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The Love Island Bookshop by Kate Frost #Review #ARomanticEscapeBook

 If you can't fly over to the Maldives at the moment, how about escaping there through the pages of a book? Kate Frost's The Love Island Bookshop was published on 8th April by Lemon Tree Press. A dream job, two handsome men, one destructive act. Will Freya’s opportunity of a lifetime end in tears? When Freya leaves her publishing job in London to be a barefoot bookseller in the Maldives, it’s the push she needs to move on from her sadness and reignite her passion for life. While resort owner Zander is charming, it’s handsome dive instructor Aaron who befriends her when she needs it most. But all is not what it seems and there’s trouble brewing in paradise. Taking a chance on happiness is harder than she imagined. Can Freya let go of her heartache and allow herself to fall in love again? My Thoughts  Yes this novel certainly lived up to its series, A Romantic Escape . What could be blissful than spending the Summer on a remote island in the Maldives? Well, running the

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

    In the bicentenary year of Charlotte Brontë's birth, it feels really appropriate to be reading stories which reference her work and which have so many echoes of it within them. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Jane Steele which reimagines elements of the story of Jane Eyre. The first thing that strikes you about the book is that it is great fun. The heroine, Jane Steele, is written with panache and vigour. With a wicked sense of humour, she turns out to be anything but passive.

    I admired how the book captured the feel of its time. Jane Steele admits in the opening pages to having read Jane Eyre and as we see, noticed that parts of their story are similar. However, Jane Steele's reactions are far from Jane Eyre's. Here we have a story in which the heroine has gone to the bad! Incorrigible, Jane Steele charms us the readers whom she addresses directly. Each chapter begins with a quote from Jane Eyre and at times, Jane Steele wonders what Jane would have done. Despite all her deeds, I found myself liking and rooting for Jane Steele.

     Lyndsay Faye writes in a style which perfectly captures the novels of the Victorian era. Jane Steele reminded me of Becky Sharp in Thackeray's Vanity Fair with her irreverence for authority and ability to scheme and survive. The period details are all there and there is a wide cast of eccentric and varied characters whom I am sure Dickens would have been proud of. The melodramatic gothic features are there to be found, from the governess figure, to the forbidding and isolated houses, although I am not sure that Jane Steele fits the bill of the defenceless young woman. I particularly appreciated Lyndsay Faye's descriptions of Victorian London, teeming with all the best and worst of humanity.

In short: Reader, I loved it!
Thanks to Caitlyn Raynor and the publishers at Headline Review for a copy of the book.