Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Latest Historical Romance

Reviewed by Francine

It's 1643 and Civil War is raging across England. Whilst officers and men from both sides of the divide are dispatched to defend or besiege rival strongholds, Luke Collier has the unenviable task of defending the Parliamentarian household at Kinton Lacey Castle. Little does Luke know, Deliverance Felton, eldest daughter in residence, is a force to be reckoned with. That is, until she proves her marksmanship is as good as any soldier. Albeit she mistook Luke for the enemy, she's reluctant to apologise or relinquish command in the first instance, and less so with ongoing vie for superiority. Nonetheless, Luke's greater experience of warfare and a little cunning soon has Deliverance keening a risk-laden adventure she may live to regret. To spy on enemy forces from a safe distance is one thing, to venture behind enemy lines is tempting fate and Deliverance will never admit she may indeed be the weaker sex.

Worse is to come, when a neighbouring fortified house falls foul to the wrath of a Royalist campaign to purge the area of supporters to the Parliamentarian cause. With full scale slaughter left in their wake, of the few who survive, Deliverance affords the beleaguered escapees shelter and sustenance. But while the opposing forces are massed at the gates of Kinton Lacey, betrayal surfaces and threatens all that Deliverance holds dear to her heart. Love it seems has betrayed them all, and how are they to uncover the spy and deadly force within their midst before it's too late? Claiming the Rebel's Heart is a fine novel depicting the era portrayed, and draws on the awful truth that families were oft torn apart with brother pitted against brother in the name of Parliament or King.


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Open Appeal For Book Reviewers.

If there is anyone out there who would like to have free books to read and review for RRM, PLEASE  get in touch ASAP.
WE are receiving a great number of submissions for review, and may not be able to review all unless we can secure more reviewers.
contact Suzy @ Suzy

 You need not be a professional reviewer. "Readers" are in short supply in a world now swamped by authors. In fact, genuine amateur reviews lend credence to lists of reviews at Amazon et al, as opposed to luvvie reviews. Reviews at RRM are not edited in any way - what you write is all yours!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Latest Mainstream Historical Romance

Reviewed by Francine.

It’s the North of England (1763) and the Enclosures Act has yet to be passed by Parliament (1773). Even so, small plots and common land are enclosed without application to Parliament, which occurred right through from the time of Charles II’s restoration. And this is where the author’s hero, James Blakiston, rides forth and affords insight to his position as overseer (land agent/steward). He is the very man who mediates in disputes and or negotiates terms between a landowner and his tenant cottagers, smallholders and farmers. Subsequently, Blakiston comes to know of the shady secrets of all the parishioners, the rector, and his lusty bible spouting curate.
As if Blakiston doesn’t have enough to contend with in his duties to his master, (his lordship), a rape and murder occurs in one of his lordship’s villages, which James must initially investigate as part of his working remit. But rumour abounds of hidden treasure spirited away, and what at first seems a simple case of murderous revenge, becomes a far more complicated puzzle to solve. Undaunted, Blakiston sets out to unravel the mystery of a man everyone despised: including the deceased’s own children. Such is no mean task for Blakiston hails from the lesser landed gentry, being that of a squire’s son. While subjected to sideways mistrusting glances from many, others benefit from his fair-minded policies. One young lady, below his rank, sees him for what he is, a lonely young man at heart. Little does Kate Greener know that Blakiston has a past he’s ashamed of, and although she stirs lust from within, he is what he has made of himself: A Just and Upright Man.
Blakiston treats Kate with respect, and while beating his heart into retreat, she too knows her place in the overall scheme of what is socially acceptable. But can social divide keep them apart, or can love overcome all obstacles set by society? J. R. Lynch has brought to life the country folk from up north, and that of the era in which they exist. This novel is on a par with Thomas Hardy’s meaty offerings of country life and the hardships of the less well off: those beholding to the super-rich of their day. The men who could make or break a family with one word: eviction. Although there’s a large cast of characters, the author introduces each with clarity through the eyes of Blakiston. A Just And Upright Man, is nothing short of a very enjoyable and worthwhile read. As this is Book 1 of a series, I can honestly say I’m looking forward to reading book 2.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014



We have announced our second RRM awards for contemporary/historical romances, and a mainstream historical novel. Authors are under no obligation to accept an award. It is merely our way of recommending outstanding romance novels. Any novel reviewed at RRM will be considered for an award within the next six months.
January 2014





Links to point of sale can be found within the respective sub-genre listings top bar (above).

Monday, 20 January 2014

Latest Contemporary Review - Hiding from Hollywood

Reviewed by Charlotte.
Hollywood beckons for Abby Richards as it does for a lot of young hopefuls who dream of the glitz and glamour of starring in a BIG movie. A household name back home in Great Britain, Abby has walked away from a long-running television series. Sadly Abby’s experience of Hollywood has been dire. She blames herself for senseless naiveté in trusting others who exploit young starlets by devious means. The shame and degradation of her Hollywood experience threatens any chance of Abby regaining her acting career. She lives in dread of tabloid journalists discovering her whereabouts. Hiding out as a waitress in a downtown diner her hope is to remain anonymous. One customer though. The wrong customer and she could be exposed. When Ethan Walker walks through the diner door Abby senses the day of exposure has arrived He’s as bold and tenacious as a tabloid journalist. Ethan knows who she is. He’s been searching for her. Abby feels vulnerable. Ethan is not as imagined and little does Abby know her life can turn full circle if only she can bear to trust him. He does his best to make her see reason and listen to what he has to offer. Has her big chance to star in a movie finally come true or is the offer a ploy to exploit her as happened before? Trust being a two-way gamble Ethan lays his heart on the line. His intentions are honourable and it is up to Abby if she wants a grand HEA ending. I liked this novella, liked it a lot. It‘s well-written and nicely paced.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Latest Contemporary Review - Lavender Days

Reviewed by Francine

Rummaging around in a loft is a risqué business, more especially when one hasn’t paid visit in a long while to the upper realm of discarded items. And for Gabriel, as with all glory holes, there is always something begging to be noticed, begging to be brought into the light. Though in Gabriel’s loft it’s a child’s plastic drawstring bag that draws the eye, and once Pandora’s (Jodi’s) bag is opened the past slowly unfolds drawing him back twenty years to the prime of his life and a brief affair. Did he do all that? Did he feel that way? His diary says he did. By gad, he was most definitely alive back then, and with the halcyon days of a Provence summer, it’s fair to say an American divorcée most definitely set his underpants on fire, and her daughter touched his heart, too.
This is a gem of a contemporary novella for anyone who loves a touch of humour, romance and great sense of time and place. For as Gabriel relives the past - through his diary and that of a sealed letter - a sprig of Lavender stirs the senses and nostalgia for honeyed days of blissful indulgence cloak about him. This is a lovely, lovely read.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Latest Historical Review - A Twelfth Night Tale


Reviewed by Francine.

 A gloriously Romantic Novella set in and around a Christmas Theme.

This is a touching tale of first love and the enduring romanticism of what if. What if Lucy’s ideal hero (Andrew Livingston) would only look upon her as he might a woman he desires? Instead he sees Lucy as he always has, as merely his sister’s best friend. Already betrothed, Andrew is beyond her reach except within her dreams. She too has a suitor. Although Lord Bexley is far from her tastes in a romantic sense he has admirable qualities: albeit he’s a widower with children. But, to wed a viscount will not only enhance Lucy’s fortunes, the chance to secure marriages of relative status for her sibling sisters will also raise her family from the realms of impoverished finances.
While Lucy’s life seems on the up, such is not the case for Andrew Livingston. Recently returned from the Peninsular Wars, Andrew’s life has been scarred: physically and emotionally. Jilted by his bride to be, dark days surround him for he’s no longer the Andrew who went off to war a full-bodied man. And while seasonal festivities are schemed and set in motion, Lucy treats Andrew no differently than she had in the past. But, Andrew, aware of a child now blossomed to womanhood - a desirable and caring young woman at that – something within stirs the like he never thought to encounter. Dare he let his heart runaway with him, for if he does, can he outsmart Lord Bexley and declare his heart before it’s too late?
There’s a lot of story neatly packed and wrapped within “A Twelfth Night”. It’s not only beautifully crafted and sparing on wordiness, the author has seamlessly woven nuances of Lucy’s and Andrew’s past into the storyline without slowing the pace of a lively and enchanting plot. This is a sweet romance in the vein of Jane Austen, the latter being a woman of her time writing about her time, and Susana Ellis has captured that self same essence of family life and budding romances within Regency society. A lovely read.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Latest Contemporary Review - On the cusp of going Historical

Reviewed by Nigella.

The novel is set in 1940 and 1950s post war USA. I wouldn’t in normal circumstances read a contemporary novel about post war America. But I loved it. The boy who sets the scene and brings hometown America to life is a delightful child. He loves his mom Hilde and dad Martin, who were wartime lovers. Unfortunately war leaves scars and their relationship is not as might be as a married couple. It’s a familiar story of love in wartime, and while Hilde must accept she stole a cheating husband from his wife she knows she can lose him in exactly the same way. Hilde does lose Martin and when she and Huey set out to build a new life far from Martin’s influence, she takes a job in a local diner. Ironically a similar situation has left Patrick West all alone and Patrick frequents the diner. Soon Hilde and Patrick find common ground. But the old saying ‘once bitten twice shy’ poses a major problem. The happy ever becomes a hard won affair for Hilde when ex partners step back into their lives. I really did like this story. Flashbacks from the present to the past flowed well, and all to the benefit of the reader. However, there are a few problems with past and present tenses within the text which could be ironed out with a little minor editing.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Latest Historical Review - A Disappointing Purchase

A Purchase Review by Nigella.

If you're a lover of Regency novels, as I am, you'll know how easy it is when browsing Amazon to find yourself lured to books read by other readers. That is precisely what happened with books by this particular author. It's one of a series so I bought two by the same author. How sad it is when the books one has high hopes for are so badly written. I tried really hard to salvage something worthwhile from this novel. However, it left me cold. It was incredibly dull. The narrative laboured along without a shred of vibrancy to the prose and the characters were lack lustre. Was this meant to be a Regency? If so, it failed to reflect Jane Austen's Regency era. To me it read as a Bostonian novel, Boston USA and not one ounce of Englishness was evident. As it is the character names escape me. Which in itself bodes ill for any book. With book two browsed it is fair to say it holds no appeal whatsoever to this ardent fan of Regency romances. For me vibrant characters and beautiful prose are vital for any Regency novel.
It was stated in the book's details 'Cheryl Bolen returns to the Regency England she knows so well. . .If you love a steamy Regency with a fast pace, be sure to pick up The Bride Wore Blue. – Happily Ever After'.
Sadly the author's Regency England is wide of Georgette Heyer's Regency England, or that of Regency Bath. Regency street plans are all well and good for authors and do help in getting a feel for English cities. When real time Regency places of note escape the author entirely with exception the more famous venues, knowledgeable readers gasp in dismay. Which leads me to say Cheryl Bolan has missed out gems of places which would have convinced me she knows Regency England as well as her imagination does. A lonely widow and two admirers gave great potential for a riveting story. Instead the narrative trudged along and repetitive descriptions drove me to distraction. Steamy? Where? Had I bought a paperback version of the novel I am sure it would have met with a wall. My Kindle is too precious to toss around the room.