John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow by @MimiMatthewsEsq #HistFic #Gothic #RBRT

56036070._SY475_Author: Mimi Matthews

Due for publication on 20th July by Perfectley Proper Press

Category: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Gothic, Romance, Book Review

four-half-stars

Yorkshire, 1843. When disgraced former schoolmaster John Eyre arrives at Thornfield Hall to take up a position as tutor to two peculiar young boys, he enters a world unlike any he’s ever known. Darkness abounds, punctuated by odd bumps in the night, strange creatures on the moor, and a sinister silver mist that never seems to dissipate. And at the center of it all, John’s new employer—a widow as alluring as she is mysterious.

John Eyre is quite a different offering from from Mimi Matthews. In a very good way. It’s a gothic and paranormal retelling of Jane Eyre, with genders reversed and another classic tale thrown into the mix. The broodingly dark atmosphere of evil and menace is palpable.

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Backstories by Simon Van der Velde @SimonVdVWriter #ShortStories #LiteraryFiction #RBRT

51yJPAqCN1LAuthor: Simon Van der Velde

Published: March 2021 by Smoke and Mirrors Press

Genre: Short Stories, Biographical, Literary Fiction

four-half-stars

Dreamers, singers, heroes and killers, they can dazzle with their beauty or their talent or their unmitigated evil, yet inside themselves they are as frail and desperate as the rest of us. But can you see them? Can you unravel the truth? These are people you know, but not as you know them.Peel back the mask and see.

Backstories comprises fourteen intriguing tales of life changing moments in the lives of well known characters. The author has given his imagination free rein to pen concise but evocative descriptions, giving impressions, something that just might have some truth in it, of certain people before fame or notoriety claimed them. The twist being they are not fully named, in some cases not at all or not named as we might know them. It’s up to the reader to guess their identities. 

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Birds Don’t Cry by Sandy Day #FamilyDrama @sandeetweets #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

BirdsDontCryAuthor: Sandy Day

Published: August 2020

Category: Family Drama, Contemporary Fiction, Relationships, Book Review

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Sometimes sisters and brothers don’t get along – even when they’re middle aged.

Kaffy Sullivan lives and works in the business her grandparents began in the 20th century. Reclusive and offbeat, Kaffy hopes to inherit the inn and, with the help of her sister-in-law, operate it for the rest of her life.

Birds Don’t Cry explores the sibling relationships in the dysfunctional Sullivan family, mostly from Kaffy’s perspective.

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Grace & Serenity by @AnnalisaCrawf #ContemporaryFiction #Manipulation #Psychological #RBRT

I reviewed Grace & Serenity back in July for the blog tour run by Rachel’s Random Resources and am reposting for Rosie Amber’s book review team. 

My Thoughts

This was quite a dark, although sensitively addressed story, and one that emphasises how easily someone can get sucked in to situations they feel unable to control. Grace was just sixteen when she met Neil, and not much older when she became pregnant. Neil had charmed Grace from the beginning but she saw another side of him when she told him she was expecting their child. He didn’t want to know and made his feelings plain. This was the first sign of his true character and a precursor of what was to come.

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Gentleman Jim by @MimiMatthewsEsq #BookReview for #RBRT Regency #Romance #FridayReads

Author: Mimi Matthews

Due to be published 10th November by Perfectly Proper Press and is available for pre-order

Category: Regency Romance, Historical Fiction, Book Review

Wealthy squire’s daughter Margaret Honeywell was always meant to marry her neighbor, Frederick Burton-Smythe, but it’s bastard-born Nicholas Seaton who has her heart. Raised alongside her on her father’s estate, Nicholas is the rumored son of notorious highwayman Gentleman Jim. When Fred frames him for theft, Nicholas escapes into the night, vowing to find his legendary sire. But Nicholas never returns. A decade later, he’s long been presumed dead.

Maggie Honeywell, the only child of Squire Honeywell and raised more as his son and eventual heir than an indulged daughter, had a happy childhood spending most of her time with Nicholas Seaton, the illegitimate son of scullery maid, Jenny Seaton. Now a groom in Squire Honeywell’s stables, Nicholas had incurred the wrath of Frederick Burton-Smythe, whose estate borders the Honeywell’s and the man her father wants Maggie to marry. Their fathers had agreed years ago the two would marry, thereby joining the two estates. Maggie had other ideas. Nicholas was the only man for her and the feeling was mutual.

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The Lost Blackbird by @LizaPerrat ~ Fiction based on Fact #HistoricalFiction #Psychological #RBRT #FridayReads

Author: Liza Perrat

Category: Based on Fact, Psychological, Historical, Book Review

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London 1962. A strict and loveless English children’s home, or the promise of Australian sunshine, sandy beaches and eating fruit straight from the tree. Which would you choose?

Ten-year-old Lucy Rivers and her five-year-old sister Charly are thrilled when a child migrant scheme offers them the chance to escape their miserable past.

But on arrival in Sydney, the girls discover their fantasy future is more nightmare than dream.

The story begins in January 1962 when Lucy and Charly Rivers’ father comes home drunk, as he often does, and a fall leaves him dead at the bottom of the stairs. Their mother, who was out at the time, was charged with his murder and the sisters were sent to Easthaven Home for Girls. The home was run by authoritative and heartless Mrs Mersey, who spared no kindness or pity for the unfortunate girls in her supposed care.

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Fame & Fortune: The Victorian Detectives by @carolJhedges #BookReview for #RBRT #FridayReads

Author: Carol Hedges

Published: August 2020 by Little G Books

Category: Historical Fiction, Murder, Mystery, Book Review

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London, 1867. When the body of a man is discovered hanging from a Thames bridge, Detectives Greig and Cully, two of Scotland Yard’s finest crime-solvers, are called in to investigate the mysterious circumstances of his death. Their inquiry will lead them into a world of extortion, robbery and human trafficking, and at its centre, the Black brothers, Munro and Herbert, London’s most evil and ruthless individuals, who will stop at nothing to keep their position at the top of London’s criminal underworld.

Fame & Fortune is the eighth outing for DS Jack Cully, DI Lachlan Greig and DI Leo Stride, otherwise known as the Victorian Detectives. Carol Hedges immerses us once again in a London peopled with the sad and the bad, the rich and the poor, and the evocatively described back alleys, slums and more fashionable thoroughfares they inhabit.

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Listed Dead by @Jancoledwards ~ A Bunch Courtney Investigation, Book 3 #HistoricalFiction #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Jan Edwards

Published: July 2020 by Penkhull Press

Category: Historical Fiction, Cosy Murder/Mystery, Book Review

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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.

Listed Dead is the third in the Bunch Courtney series and told from her perspective in the third person. There’s much more insight into the Courtney sisters’ background, the environment in which they grew up and the family dynamics in this book. Things have changed drastically for Bunch since the start of the war. The family home, Perringham House, has been requisitioned by the military and Bunch is left to run the estate with the help of Land Girls, while living at the Dower House with her Granny Beatrice.

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Death by Windmill: A Mother’s day Murder in Amsterdam by Jennifer S. Alderson #BookReview for #RBRT #CosyMystery

Author: Jennifer S. Alderson

Published: May 2020 by Travelling Life Press

Category: Cosy Murder/Mystery, Book Review

A Mother’s Day trip to the Netherlands turns deadly when a guest plummets from a windmill. Was it an accident or a murder? For Lana Hansen, the answer will mean freedom or imprisonment for someone close to her…

Lana Hansen is scheduled to lead the Mother’s Day tour of the Netherlands despite her boss Dotty Thompson’s reservations. Lana and her estranged mother, Gillian, haven’t been close for the past ten years, since Lana was sacked from her job as an investigative reporter for the Seattle Chronicle. Dotty is determined to bring them closer together and has a plan.

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Fair as a Star (Victorian Romantics Book 1) by @MimiMatthewsEsq #Victorian #Romance #RBRT #FridayReads

Author: Mimi Matthews

Due to be Published by Perfectly Proper Press on 14th July

Category: Victorian Romance, Book Review

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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.

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.

It’s a long time since I read a Victorian romance so this proved to be a nice change. The story opens as Beryl Burnham and her Aunt Hortensia arrive home after spending the past year in Paris. The reason for the trip isn’t revealed until later in the story and creates much empathy for Beryl. The first thing Beryl does on reaching Shepton Worthy is to pay her respects to the curate, Mark Rivenhall, when she notices the church doors are open, signalling Mark was there. He was soon to become her brother-in-law as Beryl was betrothed to Sir Henry Rivenhall.

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