Genre: Time Slip and/or Time Shift

Book Review | “The Storm Sister” (Book No. 2 of the Seven Sisters series) by Lucinda Riley The second installment took me directly into the heart of why the sport of sailing is an enthralling passion full of courage and the healthy respect for the sea.

Posted Tuesday, 30 January, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Borrowed Book By: I’ve known about the Seven Sisters book series for quite awhile now, however, I haven’t had the proper chance to dig into the series – therefore, when I was approached by the publisher to considering being on the blog tour this February, I decided it was time to borrow the books via my local library! Although, as a member of the blog tour I was receiving the fourth release “The Pearl Sister” for my honest ruminations, I decided to back-read the entire series ahead of soaking into the newest installment – my personal preference is to read serial fiction in order of sequence; even if sometimes I find myself bungling the order, I love to see how the writer has set the stage for a series which becomes progressively engaging! To start at the beginning is the best way to see how they laid down the foundation for both the series, their writing style and how the characters first make their entrances into our lives.

I borrowed the second novel in the Seven Sisters series “The Storm Sister” in hardback edition from my local library. I was not obligated to post a review as I am doing so for my own edification as a reader who loves to share her readerly life. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On how I felt after I read the first installment of the series:

I mirrored the sentiments of Maia – of feeling especially blessed for not having the gift of foresight to know the events of our lives ahead of their arrival. In this particular case, she’s referring to the news of her father’s passing – reflectively, as I’ve loved, lost and buried most of my living family – I can understand her sentiments. Each time I had to ‘let go’ of someone quite dear to me, if I had knowing about when their lives were to end this chapter of their lives, I am unsure if it would have helped the healing process or made each day leading up until ‘the day’ that much worse – knowing ahead of time how absent the hours would feel after they had moved into the next life. We’re dearly attached to those in our immediate orbit – we feel deeply and like to encourage memories out of the hours we share together – despite the epic loss, the memories remain, but the absence of their presence is never fully resolved as we still find reasons why we miss them even decades lateron.

So very acutely accurate – when crises arise in our lives, there is a vacuum effect on our persons; we feel as if we’ve become sequestered outside our ‘ordinary life’ but rather than having a marked change in our appearance or any outward suggestion of a radically altered moment threading into our hours – everything appears as normal as it had before we realised how altered we felt. Grief and trauma run concurrently similar in how you approach them – if your someone who likes to tackle life’s unpredictably curious curve balls head-on, you muddle through at first, a bit loss for how to process it all and then, eventually, you make sense of it – before you accept whatever it is which has happened and continue to find the strength to move forward.

My heart felt full upon finishing this story,.. so much so, I worried I wouldn’t be able to properly articulate exactly why I loved reading it! Smiles. It isn’t just the breadth of what Ms Riley wrote into the background of the seven sisters nor the lush landscapes of Rio, Paris and Geneva – it is the soulfulness of her intuitive murmurings of the human heart and the spirit of the soul – to first find resonance out of grief, freedom from fear and the mirth of joy after years of self-doubting uncertainty. This is a story which seeks to find the truth about the choices we all make and the ways in which our minds have trouble realising the greatest gift we have to give ourselves is forgiveness.

-quoted from my review of The Seven Sisters

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comNotation on Cover Art: I have been wicked fascinated by the Northern Lights for most of my life; there is something about the colours within the phenom of the lights themselves and the ways in which they dance across the night’s sky which I think gives us the most joy to watch their displays of glory. There are some places on this world which feel wholly unique of their own making – where you can literally feel and sense the division of Heaven and Earth; of seeing the curvature of the Earth itself and observe a quiet awareness of how ancient the stars truly are by standing beneath a sky which reveals more of itself with each passing Season. I truly was captured by this artwork of how Ally seemed to be at peace with herself; perhaps for the first time?

Book Review | “The Storm Sister” (Book No. 2 of the Seven Sisters series) by Lucinda Riley The second installment took me directly into the heart of why the sport of sailing is an enthralling passion full of courage and the healthy respect for the sea.The Storm Sister
by Lucinda Riley
Source: Borrowed from local library

Synopsis on the Inside Flap:

Talented sailor Ally D' Apliese is in the midst of preparations for one of the world's most challenging yacht races when she receives news of her beloved father's death. Saying goodbye to the love of her life, a man her family knows nothing about, she rushes back to her childhood home, an enchanting chateau on the shores of Lake Geneva where she and her five sisters - each adopted as infants - were raised.

When new tragedy strikes on the high seas, pummeling Ally yet again with a terrible and unexpected loss, she turns her back on the water and instead follows her own North Star - an intriguing clue left by her father that leads her to Norway, with the promise of unmasking her origins. Surrounded by the majestic beauty of an unfamiliar homeland, Ally discovers the century-old story of a remarkable young woman named Anna Landvik, a talented singer with an astonishing link to compose Edvard Grieg and his celebrated musical accompaniment to Henrik Ibsen's iconic play Peer Gynt. But as All learns more about Anna, she also begins to question who her father, Pa Salt, really was - and why her seventh sister remains missing.

Lucinda Riley's captivating story brings together two resilient women, decades apart, weaving their stories into an unforgettable examination of family, love, and identity.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781476759920

Also by this author: The Seven Sisters, The Shadow Sister, The Pearl Sister, The Moon Sister

Also in this series: The Seven Sisters, The Shadow Sister, The Pearl Sister, The Moon Sister


Genres: Adoption & Foster Care, Biographical Fiction, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Epistolary | Letters & Correspondences, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, Women's Fiction


Published by Atria Books

on 22nd March, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 501

 Published By: Atria ()
{imprint of} Simon & Schuster (

I *love!* finding videos by authors who love to engage with readers about the inspiration behind their stories – this truly is a wonderful way to find yourself immersed even further into the settings as by catching small glimpses of the characters your reading about – you start to re-align what you’ve read with what they are seeing with their own eyes whilst feeling thankful the author took a very immersive path into the heart of this book series!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Seven Sisters Series: of whom are Maia, Ally (Alcyone), Star (Asterope), CeCe (Celeano), Tiggy (Taygete), Electra and Merope – the series is based on the mythology of the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades – interestingly enough, this is a constellation in close proximity to Orion*.

The Seven Sisters : Maia’s Story (Book One) | (see also Review)

The Storm Sister : Ally’s Story (Book Two)

The Shadow Sister : Star’s Story (Book Three) | Synopsis

The Pearl Sister : CeCe’s Story (Book Four) | Synopsis *forthcoming review 1st of February, 2018!

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook, Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #SevenSistersSeries

#whoispasalt ← I advise not visiting the second tag on Twitter as it tends to reveal a few things ahead of reading the stories themselves.

About Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley Photo Credit: Boris Breuer

Lucinda Riley is the #1 internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including Hothouse Flower and The Seven Sisters. Her books have sold more than ten million copies in over 30 languages. Lucinda divides her time between West Cork, Ireland, and Norfolk, England with her husband and four children.

Photo Credit: Boris Breuer

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 30 January, 2018 by jorielov in 19th Century, 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Adoption, Ancestry & Genealogy, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Films, Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fathers and Daughters, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, History, Immigrant Stories, Inheritance & Identity, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Library Find, Library Love, Life Shift, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Marriage of Convenience, Modern Day, Multi-Generational Saga, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Single Fathers, Sisterhood friendships, Time Shift, Unexpected Inheritance, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

Book Review | “The Seven Sisters” (Book No.1 of the Seven Sisters series) by Lucinda Riley A beautifully conceived novel about adoptive sisters, the search for identity and birth origin whilst happily cast against a back-drop of a time shifting series which moves seamlessly between the present and the past.

Posted Monday, 29 January, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Borrowed Book By: I’ve known about the Seven Sisters book series for quite awhile now, however, I haven’t had the proper chance to dig into the series – therefore, when I was approached by the publisher to considering being on the blog tour this February, I decided it was time to borrow the books via my local library! Although, as a member of the blog tour I was receiving the fourth release “The Pearl Sister” for my honest ruminations, I decided to back-read the entire series ahead of soaking into the newest installment – my personal preference is to read serial fiction in order of sequence; even if sometimes I find myself bungling the order, I love to see how the writer has set the stage for a series which becomes progressively engaging! To start at the beginning is the best way to see how they laid down the foundation for both the series, their writing style and how the characters first make their entrances into our lives.

I borrowed the first novel in the Seven Sisters series “The Seven Sisters” in hardback edition from my local library. I was not obligated to post a review as I am doing so for my own edification as a reader who loves to share her readerly life. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On what appealed to me about reading the Seven Sisters series:

When I realised this was going to be a story about adoptive sisters, I was instantly captured by the premise as I’m a Prospective Adoptive Mum – who wants to adopt a sibling group out of foster care in the future. However, prior to realising this key thread of the series dramatic arc and connection, what moved me more is how it was layered through History and dual time-lines of different characters who were in essence inter-connected in a way they did not even realise it at the time. This felt like quite an epic Historical series – where it would move in and out of the Contemporary world and the recent past; where histories of each of the sisters’ origins might become revealled in each new installment of the series.

The layers the author was assembling into the series was quite alluring as well – such as the overlay between Mythological Histories and the reasons why the Seven Sisters are such a key point of reference in both spoken histories and the mythologies we know have become beloved favourite stories passed down through different generations whilst the stories themselves are sometimes altered by who is telling them. Combine this with the clever mind of a writer who was able to visit the locales in which she is writing about – absorbing what was there to be seen and felt as she was writing the stories and I had a feeling this is one series which would give me the sensation of living ‘elsewhere’ quite wondrously until the final chapter of the final novel was read – as it’s not yet composed into life, I have a bit of a wait ahead of me!

Blessedly I’m a patient reader – I don’t mind waiting for the next sequences of a beloved series. I might get wicked excited and wish to read them sooner – but in the end, I respect the time needed to create them and I’d rather have patience than to have an installment feel it was rushed into existence. Somehow, I have stumbled across another writer who writes like I do – not something I generally find, but within the pages of Ms Riley’s #SevenSistersSeries, I see my own writing style mirrored within her own. It’s interesting to observe as this is the first time I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading her stories and I can tell I shall be spending a lot time seeking out her stories and wickedly delighted to see where she continues to take me,… one thing I can attest as being an inspiring segue from reading this novel is by watching adoptive stories on YT.

I took moments outside the text to watch videos of adoptive families being spotlighted on Ellen, Rachael Ray and other outlets celebrating the joys of being part of a blended family. I even learnt about an adoptive family of fourteen siblings – from various countries of origin – who surprised their Mum and Dad with a new living room as they wanted to give back part of the joy and happiness they had received throughout their lives to two selfless parents who never took time to focus on themselves because they had always put the children first (as it should be). I love stories which parlay into our own heart’s wishes and dreams whilst acknowledging the journey all children go through who are on a path of adoption. (see also the 14 adoptees who surprised their parents)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comNotation on Cover Art: I had agreed with the author in one of her YT videos about how the constellation cover art truly suited this first novel of her series, however, having read the hardcover American edition – I personally liked how the evidence left behind by Pa Salt was imprinted (similar to a watermark) behind the author’s name (the armillary sphere) whilst below the title, we can see Rio and the sculpture of Christ the Redeemer whilst Maia is looking away from Rio – it’s a clever way of positioning you into the setting of where Maia starts to understand who she is and why she is one of Pa Salt’s daughters.

Book Review | “The Seven Sisters” (Book No.1 of the Seven Sisters series) by Lucinda Riley A beautifully conceived novel about adoptive sisters, the search for identity and birth origin whilst happily cast against a back-drop of a time shifting series which moves seamlessly between the present and the past.The Seven Sisters
by Lucinda Riley
Source: Borrowed from local library

Synopsis on the Inside Flap:

Maia D' Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, "Atlantis" - a fabulous, secluded castle on the shores of Lake Geneva - having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as infants, has died. Each of the sisters is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage - a clue that takes Maia, the eldest, across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to piece together the story of her own life's beginnings.

Eighty years earlier, in the Rio of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio's newly wealthy father has aspirations for his beautiful daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find a sculptor capable of completing his vision. Izabela - passionate and longing to see the world - convinces her father to allow her to accompany the da Silva Costa family to Europe before she is married off to a man whom she hardly knows. In Paris, at Paul Landowski's studio and in the heady, vibrant cafes of Montparnasse, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again.

In this beguilling entrancing novel, Lucinda Riley brings vividly to life two extraordinary women whose intertwining stories, set decades apart are a reminder of the courage it takes to accept love when it is offered.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5990-6

Also by this author: The Storm Sister, The Shadow Sister, The Pearl Sister, The Moon Sister

Also in this series: The Storm Sister, The Shadow Sister, The Pearl Sister, The Moon Sister


Genres: Adoption & Foster Care, Biographical Fiction, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Epistolary | Letters & Correspondences, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, Women's Fiction


Published by Atria Books

on 5th May, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 480

 Published By: Atria ()
{imprint of} Simon & Schuster (

I *love!* finding videos by authors who love to engage with readers about the inspiration behind their stories – the more I learn about Ms Riley the more I see a lot of myself in her intuitive instincts for drawing out a story which she is as passionate about writing as I am to be reading it. I loved this video & thought you’d enjoy it, too.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Seven Sisters Series: of whom are Maia, Ally (Alcyone), Star (Asterope), CeCe (Celeano), Tiggy (Taygete), Electra and Merope – the series is based on the mythology of the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades – interestingly enough, this is a constellation in close proximity to Orion*.

The Seven Sisters : Maia’s Story (Book One)

The Storm Sister : Ally’s Story (Book Two) | Synopsis

The Shadow Sister : Star’s Story (Book Three) | Synopsis

The Pearl Sister : CeCe’s Story (Book Four) | Synopsis *forthcoming review 1st of February, 2018!

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook, Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #SevenSistersSeries

#whoispasalt ← I advise not visiting the second tag on Twitter as it tends to reveal a few things ahead of reading the stories themselves.

*NOTE: My favourite constellation since I was young girl who lived at her Science Center, whilst finding the awe and wonder of studying a wide diversity of the Sciences through interactive play, experiments and lively engaging Summer camps – I had a focus of interest on Cosmology and Astronomy which had a healthy appreciation for the constellations and the intriguing stories behind how they were named and the lives ‘they’ once lived. All of this is a segue of interest which also parlays into my fascination and appreciation of the Quantum Realms and AstroPhysics. I hadn’t realised the connection to Orion until I opened The Seven Sisters; after which I immediately smiled – this series was meant to be read by me. The girl who looks for Orion every Autumn and wickedly smiles musefully at him throughout Winter and Spring. Geographically speaking, he’s not even meant to be seen outside one season a year yet I find him more frequently than most – a constant presence overhead and a comforting sight at that!

About Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley Photo Credit: Boris Breuer

Lucinda Riley is the #1 internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including Hothouse Flower and The Seven Sisters. Her books have sold more than ten million copies in over 30 languages. Lucinda divides her time between West Cork, Ireland, and Norfolk, England with her husband and four children.

Photo Credit: Boris Breuer

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 29 January, 2018 by jorielov in #SatBookChat, 20th Century, 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Adoption, Ancestry & Genealogy, Art, Art History, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Films, Brazil, Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fathers and Daughters, Genre-bender, Heitor da Silva Costa, Historical Fiction, History, Immigrant Stories, Inheritance & Identity, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Library Find, Library Love, Life Shift, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Marriage of Convenience, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Multi-Generational Saga, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Sculpture, Single Fathers, Sisterhood friendships, the Roaring Twenties, Time Shift, Unexpected Inheritance, Women's Fiction, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Working with Clay

Blog Book Tour | “House on the Forgotten Coast” by Ruth Coe Chambers #JorieReads her latest entry in #MagicalRealism and finds a spell-binding #Suspense!

Posted Saturday, 13 January, 2018 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting for Poetic Book Tours for a few years now, where I am finding myself encouraged to seek out collections of poetry or incredible fiction being published through Small Trade publishers and presses. I have an Indie spirit and mentality as a writer and I appreciate finding authors who are writing creative works through Indie resources as I find Indies have a special spirit about them. It is a joy to work with Poetic Book Tours for their resilience in seeking out voices in Literature which others might overlook and thereby, increasing my own awareness of these beautiful lyrical voices in the craft.

I have a special note of gratitude to the publicist who works for the publisher of this novel because I am wicked excited to be a part of this blog tour! As soon as I read the premise of the story, I felt smitten and intrigued. I received a complimentary copy of “House on the Forgotten Coast” direct from the publicist in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I was smitten to read this novel of #MagicalRealism #Suspense:

As soon as I returnt the request to read this novel on the blog tour, there was something quite attractive about the story-line. I remember, fearing only how Suspenseful it might be, if it would push me outside my comfort zones or rather, if it would be more horrific than I could handle – but my first instincts told me this was a Psychological Suspense story which would broker into elements I love reading within Magical Realism, Cosy Horror and the paranormal – of where time spilts into a veiled reality between here and there and back again.

I also remember being wholly excited to spend time in this narrative,… the story spoke to me dear hearts, and I hadn’t fully understood why until I read the story itself. It is everything I had hoped it would be and a bit more,… the author bewitches you with her narrative, by giving you characters you feel attached to at first meeting and with a back-story which stretches from one century into ours… it is a story which pulls into your heart, gives you a pensive repose and doesn’t fully leave you,…

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “House on the Forgotten Coast” by Ruth Coe Chambers #JorieReads her latest entry in #MagicalRealism and finds a spell-binding #Suspense!House on the Forgotten Coast
by Ruth Coe Chambers
Source: Publicist via Poetic Book Tours

Like a monarch surveying her domain, the house has stood for over a hundred years in the fishing village of Apalachicola on Florida’s northwest coast. She has known life. She has known passionate love. She has known brutal death. But she has guarded her secrets well . . .

Then eighteen-year-old Elise Foster and her parents arrive from Atlanta in their silver Jaguar, bringing with them their own secrets and desires. Seeking friendship in their new community, they find instead that the townspeople resent their intrusion. But this intrusion on the house’s privacy also provides a pathway for the past and the present to merge—and for the truth behind an unsolved murder to finally be brought to light. As you strive to solve the mystery, you and the Fosters are forced to address two critical questions: What is real? What is delusion?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781631523007

Genres: Genre-bender, Gothic Literature, Historical Thriller Suspense, Literary Fiction, Magical Realism, Southern Gothic, Suspense, Thriller, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, Women's Fiction


Published by She Writes Press

on 19th September, 2017

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 252

Published By:She Writes Press (@shewritespress)
originated from She Writes (@shewritesdotcom)
an imprint of Spark Points Studio LLC GoSparkPoint (@GoSparkPoint)
& BookSparks(@BookSparks)

Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #MagicalRealism + #Suspense

About Ruth Coe Chambers

Ruth Coe Chambers

Ruth Coe Chambers takes pride in her Florida panhandle roots and her hometown of Port St. Joe has inspired much of her writing.

She is indebted to the creative writing classes at the University of South Florida where she found her “voice” and began writing literary fiction. Listed in the Who’s Who of American Women. She has recently republished one novel, and published it’s sequel, and has written two award-winning plays. She is currently working on the third novel in her Bay Harbor Trilogy. She has two daughters and lives with her husband and one very spoiled Cairn terrier in Neptune Beach, Florida.
Her two earlier novels include The Chinaberry Album and Heat Lightening.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 13 January, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, 21st Century, Art, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cosy Horror, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Gothic Romance, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Magical Realism, Mediums & Clairvoyants, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Paranormal Romance, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Poetic Book Tours, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Psychological Suspense, Realistic Fiction, Reincarnation, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Southern Gothic, Supernatural Fiction, Taboo Relationships & Romance, Unrequited Eternal Love, Village Life, Vulgarity in Literature, Walking & Hiking Trails

#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

Find on Book Browse

Book Page on World Weaver Press

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 & Reviewer, 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