A Pearl for My Mistress by Annabel Fielding book review

a pearl for my mistress

A Pearl for My Mistress written by Annabel Fielding, publisher HQ Digital, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2mKYKFK

Product Details (as per amazon page)

England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady’s maid in a small aristocratic household.
Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.
Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…

vintage pearls

 

This debut novel by Annabel Fielding is loosely based on a pivotal moment in Britain’s political history.  To a time in the early 1930’s were a political uprising was brewing bringing with it fear, unease and danger. I didn’t know a great deal about this part of history and this is the beauty of historical fiction it does give the opportunity for the author to bring history to life to a new audience that otherwise wouldn’t have known about it.

The story starts with young Hester Blake leaving home and starting her job in service as a Ladies Maid.  She was to aid the Earl of Hereford’s daughter, Lady Lucy Fitzmartin, to care for her needs and play chaperone during her first appearances in society.  Hester’s first impression of Lady Lucy was of a delicate, porcelain-esque young lady that held an almost ethereal beauty.

Underneath this delicate cloak Lady Lucy held a strong attitude especially towards her beliefs in politics and this was clearly evident in her writing with her articles in the press.  When her writings take on an almost obsessive indulgence to this new regime her life together with those around her becomes in danger.  I felt that this fear almost drove her on and Lucy became blinkered to the whole picture of what was really going on in the country and Europe.

This was a story of a political uprising filled with secrets and espionage and a fear bringing danger.  Amongst all this upheaval the author has woven a love within the storyline.  A love that had to be kept hidden, a love that the lovers greedily sought comfort with each other.  Two women from very different backgrounds, both with a harrowing and heart breaking past, brought together at a time when women were glamorous but also finding that they had a useful place in society and their efforts could make a difference.  An interesting story that had me gripped wanting to know where the author would take me next.

To learn more about Annabel Fielding please do visit the following pages:

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/dearestannabel

Blog:  http://historygeekintown.com/

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Pieces of my Life by Rachel Dann book review

pieces of my life

Pieces of My Life written by Rachel Dann, publisher HQ Digital, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2j0JjqW

Product Details (as per amazon page)

A journey she never expected…

Kirsty is happy. Really, she is. After five years with her boyfriend, Harry, she’s ready to take things to the next step and turn that spare room into a little nursery. And she thought Harry was too.

Only, it turns out that Harry’s ‘big news’ is actually not that he wants to try for a baby, but that he wants to travel to South America – with Kirsty! She’ll just have to trust that after their trip of a lifetime, Harry will be ready to settle down for good.

Arriving in hot, steamy Ecuador it soon becomes clear that Harry is hiding something. Something that he’s been hiding for years. And as Kirsty’s dreams are at risk of shattering, she begins to pick up the pieces of the life that she’s put off for so long…

galapagos island

I was completely enthralled with this story right from the start.  Pieces of My Life is Rachel Dann’s debut novel and it completely ticked all the boxes for me.  Characters that were written with such warmth and relatable, exotic location that the author transported you to with the words on the page, intrigue and curiosity of the world and people around you and also about the person you have lived with for five years.  A journey dredging up memories from the past that at the time were very emotive but now you have time to re-evaluate them and see them in a different life. Thought provoking issues that made you think that first impressions are not the whole picture.  Political changes that could inevitably make the difference in someone’s life to give them hope and belief of a better tomorrow.

Kirsty and Harry have been together for five years since meeting at University.  Kirsty was so surprised that this well-travelled, handsomely rugged young man was interested in her, the shy studious student.  Kirsty was charmed by Harry from the start and when they graduated she happily accepted that they’d live closer to his place of work and Kirsty would commute each day to hers.  Kirsty was also keen to start a family and was feeling that the time was right in their lives however, Harry had other plans for their future.  Harry wanted them to go travelling to Ecuador and take a 3 month sabbatical from work.  He was so excited about this trip that the eagerness grew on Kirsty and she was soon planning trips and sights of interest to visit.

Once the couple arrive in the heat and bustle of this new world and culture Kirsty is captivated by it’s beauty but Harry’s enthusiasm has definitely ebbed and he is displaying unusual body languages.  They soon build up a friendship with owners of a local eatery and when Kirsty hears that the wife Gabi helps out in the local women’s prison Kirsty’s interest is peaked.  Whilst Harry continues to have mood swings and display unusual behaviour Kirsty decides to seek more information regarding helping out with the charity that visit the women prisoners.  Once Kirsty gains more information a spark from her dreams in the past slowly becomes alive and she aims to help the women, especially the British women held in a foreign cell.

We follow Kirsty’s new affirmative journey gaining the courage to go into a scenario she has never been before, understanding the lives of these women and finding out what she can do to help them.  We also follow Kirsty slowly unravelling Harry’s unusual attitude.  This three month visit to Ecuador will change Kirsty’s life in more ways than one as it opens up new wounds, old heartbreak, invigorates the dream in her professional life and also her personal life.  An uplifting, life affirming story set in a stunning location.  A family saga of sorts and a beautiful tale of new beginnings.

To find out more about Rachel Dann please visit the following pages:

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/dannrachel

Amazon UK Author Page:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rachel-Dann/e/B07285YW67

Grace & The Ghost by Estelle Maher book review

grace and the ghost

Grace & The Ghost written by Estelle Maher, publisher Team Author UK, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The book is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Is our life dictated by us, fate or divine intervention? On her way home from the office, thirty-year-old Grace Hammond stumbles across a tramp named Crowley who is found dead in her village the following day. Crowley soon returns to Grace looking for her help so he can cross over.  He just needs to complete a task that will have a positive effect on her life. Unfortunately, neither knows where to start! Help comes in the form of her landlord, her elderly neighbour, her gay best friend, a good looking American and Frank Sinatra! Can Grace help Crowley be with his family? Can she get her own life back on track?

rolleiflex camera

Is our life in the hands of fate or destiny?  This was such a wonderful debut novel by Estelle Maher that I feel quite privileged to have read.  The cover is strikingly simple and perfect for the storyline and is quite mesmerising with its swirls and tones of blue.  I do love a good romance and this was such an unusual storyline for a romance, a storyline filled with paranormal activities that are utterly charming in a quintessential way and I was hooked from the start.

Grace Hammond on her way home from work comes across a tramp called Crowley and has a brief conversation with him.  The next day he is sadly found dead but Crowley returns to Grace looking for assistance from her to help him carry on in his journey.  Grace is quite alarmed but seeing Crowley all cleaned up and dressed impeccably she is soon charmed by him and a friendship of trust and companionship is soon formed.

Grace and Crowley’s journey helping each other is filled with much emotion.  Estelle Maher has cleverly interwoven wit and humour with sadness and your tears  are soon dried out with a heart full of warmth.  You feel yourself falling in love with Crowley, his history is so heart breaking but he is taking this new journey in his life in his stride and is literally having a ball.  The connection he has made with Grace is beautiful and you feel that destiny has definitely pulled them together.  Along the journey we meet Grace’s friends the cantankerous Mrs Mortimer who is now in her 80’s and has lived in the village a good while.  Grace has formed a wonderful friendship with Mrs Mortimer and they share many happy times over a cup of tea.  Mrs Mortimer was to provide Grace with many positive attributes for the future including her very handsome American nephew Todd.  I adored Sean, Grace’s gay bff, he was vivacious and irresistible also I believe every village should have their own Big Mick and Patsy duo act.  The small village that Grace lives in sounds very charming and idyllic with it’s mix match of characters who all become united when one of their own is in need of help.  This soon becomes evident and it was really humbling to read about this community spirit.

This was a truly wonderful debut story and had me laughing and crying and left me swooning over a ghost called Crowley.  I look forward to more from Estelle Maher in the future.

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

To find out more about Estelle Maher please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://estellemaher.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/EstelleMaher

Facebook:  /www.facebook.com/estellemaherauthor/

All the Good Things by Clare Fisher book review

all the good things

All the Good Things written by Clare Fisher, publisher Viking, is available in ebook, hardcover and audio download format from 1st June 2017.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn’t deserve ever to feel good again.
But her counsellor, Erika, won’t give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby’s head.
But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.
What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone – even a 100% bad person – deserve a chance to be good?

notepad and pencil

Wow!  This book, this story, was so moving and so profound, it nearly broke me, to think that this could be the life of many, many young vulnerable people that get overlooked in society it’s heart breaking to comprehend.  Society’s initial thoughts are you are bad so there is no good but if you take a closer look in all the nooks and crannies you can see the good trying with all it’s might to break free from the bad; like the sun breaking away from the clouds.

This story of a young woman in prison for, in her words, doing something bad.  She has weekly visits from her counsellor who encourages her to look at her life and write a list of all the good things in her life.  Beth doubts that she had any good times but when she does put pen to paper there were wonderful, poignant times that once Beth remembered they brought a clarity back to her life.  A life that was now looking a little brighter but the longer the list grew the closer Beth got to opening up and reliving her bad thing.

A very moving, insightful story that was full of real life raw emotions, there was no sugar coating around the edges of life’s turbulent at times bumps in the road.  A wonderful, inspiring debut that I feel should be read by all that have any involvement with young people.  The words from this book will stay with me for a long time … 5/5*

I’d like to share a quote from the book that I particularly found moving …

It’s only now, two years and all these words later, that I see: having a difficult story is not necessarily bad.

To find out more about Clare Fisher please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://clarefisherwriter.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/claresitafisher

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ClareFisherWriter/

You’ll Be Thinking of Me by DensieWebb book review

youll-be-thinking-of-me

You’ll Be Thinking of Me written by Densie Webb, publisher Soul Mate Publishing, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audio download format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

A chance encounter with a celebrity, an impromptu video, and a shiny new espresso machine. It all added up to a juicy tale for 24-year-old Rachael Allen to share with friends. But when her best friend posts the video online, bizarre threats, home break-ins, and deadly gifts from an obsessed fan follow close behind.  Mick Sullivan, the star in her video, offers to help and in the process, Rachael discovers that despite his reputation as a player of Olympian caliber, he’s down-to-earth—and emotionally damaged. He has secrets; some he’s shared only with his pseudo best friend. Others he’s shared with no one. But there’s one secret he’s hidden from himself, washed away by too many beers.  Despite wildly divergent life paths, their shared southern upbringing (and a passion for good music) creates a common thread that draws them together. As the threats escalate, and their relationship deepens, Rachael struggles to accept Mick’s past—and his present. And she is forced to confront her own obsessive love to ultimately decide if being with Mick Sullivan is worth the collateral damage.

YOU’LL BE THINKING OF ME is the story of Rachael’s serendipitous encounter with a celebrity, her brush with obsessive love, and the bittersweet gift left behind by the very person fixated on destroying her life.

camera-reel-clipart

You’ll Be Thinking of Me is Densie Webb’s debut novel and after reading this dark, edgy romance I’m looking forward to more from Densie Webb; an author to look out for.

This is a dark, edgy romance detailing the full extent someone’s obsession will take them to which draws them onto a downhill cycle of self-destruction and anyone and anything that get’s in their way.

Rachael’s chance encounter with a celebrity brings her into danger.  The 24 year old was so excited and also dumbstruck to have met actor Michael Sullivan that the side effects are almost as unbelievable.  When Rachael first starts receiving threats she sorts of brushes them to the side but when tragedy strikes at her own door she can’t ignore them anymore.  Terrified and distraught she takes the evidence to the police but after receiving a muted response from them she goes to Michael Sullivan’s agency address and demands to see someone.  Michael casually walks in during this and offers to help Rachael and her family.  This offer of help unbeknown to Rachael and Michael brings them both in more danger.  However, this unexpected act of chivalry from Michael brings him and Rachael closer together and we get to hear about the ugly side of fame but also about Michael’s past.  Rachael is a sort of grounding influence on him.

Brenda, the young woman obsessed with Michael, is very deeply disturbed and has witnessed terrible things in her past.  We don’t get to see this side of Brenda until later on and it makes you feel a little sympathetic with her.  However, Brenda is so obsessed with Michael she can’t see anyway out of this road of destruction she’s led herself on.  Even with the help of a counselor Brenda refuses to open up about her feelings.  This road of destruction is very dark and deadly and you don’t really know what is going to happen next.

This was a page turning romance for me, I loved the heart warming elements of the story but the darker side kept me on edge and I literally couldn’t believe the extents to what a person with an unhealthy obsession would go to.  Fame and fortune isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, what you see in the glossy magazines and on the webpages is just a visual screen to what’s hiding underneath.  A great debut 5/5*

To find out more about Densie Webb please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.densiewebb.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/dlwebb

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/densielwebb