Genre: Romantic Suspense

#SpooktasticReads | Book Review “The Secret Kiss of Darkness” (Book No. 2 of the Shadows of the Past series) by Christina Courtenay #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 25 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.

However, a few years ago, I won a bookaway for one of Ms Courtenay’s novels – happily surprised to have found a few extra titles tucked into the parcel, this was one of the stories I received. I believe this is the title I ‘won’, although I am forgetting which title I received was the bookaway book! I received a complimentary copy of “The Secret Kiss of Darkness” from the author Christina Courtenay without obligation to post a review. I have loved reading her stories in the past and this review is being shared for my own edification as much as I wanted to share my joys of reading it with my readers. Therefore, it’s an ‘addition’ to my regular reviews during #ChocLitSaturdays. 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 can assure you dear hearts, you get so attached to the 15th Century, between walking the vast estate and being caught up in the particulars of that century’s sociopolitical drama that by the time you ‘pull yourself’ forward back into the Manor to see how the research Melissa is doing into the ancestral records for her family & Jake’s family lineage, you nearly do not know which era you’d prefer to stay in a bit longer! I especially loved one scene where Melissa is being given the access to an ancient copy of the original will penned on behalf of Sibell; as she starts to read the words in Latin, her mind takes her physically back to Sibell’s time. She can sense and feel everything happening to Sibell at the time the will is being written. The visceral imagery and sensory connectedness was conveyed in such a convincing way that you could ascertain exactly what was happening in that ‘one single second’ of Sibell’s young life.

The heart of the story is etched inside the beguiling truths which separated lost loves through such a violent ending of their lives. In some ways, parts of Sibell & Roger’s story reminded me of Romeo & Juliet, fated in such a way as to not find happiness within their own lifetime; at least not one that would be forever lasting. An element of the backdrop is quite close to my own heart, is the pursuit of genealogical research! I loved watching Melissa find the tethering ties out of the records of the archivists and how the pursuit of research truly started to reveal much more than she could ever have hoped to find! The manner in which Sibell and Roger insert themselves into her reality is a bittersweet haunting any reader of psychological suspense will enjoy! Especially considering the way in which things end and resolve!

-quoted from my review of The Silent Touch of Shadows

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 weeks that have followed, I have found myself attached to each of my ‘regular’ chatters during the hour, and I consider Ms. Courtenay a bookish like-minded soul, as we tend to appreciate the same types of stories!

During [2017] #ChocLitSaturday started to meet bi-monthly (if possible) rather than the usual weekly meet-ups which the chat had engaged in originally. During the course of the year, Ms Courtenay was not oft able to attend and her presence was dearly missed.

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 and having previously read her time slip novels and series set in Japan (Kumashiro). 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.

 #SpooktasticReads | Book Review “The Secret Kiss of Darkness” (Book No. 2 of the Shadows of the Past series) by Christina Courtenay #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Secret Kiss of Darkness
by Christina Courtenay
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Must forbidden love end in heartbreak?

Kayla Sinclair knows she’s in big trouble when she almost bankrupts herself to buy a life-size portrait of a mysterious eighteenth century man at an auction.

Jago Kerswell, innkeeper and smuggler, knows there is danger in those stolen moments with Lady Eliza Marcombe, but he’ll take any risk to be with her.

Over two centuries separate Kayla and Jago, but, when Kayla’s jealous fiancé presents her with an ultimatum, and Jago and Eliza’s affair is tragically discovered, their lives become inextricably linked thanks to a gypsy’s spell.

Kayla finds herself on a quest that could heal the past, but what she cannot foresee is the danger in her own future.

Will Kayla find heartache or happiness?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781890677

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 Gilded Fan, The Jade Lioness

Also in this series: The Silent Touch of Shadows


Genres: Genre-bender, Ghost Story, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Reincarnation Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Time Slip and/or Time Shift


Published by ChocLitUK

on 15th March, 2014

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 299

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

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

Celebrating the Paranormal Romances of Christina Courtenay
& her “Shadows of the Past” series

Read the author’s thoughts on writing Time Slips via her Guest Post
(which focuses on this series)

The Silent Touch of Shadows began the series

The Soft Whisper of Dreams is the sequel to The Secret Kiss of Darkness

& The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight is the fourth in the series to release!

Converse via: #HistRom + #TimeSlip + #GhostStory + #PNR + #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. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 25 November, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 18th Century, 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bootleggers & Smugglers, Britian, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, England, Green-Minded Publishers, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Paranormal Romance, Rebels and Rogues, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Siblings, Suspense, Taboo Relationships & Romance, Vulgarity in Literature

Cover Reveal | A wicked #Suspense for #Christmas: “What Happens at Christmas” by Evonne Wareham!

Posted Tuesday, 17 October, 2017 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

If your a regular reader or frequent visitor of Jorie Loves A Story, you know I’ve been smitten with the novelists who publish their relationship-based Romances with ChocLitUK for a good two years now! I love being on the cusp of learning about a ‘new release’ whilst I remain patient to see if the Digital First new ChocLit novel will make it to a print release further down the road of it’s lifetime. I don’t mind the gaps between the ebooks and the print editions – as it’s always given me the pleasure of balancing my ‘next ChocLit reads’ to include both Front List and Back List offerings. Thus, I am enjoying being a member of the Reveal Team at ChocLit whilst it gives me a chance to introduce my readers to a variety of sub-genres within Romance I appreciate picking up to read!

In July, I was happy to share a new Cover and story by Ms Wareham, whilst today I am equally as excited to share with you the NEWS of her new Christmas story which is a different kind of story from the traditional set-up! I believe, this is partially what whet a thirst of curiosity for me to want to read it – as I typically settle into a pattern of reading Christmastide Roms or holiday dramas set round the holiday season I love so dearly much – finding myself wicked off through time and space – hobnobbing into different eras of time and travelling into different areas of the world, where the traditions change as readily as the scenery!

It isn’t oft I find myself cheering on a ‘Suspense’ set during Christmas – as I have the tendency of liking to see a happy resolution after a holiday reading — but this one! Ooh, my! The set-up alone is an intriguing one – but it’s also how it’s rounded to be a classic in the making by how people who attempt to cause change in their lives might end up with more than they expect in the end! I also liked the ‘elsewhere’ bits – where you find the lead stranded in a place he doesn’t know well and hasn’t a clue when he is going to re-enter his regular life.

When I was helping select the art for the cover, one thing I felt was important was the desolation and the ‘stranded’ concept of being quite a far distance away from people or places. The reason I liked this cover best is because it preludes to where you can be ‘placed’ against your will, with the closest person near you being the person who ‘trapped’ you without anything else to give you the hope your trying to hold onto of being ‘found’ and thereby set free.

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Posted Tuesday, 17 October, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight, ChocLitUK, Indie Author, Modern Day, Romance Fiction

Book Review | “Learning to Love” by Sheryl Browne #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 30 September, 2017 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

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 “Learning to Love” 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 have been looking forward to reading Sheryl Browne’s Contemporary Roms:

If you take a ganderment around my blog and the reviews I am featuring for Romance Fiction and Women’s Fiction – you’ll start to notice a bit of a threading of ‘hope filled stories’ where all is never quite lost and despite your obstacles, adversities and storm brewing difficult seas to navigate in life – there is a better tomorrow just about to surface on the horizon. I love stories of redemption inasmuch as stories of life affirming new possibilities. I love rooting out stories that make your heart lift and your spirit to feel a bit of an intact of joy as your reading about characters who are finding their way inside their lives – moment by moment, striving to arrive inside their tomorrow with a bit more confidence and a lot more affirmative conviction life is surely going to be alright.

I love finding families who are struggling to right what went wrong too, such as the family we are stepping inside to find occupying the story of Learning to Love. These are people whose spirits are on the lower end of the spectrum where hope feels like a far-off dream – not quite in reach and a bit difficult to fuse into their living reality. I like taking the healing journey with characters who aren’t quite sure how tomorrow is going to pan out but aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel either! Characters who have a bit of moxie or just a pure belief in themselves to overcome ‘whichever’ curveball life wants to hand them to face – to strengthen themselves through the journey.

I appreciate writers who are writing about non-traditional families, as there are so many routes towards parenthood as there is family – to root out the stories of everyday people and give back a bit of a shining light to guide a troubled ship into a safe harbour is a keen discovery! I am passionate about small towne fiction too! I love writers who write about community togetherness and the interactions of community members who have a genuine respect and care about everyone’s well-being – it’s the throwback to the way life always used to be, but isn’t quite as noticeable now.

Ms Browne never fails to ignite my curiosities about how her characters will live through their circumstances and find the will to right their sails towards a better tomorrow. She writes with a heart-centred focus on second changes and new beginnings. We all need stories like this to read, to re-bolster what we all know to be true – no matter how difficult our difficulties might seem, there is a way forward and through to an even keel of shared happiness with those we love most.

-quoted from my Cover Reveal for ‘Learning to Love’

I did want to take a moment to explain my interest in Ms Browne writings are for her Contemporary Romance novels rather than her gritty Romantic Crime novels – as she has a series of crime stories being published through ChocLit but for me personally they were a full step outside my comfort zone, which is why I haven’t been participating in the ChocStars Cover selections nor hosting the Reveals; sometimes a girl has to be honest with herself about her boundaries in Crime Fiction! However, I had previously learnt about her Contemporary Romances – not just through the Reveals themselves but through conversations during #ChocLitSaturday, where I had the joys of hearing about her writings and the stories which were going to be released or were released (depending on when the chat took place).

Having said this, you do get a proper sense of what you’d find in Ms Browne’s Death by ChocLit line of stories because there is an infusion of gut-stopping suspense hovering in the background of ‘Learning to Love’. So much so, you nearly forget how the story began and where you’ve been during it’s discourse – as there is an about-turn of truth, action and sequencing where I half laughed to myself realising the beauty of the story was more in the unexpected revelations than in the calm pacing increasing the climax!

I was definitely on the edge of my chair – curious about how this tangled web would unweave itself but moreso, curiously content to watch it all unfold – the horror of it all, watching as these characters I now felt so dearly attached too were once again jettisoned into a sieve of unknown trauma and emergency situations! I can see why those who like True Crime or Hard-Boiled Crime Dramas would find their niche in her Crime series – for me, there just outside my cuppa, but the suspense threaded into this novel was ‘just the right balance’ for me to be included! Your heart nearly stops a beat just awaiting the ‘ooh’ moment!

Therefore, as I am making my way through both ChocLit’s FrontList and BackList titles as I review for them – I wanted to select this particular title as my ‘first’ novel by Ms Browne due to the premise of the story and of how I felt this story would be a fitting read right now as Summer starts to fold into Autumn.

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

On my connection to the author:

I happily have had the pleasure of interacting with Ms Browne through #ChocLitSaturday the chat off/on for the past two years (or thereabouts). She is a delightful presence to have in the chats and I am thankful she found a niche where she felt comfortable chattering with fellow ChocLit authors, Romance novelists, book bloggers, readers, and other bookishly chatty spirits who alight on Saturdays!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her ahead of reading her 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. This is also true when I follow-up with them on future releases and celebrate the book birthdays that come after their initial publication.

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

Book Review | “Learning to Love” by Sheryl Browne #ChocLitSaturdaysLearning to Love
Subtitle: When is the right time to love again?
by Sheryl Browne
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely places…

Living in a small village like Hibberton, it’s expected that your neighbours help you in a time of need. But when Andrea Kelly’s house burns down, taking all her worldly possessions with it, it’s the distant and aloof Doctor David Adams – the person she would least expect – who opens his door not just to her, but to her three kids and slightly dotty elderly mother as well.

Andrea needs all the help she can get, dealing with the aftermath of the fire and the suspicious absence of her husband, Jonathan. But as she gets to know David and his troubled son, Jake, she begins to realise that maybe they need her help as much as she needs theirs…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

Book Page on World Weaver Press

ISBN: 9781781893524

Also by this author: The Rest of my Life Cover Reveal, Learning to Love Cover Reveal, Learning to Love

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Women's Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 6th April, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 320

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback & E-Book

The Rest of my Life by Sheryl BrowneLearning to Love by Sheryl Browne

Ms Browne’s ChocLit Contemporary Roms:

The Rest of my Life (see also Cover Reveal w/ Notes)

Learning to Love (see also Cover Reveal w/ Notes)

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance + #ChocLit

About Sheryl Browne

Sheryl Browne

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, poignant fiction. A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for Innovation in Romantic Fiction, Sheryl has seven books published with Safkhet Publishing.

Sheryl’s new contemporary romance novel was recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer. THE REST OF MY Life comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

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

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Posted Saturday, 30 September, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, A Father's Heart, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Domestic Violence, England, Family Drama, Firefighters & Paramedics, Fly in the Ointment, Green-Minded Publishers, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Loss of an unbourne child, Mental Health, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Small Towne Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Vulgarity in Literature, Widows & Widowers, Women's Fiction, Women's Health

#20BooksOfAutumn 2018 | #JorieReads twenty books which dance through genres and timescapes | *re-attempted Autumn, 2018!!

Posted Thursday, 29 June, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 10 Comments

#20BooksOfSummer reading challenge badge created by Jorie in Canva.

#20BooksOfSummer is hosted by 746 Books | @cathy746books

Read the Rules | Link your Book List | Follow the tag on Twitter

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

In JULY 2018, I decided to resume this challenge as #20BooksOfAutumn due to the insanity of electrical storms last Summer which took the JOY out of reading these lovelies. Due watch my Twitter @joriestory for updates and reading queues for which story is being read next!

I created a new badge for this redemptive attempt to read *20!* specific books for *20!* unique reasons of interest throughout one Season of the Year. The first review will be the wild card selection “Like There’s No Tomorrow” by Camille Eide (as it replaced the previously inclusive “Ignoring Gravity”) before the schedule I set forth on this challenge commences from how it was meant to begin – where the following stories will be featured back-to-back:

As Death Draws Near | Allie & Bea | Worthy

Join me on the Autumnal Equinox 2018 : 22nd of September until 21st December.

#20BooksOfAutumn banner made by Jorie in Canva.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

In the interest of the challenge, I should mention this is one reading challenge I have wanted to join in on the bookish fun since I first started blogging in [2013] similar to how I was most anxious to join #AustenInAugust when coincidentally, this blog went LIVE in August 2013. This year, I had projected to participate in a variety of reading challenges (see Challenge List 2017) however, I ought to have known it was going to be a ‘unique year’ once my Spring allergies took such a lockhold of me to where I was unable to read nor blog; much less tweet to my bookish heart’s desire.

I was wicked enthused finding out about the challenge (see this tweet) even if I wasn’t fully able to devout any attention to creating my own #20BooksOfSummer List until two days before the month of June concluded! Ironically or not, I might be late to the party, but I am wicked excited about my selections – which is why I am posting this List on my blog and Riffle.

DUE NOTE: all the books featured on my #20BooksOfSummer were books sent to me for review consideration at some point or another over the past few years. The exception being ‘Memory Box Secrets’ of which was a purchase of my own and ‘Allie and Bea’ which I received as a bookaway. Ergo for one reason or another all of these lovelies were TBR in the most humblest of ways: books ‘to be read’ and quite wickedly itching with curiosity by the reader whose about to broach into their folds!

I have been working earnestly towards erasing my backlogue (of reviews) for almost a full year and this challenge is helping me to become re-inspired to read after two seasons of personal angst. Let’s face it – JUNE was a wash-out. It barely blinked into view before it extinguished out of sight – and I barely posted anything during it’s duration. The one thing I did accomplish is finding a way to bring ART back into my life and to resume KNITTING giving myself a way to put some Zen into my downtime. Especially imperative as I was ill more than well this Spring. As the monsoon Summer rains start to begin now as we enter into JULY, I am most hopeful my seasonal allergies will start to relent and give me back the clarity of calm I’ve missed all SPRING.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The exact order of how I will be reading these stories is UNKNOWN except for the first three selections which will be the following: WORTHY | As Death Draws Near | Allie and Bea.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Interestingly enough, for those of you curious how we order things without thinking specifically about how we want to sort the books we’re reading, here is the organic nature of how the books were stacked as I sorted out which books would make into this challenge list:

  1. As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber | Synopsis
  2. Inconceivable by Tegan Wren | Synopsis
  3. Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica | Synopsis
  4. Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain | Synopsis ← re-reading
  5. Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan | Synopsis
  6. Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman | Synopsis
  7. Memory Box Secrets by Brenda S. Anderson | Synopsis
  8. Ignoring Gravity by Sandra Danby | Synopsis ← (see also Review) guest feature forthcoming!
  9. Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey | Synopsis
  10. The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling | Synopsis
  11. A Lesson in Hope by Philip Gulley | Synopsis
  12. True Believer by Nicholas Sparks | Synopsis
  13. A Saint in Graceland by Deborah Hining | Synopsis
  14. Just the Facts by Ellen Sherman | Synopsis
  15. Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde | Synopsis
  16. Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde | Synopsis
  17. Satisfaction by Andee Reilly | Synopsis
  18. Rooville by Julie Long | Synopsis
  19. The Last Letter by Kathleen Shoop | Synopsis
  20. Twain’s End by Lynn Cullen | Synopsis
  21. Like There’s No Tomorrow by Camille Eide | Synopsis | to replace Ignoring Gravity

| by the numbers |

2 rescheduled blog tour books | 2 LibraryThing books | 1 bookaway | 7 BookSparks Reading Challenge Books

7 postponed reads = 17 books erased from my Book Blogger’s Backlogue

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #20BooksOfSummer 2017
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Posted Thursday, 29 June, 2017 by jorielov in #20BooksOfSummer, #20BooksOfSummer, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, JLAS Update Post, Reading Challenges, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

Book Review | “The Girl in the Painting” (Book No.2 of the Rossetti Mysteries) by Kirsty Ferry #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 4 March, 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 Girl in the Painting” 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.

On re-reading the ending of ‘Some Veil Did Fall’:

The interesting bit about this particular Rom Suspense is how capturing it was to watch the lead character ‘travel’ back intuitively through the corridors of the past; whispers of windowing moments of another person’s lived life if you will. Becky becomes so attached to the mirroring connective tissues of the past, she has trouble recognising it’s not a life she once lived but the life of another woman: of Ella’s. The two women are fused together – through circumstances Becky has to unravell in order to understand and of whose paths slowly knit together in a chase towards tomorrow! What is underwrit into the narrative is this sense of urgency and purpose; of fine tuning the details to pull together the secrets but also, to understand what is lost and hidden through time itself. The ‘veil’ which falls is the curtain separating the present from the past; where all truths let out and bubble back to the surface – to be examined and understood.

There is a strong case presented for reincarnated lovers – where two souls who were entwined in the past are thus now re-acquainted with in the present; drawing to each other like magnets and finding each other unable to resist being together as a couple. The interesting bit is how the pieces fit together and how Ms Ferry presented her thesis on how this could happen with a strong viable cause for plausibility rather than mere fanciful thought towards that end. Ms Ferry also wrote about how losing trust and confidence in the partnership of relationships is something that is hard to re-build and re-affirm in the relationship which rebounds off a sour one. Coincidentally, this was part of the topic thread we discussed during our last #ChocLitSaturday held on 25th of February. When you lose the ability to trust the men your dating and the capacity you have as a woman to trust your instincts in how to balance the relationship bits with your own independence is a mark for trouble. Part of what held back Becky is recognising not every bloke she’d meet past Seb would be an ill-fated relationship; she had to take a leap of faith but part of her wasn’t quite ready to dive into the unknown; even if her heart was pulling her in that direction.

And of course, one thing that made this story so brilliantly effective of co-merging the past with the present is how Ella whispered into Becky’s mind the voice of reason; for Ella was connected to Becky on a heart-level of insight. It was almost like a form of telepathy except to say, Ella was long since dead and Becky was very much alive! The two shared a symbiotic connection all the same; where their feelings could be felt between them and where Ella was stronger about voicing her feelings than Becky felt she could herself. At the same time, Jon felt Adam moving round his person and attempting to connect with him as well. This was something that stood out to me originally and which I appreciated re-visiting; how Ms Ferry weaved the time threads into her story-line by making unconventional choices of how the ‘past’ and ‘present’ could cross-sect together.

In my re-visit, I was caught up in the emotions of Ella & Adam whilst walking alongside Jon and Becky; there is so much inside this first installment, where the pace is set, the ebbing of the past into the present is well-placed and the duality of the time-lines is well played by Ms Ferry! I felt exactly as I had originally – torn between Ella & Adam and Jon with Becky; as they each had so much to gain and so much to lose; their romance(s) were bittersweet at times and so very tender as well. Both men understood the women they loved in such a startling deep way, it nearly cut off their chances to be with them; as both Ella and Becky were at times very private individuals who did not always champion the men who understood them inside and out!

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

Book Review | “The Girl in the Painting” (Book No.2 of the Rossetti Mysteries) by Kirsty Ferry #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Girl in the Painting
Subtitle: Rossetti Mysteries
by Kirsty Ferry
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

What if you thought you knew a secret that could change history?

Whilst standing engrossed in her favourite Pre-Raphaelite painting – Millais’s Ophelia – Cori catches the eye of Tate gallery worker, Simon, who is immediately struck by her resemblance to the red-haired beauty in the famous artwork.

The attraction is mutual, but Cori has other things on her mind. She has recently acquired the diary of Daisy, a Victorian woman with a shocking secret. As Cori reads, it soon becomes apparent that Daisy will stop at nothing to be heard, even outside of the pages of her diary …

Will Simon stick around when life becomes increasingly spooky for Cori, as she moves ever closer to uncovering the truth about Daisy’s connection to the girl in her favourite painting?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781893609

Also by this author: Some Veil Did Fall

Also in this series: Some Veil Did Fall


Genres: Art & Art History, Ghost Story, Romantic Suspense, Thriller, Time Slip and/or Time Shift


Published by ChocLitUK

on 7th March, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 301

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Order of Sequence of Rossetti Mysteries:

Some Veil Did Fall by Kirsty FerryThe Girl in the Painting by Kirsty FerryThe Girl in the Photograph by Kirsty Ferry

Some Veil Did Fall | Book One | Read more on Author’s blog

The Girl in the Painting | Book Two (Synopsis) | Read more on Author’s blog

#PubDay for the third novel is *7th of March, 2017* which shares the release of the 2nd in print!

The Girl in the Photograph | Book Three | Read the Author’s Convo (via Ms Morton Gray’s blog)

whilst being sure to | Read more on the Author’s blog

Converse via: #RossettiMysteries + #ChocLit

About Kirsty Ferry

Kirsty Ferry

Kirsty lives in the North East of England with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 and has had articles and short stories published in Peoples Friend, The Weekly News, It’s Fate, Vintage Script, Ghost Voices and First Edition.

Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.
Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.
Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting.

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

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Posted Saturday, 4 March, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, 21st Century, Art, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Britian, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Deaf Culture in Fiction, England, Equality In Literature, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Gothic Romance, Green-Minded Publishers, Haunting & Ethereal, Indie Author, Modern British Author, Modern Day, Paranormal Romance, Parapsychological Suspense, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, the Victorian era, Time Slip