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And there’s a wife in the Attic?

Gothic Love Stories
by Erica Ridley
Mystery & Thrillers , Romance
WebMotion
Pub Date 23 Aug 2019

TOO WICKED TO KISS When an impoverished bluestocking finds herself at the mercy of an irresistible scoundrel, his touch holds her captive to his every dark desire... TOO SINFUL TO DENY When a disgraced socialite is exiled to an isolated manor atop a pirate-infested cove, the only person who can help her escape is the one man who cannot be trusted with her heart... TOO TEMPTING TO RESIST A rakish lord has the chance to win forgiveness from a lost love... if he can spirit her away from a haunted castle. TOO WANTON TO WED A secretive governess seeks shelter in the towering home of a mysterious recluse who may be even more dangerous than the man she fled.

A set of books in the Gothic genre of historical romances. With brooding heroes and doughty heroines who fight for their right to romance etc.

For me, book 1 took quite a while to actually grab my interest. certainly a set of upper-class horrors were portrayed here, where a kiss makes a girl unmarriageable and age is no barrier, only money.

Women are possessions, things.

Interestingly, reading a recent article about millennial dating and sexual habits we seem to be coming back to this view – it is OK for a male to spit on his partner as one kind of kink/fetish, and semi-strangulation is OK too. Women put up with it as part of the norm for having a boyfriend rather than objecting. Women accept it and expect to be treated as a body rather than partner.

Whatever happened to feminism?!

So gothic heroes are perhaps more the normal type of male these days? Treating women badly is OK?

Luckily in the novels, the women fight back and demand better treatment and get it.

Not really my favourite genre but by the end of the set of novels I was enjoying them more.

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Aspergers and Autism and e/affects

All of Me Book Cover All of Me
by Emily Duvall
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: May 29th 2019

Maren Cole survived adolescence by relying on her intellect, but has never felt more different as an adult. The diagnosis she received as a person with Autism makes functioning in a fast-paced city with bright lights and big sounds a challenge. Forget about dating. Forget marriage. She would like to survive a conversation. Independence has never been more isolating or confusing and is complicated by a situation that puts her directly in the path of arrogant lawyer Caleb Allan.

Caleb isn’t interested in anyone except himself and his legal career. The one person he doesn’t need to spend time with is the awkward Maren Cole, but their interactions are unavoidable when she has the potential to push his career ahead. Forced to confront the fact that she’s unlike anyone he’s ever met, Caleb knows falling for her will destroy his work. He may also lose his heart to a woman who may never fully love him back.

This is a story of Maren and autism as an adult – Maren is high functioning on the spectrum, but she lacks social cues and skills and this makes it tricky for her to cope with adult life – especially as she has a family which tends to over-smother and over-protect.

She is employed very gainfully and is great at her job – so long as she is in front of a computer and working alone – or alongside a trusted friend. But general workplace skills and coping are tricky for her to navigate. And then she wants to date and wonders about children and marriage.


This story is told very empathetically and using Maren’s voice to tell it was a great device. It really helps the reader understand her life choices and why she lives by rules. I felt that the author was familiar with the syndrome and I also became familiar as the story progressed and I was privy to Maren’s thoughts and rationales.

A good read and worthwhile for anyone who wants to understand Asperger’s behaviours.


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True or False?

Marked for Revenge An Art Heist Thriller Book Cover Marked for Revenge An Art Heist Thriller
(Zelda Richardson Mystery Series Book 3)
Jennifer S. Alderson
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 19 May 2019

An adrenaline-fueled adventure set in the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, and Turkey about stolen art, the mafia, and a father’s vengeance.

When researcher Zelda Richardson begins working at a local museum, she doesn’t expect to get entangled with an art theft, knocked unconscious by a forger, threatened by the mob, or stalked by drug dealers. 

To make matters worse, a Croatian gangster is convinced Zelda knows where a cache of recently pilfered paintings is. She must track down an international gang of art thieves and recover the stolen artwork in order to save those she loves most.

The trouble is, Zelda doesn’t know where to look. Teaming up with art detective Vincent de Graaf may be her only hope at salvation.

The trail of clues leads Zelda and Vincent on a pulse-pounding race across Europe to a dramatic showdown in Turkey that may cost them their lives.

Marked for Revenge is the third book in the Zelda Richardson Mystery Series. The novels in this series can be read in any order.

This is a great Art Heist Chase story. Rather unusual in its detail about how forgeries are made and set in Amsterdam as the starting town. Which gives lots of opportunities for haring across Europe easily of course. Interesting that it is the Balkans which are blamed for crime families and that the old Mafia gangs are no longer used.

I do wonder if the Dutch law about stolen art was real and if so, is it still in place? Obviously does not apply to holocaust Art but still. I did try and research the law but couldn’t find any reference to it so…

A different crime story with a good twist, and enjoyable romp into a different crime genre.

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Let me eat scones

Cornish Cream Tea Bus Book Cover Cornish Cream Tea Bus
Cressida McLaughlin
Romance
HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction
Pub Date 08 Aug 2019

Baking fanatic, Charlie Quilter, inherits a vintage bus in her late uncle’s will and is keen to give it a new lease of life. Charlie thinks it will be the perfect mobile café for afternoon tea, so she heads to the picturesque Cornish village of Porthgolow, hoping for a new start. However, Daniel Harper, the owner of the posh spa up on the hill isn’t very pleased that her bus is parked outside his lovely hotel. Has Charlie’s Cornish dream developed a soggy bottom? Or can she convince Daniel that her bus could take them somewhere wonderful?

I just wish I had been on holiday in Cornwall when the weather was so good – in one place. I remember holidays when we chased the sun across the peninsula and others where we sheltered from the storms in a fish and chip shop. It is true, when the sun comes out, it can be the most magical place with wonderful landscapes and flowers – the gardens are spectacular.

This story was better written and with more content than so many of the Cornish fantasies. It had nice characters and we felt for Gertie when she got stuck in the mud and would have liked to have a tour sitting upstairs with tea and scones. I thought more could have been made about the various wonderful small towns and villages in the tour and was sad none of the stunning gardens were visited.

Overall a nicely written story in clear language.

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Who is to inherit?

Daring To Love The Duke's Heir Book Cover Daring To Love The Duke's Heir
The Beauchamp Heirs
by Janice Preston
Women's Fiction, Historical
Mills & Boon
Pub Date 27 Jun 2019

She’s totally unsuitable…

…to be his Duchess!

Part of The Beauchamp Heirs: Dominic Beauchamp, Lord Avon, is a powerful duke’s heir and it’s his duty to marry well. His bride must have impeccable breeding, manners and grace. But can anyone meet his exacting standards? Certainly not the irrepressible Liberty Lovejoy, who’s been thrust into society after years of being a provincial nobody. She’s too bold, too bubbly…so why is she the only lady he’s thinking about?

Oh the ‘Ton’ and their ideas that women should be seen and not heard – unless they agree with men of course – in  very simpering way.

A time it seems of true misogyny, at least in the ranks of the privileged few. Bearing in mind that very few women had any control over property, children or money. Let alone voting and politics. Not even the ability to pay bills it seems.

What therefore is a woman with a mind, a voice, and emotions going to do when her twin brother seems determined to fritter away their newly acquired fortune and she can’t control him or the money or…

Clearly she was not going to marry a Duke. Except that this is a love story and…

Nicely written and one feels for both the hero and heroine. The hero because he has been brought up in a world of expectations and the heroine because she has so little control over her life and yet is passionate and meddling..!

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