26 June 2017

The Beekeeper's Daughter by Jane Jordan


Amazon UK £3.23 / £13.49
Amazon US $4.20 / $16.84
Amazon CA $5.39 / $23.06

Romance / Family Drama / Witchcraft
19th Century
Exmoor, Devon

Well, set on Exmoor, of course I had to read this one! 

The beekeeper’s daughter, Annabel, and the blacksmith’s son, Jevan, have a deep, almost obsessed, bond as teenagers. They are wild and impulsive, as you would expect from Annabel, who is the daughter of a witch. She has control over the bees, the weather, and feels deep betrayal when Jevan leaves for schooling in London.

When he returns, several years later, the heir to a local powerful family is courting Annabel – and then the trouble really begins!

The story has unsettling darkness, and the ‘witchcraft’ of Annabel’s connection with the bees is as much a part of the story as her relationship with Jevan. There is romance, mystery, and the occult alongside a battle of wills and supernatural forces. Add to that, the characters are vivid, flawed individuals who are victims of the Darkness of Evil, but they are also heroes – although to say more will give spoilers, if you are Ok with the supernatural element - read this one, but probably not a novel for those who prefer their romance as a light read. For those who like something more gritty, however…

© Helen Hollick

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24 June 2017

It's the last weekend in June

no reviews today - but how about visiting our 
Reader's Voice Page?



This month:

Fact v Fiction - is accuracy in historical novels essential? Have YOUR say! click here: https://discoveringdiamonds.blogspot.co.uk/p/g.html

and 
Did you miss?

our Guest Spot?




Alison Morton's fine tribute to Lindsey Davis, 
author of the Falco series

click here


more reviews on Monday!

23 June 2017

The Sisters of St Croix by Diney Costloe



Amazon UK £3.85 / £15.90
Amazon US $4.70 / $5.96
Amazon CA $0.99 / $4.27

family drama 
WWII
France

Occupied France. A group of nuns assist the resistance to smuggle Jews and British Airmen out of France, mindful of the power and menace of the Nazis.

There is a background of secrets and spies running through this tale of wartime good v evil. There is tension and excitement, deceptions and collaborations – perhaps not a unique plot, certainly not a new idea but so what? This is a gripping story of courage and determination in the face of adversity and cruelty. A story to become engrossed in while on that long holiday flight, or sunning on the beach.

© Ellen Hill

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22 June 2017

Fire and Sword by Harry Sidebottom

Throne of the Caesars: Book 3


Amazon UK £5.99 / £5.99 /£14.03
Amazon US $6.05 / $18.27
Amazon CA $20.69

Military
238 AD
Ancient Rome

series

The Roman Empire has fallen into chaos. The Emperor and his son are dead, and former Emperor, Maximinus Thrax, hopes to reclaim his rightful position, but the Senators are more interested in saving their own skins should Maximus succeed.

This was a violent and bloody period of Rome’s history, a period and situation which is reflected in this novel, which is impeccably researched. 

As the third in a series, although a stand-alone novel, I would suggest you start at the beginning to maximise enjoyment of this author’s wonderful talent as a writer, and involvement as a reader with the well portrayed characters and events.

A definite for Roman History lovers!

© Anne Holt

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21 June 2017

The Body in the Ice by A J MacKenzie


Amazon UK £6.47 / £18.95
Amazon US $8.31 / $23.95
Amazon CA $9.99 / $31.95

Mystery / Thriller
1796
Romney Marsh, Kent

(A Hardcastle and Chaytor Mystery)

The marsh village of Hope had once been a thriving community, but plague has devastated its existence. All that is left is a ruined church – and now at Christrmas-tide, a dead body found in the frozen ice - murdered by a blow to the head. Flickering lanterns illuminate a pool of blood, the jewelled buttons on the corpse’s waistcoat and his expensive watch fob. Found by a boy, was the corpse killed at the old church, or does his death have something to do with the Romney Marsh smugglers?

Justice of the peace for St Mary in the Marsh, the Reverend Hardcastle, has to investigate what is obviously a callous murder, but it seems he has an impossible task ahead of him. His friend, Amelia Chaytor, is there to help him solve the riddle, and along with a new arrival, Captain Edward Austen, it soon becomes apparent that there is more here to solve than was first thought...

The plot of this gripping tale thickens with an American family desperate to take possession of their ancestral home, a French spy, and secrets and revenge all adding to this intriguing and page-turning mystery.
To say more will spoil a riveting and most exciting read - but be warned, this promises to be an excellent series... I promptly whizzed over to Amazon and added the first one to the top of my T.B.R.list.

© Anne Holt

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20 June 2017

The Shadow Queen by Anne O'Brien


Amazon UK £6.99 / £8.16
Amazon US $9.81 / $14.39
Amazon CA $19.59

Biographical fiction
14th century
England

This is a story of love, loyalty, and of families grasping at anything for the gain of power, no matter what stands in the way. It is also the story, so very well written, of the mother of Richard II, a beautiful girl who pays the price of high ambition.

Joan of Kent, a minor royal, is little known outside of those who study this period of history, I had no idea of anything about her. Her love for a minor knight was doomed from the outset – for the reader, a train-crash waiting to happen. Her life in this excellent novel is beautifully written with impeccable research and true feeling. The story and the characters come vividly alive as a romance, as an adventure and as the plotting and scheming that enshrined nearly every era of royal intrigue.

Joan, here, knows her own mind. She is the feisty heroine, the shrewd woman who refuses to be controlled.

The book is hard to put down, it takes you to the world of knights and jousts and to a woman who really ought to be far more well known in history and historical fiction!

Highly recommended

© Ellen Hill

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