Book Review | “The Wedding Diary” (Charton Minster No.5) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 1 July, 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 Wedding Diary” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

Why Jorie Loves reading the Charton Minster series:

You never have to worry about the continuity of this series – as Ms James has write such a charmingly realistic series as you move from one installment to the next, you re-alight right in step with where you were previously! It’s a credit to all writers who I am finding have a wicked way of knowing exactly what to do in a sequel or the next thread of story in a series where the layers are so very intricate and complex. Being this is a war drama series, the beauty for me, has been her focus on the people ‘behind the war’, where life moves forward at quite a clip whilst the war is still raging onwards. She hones in on the home front and of the life on the front lines (depending on where you are in the series) – giving you a hearty juxtaposition which grounds you so fully on the life experiences of her characters.

Given this is a series which takes place in the early 20th Century, you never once think your reading about a contemporary time-line either, this is a credit to her inclusions of language and turns of phrase which were the height of popularity back then rather than now. Sometimes I think we could opt to use these phrases more often, as they are slightly cheeky and give you a smile of laugh to hear out loud! I also like how she’s remained true to her character’s motivations; as you watch her characters grow and age, so too, do they evolve in both maturity and life experiences. They each find out things about themselves which might surprise them or give them a moment of pause, but overall, this is a living tome of ordinary lives intersecting with History.

Ms James brings back the issue of Charton Minster (the house) itself too, whilst giving us a good nod towards knowing what’s become of the other characters we’ve cared for throughout the series (thus far along). Daisy makes an appearance and in so doing, gives us a happy moment of reprieve knowing her life has turnt out quite well. She’s not just happy (in career and marriage) but she’s resolved her past and her origins; she even has a healthy outlook on the circle of her life. One of the things you love appreciating about how the series unfolds is how each character is still keenly important even if the core of the current story has shifted forward and away from them. Their still viable and their able to give insight into where they currently are now on their own life’s path.

The tug on your heart is waiting to find out what becomes of the young adventure seekers: Cassie and Frances whilst finding the twins (Robert and Stephen) keep you on your toes as to how their lives will become altered through service and war. Robert might not be the easiest bloke to warm too, but there is something about him that pulls at your heart as you watch him make the choices he needs too and the sacrifices which come from duty. Stephen is a bit head-strong even though you don’t think it at first; he’s the twin who feels he has the most to prove and yet never quite sees himself in a positive light.

What truly hits you throughout this third story is  how difficult it is to accept the circumstances as they evolve; to embrace the future of tomorrow without understanding how the present will heal and feel less adverse. Each of the characters you’ve come to know how learning curves and situations to overcome, but at the heart of the series is always finding one’s path when the uncertainties are stacked against you. When being brave and finding courage are not easy attributes to always embrace but a strong will to survive can carry you through. What I loved most is how in each turning of the series, the women and men featured in Charton Minster have the capacity to endeavour to beat the odds and find true love in unexpected hours of grace.

-quoted from my review of The Penny Bangle

You can well understand why I am quite delighted I can continue to read each installment of this series, and become caught up in the drama and lives of each of the characters as they make their entrance and take their cue to exit. It’s one of those timeless classics you hope you can stumble across & dearly love!

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

Notation on Cover Art: I am in LOVE with this cover art – the glittered butterflies and moon are so lovely! Even the ChocLit logo on the spine has GLITTER. I’m not even what you’d consider a glitter-mad girl either – but sometimes, there are times where glitter is a good accessory to have on hand and for this book’s cover, it’s rockin’ brill! I even like how it’s raised and the texture of it, too! Great call on adding those elements to the cover as it made it funkified jazzy with a dash of spritely joy!

 Book Review | “The Wedding Diary” (Charton Minster No.5) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Wedding Diary
Subtitle: Where's a Fairy Godmother when you need one?

Where’s a Fairy Godmother when you need one?

If you won a fairy-tale wedding in a luxury hotel, you’d be delighted – right? But what if you didn’t have anyone to marry? Cat Aston did have a fiancé, but now it looks like her Prince Charming has done a runner.

Adam Lawley was left devastated when his girlfriend turned down his heartfelt proposal. He’s made a vow never to fall in love again.

So – when Cat and Adam meet, they shouldn’t even consider falling in love. After all, they’re both broken hearted. But for some reason they can’t stop thinking about each other. Is this their second chance for happiness, or are some things just too good to be true?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

Book Page on World Weaver Press

ISBN: 9781781890165

on 1st July, 2013

Pages: 289

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook & E-Book

Order of Sequence of Charton Minster series:

The Silver Locket Book One (review)

The Golden Chain Book Two (review) | The Penny Bangle Book Three (review)

A writer to reader explanation of how to read the last three novels: I wrote to Ms James to understand my slight confusion on how ‘The Wedding Diary’ fits into the canon of Charton Minster wherein I learnt a few things quite extraordinary! In regards to time-line, the sequence ought to be this way round: ‘Girl in Red Velvet’ (hugs closer to ending of 1st trilogy being set in the 1960s) then ‘The Wedding Diary’ and ending off with ‘Magic Sometimes Happens’.

This is due to the fact ‘The Wedding Diary’ is set in modern day (ie. the 21st Century present day) and is only a handful (say two) years ahead of ‘Magic Sometimes Happens’. Ergo, I was at a deficient reading what I perceived as books 4 & 5: the truth is 6 becomes 4 and 5 becomes 6, thereby making the 4th book the 5th in sequence. I have re-aligned the proper sequence below as well as updated my slideshow of covers. This also makes the cover art illustrations more relatable as well – four books hug the war eras & emerge into the 60s; the latter two in sequence change style of cover art to reflect the new century they reside inside. Mystery solved!

PS: You know ‘The Wedding Diary’ is set in the 21st Century as ‘Harry Potter’ is referenced; mind you, the way in which he’s referenced it felt 2000+ not ending chapters of 1990s. It’s close though – it could be interpreted either way – I am only sharing where I feel it fits.

Girl in Red Velvet Book Four (see also Cover Reveal Notes)

The Wedding Diary Book Five | Magic Sometimes Happens Book Six

NOTE: When ‘Girl in Red Velvet’ releases into print, I will be re-reading this series in order to anchour the sequence into the proper order and to see what I might have missed by reading the series out of it’s proper continuous time-line. This isn’t the first series I have read which was published out of sequence of the order of the story. I am truly blessed Ms James was available to help me work out the details and thereby giving me the chance to help you read this in the time-line she intended. My instincts of suspecting there was a switch-up was on the nose but it wasn’t until I spoke to Ms James all the pieces of the puzzle were fully understood. The truth in the pudding truly was the cover art illustrations!

Converse via: #ChartonMinster, #HistFic, #HistRom + #ChocLit

About Margaret James

Margaret James

Margaret James was born and brought up in Hereford and now lives in Devon. She studied English at London University, and has written many short stories, articles and serials for magazines. She is the author of sixteen published novels.

Her debut novel for Choc Lit, The Silver Locket, received a glowing review from the Daily Mail and reached the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in November 2010 and in the same year a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Single Titles. The Golden Chain also hit the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in May 2011. The Wedding Diary was shortlisted for the 2014 Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Novels: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, The Wedding Diary and Magic Sometimes Happens which are part of the Charton Minster series.

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

entering into the contemporary (post-war) ‘charton minster’:

My first footing into this section of the series was quasi-difficult until I contacted the author, as part of me was curious about how Girl in Red Velvet felt hugged closer to The Penny Bangle moreso than this story. When I first glimpsed the synopsis for Girl in Red Velvet I was equally confused as there was a wrinkle on my brow noting the new story-line seemed to waltz straight out of where I had just left the first trilogy but I couldn’t resolve that feeling I had by the time I had posted my notes on it’s behalf because there wasn’t enough time to contact Ms James. However, as I pulled myself into this (supposed) fourth novel, I immediately sought her out, as something was afoot! When you get heart-centred on a series, you get a feel for how they are written – you can almost see the author writing the words as your reading them yourself – as there is a measure of continuity which stays with you. In this vein, The Wedding Diary was most decidedly ‘modern’ to the level of being ‘set yesterday’ and read ‘today’. Hence why I earmark this entry to be 2000+ rather than late 1990s. Rather, it could be considered 2010+ by that projection of theory – as this story moves in a high-tech world where dating moves quickly as those timed dates expire the joy of meeting anyone.

Once I augmented myself into the proper thinking of how the series evolves forward in narrative, I was able to quickly re-align into Cat and Adam; as they are written as lovingly realistic and true to their own quirks of life moments as the previous generation had been in the war era installments. Ms James has a definitive knack for humbling her characters whilst bridging her readers into the heart of her narratives; even if (in theory) we had the wrong angle of entry at the jumpstart, she finds a way to bring you right back round and on the right path! The irony is that she’s as strong as a Contemporary author as she is Historical; even with the inclusions of Contemporary humour and the pop cultural references you’d expect a nudge of a nod to be included. She excels at giving you what your expecting whilst surprising you at the same time! A winning combination!

My Review of The wedding diary:

Shh! Guess what!? This is actually written like a personal diary! I was so wicked surprised and elated!!

The Chapter headings are a stitch in a half! They give a reason to giggle and give you a thought to contemplate whilst your dig into the chapter itself – sometimes, you’ll find the titles refer to more than one character (especially in regards to Cat and Adam) though invariably, they ask questions – question which either get answered or are left to interpretation. Either way you slice it, I like the intrapersonal touch and the way in which the diary format is arranged.

All chocolate is medicinal.

It’s a well known fact.

When taken in sufficient quantities, it mends a broken heart.

– quoted from “The Wedding Diary” with permission of the publisher

I can not think of a better way to begin a novel – can you? Especially considering how true the words are as they are written and how they can become bent to include the publisher – as for me, during a critical period of my life last year (round the holidays) ChocLit became quintessential towards healing my own wary heart. I could also relate directly to how ‘pizza and something alcoholic’ can be a winning combination for dinner with mates; especially if you found a twofer for light lager! In other words, I found myself wickedly delighted to soak into this thread of the series, as Cat presented such a delightfully modern segue! It was at this point in time, when she was sorting out what to do and feeling mad lonely in the process of what she could do; I recognised this book is further afield from the war era than perceived originally. It was at this junction, I sought out conferring with Ms James and worked out the details which precede this review by disclosing the time-line sequence of the stories which were published out of order. After a brief pause, I resumed reading.

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I was not expecting the first chapter to resonate with two characters at the very same time! Both Cat and Adam were unceremoniously dumped by their respective partners; one went off in search of himself to points unknown and the other has chained herself to a life of service without even a moment’s thought for her own future. In that regard, you could claim they were both in love with people who were not yet ready to embrace being in love and walking through life with a life partner; each of them had wrangled themselves entangled to people who hadn’t yet realised who they were and until they did, how could they know how to love? To give or receive it properly? I felt for Cat and Adam, I truly did – as right when your on the brink of committing yourself to getting married, the hardest bit to resolve is being faced with the truth of how your romance is only one-sided.

Some relationships shatter you so completely, you feel as if you were etched out of glass, left splintered and wrecked on the floor when the person you love walks out of your life. This is how Adam felt and you ache for him, as he’s too blinded by his grief to see how at some point off into the tomorrows of the future, he might feel love again; might find a person he’s meant to be in sync with whilst walking through life. For now, the whole of his person has quaked open like an earthquake cutting through a fault line disturbing the normalcy of his life and creating a fracture of uncertainty of how to proceed.

When Cat and Adam first cross paths, you would nearly hope it would lead to a meet-cute situation but they were each tucked in close to their own woes; Adam the bedraggled barely coherent cad (as at this point, he’s let himself ‘go’ to such an extent, he’s not especially companionable to anyone) and Cat, the slightly less than focused jack-of-all-trades at her job where most would limit her abilities to reception. Cat put on a determined grit of facade to deal with Adam but it was Adam who was self-recriminating himself for not being able to appear halfway decent.

Comparatively, Jules and Gwennie were absolute saints dealing with their roomie descending into a fit of darkness, as Adam wasn’t quite the easiest bloke to shift round now that he had allowed himself to rudder into  sea of self-pity so deep as if not to find the light. Jules and Gwennie are the kind of flatmates you’d hope to have in your life; their love for each other is sweetened by their sparkly joyful personalities; where they encourage you when your down and attempt to bring you right round from whence you’ve disappeared. You felt for them, for the angst of the situation and of feeling as if you were reaching that point where you could not intervene to save your friend.

As the time clicks closer to the house of cards falling round her, Cat seems to think she can keep on the charade of having Jack on her arm long enough to… wells to be frank, I’m unsure if she’s even thought long enough about what she can do once the giveaway wedding prize team learn of her walkabout beau, but she’s full of moxie, this one! She’s tempting the fates by continuing to seek a way to stay in the game of the contest but without a clear way of knowing how to ‘fate it’ long enough without inventing a substitution for Jack! Her best mates egg her on a bit too, making it even harder to know right from wrong; even if she did enter into the whole affair on solid ground, what’s a girl to do when the ceiling drops and your still holding a winning hand?

Adam was in his element as a Restoration Specialist – you could tell how at ease he was on the job, a decided switch-up from when Cat first met him as their paths re-crossed whilst she was being given the tour of Melbury Court. It was here she first met Rosie Denham (of the Denham’s of Dorset in the war-era part of the series) – you have to wonder then, who decided to name this younger ‘Rose’ after the matriarch of the family? And, who could miss the fact the old Denham house was now being retrofitted into a charming oasis for retreat seekers to find a heavenly place to rejuvenate? I had a suspicion Daisy might be the one who would restore the old family home – she had a soft spot for it, especially all the hard work her parents had bled into it over the years to keep the family together whilst turning a profit during the war.

My favourite bit (of course) is when Adam and Cat meet-up for a roundabout tour in the countryside – getting off the main roads and seeing where the secondary routes will take them as they make their way to a village full of Tudor and Medieval architecture delights (sounded heavenly to me!). Road treks are the best way to travel – as they allow you to hug closer to the communities which stretch across a country’s hidden landscape. You find hidden gems of discovery along the way and you can get a proper sense of the unexpected, too. I also like how the rounding tour can lead to conversation or observational bliss as you see things your not readily expecting to find. It’s a good ice breaker for singles who are between understanding if their simply friends or if they could become something more; as it gets them into neutral territory whilst leaving a window open to possibilities.

Ugh. You truly feel for Cat – her rat of a beau Jack is a full-on wanker – all smarmy and swank when it suits him but he treats her like dirt all the same afterwards. It is all you can take just to listen to him try to sweet-talk Cat into actually believing the lies he’s spinning and wondering how she could have run back into his arms and out of Adam’s! Sometimes you just wonder why some girls feel they have to make amends with the one who crushed their heart and not take a risk on someone new who might be the best new chapter of their life. Seeing Jack try to smooth out the hiccups of the contest (ie. Cat hadn’t realised there was a penalty for cancelling) you secretly hope there is a way for Adam to swoop in and rescue Cat! She is letting herself settle for someone who doesn’t even appreciate her and that’s the sad bit of the story – how Cat believes she could only be with someone like Jack.

Meanwhile, Adam to his chagrin is attempting to self-study the human condition and the quirks of relationships as he’s moved past the frustrations of being let-down by women wherein he simply wants to understand why they think the way they do. The irony of course is how much Adam and Cat still muse about each other; despite the hurdles between them. You truly start to rally behind Adam, as he’s the natural underdog in the story; a bit of a work-in-progress with potential.

The one person I simply felt vexed about is Fanny Gregory – I think she was meant to be a comedic sidekick to the wedding contest angle but for me she irked my ire! She’s one of those posh women who has a high octane lifestyle and a ‘meet the deadline’ or die mantras for getting things done. She is writ to perfection for who she is but I just couldn’t say I was warming up to her personality which is why I could envision Cat shirking away from her each time she had to meet-up with her! Horrid lady to have to deal with in person as she classically has perfected a way for ‘seeing through’ people rather than listening to them. Every story needs an antagonist and for me she fit the bill to a ‘t’; even moreso than Jack! And, that’s saying loads! Except to say, she had one very redeemable quality about her – but that would be ‘telling’, dear hearts! Mind you, it was something which gobsmacked me as I hadn’t foreseen this twist at all! Not even a small wink of it! (cheeky of the author to push one over on me!)

You get to see a more relaxed side to Cat and Adam in Italy – as the setting as  lovely shift to the Mediterranean! I love how settings can evolve inside ChocLit novels, as they are not solely based on the originating locale (at least not all the time) and it helps expand the living reality of the characters, as they are not limited to the sage in which they are initially cast. In some ways, it’s a healthy option for singletons starting to repair their past – take a holiday elsewhere – fully divest yourself of what triggers the memories of your past relationships and see if you can begin anew with someone else. Create new memories and/or seek out an adventure where your heart feels lighter and your spirit can soar. I loved how Ms James showed the continued internal growth on behalf of Cat and Adam; as they were in such dire transition when we first met them, it was nice to take the journey with them from the back of beyond!

Part of what I loved too, is how there is a lovely focus on Old House restoration – I personally adore older homes and historic sites of interest! Including a few new series from the UK I’ve stumbled into on NetFlix which celebrate this particular interest! You can find such a lot of character in older estates – not just the palatial ones, but even the small cottages or medium sized acre lots where a fitting house and carriage house could be located. The fact Cat worked on a salvage lot where you could stroll and find treasures of the artisan past fascinated me! This is in-part why I love the film Under the Tuscan Sun! There is something to be said for finding homes pre-1900 and/or within the Edwardian era; sometimes I  would go as far as mid-century (20th) to find the character traits which are charmingly restored. If you go too far afield in architectural history (say pre-1700) you’re going to be on the depth end of the restoration pool! I’d say if you stick with mid-1800s and forward, you’ve a spotting chance of finding either a fully restored beauty or one partially brought forward to where you would have a wicked blast turning out the finishes! Clearly in a past life I was more handy with tools and carpentry! lol

Small Fly in the Ointment:

I realise it shouldn’t have surprised me as this is a Contemporary entry into the series, but oh, there were a few sprinkles of strong language I wish had been switched out for something ‘else’ as the word in question is my least favourite of them all. Despite these few wrinklements, I can honestly say I was so caught up in the affairs of Cat and Adam, as the approach Ms James took towards showing how their lives were resolving was a refreshing change. So, a few blights here or there but overall, it is a rather clean read as the focus is more on the characters than punting for strong language. A win for me!

cross-comparing the historical & contemporary angles of charton minster whilst giving full nods to ms james for giving us such a convictingly brilliant saga:

There is a whisper of a nod towards Dorset winding through the opening chapters – it’s the setting of Cat’s supposed wedding but it isn’t until she arrives to meet the people behind the wedding of her dreams giveaway where she meets Rosie Denham – a twenty-something assistant to the forty-something executive in charge of the arrangements. This is the moment where the past and the present start to collide and bend through the continuity Ms James is infamous for in the series.

In the Historical side of the series, everything is centred round the Denham family – as there is a strong presence of multi-generational connections – where the parents and the children are inter-connected as is the small community in which they are living. Even during the Land Girl generation, the family, friends and neighbours were strengthened through their close connections, however, as the series shifts forward into the latter half of the 20th Century (told through flashbacks to help pull forward Daisy Denham’s story-line) and the early start of the 21st Century (post-Harry Potter, as this is one critical reference to ‘when’ this story is set) we start to see the disconnections between family and community. It’s almost a map of how time has altered all communities and neighbourhoods – not just in Dorset but even here in America, as neighbourhoods are not as inter-connected as they once were I’m afraid. (at least not in all communities)

Rather than having the matriarch and patriarch at the head and centre – we are threading through where singletons have flat mates and where even if they have a strong bond to their parents, we do not see them ‘in-scene’ but rather as odd mentions here or there for the sake of realising they do have a connection to their Mums and/or Dad’s. Being Contemporary and Modern, there are other changes too – where the boundaries and guidelines of the war era are erased for a more causal acceptance of life and the harmony of how one gets on in their single life vs. the check point of having Rose in your life or looking after you if you were Land Girl. Rose was a mentor and a surrogate Mum to many but it was how she approached accepting the choices her children made and the choices others made on their behalf which made her a strong character inside the series. She had incredible strength running through her veins and she overcame so very much during her lifetime.

In this section of the series, we’re meeting two people who are at a proper cross-roads of their lives – where they can either turn right or left (cheekily this reminds me of that particular Doctor Who episode) effectively altering the course of where their path could take them. They aren’t even sure if they want what they thought they wanted out of life (ie. marriage and a steady life partner) as everything has gone quite sour in that regard. Yet, they aren’t quite able to ‘pick up and start anew’ either. Owning to the emotional upheaval of bad endings to relationships you never knew were one-sided.

I even had a smidge of a taste for what is going to greet me in Girl in Red Velvet – as Rosie Denham (in this story) is Lily Denham’s niece! You see – for each new turning of this series you get another glimpse of how Ms James has knitted it all together into one luscious saga!

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It should be noted I listened to ‘My Favourites’ station via #SlackRadio whilst reading this novel. I left it to random chance which songs would air as I read, as sometimes a girl just wants to let serendipity make the choices! Turnt out to be the best choice I could make, as not only were the songs opportune but it lent a lovely soundscape to a novel anchoured so rightly in the modern age whilst hinged to a saga originating out of the war era. Some of the songs were from yesteryear and some were more modern and pop-oriented. The even shifted from classical selections to lyrical, lending to the differing emotional keels in the story-line in a very organic way of having a soundscape follow the lines of a story without knowing the route of where the narrative would take the reader. The way in which the songs spun into my headphones were an equal match to my enjoyment of reading the novel and thus, I continue to shout out my love for #SlackerRadio!

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Notes from the Allergy Girl who finds Relief:

This was originally going to be read moving into the weekend & consumed on Saturday ahead of posting this review. *However!* my Spring allergies haven’t left me as our monsoon season is blinking off/on to the degree of insanity, truly! Worst allergy season I’ve experienced in YEARS. Upswing to this angst, is my Dad is a rockstar for daughters (see also tweet) who was able to secure my new natural allergy medicine two days ahead of schedule! Thus, my #weekendreads shifted to #MondayReads – as instead of consistently coughing up a lung or two, I finally have honest relief to where I can *breathe!* like a human again and not feel light-headed for the constant ‘attacks’ which beset my sinuses! I feel as wholly consumed by pollen this year as my Mum used to tell me tales about her days suffering through asthma. I feel like I have the ‘extreme’ side of allergies w/o being asthmatic but on the fringes as I do at times struggle to catch my breath! (*oy vie*)

One hour after taking the remedy, my lungs get a break, my breathing is normalised and my sinuses feel such a welcome relief it’s a blessing I found this medicine – as I can see I’ll be able to function better! The hardest part about the Spring this year was not being able to find anything which was working for me. The last medicine I was taking in such strong doses was rendering me fatigued and in a mental fog – this is why my reviews and posts were infrequently arriving on #JLASblog. I’m hoping as I track my reactions this coming week, if perhaps, this will help me shift past the seasonal angst on better footing.

If anything – getting through a chapter without sneezing and suffering through itchy eyes and the constant battle of sorting out the story whilst consumed by intense allergies is going to be the best blessing of all! I can soldier through a lot but even I have my breaking points where sometimes you just throw in the towel! May your allergies be less severe than mine if you struggle with them and THANK YOU for your patience in keeping with me during this allergy season!

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 reads of Summer:

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.

The Wedding Diary | No. 5 of the Charton Minster series | by Margaret James (*)

Before anyone leaves a comment asking me if I planned this – I honestly didn’t realise the pub date was the 1st of July! I had planned to read this lovely fourth novel in the series earlier in JUNE right when my allergies were grieving me the most. I decided to ‘hold off’ until I felt well enough to enjoy my re-acquaintance into the series; thus finding these lovely quirks!

Where Dragonflies Hover | by AnneMarie Brear

Magic Sometimes Happens | No. 6 of the Charton Minster series | by Margaret James (*)

*Part of my focus on serial ChocLit Fiction!*

What shall Jorie pick next to read?! Hmm.

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!

We are meeting up bi-monthly with a brief set-back this Spring / early Summer wherein I was not able to host as frequently as planned due to my Spring allergies behaviouring rather beastly this year due to a severe lack of RAIN. Blessedly the monsoon season is beginning as mentioned via my #20BooksOfSummer thereby giving me much needed relief! Also, our first chat resumed last week, with our next chat UPCOMING: 8th July!

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.

Love #amreading multi-generational sagas? Find out why Jorie simply devours #ChartonMinster! Click To Tweet

The 'next chapter' of war era #bookseries shifts Contemporary & stays true to it's roots. Click To Tweet

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

 {SOURCES: Cover art of  “The Silver Locket”, “The Golden Chain”, “The Penny Bangle”, “The Wedding Diary”, “Magic Sometimes Happens”, “Girl in Red Velvet”; Author photograph of Margaret James, Author Biography, Book Synopsis and ChocLit Reviewer badge were provided by ChocLitUK and were used by permission. Quote from “The Wedding Diary” was selected by Jorie and 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 and from the art set I purchased on Etsy by rachelwhitetoo.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017

I’m a social reader : I tweet as I read:

First sharing a few tweets I’ve generated through the tag for the book itself #ChartonMinster. If you’d like to see all the tweets I’ve been tweeting between my main Twitter @joriestory and the chat I host @ChocLitSaturday kindly click here.

Creating the tag to help champion the book as I cheer for the series has been a wicked delight! Now I wait to see if other readers will find the tag and continue to share their journey with this wonderfully written series! As you will also note, this year, whilst participating on #20BooksOfSummer, I’ve met a fellow reader whose as madly in love with #ChartonMinster as I am!

whilst supporting fellow book lovers who LOVE #ChartonMinster:

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, 1 July, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, England, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Green-Minded Publishers, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Multi-Generational Saga, Romance Fiction, Story in Diary-Style Format, Vulgarity in Literature

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