Tag: Margaret James

Cover Reveal | NEW #ChocLit #HistFic the SIXTH #ChartonMinster novel: “Girl in Red Velvet” by Margaret James

Posted Wednesday, 12 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 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!

Charton Minster : a series, a towne and a house

I love finding an author like Ms James who can curate such an authentic and historic setting which speaks to you in each of the volumes of it’s continuous story-line. #ChartonMinster for me is a threading of time set first during a backdrop of war-time strife and adverse circumstances befalling the Denham family whilst curating this incredible arc of characters and journeys of self-discovery per each character the lens of each novel is turnt to highlight to draw you further into what makes #ChartonMinster such a compelling series to be a part of through the two trilogies!

Rose Courtenay is being tested about her loyalty to her heart and the duties endowed her by being her parent’s daughter – a child raised at a certain level of station where the divides between classes is dearly outlined for her each time she tries to assert her voice. Never more true than a proposal that is not on the merits of love or romance, but because it ‘sounds good on paper’ to unite two people whose finances and families can unite together as one. The contriteness of this choice is not lost on Rose, but how she wars with her mind over her choices is what champions James as a writer of a war drama bent on highlighting a strong female lead who has her own story to share.

Denham went off to war and Rose found herself conscripted by her choice into a hospital ward as a volunteer nurse – a place where she fully came into her own and matured. She made a bit of a muck of things at first, stumbling her way through her rounds and not nearly as apt at doing routine requests as other young nurses, but somehow through perseverance she managed. In the midst of the hospital wards, Rose was given the rare opportunity to try her hand at living and serving others with a freedom she never had in her own life to give.

-quoted from my review of The Silver Locket

One common thread of the saga is the pursuit of independence, freedom of choice and the pursuit to fully embrace who you are whilst your growing into your own skin. Each of the women (and men!) of the series is struggling through growing pains and life situations which try their faith, patience and personal belief in alighting on a better path in their futures. They each have to embrace risk, chance and the hope of tomorrow – sometimes without even realising how things will turn round but to gather strength out of the Hope of what tomorrow might bring. This is something I love about the series – each of the characters being focused on in turn have something to prove and something to accomplish. They are finding themselves – whilst the world isn’t quite on solid ground but they have the gumption to endeavour a better future than the one they can see in the present.

Charton Minster : an estate, a towne and a legacy:

What truly is fascinating behind the curtain of events, is how Ms James roots us to the spot surrounding the emotional legacy behind Charton Minster; which is both an estate, a towne and a legacy of souls. There is a lot of deeply felt emotional baggage pertaining to the residents (both past and present) but it’s more than mere lineage and ancestral heirs that bespeak of the anguish that is a bit of a shroud around the estate itself, as the whispered rumours etch well into the towne as well. It’s an intriguing look at how society can chose to judge and take sides against issues they may or may not even truly understand; but they do so because they feel they have the right to judge people who live in their towne. In this one regard, Ms James paints the grim picture well for how small towne gossip and misunderstandings can abound as swiftly as one can add scuttlebutt to the gossip-mills!

It almost felt like the towne had trouble moving forward because the family whose ancestral heritage was once respected in residence at Charton Minster, had long since vacated it’s grounds. The new owner was not worthy of it’s holding, as his entire life was practically a sham but it’s also how he lived his life that truly was distasteful. Further interesting was watching how choices, judgments and the fine line of tolerance all started to intermix affecting the lives of those who would come up next in the generations after all the heartache first materalised.

-quoted from my review of The Golden Chain

There is more to this series than the characters – there is the history of the town inasmuch as the history of the house – #ChartonMinster is self-evolving as it moves forward through time. Sometimes things stay the same and yet, nothing is truly ever the same – the setting and the evocative way in which the series becomes transformative through time proves how temporal time truly is for all of us. We have to rise through our challenges, accept our tribulations and greet life with a cheery hope of joy for what it could bring to us in unexpected moments which grant us the best happiness of our lives.

This is a reader’s delight in finding a series you can allow your heart to move from one set of shoes to another, as you live the varied lives of the series’ characters who will deepen your appreciation for reading Historicals but also allow you the pleasure of alighting through a well-conceived portal of time.

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

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

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

-quoted from my review of The Penny Bangle

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Posted Wednesday, 12 April, 2017 by jorielov in 20th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, ChocLitUK, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Multi-Generational Saga, The Sixties

Book Review | “The Penny Bangle” (Charton Minster No.3) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 25 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 Penny Bangle” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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

Why Jorie Loves reading the Charton Minster series:

This is such a heart-warming series – this section of the saga was very family-centred, about how you can grow closer through adversity and how being industriously hopeful towards your circumstances can lead to new tomorrows. The parents and the children alike never wavered in hope for their futures, whilst sorting out small ways to contribute to building a tomorrow they could all be proud to claim as a hard-won victory over the events that led to their financial insecurity after difficult situations affected their securities. I especially enjoyed seeing how returning to land and farm, built a strength of hearth and home; whilst giving new possibilities of how to self-sustain yourself along the way. Love can move mountains and in this case, the love of family is a bond made of sturdy fibre that can weather any storm that threatens to destroy them.

One of the best methods of delivering a sequel to a series in-progress for me is knitting up the characters’ story-lines whilst expanding on the supporting cast and the other curious sorts who take up residence in the background of where the central leads live and take our hearts for a walkabout. This is exactly what Ms James has done with the Charton Minster series, as she dropped us back inside the story soon after the close of the first novel – wells, time shifted forward a small bit, but evenso, Rose and Alex were right as rain against the page; just as I had remembered them. They were still two against the world, living their lives despite the adverse strife they ebbed in and out of, they were content and happy because they chose to be together.

Boiling behind the romance between Rose & Alex is a deeper scar that hasn’t healed through absence nor of the passage of time – seeing what had become of Charton Minster and the seething anger of who took up residence inside the ancient estate was difficult as one would hope time could heal even the most difficult of hearts. I applauded Ms James for keeping the continuity moving forward whilst owning the truths of difficult characters who truly haven’t quite learned how best to live. Throughout this installment, the flaws which gave the characters the most depth became the connective threads of where personal growth matured into such a warm new beginning.

I truly liked seeing how Rose & Alex alongside their children continued to ban together as a family, through thick and thin; rights and wrongs and all the lovely moments in-between. They were a true blue family, letting each other grow and make mistakes, but giving each other the warmth of encouragement only given out of the pureness of unconditional love. Their family was beyond blessed in that regard, as they understood each others worts and loved each other all the same! It will be quite interesting to see how the story picks up in the third installment ‘The Penny Bangle’ where Daisy’s brothers take centerstage as the series shifts forward. I grew quite found of Robert and Stephen as they became such enterprising young gentlemen!

-quoted from my review of The Golden Chain

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

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

 Book Review | “The Penny Bangle” (Charton Minster No.3) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Penny Bangle
by Margaret James
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Steve West
Source: Direct from Publisher

When should you trust your heart?

It’s 1942 when Cassie Taylor reluctantly leaves Birmingham to become a land girl on a farm in Dorset.

There she meets Robert and Stephen Denham, twins recovering from injuries sustained at Dunkirk. Cassie is instantly drawn to Stephen, but is wary of the more complex Robert – who doesn’t seem to like Cassie one little bit.

At first, Robert wants to sack the inexperienced city girl. But Cassie soon learns, and Robert comes to admire her courage, finding himself deeply attracted to Cassie. Just as their romance blossoms, he’s called back into active service.

Anxious to have adventures herself, Cassie joins the ATS. In Egypt, she meets up with Robert, and they become engaged. However, war separates them again as Robert is sent to Italy and Cassie back to the UK.

Robert is reported missing, presumed dead. Stephen wants to take Robert’s place in Cassie’s heart. But will Cassie stay true to the memory of her first love, and will Robert come home again?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781906931773

Also by this author: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, Girl in Red Velvet

Also in this series: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, Girl in Red Velvet


Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Realistic Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 15th March, 2013

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 286

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook & E-Book

Order of Sequence of Charton Minster series:

The Silver Locket Book One (review)

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

The Wedding Diary Book Four | Magic Sometimes Happens Book Five

*Wicked good news!* This series has a *sixth!* title! As I learnt this via a lovely convo with Ms James whilst conversing about the #ChartonMinster series on Twitter! More news lateron in 2017!

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

About Margaret James

Margaret James

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

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

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

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 25 March, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Brothers and Sisters, Child out of Wedlock, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Coming-Of Age, England, Family Drama, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Green-Minded Publishers, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Modern British Author, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Multi-Generational Saga, Romance Fiction, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction, Twin Siblings, Unexpected Pregnancy, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Health, Women's Land Army (Land Girls) Britain

Book Review | “The Golden Chain” (Charton Minster No.2) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 25 June, 2016 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 Golden Chain” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. It should be noted ‘The Golden Chain’ was requested prior to the two teams I joined on behalf of ChocLitUK. I simply have become more active with the Reveal Team & begun my journey as a ChocLit Star in-between receiving this novel and the day my review posts.

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

Why Jorie Loves reading the Charton Minster series:

Ms James has such a keen writerly talent for inserting us straight into the Nineteen Hundreds as if we were always meant to re-visit them with such felicity of spirit and moxie as the story of Rose Courtenay translates inside The Silver Locket! I love the expressions and the centreing of this timescape, she does well to include a breath of pause for the traditionalism and the society conventions of the day, allowing us to see the full scope of what is causing Rose the most duress.

The background of the story is cross-set between the small countryside area of Dorset where Rose’s family estate resides and London; as the story first introduces us to her family before moving straight into the heart of war, where nurses are in limited supply! The moxie it would have taken for an eighteen year old not weathered on life or experience to embrace a full-on charge of nursing rotations is hard to get your mind around until you meet Rose Courtenay, who proves everyone is able to do far more than they originally dare possible! Ms James definitely sets a high standard for war dramas and for the glimpses of an era beseeched by war and the after effects of how war changes everyone involved.

How Ms James was able to write such convincingly real passages of WWI straight from the trenches to the field units for the nursing staff, I am unsure; as she is one historical author who grants you such a harrowing view of what it must have felt like to be there. Research is brilliant but James has found a way to see past what can be researched and grant us this portrait of trench warfare and on-call nursing staff that brings to full light the difficulties and the brutality of serving aboard during an on-going war.

-quoted from my review of The Silver Locket

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

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

 Book Review | “The Golden Chain” (Charton Minster No.2) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Golden Chain
by Margaret James
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Steve West
Source: Direct from Publisher

Can first love last forever?

1931 is the year that changes everything for Daisy Denham. Her family has not long swapped life in India for Dorset, England when she uncovers an old secret.

At the same time, she meets Ewan Fraser - a handsome dreamer who wants nothing more than to entertain the world and for Daisy to play his leading lady.

Ewan offers love and a chance to escape with a touring theatre company. As they grow closer, he gives her a golden chain and Daisy gives him a promise – that she will always keep him in her heart.

But life on tour is not as they’d hoped, Ewan is tempted away by his career and Daisy is dazzled by the older, charismatic figure of Jesse Trent. She breaks Ewan’s heart and sets off for a life in London with Jesse.

Only time will tell whether some promises are easier to make than keep …

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781906931643

Also by this author: The Silver Locket, The Penny Bangle, Girl in Red Velvet

Also in this series: The Silver Locket, The Penny Bangle, Girl in Red Velvet


Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Realistic Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 1st May, 2011

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 336

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook & E-Book

Order of Sequence of Charton Minster series:

The Silver Locket Book One (review)

The Golden Chain Book Two | The Penny Bangle Book Three

The Wedding Diary Book Four | Magic Sometimes Happens Book Five

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

About Margaret James

Margaret James

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

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

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

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Divider

Posted Saturday, 25 June, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Adoption, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Brothers and Sisters, Child out of Wedlock, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Coming-Of Age, England, Family Drama, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Green-Minded Publishers, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Modern British Author, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Multi-Generational Saga, Romance Fiction, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction, the Thirties, Twin Siblings, Unexpected Pregnancy, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Health

Book Review | “The Silver Locket” by Margaret James begins the Charton Minster series! #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 5 March, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , , , 2 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “The Silver Locket” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

An Introduction to the Charton Minster series:

Order of Sequence of Charton Minster series:

The Silver Locket Book One | The Golden Chain Book Two | The Penny Bangle Book Three

The Wedding Diary Book Four | Magic Sometimes Happens Book Five

The first story begins in 1914, where we enter the life of Rose Courtenay – the impression of how this story settled inside my mind will play out below this introduction, as I have decided to start at the beginning of this saga, as I make my way through each of the novels. I love reading series in order of how their stories are being told – mostly due to continuity but also, as I like to see how an author grows the arc of the character’s journey inasmuch as how the story evolves per installment of the series as a whole. I love finding the connective threads and the little nuances which knit everything together or leave a plausible line of thought to question certain motives or outcomes.

Serial fiction is one of my favourite mainstays when it comes to what I appreciate reading on a regular basis – so much so, I decided to dedicate this year to seeking the series within the catalogue of ChocLit; to see the beautiful diversity of characters and stories interacting through a myriad of timescapes which truly give my heart a heap of joy to discover! This is part of the beauty of reading ChocLit – if you love relationship-based Rom set in both the historical past or the contemporary modern world – you’ll always find something to cosy up inside as you pick up a ChocLit novel!

Here is the description for the original books which made up the series trilogy:

Starts in 1914 and ends in 1948. A compelling and intensely romantic tale of the lives of a Dorset family throughout the wars. Set in the UK, France, Belgium, Egypt and Italy.

If you love Downton Abbey, you’ll adore Charton Minster!

You can see what drew me to this series – I was a big appreciator Downton before they killed off Matthew and then, a test of wills followed whilst I have put-off seeing the last two series until they are available to borrow through my local library. It’s simply something that can await my attention, as the story-lines and choices Fellowes was making with his creation irked my ire more than once. Having said that, what I appreciated in the description for this series is how it’s similar to Downton by scope – focusing on a singular family and the trials which will befell them as the series proceeds forward in time.

I love sagas – you get to become so intimately familiar with the characters, caught up in their tides and get to have this extended visitation which you hardly ever want to see end. This is what was so fascinating for me when I realised there were two new novels attached to this trilogy: The Wedding Diary and Magic Sometimes Happens as I had a feeling this might prove to be a hard series to put down. The new installments sound as though they are set in the contemporary world, and perhaps, are linked through the descendants of the original characters – I tried to root out a back-story on these whilst reading through the author’s blog, but I did not find exactly what I was searching for to reveal the particulars.

Which makes my entrance into the series even more delightful, as I get to relate to you, dear hearts, what I am finding and how everything ties collectively together as I move through the series!

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

Notation on Cover Art: Being a mixed media collage artist who loves to focus on Vintage Ephemera supplies including old photographs from the early 20th Century, I must say, I loved the focus on the women of the Charton Minster series! I had hoped they might be spotlighting the lead characters per novel before the series turns contemporary and thereby the focus of the covers would surely shift. This vintage styling for the cover art truly matched my impressions of the stories by reading their synopsises as it’s a story told through it’s women & how their lives shaped the family’s destiny.

Book Review | “The Silver Locket” by Margaret James begins the Charton Minster series! #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Silver Locket
by Margaret James
Source: Direct from Publisher

If life is cheap, how much is love worth?

It’s 1914 and young Rose Courtenay has a decision to make. Please her wealthy parents by marrying the man of their choice – or play her part in the war effort? The chance to escape proves irresistible and Rose becomes a nurse.

Working in France, she meets Lieutenant Alex Denham, a dark figure from her past. He’s the last man in the world she’d get involved with – especially now he’s married

But in wartime nothing is as it seems. Alex’s marriage is a sham and Rose is the only woman he’s ever wanted. As he recovers from his wounds, he sets out to win her trust. His gift of a silver locket is a far cry from the luxuries she’s left behind.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781906931285

Also by this author: The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, Girl in Red Velvet

Series: Charton Minster


Also in this series: The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, Girl in Red Velvet


Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, War Drama


Published by ChocLitUK

on 29th May, 2012

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 320

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback, Audiobook and E-book

Converse via: #ChocLit

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

About Margaret James

Margaret James

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

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

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

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 5 March, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Britian, British Literature, Castles & Estates, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, During WWI, England, Father-Daughter Relationships, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Green Publishing, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Medical Fiction, Military Fiction, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Nurses & Hospital Life, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, the Nineteen Hundreds, The World Wars, War Drama, Warfare & Power Realignment, Women's Fiction, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage

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