A New Beginning
by Jean Chapman
Published by Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN 13 9781850181187
The Maclaren family may show a united face to the world, but their private lives are very different. For years, Queenie and her daughter Laura have had to protect each other from Jock Maclaren's violent temper. With the advent of World War II and their evacuation to London. The Maclaren women want to make the break from Jock permanent.
Having enjoyed Jean Chapman's Both Sides of the Fence as an audio book, I was disappointed to find out that it wasn't part of a series. Undeterred, I ordered one of her other books from the library instead.
I ought to have loved this one. It's set during WWII in both London and the Mediterranean. There are women in the auxiliary services. There was the promise of a romance between an older couple as well as young lovers. And yet it jumped the shark at some point. Whether that was when the nice aristocratic lady working in the hospital turned out not to be a lesbian, but instead to be mourning her lover from the first war, or whether it was when the main villain turned out to be mad rather than just a really nasty piece of work, or whether it was when one main character died (and not even heroically), but somehow I felt let down by the story as a whole, even though I enjoyed the historical and locational details.
Fairly off the idea of reading anything else by her as well (unlike with my previous disappointments).
by Lynne Connolly
Published by Samhain Publishing Ltd
ISBN 13 9781605044385
Richard and Rose, Book 2
Now that she’s engaged to Richard, one of the most admired—and passionate—men in society, shy, awkward Rose Golightly can finally hold her head high. She never anticipated that her elevated position would make her the target of a dangerous gang of smugglers.
Behind Richard’s aloof, sophisticated facade lies a man of shrewd intelligence, fierce loyalty, and deep devotion to those he loves. He’s willing to fight fair when necessary, dirty when cornered. Rose is one of only two people he trusts. All she’s ever asked of him is that there be no secrets between them, but there are a few lingering dark corners he’s reluctant to reveal.
Now, Rose’s childhood friend has made a stand against the smugglers that rule the coast, unwittingly putting Rose in danger. With her life at stake, there’s only one way Richard can save her—even if it means his bride has to trade her wedding gown for widow’s weeds.
My longstanding obsession with Poldark is fairly well known round these parts, so it should be no surprise that I get excited by the idea of another author I like writing a historical set to the west of where I currently live, and involving smugglers. This one totally charmed me, and I may have made some undignified noises of excitement about it to julesjones at Redemption.
Rose's childhood best friend is a boy! (and not of the token gay best friend variety either) Everyone thinks this is perfectly normal, even when they have adventures together of varying size.
Rose sneaks around with Richard, up to no good in an entirely different way (but that's okay, because they're engaged now).
Richard gets into fights involving swords and throwing knives, then is archly wicked at girls who were mean to Rose in the past.
Rose considers killing someone with a very small fruit knife, but decides that would be impractical.
Gervase explodes things.
People are generally shades of grey on the good vs evil spectrum, but the lighter grey people win in the end.
All the minor characters are engaging too.
The next in the series is already waiting to be read, but not until I've got to the next Cambridge Fellows book in my queue.
I've got a lot of good books on the go at present. I really ought to try and finish one of them.