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The Fascination by Essie Fox #Review #Giveaway

   Today be prepared for a dark, Victorian gothic novel! The Fascination by Essie Fox is published on June 22nd by Orenda . For the chance to win a print copy of The Fascination see the foot of this post for details. Victorian England. A world of rural fairgrounds and glamorous London theatres. A world of dark secrets and deadly obsessions… Twin sisters Keziah and Tilly Lovell are identical in every way, except that Tilly hasn't grown a single inch since she was five. Coerced into promoting their father's quack elixir as they tour the country fairgrounds, at the age of fifteen the girls are sold to a mysterious Italian known as ‘Captain’. Theo is an orphan, raised by his grandfather, Lord Seabrook, a man who has a dark interest in anatomical freaks and other curiosities … particularly the human kind. Resenting his grandson for his mother’s death in childbirth, when Seabrook remarries and a new heir is produced, Theo is forced to leave home without a penny to his

The Secrets of Summer House by Rachel Burton #Review


Today I have a wonderful read for you by Rachel Burton, The Secrets of Summer House  which was published by Aria on 21st April. 

An emotional, atmospheric summer read about family secrets and loyalty from the author of Kindle bestseller A Bookshop Christmas.

The secrets of Summer House are about to come out at last...

1976. Rushing out of the University Library, undergraduate Alice Kenzie bumps straight into PhD student Tristan Somers. There begins a whirlwind romance, and Alice falls pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl. Then Tristan is killed in a car accident. Unable to cope, Alice takes her baby to Summer House, Tristan's family home in Suffolk, leaves her there and disappears.

2018. Olivia Somers has always been told that her mother died in the same accident as her father. But when she finds a bundle of old letters in Summer House, everything she ever believed about her mother is called into question. Can she find her – and even more importantly, forgive her?

My Thoughts

I always enjoy a dual timeline story and this is no exception. You follow two generations, Alice who is a student in 1976 and Olivia in 2018. There are several similarities between the two women, principally their love of libraries and one in particular. Olivia, though, seems much more grounded as a person. When you first meet Alice, you are struck by her lack of confidence. She feels like an outsider amongst the affluent Cambridge students, but you also recognise in her a romantic streak.

    Olivia has been feeling detached from the family life which has been her centre. As she faces up to some shocking secrets from the past, you get to see how she is able to work through her own family issues. I found this to be an entertaining read as both stories fed into each other. It raised some interesting issues around motherhood, loss and grief which all seemed to swamp Alice. Whether you can ever forgive and put the past behind you are also questions which Olivia has to face. 

In short: secrets from the past emerge.

About the Author

Rachel has a degree in Classics and another in English Literature, and fell into a career in law by mistake. She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and their three cats. She loves yoga, ice hockey, tea, The Beatles, dresses with pockets and very tall romantic heroes. Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @RachelBWriter or follow her blog at


Social links: 

Twitter |  Instagram  |  Website   |  Goodreads  |  Facebook
 Aria links: Website  |  Twitter   |  Fiction   |  Instagram
Head of Zeus: Instagram  ||  Twitter |  Website  |  Facebook
Book links: Amazon UK  |  Kobo
Thanks to Rachel Burton, and Amy Watson of Head of Zeus  for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.
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