Review: Damsel In Distress? (Time-Travel to Regency England #2) by Kristina O’Grady

Welcome one and all to my stop on the Damsel In Distress? Blog Tour. Before we start with the review, do we all have refreshments to hand? Good!

Source: Carina UK via Girls Love to Read Blog Toursdamsel-in-distress4
Format: E-book – Read on Kindle
Publish / Release Date: 30th September 2014 by Carina UK
Price: N/A
Date Read: 26th October 2014
Genre: Time-Travel / Historical – Regency / Romance
Links: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Note: I received this review copy of Damsel In Distress? for free in return for an honest review during this blog tour. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

Please be aware that this book contains language and situations that are adult in nature.

 

Damsel In Distress is the second book in the ‘Time-Travel to Regency England’ series by author Kristina O’Grady. I’ve been hearing fabulous things about this series so I was eager to join in when I heard about this fantastic tour.

Goodreads Summary:

A chance meeting that could scandalise the ton!

19th century England. Harriet is running for her life, chased by three men on horseback through Hyde Park. Knocked unconscious, everything goes black…

Philip, Baron Eaglestone, has never seen such a beautiful damsel in distress. And he’s even more intrigued when she opens her eyes, and begins to speak. Because this irresistible woman can only remember her first name, and has no knowledge as to who was trying to kill her… or where she is!

As Philip cares for Harriet, their attraction burns… and neither can shake the feeling that their chance meeting was truly a moment out of time. But if her memory returns, Harriet will be faced with a question. Will she return home or could it be that family is where her heart is – with a Regency rake!

Add Damsel In Distress on Goodreads here!

I have been a massive fan of regency romances since my introduction to Mills & Boon books many years ago. Since then I haven’t really picked any up, but since reading Damsel In Distress? I’m once again raring to pick them up again along with all the Jane Austen’s, Bronte’s and so forth. Damsel In Distress? however, brings something rather different to the table; time-travel. Somehow, the main female character has travelled back in time from the present day to England in the regency era. Whether there was also some country-to-country travel too I couldn’t quite work out though I do suspect so. I loved the idea of time-travel though – it opens up so many possibilities and answers the fantasies of many historical romance fans! How the time-travel element is explained though was a little…unbelievable, though so I kind of skipped over that. I had no trouble imagining the scenes of horse chases, balls and carriage rides thanks to lashings of Pride and Prejudice marathons in my youth and the wonderfully descriptive text of the author.

I found the characters of Harriet and Philip to be fun, exciting, likeable and well-matched. It was definitely a romance story with some mystery and action thrown in for good measure. After Harriet is knocked unconscious, she doesn’t remember anything apart from her name so the majority of the story concerns her trying to find out who she is, why she is being chased and (of course) falling in love with Philip. Philip, a Baron and rather rakish character, is quick to fall for the mysterious and amnesiac beautiful woman he rescues in Hyde Park. Of course, scandal is ripe in this age and rumours are soon flying about the ton (fashionable society)! There were a few intimate scenes between Philip and Harriet but these, although steamy, were descriptive enough to get the gist but didn’t overly go into detail. As for the other characters in the story, they all have their own individualistic characteristics which separate one from another; from the butler to the Duchess and the maid to Philip’s sister, each person has their own way about them and you can tell how much the author has really put into this story.

The story flowed at a good pace with relatively short chapters – please don’t be put off when you see 38 chapters listed! The book when put down was easy to pick back up again if you needed to or could only read for a short time. Personally my attention was caught in the first couple of pages and I read the book in a single evening.  I haven’t yet read book one of the Time-Travel to Regency England series but as it appears the stories can be read individually it will be easy to go back to the start. This book does contain the major characters from book 1, though as minor characters in this story. Overall it was a very enjoyable read and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more in this series and by this author in the future.

Thank you to Carina UK for giving me the opportunity to review this fantastic book.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ – I loved it.

About the author:

Kristina O’Grady

Kristina O’Grady has always loved telling a good story. She took up writing at a young age and spent many hours (when she should have been doing her math homework) writing romance stories in a book she hid in her sock drawer. She still remembers the first romance book she ever read. She was without anything to read (oh no) while on vacation with her family and bought a book in the small shop in the hotel lobby. It involved an Earl, a horse and very bad fever and of course, a Lady. Since then she has been hooked on the Regency era.

Kristina grew up on a cattle ranch in Western Canada and although has been told many times she should be writing about cowboys, she can’t seem to leave the fantasy of Dukes and Earls alone. She worked in the Oil and Gas Industry for several years first as a laborer, machine operator, crew foreman, technician and eventually as an environmental consultant. She loves getting out in the fresh air and enjoying the peace of nature. In mid 2000 Kristina met her own knight in shining armor/cowboy who swept her off her feet and across the world to New Zealand, where she now lives on a sheep and beef farm with her amazingly supportive husband, three gorgeous young kids, seven working dogs and one very needy cat.

Twitter // Website

 

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Review: The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House by Stephanie Lam

21443281 Source: Goodreads First Reads
Format: Paperback ARC
Publish date: 28th August 2014 by Penguin
Price: N/A
Date Read: 24th July 2014

Note: I received this copy of The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House by Stephanie Lam for free through Goodreads First Reads. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

I was delighted to receive this copy of The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House through the post as it was one which greatly appealed to me. I was shocked to discover on it’s arrival that it is an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC), so I am not allowed to post any quotes from it – much as I may wish. At a little over 500 pages, this paperback book is rather thick but surprisingly lightweight with reasonably sized but not overly large text. I especially enjoyed the floppiness of the pages – it was a joy not to have to wrestle to open a book! The cover is somewhat sedate and rather dignified but striking – I adore it.

The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House is a story set in two different time periods. The scene is set in the seaside town of Helmstone, a place with sharp cliffs, holidaymakers, day-trippers, a fairground and a hotel – among other things. Chapter one begins the story in 1965 with the main character of that period Rosie Churchill. She is a young woman in her late teens and run away from home and sixth form to rent a bed in the rundown yet still beautiful Castaway House in Helmstone. Castaway House though has its secrets. Rosie is soon set on discovering who the mysterious ‘R.C’ is; a drawing of a man with the initials ‘R.C.’ is found wedged behind some skirting boards, a mysterious message is discovered carved and inked into the frame of a window and whispers of trouble years ago come to Rosie’s ears.

In 1924, a young and somewhat naïve nineteen year old Robert Carver makes his way to Helmstone to stay with his wealthier, older and more exciting cousin Alec at his beautiful home, Castaway House. He arrives to find that Alec has married, walking straight into the lives of a damaged, un-loving couple with far-reaching secrets. Little does Robert know that his summer at Castaway House will change his life and the lives of all he comes in contact with.

At 500+ pages, The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House rather intimidated me upon first glance. Once I started reading however I was hooked. The story is written in the first person, from the viewpoint of either Robert or Rosie depending on which year the chapter was set in. I think the span of time covered in both 1924 and 1965 was only a few months; the summer of 1924 and sometime from September in 1965 although there were links between the two. The story was brought to life by the author’s words. The characters were wonderfully flawed and exquisitely human. No one was perfect and each had characteristics and traits and got into situations that you could easily understand, feel and relate to.

This book was very much set in the UK – Helmstone sounded  to me like the seaside town of Brighton on the south coast of England. There were also many mentions of the 1st and 2nd world wars. In 1924 and 1965, both would still be very near memory to the population. Many would have lost parents, bothers, cousins, uncles or sweethearts in the fighting. There would still be reminders, especially on the coast – shops previously used as lookout posts and maybe a pier destroyed so it couldn’t be used to land enemy planes.

The story of Castaway House and its inhabitants in both 1924 and 1965 were linked wonderfully, with little tendrils of knowledge and hits at answers – and even more questions – coming throughout the story. The way the author intertwined the characters throughout the book and between 1924 and 1965 was magnificently done and I am completely in awe. I was kept guessing throughout the majority of the book until the full story was told and the characters truly unveiled. I will admit to making a few guesses which ended up evenly split between right and wrong!

The mystery of Castaway House and its inhabitants was one which touched many lives. I was completely enchanted and thrilled with the story and characters and didn’t want to finish reading. Unfortunately I had to in order to find out what had really happened.

This book is one I will keep going back to and will loudly praise to all who will listen. Why? Because it’s bl**dy brilliant.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥