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The Highland Hens by Judy Leigh #Review

  I am delighted to feature another uplifting romcom by Judy Leigh , The Highland Hens . It was published on 4th August by Boldwood Books .   In the imposing Glen Carrick House overlooking Scotland’s famous Loch Ness, lives eighty-eight-year-old Mimi McKinlay, cared for by her three adult sons. Hamish has inherited his mother’s musical talents, Fin is the responsible brother, and Angus has the complicated and brooding personality to match his dashing good looks. But what all the brothers share is a concern that their beloved mother is living in her memories of her days on stage, while letting her present days pass her by. Jess Oliver is at a turning point. Amicably divorced after years of being married, this trip to the Highlands is a first taste of independence. It isn’t long before the beauty and hospitality of Scotland captures her heart. When Mimi and Jess’s paths cross, a friendship is formed that will change both women’s lives.   And as together they find ways to look fo

The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen by Ada Bright and Cass Grafton #Review

 I am totally delighted to feature The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen on the blog today. This time-slip romance, written by Ada Bright and Cass Grafton, was published by Canelo on 12th September 2019.

When a time travelling Jane Austen gets stuck in modern-day Bath it's up to avid Janeite Rose Wallace to save her… because she's the only one who knows that Jane exists!

Rose Wallace’s world revolves around all things Austen, and with the annual festival in Bath – and the arrival of dishy archaeologist, Dr Aiden Trevellyan – just around the corner, all is well with the world…

But then a mysterious woman who bears more than a passing resemblance to the great author moves in upstairs, and things take a disastrous turn. Rose’s new neighbour is Jane Austen, whose time travel adventure has been sabotaged by a mischievous dog, trapping her in the twenty-first century.

Rose’s life is instantly changed – new home, new job, new friends – but she’s the only one who seems to have noticed! To right the world around her, she will have to do whatever it takes to help Jane get back home to write Rose’s beloved novels. Because a world without Mr Darcy? It's not worth living in!

My Thoughts

This is a time-slip romance which has a comedic edge and yet still manages to give Jane Austen and her devotees, respect. It manages to tread the path between poking fun and giving praise to the author for the huge impact she has had on the national psyche.  Imagine a world where Jane Austen had never published her novels! No- it is unimaginable! 

    Friendship and common interests are important in this story and although there are several budding romances, there is a greater mystery at the core of the novel. The final paragraph definitely leaves you with a 'to be continued' feeling- I certainly hope it will be. Bath features heavily and it is clear that a lot of research into the buildings which have an Austen connection has taken place. It's a beautiful city and I loved the descriptions of the various places  which are visited. Peopled with likeable and credible characters in the present day, you genuinely want to see how it will all pan out. There is a certain historical personage who I found harder to identify with but she certainly was distinct from the others in her style and manner of speaking.  A lovely read for anyone who enjoys Jane Austen's books and her life and times.

In short: Time travelling mystery with a literary flavour. 
About the Authors

Ada has lived all her life in Southern California, which makes her intolerant to any weather above or below 72 degrees Fahrenheit. She grew up much more fond of reading than sports or socializing and still tends to ignore everyone she loves, all her responsibilities and basic life needs when she’s in the middle of a book.
She is luckily married to a handsome and funny man who doesn’t mind that the laundry never gets put away and she has three amazing children. Ada spent over a decade as a photographer before dedicating herself to writing, though she still believes that life should be documented well and often.
There is nothing she loves more than a good, subtle love story whether it be in real life, tv, movie, theatre or book form… well, except cake. She also really loves cake.

A proud bookworm since childhood, Cass writes the sort of stories she loves to read – heart-warming, character driven and strong on location. Having moved around extensively and lived in three countries, she finds places inspiring and the setting of her novels often becomes as much a part of the story as her characters.

She has an over-active imagination, is prone to crying with happiness as much as she is at sadness, but when it comes to her writing she leans heavily towards the upbeat and insists on a happy ever after. As one of her favourite authors, Jane Austen, once wrote, ‘let other pens dwell on guilt and misery’.
Cass loves travelling, words, cats and wine, and enjoys them in any combination. She currently splits her time between Switzerland, where she lives with her husband, and England, where she lives with her characters.

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Book links:

  |  Kobo

Thanks to the authors, Canelo and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

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