At twenty-four Madalyn gave up a successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at E15 Drama College, and a career as an actress.

In 2000, with fewer parts available for older actresses, Madalyn learned to touch type, completed a two-year course with The Writer’s Bureau, and began writing. After living in London for thirty-six years, she has returned to her home town of Lutterworth, swapping two window boxes and a mortgage, for a garden and the freedom to write.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

MISS BRADSHAW’S BOUGHT BETROTHAL by @VirginiaHeath_ @HarlequinBooks @MillsandBoon #Romance

Miss Bradshaw's Bought BetrothalMiss Bradshaw’s Bought Betrothal by Virginia Heath
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Miss Bradshaw’s Bought Proposal is a historical romance from Harlequin / Mills & Boon. I read an ARC copy of this book.

It opens in Mayfair, London in 1816 at the engagement of Fergus Matlock, the Marquis of Stanford, and Miss Evelyn Bradshaw. Evie is currently living with her stepmother and two stepsisters, and this hasty engagement is her chance to run away from them and become a strong independent women.

Evie has entered into a secret business arrangement with Fergus and once she is free of London she intends to buy her own home and then break the engagement. Fergus escorts Evie and her great aunt to Yorkshire, but he dumps her on his brother and takes off to squander the first installment Evie has paid him.

Finn Matlock hasn’t seen his brother for three years and there is no love lost between the pair. He reluctantly allows Evie to stay until she finds a new home. He is grumpy and ungracious preferring to wallow in his own pity for his deceased wife.

In Yorkshire Evie blooms in her new found freedom. Yet she still fears her step-family and the constant threat they hold over her. Can she pull off the final coup and escape their hold or will she be found out and taken back to London?

A good book which fits the genre well. I liked that it stood up for curvaceous well built women and watching Evie blossom was a delight. I liked Finn too, a dark brooding male in need of rescue. I will definitely read more from this author.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

She’d done it! Plain, invisible Evelyn had escaped…
Fed up with being a doormat to her evil stepmother, heiress Evelyn Bradshaw pays a dissolute rake to pose as her betrothed so she can secure her freedom. But then her fake fiancé leaves her with his estranged brother Finn Matlock and disappears!
Having withdrawn from the world, Finn knows the last thing he needs is the temptation of a woman, especially one like Evie. She has an irritating habit of causing chaos wherever she goes and being in places she shouldn’t…including, as he soon learns, his heart

About The Author

Virginia Heath

I live on the outskirts of London with my understanding husband and two, less understanding, teenagers. 
After spending years teaching history, I decided to follow my dream of writing for Harlequin. 
Now I spend my days happily writing regency romances, creating heroes that I fall in love with and heroines who inspire me. 
When I’m not doing that, I like to travel to far off places, shop for things that I do not need or read romances written by other people.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE CROWN SPIRE by Catherine Curzon @MadameGilflurt #HistFic

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading The Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon and Willow Winsham

33083827

THE CROWN SPIRE by Catherine Curzon and Willow Winsham

4 out of 5 stars

Historical romance, moi?  Not usually, but I’ve read non-fiction by both Catherine Curzon and Willow Winsham, so was sure this would be beautifully written and well-researched, and indeed it is!

Alice and her daughter Beth are fleeing from Alice’s brute of a husband in London, and travelling to Edinburgh, where they are accosted by highwaymen.  Just before all is lost, though, two dashing masked riders swoop in to save them.  The excitable and frustrated Beth is eager for adventure and falls for her gallant rescuer immediately, though Alice needs some persuading.  They stay the night at an inn, where they meet equally dashing landlord Edward Hogan, and the dour but most likeable Dr James Dillingham. Their journey comes to an end at the house of Alice’s dour but less likeable sister, Josephine; Beth is eager to break out of the staid lifestyle forced upon a girl of her class, and find romance and thrills.  Alice, too, wonders if she has leapt from frying pan to fire, and is persuaded to venture out with Dr Dillingham.  All will be revealed…..

The story flows so smoothly; it’s witty, almost tongue in cheek in style, in parts, and I am certain lovers of the Regency romance will adore it.  Edward Hogan is a fine hero (I was quite jealous of Beth!), and the characterisation is excellent all the way through.  The sex bits didn’t make me cringe, either, which is good for me, because they usually do, but it’s written in a relatively realistic way (relative for this type of romance, I mean!), and avoids the stock phrases and descriptions.

I did have slight doubts about an upper middle class girl like Beth sneaking around and going in to pubs at night on her own, but it didn’t really matter, and my disbelief remained suspended; I don’t think the story is meant to be a hundred per cent realistic.  The rest seems to be perfectly researched; I’d sum it up as charming fantasy escapism for the romantically inclined.

Book Description

Scotland, 1795

When the coach carrying Alice Ingram and her niece, Beth, to Edinburgh is attacked, they’re grateful for the intervention of two mysterious highwaymen who ride to their rescue. Beth is thrilled by the romance of it all, but Alice, fleeing her brutish husband, has had more than enough drama in her life. 

As the women find sanctuary in a tavern on the Great North Road, Beth is thrilled to meet Edward Hogan, the roguish publican. Despite the difference in ages and backgrounds, the couple have instant chemistry and when Ed invited Beth to visit his Edinburgh tavern, she resolves to get to know him even better. Yet Beth is also taken with the highwayman who rescued her; after all, there’s something irresistible about a rogue. 

Shaken from the attack, Alice grudgingly allows herself to be seen by Doctor James Dillingham, Ed’s best friend. Though Dillingham sees the telltale signs of physical abuse on Alice, she refuses to speak of it. Dillingham is dour and Alice frosty, and the two take an instant dislike to each other, so why does their shared coach journey to Edinburgh the following day seem to sizzle?

Once in Edinburgh, Beth starts secretly spending time with Ed, who she begins to think might know more about those highwaymen than he is letting on. By day, Alice sorts Dillingham’s paperwork at the charity hospital he runs yet by night she sneaks off to meet her own highwayman, travelling the backroads of the city with the masked figure. Slowly, Alice is coming back to life. But will the husband she is fleeing find her out? And will her highwayman come to her rescue again? 

Set during the heady days of the Georgian era when bodysnatching and highwaymen were never too far away, The Crown Spire is a thrilling romantic adventure rich with excitement and packed with historical detail.

About the authors

Catherine Curzon

Catherine Curzon is a royal historian, best known for her non-fiction books Life in the Georgian Court and Kings of Georgian Britain.  She also writes a fascinating 18th century history blog under the nom-de-plume of Madame Gilflurt.

Her work has been featured on the official website of BBC History magazine and in publications such as Explore History, All About History, History of Royals and Jane Austen’s Regency World.

She has provided additional research for An Evening with Jane Austen at the V&A, which she has also presented around the country.

Willow Winsham

Willow Winsham is the author of Accused: British Witches throughout History and she brings readers regular tales of witches and witchcraft on her blog The Witch, the Weird and the Wonderful

Combining a passion for research and history with a love of storytelling, she dedicates her time to investigating some of the most intriguing stories from the history of the British Isles.

When she isn’t digging out tantalizing historical tit bits or tracing elusive family members, she is busy home educating her two children.

Goodreads | AmazonUk | AmazonUS | Twitter

 

 

 

THE DISCERNING GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE by @VirginiaHeath_ @HarlequinBooks #TuesdayBookBlog

The Discerning Gentleman's GuideThe Discerning Gentleman’s Guide by Virginia Heath
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide is a Georgian historical romance from the Harlequin stable. The book is set in London in 1816.

Amelia Mansfield is a companion to Lady Worsted, they are travelling from Bath to spend a month with her nephew in London, once the daughter of a Viscount, Amelia suffered a terrible loss when he turned both her mother and Amelia out, in a cold-hearted move. Left penniless, they did the best they could on the streets of London. When Amelia’s mother died in the work-house, Amelia became determined to improve her position and worked hard to get a job and a place to live. But her interest and support of those wanting radical change in the city got her into trouble. Her luck changed when she applied for the job as ladies companion, but it took her away from London.

Returning now to the city Amelia has plans to visit her old haunts and help the poor at a local soup kitchen whenever possible. She’ll need to be discreet as they’ll be staying with the sixteenth Duke of Aveley.

Bennett Montague was a Duke and a politician. Dedicating his whole life to follow the plans and footsteps of his father, his life is rather lonely. The need for a wife has lead to him make a list of potential candidates. His guidelines for suitability of a wife-to-be are from a book he once wrote from lessons learnt from his own father, and there is a long line of ladies who would love to make the final cut.

Amelia has read Bennett’s book describing it as “drivel”, she’d never marry an aristocrat, they are pompous and out of touch with reality and she shows no qualms at voicing her opinion and challenging Bennett about his.

Bennett’s search for the perfect bride are soon turned upside-down with Amelia’s presence in his life, but how could a Duke ever consider marrying a mere ladies companion?

There were some great sub-characters in this book; Lovett, the butler, Bennett’s Uncle George and Lady Worsted, to support Bennett and Amelia is this charming rags to riches romance.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Goodreads| AmazonUk | AmazonUS | Twitter

Book Description

“Choosing a wife is not a task that should be undertaken lightly.” 

Bennett Montague, sixteenth Duke of Aveley, is seeking the perfect bride. He’s narrowed his search to five worthy “Potentials”…until the arrival of his aunt’s companion unravels his carefully laid plans. 

Having fought for everything she has, Amelia Mansfield is incensed by Bennett’s wife-selection methods. But as she’s forced to spend time in his company, she begins to see another side to Bennett—and that man is infinitely more tantalizing and enticing… 

About the author

Virginia Heath

I live on the outskirts of London with my understanding husband and two, less understanding, teenagers. 

After spending years teaching history, I decided to follow my dream of writing for Harlequin. 

Now I spend my days happily writing regency romances, creating heroes that I fall in love with and heroines who inspire me. 

When I’m not doing that, I like to travel to far off places, shop for things that I do not need or read romances written by other people.

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT FULL CIRCLE – A DUKE LOST by @NicciMayne #Romance

Today’s team review is from Luccia, she blogs at http://lucciagray.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Luccia has been reading Full Circle- A Duke Lost by Nicci Mayne

25954576

Review of Full Circle – A duke Lost. 4 stars.

This is a historical romance, set in Regency England. It has three main characters and four distinct parts.

The first part is poetic and unhurried. It takes us through an intense and beautiful love story between a Duke and a young deaf girl. Bram is the honourable Duke of Bramford, who has fought for his country and is very loyal to the crown. The wedding had been arranged by his mother since the bride was two years old! Anna is an orphan who has been living practically on her own all this time, in an isolated castle in Scotland, waiting for her betrothed. When they meet, in her 18th year, they are both surprised to fall in love. I thought I was going to read a sweet, traditional romance, because their love story was drawn out in great detail. I didn’t mind, because I love historical romances, but I did wonder where the story would be going.

The second part of the plot moves on with the only obstacle to their happy marriage, namely Bram’s best friend, Michael, Earl of Milford, who thinks Bram should marry a richer and more worldly society lady. Surprisingly, Michael also falls in love with Anna, and although their friendship is threatened, Michael finally remains both their friends.

The plot then takes a third surprising twist (I can’t go into any detail without including a spoiler), and Anna will learn that her husband is not the man she thought he was, and that he has other priorities and duties in life, which exclude Anna and their children. Anna must turn to Michael for support, with Bram’s approval.

Finally, the title refers to the end of the story in which harmony is restored, at great emotional cost to all involved. It’s not a sad ending, although it’s not a perfect HEA either. I think it’s the best possible ending, although I can’t help feeling sorry for the way in which one of the characters is excluded from ‘the circle’.

The three main characters were engaging, and the plot, which was slow at first, moved on well in the second part. Especially for lovers of historical romance.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Shiri by D.S. Taylor @DSTaylor1#Bookreview #wwwblogs #AncientEgypt

ShiriShiri by D.S. Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shiri is a historical romance set in Ancient Egypt. It tells the tale of a humble man whose wife was stolen by the Pharaoh, driven by his love for his wife he was determined to rise up against the Noble House and free her. They called him the Shepherd King and long after the loss of his wife he sought freedom for the people from the Gyptos.

We meet his grown son Josef in a small rural village where he is seeking support for a rebellion, he rallies the men to go with him to support the Shepherd King and he leaves the village unprotected and vulnerable. Prince Amenhotep and his warriors sweep through the village maiming, killing, raping and taking slaves on their way to destroy The Shepherd King. A young girl out checking the sheep escapes, but not before she sees her parents violated and murdered. She stumbles ahead of the war party to warn the rebels, but they have little time to gather their forces.

With the battle lost Josef makes a drastic decision to save his life and in doing so he plays a role where he can save others too. He disguises himself as Yuya of Heliopolis and vows he killed the Shepherd Prince himself. He rescues Shiri before she is bought in the slave market and together they travel to Heliopolis. Here Josef discoveries he is heir to the high sun priest and is betrothed to his daughter. This presents an opportunity to gain access to enough wealth to buy his people who have been sold as slaves and treat them well. It’s a daring move under the noses of the Pharaoh’s and the warring nobles and one which needs clever details to keep the secrets safe.

This Ancient Egypt setting was very well done. The details of the setting and the characters were very believable. The level of violence, and sexual scenes are no more than you would expect from a time of warring factions, slavery, sacrifice, multiple wives and fear of the Gods. These were ruthless times with power, corruption, disloyalty and death going hand in hand with love and devotion as they still do today.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews On Goodreads

Hawk’s Gift by Mary M Forbes

Hawk's GiftHawk’s Gift by Mary M. Forbes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hawks’ Gift is a historical romance set in Canada in the late 1800’s. We first meet Damien Larocque as a boy who witnesses the death of his parents on the same day in 1860. He is Metis a member of one of the aboriginal people of Canada.

In 1881 he is in Winnipeg. Now a grown man he finds himself bidding $1000 to rescue a young lady. Roberta Taylor is a reporter. Head-strong and ambitious she wants to interview Big Bear, a leader of one of the indigenous Indian tribes who is currently refusing to move to a reservation. He’s holed up in Montana and Roberta’s brother pays Damien to take his sister to meet the Indian Chief.

Roberta has a knack for finding trouble and is a source of confusion, contradiction and frustration to Damien. She blows hot and cold and wants answers in a way any reporter does. He’s determined to teach her a lesson as well as make her understand what the White man is doing to the land and it’s people.

This book is a great way to learn about the history of the time from less famous battles between the White man and the Native people and to hear about such events as The Riel Rebellion of 1885 and The Frog Lake Massacre. With it is a feisty romance between two great characters.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Luccia reviews An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

Today’s review is from team member Luccia, she blogs at http://lucciagray.wordpress.com

rosie3

Luccia chose to read and review An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

22532295

Here is her review.

When I chose An independent woman to read and review for Rosie’s Review Team, I was thrilled even before I started reading it, because when I read the blurb I realized it’s my favourite type of book. I enjoy reading neo-Victorian novels, so although I’m easy to please with this genre, it’s also not easy to surprise me with something new.

Well, I’m glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised, because I found an entertaining, moving, exciting, and romantic novel, set in Victorian England, which I would highly recommend.

The novel is beautifully written with prose that flows smoothly, enticing the reader to turn the pages. There are just enough descriptive elements to submerge the reader comfortably in Victorian England, moving effortlessly from foggy, filthy London, to the tranquil countryside.

Philomena’s intriguing character keeps the reader connected to the story, feeling for her plight from the first sentence, as she creeps up the twisted stairs and flees from London, to the last line.

I loved the first chapters, when she was disguised as a young boy in order to escape from London, and her ‘chance’ arrival at the country estate on Christmas Eve after a fateful train accident.

We also feel we get to know the other characters such as the mysterious Lord Thatcham, his mother, the demanding Dowager Lady Thatcham, her frivolous yet charming daughter, Selena, and the kind Mrs. Rivers and Mrs. Bramble. There’s naturally a despicable villain, who causes havoc, and whose real motives are not revealed until the end, keeping the plot moving forward with mysterious twists and surprises.

It has many gothic elements which will remind readers of Rebecca, Jane Eyre, and Oliver Twist, three of my favourite novels. Firstly, the mansion where the action takes place, Thatcham Hall, becomes a character, with its servants’ quarters, main living areas, bedrooms, and the dark, forbidden wings. The reader will also find a gloomy widower, a wife deceased in unclear circumstances, a rich and lonely child, an exploited and abused child, and a well-read governess, among others, all leading to an eventful and enjoyable read.

Frances Evesham shows expert knowledge of Victorian England, which she transmits wrapped up in an enjoyable parcel of mystery, action, and romance.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Romancing September #RomancingSeptember – Day 17

rosie1

Welcome to Day 17 of Romancing September Across The World Tour. Today our guest is Monica La Porta. Catch up with more from Monica in a few hours with the second part of our tour when Stephanie chats to her.

The Lost Centurion_new design

Where is your home town?

I am from Rome, Italy, but I moved to Washington State in the summer of 2000.

How long have you been writing romance?

I’ve been writing love stories since I was a kid, but I started writing professionally five years ago.

What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?

I have several favourites, among them paranormal, urban fantasy, and science fiction romance.

Tell us who Marcus is?

Marcus is the main character in The Lost Centurion. Once a proud commander in the Imperial Roman Army with hundreds of men under his lead, Marcus is now a lonely renegade whose life is powered by a thirst for revenge consuming him.

Who has he been searching centuries for?

As an immortal, Marcus has spent the last two thousand years looking for a vampire.

What does he think of Vampires?

He hates vampires, because one of them killed his wife, Aurelia.

How does he meet Diana?

After years of fruitless search for Aurelia’s killer, Marcus has finally a lead. An informant has promised him information about the vampire he’s looking for. The rendezvous is at the Roman Forum, but when Marcus arrives he finds his informant is being attacked. Marcus can’t save the man, but he ends up having to care for the informant’s vampling—a new-born vampire—Diana.

What locations have you used to mix Old and New Italy?

I took a virtual tour through Rome, mixing places I used to frequent when I was living there, and Marcus’s memories of the same places in Roman times. The Forums first and foremost, where the majority of Roman daily life happened, but also the modern neighbourhoods built on top of the ancient city. Marcus travels south to Amalfi to hide with Diana in his friend’s villa perched atop the rugged coast, and takes her to the Blue Grotto for a romantic evening. Finally, he must follow her to Castel Gandolfo, the medieval city where the Pope retires for his summer vacation, where the vampires keep Diana prisoner.

Tell us what you are working on at the moment.

I have just released the second title in The Immortals series, The Immortal Greek. My editor has finished her corrections on The Broken Angel, which should be out in October. And I am writing the fourth in the series, The Hidden Demon.

Where can readers find out more about you?

Monica La Porta

I have a blog and an author page on Facebook where I talk about my writing, my hobbies, my outlandish gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free recipes, and my love for beagles. I welcome questions from my readers, because interacting with them gives me great joy.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/monicalaportaauthor

Blog http://monicalaporta.com/

twitter https://twitter.com/momilp

mailing list http://eepurl.com/znSHT

The Lost Centurion buying links:

  1. co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Lost-Centurion-Immortals-ebook/dp/B00KMJB4OA/
  2. com: http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Centurion-Immortals-Monica-Porta-ebook/dp/B00KMJB4OA

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/442440

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lost-centurion-monica-la-porta/1119629009?ean=2940045970778

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-lost-centurion/id883335328?mt=11

 

Find out more about Monica from Stephanie Hurt’s blog and all our Romance writers http://stephanie-hurt.com/

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Crystin reviews An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

Today’s book review comes from team member Crystin, she blogs at http://crystinlgoodwin.wordpress.com

rosie3

Crystin chose to read and review An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham

22532295

Here is her review.

  • Title: An Independent Woman by Frances Evesham
  • Genre: Historical Romance – Mystery Romance

Orphaned Philomena is fleeing London to not only escape her tormentor, Joseph, but to start a new life for herself. Unfortunately, fate has other ideas when a train crash places her under the protection of the darkly attractive Hugh, Lord Thatcham. It doesn’t help that she first meets Lord Thatcham disguised as a boy …

An Independent Woman is a typical historical romance – very fun, light, and easy to read. The mystery aspects of the story were also done very well, infusing the story with suspense and tension. I also really enjoyed the fact that the romance stayed clean and focused on romance – not sex.

I’d recommend this to fans of historical romance – especially Victorian or Regency romances, as well as romantic mysteries.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com