Sunday, 15 July 2018

Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight

Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight

Elisabeth Hobbes

Beguiled by the Forbidden Knight by Elisabeth Hobbes

Reviewed by Helen

It is a long time since I have read a medieval story and this one is good, times were really hard back then, the land and people have been ravaged by war and there will be many changes and when Lord Gilbert du Rospez arrives at Haxby to claim his bride Lady Sigrun, he is told she has been sent away to a priory, and he must go and fetch her, he is not overly keen to do so, instead he sends his best friend Guilherm Fitzlannion in his place.

Lady Sigrun was sent to the priory by her mother when things were getting bad during the war and this has left her very quiet and she enjoys being at the priory and keeps to herself but she is close to her handmaiden Aelfhid. So when a Lord arrives to take her back to be his bride she and Aelfhid run away determined to get back home and work this out, but they don’t get far before the Lord catches up with them and they decide to switch roles.

Guilherm agrees to help his friend out on this with the promise of land when he returns with his bride, but along the way Guilherm meets a feisty sprite while bathing and is shocked to find her at the priory when he arrives, but when he learns that she is to be Gilbert’s wife and her and her handmaiden run he high tails it after them, and seeing as how he too has taken on the role of Gilbert and with danger around every corner Guilherm and Aelfhid get closer every day.

Aelfhid is a very feisty and strong woman and plays the part of her friend very well but as she falls in love a little bit more each day keeping her secret gets harder and the same goes for Guilherm he has been damaged badly by the war and this plays a part in their getting closer Aelfhid is so easy to talk to and open up to that it is also easy to fall in love with her as well. When they escape danger together and arrive back to Haxby and the truth is revealed then there are smiles all around for them and this reader was left feeling very happy, this was a story that I thoroughly enjoyed and can highly recommend.

4/5 stars for a great story

Published May 22nd 2018 by Harlequin

Monday, 9 July 2018

The Desert Nurse

The Desert Nurse

Pamela Hart

The Desert Nurse by Pamela Hart

Reviewed by Helen

This is an amazing story, a story of courage and strength, there are so many emotions throughout this book, it is heart wrenching at times and just so very moving, as MS Hart takes us back to World War 1 and the extraordinary women who nurse our soldiers during a bitter and bloody conflict and the love that they found. I can’t highly recommend this book enough, it is so beautifully written a must read.

Evelyn Northey comes from Taree in country NSW her father is a Doctor and when her mother passes away Evelyn is pulled out of school to assist as her father’s nurse, but it also stops Evelyn from doing what she wants to do most and that is study to become a doctor herself. She is strong and determined and ends up getting her nursing certificate behind her father’s back and when war breaks out, she does the unthinkable and enlists and is sent to Egypt and the Gallipoli campaign. Here Evelyn learns even more about medicine and makes many friends including Dr William Brent whom she becomes very close to.

William Brent is a polio survivor from a middle class family in Parramatta he studies and becomes a doctor and although he cannot enlist with the army he still makes sure that he gets himself to the war front to assist in any way he can, and no amount of pain will stop him from saving as many men as he can working hours in the operating theatre with Evelyn as his nurse. This brings them close together and they become friends along the way.

MS Hart describes the settings so beautifully, the countries torn apart by war, the people that are hurt, their pain and suffering and the medical staff that do what they can in such at times really tough spots, but the feelings of the fabulous characters tell us so much more, I felt so close to Evelyn and Will as they try so hard to deny the love that is growing between them through such a testing time in life. The question do they, or do they not marry, both have their reasons for not wanting to but will love conquer?

I loved this compelling, moving and emotional story from start to finish and honestly cannot highly recommend it enough, MS Hart has a way with words that brings all of her characters to life on the pages, bought me to tears at times, I felt the pain but I also smiled many times as well, thank you MS Hart this one is going to stay with me for a long time.

5/5 stars for a fabulous story

Expected publication: July 10th 2018 by Hachette Australia

Friday, 29 June 2018

Collector of Hearts

Collector of Hearts

Cassandra Samuels

Collector Of Hearts by Cassandra Samuels

Reviewed by Helen

I do enjoy a good historical, and a rake and this one kept me turning the pages, but is Robert Mallory, Marquis of Shelton really a rake, his life is about to be turned upside down when he meets the beautiful, delectable twin Arabella Fleming in her first season, sit back and enjoy the ride as I did.

Arabella and her twin Isabell are set to have their first season both hoping to meet and fall in love with the man they can spend the rest of their lives with, but when Arabella meets the notorious Collector of Hearts and feels a very strong pull towards him and wants to get to know the real man behind the moniker, this starts a very interesting and up hill journey to a HEA that is beautiful, Arabella is such a strong caring lady and she is going to need all of her strength to get Robert to open up.

Robert Mallory was hurt so badly by a woman that he decides that he will make a name for himself and collect all the hearts he can, he is notorious for duels and he always steers clear of young virgins, married woman that want a fling are much more to him, that is until he meets Arabella, strong and feisty she hits a nerve in him that may just change him. Or bring him back to who he really is.

This is a really good story so many emotions flying from the pages, I loved the strength shown by Arabella and the way Robert finally opened up, let himself believe again in love and Arabella did that for him as no one else could before. A moving sensual story, MS Samuels has bought the characters to life on the pages, had me turning the pages and left me sighing and smiling thank you MS Samuels for a fabulous story, this is one that I highly recommend to anyone who loves a story that will pull them in. Bonus is that we have two HEA’s with Isabell and Robert’s best friend Quinn.
4/5 stars for a great story

Published June 12th 2018 by Escape Publishing

Friday, 8 June 2018

Lord of Mischief

Lord of Mischief

The Duke of Strathmore #6

Sasha Cottman

Lord of Mischief by Sasha Cottman

Reviewed by Helen

This one was a ride and half through secret challenges for the second son of a Viscount Freddie Rosemount and the woman who jumped up to help him Eve Saunders, you see Eve likes to live on the wild side and she is after a husband and when they meet the sparks fly, so hang onto you hats for a wild ride of sensual delight but there is also a bit of a dark side to this story and to be honest there were times that I could have hit Freddie this is how well the book is written MS Cottman she had me really invested in this one and pulled me in from page one, I do very much recommend this one.

Freddie is doing his best to be accepted into The Bachelor Board, a crowd of men from the house of commons, being the second son Freddie is determined to make something of himself in life, never realizing what type of men he is getting himself involved with and when he meets the beautiful Eve Saunders he instantly finds a mate that will help him with his secret challenges, but at what cost?

Eve Saunders likes to push boundaries within the ton and is obsessed with beating her younger beautiful sister to the alter and with the help of her brother she is often out and about when she probably shouldn’t be, but this is how she meets Freddie and together they get themselves into a few sticky situations but it also opens their eyes to a sensual sizzling pull that heats up as they meet new challenges.

This really is a great story, fast paced with danger and yes there is hurt there, especially with the last challenge that is issued to Freddie, but it is this challenge that finally sees Freddie come to his senses and ask for help. But can he win back the beautiful Eve after all that has happened? I must be honest and say that I didn’t like Freddie at times during this story but he did redeem himself beautifully in my eyes and the twist at the end was fabulous, and as for Eve she is such a strong person and will be a challenge in herself, oh boy their lives are going to be such fun. Thank you MS Cottman for another fabulous story.

5/5 stars for a fabulous story

Published June 1st 2018

Monday, 21 May 2018

The Last Of The Bonegilla Girls

The Last Of The Bonegilla Girls

Victoria Purman

The Last Of The Bonegilla Girls by Victoria Purman

Reviewed by Helen

This is an emotional story set across the years from 1954 to 2018 a story of families coming to Australia for a new life but that doesn’t always come easy there are lots of bridges to cross a new language to learn and new foods to get used to, sixteen year olds Elizabeta, Vasiliki, Iliana and Frances come together in this story that endures such strength, love and friendship and such caring for each other, this one had me turning the pages feeling emotional and teary at times but also feeling fortunate to get to know these girls and the joy that they shared, I hope that you will pick this one up and also enjoy their journey.

Elizabeta and her family have arrived from Germany after being taken from their country of Hungry she has a younger sister and this family has struggled since the war and being German can sometimes make it harder for them.

Vasiliki is from a Greek family she is the only daughter, they are hard workers and are looking forward to their new lives but of course giving up the Greek life is not easy for them.

Iliana is Italian again the only daughter with three brothers they too have been through a lot during the war and making the decision to move to Australia is a big one.

Frances is Australian the daughter of the director of Bonegilla Migrant Camp where the families have arrived and Frances sets out to help these girls as much as she can teaching them English and becoming their friend, together they can accomplish much.

This is the story of a bond so strong between four girls from totally different backgrounds that lasts across years, through thick and thin, with years not getting in touch with each other but always knowing that they will be there for each other, there is a lot of heartache in these years, secrets that have been kept and although the girls move to different states the line of contact is always there. Their strength carried throughout, there is love, laughter tragedy, pain but a true friendship, and this is an emotional roller coaster that had me in tears and I am not going to forget this one for a while.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, I grew up with a lot of girls from these countries myself and it was hard for them to meld to the Aussie way but still be themselves and I counted a lot of them as my friends, thank you MS Purman for a fabulous story, this is one that I highly recommend.

5/5 stars for a fabulous story

Published April 23rd 2018 by HQ Fiction

Monday, 14 May 2018

The Parsi Seamstress

The Paris Seamstress

Natasha Lester

The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester

Reviewed By Helen
I am left speechless and emotional after reading this awesome story WOW, this is the first Natasha Lester book I have read and I need to fix that because here is an author that you don’t want to miss, this is just so beautifully written, moving, emotional I loved it, a story across two timelines World War 11 1940’s and 2015, fabulous characters that show love, strength and what they go through, secrets to uncover and love to find. I do highly recommend this book.

The story starts in 1940 in Paris the Germans are coming to Paris and Estella Bissette a young seamstress is sent to Manhattan by her mother after she helps with secret papers and meets a man she will never forget, she has very little in her pockets but she has a sewing machine and hope and strength, she meets Sam on her way over and then Janie when she gets there and then her life changes when she meets Lena and Alex and there is a lot to learn and fashions to create.

It is now 2015 Australia and a young curator Fabienne Bissette is travelling to New York for her beloved grandmother’s Gala exhibition of her fashions, a lot has happened in the past year for Fabienne, the death of her father she has just taken on a new job and sadly her grandmother is getting frailer as she gets older. Fabienne has doubts on whether she could take over Stella Designs as her grandmother wishes and is sent to Paris for the weekend where she meets Will and these two inspire each other. When her grandmother suffers a stroke and is trying to tell her things that she needs to know, life again changes when she uncovers heartbreaking secrets that in the end will make her stronger.

Really this is such an emotional story I loved it from page one I savoured every word every trip to Paris and Manhattan and from the 1940’s to 2015 from Estella and Fabienne and all of the characters that we get to know and love. The love the strength the pain the heartache and yes the joy that is there, I bow down to you MS Lester this story is going to stay with me for a long time to come I have tears in my eyes typing this review and cannot highly recommend it enough thank you for a fabulous story.

5/5 stars for a fabulous story

Published March 27th 2018 by Hachette Australia

Saturday, 28 April 2018

The Juliet Code

The Juliet Code

Christine Wells

The Juliet Code by Christine   Wells

Reviewed by Helen

Oh my this is another brilliant story from MS Wells I do hope I can do it justice with this review, it is a poignant, heart-rending at times, a tale of a real hero a woman sent behind the enemy lines in occupied France during WW11 and the things she went through, but also the strength that holds her together and the love that she has for the man who will always love her, this story is a must read I am sure you will not be disappointed.

Juliet Barnard becomes a British agent with the Special Operations Executive SOE as a radio operator she is fabulous at codes but according to her superiors reports not so good in other areas but they are in desperate need of radio operators, so Juliet meets code breaker Felix Mortimer and there is a spark instantly, he devises special plans for Juliet in case she is ever caught and then off to France she goes for a dangerous and mind changing time but through thick and thin and being caught and tortured Juliet stays strong. While at home Felix keeps his hopes high and always believes in her.

Juliet makes it home and after all that she has been through is not the same person that left England, it is now 1947 and Juliet has a lot that she keeps locked away hopefully never to spoken about again but with a lot of other SOE agents missing when SAS officer Mac finds her and asks for her help this brings Juliet back to France the last place she wants to be but with Felix by her side and some sheer determination Juliet finally opens up and comes to terms with the guilt that has kept from looking to the future.

There is a lot happening in this story, the pain and struggle that Juliet and others went through and what the Nazis did to them the mind torture as well as physical torture was horrible but I loved the strength that shows through and MS Wells has made these characters so real and alive I was turning the pages, savoured every word to see what happened, and what an ending it is just so fabulous after everything that had happened, really I cannot highly recommend this book enough so emotional and moving it will be a long time before I stop thinking about Juliet, Felix and so many awesome characters, thank you MS Wells for another fabulous keeper.

5/5 stars for a fabulous story

Expected publication: April 30th 2018 by Penguin Random House