The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen

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Published: Lake Union
Date: 12th February 2019
Source:  Little Bird Publicity via NetGalley


The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen explores the upheaval of World War 1 and the far flung impact on the people in England. Hardly one family was left untouched by loss, and if not loss – men who return deeply scarred by the experience.  Class barriers begin to tone down, women take on new roles – and The Victory Garden gave me, the reader a taste of that.

Emily – the main character was someone I came to really like and admire. She is a middle class woman with a Judge as a father. Her mother is very cognisant of class and was rather a sad case to behold. Because they had lost their son in the first year of the war they kept a tight hold on Emily and would not allow her to help out in the war effort. And the question of them is – when the chips are down “Does family matter?”

When Emily turns twenty one though all that changes and she sets off to become a land girl. The work is hard, but she is willing to give it a go and in doing so forms meaningful relationships with women of lower class and means.

The story moves along at a good pace and I found myself picking up the book happily at any chance I had. I loved the journey Emily had to take to find herself and her place among community. And she is supported by a very likeable group of people. I don’t want to give away all that happens to her, so no more.

If you enjoy books about the English countryside, people banding together in hard times and a heroine who ‘comes of age’ then I think you’d enjoy this.

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Anything For You. Kristan Higgins. Review and Giveaway.

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Anything For You

Kirstan Higgins
Published: HQN
Date: 29th December 2015
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley and Little Bird Publicity.
4.5 starsAdd to Goodreads

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Anything For You by Kristan Higgins – #5 in the Blue Heron series. This time it is the turn of Connor O’Rourke – chef extraordinaire and twin of Colleen. Connor has been in love with Jessica since about seventh grade, but so far she just seems to push him away. The book opens with a wonderful scene and proposal that had me hating Jessica straight away. (But not for long, even though at times I still just wanted to say – wake up, this guy is perfect.)

Jessica grew up poor in a trailer park, with alcoholic parents and a brother who is affected by fetal alcoholic syndrome. Jessica has been responsible and the ‘parent’ from a very early age. She has done things that seemed to her necessary at the time, but of which she carries a shame that just won’t go away. She has pulled herself up and now works at the Vineyard with her marketing degree skills. Her big goal is to own a house where she and her brother can be safe.

Jessica doesn’t like others interfering with her role of caring for her brother Davey and when their Dad returns she keeps him untrustingly at arms length.  Up until now Davey has hated Connor but Connor has plans to deal to that, which Jessica just might not be ready for. Connor has an A+ from me for persistence and straight out adorableness. See how he deals with one old woman – I rest my case!
We also have a peep into the lives of others in the town, with updates on families and new arrivals. Oh one  adult new arrival that really rubbed me up the wrong way! What a b****. I kid you not! There is the fun and good humor that is a trademark of Kristan Higgins’ books. In this book the characters and situations are complex, the romance is sizzling, and the whole deal is a very satisfying read. I love a book that is just not merely romance but something more. 
And by the way perfect last sentence to end by. No, can’t give it away! Read the book.
I totally loved this book, it has certainly cemented Kristan H as one of my top favourite authors.

Where to find Kristan Higgins

Website               Twitter               Facebook.

Thanks to Little Bird Publicity there is a chance to win a copy of  the book for those living in the USA only. Please fill out the form below. Giveaway ends on 10th January