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Sunny Sundays at Primrose Hall by Jill Steeples #Review

  I am delighted to be on the tour to celebrate a return to Primrose Hall. Sunny Sundays at Primrose Hall by Jill Steeple was published by Boldwood Books on April 15th.   Primrose Hall is more than Jackson Moody and his fiancée Pia’s home – it’s the heart of the community. The Sunday craft fairs in the renovated stables are a popular draw for the locals and tourists alike, enticed by the beautiful surroundings of Primrose Woods as well as the irresistible goodies on display. But for Sophie Wright they’re a chance to forge a new life and a new business. After leaving behind a turbulent relationship, Sophie is starting again – and romance is the last thing on her mind. Drop dead gorgeous Tom Moody, Lord of the Manor Jackson’s newly-discovered older brother, is loving being a member of the Primrose Hall community. Content to muck in where he can be helpful, he’s just happy to be part of the family. But when tragedy strikes, Pia needs Tom more than he ever expected. And when Tom ne

The Romanov Brides: A Novel of the Last Tsarina and Her Sisters by Clare McHugh #Review


In this historical novel, we explore the events around two of Queen Victoria's granddaughters. The Romanov Brides by Clare McHugh was published on March 28th by William Morrow Paperbacks.


From the author of A Most English Princess comes a rich novel about young Princess Alix of Hesse—the future Alexandra, last Empress of Imperial Russia—and her sister, Princess Ella. Their decision to marry into the Romanov royal family changed history.

They were granddaughters of Queen Victoria and two of the most beautiful princesses in Europe. Princesses Alix and Ella were destined to wed well and wisely. But while their grandmother wants to join them to the English and German royal families, the sisters fall in love with Russia—and the Romanovs.

Defying the Queen’s dire warnings, Ella weds the tsar’s brother, Grand Duke Serge. Cultivated, aloof, and proud, Serge places his young wife on a pedestal for all to admire. Behind palace gates, Ella struggles to secure private happiness.

Alix, whisked away to Russia for Ella’s wedding, meets and captivates Nicky—heir apparent to the Russian throne. While loving him deeply, Alix hears a call of conscience, urging her to walk away.

Their fateful decisions to marry will lead to tragic consequences for not only themselves and their families, but for millions in Russia and around the globe.

The Romanov Brides is a moving and fascinating portrait of two bold and spirited royal sisters, and brings to vivid life imperial Russia—a dazzling, decadent world on the brink of disappearing forever.

My Thoughts

This is a fascinating look at the lives of two of Queen Victoria's daughters, Princess Alix and her older sister, Princess Ella. You realise the effect that Queen Victoria had on Europe, through the network of marriages which her descendants made. There is such a contrast between life in Victoria's palaces and in the great houses of Europe. After the premature death of their mother, the granddaughters rely on the advice of their families but it is interesting to see their own characters emerging as they mature.

    Both Ella and Alix have huge decisions to make about their futures and the options available to them through influential marriages. It is hard to read at times when you know how events transpired for them in the future. Full of period detail, you see how religion played a major part in their decisions. It is written in such an accessible fashion and blends historical fact into a fictional book, with romance woven in. Life in Russia for the aristocrats glitters at its heart, full of splendour but with a touch of foreshadowing and disappointed hopes.

In short: a fascinating glimpse into the past


About the Author

Clare McHugh is the author of A Most English Princess, a historical novel about the family of Queen Victoria, and The Romanov Brides. A former newspaper reporter and magazine editor, McHugh graduated from Harvard College with a degree in European history. She currently lives in London and in Amagansett, NY


You can follow Clare here: X (Twitter)  |  Website 

Amazon UK 

Thanks to Clare McHugh, the publishers and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the event.




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