#SpooktasticReads | Book Review “The Highwayman’s Daughter” by Henriette Gyland #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 9 December, 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 Highwayman’s Daughter” 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 enjoy reading the Romantic Suspense style of Ms Gyland:

She continues to needle the psychological bits quite aptly through Blueprint for Love; as your never quite ahead of the plot, as she allows the layers she’s written into the story to take their time and turn to be revealled to the reader. She charms you with winning characters who are caught up in the thick of their own lives whilst finding that sometimes love is arriving rather gently as if you’ve become touched by butterfly wings.

Ms Gyland truly sharpened the poignancy of her suspenseful novella by finding the small ways in which to elevate the drama to where the reader and the characters could form an accord of solidarity. Walking alongside Hazel and Jonathan, it was hard to know which way the plot would turn and twist; all the better, because the best way to entertain me is to give me a plot I cannot easily unwind until the very last whisper of a breath in the ending chapter!

-quoted from my review of Blueprint for Love, a novella

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

 #SpooktasticReads | Book Review “The Highwayman’s Daughter” by Henriette Gyland #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Highwayman's Daughter

Is it a crime to steal a heart?

Hounslow, 1768. Jack Blythe, heir to the Earl of Lampton, is a man with great expectations. So when his carriage is held up by a masked woman, brandishing a pistol and dressed as a gentleman of the road, he wholly expects to have his purse stolen. And when he senses something strangely familiar about the lovely little bandit, Jack also expects to win his cousin’s wager by tracking her down first.

But as Jack and the highwaywoman enter into a swashbuckling game of cat and mouse, uncovering an intricate web of fiercely guarded family secrets, the last thing Jack expects to have stolen is his heart.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

Book Page on World Weaver Press

on 7th May, 2014

Pages: 336

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

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

This marks my 3rd reading of Ms Gyland:

Up Close by Henriette GylandBlueprint for Love by Henriette GylandThe Highwayman's Daughter by Henriette Gyland

There is one more novel I’ve not yet had the chance to read by Ms Gyland which is “The Elephant Girl” which is truly a thrilling suspense. I chose to read “The Highwayman’s Daughter” as it felt like the kind of Rom Suspense I’ve grown used to reading – esp as ‘Up Close’ was such a beloved reading of my mine a few years ago. Wherein ‘The Elephant Girl’ felt it might take more out of me at this point in time. However, one day, I’ll give it a whirl – as I truly love this author’s instincts for creating the stories which despite being romantic are definitively suspenseful!

Converse via: #HistRom & #HistoricalSuspense + #RomSusp + #ChocLit

About Henriette Gyland

Henriette lives in London but grew up in Northern Denmark and moved to England after she graduated from the University of Copenhagen. She has worked in the Danish civil service, for a travel agent, a consultancy company, in banking, hospital administration, and for a county court before setting herself up as a freelance translator and linguist.

Expecting her first child and feeling bored, she picked up the pen again, and when a writer friend encouraged her to join the Romantic Novelists’ Association, she began to pursue her writing in earnest. Her debut Up Close won the New Talent Award in 2011 from the Festival of Romance and a Commended from the Yeovil Literary Prize.

Novels: Up Close, The Elephant Girl, Blueprint for Love & The Highwayman’s Daughter

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

My Review of the highwayman’s daughter:

I’ve only read a few stories of the Highwaymen who robbed carriages to and fro their destinations which is what first intrigued me to read this particular story – however, finding a woman was behind the deceptions of the robberies was even more enticing! Ms Gyland makes a strong entrance with her Highwaywoman, taking the men off-guard and giving them something to stew over: how could a woman become an expert in horsemanship and the use of a sword as swift as any man yet leave men behind without ever having a chance to defend themselves? This is what rattled the mind of Jack most – of how he was bested by a woman who was not his equal for he knew she had skills he didn’t have himself. The best of which was the gull to carry off the crime never hinting at doubt in being able to do so and in the end, leaving him for a fool – cutting his hair and leaving him with only his family’s ring!

Jack’s Cousin Rupert on the other hand – he was the kind of cousin who would vex anyone – he was into everything quick – from making cash to drinking himself into the depths of his cups! It wasn’t a surprise his flash and posh lifestyle caught up with him this night. Even his personality wasn’t a match for the woman who proved she could handle any man she came across to rob blind. The two cousins of course, not being of the kind to take this kind of treatment lightly wagered against each other to identify the girl – this to me, felt it could partially be a fool’s folly to undertake – yet on the other side of it, what was most curious is what motivated Jack to accept the challenge! For he was intrigued by her directly! Smitten is more like it and this is what shocked him more than anything else – he actually was keenly invested in knowing who she was and why she was living this kind of life!

Finding out Cora was on the highways robbing people to help her ailing father was a bit of a surprise – although, I am unsure what I was expecting as to her ‘reasons’ for taking such chances with her life. Finding her a land labourer with an aversion for the aristocracy was also quite an interesting turn of events! Her father was smart enough to know what she was doing but it was Cora who was aghast for her determination moreso than her father’s will to turn her mind against it. In Cora’s eyes, if she couldn’t rob people to make enough to purchase her father’s medicine, then of what use was she? She had a lot of weight on her heart – the kind of weight all daughters face when their parents’ have major health crises to go through which is why you can empathise with her plight even if the means to rectify it were extremely dangerous!

As we look closer into their lives – Jack is attempting to step outside his father’s shadow – of being taken for his own merits rather than being seen as someone who does his father’s bidding. For his own path has been attached to his father’s business affairs, something which has not necessarily bored Jack but as his father’s son, he’s noticed his own voice is not as strongly respected in their community. Something I think all children can attest too – to be seen outside their parents and to be their own person in the world. The magistrate was a cunning fellow – he knew of Cora’s exploits but couldn’t pin her down whereas the facts in his keeping led Jack to hone in on a plausible place of hiding for the thief he was becoming bewitched to find! I couldn’t help smiling – the closer the truth of Cora’s deception came to be exposed the more you found Jack trying to befuddle the truth from emerging before he secured an audience with Cora!

Part of me wondered – if there was a way for the thieving to stop without having to bring Cora to the gallows? Of course, that would take some creative thought and maneuvering but evenso! It is an interesting theory – how do you make a thief disappear?

As their paths kept crossing with each other, the more I was caught by Cora’s discomfort – for all her confidence as a Highwaywoman, being out in towne as herself (as the locals know her) put her at a distinct disadvantage! She didn’t have as much confidence in these instances – she felt rather vulnerable and easily seen – despite the rise of defiance to believe she was doing right by her father, there was the threat of alarm tearing at her soul. Jack on the other hand was fool for folly – he was taken by Cora the farm labour for reasons he couldn’t understand but he was also smitten by the Highwaywoman of whom he didn’t realise was Cora! It was a muddled road these two were walking and seeing them both at ease and in discomfort from one another was entertaining – as it proved no matter how well you think you have your life sorted, someone will come along to surprise you!

The entanglements within this story grow ever more diverse – from the parentage questions on behalf of Cora’s own ancestral blood to the fierce illogical reasons why Rupert is spurned by vengeance to cause pain & heartache to a Highwaywoman who wasn’t the one he was irked into ire over nearly as much as he thought! In retrospect, Rupert’s greatest issue is his personal assessment of himself – he was limited by others’ perceptions of him, wherein if others did not see value in his countenance of being – he felt indifferent towards them. His confidence was definitely tied into other people’s perceptions thus yielding his weakness for violence to take precedent over logical approaches to adversities. He has a ruthless way about him – unbending and ungiving to where you would not want to cross him!

It was Rupert who was causing the most issue for Cora and Jack – they might have been able to settle things between them in an honourable way but with Rupert added to the mix, no one was safe! The brute had a fire within him which could not be quelled and there were moments where you wondered if his own actions might make him fall on his own sword – before he could effectively cause more angst in the lives of innocents he wished dead.

Ooh, my dear goodness! What an incredibly intricate back-story, Ms Gyland has stitched into Cora’s character – the layers which do not readily become known until you follow alongside Jack’s search for answers, not only provide you with a steady glimpse into how certain lives were at risk due to the blackened jealousy of other souls’ but you find the courage of strength in the unsuspecting heroes of the story!

I truly loved how Cora’s own identity was upturnt quite a bit but not overly so, because she knew in her own heart what was truth and what was ancestral lineage. It’s an interesting question to propose too – what identifies us? The family in which we are bourne or the family in which we are raised? The two are not always equally transparent nor entwined but what matters more is how does someone attach their feeling towards those in their immediate circle? Is love the strongest bond of all or is it blood?

On why I love the thrilling Romantic Suspense styling of Ms Gyland:

I love when you feel so transported into the past as if to think you’ve completely left your own reality – Ms Gyland has deftly written a Historical piece of Romantic Suspense within the pages of “The Highwayman’s Daughter” because not only are the events in sequence with the era being researched and re-envisioned but so too, are the expressions of phrase and the era-specific details – such as the kind of things on a person or the types of weapons being used. She truly has captured the fuller essence of this part of the 18th Century so wholly true to life, you feel as if the compass of time has pulled you backwards to where you could surely smell the hay being harvested in the fields alongside Cora!

Part of the allure for me as I’m reading the story as the nuanced undertones which reminded me of one of my favourite motion pictures: ‘Ever After’ starring Drew Barrymore & Dougray Scott. It was how a prince was smitten with whom he suspected was a peasant but turnt out to be of nobler blood which made the spin on Cinderella quite interesting! Plus, too, both characters had their own fair share of ‘pride vs prejudice’ in regards for each others’ stations and industries in life – the very mirrored obstacles facing Cora & Jack! I liked seeing this particular kind of tale re-spun through Ms Gyland’s eyes as it was a firm mark forward for how you can re-shift someone’s life in a different direction than the one they felt they were taking to live.

I amazed myself how well I read this novel, having come off a third migraine in under two months – I thought for sure I’d have to take it a bit slower, but the world in which I found myself alighted was such a delish entry of the re-imagined past, I found the hours melted off the clock as I was fully captured by Ms Gyland’s eye for this century! She even made the horrors of Newgate prison burst back into life whilst the humbled origins of Cora not only felt tangible and real but they were honestly written to give you the fuller measure of her anguished loss and pain. And, true to her nature, Ms Gyland did not let you quickly draw a conclusionary note about how this story would conclude! The added benefit was the Epilogue which was simply a wicked brilliant way of finishing the story because this is definitely one novel where you wanted a bit ‘more’ at the end to chew on!

I cannot wait to see what comes next from Ms Gyland’s pen! I’ll definitely be keeping attune to her Twitter feeds – as she was already hinting at writing her next novel!

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 (see also Review)

Before You by Kathryn Freeman (see also Review)

The Highwayman’s Daughter by Henriette Gyland

+ The Secret Kiss of Darkness (Book Two: Shadows of the Past series) by Christina Courtenay (see also Review)

Concluding this series of reviews ahead of New Year 2018 will be:

+ The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight (Book Four: Shadows of the Past series) by Christina Courtenay

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.

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

This review was read in conjunction with my focus on behalf of:

Spooktastic Fortnight banner created by Jorie in Canva.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: The Cover Art for “Up Close”, “Blueprint for Love” & “The Highwayman’s Daughter”; Author photograph of Henriette Gyland, 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) & the Spooktastic Fortnight banner. 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, 9 December, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 18th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Britian, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, England, Green-Minded Publishers, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Siblings, Suspense

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