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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

Second Chance Summer by Phillipa Ashley #Review


I an delighted to be part of the celebrations for Phillipa Ashley's Summer novel, Second Chance Summer which was published by Penguin on June 6th.

From the moment Lily Harper arrives at a remote retreat on the breath-taking Scilly Isles, she is itching to get back to civilisation - and her thriving business. Slowing Down simply isn't in her vocabulary, and so she quickly clashes with the gorgeous but dour Sam who runs the retreat.

Just as Lily is about to give up and leave, disaster strikes, and she is involved in an incident that changes her perspective on everything. Lily is no longer sure she wants to return to the life she thought she loved. But will she have the courage to give the retreat, and Sam, a second chance?

Praise for the Author

‘Full of genuine warmth and quirky characters’  Woman’s Own

‘Filled with warm and likeable characters. Great fun!’ Jill Mansell

‘Utterly glorious … one of the freshest voices to emerge

in women's fiction today’  Claudia Carroll

‘Deliciously entertaining’  Liz Fenwick

 My Thoughts

This is an ideal summer time read, full of the sea, sand and shimmer of the beautiful Scilly Isles. You absolutely would love to wake up and find yourself on Stark Island, looking out onto that beautiful scenery. Lily arrives there, overworked, stressed out and exhausted but unable to countenance turning off the work button. Driven to create her online craft business, she has felt that she has to keep going to prove to everyone that she can. A tragedy in her family has left her feeling she has to make the most of her time. She also has to cope with people's wrong assumptions about her personality.

    Sam seems to be Lily's opposite at first sight. Settled on the remote Scilly Islands, he cannot imagine living anywhere else. You realise however, that he too feels driven to succeed and create the retreat he envisages. You also realise that Sam is putting up barriers and shutting new friendships down. At times, he feels out of his depth in his role as unofficial guardian to his niece but you see his loyalty and kindness.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the story and finding out more about all the characters. The story has warm moments between friends and family but also times when a lack of communication gets in the way. It is one of those books that you struggle to put down when you have started it, so be warned!

In short: gorgeous summer reading

About the Author

PHILLIPA ASHLEY is a Sunday Times, Amazon and Audible best-selling author of uplifting romantic fiction. After studying English at Oxford University, she worked as a copywriter and journalist before turning her hand to writing. Since then, her novels have sold well over a million copies and have been translated into numerous languages. Phillipa lives in an English village with her husband, has a grown-up daughter and loves nothing better than walking the Lake District hills and swimming in Cornish coves.

You can follow Phillipa here: Website  |  Facebook  |  X (Twitter)  |  Linktree

Book link: Amazon UK  

Thanks to Phillipa Ashley, Penguin and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

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