Saturday 24 February 2024

A woman who could not be conquered. A love that was never forsaken. A land that will not be forgotten.


The Enchanted Land 
By Jude Deveraux

Publication Date: 29th November 2011
Publisher: Avon
Page Length: 452 Pages
Genre: Historical Romance

A woman who could not be conquered.
A love that was never forsaken.
A land that will not be forgotten.

For beautiful Morgan Wakefield, the enchanted land is the ranch in New Mexico her father has left her. But the only way for her to inherit is if she lives there for a year with a husband. And so Morgan proposes a marriage of convenience to a man she just met—handsomely rugged rancher Seth Colter.

In Seth's powerful embrace, Morgan discovers a passion she never knew existed, and an unexpected new love blossoms between them. But devastating challenges and betrayal conspire against these lovers, and they will have to fight for a future together on this wild, enchanted land.

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 The Enchanted Land 

Jude Deveraux

Photo Credit: Deborah Feingold
Jude Deveraux is the author of forty-three New York Times bestsellers, including For All Time, Moonlight in the Morning,and A Knight in Shining Armor. She was honored with a Romantic Times Pioneer Award in 2013 for her distinguished career. To date, there are more than sixty million copies of her books in print worldwide.

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Friday 23 February 2024

She has everything at stake. He has nothing left to lose.

A Devil of a Time
By Gretchen Jeannette

Publication Date: 6th December 2021
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 345 Pages
Genre: Historical Romance

Tidewater Virginia, 1781

She has everything at stake . . . Ravaged by the evils of war, Clarice Wade struggles to heal and rebuild her life in an emerging nation. Her husband Andrew, maimed in battle in both body and soul, fails to support her efforts to save his ancestral estate, Farview. Unable to cope with his demons, he finds comfort at the bottom of a bottle. The couple’s future seems bleak until they hire Andrew's wartime friend and former soldier, Niall McLane, to help manage their failing tobacco plantation. With a hopefulness not felt in years, Clarice forms a bond with Niall that could change everything for the better.

He has nothing left to lose . . . Niall McLane might think he has endured the worst that could happen to any man, but as the war for independence draws to a close, he finds his troubles have only just begun. A survivor of wilderness warfare in Kentucky, Niall hopes to leave his past behind, but his reputation as a merciless soldier haunts him at every turn. When a gruesome murder occurs at Farview, bearing all the hallmarks of Niall’s formidable skills, the local sheriff and townspeople deem him the prime suspect. Only Clarice and Andrew Wade stand by him. But the murders continue, each more grotesque than the last, leaving him no choice but to hunt down a killer whose next victim might be the woman Niall loves.

From the mysterious forests of Kentucky to a war-torn Virginia plantation, A Devil of a Time weaves a tale of courage, betrayal, and forbidden love, of a driven man grappling with a demon from his past, and the remarkable woman destined to change all their lives forever.

MATURE CONTENT: This novel borders on American Gothic, with dark themes, a strong romantic element, and integral violence that some readers might find disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.

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A Devil of a Time

Gretchen Jeannette

Gretchen Jeannette was born in 1955 in Wilmington, Delaware. She lives and works in Chester County, Pennsylvania, an area rich in Revolutionary War and Colonial American history. Her enduring interest in 18th Century America began at a young age, inspired by the novels of Dale Van Every and Allan Eckert, whose timeless tales of adventure and romance capture the essence of early American lore. Eager to read more such stories, to her disappointment she had trouble finding them on bookshelves, so she decided to write one of her own. Thus began a journey fueled by her passion for breathing life into history through believable characters, authentic historical details, and plots woven with adventure, romance and suspense.

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Thursday 22 February 2024

Book Review — The Matchstick Boy by Rowena Kinread


The Matchstick Boy
By Rowena Kinread

Publication Date: 10th October 2023
Publisher: Goldcrest Books International Ltd 
Page Length: 329 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

When his young brother, Josef, is killed by a rock avalanche, Jakob believes it is murder. He had seen someone on the mountain ridge, above the scree, before it began to roll. But who would want to kill a child, and why? Jakob suspects Ramun, the privileged son of the owner of a matchstick factory, but nobody takes him seriously and he is powerless to obtain justice.

Thirty years later, Jakob’s profoundly deaf daughter is raped by Ramun and becomes with child. Determined to gain justice for his daughter, Jakob unearths a myriad of well-kept secrets in the tight-lipped community, but is anyone willing to tell the truth?

Just as he thinks he has uncovered all the facts, he realises he has made a vital mistake all along. Nothing is really as it seems.

Bad news travels fast in Weissbrügg. The storm that came had no mercy and claimed seven farms, burning them to the ground. But on that dreadful night, Anton Schneider lost more than just his farm. He lost his beloved wife, Lena, because of a complication in childbirth. Somehow, he has to find the courage to pick up the shattered pieces of his life and start a new one with his children. But, unbeknownst to Anton, the storm was just the beginning,

The Matchstick Boy by Rowena Kinread is a gripping historical family saga that does not threaten to mesmerise, it really does.

Kinread's book impressively combines meticulous research, thrilling action, and a stark portrayal of the characters' impoverished conditions. The detailed account of factory owners' exploitation and the hazardous working conditions the characters endure is described in exquisite detail. The events in this novel unfold without pause, leaving no time to catch one's breath. It's nearly impossible to tear yourself away from this mesmerizingly brilliant story. One more page became one more chapter. It's a book that demands your undivided attention.

The story is very fluid, and it flawlessly moves from one generation to the next. Even though I enjoyed Anton's story, it was Jakob's that truly captivated me. Jakob's attitude towards life mirrors that of his father - both share the desire to escape poverty, but they soon come to understand that dreams are more easily attainable for the wealthy, rather than those who have less. And yet, Jakob is determined to better his situation, he wants to work his way out of poverty, and he wants to become skilled in a trade. Jakob is a character that one cannot help but like. At times his story is utterly heartbreaking, as is his father’s, but somehow he finds the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I thought Jakob’s depiction was wonderfully portrayed. He was a character that one could get behind and root for.

At first, I felt a strong sense of sympathy for Regina, but as the narrative unfolded, my feelings towards her turned bitter. Her marriage to Anton was certainly no love match, and she certainly failed in her task to be a loving mother to Anton’s children. She is, however, ambitious, and wants more from life than what she has. Much of her thoughts are centred around money and she has no qualms about forcing the children into work at the matchstick factory, and although child labour was not uncommon, I really did feel for Anton as this was not what he wanted for his children. But saying that I wish that Anton had more of a backbone and stood up to his wife. However, Regina does have her moments, especially in her treatment of Anneli.

However, what Regina does is nothing in comparison to Ramun Lauber’s actions. Ramun has every advantage. He is the son of a factory owner, and he has only known a life of privilege. During his childhood, he experiments with arson, and later as an adult, he escalates to committing more serious offences. Ramun's employees, especially women, suffer greatly under his leadership. He is an abhorrent man with an even more abhorrent appetite and he preys on the vulnerable. However, he consistently evades punishment for his crimes and never faces consequences. Thankfully, that changes by the end of the novel. While undeniably the primary antagonist in this book, his actions effectively drive the story.

Another character that I think is worthy of mention is Margot. Margot possesses the most gentle disposition, yet she is exceptionally skilled in the art of making lace. So skilled in fact that she soon makes a living out of it. I really enjoyed reading about Margot, she was like a burst of sunlight on a cold winter day. I thought her character was wonderfully drawn and came across as very realistic in the telling.

Helga was another character who was incredibly disagreeable. She is so selfish she will not even try to feed her brother’s motherless baby and she always thinks she is above everyone else. Her airs and graces mean little when she finds herself in a desperate situation of her own. Although one should feel sorry for Helga it is impossible to do so, for she is a very disagreeable character!

The historical detailing of this story is staggering. Kinread's elegant and authoritative penmanship reflects the countless hours she has devoted to research. The historical setting of this story is splendidly portrayed and I really felt like I had stepped into a portal and travelled back in time.

With a masterful stroke of the quill, Kinread has hooked her readers with a story that's impossible to set aside. My expectations were completely met, and this novel went above and beyond. If you're a fan of family sagas, you absolutely need to add this book to your reading list.

The Matchstick Boy by Rowena Kinread is a truly wonderful novel and I am looking forward to reading more books from this talented author. There is a realism to this story that is almost tangible. It is in all ways a complete success and one I would not hesitate to recommend.

Review by Ellie Yarde
Yarde Book Reviews & Book Promotion

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The Matchstick Boy

Rowena Kinread

Rowena Kinread grew up in Ripon, Yorkshire with her large family and a horde of pets. Keen on travelling, her first job was with Lufthansa in Germany.

She began writing in the nineties. Her special area of interest is history, after researching her ancestry and finding family roots in Ireland with the Dalriada clan, particularly this era. Her debut fiction novel titled “The Missionary” is a historical novel about the dramatic life of St. Patrick. It was published by Pegasus Publishers on April 29th, 2021 and has been highly appraised by The Scotsman, The Yorkshire Post and the Irish Times.

Her second novel “The Scots of Dalriada” centres around Fergus Mór, the founder father of Scotland and takes place in 5th century Ireland and Scotland, and is published by Pegasus Publishers.

The author lives with her husband in Bodman-Ludwigshafen, Lake Constance, Germany. They have three children and six grandchildren.

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Love is never easy...even in easier times, like the 1950s and 1960s in the Ohio Valley with the steel industry booming.


Steel Valley: Coming of Age in the Ohio Valley in the 1960s 
By Jerry Madden

Publication Date: 20th  January 2023
Publisher: Potomac Publishing Company
Page Length: 350 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

For readers of The World Played Chess by Robert Dugoni and Last Summer Boys by Bill Rivers.

Love is never easy...even in easier times, like the 1950s and 1960s in the Ohio Valley with the steel industry booming.

Second-generation immigrant families were reaching for the American middle class. And Catholic schools-made feasible by selfless Catholic nuns-promised bigger lives for everyone, including Jack Clark and Laurie Carmine. As they spent years searching for their separate futures, though, they were also stumbling toward love just as their world came crashing down.

Steel Valley depicts a story of love longed for, lost, and perhaps still within reach, just as our nation's mythic yesterday became our troubled today, our last summer of innocence.

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Steel Valley

Jerry Madden 

Jerry Madden grew up in the Upper Ohio Valley in the 1960s. He holds a B.A. from the College of Steubenville and law degrees from the University of Dayton School of Law and the Georgetown University Law Center. After law school, Jerry served as the sole law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio, C. William O'Neill. He served in the United States Marine Corps (R) between 1970 and 1976. 

Jerry has practiced law in Washington, D.C., since 1979, including fourteen years at the Department of Justice as a trial and appellate attorney. He is the principal of The Madden Law Group PLLC in Washington, D.C. 

He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Cyndi, a retired educator. They have two children, Kelsey and Jack, both of whom hold M.Ed. degrees. They have one grandchild, Jamie Maclennan. 

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Wednesday 21 February 2024

A new enemies-to-lovers romance by New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James

Not That Duke
(Would-Be Wallflowers, Book 3)
By Eloisa James

Publication Date: 25th July 2023
Publisher: Avon
Page Length: 416 Pages
Genre: Regency Romance

The Duke of Huntington has no interest in an eccentric redhead who frowns at him over her spectacles…until he realizes that she is the only possible duchess for him. A new enemies-to-lovers romance by New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James.

Bespeckled and freckled, Lady Stella Corsham at least has a dowry that has attracted a crowd of fortune-hunting suitors—which definitely doesn’t include the sinfully handsome Silvester Parnell, Duke of Huntington, who laughingly calls her “Specs” as he chases after elegant rivals.

And then—

The worst happens. Marriage.

To the duke. To a man marrying her for all the wrong reasons.

How can Silvester possibly convince Stella that he’s fallen in love with the quirky woman he married?

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Not That Duke

Eloisa James

Eloisa James is a New York Times bestselling author and professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight.

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It was supposed to be a one-time thing. A secret. But that little plus sign is going to make this secret impossible to keep.


By Elsie Silver

Publication Date: 9th June 2023
Publisher: Piatkus
Page Length: 432 Pages
Genre: Romance

Theo Silva. Rowdy bull rider, notorious ladies' man, scorching hot trouble wrapped up in a drool-worthy package.

And he's looking at me like I might be his next meal.

I'm almost free of my toxic marriage and have sworn off men entirely. So all I see when I look at Theo is temptation served up with a heaping side of heartbreak.

The man is hard to trust-and even harder to resist.

Make that impossible. Because Theo is persistent. And no matter how hard I try to freeze him out, he melts my icy exterior and pulls apart all my defences.

Then I spend the singular hottest night of my life with him.

It was supposed to be a one-time thing.

A secret.

But that little plus sign is going to make this secret impossible to keep.

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Elsie Silver

Elsie Silver is a Canadian author of sassy, sexy, small town romance who loves a good book boyfriend and the strong heroines who bring them to their knees. She lives just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, son, and three dogs and has been voraciously reading romance books since before she was probably supposed to. 

She loves cooking and trying new foods, traveling, and spending time with her boys–especially outdoors. Elsie has also become a big fan of her quiet five am mornings, which is when most of her writing happens. It’s during this time that she can sip a cup of hot coffee and dream up a fictional world full of romantic stories to share with her readers. 

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Tuesday 20 February 2024

"For you, my beautiful Artemis, I'd stay up all night."


Up All Night with a Good Duke
(The Byronic Book Club 1) 
By Amy Rose Bennett

Publication Date: 28th June 2022
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Page Length: 370 Pages
Genre: Regency Romance

I can think of the perfect way to keep you occupied and your mind diverted," she murmured. "Come to my room. If you're not too tired..."

Lust flashed in his gaze and then he caught her face between his hands and kissed her. "For you, my beautiful Artemis, I'd stay up all night."

Artemis Jones—"respectable" finishing-school teacher by day and Gothic romance writer by night—has never lost sight of her real dream: to open her own academic ladies' college. When Artemis is unexpectedly called upon by a dear friend, a fellow Byronic Book Club member, to navigate her first London Season, she comes at once. Who knows, perhaps she can court the interest of a wealthy patron for her school. As long as she can avoid her high-handed aunt's schemes to marry her off.

Dominic Winters, the widowed Duke of Dartmoor, needs a wife—someone who will provide him with an heir and help him to manage his spitfire adolescent daughter. The problem is, Society has dubbed him "The Dastardly Duke." Rumors are rife that he murdered his mad wife so his choices for a suitable bride are limited. But then he meets the ravishing and passionate Artemis Jones who might just be everything he needs.

Pick up your copy of
Up All Night with a Good Duke

Amy Rose Bennett

Amy Rose Bennett is an Australian author who has a passion for penning emotion-packed historical romances. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after. A former speech pathologist, Amy is happily married to her very own romantic hero and has two lovely, very accomplished adult daughters. When she’s not creating stories, Amy loves to cook up a storm in the kitchen, lose herself in a good book or a witty rom-com, and when she can afford it, travel to all the places she writes about.

Aside from “romance author,” other monikers of Amy’s include: doting cat grandma; lover of coffee, brie, French fries, and Champagne; scarf hoarder; cryptic crossword ace; believer in ghosts. Amy currently divides her time between Melbourne and Victoria’s Gippsland region in Australia.

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Book of the day! Lottie's Little Secret by Debbie Viggiano

Lottie's Little Secret
By Debbie Viggiano

Publication Date: 1st November 2023
Publisher: Unicorn Publishing 
Page Length: 298 Pages
Genre: Romantic Comedy

If crime writer Lottie Lucas hadn’t landed a three-book-deal, she’d never have met Ryan. Older, suave, confident, refined Ryan. Or Relic Ryan as bestie Jen calls him.

However, there’s something Lottie hasn’t told Jen. Ryan has an ex-wife – well, Lottie thinks Heather is an ex-wife, and Ryan wouldn’t lie, would he? It’s galling that Heather is still on the scene, and Lottie knows Jen wouldn’t approve.

But Lottie is hugging a bigger secret. This one is something else and, like a nasty spot, it’s threatening to come to a head and cause a mess entirely of Lottie’s own making.

If Jen found out she’d bash Lottie over the head with one of her size sevens, and if Ryan caught wind – well, that would be an entirely different scenario.

So, when an opportunity arises to escape to Cornwall, Lottie grabs it like a drowning person clutching a lifebuoy. A change of location seems like the perfect solution to both issues. But Lottie is about to discover that secrets have a habit of catching up with you – and this one is tracking her like a supersonic missile…

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Lottie's Little Secret

Debbie Viggiano

Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her adult children return home bringing her much joy... apart from when they want to raid the fridge, or eat her secret stash of chocolate. 

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Monday 19 February 2024

An exiled gentleman’s world, collides with Cinderella’s!


A Housemaid To Redeem Him
By Laura Martin

Publication Date: 15th February 2024
Publisher: Mills & Boon Historical
Page Length: 255 Pages
Genre: Historical Romance / Regency Romance

An exiled gentleman’s world…
collides with Cinderella’s!

After receiving news of his father’s ailing health, Richard Digby must leave his self-imposed exile and return to the town that holds haunting memories. He forms an unlikely connection with his father’s intriguing and defiant housemaid, Rose, who also finds herself on the fringes of society after her troubled past. Richard is intent on leaving again—but keeping his distance from Rose while they’re in such close quarters is proving harder than he ever imagined!

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A Housemaid To Redeem Him

Laura Martin

Laura Martin writes historical mystery and romance set predominantly in the Georgian era. She has written more than twenty historical romances, her books have been translated into ten different languages and are sold worldwide.

When not writing Laura spends her time working as a doctor in Cambridgeshire where she lives with her husband and two young sons. She has a love of history and travel and draws on the places she visits for inspiration in her writing.

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