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Archive for March, 2021

  • Title: The Warrior’s Innocent Captive
  • Author: Ella Matthews
  • Publisher: Mills & Boon
  • Publication Date: 18th March 2021

Copy received from publisher and Rachel’s Random Resources for review purposes.

Description:

An impossible choice:

His family or love

As steward to the Earl of Borwyn, Erik Ward had only admired sheltered noblewoman Linota Leofric from afar – until he has to escort her on a dangerous journey. When she’s kidnapped, he rescues the courageous beauty, revelling in finally having her in his arms. But Erik has a secret plan to reunite his family – now he’s forced to choose between that and his growing feelings for Linota…

My Thoughts:

There’s something so rewarding about delving into a book that promises adventure, drama, and historical intrigue … it’s safe to say that The Warrior’s Innocent Captive has this, but Ella Matthews has also created some incredibly detailed characters that capture the attention of the readers.

I’m fast becoming a huge fan of historical romance, and Ella Matthews is a name I will be adding to my list of authors to watch out for, and I’m keen to go back and read the other books in the House of Leofric series. I should point out that although this book is part of a series, I was able to read and enjoy it without having read the other books, I believe their stories occur around the same time as the setting in this one but focus on different characters and tell their stories.

So without rehashing the plot, what can I say about The Warrior’s Innocent Captive? The story follows Erik Ward, a strong and likeable character, who develops well through the book, he is conflicted and struggles with doing what is right while remaining loyal and honourable to those around him. His past means his loyalties are tested, but he appears to have a good heart, and readers cannot help but like him.
Linota Leofric was a character I instantly liked, I felt invested in her tale and found that I wanted things to work out well for her. As you watch her personality unfold through the pages, you witness growth and see her becoming stronger and not a woman to take lightly. She knows her own mind, and in a time when women had little say in their own fates, she really makes the reader want to cheer and say ‘good on you!’ when you see her feisty side emerge.
The relationship between Linota and Erik is turbulent, each guarding their own thoughts and feelings, but there is an intensity there that Matthews weaves through the narrative perfectly and keeps readers turning the pages in anticipation of what lies ahead.

If you’re looking for a historical romance that offers more that a love story then this is the one for you! The writing is fantastic, there is an amazing level of detail in the settings and scenes, so much so that you can almost see each scene play out as you read, you can imagine the cloth of Linota’s cloak, the carved wooden furniture … it’s all so vivid and clear. Not only are the main characters interesting and exciting, the secondary characters are intriguing and really make you want to know more about them and their lives, and with a storyline that’s plotted so well, this really is a book to enjoy with a cuppa and a cheeky biscuit or two.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Warriors-Innocent-Captive-Historical-Leofric-ebook/dp/B08HPGSM19

US – https://www.amazon.com/Warriors-Innocent-Captive-Historical-Leofric-ebook/dp/B08HPGSM19

Check out the other stops on the blog tour for more reviews, extracts from the book and maybe even an author interview!

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  • Title: The Crown Agent
  • Authors: Stephen O’Rourke
  • Publisher: Sandstone Press
  • Publication Date: 4th March 2021 (paperback edition)

Copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description:

A ship adrift, all hands dead. A lighthouse keeper murdered in the night. The Crown needs a man to find the truth. Doctor Mungo Lyon, his reputation tarnished by the Burke & Hare scandal, and forbidden to practise as a surgeon, is the wrong man.

That’s exactly why the Crown chose him.

My Thoughts:

Originally reviewed in November 2019, but edited and amended slightly.

I can see why Stephen O’Rourke won a a short story competition in 2012 when he used the basis for this story as his submission, and I am mightily glad that he went on to write The Crown Agent in all it’s glory. This is a very enjoyable book, the plotting is superb, characterisation is brilliant and I loved the style of writing.

Every so often, there’s a book that blows you away and I admit, I have been pretty lucky recently as there have been a few books that have stopped me in my tracks and pulled me in to discover the worlds inside their covers. The Crown Agent is one of those books, while I read it I was very aware of how invested I was in the story, feeling a great intrigue about the characters and their schemes, wondering what was going to happen to our disillusioned protagonist and how would he get out of this seemingly impossible situation!

Dr Mungo Lyon becomes involved with an investigation of murder and shipwreck on behalf of the Crown after those in the medical profession find their reputations blackened after the fallout of the body snatching escapades of Burke and Hare. But he has no idea of the danger that lies ahead on his journey, nothing is as it seems and help comes in the most unlikely forms. Weaving through the Scottish countryside, readers are treated to some wonderfully atmospheric scenes, and the vivid descriptions allow crisp mental images to form of the barges used, the rugged terrain and the ports of call along the way. I found myself carried off with the descriptions, I could imagine it all so clearly and it had me keen to go off and look up images online to find out more, eventually leading me to research the era etc in more detail.

Historical tales are always fascinating when they cover aspects I’m not always overly familiar with and I have to say that I felt I’d learned something from reading this book. Although this book is a work of fiction, a lot of research has gone in to making it fit the period of the setting, and making the characters feel authentic and realistic. The plotting is clever, the writing is crisp and O’Rourke sets a pace that keeps readers turning pages as they devour the information to find out the fate of Dr Mungo Lyon. I really hope there will be more from O’Rourke soon!

I would highly recommend this to fans of historical fiction.

Check out the other blogs taking part in the blog tour this week!

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