The House in Quill Court by Charlotte Betts – Blog Tour

On the publication day of “The House in Quill Court” by Charlotte Betts we are also a part of the blog tour for this gorgeous, captivating, thrilling historical fiction. Charlotte Betts, even though I’ve read only one of her previous novels (two, if we add this one) is already on my auto – buy authors list and I am already impatiently waiting for her new release . no matter what times she writes about, you can be sure that the story is going to be full of facts delivered in a brilliant, interesting ways and strong and independent heroines – just what I like!

 

The House in Quill Court by Charlotte Betts

 

51ssirubnzl-_sx311_bo1204203200_Publisher: Piatkus

Publishing Date: 25th August 2016

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 416

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

1813. Venetia Lovell lives by the sea in Kent with her pretty, frivolous mother and idle younger brother. Venetia’s father, Theo, is an interior decorator to the rich and frequently travels away from home, leaving his sensible and artistic daughter to look after the family. Venetia designs paper hangings and she and her father often daydream about having an imaginary shop where they would display the highest quality furniture, fabrics and art to his clients.

When a handsome but antagonistic stranger, Jack Chamberlaine, arrives at the Lovell’s cottage just before Christmas bringing terrible news, Venetia’s world is turned upside-down and the family have no option but to move to London, to the House in Quill Court and begin a new life. Here, Venetia’s courage and creativity are tested to breaking point, and she discovers a love far greater than she could have ever imagined . . .

From the multi-award-winning author of The Apothecary’s Daughter, The House in Quill Court is a gorgeously evocative Regency novel bursting with historical flavour and characters you won’t forget. If you love Philippa Gregory and Joanne Harris, you will adore Charlotte Betts.

 

Rating: 4/5

Last year I read and absolutely loved – so much that the book made it to my top reads of 2015 – “The Chateau on the Lake” by Charlotte Betts. It’s also not a wonder that I was excitingly waiting for her new release, and in the meantime I’ve ordered all of her previous books that I’m hoping to read in my… ekhm, free time. I love a good historical fiction and I was sure that with Ms Betts’ new release I am again for a real treat.

This was a very compelling and descriptive novel. I loved the writing style and the descriptions, no matter if they were of clothes, decorations, Venetia’s work or Kitty’s life. The author’s knowledge of the Regency era is great and I had a feeling that she feels comfortable in those times and writes about them with a great dose of certainty. She can brilliantly create the atmosphere of the upper class’ life, with beautiful warm houses with the tables full, and the other side, the much worse areas, full of darkness, danger and dirt. The language used by the characters rang so true and suited those times.

One of the biggest Charlotte Betts’s strength is her talent to create incredible, unforgettable heroines. Venetia was one of them – I loved that she stood her ground and that Jack Chamberlain found a right opponent in her – she was not afraid to say what she thinks. She was artistic and she believed in herself and her talent and she used her skills to start afresh after the big announcement – she was great with finances, she designed patterns for wall – paper and pillow – cases and she had a great feeling of business, what’s in and what’s out and how to bring customers to the shop that she was planning to open. Even though she had a brother, she was the one to take responsibility for her family. However, one thing that didn’t sit with me so much was the fact that she was for me like a Robin Hood in a dress, and her actions were just this bit unrealistic to me. I really appreciate what the author wanted to do with Venetia, and I also appreciate when historical heroines are ahead of their own times but this time I just had a feeling she’s a little too far ahead… I could understand she wanted to be independent and wanted to work but some of her – really brave – actions just seemed too unrealistic too me. I mean, organizing a militia, going to save her half – sister under cover… I just thought it is a little too much for a young woman in 1813. Please, don’t get me wrong, I admired Venetia and kept my fingers crossed for her, but for me reading about her was more like a fairy tale than historical fiction…
There is also a parallel story to this of Venetia, and it’s the one of Kitty, Venetia’s maid. Kitty is the one leaving everything behind her, hoping for a new and better life in London. And at the beginning fortune is on her side, she quickly falls in love, marries and is finally happy. Unfortunately, her life changes dramatically and it really broke my heart seeing what’s happening, as I also adored Kitty, she was exactly as strong and independent as Venetia was, there was only the “little” difference of them being born in rich and poor family.
Charlotte Betts can really create larger than life, strong female characters that reader immediately fall in love with but she can also create handsome, annoying male characters, such as Major Jack Chamberlaine, ah… Yes, about Major. At the beginning I wanted to slap him once or twice to be honest. Broody and moody, the Major. With the emphasis on moody. And she can make the villains not only annoying but incredibly interesting and intimidating – there was something incredibly drawing in King Midas, he was awful but he was fascinating in some ways as well.

The story was predictable yet not too predictable, although I started to guess who is King Midas rather quickly, after a sentence or two too much told by a character. The end was like a whirlwind of action and while the pace of the whole book was quick, the end was über – quick, it was like watching the events in the kaleidoscope, though on the other hand it reminded me of action film and I was waiting for someone to shout camera! action! at any moment. The book is full of twists and turns and making it follow two main characters, both from different worlds, has made it even more intriguing and thrilling. The contrast between the two lives is great, even though both girls want the same in their lives: love and independence. The twist at the end was a big one, although, as I’ve already mentioned it, it was my suspicion that it’s going to end in this way.

There is plenty of passion, tension, romance, broken hearts and violence in this story. The second part of it, in comparison to the first, feels like a ride on a speedboat, and sometimes it was too melodramatic, too costume drama for my liking, but nevertheless I found this book incredibly vivid and entertaining. There is also – of course! – a romance element in this story and I really liked that it wasn’t the main focus in this story, yet it was there and added a lot of colour to the whole novel. Altogether, I devoured this book, to be honest and I enjoyed every single moment of it – recommended!

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Found by Elle Field – Blog Tour + Giveaway

Hi guys, happy Thursday! I am very, very pleased to be a part of Elle Field’s blog tour for her new novel “Found”, that is also the last installment in the Arielle Lockley’s series – I think that already all of us know Arielle, right? You can read my review and enter a fantastic giveaway! Enjoy and good luck!

 

Found by Elle Field

 

25483958Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Series: Arielle Lockley #3

Publishing Date: 9th August 2016

Source:  Received from the author, thank you!

Number of pages: 284

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Contemporary, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback 

 

Synopsis:

“How did people even come up with the idea of these dizzying skyscrapers, let alone work out how to make them possible? Whoever built the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, their legacy will live on forever. What sort of a difference will I ever make?”

Who knew one flight could change everything? When Arielle Lockley stepped on the plane at Heathrow, she never realised how different her life would be when she touched down in New York City. Now she’s dealing with that aftermath, as well as trying to find common ground with Etta, her new and unexpected business partner.

But, trying to sort out business in London whilst her fiancé, Piers, recovers from surgery in New York, is starting to take its toll on their relationship. Can Arielle and Etta work together to continue Felicity’s legacy without destroying it, and will Arielle and Piers even make it down the aisle to say “I do”?

Find out what happens this summer in the final part of the warm and wonderful Arielle Lockley series.

Rating: 3/5

“Found” is the third and last book in the series about Arielle Lockley, and I’d recommend you to read the novels in the right order – the characters develop throughout the series and I think to fully understand them – and the story – you just need to know what happened in the past.

Now, I do adore Elle’s writing style, her descriptions and the way she perceives the world, her one – liners are sharp and up – to – date if I can say so. My biggest problem is with the characters. Arielle changed – oh my gosh, guys, how she has changed in those three parts! From an empty, interested only in money girl she became a woman with feelings. However, I’ve missed a depth to her, and in my opinion she still haven’t found (Ha! See what I did here?) her path in life – she didn’t have any interests, any hobbies and I can’t tell what it was that she’d like to do in life. I still didn’t see any will in Arielle to earn her own money, she was happy with spending this what Piers has earned, and it bothered me a little, because I can see SO MUCH potential in her – she’s nice, she trusts people, she’s kind, and this behaviour of hers slightly annoyed me. I also never understood her “relationship” with Etta, Felicity’s goddaughter. Arielle was the more down – to – earth and easy – going one here, that’s true. I was always trying to justify Etta, especially after reading book #2.5 in the series “B – Side” that was devoted to her. Nonetheless, Etta’s attitude towards Arielle didn’t change, not at all, and I must honestly say that after Etta using one “Whatever, bitch” too much, without a reason, I’m done with her.

The thread of the investigation after Felicity’s death – well, I’m not so sure why it was there. To make Etta even more unlikeable? To add a scene with her old carer at the funeral? There is a lot going on in the book, what with the investigation, the shop and the gallery that Etta and Arielle have inherited from Felicity, under one condition – that they work together for a year, Arielle travelling all the time between UK and New York, taking care of Piers after his very serious operation, but somehow the pace feels rather slow. The parts in New York were possibly my favourite ones in the book, as Elle brilliantly described the place, the sights, the buildings – I can’t have enough of this in the books.

I think that “Found” is a great ending to the series, even though it looks like there is some space left for a continuation! It is a smart, humorous and also thought – provoking read and Elle Field’s writing and the stories she creates somehow get under your skin. The thing I really liked is the fact that the author wasn’t afraid to start the series with the main character being incredibly spoilt and self – obsessed and then turn Arielle from a girl “kept” into girl that found something she was looking for, and that the stories were a great blend of fun, sadness, love and hate and that they were not so straightforward. I’m really looking forward for more from Elle Field!

GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the publication of Found, Elle Field is running a giveaway. Prizes are an Amazon voucher, paperback copies of B-Side and Found, plus a handmade necklace from Vaux Street (x2). All you need to do is enter via Rafflecopter! Good luck!

 

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