Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT OCCUPYING LOVE by Marilyn Chapman #WW2 #Guernsey #Romance

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry has been reading Occupying Love by Marilyn Chapman


Occupying Love by Marilyn Chapman

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

Occupying love is a historical romance set in Guernsey during the occupation by the Nazis during the second world war. Lydia Le Page returns to Guernsey from England on a momentous day: the first bombing on British soil during the war.

Lydia is, thus, trapped on Guernsey and has to put on hold her plans to train as a pharmacist. Happily reunited with her best friend, Maggie, and having met the mysterious new rector, Martin Martell, life seems bearable even though Lydia feels annoyed by the way some are more accepting of the island’s fate than others, particularly Maggie, who is quite taken with the German soldiers.

The fates of Lydia’s family take a turn for the worse when Germans decide to occupy not only the island but also their house, forcing them to lodge with friends. Lydia takes a job that means she gets to know Martin better, though both his activities and his personality remain something of a conundrum to her. Then another suitor enters the arena…

I think this is a book for an older readership, as the tone is one of the British pulling together against the enemy, with a fair bit of domestic detail. The characterisation and dialogue are reminiscent of 1950s films about the war, so it would appeal to readers who enjoy the current popularity of nostalgia orientated books, and/or who live in or have some knowledge of Guernsey

The book is well presented, and competently edited.

Find a copy here from or

#FridayReads – If you like WW2 Historical Fiction try these books

Here is a selection of WW2 themed Historical Reads which I can recommend.

Reading Soft edge

123856621944 and Anna is parachuted into Normandy as a special agent working with Resistance Groups, spying on the Germans and wiring the information back to the Special Operations Executive, escaping capture and the inevitable torture that would follow.

She falls in love with Pierre, another SOE agent but finds he is not what he purports to be. Then there is the little matter of the Gestapo officer who has guessed her secret. Alone, Anna has to make some terrifying decisions to survive and to ensure the impending invasion remains secret.

It is 2006 in England, where her husband has died and Anna lives alone. Her children are spying on her and plot to put her in a home so that they can sell her house for their own ends. Anna is determined to retain her independence. She falls back on her wartime skills, recruiting Nathan and his girl friend Gemma to help her and becomes close to them as she never was with her own children.

But it is only when she returns to Normandy and confronts the ghosts of her past that she realises how the war had taken its toll on her loveless marriage and her children. She makes the ultimate sacrifice and finally finds the peace and redemption that had evaded her all these years. or


Fifteen year-old Kate Wolseley lives a rarefied life of wealth and privilege in the expatriate community. But when the Japanese take over the colony in December 1941, she’s interned in squalid Stanley Camp with her parents. Forty miles away, in Macau, Sofia Rodrigues’ suspicions are aroused when her father invites a Japanese family to dinner, an event which leads to a breach between Sofia and her controlling half-brother, Leo. Enduring cramped conditions, humiliation, disease, and starvation, Kate befriends seventeen year-old Charles – who’s half Chinese – and they give their hearts to each other under the orchid tree. Can their love survive the war?

In December 1948, Kate returns to Hong Kong, determined to put the past behind her. Sofia dreams of leaving Macau and starting a new life, and she won’t let anyone, not even Leo, stop her. A young Englishman, James, becomes the link between Kate and Sofia. The communist-nationalist struggle in China spills over into the colony, catapulting the protagonists into the turmoil with disastrous consequences.

A coming of age story set against the background of conflict and changing values in society.
From the perils of internment to the beauty of Hong Kong’s fragrant harbour, Siobhan Daiko’s novel will take you on a sensuous journey of adventure, romance and redemption. or

7501909Mary is a nursing sister at a Lancashire prison camp for the housing and treatment of German POWs. Life at work is difficult but fulfilling; life at home a constant round of arguments—often prompted by her fly-by-night sister, Ellen, the apple of her short-tempered father’s eye. Then Frank turns up at the house one night—a guard at the camp, he’s been watching Mary for weeks—and won’t leave until she agrees to walk out with him. Frank Shuttleworth is a difficult man to love and it’s not long before Mary gives him his marching orders. But Shuttleworth won’t take no for an answer and the gossips are eager for their next victim, and for the slightest hint of fraternization with the enemy. Suddenly, not only Mary’s happiness but her very life is threatened by the most dangerous of wartime secrets. or

23005792When war baby Sophie joins the macho world of 1960s journalism she’s determined to prove that she’s ‘one of the boys.’ But a shocking phone call from her estranged mother sets Sophie on a quest to discover the secret of her birth.
Was her father the all-American soldier she dreamt of when she was a child, or someone far more sinister? This is the story the ambitious reporter was destined to write.
Helped by the charming but mysterious David, Sophie uncovers a heartbroken wartime orphan, a GI romance and a terrifying rape that leads to an innocent man’s court martial – and clues to her own unhappy childhood.
Torn between her secret love for Steve, the newspaper’s most eligible bachelor, and a desire to know who she really is, Sophie follows David to find her father. Only when faced with the startling truth can she accept the tragedy of love, loss and betrayal and begin a very different kind of future. or

18903944It’s 2006 and Alex Mullen is coming to terms with a terrible past. Meeting up with Frankie, who shared the bad times, exposes one of Australia’s cruellest secrets. In Falmouth, 1942, commando Philip Seymour sails for France. Left on the quayside is Rosie, a half-Romany girl looking for something more from life than collecting old clothes to sell on for pennies. Philip, who turned down a commission on principle, is pal Tucker—haunted by dreams of strange beasts hanging in his father’s cold store, and Anderson—a mean spirited wide-boy who Philip doesn’t quite trust, are about to make history in the audacious raid on the docks of St Nazaire. What befalls the commandos shapes the lives of Rosie, Alex, and Philip in ways none of them could have imagined. or

17364469It’s 1945 and, as the troops begin to return home, the inhabitants of London attempt to put their lives back together. For 25-year-old Millie, a qualified nurse and midwife, the jubilation at the end of the war is short-lived as she tends to the needs of the East End community around her. But while Millie witnesses tragedy and brutality in her job, she also finds strength and kindness. And when misfortune befalls her own family, it is the enduring spirit of the community that shows Millie that even the toughest of circumstances can be overcome.

Through Millie’s eyes, we see the harsh realities and unexpected joys in the lives of the patients she treats, as well as the camaraderie that is forged with the fellow nurses that she lives with. Filled with unforgettable characters and moving personal stories, this vividly brings to life the colourful world of a post-war East London. or

6801335This never-before-translated masterpiece-by a heroic best-selling writer who saw his life crumble when he wouldn’t join the Nazi Party-is based on a true story.

It presents a richly detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis and tells the sweeping saga of one working-class couple who decides to take a stand when their only son is killed at the front. With nothing but their grief and each other against the awesome power of the Reich, they launch a simple, clandestine resistance campaign that soon has an enraged Gestapo on their trail, and a world of terrified neighbours and cynical snitches ready to turn them in.

In the end, it’s more than an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more than a moving romance, even more than literature of the highest order-it’s a deeply stirring story of two people standing up for what’s right, and each other. or

July edition of @EHDirectory which features our #bookreviews

July sees our book reviews featured in just the Elvetham Heath Directory.

Find the online edition here, load the online directory.

July EHD

Rosie’s book review page is on Page 18 this month.

The following books are featured;

James Bone and the Italian Job by Frank Bell

Baggy Pants & Booties by Marilyn Chapman

Childhunt by Faith Mortimer

The Scarlet Wench by M.K Graff

Future Perfect by Katrina Mountfort

Baggy Pants and Booties by @MarilynChapma77 @PublishingPush #Histfic

Baggy Pants and Bootees - second editionBaggy Pants and Bootees – second edition by Marilyn Chapman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Baggy Pants and Bootees is a historical fiction set in England with two time settings. We first meet Sophie in 1968, she’s a trainee newspaper reporter in Yorkshire. She’s determined to make a go of a job as a woman in a male dominated career. There is prejudice and unfair working conditions for Sophie but she is strong willed and determined.

A phone call out of the blue from her mother who threw her out when she was just sixteen, concerns Sophie. When she finds out her Mum has been hospitalised Sophie feels obliged to visit. An alcoholic Frances is in a bad way.

The clock turns back to 1940. Frances just fourteen lives in Coventry with her Mum, Dad and younger brother. On one night of bombing Frances runs out into the street to see the action. This saves her life as her house took a direct bomb. Left with no relatives the system puts her in an orphanage in Leicester, but she runs away for her own safety. Working in an factory Frances and her fellow workers meet Americans from the 82nd Airborne Division, known as “The Baggy Pants”. Ed Trask helps Frances and they fall in love, only for Ed to be sent out on his next mission.

A young Frances has to cope in severe conditions and delays in shock cause her mental health to become unstable, she had a very hard life and in the 1960’s Sophie tries to build up a picture of her life and find answers to questions from long ago.

The book title and cover give very little away about this book, it’s quite a little gem. Well paced, scenes move on quickly which keep the reader engaged. I felt very connected to both Sophie and Frances in their separate plights. I liked the fact that several of the character’s endings were left quite open and not all tied neatly off, it made the book more realistic.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by Publishing Push.

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