#bookreview of ‘The Raided Heart’ by Jennifer C Wilson as part of the @rararesources #blogtour @inkjunky1984 @OcelotPress #GIVEAWAY

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Jennifer C Wilson’s ‘The Raided Heart’. Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation, and to the author and publisher for my e-copy of the book, in return for my thoughts.

What’s it about?

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Meg Mathers, the headstrong youngest sibling of a reiving family on the English-Scottish border, is determined to remain at her childhood home, caring for the land and village she’s grown up with.

When an accident brings her a broken ankle and six weeks in the resentful company of ambitious and angry young reiver Will Hetherington, attraction starts to build.

Both begin to realise they might have met their match, and the love of their lives, but 15th century border living is not that simple, as Meg soon finds herself betrothed to the weakling son of a tyrannical neighbour, Alexander Gray.

When tragedy strikes, can Meg and Will find their way back to each other, and can Will finally take his own personal revenge on Gray?

My thoughts:

One of the aspects of this historical romance that I really appreciated was the scene setting; it captured the life of a 15th century reiving community and had memorable and well-drawn characters. I felt completely at ease in the world Jennifer C Wilson had created in this novel, despite the tumultuous times in which it is set.

Meg is a likeable character, although to begin with, I think I had imagined her as older, given her position in the bastle (lots of historical detail to learn!). Will is troubled, and there is an uneasy relationship between them in the beginning. The level of romance, as it develops, suited me; it doesn’t overbear the historical elements.

The unpredictability of borderland boundary safety and protection during the hard winter months leads to Meg’s brothers playing a dangerous game between rival factions, and I enjoyed the tension this gamble brought to the story.

Alexander Grey is the monster of the piece, and he pulls off a few horrible stunts. I did find some of his actions predictable, but this didn’t spoil anything, as he is a character without any moral compass whatsoever, and I always find a bit of joy in these villains.

Readers who enjoy historical romance, will I’m sure, enjoy ‘The Raided Heart’. A solid recommendation from me!

If you are tempted to reive yourself a copy (no, really, you’ll have to buy it), please click one of the purchase links here:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

You can also enter the exciting giveaway at the end, and give yourself the chance to win a copy of The Last Plantagenet?!

About the author:

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Jennifer C. Wilson is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history and historical fiction whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots on childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III).

Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east of England for work reignited her pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since.

In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and has been working on a number of projects since, including co-hosting the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle.

Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and her time-slip novella, The Last Plantagenet?, by Ocelot Press.

She lives in North Tyneside, and is very proud of her approximately 2-inch sea view.

To connect with Jennifer:

Author website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Exciting Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of The Last Plantagenet? (Open Internationally)

The Raided - Giveaway Prize

Please enter here

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


To read lots of unique perspectives, author interviews and extracts, please visit my fellow bloggers (shown below):

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#bookreview of ‘Until We Meet Again’ by Rosemary Goodacre as part of the #rararesources #blogtour @rosegoodacre #untilwemeetagain

It is my pleasure to be on the blog tour today for ‘Until We Meet Again’ by Rosemary Goodacre. Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for including me on the tour, and to the author for the e-copy of the book, in exchange for my thoughts.

Until We Meet Again Cover

Synopsis:

The Great War drove them apart – but love kept them together

Summer 1914: Shy young woman, Amy Fletcher, lives a quiet life in Sussex. An office worker, she lives at home, along with her parents and spirited younger brother, Bertie. But her life is transformed when she meets handsome young man, Edmond Derwent, son of one of the wealthiest families in the small town of Larchbury, and student at Cambridge University.

The couple are falling deeply in love when war breaks out and, eager to do his duty for England, Edmond signs up as an officer. The couple plan to be wed, eager to start a new life together – but their happiness iTs short-lived when Edmond is sent to Flanders to lead his men into battle. Amy trains as a VAD nurse and is soon sent to France, where she sees the true horror of war inflicted on the brave young men sent to fight.

Separated by war, Edmond and Amy share their feelings through emotional letters sent from the front line. But when Edmond is critically wounded at Ypres, their love faces the biggest test of all – can their love stay strong while the world around them is crumbling?

A romantic, emotional saga set in WW1 – readers of Rosie Goodwin, Katie Flynn and Val Wood will be captivated by this story of love.

My thoughts:

There are a few strands weaving through the plot of this story, which result in an absorbing, interesting and emotional read.

In the pre-war period, the main character, Amy, becomes involved in the local suffragette movement. In her ordinary life, she appears to be an independent, but shy young woman at home, conforming to what is expected from a girl of her age.

The awkwardness and haughtiness of social class divisions is also explored, as Amy, the daughter of a respectable schoolteacher, begins to fall in love with Edmond, the son of a wealthy landowner, who has commenced his studies at Cambridge.

The outbreak and progression of World War One is, of course, the main theme in the novel, and I found myself almost anxiously reading the chapter titles in order to find out where the action was taking place – where the main characters would be for the few months in the chapter. This period of our joint European and US history is such an emotive one, and I was forever in doubt as to what ‘Until We Meet Again’ would actually mean.

It’s a well-documented fact, and this comes across really well in this book, that so many young men did not return, and a generation of women had to take on labour to make up for the devastating shortfall in the workforce, and to live as young widows or to remain single.

The love story is very romantic and the bravery of all the characters, possibly with the exception of Edmond’s female relatives, is testament to the time in which they lived, and the affection with which this story has clearly been written.

There are a few unexpected dramas, and I felt mortified, as we are supposed to, with some of the predicaments the characters found themselves in.

It is an emotional novel about war, class, the beginning of 20th century female empowerment, the strength and faith of loving relationships, and social deviations from the norm in the face of terrible adversity. Highly recommended, particularly to fans of historical romance.

To buy a copy, please click on one of the purchase links below:

Amazon

Apple

Kobo

About the author:

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Rosemary Goodacre has previously worked in computing and teaching. She has had short stories published and a novella, A Fortnight is not Enough.

Her father’s family came from continental Europe and she loves travelling.
She enjoys country walking, bridge and classical music. She lives with her husband in Kent, England.

To connect with Rosemary:

Twitter

Facebook

For many other perspectives on ‘Until We Meet Again’, please do visit my fellow bloggers, who are listed below:

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