#ChocLitSaturdays | Book Review “Emma: There’s No Turning Back” (Book No. 2 of Emma series) by Linda Mitchelmore

Posted Saturday, 18 November, 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 “Emma: There’s No Turning Back” 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 I am enjoying reading this series:

I was so happily caught up in the tides of this novel; of how it’s told and of how it explored so many different layers of sociological behaviour. You have a lot of joy greeting you in this novel – the setting is lush and happily resplendent of living against the salt of the sea whilst the characters are fully alive and fleshed out to walk straight off the inked pages. You feel the emotional depths of Emma’s pain and the well of uncertainty rising inside Seth intermixed with the duties Matthew is entrusted to hide from public view. It’s a dramatic suspense – full of heart and the choices everyone must make to live a life of honour or deceit.

I simply hope as I progress through the series, I shall be greeted by more of what I found inside ‘To Turn Full Circle’ where the hope of tomorrow lingers on the unspoken prayers of today. Where people can find ways to turn their life around even if their circumstances become shattered overnight and where second chances are not too hard fought to be acquired. I look forward to seeing where Ms Mitchelmore takes the Emma series and of seeing how Emma continues to mature into her skin to be the Emma we all can see in the teenage version of herself. This was such a lovely novel to devour because it’s of a tender romance and of a crossroads of one young woman’s life which will determine the rest of her days.

-quoted from my review of To Turn Full Circle

When I first read the first installment of this series, I was captured by how Michelmore set the pacing of the novel to progress forward through Emma’s journey. It is hard to believe nearly a year has transpired since I first read To Turn Full Circle – I still feel close to where I left Emma. I was dearly curious how Emma would make her transitions and how in the end, Emma might find a bit more happiness in her life than she had previously felt untouched by. It’s a captivating drama – with a strong heroine and a beautiful backdrop of scenery.

Initially, I had intended to confine my readings of this over a weekend, as I started reading this a week ago (11th November) – however, I’ve had a recent bout of illness – stemming out of my last migraine (during the week of Halloween), which has not allowed me the regular focus I enjoy whilst reading. Sometimes, I find, I just need a bit more time to recover after feeling unwell – thereby, my readings a week ago were a bit hit or miss – I was focusing on three stories (which I had tweeted) trying to find my feet again in literature. Thereby, I am stretching what I began on one weekend into a second week which blessedly I am hopeful will resolve the angst’s of the past few weeks where my health has been a bit on a downturn. I know there are others who are struggling with illnesses right now, too, as it’s that particular time of the year where illness can grab a hold of you quite firmly. I’ve also noticed I’ve been trying to fend off a second migraine – sometimes, health-wise you have a few more woes than you feel you can muddle through!

I will be focusing on quite a few ChocLit novels after my readings of Emma: There’s No Turning Back – as I am finally able to read the trifecta of Spooktastic Reads I had originally planned to read the last week of October when my migraine first arrived: The Secret Kiss of Darkness (Friday), The Highwayman’s Daughter (#ChocLitSaturdays) and The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight (Sunday). This week, is surely going to be a wicked sweet one as I curl up inside ChocLit novels which always have a way of giving me a lot of joy to consume!

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

 #ChocLitSaturdays | Book Review “Emma: There’s No Turning Back” (Book No. 2 of Emma series) by Linda MitchelmoreEmma
Subtitle: There's No Turning Back

It isn’t easy to look forward when the past is so close behind you

Life hasn’t always been kind to Emma Le Goff. She has had her fair share of hardship and now finally, her life appears to be looking up. She and her childhood sweetheart, Seth Jago, are set to marry and both believe that an idyllic existence, free from heartache, awaits them.

However, when they discover that the past is more difficult to forget than they could have ever imagined, Emma continues to be haunted by the mysterious circumstances surrounding her family, and Seth is hounded by a jealous ex-lover set on revenge.

Seth plans for their escape to Canada, but when the charismatic Matthew Caunter returns to Devon, Emma finds herself uncertain of whether a move to Canada is really what she wants…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

Book Page on World Weaver Press

ISBN: 978-1781890936

on 1st March, 2014

Pages: 356

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook, Large Print & E-Book

The Emma Series:

Book One: To Turn Full Circle (see also Review)

Book Two: Emma: There’s No Turning Back

Book Three: Emma and her Daughter (Synopsis)

Converse via: #HistRom + #ChocLit

About Linda Mitchelmore

Linda Mitchelmore

Linda has had over two hundred short stories published worldwide. She has also won many short story writing competitions – Woman’s Own, Woman & Home and Writespace to name but three. In 2004, Linda was awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary by the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and has a story in their 50th Anniversary Anthology. Linda also won Short Story Radio Romance Prize 2010. Having started her writing career doing a short story course with Writing Magazine, she has now come full circle and is a preliminary judge for their short story competitions. Linda lives in Devon and is married with two grown-up children.

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

My Review of emma: there’s no turning back:

Some might view Emma capriciously in her refusal to accept the vicar’s unfortunate assessment of her & Seth’s plea for marriage – however, I felt the vicar was quite staunchly prejudicial on their behalf! How he could use circumstances outside both of their controls as a firm basis for denying the love they shared between them is quite a distressing pickle to be had! You feel for Emma & Seth instantly – the two of them had situations arise in their lives which put them at an immediate disadvantage and yet, here they were, attempting to right their own stars to a path of their own choosing – finding only more obstacles need to be overcome before happiness can alight on their shoulders.

Finding Emma has had such a winning compliment of arms in Seth is heart-warming – especially considering how she was pushed out of regular society and given not a whit or whim of thought from the moment she first arrived here. She had to find courage and strength to overcome fierce obstacles – even though, years later, as we find her on the heels of matrimony, more strife must fall by her feet. It doesn’t quite seem right, really, but given the closed-mindedness of some, you can understand the heartache she was facing. Sometimes there is no turning back the mind of someone who has already set their opinion in stone on your behalf.

By the time Mrs Drew made her entrance, I was half as tickled as Emma for seeing how she had pulled off the illusion of all illusions – presenting a ‘wedding’ without a ceremony and all that! Emma was a crafty girl that’s for sure – not that I blamed her for how she went about sealing her destiny with Seth; in an age which worked against you, sometimes it took unconventional resolutions to resolve what forestalled your progress. In this, Mrs Drew was a cheeky observer – without even realising she was skirting round the edges of the truth Emma was not inclined to diverge to her anytime soon! It is the heart of a housekeeper though who tries to see the best of you, encourage your joys and be someone who can rally behind you even if they think your up to a few tricks of your own which may or may not be confirmed lateron. She has the kind of presence you’d hope for in a housekeeper – mindful of her place, but wicked happy to be in the company of someone she believes in like Emma. In some ways, you could see Mrs Drew had a firm attachment to Emma like an elder Aunt or a surrogate Mum.

Oh, dear my! As far as wrinklements go – Seth has a doozy of one! I cannot even imagine what was running through that young man’s head when he took it upon himself so very soon after creating a life with Emma to think betrayal by omission was the best course of action to take when Caroline re-appeared in his life? Emma, for her part, is completely in the dark about his illicit affairs whilst they were apart – however, with this on the fringes of being discovered and Seth’s errant brother Miles in the wings ready to pounce back into their lives – you have to wonder, at which point in time is Emma going to feel as if the very weight of ill-wrought luck will destroy her chances at being happy? She has drawn the shorter straw in life – of having to overcome one adversity after another, all without the certainty of how things will work out – only to find herself in more pickles than she can preserve.

On Emma’s side of the ledger – her baking skills are what set her apart, as she has the makings of a self-made woman in training – she takes life head-on, not willing to compromise anything if she can overcome each blight as it befalls her – giving her a resolute affirmation for believing in herself. She doesn’t suspect anything ill from Seth – though how could she? – bracing you for when she finally learns of his follies. I am uncertain how strong their union is now – as one thing they always had was the trust between them; two against the world, but what now, will come if trust is no longer part of their bond? Seth is such a fool! As soon as he met with Caroline he should have talked things out with Emma! Why he felt he could cover this over with misdirected responses to Emma’s enquiries that day he returnt is beyond me – best to get these kinds of secrets out in the open, than to have them come back round like an ill-flung boomerang!

Seeing Seth squirm a bit when everything was let out in the open with Emma felt fitting – what was hard to witness though is how this was wrecking Emma’s state of mind! Blessed she had Mrs Drew to turn too in times of need, angst and sorrow – for hers was an ear of not only much needed truths but with a kindness a mother could give if Emma had still had hers alive. I was thankful Mrs Drew was there for Emma – she needed someone to bolster her against life’s storms. Even with the re-appearance of dear Ruby (her one and only friend) was a balm in the turbulence; as Emma was not yet prepared for how her life was about to change. You could sense a growing forbearance of events – of things which could cast a pallor on her happiness with Seth.

As Emma continued on her path towards running a successful bakery, her sudden twist of fate entrance into motherhood was keeping her taxed a bit round the edges for energy & stamina. She took a shine to young Fleur, even if her heart felt betrayed – the flashbacks of her life as we knew it (from the pages of “To Turn Full Circle”) were stronger than her vexation with Seth over the manners in which he had fathered a child. She could identify with Fleur; of being unwanted, unloved and left out in the world without a bearing of knowledge where to land to find comfort and home. Although, Fleur was loved by Seth, it’s her mother whose the true villain in the story; the woman makes you shiver by how cold-hearted she truly is! Seeing Emma blossom alive through expanding her bakery and by being a Step-Mama to Fleur is deepening her journey as a woman; she has a keen mind and eye on society, politics (as the Woman’s Suffragette movement is getting into full force) and business affairs – she is on the forefront of change where women could do more than they could in the recent past. She was a front-runner for change but also for the independence needed to make it during the turning of the 20th Century.

There is a quiet stirring in Emma’s heart – of finding her wings to safety, not only in her marriage but in life; of not feeling as if each bend round a turn in the road would prove to be more jarring the moments which alighted previously; for hers was a life full of strife, much more than your average. Emma had fought hard to overcome so very much, it nearly felt unfair she had to endure more – except to say, once a secreted lie is given freedom to reign, sometimes, one lie can beset another lie which ignites a third! If Emma could unravel the lies which she had spoken to save herself, maybe parts of what was afflicting her would start to dissipate a bit as she’d be on a bit more solid ground.

You can tell Seth loves Emma dearly but it’s his trademark way of going about everything backwards which makes him a bit frustrating – he keeps a few of his own secrets from Emma, always thinking if he keeps her in the dark, he’ll be saving her in the end; but why he feels this way when he’s already proved this is the wrong way round it all, is beyond me! For all the goodness in him, he is still slightly too impulsively motivated to act when he should be talking things over with Emma; if only to have a sounding board and sort out what they ought to be doing ‘together’ rather than going through it all quite blind to each other.

What is so very keen about this series, is the stitching’s of life – of how, despite the obstacles they face, Emma and Seth live such full lives. Ms Mitchelmore doesn’t hasten their resolutions nor make light of their strife’s; instead, you get to settle into their lives, whilst observing how they work through what comes their way. Their afflictions are a bit harder to circumvent than most; especially as there are those who try to work their way against them each chance they can. There are new dangers alighting out of nowhere for them to work through too – such as what happened to Emma and Fleur.

The best part of the series though, is how continuously it’s been maintained – there is never a moment you wish something had been re-bridged into the next installment; as all loose ends are eventually captured and settled. There are still some ominous moments lingering round the edges – of where there are situations still kept at bay from being resolved; all of which are realistically true of how their related in the story-line. You truly feel as if you’ve become a part of Emma’s life – watching her grow and watching over her as you hope her future is merrier than her past.

On the historical writing style of linda mitchelmore:

Ms Mitchelmore dips back into Emma’s life on such an auspicious moment of arrival – as it sets into motion a cleverly spun series of events, where Emma & Seth concoct a notion of how to live as man and wife. We’re re-alighted on their path as readily as if time and distance hadn’t separated us between installments in this lovely trilogy. There is a warmth to the series – of watching Emma find her own strength and the will to succeed even if society continues to push her down a peg or two, because she doesn’t have things readily sort out – she has to find a way to make things work, even if answers are scarce.

Mitchelmore did a great job of grounding us in the time-line of the story – including placing a thought about Titanic as a method of choice for travel. The character in question who was meant to sail isn’t someone Emma or Seth would miss, but it’s also a fate we all know of to being truly a horrible end to one’s life; considering how many did who were sailing 3rd Class. It fits the story well though – of having this ship a part of the backdrop, as the seas were controlling a lot of their lifestyles; from the commerce of fishing & the exchanges of trade; whilst ships were also one of the key mainstays of travel outside of trains. Mitchelmore also had a keen sense of setting the background with ominous suspense, giving you a slight chill as you read the story, as you weren’t entirely sure how it would all unfold – would it be dearly worse than you feared?

There are some hearty undertones in this installment of the series – including Postpartum Depression (which is why Fleur and Emma were in harm’s way by another woman) – where you get a fuller picture of where medical insight had been during the time-line of the series. In regards to this incident, the medical doctor Emma knew best was the one who understood the most out of what had happened. There are also moments where Dementia (affecting Seth’s best friend’s Mum) and a systematic attack of disease will take one of my favourite characters –  all of which, strike a balance between the realism of the day and the continuity of the series.

I even liked how Mitchelmore brought back Matthew – of giving Emma something to consider about her heart and the ways in which her love fuelled her romances. It’s a question of choosing whom you were meant to be with and of whom your heart desired. Not always an easy answer to give nor a ready resolution if your conflicted; I appreciated seeing how Mitchelmore granted Emma the time to re-consider her options but also, the choices she’s been making thus far along. It speaks to the youth of Emma but also, the growing maturity she’s embraced.

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

What I hope next for the series:

I am looking forward to watching Fleur mature into her own person – of being able to share her personality and insights of her own character, as she will be older in the third installment of the series. Part of me hopes Emma’s life will find more resolutions and longer periods of happiness than she has previously found – she’s had a hard life by most accounts, but in other ways, she has proven you can rise out of your circumstances and find a route into a future you selected for yourself. I am looking forward to finding out how this series ends – especially, in regards to Fleur, if she will understand all the choices which were made on her behalf whilst she was a baby; barely old enough to understand the unsettling things happening around her and why she was re-placed into a new home with her 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

to see which stories I fancy to devour next!

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

My ChocLit reads of Autumn:

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.

I wanted to select a few Contemporaries to explore as well as select a Suspenseful story to kick-off my annual focus on Psychological Suspense whilst digging back into a series I began earlier which I loved reading!

Learning to Love by Sheryl Browne (see also Review)

Emma There’s No Turning Back (Book Two of the Emma series) by Linda Mitchelmore

Before You by Kathryn Freeman (see also Review)

The Highwayman’s Daughter by Henriette Gyland

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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: Cover art of  “To Turn Full Circle”, “Emma: There’s No Turning Back” and “Emma and Her Daughter”; Author photograph of Linda Mitchelmore, Author Biography, Book Synopsis and ChocLit Reviewer badge were provided by ChocLitUK and were used by permission. 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 love sharing my reading life

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, 18 November, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bootleggers & Smugglers, Britian, British Literature, Brothers and Sisters, Chefs and Sous Chefs, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Cookery, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Domestic Violence, England, Green-Minded Publishers, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Siblings, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Suspense, the Nineteen Hundreds

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