#BookReview : Rags-to-Riches Wife by Catherine Tinley #HistoricalRomance #RagstoRichesWife @CatherineTinley

Rags-to-Riches Wife by Catherine Tinley
Publication Date : January 23rd 2020
Publisher : Mills & Boon
Genre : Historical Romance
Page : 368

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Lady’s maid…

To wedded Lady?

Lady’s maid Jane Bailey’s life is turned upside down by the arrival of wealthy gentleman Robert Kendal. He’s come to take Jane to visit her long-lost, aristocratic grandfather. Travelling together, they succumb to a mutual attraction. Yet Jane knows a maid should not hope to love a gentleman, even if she’s suddenly wearing silk dresses and dining with the Family. Society decrees they cannot marry, but how long can Jane deny her heart? 


*** Note: I won this book in giveaways ***

Rags-to-Riches Wife was lovely historical romance that revolved around Jane Bailey, a lady’s maid whose life changed when her estranged aristocratic grandfather called her to his estate. It was about class difference, forbidden romance, rich people’s behaviour towards servants, prejudice, judgement, and family drama.

Writing was beautiful, descriptive and vivid that took me back to regency era. Book was mostly set in Yorkshire at grand and impressive Beechmount Hall where Jane’s grandfather lived. Story was written in third person narrative from both Jane and Robert’s perspective which helped in understanding what was going on in their head and what they felt about the whole situation.

Plot was interesting, engaging, pretty straightforward. Book started with Jane losing her father and how their life changed after that; how Jane and her mother worked hard, found employer, earned their the position at Ledbury house in Bedfordshire; and Jane’s friendly relationship with her employer, Lady Kingswood, who taught her many things including education. At the same time Robert was sent from Yorkshire to Bedfordshire to fetch Jane at his uncle- Mr. Millinthrope’s order who didn’t know the reason behind the summon.  But when he reached Ledbury house Jane and her mother knew the reason. Mr. Millinthrope was Jane’s grandfather who was estranged from her father as he couldn’t accept Jane mother for her lower status. After a bit discussion and dilema Jane agreed to travel with Robert. And so started their romantic journey. I was curious to see when and how Jane will tell Robert why his uncle summoned her and how will it affect their growing friendship and feelings.

Jane was perfect heroine. Beautiful, skilled and educated, respectful, fiery, and determined but was vulnerable. The nightmare of sexual assault still haunted her and Jane had panic attacks when something triggered those memory. I liked how delicately it was handled and how Jane found strength and safety in Robert’s company and overcame her fears.

Her feeling of loneliness, unfair and unwelcome treatment at Beechmount Hall was heart felt. I could see how tough it was to live in house where everybody looked down on her and even servant didn’t accept her. But still I admired her self-discipline and never complained or cried. Her dilemma of how to behave after arriving at Beechmount Hall and after her grandfather’s declaration was realistic. She couldn’t figure out who she was, a servant or lady of Beechmount Hall. It was difficult adjustment and change for her. I loved the way things turned out for her and how she understood who she really was.

Robert was introvert, reserved gentleman who helped his uncle maintaining estate. He was responsible, caring and kind person but I do feel he had a bit of tantrum issue. If anything troubled him he would gallop on his horse rather than talking it out and even after his head is clear from horse riding he wouldn’t voice his thoughts easily. That made book a bit longer and made me eye roll at his reaction to all things, but on the whole, I like him.

Best part of the book was descriptions of Beechmount Hall, representation of class difference, attire and fashion, conduct, etiquettes, and mind set of people, and soirée. It truly brought me to different time and era.

Romance was slow built and delightful. I enjoyed reading Jane and Robert’s journey from Ledbury house to Beechmount, how they got to know each other more, how their feeling grew from respect to friendship. They even shared kiss and started loving each other but they didn’t know it was love. Foolishness of Mr. Millinthrope breached their blossoming relationship but I liked how soirée mended things between them.

I could guess few things but climax was surprising. I wasn’t expecting such turns of events after soirée. It was sad time and when Jane and Robert were given opportunity to be together guess what they took whole 50 pages to grab it- tsk, tsk. All I wanted to do was lock them in a room and make them talk to each other, end would have come 50 pages earlier. Strangely I don’t regret it. Loved the end, despite all conflicts and drama love won at the end. I want to read more historical romance after this.

Why 4.5 stars-

Story felt a bit longer because of Jan and Robert’s inability to talk things and solve their issue.

On a lighter note, why that heroine’s eyes on cover is not blue? Jane’s eye were blue, so very blue. It doesn’t look blue to me on cover.😅

Overall,

Rags-to-Riches Wife was delightful and absorbing, well written regency romance with likable characters and plot.


I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about this book and my reviewhave you read this book already or any book by the same author. Which is you favourite historical romance set in regency era?

Happy Reading!

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#BookReview : Cometh the Hour (The Clifton Chronicles #6) by Jeffrey Archer #ComethTheHour #HistoricalFiction #StMartinsPress

Cometh the Hour (The Clifton Chronicles #6) by Jeffrey Archer
Publication Date : February 16th 2016
Publisher : St. Martin’s Press
Genre : Historical Fiction
Pages : 404

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cometh the Hour opens with the reading of a suicide note, which has devastating consequences for Harry and Emma Clifton, Giles Barrington and Lady Virginia.

Giles must decide if he should withdraw from politics and try to rescue Karin, the woman he loves, from behind the Iron Curtain. But is Karin truly in love with him, or is she a spy?

Lady Virginia is facing bankruptcy, and can see no way out of her financial problems, until she is introduced to the hapless Cyrus T. Grant III from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who’s in England to see his horse run at Royal Ascot.

Sebastian Clifton is now the Chief Executive of Farthings Bank and a workaholic, whose personal life is thrown into disarray when he falls for Priya, a beautiful Indian girl. But her parents have already chosen the man she is going to marry. Meanwhile, Sebastian’s rivals Adrian Sloane and Desmond Mellor are still plotting to bring him and his chairman Hakim Bishara down, so they can take over Farthings.

Harry Clifton remains determined to get Anatoly Babakov released from a gulag in Siberia, following the international success of his acclaimed book, Uncle Joe. But then something unexpected happens that none of them could have anticipated.

Cometh the Hour is the penultimate book in the Clifton Chronicles and, like the five previous novels – which were all New York Times bestsellers – showcases Jeffrey Archer’s extraordinary storytelling with his trademark twists. 

Previous books I read in Series:

Book 1 Only Time Will Tell
Book 2 The Sins of the Father
Book 3 Best Kept Secret 
Book 4 Be Careful What You Wish For
Book 5 Mightier Than the Sword

Cometh the Hour, 6th in The Clifton Chronicles series was interesting mix of historical fiction, politics and family drama that revolved around Cliftons and Barringtons’ life. Like all previous book this too was about good vs bad, morals and principles, good things happen to good people and enemies gets their comeuppance, family, love and drama.

First there was nothing wrong in the book but because of my mood or my itch to just finish the series asap made and other books taking priority over this and it took me way way long to finish this. That taught me to read last book when I’m ready to read it.

Writing was easy to read, addictive and flawless. It was told in third person narrative from Emma, Harry, Giles, Seb, Bishra, and Virginia’s perspective; started in 1970 from where the previous book ended with result of court case against Emma and ended in 1978. Being second last book of the series, lot of things were happening.

After long time we hear about Maisie in this book. She was old lady now and her days were coming close. I loved letter she wrote for Harry, Emma and Seb that gave them new inspiration.

Giles got break from politics for a while, rescued his love behind the Iron curtain and brought Karin to London but she really turned out spy for Russians. I was curious to see what Karin would do, if she would destroy Giles and British government or would fall in love with Giles. (pretty predictable but yet interesting to see the results) I have to admit he was hopeless romantic, and I liked how his career path diverted a little by being appointed as leader of lords and also supporting labour party. Things were okay with him in this book, in fact, smooth and he looked happy but I have feeling next book would be tough for him.

After the case Emma once again came back as chairman of Barrington shipping. Now, after Maisie’s death, she was not just chairman but had became governor of NHS hospital handling nursing department and had joined Tories backing Margret Thatcher as their manager. Phew, she was juggling many things at once and I liked how that didn’t affect her relationship with her family or with Giles. Author keep surprising me by making Emma’s character stronger with each book.

Virginia, after losing case, was facing bankruptcy. She needed to find a way to get money or say good-bye to posh extravagant life and clearly she didn’t intend to let go her life. Soon she saw opportunity when Cyrus T Grant, 28th richest man in America, visited London. Poor guy! This time Virginia was playing big and I was even surprised how far she went and how well planned every step was. I couldn’t believe she got away with all she did. But if you are familiar with author’s style, you must know in all books bad people get their comeuppance, so did Virginia.

Seb fell in love with Priya. He didn’t mind marrying a Hindu but it was different for Priya. She was sure her parents wouldn’t approve Seb being Christian, they were looking for a rightful Indian Hindu man whom she should marry. Her father was influential headstrong businessman who on knowing about her affair took her back to India. I liked the way author portrayed Hindu traditions, Indian ways and mentality during those times. Seb’s journey to India and his plan was impressive. The way it ended was shocking. I didn’t know what would happen next or if he would meet Sam and Jessica again. I enjoyed these chapters every chapters about him and part he played, be it as father, an executive director of bank, friend, son, and nephew.

Adrian Sloan and Desmond Muller had planned something big which would clear Bishra from their path that added tension in the book and soon Bishra got arrested.  It was interesting to read how Seb and Andrew would save him and image of bank, and stop Sloan and Desmond from ruining Bishra’s life. I liked Bishra’s attitude and nature during all these ordeals.

Harry published Anatoly Babakov’s book, Uncle Joe, with his publisher and friend Guinzberg that became international success and formed pressure on Russians to release Babakov. I doubted they would ever release him but that announcement of award heated things up.

I enjoyed conversations between characters. It felt natural and realistic. My favourite scene was court room session and testing of recordings with a little historical fact about Nixon president impeachment.

There were many twists and turns. Whenever I thought now nothing wrong would happen, something popped out of nowhere. Enemies were formidable but main characters were smart and fate backed them at right time.

Climax was shocking, tense and exciting all at same time. Harry’s speech was awesome, I even felt triumphant reading what happened to Virginia, Sloan, and Desmond, and Karin was in such complex situation. End was perfect and so was Epilogue.

Why 4 Stars-

Jessica never felt like 10 years old. She sounded like grown up 20 years old young lady. I even forgot she was just child until it was mentioned. It was a bit unrealistic. And that whole Virginia’s plan and Cyrus agreeing to deal was a little too much.

Overall,

Cometh The Hour was entertaining, dramatic and engaging historical fiction. Not best in series but I liked it.


I hope you enjoyed this post and my review. Let me know in comments if you have read this book or any book by the same author. DO you ever feel impatient when you about to finish the long series and because of that you enjoyed last books in series a little less?

Happy Reading!

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#BookReview : The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner #TheJaneAustenSociety #HistoricalFiction

Hello readers! I’m excited to be part of virtual online book tour of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, Natalie Jenner’s highly acclaimed debut novel and to be one of the Seventy-five popular blogs and websites participating in this biggest tour. Check out book details and my reviews of this historical fiction novel in this post. Many thanks to Laurel @austenprose for tour invite and publisher providing review copy.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
Publication Date : May 26th 2020
Publisher : St. Martin’s Press
Genre : Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, General Fiction, Austenesque
Pages : 320

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

ACCOLADES:

  • An Amazon Best Book of May 2020 
  • One of Goodreads Big Books of Spring & Hot Books of Summer
  • One of Audible’s Top 50 Most Anticipated Spring Audiobooks
  • June 2020 Indie Next Pick
  • May 2020 Library Reads Pick
  • Starred Review – Library Journal
  • Starred Review – Booklist 

AUDIOBOOK NARRATED BY ACTOR RICHARD ARMITAGE:

The full unabridged text of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY was read by the distinguished English film, television, theatre and voice actor Richard Armitage for the audiobook recording. Best known by many period drama fans for his outstanding performance as John Thornton in the BBC television adaptation of North and South (2004), Armitage also portrayed Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit (2012 – 2014).

Link to YouTube audiobook excerpt: https://youtu.be/OJ1ACJluRi8

ADVANCE PRAISE:

“Just like a story written by Austen herself, Jenner’s first novel is brimming with charming moments, endearing characters, and nuanced relationships…Readers won’t need previous knowledge of Austen and her novels to enjoy this tale’s slow revealing of secrets that build to a satisfying and dramatic ending.”Booklist (starred review)

“Few things draw disparate people together so quickly as discovering they love the same writers. Few writers cement such friendships as deeply as Austen does. I believe that the readers of Jenner’s book will fall in love with the readers inside Jenner’s book, all of us thinking and dreaming of Austen the whole while. What could be better? Nothing, that’s what! A wonderful book, a wonderful read.” ―Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

“Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society… A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST:

Spotify users can access a playlist for THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY at the following link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5Q1Vl17qyQQIvvPGeIPCkr?si=-iMhVz8uRk2v2mTdolrPdg. The playlist includes music from various film adaptions of Jane Austen’s books, as well as film scores by such incomparable artists as Hans Zimmer, Ennio Morricone, Rachel Portman, and Michael Nyman.

The Jane Austen Society was beautifully written historical fiction that revolved around seven characters, their love for Jane Austen books and their idea of Jane Austen Society. It was about getting over loss and grief, camaraderie and companionship one find in mutual love and passion for books, romance, village and Post WWII life, and power of reading.

Writing was beautiful. It had that classic feel that took me right to post WWII, 1940s era, written multiple third person narrative set in the quaint village, Chawton, Hampshire where Jane Austen spent last few years of her life writing her world famous books. It was so well written that I had hard time believing this was author’s debut novel.

Plot was simple yet enjoyable, refreshing and uplifting. It started with introduction of all 7 main characters and their life- Adeline, Dr. Gray, Mimi, Adam, Evie, Andrew, and Yardley. Each were introduced in different chapters with ups and down in their life, how they are big fan of Jane Austen and love all her books, how they met each other and later formed Jane Austen Society to preserve history and legacy and to spread their love to more people.

All characters were going through hard time, fighting their own battle to keep their ship afloat in the ocean of life. They all were so different from each other both in nature and profession and yet one thing that bound them in solid camaraderie was Jane Austen’s books and also saved their ship from sinking.

Dr. Gray was widowed general physician of Chawton who knew everybody in village with their past and future. This smart, down to earth and humble and gentle soul couldn’t see the signs of love that was always there. I liked his moment of realization. Adeline was school teacher and now young widow. She was my favorite character in book. I felt for her and I admired her for getting out of her grief.

Frances was lonely woman and only living child of Knight Family, living with her ailing father who never appreciated her. It was hard to understand her resignation, calm and cool demeanor to all that happened to her, nonetheless I liked her. Andrew was Knight Family’s solicitor who respected and admired Frances. It was mystery why he never told her- or if he did, what happened- which was revealed near the end.

Mimi– She had most interesting back story of all. I loved her from the beginning. Her journey to Hollywood star and love for everything related to Jane Austen was mind-blowing. I can’t believe how this smart, with so much self-restrain and self-respecting person can end up with likes of Jack. I didn’t like him a bit. I loved her for not losing her head in relationship, her view towards Hollywood and village life, and doing right thing at the end.

Adam was lonely and quiet farmer who had hard life. It was lovely to read his thoughts while reading Jane Austen. This man was full of surprises. Yardley brought liveliness in this book. I wasn’t sure if I liked him or not in the beginning but in second half he was great. Evie was brilliant. This girl surprised me. Her observations, love for books, foresight and thorough-mindedness was amazing. She literally saved everything.

What I loved in this book was backstory of all characters, beautiful description of Chawton, home of Jane Austen, Knight Estate and its library, her family history, tradition, legacy and villager’s view point towards it, and their culture and mindset.

Best of all banter and discussion between characters on Jane Austen books, their dissection of all Austen characters and their passionate love for all her books and more importantly how they understood Jane Austen through her writing, her view towards society and observation of people through her characters. I have only read Pride and Prejudice and I have to say I didn’t understood the book the way these characters did.

Romance was fun to read. We can see couples’ admiration and who liked who but who ended up with whom was mystery itself. There was misunderstanding and drama just liked Pride and Prejudice, jealousy and possibility of love triangle which was flamed by busybody of village.

There was mystery of a will by old Knight that decided the fate of Frances and cottage the society wanted to turn into museum. I couldn’t tell till the end what will happen to cottage, if they could save it or not and how. Climax was tense but they were still hopeful because of Evie’s smartness, and then the biggest secret was revealed. It was shocking but the unlikely decision and then a scheme gave it whole new turn. It was at the end and in epilogue was actually revealed what exactly happened to cottage. Epilogue was lovely, feel good and exhilarating.

And lastly, I listened audiobook narrated by Richard Armitage. This was my first audiobook, I struggled a bit, wouldn’t have tried it without e-book but after few chapters I loved it. One thing was sure, I got so used to Richard’s voice. Pitch and changes he made for different characters was amazing.

This made me want to reread Pride and Prejudice and read all Austen books. It was said many times in the book Jane Austen’s novels act as balm to wounded, sooth the soul and get us through disturbing times. Well this is best time to read Austen books and see if it works in the time like this.

Overall,

The Jane Austen Society was simple yet beautiful, lovely and refreshing historical fiction with amazing characters and setting.

AUTHOR BIO:

Natalie Jenner is the debut author of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, a fictional telling of the start of the society in the 1940s in the village of Chawton, where Austen wrote or revised her major works. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie graduated from the University of Toronto with degrees in English Literature and Law and has worked for decades in the legal industry. She recently founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORYINDIEBOUND | AUDIBLEGOODREADS | BOOKBUB

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

May 25           Jane Austen’s World
May 25           Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog
May 26           Frolic Media
May 26           A Bookish Affair
May 26           Courtney Reads Romance
May 26           Margie’s Must Reads
May 26           The Reading Frenzy
May 27           Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina
May 27           Gwendalyn’s Books
May 27           Romantically Inclined Reviews
May 28           Getting Your Read On
May 28           Living Read Girl
May 28           The Lit Bitch
May 29           History Lizzie
May 29           Silver Petticoat Reviews
May 30           Cup of Tea with that Book, Please
May 30           Historical Fiction Reader
May 31           Jane Austen in Vermont
June 01         From Pemberley to Milton
June 01         My Jane Austen Book Club
June 01         AustenBlog
June 02         Lu’s Reviews
June 02         The Green Mockingbird
June 03         The Interests of a Jane Austen Girl
June 03         Relz Reviews
June 03         Impressions in Ink
June 04         The Caffeinated Bibliophile
June 04         Life of Literature
June 04         Laura’s Reviews
June 05         Reading Ladies Book Club
June 05         Bookish Rantings
June 06         From the TBR Pile
June 07         Rachel Dodge
June 07         An Historian About Town
June 08         Bringing up Books
June 08         Austenesque Reviews
June 09         Captivated Reading
June 09         Savvy Verse and Witt
June 10         Lady with a Quill
June 10         Drunk Austen
June 11         Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
June 11         Inkwell Inspirations
June 12         Nurse Bookie
June 12         A Bookish Way of Life
June 13         Calico Critic
June 14         Jane Austen’s World
June 15         Stuck in a Book
June 15         Storybook Reviews
June 15         Confessions of a Book Addict
June 16         Literary Quicksand
June 16         Becky on Books
June 17         The Reading Frenzy
June 17         Anita Loves Books
June 18         Chicks, Rogues, & Scandals
June 18         The Write Review
June 19         Diary of Eccentric
June 20         Cracking the Cover
June 21         Short Books & Scribes
June 22         Reading the Past
June 22         Babblings of a Bookworm
June 23         My Vices and Weaknesses
June 23         The Book Diva Reads
June 24         Books, Teacups & Reviews
June 24         Wishful Endings
June 25         Robin Loves Reading
June 25         Bookfoolery
June 26         Lit and Life
June 26         Vesper’s Place
June 27         Foxes and Fairy Tales
June 28         Probably at the Library
June 28         Scuffed Slippers Wormy Books
June 29         The Anglophile Channel
June 29         So Little Time…
June 30         BookNAround


I hope you enjoyed this post and review. Let me know what do you think about the book or if you have read this already and what are your thought on this book, which is your favorite Jane Austen book?

Happy Reading!

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#BookReview : Mightier Than the Sword (The Clifton Chronicles #5) by Jeffrey Archer #MightierThantheSword #CliftonChronicles #HistoricalFiction

Mightier Than the Sword (The Clifton Chronicles #5) by Jeffrey Archer
Publication date : February 24th 2015
Publisher : St. Martin’s Press
Genre : Historical Fiction
Pages : 400
Stars : ★★★★☆

A bomb goes off, but how many passengers on the MV Buckingham have lost their lives? You will find out only if you read the opening chapter of Mightier than the Sword.



When Harry arrives in New York, his publisher Harold Guinzberg tells him he has been elected as the next president of English PEN, which will give him the opportunity to launch a campaign for the release of a fellow author, Anatoly Babakov, who is languishing in a Russian Gulag in Siberia. His crime, writing a book Uncle Joe, which gives an insight into what it was like to work for Josef Stalin. So determined is he to see Babakov released, Harry puts his own life in danger.



Emma Clifton, now Chairman of Barrington Shipping, is having to face the repercussions of the IRA bombing her ship.
Some board members feel she should resign while others, including Sebastian Clifton, newly elected to the board, are determined to see she remains as Chairman.



Giles Barrington is now a Minister of the Crown, and looks set for high office, but a trip to East Germany does not end as a diplomatic success, and once again Giles’ political career is thrown off balance by none other than Major Alex Fisher. Fisher decides to stand against Giles at the forthcoming general election. But this time who wins?



Sebastian Clifton asks his girlfriend Samantha to marry him. She happily accepts, but then later changes her mind after she discovers what Seb has been up to behind her back.



The book ends with two court trials: one at the high court in London, a libel case pitting Emma Clifton against Lady Virginia Fenwick; while another, a show trial, takes place in Russia after Harry has been arrested as a spy. Thus continues book five of the Clifton Chronicles, Jeffrey Archer’s most accomplished work to date, with all the trademark twists and turns that have made him one of the most successful authors in the world.

Previous books I read in series:

Book 1 Only Time Will Tell
Book 2 The Sins of the Father
Book 3 Best Kept Secret 
Book 4 Be Careful What You Wish For

Mightier Than the Sword was perfect title for this book. Another stellar book in this compelling series that revolved around two family and their never ending problems. It was about, good vs bad, don’t get greedy, sticking to morals and principles will always be rewarding, fight for yourself at right time, fate, family, love and passion.

Writing was as usual gripping, engaging and fast paced that demanded attention in all chapters. Mightier Than the Sword, told from multiple perspective from Harry and Emma, Giles, Sebastian and Lady Virginia’s POV, was set in Bristol and London, occasional visits in U.S. but this time Harry travels to Russia and Giles to Berlin that changed their life.

Mightier Than the Sword started in 1964 picking up from the end of last book, Be Careful What You Wish For, and ended in 1970. It’s clear from the synopsis, no main character died in the blast on Buckingham’s maiden voyage but I will not tell more or what damage it caused. I was thinking how I should write the review as I don’t want say much but at the same time I don’t want end up saying little. Moreover, lot was going on in this book, turn after turn and many surprises. Each main character was facing enemy in this book and each were given equal attention so I will divide my review in what they were facing, what was good and bad with their situation.

As soon as Emma returned from states she was facing Libel trial filed by Virginia moreover some member of board were plotting against her and that included a new enemy Desmond Muller. It felt like she was running out of luck this time. Desmond was unscrupulous, clever and sharp enemy who gave Emma and company hard time and his timing of final strike was fabulous. For first time I feared for Emma. Court room session didn’t help in reducing that fear as Virginia’s lawyer was brilliant. I was curious to see how she was going to fight both of them at the same time and this time if she lose, she was going to lose big- her position, reputation and company.

Emma evolved a lot over four previous books of this series. Her impression as first woman chairman of public company was formidable. She was admiring, ethical, honest person with high morals and principles. She wouldn’t do wrong with anybody but at the same time wouldn’t let anyone harm her and her family.

Sebastian was fighting Adrian Sloane, his boss who planned to take over Farthings bank. This initial part was tense. Sloane was smart and most dishonest and greedy man. His plan was great, with time in his favor and took over the bank real fast that made Seb resign from his job but he was determined to get back to him. I was curious to see how he was going to fight him with no job and less money.

Seb was exceptionally brilliant but in getting revenge and money fast, living accomplished life, he messed up his personal life. Over the course of this book, he learned and developed a lot. He took one step at a time and climbed financial ladder, took all the opportunity at right time. It was looking like all Cedric taught to him finally came to its fruition when he saw name of Hakim Bishra. I liked that man and I loved how game of fighting Sloane turned from this point.

Giles was not happy family man in this. His son died at age 3 and that broke him and Gwyneth apart. He respected Gwyneth but love was drifting and when he went to Berlin to attend conference as a minister of Crown, he made a mistake that made him resign and once again fight election. Time was also not in his favor as again he had to fight against Fisher. I was curious to see what was the result of election and how would he face consequences of his mistakes. He was best example of sportsmanship and I loved him for being resilient and following his heart. I enjoyed every word and pages when he fought election and later when he supported Emma, but Gwyneth was best and I hope he don’t regret letting her go.

Harry was facing most dangerous situation of all. To begin with he was now president of English PEN and started a campaign for release of Anatoly Babakov, Russian novelist who was imprisoned for 20 years for writing a book on Stalin, titled Uncle Joe. He was curious to find out what was in the book and why Russian government destroyed every copy on publication day of Uncle Joe. He passionately felt for Babakov. But fight for his release meant fight against whole Russian government. First he went to Russia as a guest speaker of PEN- he delivered mind blowing speech (it was as good as Gile’s election speeches) and some work from cabinet secretary (which turned out real interesting). I didn’t know he had photographic memory until this book! Why it wasn’t mentioned before! He discovered location one last copy of Uncle Joe and had to visit Russia again but without protection secretary. Isn’t it just getting just better and better? I was curious to find out how he would locate it and how he would get away with or maybe not? What will happen if Russian caught him? This part was best on whole book.

I enjoyed every tricky situations every characters faced, how they fought their enemies- who won one or two small battle as well that made me worry for characters- and how they came out of it. I loved each of them for not losing hope, sought each other’s help and advice, fought keeping their morals and principles intact that ultimately rewarded them with best result.

I loved reading scenes that were based on historical events like Berlin wall and The Stasi of the East German communist government, imprisonment of Russian writer, and Stalin’s biography through Uncle Joe which was most intriguing.

Climax made me anxious, laugh, curious and awed all at the same time. Harry’s escape, Emma’s trial, and enemies’ plan all was pumping the adrenaline at best. I was holding my breath when finally end neared and then I cursed, ‘Damn Cliffhangers!’ At 3:00 a.m. I got up from bed pulled out sixth book and read few chapters to see the real end. And I tell you it was amazing.

Why 4 stars-

Honestly, I’m tired seeing Virginia and Fisher again. Cliftons and Barringtons are so nice and always do right thing so why they are having lot of enemies? It’s like wherever they go they made enemy. From 1919 to 1970 there wasn’t a year they didn’t face problem! It’s really far fetching.  

Overall, Mightier Than the Sword was gripping, fast paced historical fiction and family saga, full of twist and turn and drama. I definitely recommend this to fans of Jeffrey Archer.

Book Links:

Goodreads

Affiliate Links: Amazon (IN) | Amazon (US) | Amaon (UK) | Book Depository

What do you think about the book? Have you read this already or any book in this series or same author? Have you read a book in which character has photographic memory?

Happy Reading!

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#AuthorInterview : Neveah Hor, Author of Love Machine, The Revolution @Neveah92926470 #Romance #fantasy #Historicalromance

Hello Readers! I’m happy to welcome Neveah Hor Author of two romance novels- Love Machine: The guardians wanted something else, The Revolution- for an interview on Books Teacup and Review. Read more about author and her books in this post.

Love Machine: The guardians wanted something else…
Publication Date : February 19th 2020
Genre: fantasy / Romance

Synopsis:

In this year, 2050, among the humans on the streets, there are these very few others. Others who are made in the biggest technology company, AITA (artificial intelligence and technological advancements), what humans call, the guardians. They were crossbreeds of humans and animals which had the highest Intelligent Quotient (IQ)they were created to protect all citizens with their special abilities. However, they had one enemy. The citizens called them the poachers. They are from another company, The Royal AI. This company was the second most advanced company and they wanted all the glory of AITA. To win them over, The Royal AI had to prove themselves worthy and they resolved to hunting down the guardians to kill them all off. They have decided to start off with the head of the guardians, 7 different crossbreeds – Aurelia, Jiwon, Hye Kyo, Lena, Darren, Justin and lastly Richard. Aurelia, the chairwoman and Jiwon, the vice chairwoman. Hye Kyo and Lena, the advisors and the three males, heads of defense. Humans just did not understand one thing… These guardians they so often talk about did not want fame. They wanted something else…

The Revolution
Publication Date : March 28th 2020
Genre : Historical romance

Synopsis:

China invaded London and the twins had to escape with their mother he was with them. They headed for their secret hide out but was found and sent to the concentration camp in China. But just when the emperor wanted to do so, his heart melted when he saw the twins’ beauty. That was when they met their true loves which were adopted by the emperor. But who knew Gump—the emperor’s real son seek his greatest revenge in jealousy, separating the twins from their true loves. Years later, the twins graduated in London and participated in a figure skating competition… 

Neveah Hor, born and raised in Singapore, is the author of Love Machine. She published her first book at the age of thirteen. She likes to write, read and enjoys Ballet. She writes mainly under the genres of Young Adult, Romance and Fantasy. She won several writing contests at the age of nine. She is currently receiving her education in Singapore and lives with her parents and an elder sister. She is just an ordinary teenager who holds a pen and paper as she enters the world of stories. She hopes she could be someone’s favourite author one day. Her passion for writing never fades.

Can you tell readers a little about your books, The Revolution and Love Machine?

Love Machine is a romantic fantasy. It has characters who are crossbreeds who have special abilities. They were in search of a normal life and true love. Love Machine delivers life lessons, a sense of morality and a unique concept of magic and love.

The Revolution is a historical romance. Two twins—Odile and Odette were in London when China invaded London. The twins won several beauty pageants since young and were talented in many things. But everything changed when the war occured. These did not happen in history, it was all made up because I felt that making up history will enable my imagination to go wild. The twins were caught when they did not report at the occupation camp, shipped to China and brought to the emperor and empress of China. However, their looks made the emperor surprised and they became part of the royal family. They met two adopted brothers there—Darren and Justin and soon fell head over heels with each other. The real princess and prince were jealous and planned to make the twins’ lives a living hell. Being part of the royal family wasn’t that easy after all!

Both books are romance. What draws you to that particular genre?

I know it’s definitely shocking to see a thirteen-year-old write romance but hey, here I am writing it! I read many romance novels since young and was inspired to write one. After writing one of them, I realised how I loved to write romance novels. To talk about romantic kisses, sunsets, love triangles, friends to lovers and true love is very intriguing! To me, writing romance is about understanding each partner’s feelings when they fall in love. I haven’t experienced any crushes or anything, because I’m obviously too young for any, but I think romance is not just about dirty stuff, it encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure. 

How did you come up with the idea for your books? 

I get my inspiration from many images from the internet. My favourite app to get inspiration is Pinterest. For example, the idea of making my characters in Love Machine crossbreeds was from images from Pinterest showing anime characters who are hybrids. I also use my writers notebook to store all my writing inspirations.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing The Revolution and Love Machine?

I had difficulties to start a chapter. Many professional writers say you need a captivating starting line and I was asking myself ‘How?’. It was difficult but I had to get over it. Writing kissing scenes were hard for me too. I have never experienced a kiss so I wouldn’t know how it feels like. The only think I can do is to imagine how my character feels and also learn from other romance authors. It is tough to write a novel because I constantly find myself getting distracted with things around me—my phone, my parents’ voice, my sister’s voice, the volume of the television outside. However, each time I see the progress of my manuscript, I would take a deep breath and start writing again. Additionally, my parents are not supportive of my writing career. You will often hear ‘do not waste your time writing’. I can understand that they feel being an author is a tough job but I love writing, so I write. Writing is a tool for me to get away from my stressful school life.

What type of characters do you love and hate to write? What is your favorite quality in protagonists? Has anyone in real life inspired you to write them?

I like to write about my protagonist and antagonist. I like to put myself in the protagonist’s shoes. I like to write bad things about my antagonist and try to give her some good qualities. In most of my stories, there is a side protagonist. I don’t like to write about my side protagonist because sometimes, I feel like it’s taking over the main lead. Funny… but that’s how I feel. I like protagonists who are sacrificial and loyal, protagonist who face moral dilemmas, protagonists who are hopeless romantic but in the end, finds a true love and protagonists who are relatable. When I write my antagonist, I think of my nemesis in school and use the traits she has to put into my antagonist.

Is there a message in your books that you hope readers will grasp?

I hope that readers who wants to believe in true love, would believe in it. For those who believe in it, I hope they will continue to. 

When writing, do you plot or go with the flow?

I ask myself what is the genre I want to write under. I usually choose romance as the primary genre and then add in another genre as a sub-genre. I write what I want to happen at the start, middle and end in my writer’s notebook. I then start to write and go with the flow. 

How long does it take you to write a book?

It took me about 10 months to finish writing Love Machine and another 2 months to edit, get a book cover, and publish it. 

It was slightly shorter for The Revolution since it’s a shorter story. 

Tell us about your journey to publication. 

At first, I set my mind on finding a publisher to publish my novel. I sent out many query letters. Countless letters. I got about ten rejection letters and some of them just left me on the lurch. Of course, I was upset and it took me a week to get over each rejection letter. I then decided that I should get away with traditional publishing and self-published with KDP. Sure, most bestselling authors are traditional published. But guess what? I don’t need to be one, I don’t need the title of being a bestseller, I have the title of being passionate in writing. 

What are your most favorite and least favorite things about being an author?

My favourite thing about being an author is to see my book live on Amazon. However, when being a self-published author, many reviewers spam you with emails—they want to charge you fees for a review. I feel that authors like me should never ever pay for a review unless it’s a kirkus review!

Do you have any writing rituals?

I have my writer’s notebook next to me, a cup of water and my computer ready. I also have a secret spot in the room next to my seat where I can just place all my writing-related things when I hear my parent’s footsteps nearing my door.

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

I would give up my education. I don’t mind actually. If I could focus only on writing, I would. 

What are your favorite literary journals?

Oh many—One Story, Tin House, The Newyorker, A Public Space, What’sUp, The Lowa Review and many more.

What is your favorite childhood book?

To be honest, I did not read when I was younger and I’m guilty of that. However, I like to read the Magic Ballerina series by Darcey Bussel. It’s related to Ballet and it has magic in it. I like Ballet and currently dance it too! 

What is the next project you’re working on?

As Love Machine is book 1 of a trilogy, I’m currently working on Book 2 and is really excited to see the end product—I hope you are too.

When not writing, what do you like to do to relax?

Other than writing, I blog, dance and go on social media. I have a bookish blog and I recommend books there. I love to dance ballet, as well as, the currently trending tiktok dances! I love Instagram really much and get a little too excited when I receive likes, direct messages, comments and follows! 

Can you describe Love Machine in five words?

Futuristic, historical, magical, romantic, relatable

And the last one, top 3 tips for aspiring authors.

Although I’m not an expert, I had love to tell aspiring authors these three things. Believe in yourself, don’t let the title ‘Bestselling’ or ‘Award-winning’ affect you, and write everyday.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest |

Purchase Links:(Amazon) Love Machine , The Revolution

What do you think about the post? Have you read these book? Are you going to add it to TBR?

Happy Reading!

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