Book Review | “The Gilded Fan” (Book Two of the Kumashiro Series) by Christina Courtenay via #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 29 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Gilded Fan” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I am fascinated by this series:

I was so consumed by the beautiful romance emitting out of this historical novel, I was swept into the folds of this story to such a degree, I did not want it to end! Hannah and Kumashiro are incredible characters to meet and it’s how their lives start to intersect that keep you up late into the night, as it’s not a book you wish to put down but one to devour, one chapter at a time whilst savouring the journey Courtenay has taken you on!

I appreciated the pacing of this novel – we were given such a lovely narrative in scope, to allow ourselves to curl inside the ‘moments’ with the characters rather than moving at such a clip of a pace to miss certain things. A nice touch too was having certain Japanese words used to explain tradition and the details you’d hope to learn by reading about another country’s cultural heritage. Courtenay has you breathe in the timescape and you feel as if you’ve experienced this place in time as you read the story. I happen to fancy this exploration through fiction because you can live so much through words and how the writer paints the portrait of a scene – it gives a realism to novels and it’s a lovely discovery to have as a reader who appreciates the historical past.

I loved how Ms Courtenay did not write a predictable story on the level that you were never quite certain what was going to befell Hannah – she is a feisty heroine, but she’s one who has a lot riding on her choices and on the will to live differently from the views of her family. Courtenay granted her the ability to think on her feet and to strive to hope she could have a better life if she could get through the adversities that were cutting her to the quick. I loved watching Hannah grow whilst she was at sea and how this growth gave her an empowerment once she reached Japan to where she far more stronger in spirit than when she first left England.

Courtenay has written such a gentle love story as to encircle your mind with her narrative, soaking inside the story as it unfolds and not wanting it to end. She gives you so much time to reside inside this story, you feel connected to Japan but moreso than that even, you feel very connected to her characters.

Such a lovely unputdownable discovery!

I cannot wait to read the next installment – as this surely is a historical drama I dearly love reading and are wicked happy shall be continuing!

-quoted from my review of The Scarlet Kimono

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

On my Connection to Ms. Courtenay:

Three years ago, on the 26th of April, 2014, I created #ChocLitSaturday a weekly Rom chat to celebrate the novelists of ChocLitUK but also, to expand to include book bloggers, readers and writers of Romance who have a penchant for the genre as a whole. Ms Courtenay started to become a regular fixture, and her encouraging conversations & ability to inspire others to converse freely throughout the chats put me at ease in my new role as a ‘Hostess’. She always seemed to know how to either start a topic or how to best suggest something to break the ice! I was always so very grateful to her and I am thinking I might have forgotten to tell her directly how much gratitude I had for her in those earlier chats! Over the years, I have found myself attached to each of my ‘regular’ chatters during the hour, and I consider Ms Courtenay a bookish like-minded soul and dear friend, as we tend to appreciate the same types of stories!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Courtenay through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturday the chat, kept in touch privately and having had previously read her time slip novels. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time or continuing to read their releases as they are available.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Book Review | “The Gilded Fan” (Book Two of the Kumashiro Series) by Christina Courtenay via #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Gilded Fan
by Christina Courtenay
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

How do you start a new life, leaving behind all you love?

It’s 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord, is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England. Midori is trained in the arts of war, but is that enough to help her survive a journey, with a lecherous crew and an attractive captain she doesn’t trust?

Having come to Nagasaki to trade, the last thing Captain Nico Noordholt wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one. How can he protect her from his crew when he can’t keep his own eyes off her?

During their journey, Nico and Midori form a tentative bond, but they both have secrets that can change everything. When they arrive in England, a civil war is brewing, and only by standing together can they hope to survive…

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781890080

Also by this author: Guest Post about Time Slips, The Silent Touch of Shadows, The Scarlet Kimono, The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight Cover Reveal, The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight Cover Reveal, Marry for Love, The Jade Lioness, The Secret Kiss of Darkness

Also in this series: The Scarlet Kimono, The Jade Lioness

Published by ChocLitUK

on 7th February, 2013

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 350

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats:

Paperback, Audiobook, Large Print & E-Book

The Kumashiro series:

Book One: The Scarlet Kimono (see also Review)

Book Two: The Gilded Fan

Book Three: The Jade Lioness | Synopsis

Converse via: #KumashiroSeries + #HistRom or #ChocLit

About Christina Courtenay

Christina Courtenay

Christina lives near Hereford and is married with two children. Although born in England she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, the family moved to Japan where she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East.

Christina’s debut Trade Winds was short listed for the 2011 Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Pure Passion Award for Best Historical Fiction. The Scarlet Kimono won the 2011 Big Red Reads Best Historical Fiction Award. Highland Storms (in 2012) and The Gilded Fan (in 2014) won the Historical Romantic Novel of the Year Award and The Silent Touch of Shadows won the 2012 Best Historical Read Award from the Festival of Romance. Christina is Chairman of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Novels: Trade Winds, Highland Storms, Monsoon Mists, The Scarlet Kimono, The Gilded Fan, The Silent Touch of Shadows, The Secret Kiss of Darkness, The Soft Whisper of Dreams, The Jade Lioness, Marry in Haste, Once Bitten Twice Shy, Desperate Remedies and Never Too Late.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Midori and Nico:

In a moment of calm reflection and prayer, you see how Midori has embraced her Japanese heritage from her father by asking for guidance and protection on her journey abroad. It is a beautiful scene where she is in full reverence at a shrine which celebrates her close relationship with her parents and their continued journey in their afterlife. I could almost smell the incense which was adding a nice aroma to the air. It is true that courage comes in moments of incredible adversity. We do not always understand where we draw strength from to endeavour ourselves forward when life turns difficult but somehow, through faith and personal grit, we endure. I had a feeling the small cross Midori kept as a keepsake of her mother might prove to be an unwise choice but you can understand why she wants to keep it close irregardless of potential consequences.

Nico is at a transitional moment in his life – his mentor has recently died quite unexpectedly, leaving him with the command of the ship. He isn’t even sure if he is ready to assume this role, even if he had been conditioned to handle it. What vexes him more is how he let his guard down when Midori visited with him and insisted she be granted passage. Nico wasn’t expecting to find someone who could take hold of his mind nor his heart. When he met Midori, he knew he’d met his match, but how was that possible!? He has an internal struggle to accept he’s reached that point in his life where finding a life partner is what he wants even if he believes his interests still lie at sea and the arduous journey of a tradesman.

My Review of The Gilded Fan:

When I finished reading The Scarlet Kimono, my heart ached to know how things would work out for Hannah and Taro, as they were truly in love with each other. Their love came quite unexpectedly, as they were from two different cultures during a period of history where such meetings were quite rare. They championed through the difficulties which strove to separate them but it’s how Courtenay wrote their romance which endeared you to them most of all. Hannah was withchild at the end of the novel, leading into The Gilded Fan where the story picks up with their daughter: Midori.

As we re-enter their lives, Hannah and Taro have died leaving Midori crushed by their loss and on a path towards seeking passage back home to England. Midori’s emotions are on the surface of her soul; she feels deeply and she has a mind like her mother’s wherein she’s determined and independent; two strengths her brother Ichiro is sometimes still surprised by. Meanwhile, the only traders allowed into the port at Nagasaki are the Dutch, of whom are of interest to Midori. The Captain she chose to converse with about her passage back to Europe was not prepared for her audience! Midori was a perfect blend of personality from her parents: you can see Hannah and Taro in her actions! Not only did she use her mind to attempt to outwit the Captain but she used her skills as a trained warrior to defuse a situation prior to meeting with him. It’s how she sees the world vs. how Nico understands the parts she has yet to see which provided the best scenes. Midori is singularly only focused on leaving Japan; her time in the country is under threat by the Shogun and thus, she must take her chances elsewhere – even if leaving her home country was never her intention.

Ichiro in truth is Midori’s half brother; he was the little boy Hannah saved years ago and the gesture made a huge impact. There were those who did not believe in the union between Taro and Hannah; of mixing with different cultures and of breaking the tradition of whom a person is meant to marry. As you learn of the Shogun’s violence against children from these unions and of all foreign visitors or residents alike, you truly do not understand the unfathomable events in this world. Ichiro has a fondness for Midori, which is why the departure of his sister is affecting him as much as it is for her to realise this could be the last time she will live in Japan. It has to be heart-breaking; to know your own country has turned against you and the place your heading towards might not even be welcoming at all either.

I could relate to this passage where Midori is thinking about her changed circumstance:

It’s odd how life can go on for years in the same old routines,

then suddenly something happens to turn it upside down.

-quoted from “The Gilded Fan” by Christina Courtenay with permission of the publisher.

Isn’t this the absolute truth!? I’ve had this happen several times over the past four years since I’ve been blogging my reading life. The hardest part about remaining adaptive to your circumstances is never to lose the hope of what tomorrow will bring. Even if your tomorrow will be lived elsewhere (as even I plan on relocation), you have to feel optimistic about what is still yet to be revealled in your life despite the fears or doubts about the unknown. I could definitely relate to Midori’s emotional state as I think we all feel as she did – suspended between everything we know and the future we hope will be one we can embrace with the fullness of our heart.

Her escape from Japan was fraught with difficulties – how inspiring to find Nico volunteering to help save her life when he was still attempting to settle his feelings about Midori. Her brother is the true hero, forsaking his own safety in order to ensure her own. He had to break her out of prison, as someone had turnt her over to the Shogun’s forces of whom were merciless in their attempts to rid the country of all foreigners. (the overtones of this practice mirror today’s world) Realistically written to impress upon you the conditions of the prisons, Courtenay did not hold back from showing exactly how being in those cells would have been. The passages were hard to swallow but no more so than the passages of Emmy Nation which I felt pushed me a bit past my own tolerances for what can be visually seen in fiction. Courtenay held back a bit to simply give you the conditions of the prison but quickly segued into the rescue.

Life aboard ship was anything but ordinary for Midori – she was used to having her own way and mind, but living aboard a ship tested her patience. She even had to haggle the merits of cooking her own food, although part of me sided with Nico on the absurdity of cooking in one’s cabin! (the fire danger is only one cause for concern!) Seeing the volleys between Midori and Nico is a beautiful nod to the building drama between the two as they each have such a fierce independent nature! They don’t compromise or back-down, each of them standing by their principles but one thing that is difficult for Midori to accept is the darker nature of her shipmates. This was proven several times – once on board and secondly at a layover stop whilst Nico unloaded his cargo. Midori was a bit sheltered in this regard, not realising the dangers she would put herself in nor those who aim to protect her innocence.

For all the training her brother provided of her, he did fail to mention the hidden dangers of aggravating the wrong men when your a young woman whose travelling unchaperoned. This came to a head on the island layover, where she nearly isn’t rescued in time to save her life nor the trauma of a domestic act of violence. Despite all of this, Midori has people who care about her even if she acts at times heedless of life’s dangers. Nico, Harding and the good Doctor are her trusted friends – finding out she could put her services to use in regards to tinctures, natural medicine remedies and first aide allowed her to see how she could contribute something back to those of whom she sailed alongside. Harding was a kind man whose first concern for her welfare stemmed out of fatherly love for his own daughter who was awaiting his return back home.

Where things started to get interesting is when the threads of the past linking Hannah and Midori to the Marston family started to intercede on the threads of Nico’s own past. The thing that didn’t surprise me is how small of a world of connection this was turning out to be – as part of me wondered if there were more secrets linked to Hannah’s family in England or to Nico’s unspoken past as well. It had to be difficult for Hannah’s brother to return home and retell the story of how he felt she had been lost through tragic death; something Taro did not want Jacob to go through at the time but yielded to Hannah’s sensibility about how Jacob would respond to her intent to stay with Taro. Now, it would seem all those hidden ghosts and past secrets are resurfacing and still causing angst to those involved.

I was so caught up in the story, I had forgotten the timeline – as Midori was returning to England at the wrong time for her relatives to have any hope of accepting her as their own. They had joined the Puritans and although any other family during this time would have had difficulty in accepting Midori’s birthright and origin; the Puritans would be similar to modern day fundamentalist Christians. They are a bit non-yielding and do not accept anything or anyone outside their own beliefs and church. Therefore, your heart does lurch a bit as Midori is quickly learning of this fact whilst saying in the household. She meets a young girl: Temperance (of whom The Jade Lioness involves) who immediately takes a liking to Midori and her gilded fan. You can see in the girls’ reaction to Midori not everyone in the Puritan house accepts the strict beliefs and code of conduct.

When Civil War broke out, things started to change for the better in regards to unifying the family; Midori became an ally to her cousin Daniel and even Nico found a way to recognise despite everything in his past, family was still family. Midori served as the catalyst for hearts to mend and heal; without her presence, Nico might not have had the chance to talk to his Uncle and Aunt; nor they to him. Past ills have a way of re-emerging in the best of families, but as Courtenay proves by this story-line, it is best to talk things out eventually; even if decades have elapsed. I enjoyed watching Midori , Daniel and young Temperance grow in friendship whilst they all found a way to bridge their differences together. Even of being of newly found Puritan faith, they lessened their indifference to her heritage to embrace her fully. Her Uncle (her mother’s brother) Jacob made peace with having a niece who was of dual-heritage as well; a positive gesture of a man whose dedicated faith would not allow him to forsake her anymore.

There are a lot of undertones of family strife and the difficulties which arise in multicultural unions of marriage. The bits cast during the war period were difficult to read in some places, as it truly was a colourful and realistic depiction of how jarring and brutal war such as this can become for people fighting to secure their beliefs and their political affiliations. Although I am not shy to read war dramas, I am always thankful the shift of focus soon returns to a secondary thread of focus rather than to be encamped during the battles themselves. In this novel, what I appreciated most is the growth of all the characters, as it wasn’t just Midori who had the most to gain by leaving her home country.

Nico himself was a man caught between his past and his future, whereas the family left behind in England were eclipsed by guilt, past ills and the anguish of ambiguous loss (in regards to Hannah). There were incredible layers of emotional angst percolating throughout the story but it’s how Courtenay made the keen choices to embrace those situations and to use them towards the gain for the reader to walk alongside her characters as they worked through everything together. It’s the strength of finding the courage to be oneself and to embrace differences even in one’s family to find the bridge to unite through forgiveness and patience. Truly this became an uplifting story to read due to how convincing the redemption was for Midori and the rest of her family.

And, of course, I especially was taken by the descriptive details which set this narrative to be illuminated by sweeping arcs of action sequences and the beauty of life on the high seas. I liked the nuances of Japanese culture and the way in which Courtenay infused Midori’s spiritual life into the backdrop of her character’s personality. Everything felt authentically realistic whilst anchouring the story between Japan and England. You could fully find yourself caught in the midst of the 17th Century where nothing was certain nor guaranteed to be right anytime soon. At the height of everything, blessedly there was still slivers of hope of how Midori would find not only true happiness but a passionate partner of whom accepted her unconditionally. A true honour of her upbringing and of finding her own way to unite her past with her present. Now it’s Temperance’s turn to take the spotlight in the series and I can’t wait to go back to Japan where the series began as she makes her mark on how her life is meant to play out.

Why I continue to love to be captured by the historical styling of Christina Courtenay:

You know almost immediately when you pick up a Courtenay Historical Rom, you’re going to be enchanted by what you find inside the page! She has a way of pulling you into the narrative quite quickly and endearing you to her characters; many of whom have emotional angst or something they need to prove to themselves. She also is one of my favourite historical authors for tying together loose ends, maintaining continuity or by giving us more information about secondary characters.

I truly loved how she swept us into the life aboard the ship – it naturally has close quarters, but Courtenay made it feel as if there were places where there were ample amounts of ‘personal space’, too. I had to smile and laugh a bit over how Midori first found sword practice in her cabin to be an ‘acceptable’ method of freeing her boredom whilst re-honing her skills with the sword itself. It is the kind of rationalisation she’d have made and one of the things that set her apart from her peers. She truly embraced her father’s legacy of heritage, honour and religion but how to remain true to her past and find a way forward into her future is what gave such a dramatic scope in how Courtenay approached telling her character’s journey.

As part of the legacy of Midori’s Japanese heritage involves a different religion than her English relatives, I enjoyed seeing how Courtenay broached the subject of studying the Bible whilst countering it with Midori’s own beliefs as well. It was showing how even back then religious tolerance was negligible at best. Despite the differences in their faith lives what was commendable about Jacob and Midori’s quest to find a middle ground is how forgiveness played a strong role in their ability to find unity out of disappointment. The disappointment was on the side of Jacob, but without a willingness to see past his shortsightedness in regards to Midori’s birth origins, I am unsure if Midori would have had the homecoming she endured.

Reading Habit:

As I have been previously mentioning on a few of my recent reviews, I have come to appreciate listening to #SlackerRadio with my headphones as I am reading. Mostly as the atmosphere of the music I am plugging into is happily in sync with my selections in both Fiction and Non-Fiction worlds. For this series, I opted to listen to Sound for Motion Picture as I grew up with a deep appreciation for the soundtrack of the movies. The scores themselves have a way of transporting you emotionally through their chords and I have always felt a warmth of spirit in the selections. There are many composers I have followed over the years, such as John Williams, James Horner, Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer. The Kumashiro series has a cinematic quality to the story-telling and the music I am finding on this station beautifully weave into the narrative to give the reading hours even more joy than without the music behind the words.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Remember my hopes for this sequel?

There are certain stories you simply ache to know more about it’s characters, and this is quite true for me in regards to the Kumashiro series! I long to return to this world – where love triumphs over everything else and where barriers are greeted with determined grit and a resolute faith to champion obstacles and adversities. I truly am hoping Midori is the daughter I think she is, as that would be quite fitting to read her story next – especially as she is unable remain in Japan; such a quirky twist of fate, if you think on it!

I can honestly attest, I was not disappointed!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

My hopes for the sequel:

Although I felt more connected to the romance between Taro and Hannah, I must admit, I was on absolute pins how everything would turn out for Midori. You get so attached to characters inside serial fiction! I must admit, I was thinking it was a smart idea to put Midori and Nico back to sea – as they were best whilst they travelled. The strife of what happened on land only drew them apart but where they excelled was standing by each other whilst curating a life of trade and commerce. They truly learnt the most about each other whilst sailing from Japan to the Netherlands and onward to England. This is where they forged their bond and found out who they were and what they meant to each other. In this, I found myself hoping to find more sequences at sea – which I hope will continue inside the next installment rather than pick up directly in Japan.

It made perfect sense to me Temperance would want to go to Japan, too. There is a fire of adventure in the heart and soul of each of the women from the Marston family. They seek out their own path to follow rather than follow the rules of society, and thus, I cheered knowing Temperance was following Hannah’s own footsteps to seek her own destiny abroad.

Synopsis of The Jade Lioness

Can an impossible love become possible?

Nagasaki, 1648

Temperance Marston longs to escape war-torn England and explore the exotic empire of Japan. When offered the chance to accompany her cousin and Captain Noordholt on a trading expedition to Nagasaki, she jumps at the opportunity. However, she soon finds the country’s strict laws for foreigners curtail her freedom.

On a dangerous and foolhardy venture she meets Kazuo, a ronin. Kazuo is fascinated by her blonde hair and blue eyes, but he has a mission to complete and he cannot be distracted. Long ago, his father was accused of a crime he didn’t commit – stealing a valuable ornament from the Shogun – and Kazuo must restore his family’s honour.

But when Temperance is kidnapped and sold as a concubine, he has to make a decision – can he save her and keep the promise he made to his father?

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

This book review is courtesy of:

ChocLitUK Reviewer Badge by ChocLitUK.Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

In case you’ve missed my ChocLit readings:

Please follow the threads through #ChocLitSaturdays!

And, visit my ChocLit Next Reads List on Riffle (recently upated!)

to see which stories I fancy to devour next!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

My first ChocLit readings of the New Year:

Reading ChocLit is a cuppa comfort & joy. You get to ‘return home’ to the stories penned in the beauty of the Romantic genres you love to devour with characters who inspire you & give you such a lift of joy to meet.

*Part of my focus on serial ChocLit Fiction!*

To Turn Full Circle | No. 1 of the Emma series | by Linda Mitchelmore (see Review)

– as my ‘Saturday’ was spent giving joy to someone who did not expect to receive a welcoming visit from people he knew, I wasn’t able to properly finish this lovely novel until Wednesday. Ergo, I decided to back-date this to ‘Saturday’ as that was the original day I had intended to curl inside this novel to coincide with our second #ChocLitSaturday chat of the New Year. I’ve been in a bit of a rut reading wise and ChocLit novels have a way of pulling me back inside the joy of reading which is why I pulled this off my shelf and happily devoured it!

 The Girl in the Painting | No. 2 of the Rossetti Mysteries | by Kirsty Ferry (see Review)

– as I received such a wicked lovely #bookmail surprise from ChocLit – I decided to insert this review ahead of my selections of continuing through two previous series which have enchanted my heart & mind! I hadn’t realised by doing so I would be reading this novel a few days ‘ahead’ of it’s #PubDay! How smashingly wicked, eh!? I was so overjoyed to receive this ChocLit novel – talk about a sweet bookish surprise, eh!? The chocolate which was sent along with it was #beyondyum, too! This is one of the few times I’ve been able to receive a #newbook ahead or by it’s #PubDay (for ChocLitUK) – which is why I couldn’t help but *devour!* the novel as soon as I rescued it from it’s bubbler!

The Penny Bangle | No. 3 of the Charton Minster series | by Margaret James (see Review)

– as an aside, I was wicked happy finding out Ms James *loves!* Fairy Tales as much as I do! I still remember going to the theater to see ‘Beauty and the Beast’ the anime film where one of my most beloved British actresses (Angela Lansbury) portrayed Mrs Potts! Yes, I’m that old! lol I was just a girl, and the magic of the story was so lifting of spirit and of how wicked brilliant love can conquer so many things,.. it’s such a beautiful story, truly. I know this new version is a smidge darker than the first, but oh! I am so very excited about my screening – lovely to share such a heap of joy with an author whose given me so many enjoyable hours curled up inside her historical series, too! (see also this review of a sequel author’s spin on the classic tale!)

The Lost Girl | by Liz Harris (see Review)

– I hadn’t expected such a guttingly realistic story-line where you feel at one point in the narrative there might not be a way for either of the leads to walk away from this with an ending you can handle reading.

The Gilded Fan | No. 2 of the Kumashiro series | by Christina Courtenay

The Jade Lioness | No. 3 of the Kumashiro series | by Christina Courtenay

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

IF you love chatting about Romance novels, #amwriting adventures and being in a wicked good circle of writers and readers joyfully sharing their writerly & bookish lives, I invite you to join us for #ChocLitSaturday which is an extension of my reviews & guest features on behalf of ChocLitUK! All are welcome! Visit @ChocLitSaturday for more details!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary! Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst bloggers who picked up the same story to read.

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{SOURCES: Book Covers for “The Scarlet Kimono”, “The Gilded Fan” and “The Jade Lioness” were provided by the author Christina Courtenay and used with permission. Author photograph, Author Biography, Book Synopses and ChocLit Reviewer badge were provided by ChocLitUK and were used by permission. Quote from “The Gilded Fan” selected by Jorie and is used with permission of the publisher ChocLitUK. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: ChocLitSaturdays Banner (Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo). Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 29 April, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 17th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Domestic Violence, East India Company, England, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Japan, Japanese Fiction, Japanese History, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Life Shift, Martial Arts, Military Fiction, Modern British Literature, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Multi-Generational Saga, Naturopathic Medicine, Puritan England, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Women's Fiction, Women's Rights, World Religions

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