Review of ‘The Cornish Captive’ by Nicola Pryce

‘The Cornish Captive’ by Nicola Pryce is the sixth novel in her historical series set in Cornwall.  The year is 1800 and Madeleine Pelligrew has been imprisoned for the past fourteen years. Falsely accused of being insane, she has been moved from one mad house to another, until one day a man appears with papers feeing her. But she has suffered so much at the hands of men and finds it impossible to trust any of them. Can this man be trusted? 

As she hides her true identity, she attempts to find out exactly what happened all those years ago. Who was really responsible for her incarceration? The friendship of a French prisoner on parole, Captain Pierre de la Croix gives her some hope for the future – but can she believe him? Against the background of the French Revolution and its aftermath the people of Cornwall are unwittingly drawn into the actions of the secret resistance, never really knowing what side their neighbours and friends are really on.

I have always loved historical fiction, so jumped at the chance to read ‘The Cornish Captive’. Although part of a well-established series, it can easily be read as a standalone. The Cornish setting is beautifully described, with the sweeping landscapes of Cornwall an integral part of the story. The historical background of the French Revolution and the years following it, make the story all the more fascinating. Reading about such an important event from the viewpoint of the ordinary people affected made it feel more relevant. It was about more than Mme. Guillotine.

Madeleine’s story is the story of one woman, but also the story of so many women, whose lives were controlled and ruined by powerful men. I wanted to know more about this woman who had been damaged by the treatment of others and by her past. She had strength and determination and this saw her through many trials. One could not help but sympathise with her plight and also fear for her future. Could she trust Pierre de la Croix? Was he the answer to her prayers? 

This thoroughly enjoyable epic story took me through a range of emotions. Not just fear and suspicion, but love, joy and hope too. The writing was immersive and kept me hooked until the end. It left me happy, and so glad to have spent some time in Cornwall with these characters.

I was given this ARC to review.

My New Story Is Out – Bridget

I have a new story out in the world. A sweet, healing short story. I hope you will enjoy reading about Bridget. This is the start of her journey. Maybe we will find out even more about her in the future.

Available in ebook and Kindle Unlimited. Click on the Universal Link below:

#womensfiction #healing #booktw #BookTwitter #Bookrecommendations #bookblogger

Lady Grim 2021 coming 18th September

My story ‘The Shop on Pitkin Lane’ is part of this wonderful anthology due out on 18th September.

Lady Grim 2021 is a collection of stories from some of your favourite authors, just in time for the Halloween season.

There are stories from Adrian J Smith, Annette Mori, Elaine Mattern, Jane Alden, KT Brodland, LL Shelton, Kitty McIntosh, Lila Bruce, Nance Sparks, Ocean, Rita Potter, Serenity Snow, Tiffany E Taylor.

Review of ‘Dead Lez Walking’ by G Benson

‘Dead Lez Walking’ is exciting, tense, funny and touching. When an outbreak of a mysterious virus hits Perth, the hospital Taren works in takes the brunt. As a lockdown is enforced, she and her colleagues must find a way to survive – or become victims themselves. This is no ordinary virus. As zombies wander the corridors looking for their next meal, surgeon Joy wakes to find her world turned upside down. One by one, the survivors find each other and with the help of some medical knowledge, sheer determination and more than a hint of gallows humour, they battle against the odds.

G Benson’s books are normally funny, romantic and exciting. And ‘Dead Lez Walking’ is all of those things – but with gore and light horror too. It was so well written that she had me believing this could really happen. She made it seem so real. That was down to great characters, snappy, witty dialogue and a story with pace. All throughout I could not help but think it would make a terrific film. 

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Ignis’ by KJ

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love KJ’s writing. But this one surprised even me. It’s absolutely wonderful. Completely different from anything I’ve read from her before. It’s a gripping, chilling, and at times scary, mystery. 

Felicity is the headmistress of Rawson Girls Grammar school, and lives a controlled life, where she calls the shots. But she’s no Ice Queen. She’s kind and charitable, but just doesn’t shout about it. When disturbing events begin to happen in her vicinity, Inspector Tal Diamandis is assigned to the case. As they work together to find out why, secrets from the past threaten to surface. And an attraction between them flares, forcing  Felcity to rethink her self-imposed rules. 

I love mysteries, so was thrilled that KJ has decided to dip her pen in this genre. Is there anything this woman does not excel at? She blended a brilliant story with romance and passion perfectly.

‘Ignis’ is compelling reading and I couldn’t put it down. It’s an excellent story, full of heart. It has pain, hope, love and power. The best KJ book so far. 

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Under A Greek Moon’ by Carol Kirkwood

Carol Kirkwood has taken me on a wonderful journey, full of romance, Hollywood glamour and summer loving. ‘Under a Greek Moon’ is the story of Shauna Jackson, a beautiful  film-star with a secret in her past.  When her life changes unexpectedly, she feels a desire to return to the Greek island where she lost her heart many years before. Demetrios Theodosis appears to have it all, but he has regrets and feels it’s too late to change. Trying to control his headstrong daughter is not working out well. Will he push her away? Or find a solution they can both live with? Life on Ithos is about to get very interesting!

I loved this story. There was love and romance, but there was also heartache and regret. It had heart and warmth and characters I grew to love. Ms Kirkwood gave me everything I wanted in the perfect summer holiday read. 

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘The Man Who Died Twice’ by Richard Osman

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the second book in Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series, so I was delighted to receive an early review copy. I loved it even more than the first one. It was like coming home to old friends, as we joined Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron for another mystery and some fantastic adventures. When Elizabeth receives a letter from an old work colleague the Murder Club members become embroiled in a dangerous hunt for stolen diamonds, involving mobsters and the real possibility that the bodies will start piling up again. 

It was everything I hoped for and more. It was perfectly plotted, utilising the various talents of the group. Each and every character mattered in this story, because that’s how it’s solved. Not with one person, but with the combined strengths of each of them. Foolish is the person who underestimates these septuagenarians.

It made me smile and made me shed a little tear. We can only hope to have friends like Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron when we move to our own retirement villages. 

And even if I have only a fraction of the excitement they have, I’ll be happy.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Six Tudor Queens: Katharine Parr- The Sixth Wife’ by Alison Weir

This is the second of this series that I have read, and it is just as good, if not better than book 5, which told the story of Katheryn Howard. This time we find out about the life of Katharine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s six wives. Katharine Parr survived the King, and did not suffer the fates of her predecessors, who were either divorced, died or were executed. It’s a fascinating story, of a very strong woman. It’s written in an accessible way, explaining the historical background and characters involved. It’s a fictionalised account, but with an amazing depth of historical knowledge behind it. Katharine was loving and caring, with a sharp intelligence and a backbone. She stood up for her family and friends, in a time where being true to oneself could lead to the Tower.
Alison Weir always takes us from the early childhood of each of the Queens and lets us see what life was like for girls and women in Tudor England. And we see that no matter their rank in life, they were ultimately breeding stock. She shows us the fascinating, witty, clever and accomplished women who had to fight to be anything more brood mares. We see the manipulations of their families and the political intrigue to get them married off to suitable, highly-ranked men.
This was a beautifully told story, showing that the women behind the throne were the true heroes of the Tudor era.

Review of ‘Change of Plans’ by KJ

Are you supposed to fall in love with the characters in the book you’re reading? If not, I must have missed that directive. Because it is impossible not to fall for Emily and Skye in KJ’s latest novel, ‘Change of Plans’. Emily is a stickler for planning every last detail of her life. Skye is not. Emily is unsure and worries a lot, and finding a way to be happy is not easy for her. Can she find a way to change? Will Skye be the one to help her do that? Her life as a bike courier suits her. She goes with the flow and hopes for the best. Can two such different women ever make it work?

I loved Emily. Kind, adorable and thoughtful, with her own outlook on life. She is who she is, and that’s fine by me. It takes different strokes and it’d be boring if we were all the same. Skye could see how wonderful she was and felt quite protective of her. This is the kind of book that makes the reader feel all warm and fuzzy. It’s about finding your person. The one who gets you. Because not everyone will, and that’s fine too. It made me feel hopeful, because there are good people out there. We’re so used to hearing the bad stuff on the news – and we forget that there are good people out there with hearts of gold, ready and willing to help others.

It made me smile with joy and happiness. KJ looks into the hearts of her characters and sees the best in them. She has a wonderful  outlook, and it comes through in her writing.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘While Justice Sleeps’ by Stacey Abrams

While Justice Sleeps is utterly compelling and brilliantly plotted, with legal and political intrigue to keep the reader up all night. You will not want to put this one down! 

Avery works as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Howard Wynn. When he ends up in a coma, she finds herself unexpectedly in charge of his affairs. But why? He has entrusted her with a puzzle, one that she alone is capable of solving. The story is brilliantly conceived, with mysteries and secrets she must uncover before it’s too late. It didn’t let up for a second. I loved Avery. She was smart, resourceful and loyal. But she also knew how to get the most out of people, how to encourage their talents. The world of Washington politics was fascinating and all the more so because it felt as if the author knew exactly what she was writing about. It felt real. This book would make an amazing film. 

I was given this ARC for review.