Friday 23 February 2024

A Death in Chelsea

 A Death in Chelsea

Lady in Blues Mysteries #2

H.L. Marsay



Reviewed by Helen


Book two in this wonderful series and I was pulled in from the start, it was so good catching up with Dorothy, Nina, Margaret and Mary again as they continue to work as WPV, Woman’s Police Volunteer, the war is still going on and more woman are needed to help in this role and Dorothy is forever training new woman and wants to be out on the streets but her true desire is to be a police investigator when Margaret discovers her neighbours body in his yard.

Dorothy arrives to help not long before Inspector Derwent and his team arrive and she is offering her opinion as they search for clues and when they discover that the very wealthy neighbour’s will is missing a list of suspects grows and Dorothy is more determined than ever to show Inspector Derwent that she is very capable of being a very good investigator.

As another spanner is thrown into the works with a grandson and what has happened to him and then another death things are heating up and Dorothy is working hard to find the killer, there is unrest in her group of friends and with the news that a woman MPV member has been given a warrant card and authorized to arrest as needed, Dorothy’s hopes for herself are growing if she can prove herself this time.

This is another fabulous story in this series it is so well written that I felt transported to Chelsea 1915, I love the characters and the way Dorothy works through clues to get to the answers and her special way with witnesses especially female ones. This is one that I would highly recommend to any lover of a good historical mystery, I am really looking forward to the next one in the series I am sure we are going to see Dorothy excel.

My thanks to the publisher Tule Publishing for my digital copy to read and review.

5 stars
February 27, 2024 by Tule Publishing

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Highland Heartbreaker

 Highland Heartbreaker

Highland Hearts #2

Steffy Smith



Reviewed by Helen


We are back in one of my favourite parts of the world The Scottish Highlands, we met Alex MacNichol on our last visit and he is one Braw Scotsman who flits from bed to bed he has no intention of settling down, that is until his King finds him a bride and not just any bride she is English.

Lady Grace Worthington is a quiet young woman who had been engaged to a Baron for a long time but when he is killed in battle a trade is made to try and keep the peace between the borders and she has been whisked away to the highlands to marry a Scotsman, she arrives with her Nanny and is battling her nerves, will she come through this?

Alex is not happy about who has been chosen for him but is willing to do as ordered, when his bride to be alights from her carriage he is stunned at her beauty she is not what he expected, but he also senses her nerves, he is determined to make sure she settles in.

With Jamie and Izzy at Balla Cloiche Grace soon settles and makes friends with Izzy and Alex’s sister Kenna she is also struck by the chemistry that sparks between her and Alex and she is soon craving things she has no idea about and Alex is just the man to teach her and soon the passion is soaring between them, but danger is brewing Alex has been warned about the message in the runes, will they find their true happiness?

This is a fabulous story, awesome characters and setting, sensual and filled with emotion and I loved seeing Alex and his true self fall head over heels in love with Grace, and seeing her truly find herself, she is so strong and shows her strength in so many ways, this is one that I highly recommend to any lover of historical romance. I am looking forward to the next one in this series.

5 stars
February 14, 2024 by Steffy Smith Books

Friday 16 February 2024

The Gunner Girls: Evie's Story

The Gunner Girls: Evie's Story

The ACK ACK Gunner Girls #1

Sylvia Broady




 Reviewed by Helen


This is the story of young Evie Sinclair, who wanted to do her bit for the war effort, she has just turned eighteen and leaves her Island home in Yorkshire to joins the ACK, ACK gunner girls, she meets up with two more young woman Lily and Gloria on the train and a friendship is formed.

The girls are thoroughly enjoying their the work they are doing although dangerous most times they all work hard and at local dance Evie meets RAF pilot Matt Goodwin, they soon are as close as can be, and on a visit home at Christmas Matt proposes, Evie says yes but after the war, they continue to meet as often as possible and the passion grows.

When Evie loses Matt and then finds herself pregnant and her mother sends her away, Evie is determined to keep her baby, but in these times that is not an easy task and Evie works hard to do so and then over time is more determined than ever to help other single un-wed mothers.
Will Evie succeed in her quest and will she find love and happiness after all she has been through and what of Lily and Gloria?

This is a lovely story, a little slow at times but it brings to life what is was like for unmarried mothers during the war years and is one that I would recommend to any reader who enjoys war time stories.

My thanks to the publisher Joffe Books and Netgalley for my digital copy to read and review

4 stars

February 13, 2024 by Joffe Books

Wednesday 7 February 2024

The Girl on the Boat

 The Girl on the Boat

Emerald Sisters #1

Kate Hewitt



Reviewed by Helen


Fist in a series and based on the true story of the SS St Louis that left Hamburg, Germany in 1939 with one thousand Jews on board, it is a beautifully told story of friendship and determination as we meet four young woman, Sophie, Rosa, Hannah and Rachel, this book is Sophie’s story and it is so very good.

Sophie arrives in Hamburg with her father, step-mother and young half-brother she is filled with hope that their lives will turn around in Havana and being away from The Nazis is just what her father and their family needs.

When she meets three other young woman she is thrilled that she now has friends and plans are made to enjoy this boat trip and that at the end they will meet for cocktails together ready to start a new life but things don’t go the way they planned when the ship is refused entry to Havana, her step mother insists that Sophie leave the ship and go to Washington and where a friend of her father’s is willing to take her in, it is the last thing she wants but she must go, she breaks up an emerald that belonged to her mother into four pieces and all girls have a piece with a plan to meet up in a Paris cafĂ© one year after the war.

Sophie gets on with her life in Washington, finding work and making new friends as war breaks out in Europe, it has not been easy for her being a Jew and wishing America would join the war, but she goes on worrying about her family and friends who are now in countries affected by war. When she is asked to take on a new role where she works she jumps at the chance to do her bit for the war effort she is determined to help no matter what.

This is an emotional story, I loved Sophie, everything she has gone through and still she cares and stays strong, I am eagerly awaiting book two now and continue this awesome story, I do highly recommend this one to any reader who loved a fabulous historical fiction.

My thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for my digital copy to read and review.

5 stars
February 8, 2024 by Bookouture

Tuesday 30 January 2024

The Baker's Secret

 The Baker's Secret

Lelita Baldock



Reviewed by Helen


This is my first book by Aussie author Lelita Baldock but it won’t be my last, this story is heart-wrenching, it is also beautifully written with empathy and emotion, set during the occupation of Latvia during World War 2 first by the Russians and then The Nazis and South Australia 2018 as we meet sisters Estere and Zenta and their family.

Estere and Zenta work in the family bakery with their mother Darta and father Nikolai, their brother Tomass works on the dockyards, life has been good but with the war coming closer things are changing in their quiet town of Riga Latvia, when first the Russians take over there is much cruelty, then the Germans arrive and oust the Russians and things get even worse, Tomass is forced to join the army, rations are cut, the Jews are being rounded up and Estere leaves for a while, Zenta stops going to school and is working harder in the bakery, life in changing and getting more dangerous.

When Estere arrives back home pregnant she is determined still to fight for Latvia’s freedom with the Latvian Resistance as her father had done many years ago and soon convinces Zenta to help while delivering her bread to customers, she also delivers letters and supplies. But with Nazis appearing to lose ground the tensions are rising, Estere has her baby a little girl Aina and danger arrives on their doorstep, Zenta must run with baby Aina to save her life, leaving her family behind and life again changes so much for Zenta, not knowing what happened to her family she moves on to the other side of the world with a baby and starts a new life in Australia and holds a secret that will tear lives apart.

Decades later Zenta knows she must tell her secret before it is too late, the tears I shed the heartbreak I felt but I also saw the courage, strength and determination that kept Zenta going all of those years and Estere what she went through searching for her daughter, the things they both lived through was shocking. I loved Zenta so much, this is a story that I highly recommend to anyone reader who loves an excellent historical fiction story, this is one not to be missed.

My thanks to Storm Publishing and Netgalley for my digital copy to read and review.


5 stars
January 25, 2024 by Storm Publishing

Monday 22 January 2024

The Lady Thief of Belgravia

 The Lady Thief of Belgravia

Allison Grey



Reviewed by Helen


I did enjoy this debut story, a very steamy romance, a mystery and two people from opposite sides of the tracks, what will happen when a very good pickpocket is asked to help a Lord regain some important letters?

Della Rose is known as Rosie Diver, the best pickpocket in Seven Dials, she has learnt in her life to not trust and to depend on herself, always, things change when she picks the wrong gentleman’s pocket to steal from.

Cole Winthrop, Earl of Bradford needs a clever smart female to help in his quest to retrieve some important papers stolen from The Home Office of England, these hold secrets that his father worked hard to get and could put a lot of people in danger, he has been watching Della Rose and is about to offer her a lot of money to become his off-sider.

Della excepts the offer reluctantly only because she knows that it will get her and her best friend Violet a new life, but to do so she must learn to be a proper lady, that means horse riding, playing the piano, talks and flirt because she needs to get close to The Duke of Salisbury.

Cole and Della get along well but it is not long before they cannot deny the pull they share and soon as well as danger building to retrieve the letters but it appears they are falling in love.

I did really like Della, she is feisty and strong and stands her ground and Cole is strong and caring and they make a really good team, I do recommend this one to any reader who enjoys a very steamy historical romance.

My thanks to the publisher, Storm and Netgalley for my digital copy to read and review.

4 stars
January 18, 2024 by Storm Publishing

Thursday 18 January 2024

Always Remember

 Always Remember

Ravenswood #3

Mary Balogh



Reviewed by Helen


Another wonderful and beautiful story in this series, Ben Ellis and Lady Jennifer Arden a match that should be out of the question but when they form a friendship that leads to more, will their hearts make it possible?

Lady Jennifer Arden is the sister of the Duke of Wilby and after a childhood illness leaves her unable to walk this does not deter her from being a beautiful and happy, caring and loving person, she is twenty five now and she yearns to walk, run, dance and fly and to fall in love, marry and have children, but that gets less likely each year, but then she arrives at Ravenswood and meets Ben Ellis and his beautiful daughter Joy, things just might change.

Ben Ellis is the illegitimate son of the late Earl of Stratton, although bought up with the Earl’s family and treated and loved as they are there will always be this stigma hanging over him, he is widowed with a three year old daughter he lives at Penallen and he dearly wants to remarry, but falling for a Duke’s daughter was not in the plan, but he cannot deny his heart.

A beautiful, heartwarming story, that had me cheering them on and shedding lots of happy tears, Ben and Jenny have a lot to overcome to get to their gorgeous HEA, it is a moving and emotional story with a cast of fabulous characters that add to the story this is one that I highly recommend, I truly loved it.

My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for mu digital copy to read and review.

4 stars
January 16, 2024 by Berkley