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The Lost Queen by Carol McGrath #Review

  We travel back to the 12th Century for this gorgeous historical novel, The Lost Queen by Carol McGrath . It was published by Headline Accent on 18th July. 1191 and the Third Crusade is underway . .  It is 1191 and King Richard the Lionheart is on crusade to pitch battle against Saladin and liberate the city of Jerusalem and her lands. His mother, the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine and his promised bride, Princess Berengaria of Navarre, make a perilous journey over the Alps in midwinter. They are to rendezvous with Richard in the Sicilian port of Messina. There are hazards along the way - vicious assassins, marauding pirates, violent storms and a shipwreck. Berengaria is as feisty as her foes and, surviving it all, she and Richard marry in Cyprus. England needs an heir. But first, Richard and his Queen must return home . . . The Lost Queen is a thrilling medieval story of high adventure, survival, friendship and the enduring love of a Queen for her King.   My Thoughts

Coastal Cahoots Club by Victoria Johns #Review


We are off to St Ives for Victoria Johns' romcom, Coastal Cahoots Club.

Thirty-year-old Tessa Archer is an emotional eater who is full of self-loathing and lacking confidence – she’s a woman who is desperate to change if only she had the nerve.


Her cause isn’t helped by her family whose all-round lack of regard, belief and simple love make her life a whole lot harder. Unable to match up to her ‘perfect’ siblings, a brutal family dinner pushes Tessa to take the first tentative steps towards transformation. Inventing a girls’ weekend away, she plans a short break in Cornwall – alone. It’s a place where she hopes she can feel reinvigorated about life, even if she’s terrified of the prospect. This is a last-ditch attempt to prove to her family that she isn’t the scared, useless ‘lump’ they think she is.


Once in St. Ives, with no expectations or standards to uphold, Tessa finally feels as though she can breathe, and not just because the air is cleaner. She pushes herself to meet new people and finally concentrate on her own life. With the help of the Coastal Cahoots Club, a group of crazy elderly ladies, led by the indomitable Winnie, a new Tessa emerges. There’s even the possibility of love with Winnie’s sexy grandson Ben – if only he was willing to open up his heart.

Who knew a group of old aged pensioners, a sexy bar owner, a militant seamstress and a beautiful Cornish coastal town could bring such magic to a person’s life?


Read this beautiful and poignant story and fall in love with the wonderful cast of characters and their gorgeous surroundings, because life can be amazing if you just learn to trust it.

 My Thoughts

Tessa's state of mind at the beginning of the story is so down, that you just know that there is only one way for her to go. Her self- esteem is on the floor and her view of her place in her family's affections puts her firmly down as the least important member. From the moment she lands in Cornwall, in St Ives, she seems to breathe a little easier. Family relationships and friendship lies at the heart of the story but not all that she comes across are traditional or predictable. There are some lively characters and the Coastal Cahoots Club are a breath of fresh air.

    I found it to be absolutely credible that Tessa would be so liked and embraced by the people she meets in St Ives. She tends to wear her heart on her sleeve and has a kind, unselfish manner. The message comes over loud and clear that beauty is more than skin deep. As she begins to transform through her new life, Tessa has to re-appraise what she thinks of herself and she needs to accept that others like her for herself. Ben turns out to have a surprising back story which explains his reactions to certain events. This is an enjoyable romcom, with novel characters and an optimistic air.

In short: Genuine friendships and family values

About the Author

Victoria Johns is a writer who enjoys sharing a happily ever after and believes that it's every good girls dream to experience a steamy, hot one.

Growing up in North West England in a large family surrounded by love and support she found her Prince Charming many years ago and enjoys living the life they've made with their son. Being a mum, wife and in full time employment means multi tasking like a super power!

When she's not writing she's overdosing on crisps, Rosé wine, trashy TV and raunchy reads.

You can follow Victoria here: Twitter  |  Website 

Book link: Amazon UK

Thanks to Victoria Johns, and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 

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