Monday, May 13, 2024

A Lady's Guide to Scandal by Sophie Irwin



Hardback: 388 pages

Genre: Historical Romantic Fiction 

Publisher: Harper Collins 2023

Source: Tywyn Public Library

First Sentences: 'Come now, Eliza, surely you can manage one tear? Mrs Balfour whispered to her daughter. 'It is expected from the widow!'

Favourite Quote: “Was she really to allow any man to make such demands of her, anymore? Allow her life to be ordained, in perpetuity, by their high-handed judgements or capricious moods?”

Setting: 1819, London and Bath England

Review Quote: ‘A delicious Regency romp for fans of Bridgerton.’ Red

My Opinion:  Sophie Irwin has a fresh approach to historical romance, with her first two novels being set in regency England. They are very reminiscent of Georgette Heyer of whom I was fan, in my teens, many years ago.

In A Lady's Guide to Scandal we meet Lady Eliza Somerset, a widow in her late twenties. Eliza finds herself part of a love triangle, but barely out of full mourning she is required to behave in a very modest fashion. With plenty of humour and strong characters facing the prejudices of the era, it is an entertaining read.

This will appeal to fans of historical romance, particularly those that enjoy the Regency period.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads: 

When shy Miss Eliza Balfour married the austere Earl of Somerset, twenty years her senior, it was the match of the season--no matter that he was not the husband Eliza would have chosen.

But ten years later, Eliza is widowed. And at eight and twenty years, she is suddenly left titled, rich, and, for the first time in her life, utterly in control of her own future. Instead of living out her mourning quietly, Eliza heads to Bath with her cousin Margaret. After years of living according to everyone else’s rules, Eliza has resolved, at last, to do as she wants.

But when the ripples of the dowager Lady Somerset’s behavior reach the new Lord Somerset—whom Eliza knew, once, as a younger woman—Eliza is forced to confront the fact that freedom does not come without consequences, though it also brings unexpected opportunities . . .

Previous Review:   A Lady's Guide to Fortune Hunting

Author Profile:         


Photo Courtesy of Twitter                                                                         

Sophie Irwin grew up in Dorset before moving to south London after university. She has spent years immersed in the study of historical fiction, from a dissertation on how Georgette Heyer helped win World War Two, to time spent in dusty stacks and old tomes losing herself in Regency London while researching this book. Her love and passion for historical fiction bring a breath of fresh air and a contemporary energy to the genre, and Sophie hopes to transport readers to a time when ballrooms were more like battlegrounds.

Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites:

Twitter Profile   Sophie Irwin - Instagram  Goodreads Profile  Amazon Author Page

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

The Guest by B.A. Paris


Hardback:  359 pages      

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Psychological Thriller,                                   

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton 2024

Source: Tywyn Public Library

First Sentences: Gabriel handed a glass of champagne to Iris, then gave one to Esme, his fingers shaking slightly on the stem.

Review Quote: 'Addictive, gripping with a twist that will knock your socks off' HEAT

My Opinion:  A domestic drama unfolds when married couple Iris and Gabriel return home from a holiday to find family friend Laure ensconced in their home. apparently she and her husband need some time apart and feeling very distraught Laura has turned to her good friends for help. She soon outstays her welcome as the situation deteriorates.

It certainly kept me guessing and the shocking twist in the final pages caught me by surprise! Certainly recommended to readers who are fans of psychological thrillers.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads: 

Some secrets never leave.

Iris and Gabriel have just arrived home from a make-or-break holiday. But a shock awaits them. One of their closest friends, Laure, is in their house. The atmosphere quickly becomes tense as she oversteps again and sleeping in their bed, wearing Iris' clothes, even rearranging the furniture. 

Laure has walked out on her husband—and their good friend—Pierre, over his confession of an affair and a secret child. Iris and Gabriel want to be supportive of their friends, but as Laure's mood becomes increasingly unpredictable, her presence takes its toll. 

Iris and Gabriel's only respite comes in the form of a couple new to town. But with them comes their gardener, who has a checkered past. Soon, secrets from all their pasts will unravel, some more dangerous than they could have known.

Author Profile:


                Photo courtesy of Twitter                       

B.A. Paris is the New York Times and Sunday Times Number 1 bestselling author of seven novels including the word-of-mouth hit, Behind Closed Doors.

Over 7 million editions of her work have been sold worldwide and her books have been translated into 41 languages. Her novels have been optioned for major screen adaptations with a film of The Breakdown, titled Blackwater Lane, in post production.

Before becoming an author, B.A. Paris worked as a bank trader and teacher in France. Today, she writes from her cottage in Hampshire, England, where she lives with her husband with visits from her five grown-up daughters. She has a newsletter and is on social media @baparisauthor

Photograph and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites:

Goodreads Author Profile.     Amazon Author Page.   Twitter Profile

Friday, May 3, 2024

The Wedding of the Year by Jill Mansell


Hardback:  372 pages      

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Fiction                                   

Publisher: Headline 2024

Source: Tywyn Public Library

First Sentences: Oh my God, it was him. It was actually him.

Review Quote: fun, witty romcom with a lot of heart ― Woman & Home

My Opinion:  I have been reading novels written by Jill Mansell for over twenty five years, (gulp!) and have always enjoyed the uplifting stories that she publishes.

The female protagonists, Lottie, Freya, Ruby and iris are introduced to the reader via a wedding that does not proceed as one would expect. The story unfolds as it follows the lives of these women as the events of that fateful day change their lives for ever.

Another cleverly told engaging story full of secrets, lies and romance. Recommended to anyone looking for a lighthearted romantic read.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads: 

Love, friendship and secrets revealed as the sun beats down on dazzling blue Cornish seas . . . 

It's set to be the perfect wedding - till the chauffeur is asked to keep driving the bride round the church. This wedding is not going as planned. 

Lottie is a guest at the wedding when she sees Max for the first time in fifteen years. No kiss since has matched their last kiss together. They were on the brink of a beautiful love story. Then something shocking happened that tore them apart. Now here he is, handsome as ever, teasing Lottie in the old way - and that tingling electric attraction is back. But Max is out of bounds. 

Ruby has been the perfect vicar's wife. But when she finds out the truth about her husband Peter, outrage and disbelief drive her to act impulsively, without a thought for the consequences. And nothing will ever be the same again. 

There will be a wedding of the year - but maybe not yet. When love is in the air, anything can happen . . .

Previous Review of a Jill Mansell Novel. Promise Me

Author Profile:

                                                                                               Jill Mansell profile image

Jill Mansell’s books are full of love, life and friendship and have been bringing joy to readers for twenty-five years. She started writing fiction while working in the NHS, after joining a local creative writing class. She has since written over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers, including MAYBE THIS TIME, THIS COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING and YOU AND ME, ALWAYS, and her books have sold over 11 million copies around the world.

Jill's hobbies include buying stationery, particularly magical new colours of ink for the fountain pen she uses to write all her books – Jill is one of the few authors who still write their books by hand. Jill also loves people-watching and finding new characters to put in her novels. So when you’re out, make sure to always be on your best behaviour. And beware of beady-eyed authors carrying notebooks . . .

Photograph and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites:

Amazon Author Page.   Jill Mansell - Official Author Website    Goodreads Author Profile

Facebook - Jill Mansell    Twitter Profile.  Instagram Profile

Monday, April 29, 2024

The Dream Home by T.M. Logan


Hardback:  406 pages      

Genre:  Contemporary Thriller, Mystery, fiction, Crime, Suspense.                                         

Publisher: 2024 - Zaffre Publishing Group

Source:  Tywyn Public Library

First Sentence: It's towards the end of moving-in day that I find it.

Review Quote: 'Logan belongs in the top echelons of British thriller writers' Sunday Express

Setting:  Nottingham, England

My Opinion: 

Although I have been aware of the author T.M. Logan, thrillers are not my first choice of genre. No surprise then that this is the first of his novels that I have read, though hopefully it will not be the last.

'The Dream Home' is the story of Adam, his wife Jess and their three children as they gradually discover the sinister secrets connected to their new home. It is not just the house that is hiding secrets though and Adam finds that his consequent actions put the whole family in peril. A very dark story with so many menacing facts revealed as the novel progresses that I was kept unsuccessfully guessing right to the end!

Throughly enjoyed this tension packed thriller, which I highly recommend to fans of the genre.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Their dream house will become a nightmare . . .

Adam and Jess move into a new house with their three young a rambling Victorian villa right at the very top of their price range. Before long Adam discovers a door hidden behind a fitted wardrobe, concealing a secret room . . .

Inside Adam discovers an array of forgotten items, among them a wallet, an antique watch and an old mobile phone. Jess thinks they should simply throw them away. But Adam resists. He is fascinated by these items and how they came to be inside the hidden room.

But like the house, Adam has his secrets too. And soon he will find himself setting in motion a series of events that will place his family in terrible danger . . .

Author Profile:                                                                                                

                                      TM Logan profile image

Bestselling author TM Logan was a national newspaper journalist before turning to novel-writing full time. His thrillers have sold more than two million copies in the UK and are published in translation in 22 countries around the world including France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, South Korea, Poland, Hungary, Serbia, Greece, Romania and the Netherlands.

He was born in Berkshire on the 19th of December 1975 and grew up in Reading, the youngest of three boys and a fully-fledged bookworm from a very young age. He read history at Westfield College, part of the University of London, and went on to do a postgrad at Cardiff University.

Wanting to write journalism seemed an obvious choice, and after five years as a reporter and then education correspondent on the Nottingham Evening Post he moved to London to work on the Daily Mail. The next move took him back to the East Midlands, where he worked for the University of Nottingham as a press officer, writing fiction in any spare time he could find. In January 2017 his first thriller was published. a few weeks later his current position as a deputy director in charge of the university’s communications team – was scrapped as part of a restructure. That was when he decided to take the plunge into writing full-time.

He lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children, and writes in a cabin in the corner of his garden.

Photographs and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites:

Goodreads Author Profile.    Amazon Author Page   Official Author Website

Twitter Profile.    Instagram Profile.   Facebook Profile