Showing posts from June, 2016

Review: Last Dance in Havana by Rosanna Ley

This year I'm delighted to be a part of Quercus Books' summer reading scheme #QuercusSummer. The first book I was sent to read was the beautiful Last Dance in Havana by Rosanna Ley.

The cows certainly enjoyed it!

Cuba, 1958. Elisa is only sixteen years old when she meets Duardo and she knows he's the love of her life from the moment they first dance the rumba together in downtown Havana. But Duardo is a rebel, determined to fight in Castro's army, and Elisa is forced to leave behind her homeland and rebuild her life in distant England. But how can she stop longing for the warmth of Havana, when the music of the rumba still calls to her? 

England, 2012. Grace has a troubled relationship with her father, whom she blames for her beloved mother's untimely death. And this year more than ever she could do with a shoulderto cry on - Grace's career is in flux, she isn't sure she wants the baby her husband is so desperate to have and, worst of all, she's be…

Review: The Revelations of Carey Ravine by Debra Daley

London in the 1770s is bursting with opportunity. It's a city fuelled by new ideas and new money, where everything is for sale - including entrée into the ruling class.

Making their way in this buccaneering society are Carey Ravine, a spirited young woman of enigmatic background, and her husband, the charming, endlessly enterprising Oliver Nash. Carey and Nash share a historic connection to India and a desperate ambition to better themselves. But as Nash's plans draw them into a restless association of gamblers and secret societies, Carey begins to question what's really hidden behind the seedy glamour of their lives. Her unease grows with the appearance of a mysterious man whose appearance unearths a troubling secret from the past. Carey finds herself forced to investigate the truth behind the stranger's claims­­ - and to confront her own illusions about herself.

It's refreshing to read a novel in this historical fiction genre centred around a married couple, albeit…

Review: Rebel Warrior by Regan Walker

When your destiny lies far from where you began …

Scotland 1072

The Norman Conqueror robbed Steinar of Talisand of his noble father and his lands, forcing him to flee to Scotland while still recovering from a devastating wound. At the royal court, Steinar becomes scribe to the unlettered King of Scots while secretly regaining his skill with a sword.

The first time Steinar glimpses the flame-haired maiden, Catrìona of the Vale of Leven, he is drawn to her spirited beauty. She does not fit among the ladies who serve the devout queen. Not pious, not obedient and not given to stitchery, the firebrand flies a falcon! Though Catrìona captures Steinar’s attention, he is only a scribe and she is promised to another.

Catrìona has come to Malcolm’s court wounded in spirit from the vicious attack on her home by Northmen who slayed her parents and her people. But that is not all she will suffer. The man she thought to wed will soon betray her.

When all is lost, what hope is there for love? Can a broke…

Same book, different cover.

Have you ever bought a book you've already read, just because it has a nice cover? Or, even worse, have you got multiple copies of the same book just because they have different covers? I'm guilty of both of these crimes and need reassurance that I'm not the only one!

This post was inspired by the paperback version of Anthony Horowitz's James Bond novel Trigger Mortis. I first read it last October when it came out in hardback (I reserved it at my local library to make sure I was one of the first to read it). I was pretty good, I enjoyed it, but promptly forgot about it. Until I spotted this beauty on my local supermarket shelf:

I picked it up and stared longingly at it before reluctantly putting it back. But I have a feeling it won't be long before it's on my bookshelf. 
You know the story inside will be exactly the same as the last time you read it, and that you probably won't even read it again for at least a couple of years, and yet you still want it. Becau…

Review: The Storms of War / The Edge of the Fall by Kate Williams

The de Witt family saga is a series of books by the acclaimed historian Kate Williams. Likened to Downton Abbey and Atonement the first two novels in the trilogy (the third is yet to come) follow the de Witt family, German of origin now living in England, detailing their experiences during the Great War, and its subsequent aftermath.

The Storms of War

In the idyllic early summer of 1914, life is good for the de Witt family. Rudolf and Verena are planning the wedding of their daughter, Emmeline, while their eldest son Arthur is studying in Paris and Tom is just back from his first term at Cambridge. Celia, the youngest of the de Witt children, is on the brink of adulthood, and secretly dreams of escaping her carefully mapped out future and exploring the world.

But the onslaught of war changes everything and soon the de Witts find themselves sidelined and in danger of losing everything they hold dear. As Celia struggles to make sense of the changing world around her, she lies about her age…