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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

A Scottish Highland Surprise by Julie Shackman #Review


Today we are staying in Scotland for a delightful read. A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman was published by One More Chapter on April 22nd. 


Discover the secrets and surprises that the scenic Scottish town of Briar Glen has to offer…

When wedding planner Sophie Harkness refuses to move a friend’s wedding to accommodate a spoilt bridezilla, she finds herself out of a job. That is until she discovers her late grandma has purchased a local shop for her in the pretty Scottish town of Briar Glen.

Surprised and delighted, Sophie opens her own porcelain shop in honour of her grandmother. But when an unusual tea set is left with Sophie, along with a mysterious letter, she can’t help but be intrigued by the story behind the antique.

And when the handsome but aloof art critic Xander North comes knocking on her door, Sophie is about to find out the true colourful past of her latest treasure.

The perfect feel-good romance for fans of Jo Thomas, Katie Fforde and Trisha Ashley.

 My Thoughts

This is a delightful, light read with a nostalgic air. At the beginning, you can see that Sophie is not appreciated in her job as a wedding planner, by some. Of course, most of her clients and co-workers appreciate what she does. She shows herself to have a great sense of fairness and ultimately, sacrifices herself rather than give in  to the entitled ones. Running through the story, you have flashbacks to Sophie's grandmother which cast light on her wish for Sophie to fulfil her ambitions. 

    As Sophie finds her feet in her new career, it opens up mysteries as secrets from the past emerge. Zander is an enigmatic character and we do not really find out what his feelings are until we are well into the story. The beautiful tea sets which Sophie so adores run through the years. Their delicate patterns hark back to a different age and add a certain nostalgia, Sophie has inherited her love of fine crockery from her grandmother and it leads her to meet some influential characters, including Zander. This is an uplifting read which will lift the spirits.

In short: secrets emerge from the past

About the Author

Julie Shackman is a former journalist from Scotland, who has always wanted to write feel-good romance. As well as being an author, Julie also writes verses and captions for greetings card companies. Julie admits to having an obsession with stationery and handbags. She is married, has two sons and a Romanian rescue pup, who she named Cooper. A Scottish Highland Surprise is Julie's sixth novel.

You can follow Julie here:  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Instagram 

Book links: Amazon UK  |  Amazon US 

Thanks to Julie Shackman, One More Chapter and Rachel of Random Things Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 

Check out the rest of the tour!



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