Prepare yourselves…it’s nearly here. Castle Fraser in October.
Author Archives: Alison
I must admit I was intrigued by the title, and what the content could be when looking at this book, as I have an interest in the esoteric anyway. Never mind stories that contain even a hint of magic, so I was excited to get reading. Also, this is the author’s début book – so obviously I’d never read her work before.
From the very start I was pulled into the story – a hint of a dark past, an inheritance from Great Aunt Iris, and a small (cosy?) English village that our heroine goes back to after many years. A great time to read it I think – as the seasons are going from Autumn to Winter in the book as they are as I read it. Not to mention CAM. Yes, we’ll come back to him…
Gwen Harper is from a family of women who most will refer to as witches. Growing up with a sister and a single-mum, life wasn’t easy and they moved around a lot. Gloria, the girls’ mum did not use her magic wisely – or at least for good – and when Gwen shows signs of having a gift for finding things, she uses it to full account making money from people who want to use it as a service – and this is from a child. Needless to say, Gwen and her mum are not particularly close as we come into the story – and neither is Gwen with her sister Ruby, who resents any talk of magic. Also introduced is her niece Katie, who will prove to hold a pivotal role in the story.
Talking of dark pasts, Gwen also left a past love back in Pendleford – Cam Laing, and boy is he gorgeous – even if he does come across initially as having a broom inserted! Cam has remained in the village to become a lawyer in the wake of his father’s death, and is angry that Gwen left him without a proper explanation. I won’t go into why Gwen left the village many years before as it will contain spoilers, but let’s just say it ties into the magic that runs throughout the whole book.
Gwen won’t be able to stay at her new house in Pendleford without confronting the past however. There are people who believe in her family’s magic in a good way and in a bad way. This story is also about family and friends relationships, and their complications. She will need to make choices about her past and future and whether she is ready to leave her transient lifestyle behind and settle. The story also has a line of suspense running through it when Gwen has to deal with someone who is trying to scare her into leaving.
It is also such a fun book. The character of Gwen has such heart and courage – she is witty and strong – and far more than the girl that left the village. I think part of the reason I enjoyed the book so much is that we spend almost all of it entirely with her, and end up routing for the future that she desires. I really connected with her, and also laughed along with her. And who could not like Cat!
I really loved this book – and it is not often I say this, really. An amazing début, I was sucked in so much I could hardly put it down and finished it in about a day I think. I also couldn’t stop talking about it! That is it’s charm and the skill of the writer, you can’t quite put your finger on what it is…
I hope to read more in the future by this author.
A copy of this review can also be found on my Goodreads page.
The author of this book was initially unknown to me, but upon reading the blurb and seeing the cover, I was intrigued enough to requested a copy to try. I must say, despite not being quite sure at the start by the end of the book I knew that I had enjoyed it very much.
Lady Phoebe Stanhope is what you might refer to as an Original. Unmarried, though 24 years old, she knows her horseflesh, can handle herself in a fight – but most of all is in no rush to find herself a husband. After all, she also has money and status of her own. Lord Marcus Finley, the seducer in question of the title – would certainly not be her choice of husband, after a youthful indiscretion on his part towards her. However, he is about to find that upon his return to England, he now has many responsibilities to take on, and Phoebe is certainly one he would happily volunteer for.
I did find that this book was a little slow for me at the start, and I wondered whether I would take to Phoebe and Marcus. I believe in a way I preferred Marcus, as surprisingly, he takes more of the traditional female/heroine role. Having always known that he cared for, and later loved Phoebe, he is in a position of having to prove this to her, and convince her to marry him. Along with a slightly villainous sub-plot, which to be honest was only a minor distraction and I could have easily done without and slowed the pace somewhat. I could also understand Phoebe’s indecision to a certain extent – but it did wear a little thin towards the end.
The hero and heroine do have some sensual scenes, and their decisions relating to intimacy were quite modern I thought – though not hugely, distractingly so. I appreciated the warmth between them and their families.
All in all, the book came to a satisfying conclusion leading to the introduction to the next book in the series, about Phoebe’s friend Anna. I am certainly impressed and intrigued enough to want to seek it out upon publication. Recommended for a light, romantic read with some sensual scenes.
Available now on ebook and print via Kensington.
A copy of this review can also be found on my Goodreads page.
I’m just about to start posting finished reviews for several books from earlier in the Summer, and from the August period.
In the meantime, here are the ones from mid Summer to most recent that will also be appearing as soon as I’ve finished reading and reviewing them:
- The Seduction of Lady Phoebe by Ella Quinn
- Longbourn by Jo Baker
- The Rings That Bind by Michelle Smart
- Wildish by Robert Parry
- The Divorce Party by Jennifer Hayward
Stand by for review updates as I am able to post them. I will also have some more new ones into Autumn/Winter to add in the next few weeks.
Hello fellow wombats! It has indeed been a while. Ruskin, Top and I have been away making the most of our writing, and exploring art museums and galleries. They particularly enjoyed Tate Britain where they were allowed to take a few pictures of their favourites. Their favourites were many…
This week, we have a wee competition for you all – wombats – and indeed their humans may win the postcard of their choice! The wombats chose them all from Aberdeen Art Gallery where they all reside.
Postcard A: is Penelope and Her Suitors by John William Waterhouse, 1912
Postcard B: is Titian’s First Essay in Colour by William Dyce, 1857
Postcard C: is Bright Eyes by John Everett Millais, 1877
Postcard D: is Mariana by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1870.
All you have to do is post a one line reason in the comments section why that postcard should be sent to you (or your wombat). You should state the postcard of your choice, or just say any if you are happy to receive any one of the four.
The best answers picked by Ruskin and Top (The Ruskin always has the deciding vote) wins, and you will be asked for an address for your card to be sent to. The wombats would also be happy to see when that card arrives at its destination. Competition is open worldwide, and finishes on the 29 September.
Happy Wombat Friday!
Since I went to Apsley House back in July, I’ve become a tad obsessed with all things Wellington and the Battle of Waterloo – not that I wasn’t interested in them before.
I love the story of Lady De Lancey – so I must get Lady De Lancey at Waterloo: A Story of Duty and Devotion by David Miller and re-watch the DVD of Waterloo which I saw years ago and has great battle scenes.
I’ve acquired these great books so far:
- Waterloo: A Near Run Thing by David Howarth
- Ladies of Waterloo – original accounts from Charlotte Eaton, Magdalene De Lancey and Juana Smith
- To War with Wellington by Peter Snow
- Dancing into Battle A Social History of the Battle of Waterloo by Nick Foulkes
I’ve been helping Lady F. and Captain Flint with their wedding.
Pop over to the blog to see how!
Just a quick reminder that you can buy the 2014 Bailies of Bennachie calendar.
Why I hear you ask? Well, one of my brother’s photos of Bennachie has been included this year. If memory serves correctly, it is the September picture.
You can find out more here.