Monday, 29 May 2017

#8 Books Recently Read - Search For The Light by Rosemary Noble

Monday Moments are with...

Search For the Light by Rosemary Noble

This is yet another historical novel that I've just finished reading. 

A moment's foolish mistake costs sixteen-year old Nora her freedom and her family. Sentenced to transportation she has to grow up fast to survive prison, the long journey and then life as an assigned servant in Van Diemen's Land of the 1820s. She is sustained by real friendships with other prisoners, Sarah and Helen. Can anyone of them overcome the pitfalls of convict life to become pioneering settlers of modern day Tasmania? This is a story of love and friendship amidst the trials of 19th century Australian colonial life.

My thoughts on the novel:

This was an engrossing story woven around the realities of female convicts sent from the United Kingdom to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) around 1825: the convicts often having had little or no proper trial before their sentence was pronounced. It was a fact that Australia and Tasmania needed women, there already being masses of male convicts whose sentences were almost played out and who needed a female to work the land they would be able to acquire after their ‘jail’ time was done. An expedient way to populate the country was to impose seriously harsh sentences for almost no crime. 

Though I knew of the practice of sending convicts there, from school history lessons, I knew none of the detail.

This novel sets a fine background for the harsh treatment these women had meted out to them, both in prison before they sailed, during the long arduous voyage and when they arrived at Van Diemen’s Land. The story doesn’t dwell too much on the horrors of the voyage but I’m sure it was a lot worse in reality. It was easy to warm to the characters of Nora, Helen and Sarah.

I found the point of view changes a bit abrupt at times, but got used to it. The ending also seemed a little rushed as it jumped over the decades. There were instances where the quality of editing was poorer than throughout the bulk of the story. 


Sunday, 28 May 2017

#7 Books Read Recently Who Does He Think He Is by Emily Kerr

It's still Sunday and here's another of my catching up with reviews posts! 

In early May, I took a day out to go and have lunch in Edinburgh with members of the Romantic Novelists Association, Scottish Chapter. I chose to spend a lot of hours on a coach rather than driving the 280 miles round trip. The drive would take me a little less than 3 hours if there were no hold ups along the route but parking in Edinburgh is diabolical- hard to find and cost prohibitive. Instead, I went by coach, which thanks to the Scottish Government issuing a Free Bus pass to people of my sensitive age, was a longer time away from my house but so very relaxing. To get to Aberdeen Bus Station I have a bus journey of about an hour so that was a good start for me into a new book- Who Does He Think  He Is? by Emily Kerr, published by Crooked Cat Books. 

The journey to Edinburgh is slightly less than 3 hours so I was able to nap...and to continue the read.

Here's my thoughts on this contemporary romantic comedy novel that has some mystery elements attached which is always guaranteed to appeal to me!

Lady Aurelia Osbourne-Lloyd has long wished her bank balance was as big as her name. But her home, Leydale Park, is more of a pile in a state than stately pile, and with her father off ‘finding himself’ in Thailand, it’s up to her to turn the family fortunes around by entertaining demanding tourists.

When – thanks to her father’s interference – a Hollywood production company chooses the estate as a location for a Regency movie, a whole new level of chaos enters Aurelia’s life. Her quiet days shattered and privacy non-existent, she has no choice but to go with the flow and let them take over.

Never mind the added distraction of dishy leading man, Xander Lord, who may have an ulterior motive for wanting to get close to her…

Can Aurelia keep her cool in light of all the upheaval?

My thoughts on this 5* read ...

Ah, what happens when the money runs dry, you live in an ancestral pile that’s in need of repairs and your titled father prefers to live far away in the sunshine of the Far East?  What does Aurelia have to do to put some meagre food on her table? Diversify, of course. Becoming a tour guide isn’t the most ideal job for Lady Aurelia but it’s either that or giving up her heritage and that isn’t to be countenanced. Aurelia is a fun character. She has naturally shy instincts but a tour guide has to pull out the acting hat and she does that so very well.

Along comes a film company needing an authentic building for their project. In a lead role as actor /director is the charismatic, gorgeous, slightly mysterious but pretty down to earth actor Zander Lord. Meredith, the other half of the Dawson /Lord Company plays the nasty ‘other woman’ vying for his attention extremely well – so well I wanted to have her towed away in the Winnebago more than once!  The mystery of the film company’s descent on Leydale Park is revealed, the cunning involvement by her father one that Aurelia despairs of.

The secondary characters play a lovely role and I particularly enjoyed the small village feel of the elderly, nosey, twins who run the local shop and who look after Lady Aurelia in their own way. Aurelia’s friend Lucy is the kind of loyal, fun loving character most people would love to have. The mystery of Zander is unravelled towards the end, the drama of the situation an amusing interlude.
This was a lovely quick read almost in the style of a dramatic farce.

I recommend this if you like chick-lit type romantic comedy! 


Recent reads #6 Taming The Tango Champion

Good Morning!

Sunday is here and I'm still posting about novels I've recently enjoyed. Today's first one is Taming The Tango Champion by Cait O'Sullivan, a novel by Crooked Cat Books.

If you're looking for a satisfying easy read that you can zoom through in one sitting if you've got a few hours to spare, this is the kind of story I'd be reaching for. It'll keep you engrossed as you find out what the backstory is to the conception of Ava Whittaker's little boy.

I don't watch the dance shows that have been on TV during the last few years but If you do, then you've probably even more reasons to enjoy this novel. Here's what I've thought....

An entertaining romance…

Do I dance the tango? No, but if I had a partner like Matthias de Romero I’d probably want to practise till my legs fell off!  He comes across as a very sexy guy. The setting of the dance show is a refreshing change in a romance and the story flows nicely to a successful and happy ending for Ava Whittaker and her toddler - as all romances should. This was a fun quick read for me which pleasantly whiled away a long coach trip. However, I might have to read a second time to work out why Matthias was considered expert enough to be on the panel of judges- that is apart from his ability to be hot on both the dance floor and the bedroom! 

If it sounds like your kind of read, click the link near the beginning of this post.