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Archive for the month “October, 2021”

‘Underneath the Christmas Tree’ by Heidi Swain – @Heidi_Swain @TeamBATC #BlogTour

‘Underneath the Christmas Tree’ is Heidi Swain’s brand new book. It is being published on the 28th October 2021 by Simon and Schuster and will be available in paperback, eBook and audiobook. To celebrate a blog tour has been organised and today I am one of the bloggers taking part.

I would like to thank the publisher for kindly sending me a paperback copy to review and for the lovely treats.

Synopsis

***The sparkling new Christmas novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author Heidi Swain!***

Wynter’s Trees is the home of Christmas. For the people of Wynmouth it’s where they get their family Christmas tree, and where Christmas truly comes to life.

But for Liza Wynter, it’s a millstone around her neck. It was her father’s pride and joy but now he’s gone, she can’t have anything to do with it. Until her father’s business partner decides to retire and she must go back to handle the transition to his son Ned.

When Liza arrives, she discovers a much-loved business that’s flourishing under Ned’s stewardship. And she’s happy to stay and help for the Christmas season, but then she has other plans. But will the place where she grew up make her change her mind? And can it weave its Christmas cheer around her heart…?

Underneath the Christmas Tree is the perfect festive read, promising snowfall, warm fires and breath-taking seasonal romance. Perfect for fans of Milly Johnson, Carole Matthews and Cathy Bramley.

My Review

Wow!  That was a truly wonderful read.  It really was.  What a beautiful and entertaining story.  I feel all Christmassy now.

By that I think you will have worked out that I totally loved ‘Underneath the Christmas Tree’.  Once I started reading this book, I was soon turning the pages eagerly.  I found it very cosy and inviting.  The cover is just so beautiful.  It was like an open door enticing me in between the pages. just like a nice bar of chocolate.  Heidi Swain has a most wonderful style of writing, one that draws the reader in and gets them involved in the story.

Reading about Wynter’s Trees really made me want to be there.  I was wishing there was a special button in the book for me to press that would actually transport me to this wonderful sounding place.  If only!  Perhaps the author could arrange this for future books?

There were just so many lovely characters in this story and there wasn’t anyone I didn’t like.  Ned sounded like a total dreamboat and I loved reading about Bandit, his adorable dog.  I cannot even begin to imagine how hard it must have been for Liza to return to Wynter’s Trees and to face her past.  I think it was what she had to do though in order to try and move on.

If you are looking for some Christmas reads, then I can highly recommend ‘Underneath the Christmas Tree’.  It will entertain you and you will be left feeling all dreamy and Christmassy.  This book has all the ingredients necessary and more to really make your day.  With sadness comes happiness and I think the author had the right mix of both.

I hope that there are more books with Liza and Ned, and Bandit of course.  I for one would love to read more about Wynter’s Trees.

Thank you for writing this wonderful story, Heidi.  I am so glad I was given the chance to read it.

‘Underneath the Christmas Tree’ can be pre-ordered from:-

Amazon.co.uk

Blackwells

Hive

Waterstones

Wordery

About the Author

Heidi lives in beautiful south Norfolk with her family and a mischievous cat called Storm. She is passionate about gardening, the countryside, collecting vintage paraphernalia and reading. Her TBR pile is always out of control! To find out more, follow Heidi on twitter @Heidi_Swain or visit her website: heidiswain.co.uk.

‘Black Drop’ by Leonora Nattrass – @LeonoraNattrass @ViperBooks #BlackDropBlogTour

‘Black Drop’, Leonora Nattrass’s debut novel, was published by Viper Books on the 14th October 2021. It is available in hardcover and eBook and is due to be published in paperback on the 12th May 2022.

I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank the publisher for my review copy which I received via NetGalley.

Synopsis

An atmospheric and brilliantly plotted historical thriller set in London during the uproar of the French Revolution

‘A fine debut [and] a gripping murder mystery’ – THE TIMES
‘As nimbly realised as by the genre’s master, Andrew Taylor’ – FINANCIAL TIMES
Black Drop is a joy from start to finish’ – ANDREW TAYLOR

________________________________________

This is the confession of Laurence Jago. Clerk. Gentleman. Reluctant spy.

July 1794, and the streets of London are filled with rumours of revolution. Political radical Thomas Hardy is to go on trial for treason, the war against the French is not going in Britain’s favour, and negotiations with the independent American colonies are on a knife edge.

Laurence Jago – clerk to the Foreign Office – is ever more reliant on the Black Drop to ease his nightmares. A highly sensitive letter has been leaked to the press, which may lead to the destruction of the British Army, and Laurence is a suspect. Then he discovers the body of a fellow clerk, supposedly a suicide.

Blame for the leak is shifted to the dead man, but even as the body is taken to the anatomists, Laurence is certain both of his friend’s innocence, and that he was murdered. But after years of hiding his own secrets from his powerful employers, and at a time when even the slightest hint of treason can lead to the gallows, how can Laurence find the true culprit without incriminating himself?

A thrilling historical mystery, perfect for readers of C.J. Sansom, Andrew Taylor, Antonia Hodgson and Laura Shepherd-Robinson.

My Review

It has been ages since I have read any historical fiction.  However, this book really appealed to me.

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Black Drop’ and I found it to be an absolutely fascinating read.  It was very descriptive, so much so I could actually picture London and what it would have been like in those days.  At times I felt like I was actually there amongst the crowd walking the streets of Charing Cross and beyond.  I could literally feel the atmosphere in the Court during the trial and how tense things were.  I wanted to know what the verdict was going to be but at the same time I didn’t want to know, if that makes any sense.

I loved the author’s writing style and cannot actually believe that this is her debut novel. Her passion just flies off the pages.  It is this as well as the story itself that kept me reading on eagerly.

Laurence Jago was a great character and I found him to be really intriguing.  Through his confession I had my eyes opened and was left totally stunned.  To be honest I do not know how he managed to stomach some of the things he witnessed.  He had more fight in him than he thought.   

I did not know what to make of some of the characters and I found it hard to trust them.  There were a couple however that I really liked.   

‘Black Drop’ is historical fiction at its best.  It is a political thriller with all the ingredients to make this a great book.  Murder, traitors, spies, it has it all.  You will not want to put it down.

I have everything crossed that there will be more books from Leonora Nattrass.  This is an author to watch for sure.

‘Black Drop’ is available from:-

Bookshop.org

Waterstones

Foyles

Blackwell’s

Amazon.co.uk

Hive

About the Author

Leonora Nattrass studied eighteen-century literature and politics, and spent ten years lecturing in English and publishing works on William Cobbett. She then moved to Cornwall, where she lives in a seventeenth-century house with seventeenth-century draughts, and spins the fleeces of her traditional Ryeland sheep into yarn. Black Drop is her first novel.

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