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The Wartime Book Club by Kate Thompson #Review

  The Wartime Book Club is a marvellous historical novel set on Jersey in World War Two. Written by Kate Thompson , it was published by Hodder $ Stoughton on February 13th. Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance . . . Based on astonishing real events, The Wartime Book Club is a love letter

The Book Lovers Series Book 3 Natural Born Readers and Book 4 Scenes from a Country Bookshop by Victoria Connelly #Reviews

Today I am featuring the third and fourth books in the Book Lovers Series: Natural Born Readers and Scenes from a Country Bookshop. They can both be read as standalones and centre around the bookish Nightingale family who live in beautiful Suffolk. 

 Can the past always be forgiven?

Ben Stratton and Bryony Nightingale. Everybody thought they’d be together forever. But, when Ben leaves the small market town of Castle Clare to travel the world, Bryony is heartbroken, seeing his departure as the ultimate betrayal.

Throwing herself into her work running the much-loved children’s bookshop, Bryony determines to forget Ben and to start dating again. But Ben doesn’t make it easy for her, sending her postcards filled with his love and posting her foreign editions of all the great romantic novels from the countries he’s travelling through.

Then, after six long years, the unexpected happens and Ben returns, determined to win Bryony back. But will she forgive him and does he have the courage to tell her the truth about why he left her?

My Thoughts

I would say that this one is my favourite of the four books in the series which I have read. I think it is because the two central characters are so engaging, especially Bryony who is full of colour and personality. I can absolutely picture her Children's Bookshop with all its life and love of books. The more you find out about Ben's reasons for leaving Castle Clare all those years ago, the more you come to understand him.

    Although this can be read as a standalone, you will get more from the series if you start with Book one as the family members and a few other characters are featured in all the books as their lives move on. Reading from the beginning sets them in context. In this volume, you see Bryony's caring and considerate side as she befriends a neighbour. You also get an insight into her relationship with her father who up to now has had a slightly more background role.

 Love can sometimes be really complicated...

Josh Nightingale has always been married to his books. Happy to run his bookshop in the small town of Castle Clare, he’s never really had time for romance and truly believes that he’s never going to fall in love. But, when April Channing opens a new shop opposite his, everything changes.

Sweet and attentive one moment, abrupt and aloof the next, Josh really can’t understand April at all. What exactly is going on? Josh is pretty sure that the answer can’t be found in a book.

My Thoughts

As expected, this is the one where Josh gets to take centre stage and to shine although you also meet up with his siblings and see how they are getting on. His friendship with a certain shopkeeper takes him by surprise and he has to face some difficult facts about her life. I enjoyed the contrast between the Nightingales' family life and that of April's family who much more unconventional. However, both families show real family love.

    Winston, who has featured in previous books, usually at Sam's book club meetings also has a part to play in Josh's story and you get to find out some surprising facts about his earlier life and his relationship with his brother. In all, a lovely series, which is eminently readable and inviting. 

Victoria Connelly studied English literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens.

She is the author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.
Ms Connelly loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden, with either a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.
Her website is  and readers can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaDarcy and on Instagram @VictoriaConnellyAuthor.
Thanks to Victoria Connelly, and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources  for a copy of the books and a place on the tour. 
Check out my reviews of Books 1 and 2 in the series here.
                                                         Check out the rest of the tour!


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