#BlogTour The Benevolent Dictator by Tom Trott

It’s my turn on the BlogTour for The Benevolent Dictator by Tom Trott. It’s a clever little tongue-in-cheek political thriller with a very poignant message.

About the Author

Tom Trott was born in Brighton. He first started writing at Junior School, where he and a group of friends devised and performed comedy plays for school assemblies, much to the amusement of their fellow pupils. Since leaving school and growing up to be a big boy, he has written a short comedy play that was performed at the Theatre Royal Brighton in May 2014 as part of the Brighton Festival; he has written Daye’s Work, a television pilot for the local Brighton channel, and he has won the Empire Award (thriller category) in the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest. He is the proverbial Brighton rock, and currently lives in the city with his wife.

Follow @tjtrott on Twitter, Connect with tomtrottbooks on Facebook, Visit tomtrott.com

Buy The Benevolent Dictator

About the book

Ben longs to be prime minister one day. But with no political connections, he is about to crash out of a Masters degree with no future ahead. So when by chance he becomes fast friends with a young Arab prince, and is offered a job in his government, he jumps at the chance to get on the political ladder.

Amal dreads the throne. And with Ben’s help he wants to reform his country, steering it onto a path towards democracy. But with the king’s health failing, revolutionaries in the streets, and terrorism threatening everyone, the country is ready to tear itself apart.

Alone in a hostile land, Ben must help Amal weigh what is best against what is right, making decisions that will risk his country, his family, and his life.

Review

Ben is a boy, filled with the naiveté of a well-educated young man, who believes he can change centuries of oppression merely by being present. No different from any other idealist or any other young person, who has yet to comprehend that the world does not revolve around his or her persona, desires and expectations in life.

Ben inadvertently ends up in the middle of a contentious political skirmish merely because his uni friend asks him to become his political advisor, and a friend in the midst of a nest of vipers.

There is an interesting TV series, which mirrors the true life events of a certain dictator and his son. A son who was raised and schooled amongst the most elite of the British regime. When said son returns with his democratic upbringing and thought processes he plans to change his country and the autocratic rule they have lived under for many decades. What happens instead is that the man raised with western values slowly but surely morphs into his own cultural values and into the dictator his father was before him.

Bearing in mind how different and complex the Western democracy is from non-democratic countries, it is almost colonial thinking that presumes to change these existing systems merely based on the audacity and presumptuous attitude of democracies deciding they need to change every country to reflect their values.

Not that I don’t wish human, civil, basic rights and equal opportunities and safety for all genders in every country, it is just unrealistic and very Victorian to push it on unwilling populations, especially when there is a basic lack of understanding of different cultures.

Although Amal may have the best intentions he lacks the experience to comprehend the intricate political scheming going on around him and behind him. Lacking the objectivity and refusing to believe his situation as the heir is anything other than set in stone and tenable, he ignores the machinations going on around him.

Trott gives an accurate representation of why the democratic countries who think they can save countries under dictatorships or communist regimes either fail or end up making the situation worse. There is a lack of basic understanding of non-Western cultures. In this sense Ben represents the countries, who end up chasing their tail or being helicoptered out of war skirmishes, and leaving the stirred pot to their own devices and demise.

The title Benevolent Dictator is of course a paradox. A dictator is by virtue of the fact he or she decides everything for all of their people regardless of whether they like it or not, never benevolent. It’s a clever little tongue-in-cheek political thriller with a very poignant message.

Buy The Benevolent Dictator at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Advertisements

#SpotlightTour Someone I Used to Know by Patty Blount

SomeoneIisedtoknowbanner.png

Today it is my turn on the Spotlight Tour for this great book Someone I Used to Know by Patty Blount. It’s an important story, the type we need to tell over and over again until everyone understands what rape culture is.

you live in the US or Canada don’t forget to enter the Giveaway for 2 Copies of Someone I Used to Know below – Runs August 7th -31st ( remember – US & Canada only)

About the Author

Powered by way too much chocolate, award-winning author Patty Blount loves to write and has written everything from technical manuals to poetry. A 2015 CLMP Firecracker Award winner as well as Rita finalist, Patty writes issue-driven novels for teens and is currently working on a romantic thriller. Her editor claims she writes her best work when she’s mad, so if you happen to upset Patty and don’t have any chocolate on hand to throw at her, prepare to be a subject of an upcoming novel. Patty lives on Long Island with her family in a house that sadly doesn’t have anywhere near enough bookshelves…or chocolate.

Follow @PattyBlount  @SourcebooksFire on Twitter Connect with PattyBlountNovels on Facebook Visit pattyblount.com

Buy Someone I used to Know

About the book

From the award-winning author of Some Boys comes an unflinching examination of rape culture that delves into a family torn apart by sexual assault.

It’s been two years since the night that changed Ashley’s life. Two years since she was raped by her brother’s teammate. And a year since she sat in a court and watched as he was given a slap on the wrist sentence. But the years have done nothing to stop the pain.

It’s been two years of hell for Derek. His family is totally messed up and he and his sister are barely speaking. He knows he handled it all wrong. Now at college, he has to come to terms with what happened, and the rape culture that he was inadvertently a part of that destroyed his sister’s life.

When it all comes to head at Thanksgiving, Derek and Ashley have to decide if their relationship is able to be saved. And if their family can ever be whole again.

Review

When you leave aside all the heightened hormone induced drama courtesy of the YA genre, you will find a deeply poignant, emotional and painful read. It’a a wake-up call for everyone, not just the male gender.

The majority of rapists are men, but let’s not forget there are female perpetrators too. Following on from that particular train of thought let’s also acknowledge male and child victims too. Statistics give us a harrowing view of how many women are raped, bearing in mind that there is a suggestion that over 90% of rapes go unreported because victims feel they won’t be believed, fear the repercussions and often may not even comprehend it was rape.

There are less statistics on male-on-male rape, women-on-male and women-on-women rape, often because of the stigma attached to it and the firm belief no one will believe them, or even ridicule them. None of those facts minimise the reality that in their lifetime every girl or woman will experience some kind of sexual harassment, assault or molestation.

The story is timely because the Me Too and Time’s Up movement is trying to break the wall of silence and dismissal. It is asking the sisterhood to stand up and support one another.

Blount takes an introspective look at the family dynamics of the victim’s family after the rape of a teenage girl. How the men in her family react and speak to, about and on the subject of her assault. In particular how one of her brothers has to come to terms with being part of the rape culture and a rape apologist, even going so far as to help her rapist get a lesser charge.

Kudos to the author for not letting the story be dominated by the rapist, by his presence, his experience or his thoughts on his actions. This is purely and simply about Ashley – the victim and the survivor.

The reader follows Ashley, as she is dealing with the physical and psychological scars of her rape. This includes the atrocious behaviour of her peers, her teachers and the people in town. We as a society must ask ourselves why we always blame the victim of a rape and seek to protect the rapist, especially when that rapist is a just a normal popular guy. Why do whole towns protect frat boys, football players and good ol’ boys, and blame and hound the victim, because hey gang-raping girls for fun is completely normal right?

While I am on the subject the law also needs to stop allowing lawyers and judges to present the sexual past of a victim, so they can imply any history of sexual activity equates to them being a whore and a liar. The rapists aren’t subjected to the same scrutiny in the courtroom, why are the victims?

It is painful read at times, full of fear and anger. The author doesn’t want the reader to feel sympathy, but rather an empathy towards Ashley and women like her. More importantly this is a call to arms for boys and men. It’s a shout-out to make them acknowledge and comprehend rape culture, and to intervene and speak up when someone is crossing the line. Even the verbal line, the one that suggests and encourages the next move.

It’s an important story, the type we need to tell over and over again until everyone understands what rape culture is. Parents need to raise their sons to respect and to understand consent. We need to teach all our children both boys and girls. It should be part of the school curriculum.

Buy Someone I used to Know at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com Barnes & Noble BooksaMillion !ndigo IndieBound

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire, Release Date: August 7, 2018

Giveaway for 2 Copies of Someone I Used to Know – Runs August 7th -31st (US & Canada only) Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

In a small town in Eastern Texas the body of white woman and black lawyer from Chicago are found. The presumption is that Michael killed the poor white girl, and hey he must be guilty because he is black and in the same tiny town, hence him also ending up dead.

Darren Matthews, a black Texas Ranger, is asked to take a look into the situation, despite being on suspension, and ends up in a nest full of racists with no regard for his authority. Darren puts his life on the line to discover the truth, in a town living in the past ruled by men with secrets and men who believe being black equates to being sub-human.

Considering the rise of racial tensions in America in the last few years this story is quite poignant. When I say rise I think the correct term would be a resurfacing and less denial of the racial problems in the States. Issues, which have always existed, but the inhabitants and the media like to downplay and minimise. Now black people are standing up and roaring their outrage loud enough for the world to hear.

Reading the reality of the racial tension and segregation suggests that nothing has changed since the days of Jim Crow laws, and how can they when racist institutions like the KKK are accepted under the guise of freedom of speech and democracy. A complete paradox when white supremacists call for discrimination, oppression and lack of freedom for any person who isn’t white.

It is hate speech, hate crimes and a perfect example of autocratic rule. Racists do not really understand democracy, you can’t advocate for the opposite of that political system, and yet want to profit from the freedoms that come with democracy at the same time.

Locke incorporates important civil rights issues in this well-written story about racism and hatred. She is definitely an author to keep an eye out for.

Buy Bluebird, Bluebird at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Publisher: Serpent’s Tail

Follow @atticalocke @serpentstail Visit atticalocke.com

The Plus One by Sophia Money-Coutts

the plus oneI think the reason this book is getting a lot of hype and is so popular is the fact the author doesn’t sugar-coat the reality of dating and hook-ups.

In the real world there are no unicorns, candy-floss moments or the handsome prince riding up on his white stallion as the bluebirds twitter around the singing princess.

The reality is coarse, brutal, embarrassing and full of moments best buried in the deep recesses of our minds. Sometimes finding the perfect man or the perfect man for that moment in time means snogging, or in Polly’s case other extracurricular activities, a few frogs along the way.

Polly looks for her plus one in all the wrong places when the truth is he might be closer than she thinks, but she is too busy hobknobbing with the upper class to notice.

The Plus One is both funny and sad at the same time. The author captures the desires and hopes of Polly perfectly. She isn’t a model or an heiress, she is just a normal working girl looking for someone who loves her for who she is, and not who he would like her to be.

It’s witty, modern and often tongue-in-cheek in certain scenarios, but it is also heartfelt and full of warmth.

Buy The Plus One at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Publisher: HQStories, Harper Collins UK, Pub. date: 9 August 2018

Follow: @sophiamcoutts @HQStories

#BlogTour Do No Harm by L.V. Hay

It’s my turn on the BlogTour for Do No Harm by L.V. Hay. This author is known for her out of the box sneaky plots, which means no matter how innocent the character may appear to be – they might just be a secret psychopath executing a nefarious plan.

About the Author

Lucy V. Hay is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin (2015), both starring Danny Dyer. Lucy is also head reader for the London Screenwriters’ Festival and has written two non-fiction books, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, plus its follow-up Drama Screenplays. Her critically acclaimed debut thriller The Other Twin was published in 2017. She lives in Devon with her husband, three children, six cats and five African Land Snails.

Follow @LucyVHayAuthor  and @Orendabooks on Twitter Visit lucyvhayauthor.com

Buy Do No Harm

donoharmeye

About the book

If I can’t have you … nobody can.

After leaving her marriage to jealous, possessive oncologist Maxwell, Lily and her six-year-old son have a second chance at happiness with headteacher Sebastian. Kind but vulnerable, Sebastian is the polar opposite of Maxwell, and the perfect match for Lily. After a whirlwind romance, they marry, and that’s when things start to go wrong…

Maxwell returns to the scene, determined to win back his family, and events soon spiral out of control. Lily and Sebastian find themselves not only fighting for their relationship, but also their lives…

Chilling, dark and terrifying, Do No Harm is a taut psychological thriller and a study of obsession, with a killer twist that you will never see coming.

Review

I know that Hay has a devious mind, so I can’t help but instinctively look at everyone as if they are a suspect, and I mean everyone. This author is known for her out of the box sneaky plots, which means no matter how innocent the character may appear to be – they might just be a secret psychopath executing a nefarious plan. No one is free from suspicion, not even Denny. Yeh, I know he is only six years old.

Hay has created a monster – the sceptical reader.

Lily has found love with Sebastian, a man who loves her and her young son. The only thorn in her side is her manipulative ex-husband Maxwell. No matter where she looks he is always there lurking in the shadows, then again so is her new mother-in-law. Perhaps Lily is just scarred and a little tainted from her time with her controlling ex.

The plot surrounding the ex-husband is timely, because the UK has finally introduced new laws that make controlling and coercive behaviour illegal. At times Lily’s behaviour may seem exaggerated and overly sensitive, but if you have ever experienced a controlling partner then you will know where she is coming from. Control is the most important aspect of this type of abusive relationship, and having children with an abusive partner means a lifelong game of manipulative control, even if both of you have new partners.

When Denny starts to exhibit signs of emotional distress, and a series of volatile incidents suggest that Maxwell is trying to create a wedge between the new couple and his son. That’s when things start to get dangerous.

Hay does not disappoint with the devious twist at the end. As expected it is completely messed up and a wee bit wicked. I enjoy the fact she doesn’t feel the need to present the perfect or happy ending. The truth comes way out of left field and the worst part is that a part of it remains hidden in the shadows, jut waiting for a new chance to pounce. Hay enjoys misleading her readers and leading them up the garden path, the result is always a captivating read.

Buy Do No Harm at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Read my review of The Other Twin by L.V. Hay

Publisher: Orenda Books (orendabooks.co.uk)

#BlogTour The Blood of the Red Rose by P.J. Gray

Today it is my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for The Blood of the Red Rose by P.J. Gray. It is a detailed and well researched story which combines historical facts with fictional characters to create an engrossing read.About the Author

Philippa was born in Chichester and developed a passion for history whilst growing up in Cyprus and then North Yorkshire. She began writing when she was at junior school, winning the school prize for English, and wrote and illustrated her own stories which she read to her long-suffering friends. She started her first novel, Blood of the Red Rose, when her elder daughter was a baby and finally completed it twenty-eight years later. Philippa has two daughters, four grandchildren and a grand-cat and now lives in Cyprus with Paul, her husband of twenty-five years, three dogs and four cats.

Visit Facebook/BloodoftheRedRose

Buy Blood of the Red Rose

About the book

Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, finds himself exiled in France when Warwick the Kingmaker puts Edward IV on the throne of England. Desperate to return the throne to the rightful King Henry VI, Beaufort finds himself caught between Henry’s bitter wife Marguerite of Anjou and the French ‘Spider’ King Louis until Edward and Warwick fall out in spectacular style and, at Louis’ urging, Warwick becomes their unlikely ally. Set on the rich stage of the Wars of the Roses, this is a tale of intrigue, love and war that can only end in tragedy.

Review

Whilst Warwick’s relationship with his illegitimate daughter Kate is loving and caring, it doesn’t gel with the way he uses his other children to create political bridges and liaisons. In fact the way he barters with Anne and Isobel, or rather their worth as brides, is a more accurate representation of the way men viewed and treated women at that time in history. Although it is moving and more sentimental from a storyline perspective, keeping in mind that Kate is a fictional addiction to the historical events, it is probably more likely that Warwick would have used her in the same way as her half-sisters.

Another interesting aspect of the book was the way the author portrayed Margaret of Anjou. Known in history as a strong woman with a fierce sense of loyalty to her own cause and a ruthless approach to achieving or retrieving what she believed to be rightfully owing to her family.

In this book we see the bitter, vindictive and disappointed woman. Her reaction is interesting considering the rumours that either Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, or James Butler, 5th Earl of Ormond, were possibly the real biological father of her son, Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales. There is however no evidence to support these rumours and Henry VI acknowledged  him as his son and heir.

Despite the machinations going on around them Kate and Beau are drawn into a passionate affair with possibly disastrous implications for a young girl who has a less than solid standing in life.

Gray has combined historical facts with fictional characters and scenarios. It’s so realistic and sails so close to true events that I had to double-check some of them were actually fictional events and characters. What she does exceptionally well is capture the intrigue and the lack of certainty during that era. The war between the houses of Lancaster and York determined the path of British history and the royal lineage. A time of betrayal, destruction and lack of trust, whilst grown men and women played their own game of thrones.

In the midst of the intrigue a mutual attraction leads to an ill-fated affair which ends tragically and leaves one of them in a precarious position. It’s a detailed venture into a era full of conflict and disruption with a doomed mutual attraction featured in the midst of it all.

Buy Blood of the Red Rose at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing, Release Date: 14th August 2018

Follow @Authoright on Twitter

Follow the rest of the BlogTour:

Monday 13th August Between the Pages Book Club

Tuesday 14th August Portable Magic

Thursday 16th August Cheryl M-M’s Book Blog

Friday 17th August Love Books Group

Saturday 18th August Cupcake Mumma

Monday 20th August Jazzy Book Reviews

Tuesday 21st August Celticlady’s Reviews

Wednesday 22nd August Jennifer C Wilson

Thursday 23rd August Blue Striped Square

Saturday 25th August Yet Another Blogging Mummy!!!

Sunday 26th August Donna’s Book Blog

#BlogTour Condemned and Admired: The Earl’s Cunning Wife by Bree Wolf

candemmed abnner

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Condemned and Admired; The Earls’ Cunning Wife by Bree Wolf. Don’t miss the fantastic Q&A with Bree Wolf, a short excerpt from the book, and don’t forget to enter the Giveaway to win a copy of Condemned and Admired & the tie-in novella Trapped & Liberated – The Privateer’s Bold Beloved.

Giveaway question: Have you ever fallen for a stranger? (Leave your answer in the comments to enter the giveaway!)

profile_picture_01About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Bree Wolf has always been a language enthusiast (though not a grammarian!) and is rarely found without a book in her hand or her fingers glued to a keyboard. Trying to find her way, she has taught English as a second language, traveled abroad and worked at a translation agency as well as a law firm in Ireland. She also spent loooong years obtaining a BA in English and Education and a MA in Specialized Translation while wishing she could simply be a writer. Although there is nothing simple about being a writer, her dreams have finally come true.

“A big thanks to my fairy godmother!”

Currently, Bree has found her new home in the historical romance genre, writing Regency novels and novellas. Enjoying the mix of fact and fiction, she occasionally feels like a puppet master (or mistress? Although that sounds weird!), forcing her characters into ever-new situations that will put their strength, their beliefs, their love to the test, hoping that in the end they will triumph and get the happily-ever-after we are all looking for.

If you’re an avid reader, sign up for Bree’s newsletter at www.breewolf.com as she has the tendency to simply give books away. Find out about freebies, giveaways as well as occasional advance reader copies and read before the book is even on the shelves!

Follow @BreeWolf_Author on Twitter Connect with Bree on Facebook Visit breewolf.com

Follow the Facebook event: BlogTour – Condemned and Admired

Buy Condemned and Admired: The Earl’s Cunning Wife

bree66bree

About the book

A French privateer’s daughter. A marquess’s son.

And a chance encounter on the high seas.

Twelve years ago, Lady Silcox fled England with her six-year-old daughter Violet to spare her the life she herself had been forced into: an arranged marriage to an older man.

Today, Violet Winters is a grown woman sailing the seas on her French stepfather’s privateer, dreaming of commandeering a ship of her own. However, when she stumbles upon a betrothal announcement of the man she was set to marry, Violet cannot help but feel honour-bound to protect the woman who had been forced to take her place.

Fortune smiles on Violet and delivers an English lord into her hands – and with him the chance to return to England unrecognised.

Oliver Cornell, Earl of Cullingwood, is trapped in a life he abhors. Not seen as a son, but merely an heir, he dreams of sailing the seas, the epitome of freedom.

By sheer happenstance, Oliver ends up on a merchant vessel, which is promptly boarded by a French privateer. On board the Chevalier Noir, Oliver meets the captain’s daughter, a woman unlike any other he has ever met. Utterly fascinated by the adventurous gleam in her eyes, he does not hesitate to offer his assistance when Violet finds herself in need of a guide to London’s upper society.

Revelling in his first taste of adventure, Oliver poses as her husband…only to realise before long that posing as her husband will not be good enough.

Can a privateer’s daughter and a marquess’s son ever have a happily-ever-after? Or is their love doomed to fail?

bree4

Q&A with Bree Wolf

Before we get down to business (i.e. talking about your book) I would like to ask a set of questions I call ‘Breaking the Ice.’

The last book you read? (Inquisitive bookworms want to know) Violet by Lauren Royal. Love her novels. Oddly, I read Lily first. Don’t know why. Will start on Rose next.

The last movie you watched that left a mark in your heart, soul, wallet? Room. Such deep emotions. Oh, I went through at least one box of tissues. Possibly more.

Are you more of a Game of Thrones or Outlander kind of gal? Outlander. Definitely Outlander.

What do you like to do when you want to relax? Read. Did you truly expect a different answer?

Which famous person (dead, alive, barely kicking) would you most like to meet?Can’t say. Do fictional characters count? I’d love to sit down to dinner with my novel characters. That would be something!

Something you treat yourself to, now and again? (Cream éclairs totally count) Mint chocolate chip ice-cream. I’m all about chocolate.

All of the above questions are actually a pretty elaborate pysch evaluation disguised as random questions. Have no fear here come the real ones. Let’s talk about Condemned and Admired.

I think readers enjoy your books, because you give them romance, conflict and strong characters in nostalgic settings with characters who fight against the archaic patriarchal rules of society. Why do you think they enjoy them so much? Rebelling against set rules is part of life, part of growing up. We all know these moments, have lived through them, and someone fighting for what they believe in, for what they believe is right and just echoes within us like nothing else. No matter how different our lives are, these emotions we all share.

Where do you get your inspiration for your plots, storylines and characters? From every book or movie that comes my way. Sometimes simply a glimpse out the window. Or from a stunningly insightful thing my four-year-old says. Anything. Everything. My home is littered with notebooks. Sometimes I jump out of bed in the middle of the night to write a thought down before it slips my mind.

You portray your female leads as strong independent women, who look out for each other and aren’t afraid of demanding the respect they deserve. Do you think readers need to see women with these traits reflected more often in literature and books? Regency romance provides a beautiful, fairy-tale like setting, and yet, I doubt that today’s women would truly want to live in that time. Life for women was fairly restricted back then, proving how far we’ve come with regard to equality. Still, women (as well as men) are often stuck in stereotypical roles even today, and I believe it is important to encourage people to be themselves and demand respect for who they are and not who others wish they would be. Literature helps inspire people to see that.

You combine the seductive pull of love and attraction with strong themes of independence and discovery of self. Romance meets the modern woman. How important do you think it is for today’s books to reflect a woman who makes her own choices? I think it’s paramount. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with leading a “stereotypical” life…as long as it is your choice. We should always have the right to choose and exercise it. There is nothing more important than discovering who we are and staying true to ourselves. How else will we ever be happy?

One of the other topics I loved in Condemned and Admired: The Earl’s Cunning Wife was what family really means. Blood and genetics aren’t as important as loyalty, support and the love of a person who behaves like family or are they? What do you think? Yes, again, I believe it is our own choice who is family and who is not. Why should we allow genetics to dictate who to love? After all, in historical romance, the love two people find in each other is what touches us the most. It’s about the opportunity to find new family. Someone we didn’t previously know. Someone who might always have been missing from our lives.  Why should that not extend to the rest of our family? Why not also a sister? Or a mother? Why should there be any limitations?

Playing into that is Violet’s relationship with her stepfather. She considers the man who raised her to be her father, as opposed to the man she has a biological connection with. In an era where family systems and dynamics have been redefined, and patchwork family is becoming more common than the nuclear family, do you think it is important to reflect these new structures in your stories? I think family has many faces and should not be defined beyond “people who love each other and wish to share their lives”. Family is what we want it to be. It’s our choice. We make it. We define it. It’s our freedom. At least, it should be.

Violet feels responsible for the young girl taking her place in the arranged marriage, hence her return to England. The thought-process behind this storyline echoes the guilt an abused woman feels about the next in line if she manages to escape controlling clutches, was this intentional – the emphasis on the strong sisterhood between women and the need to support each other? Yes, it was. Today, we’re often so focused on our own lives that sometimes we don’t even see when another needs our help – even someone who is not a friend. Someone we might never have met before. If we see another’s need for aid, should we not respond to it? No matter who that someone is?

What’s next in the Love’s Second Chance series? Well, book 11 brings back Lord Ashwood, whom we’ve met first in book 5 as Sebastian Campbell’s childhood friend and who made a short appearance in book 9, Condemned & Admired. He often appears rather cold-hearted and calculated. That, however, is simply because he has a specific deficiency when it comes to human interaction that he feels ashamed of and tries to hide behind a detached exterior. Of course, his new wife will eventually see through his pretences and challenge him to be himself.

Still, before book 11, there will be another tie-in novella, which tells the story of Violet’s parents, of how they met on the beach below Silcox Manor one fateful night and of how Violet found her new family in France. Since the love story of Violet’s parents was such a constant presence in Condemned & Admired, I felt I needed to tell it through their own eyes.

Thank you for answering all of my questions!

bree1Review

This is book 9 in the Love’s Second Chance series. It’s a story about a young woman fighting against old dinosaur rules. The type of rules that say women are goods to be bartered with and sold to the highest bidder, women are to be seen and not heard, and they certainly aren’t allowed to have any say in their own life.

The only reason Violet is free to live the life of a sailing vagabond and potentially as the master of her own ship, is because her mother found the strength to leave her abusive and controlling father. In doing so her mother finds a man to love and a father figure her daughter can look up to.

Violet is happy with her life and the freedom she enjoys, however there is a part of her that feels guilty about the young woman who has to stand in her stead. The poor unfortunate soul, who has to marry the man she was betrothed to. She decides to try and save her, and to try and find some closure with the past she left behind.

Wolf writes about strong women, women who try to change and most definitely break the patriarchal rules of society. A small shimmer of empowerment in an era where women are possessions and treated like second-class citizens. She combines the sweet breathlessness of love, without the raunchiness of a bodice ripper, with social injustice and the oppression of women.

The author gives us strong female characters who fight for equality and their right to make their own choices. Showing the reader that although we are still confronted with the same oppression and systemic abuse, we have come a long way since the days when women had no rights at all. I guess the message is that we should never stop trying to achieve equality and always empower girls and women to find their own path.

It is a regency romance with a modern breath of fresh air.

Buy Condemned and Admired: The Earl’s Cunning Wife at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Barnes & Noble Kobo iTunes

Buy Condemned and Admired: The Earl’s Cunning Wife at Amazon com

breebannr

Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway to to win a copy of Condemned and Admired & the tie-in novella Trapped & Liberated – The Privateer’s Bold Beloved.

Giveaway question: Have you ever fallen for a stranger? (Leave your answer in the comments to enter the giveaway!)

breebannr

Read an Excerpt Of Condemned and Admired:

As the ships were slowly being pulled toward one another, Oliver turned his gaze to the privateer and his crew. Two dark-haired men stood side by side, their expressions stern, their eyes sharp as they observed the merchant vessel’s crew with equal frankness. Both men were tall with broad shoulders and a pronounced chin, their resemblance suggesting a familial relation. Perhaps father and son as one looked about twenty years older than the other. The older man, Oliver assumed, was the captain of the ship.

On the side of the ship, Oliver could make out the vessel’s name: Chevalier Noir, the Black Knight. Oliver nodded, thinking it a fitting match for the dark-haired man with the sharp eyes.

Murmurs went through the sailors around him, and Oliver abandoned his observations, trying to catch what they were saying.

“That one’s a woman.”

“Are you daft? Women don’t sail.”

“I’m telling you, it’s a woman.”

“You must be losing your eyesight.”

Craning his neck, Oliver let his gaze sweep over the privateer’s crew, his pulse hammering at the thought of a woman on board. Had she been kidnapped? Was she a prisoner? Possibly an English prisoner?

When Oliver finally saw her, his heart seemed to stop, and his breath caught in his throat. Not because of her beautiful face or the figure she struck standing at the bow a sword in her hand and a pistol strapped to her hip. Nor was it the golden tendrils dancing in the wind or her stunningly blue eyes with a spark of violet in them.

No, it was the calm serenity that rested in her eyes. Here was someone–a woman no less–who knew exactly where she belonged, where her place in this world was. There was no doubt. No question. No hesitation.

How had she ended up on that ship? For she was clearly not a prisoner, but a member of the crew. Was she the captain’s wife? Never had he heard of a captain allowing his wife on board? Much less allowing her to carry a weapon?

Still, here she was, far away from the restrictions her gender placed on her. How had she freed herself? Oliver wondered, envy burning in his chest as he watched her.

Standing tall–proud!–she kept her gaze firmly on the group of sailors around him, her hair whipping in the wind as though she could not wait to charge and board their ship. Although it was tied in the back, her curls seemed wild, dancing around her face, doing little to soften her sharp features and the steely look in her eyes. Like the dark-haired captain, she wore well-fitting breeches, a white shirt peeking out from under her dark tailcoat as well as leather boots, allowing her to move as she pleased.

Never in his life had Oliver seen a woman more beautiful.

A shudder went through the planks under his feet as the two ships finally collided, and Oliver’s gaze was ripped from the vision standing at the bow.

bree8