There’s Something About Darcy by Gabrielle Malcolm

Welcome to my stop on the #blogtour for There’s Something About Darcy by Gabrielle Malcolm.  I’m reading and reviewing this wonderful study as part of #NonfictionNovember, check out my thoughts below!

Synopsis

For some, Colin Firth emerging from a lake in that clinging wet shirt is one of the most iconic moments in television. What is it about the two-hundred-year-old hero that we so ardently admire and love?

Dr Malcolm examines Jane Austen’s influences in creating Darcy’s potent mix of brooding Gothic hero, aristocratic elitist and romantic Regency man of action. She investigates how he paved the way for later characters like Heathcliff, Rochester and even Dracula, and what his impact has been on popular culture over the past two centuries. For twenty-first century readers the world over have their idea of the ‘perfect’ Darcy in mind when they read the novel and will defend their choice passionately.

In this insightful and entertaining study, every variety of Darcy jostles for attention: vampire Darcy, digital Darcy, Mormon Darcy and gay Darcy. Who does it best and how did a clergyman’s daughter from Hampshire create such an enduring character?

A must-read for every Darcy and Jane Austen fan.

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My Thoughts

To my shame, I don’t read nearly enough nonfiction, so when the opportunity to read this book arose – I jumped at the chance.  I am one of those people who loves (and wants to marry) all things Austen and Mr. Darcy, in my eyes is Mr. Perfect *.

I thoroughly enjoyed Malcom’s clever and persuasive arguments and analysis of the various incarnations of Mr. Darcy together with her later discussions of how he influenced other famous literary heroes.  This book serves as a wonderful reminder of just how enduring Darcy’s character has been and delves into the longevity of his appeal.

This was a truly engrossing examination of my favourite fictional hero;  and I shall be purchasing multiple copies as Christmas gifts for a few fellow Darcy-lovers!

There’s Something About Darcy is a fascinating, richly detailed, and thought provoking study of one of my favourite fictional heroes.

One to be consumed slowly so as to savour all of the minutiae; this beautiful exploration of one of literature’s best loved characters is an absolute must read for any self-confessed Austenite!  I’ll certainly be dipping back into it in the future.

There’s Something About Darcy is out now in paperback and you can order it here

My thanks go to Hannah Groves of Endeavour Media for my invitation to the #blogtour and also for my proof copy and additional goodies in exchange for my honest review.  If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others, and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

*Please do not tell Mr. Cooke that I said this.

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Violet by SJI Holliday

Today it’s my stop on the #blogtour for Violet by SJI Holiday  and I’m delighted to share my thoughts with you on this creepy read!

Synopsis

When two strangers end up sharing a cabin on the Trans-Siberian Express, an intense friendship develops, one that can only have one ending … a nerve-shattering psychological thriller from bestselling author SJI Holliday

Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.

Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is also desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.

When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.

Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

A tense and twisted psychological thriller about obsession, manipulation and toxic friendships, Violet also reminds us that there’s a reason why mother told us not to talk to strangers…

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My Thoughts

Well, where to start with this book?  If you’re looking for a read that takes you right out of your comfort zone, then look no further than Violet!

Engrossing from the very first page; I lost count of the number of times I wanted to shake the book to stop the two women from making questionable decisions re: lifts etc.  I was also captivated by the characters from very early on; an unreliable narrator is always a firm favourite with me and the creepy undertones in this book made for a very unsettling read.

I thoroughly enjoyed the clever inclusion of social media and emails; it added to the drama and gave the story a “real-time’ edge.

Cryptic, toxic and seriously sinister; I found Violet to be so compelling that I read it in just two sittings.  This is a book that genuinely left me reeling.

Violet is a tense, claustrophobic, hold-your-breath-and-and-forget-to breath book.  An absolute must read psychological thriller that will test your nerves and twist your gut with anxiety!

Violet is our now in paperback and you can order it here

My thanks go to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for my invitation to the #blogtour and also to Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books for my proof copy in exchange for my honest review.  If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others, and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis

It’s my stop on the #blogtour for The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis and I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on this beautiful book.

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Synopsis

Yorkshire 1845

A young woman has gone missing from her home, Chester Grange, leaving no trace, save a large pool of blood in her bedroom and a slew of dark rumours about her marriage. A few miles away across the moors, the daughters of a humble parson, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are horrified, yet intrigued.

Desperate to find out more, the sisters visit Chester Grange, where they notice several unsettling details about the crime scene: not least the absence of an investigation. Together, the young women realise that their resourcefulness, energy and boundless imaginations could help solve the mystery – and that if they don’t attempt to find out what happened to Elizabeth Chester, no one else will.

The path to the truth is not an easy one, especially in a society which believes a woman’s place to be in the home, not wandering the countryside looking for clues. But nothing will stop the sisters from discovering what happened to the vanished bride, even as they find their own lives are in great peril…

My Thoughts

I jumped at the chance to read this book early; I am a great lover of historical fiction and I adore anything to do with the Bronte sisters – with the added whodunit thrown in, this was the perfect read for me!

The Vanished Bride is a wonderfully immersive read and with beautifully crafted characters; Charlotte, Emily and Anne were so vivid and vivacious; they almost felt like friends.  Breaking down boundaries and overcoming obstacles in every chapter, the three sisters slung aside all expectations placed on them as women of their time and it felt so liberating!

Whilst this is a fictional tale, the amount of research that the author has conducted is satisfyingly evident, as is her love of the Bronte sisters; making the book all the more enjoyable.

I love slowly immersing myself and savouring historical fiction, but here the added crime and mystery elements made for a gripping read indeed!  I was itching to pick up and continue this book at every opportunity.

The Vanished Bride is a charming, cozy, and beautifully written piece of historical fiction; the perfect autumnal read!  I can’t wait to revisit the Bronte sisters in the next instalment of this delightful series.

The Vanished Bride is out now in gorgeous hardcover you can buy it here

My thanks go to Steven Cooper and Hodder & Stoughton for my invitation to the #blogtour and also for my gorgeous copy of the book (plus the subsequent finished copy – which I’ll be giving away on my instagram account at some point – @mrscookesbooks).

If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others, and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter

It’s my stop on the #blogtour for So Lucky today and I am thrilled to be sharing my thoughts with you!

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Synopsis

Fearless, frank and for anyone who’s ever doubted themselves, So Lucky is the straight-talking new novel from the Sunday Timesbestseller.

IS ANYONE’S LIFE . . .

Beth shows that women really can have it all.
Ruby lives life by her own rules.
And then there’s Lauren, living the dream.

AS PERFECT AS IT LOOKS?

Beth hasn’t had sex in a year.
Ruby feels like she’s failing.
Lauren’s happiness is fake news.

And it just takes one shocking event to make the truth come tumbling out…

The bold and brilliant new novel from Dawn O’Porter, the bestselling author of The Cows.

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My Thoughts

What a book! I’ve been looking forward to reading So Lucky for a while and I haven’t been disappointed; I lost count of the number of times I snorted out loud with laughter whilst turning the pages!

Accurate to a tee; So Lucky is a searingly relevant read.  I found myself continually nodding in agreement as I read about Beth, Ruby and Lauren.  It’s fiendishly funny yet thought provoking in terms of the perception we have of ourselves, and SO full of sass!

This book oozes power with its cast of three fantastic women, and their stories were both honest and touching, producing a compelling tale which is absolutely made for binge reading.

I found So Lucky to be hilariously addictive and scintillatingly smutty! Bravely bearing filth on almost every page  – this book is not for the prudish!

So Lucky is wickedly witty, side-splittingly funny and deliciously dirty; a joyous romp of a book which will be enjoyed by many.

So Lucky is out now in hardcover and you can buy it here

My thanks go to Elizabeth Dawson of Harper Collins UK for my stunning finished copy and also for the invitation to the tour.  If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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Coming Home to Winter Island by Jo Thomas

Today it’s my stop on the #blogtour for Coming Home to Winter Island by Jo Thomas and I’m delighted to share my thoughts with you on this gorgeous book!

Synopsis

Fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will love this irresistible new winter novel from Jo Thomas.

Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds?

Ruby’s singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover.

But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met.

City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won’t be welcome at Teach Mhor.

But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought.

There’s an unexpected guest in the house and he’s not planning on going anywhere any time soon …

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My Thoughts

There is literally nothing that I didn’t love about this book.  (I’ve been so tempted to leave my review at that, but I’m far too chicken!)

Jo Thomas is a new author (to me) and I must confess that I knew from the first chapter that I would love her work.  Her prose is easy to read yet suitably complex to ensure the reader remains engaged.  I loved her beautiful descriptions of the splendid Scottish surroundings, and how her wonderful characters were so vivid and endearing that they leapt from every page.

Heartwarming, romantic and totally captivating; Coming Home to Winter Island is all of these things and so much more.  It’s the perfect book to transport you from the mundane to the magical.

This book was a truly engrossing read; escapism at it’s finest and I’m excited to search out and devour Thomas’s back catalogue – I have a feeling I won’t be disappointed.

Coming Home to Winter Island is a gorgeous, feel-good yet intelligent read; the perfect book to lose yourself in and shake off those Winter blues.  I’ll be recommending it to everyone!

Coming Home To Winter Island is out in ebook format now and you preorder the paperback here (out 12 December).

My thanks go to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for my invitation to the #blogtour and also to Rosie Margesson of Headline Books for my proof copy in exchange for my honest review.  If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others, and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott

Welcome to my stop on the #blogtour for The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott.  I have been looking forward to reading this book for months and I have not been disappointed!

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Synopsis

In the aftermath of war, everyone is searching for answers
An epic novel of forbidden love, loss, and the shattered hearts left behind in the wake of the First World War

1921. The Great War is over and families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He was declared ‘missing, believed killed’ during the war, but when Edie receives a mysterious photograph in the post, taken by Francis, hope flares. And so she begins to search.

Francis’s brother, Harry, is also searching. Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, he has returned to the Western Front. As Harry travels through battle-scarred France, gathering news for British wives and mothers, he longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last conversation they ever had.

And as Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they begin to get closer to a startling truth.

An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history, The Photographer of the Lost tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins, and the even greater number of men and women desperate to find them again.

My Thoughts

This book!  Wow.  Where to even begin?

Firstly, Scott’s writing style took my breath away; both powerful and luminous, it made the story all the more effective and I willingly allowed her eloquent words to wash over me as I slowly savoured the beautiful prose.

This was an emotionally challenging read; dealing with guilt, grief and loss and I’d be lying if I said if I didn’t feel overcome by it at times.  However, whilst death and despair dominate, ultimately a message of hope lies within this book and there is no better time to read it than on the cusp of Remembrance Sunday.

A highly anticipated read in my calendar; I found it to be honest, thought provoking and poignant.  A heartbreaking tale, steeped in sadness, that made me sit up and remember that whilst this is fiction; reality rears its ugly head between every single one of its pages.

The Photographer of the Lost is a deeply moving, soulful and breathtaking novel; stunning in every way.  I expect it’s haunting pages to stay with me for many years to come.

The Photographer of the Lost is out now in paperback and you can buy it here

My thanks go to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for my invitation to the #blogtour and also to Jessica Barratt of Simon & Schuster for my beautiful, proof copy in exchange for my honest review.  If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others, and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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The Long Flight Home by A.L. Hlad

It’s my stop on the #blogtour for The Long Flight Home by Alan Hlad today and I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts with you about this charming book.  My review is a tad later than scheduled as I’ve been busy trying to coordinate it with a giveaway on my instagram account and this should hopefully be live this evening.

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Synopsis

September 1940.

As enemy fighter planes blacken the sky, Susan Shepherd finds comfort at her home in Epping Forest, where she and her grandfather raise homing pigeons. Of all Susan’s birds, it’s Duchess who is the most extraordinary, and the two share a special bond.

Thousands of miles away, Ollie Evans, a young American pilot decides to travel to Britain to join the Royal Air Force. But Ollie doesn’t expect his quest to bring him instead to the National Pigeon Service – a covert new operation involving homing pigeons – and to Susan.

The National Pigeon Service has a dangerous mission to air-drop hundreds of pigeons into German-occupied France. Despite their growing friendship Ollie and Susan must soon be parted – but will Duchess’s devotion and sense of duty prove to be an unexpected lifeline between them?

Based on true events, The Long Flight Home is an uplifting and timeless wartime novel, that reminds us how, in times of hardship, hope is never truly lost.

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My Thoughts

I am a huge fan of historical fiction and the unique and intriguing premise of this book totally sold itself to me.

Whilst this was an easy read, it was also extremely informative and it is clear how well researched the book is.  I found myself fully immersed in the story and was truly touched by the unfolding relationship between Susan and Duchess.

This book came across as a kind of Ying and Yang; the tragedy of the war was balanced by hugely heartwarming scenes and whilst the gruesome story of the war encompassed the entire narrative; the pigeons and their heroic contribution rose above it all.

An emotional read for sure; I’d definitely recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction who like something a bit different to the norm.

This is a charming, beautifully written book which gives a refreshing take on true events – I certainly wont be looking at a pigeon in quite the same way again!

The Long Flight Home is out now in paperback and you can buy it here

My thanks go to Kate Keehan and Hodder & Stoughton for my invitation to the #blogtour and also for my proof copy of the book (plus the subsequent finished copy – which I’ll be giving away on my instagram account later on this evening @mrscookesbooks).

If you enjoyed my post, please do check out my others, and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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