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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

Lost Luggage by Samantha Tonge #Review


I am thrilled to be taking part in the celebrations for Lost Luggage by Samantha Tonge. It was published on September 22nd by Boldwood Books.

Brand new from the bestselling author of Under One Roof.

One lost suitcase. Two strangers. And a notebook that will change lives.

For almost fifty years, sisters Dolly and Greta have lived together – getting each other through the good times and the bad.

Except this year, Greta isn’t there and Dolly is feeling lost and alone. In memory of her sister, Dolly heads to the lost luggage auction where she and Greta go each Christmas. But her bid reveals a gift she never imagined.

Amongst the clothes is the notebook of a reclusive woman who has hardly been outside for an entire year, but who isn’t ready to give up on life. The notebook’s contents resonate with Dolly. With the support of her neighbours, retired Leroy and eleven year old Flo, Dolly decides to take on the year of firsts Phoebe had planned.

But, can you have a year of firsts when you’re seventy-two? And is Dolly ready to discover the notebook’s secrets, or are some secrets better left lost at the airport?

 My Thoughts

This is such an enjoyable read. You are presented with a range of characters from across the generations. There is plenty of humour, but also underlying it, Dolly's grief at the loss of her sister and confusion over her life. Dolly's neighbours recognise her kindness and good qualities and stand by her whilst she neglects herself. Having bought the piece of lost luggage, Dolly sets out to find its original owner and follows the tasks that she finds in a notebook, hoping to bump into them. This is a great structure for the story and puts Dolly in some interesting situations.

    I really loved the warmth in this story, felt through the friendships we see and the actions of the characters. There are also some serious issues alluded to and these are dealt with sensitively. You also see how each of the characters deal with their own insecurities and how through friendship, they can feel more confident in themselves. There is also an intriguing mystery from the past which takes Dolly by surprise and causes her to re-evaluate everything. Highly recommended.

In short: a story full of emotion and affection


About the Author


Samantha Tonge is the bestselling and award-winning author of over 15 romantic fiction titles published by HQ, and most recently Aria. Her first book for Boldwood, Under One Roof, was published in February 2022 and her move to Boldwood marks a broadening of her writing into multi-generational woman’s fiction. She lives in Manchester with her family.



You can follow Samantha here: Twitter   |  Facebook   |  Website

Book links: Amazon UK 
Thanks to Samantha Tonge, Boldwood Books and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the event.
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