Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #HistoricalFiction BURKE IN THE PENINSULA by @TomCW99

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

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading Burke In The Peninsula by Tom Williams

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Having read The White Rajah by Tom Williams several years ago I knew that this book set in the long-lasting Peninsular War, in Portugal and Spain, would be an action-packed story told in an approachable style.

We meet Major James Burke in 1809, an experienced soldier with particular skills in working under cover. Having returned from South America he is hoping to rejoin his regiment accompanied by his loyal Sergeant William Brown.  Instructed to report to General Hill he finds that he is needed to reconnoitre with some of the guerrilla bands of Spaniards who seem to have more success than their army. He soon finds that some of the gangs are only out to loot, rape and murder, so he is relieved to find one trustworthy group lead by El Gato.  Burke is involved in several dangerous skirmishes as he travels disguised as a priest.

When Sergeant Brown returns to the British army, he discovers that he is needed to lead a squad into battle at Talavera de la Reina. Written in the third person, we are given a clear description of the lines of infantrymen firing their muskets but also of the mayhem when they are attacked by canon-fire.  Meanwhile Burke continues to work independently, in increasingly dangerous circumstances alongside an old flame.

Although at times quite upsetting, the violence and death reflects events accurately.  I found William Brown easier to empathise with as Burke sometimes appears detached. The only female character, Bernadita, is quite inscrutable though fascinating. The atmosphere of the countryside in central Spain is effectively described and seemed familiar to me even visiting in the present day.

Although part of a series this book works well as a stand-alone story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it even though the ending came rather suddenly.

Book description

Things getting a bit messy in Spain. Lots of irregulars. Civilians joining in the fighting. That sort of thing. Wellesley needs all the help he can get. They need a man who can pass for a Spaniard. Someone who can make himself useful with the irregulars. Someone who is prepared to fight dirty if it gets things done.

1809 and Burke has barely returned from South America when he is sent off again, this time to join the war being waged by Spanish guerrillas against the French. It’s not long before he’s fighting for his life, but which of the Spaniards can he trust?

Burke faces new adversaries and finds old allies in a dramatic tale of adventure during the Peninsular War, set against the background of the bloody battle of Talavera.

It’s real history – but not the way you learned it in school.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Techno #Thriller SENTINEL by @CarlRackman

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

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading Sentinel by Carl Rackman

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It is sometime since I read Voyager so picking up this next part of the trilogy I thought I would have forgotten the characters but as each person appears in the sequel the author reminds us of their role in past events so that you could easily read this action packed adventure without having read the first novel.

Former pilot, Matt Ramprakash, is well placed as the MI5 aviation expert dealing with an inbound hijacked plane, but is the plane held by terrorists, criminals, or asylum seekers? As it appears that an old foe is responsible, he awaits assistance from Sentinel, a private anti-terrorism group who have the trust of the FBI. Discovering that Sentinel is organised by Brad Barnes, who had shared his worst experiences 10 years earlier, he soon becomes aware that he must also work with Mirage, the genetically-engineered super soldier who had tried to kill him and his wife, Callie.

Dramatic events at the airport reveal the link to their old enemy, the shadow group, Triumvirate, and soon he and Callie are part of the Sentinel group travelling to Antarctica. Callie’s work has continued to involve investigation of the Voyager Mission and the evidence of extra-terrestrial life. Now, as the Sentinel team come into conflict with the well-armed Triumvirate in a harsh, dangerous environment, are the Visitors about to arrive?

This is not a book you can put down easily as the revelations and terrifying events keep you mesmerised to the text. A great read!

Book description

The Voyager story continues…

Four years have passed since Voyager One sent back chilling photos of a spaceship from deep in interstellar space.

A shocked world prepared to meet the Visitors, but terrorism, pandemics, and global political turmoil have now consumed it. Discredited as a hoax, the Visitors have faded from public attention.

But the powerful global conspiracy known as the Triumvirate is behind much of the chaos. Creating a screen of subterfuge and misdirection, they prepare a clandestine welcome for the Visitors, whose origins may be more sinister than the aliens of popular fiction.

Standing in their way are the few brave men and women who foiled the Triumvirate’s last attempt to upset the world’s fragile balance of power:

Former FBI agent Brad Barnes leads Sentinel, a private intelligence and counter-terrorism operation founded in the wake of the Triumvirate’s last deadly plot.

Alex Ephraim – the former Triumvirate assassin known as Mirage – is Sentinel’s major weapon against terror.

Matt Ramprakash, former airline pilot and now an officer of the British intelligence agency MI5, is embroiled in a deadly standoff when an airliner is hijacked.

Callie Woolf, once the project manager of the Voyager mission, struggles against the sceptical government’s bureaucracy to continue the search for the elusive Visitors as her time and funding runs out.

Sentinel is the only organisation capable of taking the fight to the Triumvirate’s door – flexible, unorthodox well-funded and free of government red tape.

But as they pursue the Triumvirate from the streets of London to the wild, deadly wastes of Antarctica, Brad will need Matt and Callie’s help to stop the Triumvirate, which has its own plans for putting Sentinel – and especially Alex – out of the picture for good…

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Sentinel (Voyager Book 2) by [Carl Rackman]

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #ContemporaryDrama FACE THE WIND by Caren Werlinger

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

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading Face The Wind by Caren Werlinger

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On the small island of Little Sister off the Atlantic coast of Maine, Kathleen is beginning to feel settled in her relationship with part-time Sheriff, Molly, and is now an important member of the close-knit community. But another young woman is on her way to the island from the other side of the States. Teacher, Meredith Turner finds her dreams filled with a dramatic shipwreck and identifying the ship from a picture she believes it happened near to Little Sister. Her mother shares the same dream and a surprise Ancestry DNA result causes the two women to question the past.

Louisa is the much-loved, retired island schoolteacher. She is lonely but has many friends to help her. As she waits out her days, she thinks back to her youth at college wondering if her life could have been different.  Molly is very happy with Kathleen but sometimes there are misunderstandings. She would love her brother, Aidan, to find happiness but he is scared of committing himself to another person.

The island’s population receive a portent, but will it be a disaster or merely a change in their customs? This magical place attracts many tourists but the last thing they want is an influx of newcomers. It is a pleasure to share the dramatic events and consequences, in my return visit to the island and to see characters I care about struggling to achieve their dreams. Another delightful story by Caren Werlinger.

Book description

Kathleen Halloran has never been happier. She and Molly Cooper have built a life together, living in her grandmother’s cottage. The family drama of the past has calmed down. She and Molly will soon be aunts. Life on Little Sister Island is everything Kathleen could wish for… until the island begins to send ominous signals that change is in the wind.
Living beside a different ocean, Meredith Turner tries to make sense of her dreams—dreams of an island she’s never seen but can’t forget. After an ancestry test throws her family into chaos, the tempest that follows blows Meredith and her parents clear across the country, to the island of her dreams.
For Louisa Woodhouse, it feels the end is near. With no one to follow after her, she’s the last of her line on Little Sister, and her secrets will go with her. Soon, the Woodhouse name will join the others that now exist only in the island’s genealogy records.
But Little Sister Island has its own magic—rhythms and seasons and tides and currents that even the best-laid human plans can’t fight. And in that magic is a warning—a storm is coming.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Victorian #Mystery FAME & FORTUNE by @carolJhedges

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

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading Fame & Fortune by Carol J Hedges

Once more I have explored the sordid streets of mid-Victorian London to follow the investigations of the determined team of police detectives, Stride, Cully and Greig. Carol Hedges has taken me into grand homes, crowded slums and insalubrious pubs, down by the docks. I have seen poor Izzy Harding spend all day painting tiny dolls’ furniture with little or no food, sat near to Riva Hemming-Stratton over tea while she turns her observation of other people into imaginative stories and I have suffered with the lonely Gerald Daubney as he mourns the loss of his netsuke Edo cat.  And the struggle of intelligent women to gain an education is shown by Maria Barklem, a vicar’s daughter soon to be made homeless because of the death of her parents.

Meanwhile in Russell Square two evil brothers, Herbert and Munro Black, exploit young girls dreams to lead them into prostitution across the sea.  Their tentacles of crime reach out across the city but somehow the police force must find evidence and witnesses to bring them to justice.

This is a much darker tale than Ms Hedges earlier novels, with more sad lives unfulfilled but characters from past books such as Lucy Landseer appear, providing solutions, and help at least some of the victims.  And through it all is a tiny grain of goodness in enough characters, such as Inspector Lachlan Greig, to give us hope.

Book description

When the body of a man is discovered hanging from some scaffolding under one of London’s bridges, Scotland Yard’s detective division is called in to solve the mystery of his identity & how he died. What they discover is a web of crime and extortion, and at the heart of it, two evil brothers, Munro and Herbert Black. Their inquiries will bring them into contact with the strange world of Gerald Daubney, collector of Japanese curios, whose priceless collection of netsuke has disappeared.

Facing a similar loss is Mrs Riva Hemmyng-Stratton, writer of ‘silver-fork’ novels, who suddenly finds herself embroiled in a court case when she is sued for defamation and libel by Lord Edwin Lackington. Her priceless reputation as a writer is on the line. How on earth can she prove her innocence when the only person who could vouch for it is incarcerated in a private asylum?

Many old friends make appearances in the novel … and a certain meaningful relationship finally reaches its conclusion.

AmazonUk |

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #Steampunk #Mystery OUT OF THE LONDON MIST by Lyssa Medana

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

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading Out Of The London Mist by Lyssa Medana

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This steam-punk mystery is set in a Victorian-style London of pea-souper fog.  Danger lurks in the East End for the unwary passer-by. John Farnley has recently returned from an archaeological expedition in Greece where he has been the pilot in his “jalopy”. His world has been upturned by the sudden death of his brother Nicholas, Lord Farnley. Now he must take care of his widowed sister-in-law Clara, discover what Nicholas has been doing with the family business and discover the cause of his brother’s death.  Visiting the workshop of his mechanic on a dark night, near the site of Nicholas’s death, John comes under attack, but luckily his capable friend Sylvia Armley turns up to help him.

The story has all the ingredients of a mysterious adventure. Both women prove to have depth of character and determination and the team has the addition of a Police Inspector of the old-school and an expert Professor. As one murder after another occurs, the suggestion of a statue that moves is likely to cause mass hysteria. Is there a connection to the aether which powers John’s jalopy as well as many other modern conveniences such as the lamps?

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There is plenty of action as the plot reaches a crisis but there is also interesting communication between the characters who show empathy and understanding. My only disappointment was the very sudden ending. I am hoping that this is the first of many such adventures for John Farnley.

Book description

When news of his brother’s murder reached him, aether pilot John Farnley raced back to his old family home.

While he comforts his bereaved sister-in-law, and tries to sort the family business and holdings, he also wonders why his brother, Lord Nicholas Farnley, had ventured into the cramped streets of the East End of London where he had met his violent end. The slums are a deadly place where life was cheap and murderous thugs preyed on the weak and lost.

Now, in the midst of a thick, London fog, something even more monstrous is waiting in the mist-shrouded shadows. Something that has been brought to life by the refugees crowding Bethnal Green and Mile End. Something his brother might have had a hand in creating.

Aided by his friend, the resourceful Miss Sylvia Armley, his own understanding of the aether lines that flow above London, and guided by the erudite advice of Professor Entwistle, John is forced to find his way through the darkest part of London to avenge his brother and stop whatever aether powered monster is lurking there.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #CrimeFiction LISTED DEAD (Bunch Courtney Investigations #3) by @Jancoledwards

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

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading Listed Dead by Jan Edwards

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You can tell from the title that this volume of investigations by Bunch Courtney and Chief Inspector Wright involves more than one fatality. Not only are people losing their lives in combat or in city air raids but now there is a murderer about, working through a list of rich young people whose supper club meets up at the Café de Paris in London.  When the first deaths occur close to Bunch’s home, she discovers she knows the victims so she will be indispensable, assisting William Wright with his investigations. He doesn’t seem keen for her to follow up leads but that is probably because she is putting herself in great danger.

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The lifestyle of these self-centred young people contrasts with the suffering of the military forces and also with the ordinary folk, but it reflects the social structure of the Sussex countryside before the war. Now in 1940 there is another dimension and people like Bunch put many hours of hard work into the war effort.  She juggles care for her Land Girls who run the estate, worry about her sick mother and determination to find the murderer.  Her relationship with William moves between close companionship and detachment reflecting the complex social rules and busy working life they have.

Gif of a women claiming she shot the victim and doesn't care. Picture in black and white.

This series gives an interesting picture of the home front during World War Two and the difficulties experienced when people’s homes and land were taken over by the military authorities. We feel the fear and danger of a London air raid and the attempt to continue country life as it had been pre-war.  In Listed Dead, Bunch finds herself in several frightening situations as she gradually works out the complex mystery. A most enjoyable read.

Book description

November 1940. The Battle of Britain has only just ended and the horror of the Blitz is reaching its height.

Two deaths in rapid succession on the Sussex Downs brings Bunch Courtney and Chief Inspector Wright together once more. What could possibly link a fatal auto accident with the corpse in a derelict shepherd’s hut? The only clue the pair have is a handwritten list of the members of a supper club that meets at London’s Café de Paris.

Two of those on that list are now dead and the race is on to solve the mystery before any more end up on the mortuary slab.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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

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

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading Fair As A Star by Mimi Matthews

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A violet by a mossy stone

Half hidden from the eye!

Fair as a star, when only one

Is shining in the sky.

Beryl Burnham is a more vulnerable heroine than Mimi Matthews’ previous main characters. She carries a burden which stops her from looking forward to her imminent marriage. Sir Henry Rivenhall is an eminently suitable fiancé whom she has known for some years, but will he be an understanding husband?  On the other hand, his brother Mark, the curate, is her best friend. He appreciates her subtle whitework embroidery, featuring the plants of the English countryside and she can talk to him about anything, well almost anything, but not her darkest secret. Mark Rivenhall has told his brother of his feelings for Beryl, but he knows he has no chance of gaining her heart. Perhaps it will be best if he leaves the parish of Shepton Worthy.

Meanwhile, Beryl’s spirited younger sister, Winnifred, is involved in a feud with Sir Henry, who intends to sell the magnificent steed she loves to ride. The ordinary people of the parish establish the surroundings and village problems for the reader and the stunning Paris wedding gown which arrives for Beryl emphasises the importance of her future life as a baronet’s wife.

I loved the sensitivity in which Beryl’s unhappiness is expressed and the hope that she finally achieves in this delightful first novel of a new romantic series.

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

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 Liz Lloyd, who also writes book reviews at Lost In A Good Book 

2014 was a special year for me. I had started my social history blog and I was a busy volunteer setting up an exhibition in our local Workhouse about its time as a World War One Hospital. We had bought a holiday home in Portugal and travelled there, several times a year.  I was also an avid reader and liked to follow authors and book bloggers on Twitter for new books to read.  And that was how I found Rosie Amber.

When she challenged some of her followers to review one of the books submitted to her, I couldn’t resist. I believe the book I chose was Death In A Red Canvas Chair, an intriguing American crime thriller by N A Granger. When Rosie then invited some of us to join her team and review many other books of our choice from novels submitted to her, I was thrilled to be included.  Soon I was writing more book reviews than history posts, so I decided it was time to set up my own book blog Lost in a Good Book

Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team receives a wide range of submitted genres, including young adult, fantasy, historical, romance, steam punk, mystery etc.  Not all of the books appeal to me but often I will challenge myself to try a new type of book and frequently discover an exciting new novelist to follow.  Of the 14 extra-special books Rosie featured (see links above) I have read and enjoyed 8 of them.  In addition, I have to mention other favourites: –

Rose Edmunds Crazy Amy series of corporate espionage

Christine Campbell’s Reluctant Detective series set in Scotland

Mimi Matthews spirited historical romances

The Cunning Woman’s Cup an amazing story by Sue Hewitt

Passionate Travellers by Trish Nicholson, incredible journeys throughout history

Thank you Liz, it is a pleasure to have you as part of our team.

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Contemporary #Romance ART AND SOUL by Claire Huston @ClaraVal #TuesdayBookBlog

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

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading Art & Soul by Claire Huston

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The best romance is one which grows out of friendship, but will Becky Watson ever find common ground with morose, grumpy artist, Charlie Handren?  Becky is returning to her job as a life coach and fixer of crises, after her maternity leave, and as a single mother she needs this major contract to augment her other job as the invisible fairy godmother at weddings, calming family tensions.  Living in the Comptons, a wealthy, upmarket area in the south of England with a strong artistic tradition, it would be a triumph if she could help Charlie to regain his ability to paint after 6 years lamenting his failed marriage. Arranging an exhibition to relaunch his career does not phase Becky, but helping him to woo Rachel Stone, the woman he admires from afar, is more challenging.

The story’s warmth is created by the vivid characters surrounding events. Becky’s 2-year-old son, Dylan, captivates Charlie and her friend, Ronnie, cake creator extraordinary, is a breath of fresh air.  Becky’s ability to convince the “movers and shakers” of the community that the exhibition will be spectacular, demonstrate her understanding of people and her trust in Charlie even though he no longer trusts himself.  The fact that she is secretly paddling away below the surface to keep herself financially afloat is all the more admirable.  An unusual but engaging story to read late into the night.

Book description

There’s no problem Becky Watson can’t fix. Except her own love life…

Struggling single mother Becky Watson longs to revive her career as a life-fixer, working miracles to solve her clients’ problems, no matter how big or small. Since the birth of her two-year-old son she has been stuck preventing wedding fiascos for the richest and rudest residents of the Comptons, a charming, leafy area of southern England known for its artistic heritage.

So when semi-reclusive local artist Charlie Handren reluctantly hires Becky to fix his six-year creative slump, she’s delighted to set him up with a come-back exhibition and Rachel Stone, the woman of his dreams.

Though they get off to a rocky start, Becky and Charlie soon become close. But as the beautiful Rachel becomes Charlie’s muse, Becky is forced to wonder: will giving Charlie everything he wants mean giving up her own happily ever after?

A heart-warming, uplifting romance served with a generous slice of cake.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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