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Another Woman’s Husband By Gill Paul

Another Woman's Husband‘Another Woman’s Husband’ is the latest book by Gill Paul.

1911
At the age of fifteen, carefree Mary Kirk and indomitable Wallis Warfield meet at summer camp. Their friendship will survive heartbreaks, separation and the demands of the British Crown until it is shattered by one unforgivable betrayal.

1997
Rachel’s romantic break in Paris with her fiancé ends in tragedy when the car ahead crashes. Inside was Princess Diana. Back in Brighton, Rachel is haunted by the accident, and intrigued to learn the princess had visited the last home of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, only hours before the crash. Soon, the discovery of a long-forgotten link to Wallis Simpson leads Rachel to the truth behind a scandal that shook the world.

I’m not the biggest fan of historical books, I sometimes struggle with that particular genre but when settled into Gill Paul’s first book with Headline Books, it seemed impossible to put the book down.

The story is spilt into two parts, taking place in 1911 when Mary Kirk met her soon to be best friend Wallis Wakefield and in 1997 when Rachel and her fiancée are in Paris right at the very moment that Princess Diana was involved in that tragic car crash.

The book then flows in alternating chapters as both Mary and Rachel are at important points in their lives.

Mary loves her best friend Wallis, a social butterfly who moves from party to party traveling all over the world with a path of broken hearts left behind. Mary loves listening to Wallis’ tales of adventures and love, she injects some excitement into Mary’s life, whilst Mary is content with her French husband, Jacques but are they are unable to have a baby which is driving the couple apart and Jacques to drink. Meanwhile Wallis is staying with the couple regaling them with tales of her adventures and catches the eyes of Mary’s friend Ernest and pursues him eventually becoming his wife, much to Mary’s dismay and leave for London, leaving Mary to deal with her drunk husband and sick mother. But when Mary falls for Ernest, their friendship falls apart but that is the least of Wallis’ problems as she has become the object of affection of Prince Edward, The Duke of Windsor who’s wiling to give up his crown for Wallis’ hand in marriage. Meanwhile after her surprise proposal, Rachel is excited to plan her wedding but Alex is consumed with wanting to know about Diana and the circumstances surrounding her death and begins to work on a television programme, taking up all his time and driving the couple apart and Rachel begins to wonder does she really know her partner at all.

This book is a gripping story that moves so fluidly and seamlessly through the years. The historic chapters featuring interactions between Mary and Wallis make for thrilling reading as the two characters bounce off each other. Mary is a warmhearted woman with a huge heart, which Wallis seems to regularly take advantage off, only coming to Mary in her hour of needs. Wallis is quite vain, self absorbed and is at her happiest when she is the centre of attention, particularly a man’s attention. I loved the parts of the story featuring Wallis and Mary, they are beautifully written, descriptive of vibrant parties, the flamboyant costumes and the terror of the impending war. Meanwhile Rachel, is also an interesting character, she’s driven after her antiques clothes shop is broken into and she has to find the money to keep the business going. She’s also fascinated by the era of Mary and Wallis and is familiar with the clothes that the fashionable ladies wore.

This book was a treat to read from the very beginning. Beautifully researched with lovely narratives and exquisite descriptions that set the scenery of the book throughout. It was also fascinating to read about Princess Diana and her last moments, I was a child when she died and remember all the press coverage but reading about it in more detail was interesting. It’s a turbulent and romantic story that travels through the years about two women that changed the monarchy, ‘Another Woman’s Husband’ is a stunning and glamorous story that tugs at the heartstrings.

You can buy Another Woman’s Husband from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Secret Wife By Gill Paul

The Secret Wife‘The Secret Wife’ is Gill Paul’s latest historical novel.

A Russian grand duchess and an English journalist. Linked by one of the world’s greatest mysteries. 1914. Russia is on the brink of collapse, and the Romanov family faces a terrifyingly uncertain future. Grand Duchess Tatiana has fallen in love with injured cavalry officer Dmitri, but events take a catastrophic turn, placing their romance – and their lives – in danger.

2016. Kitty Fisher escapes to her great-grandfather’s remote cabin in America, after a devastating revelation forces her to flee London. There, on the shores of Lake Akanabee, she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to an extraordinary, long-buried family secret.

‘The Secret Wife’ is a beautifully written story of love, hope and truly makes for stunning reading. I started this book on Sunday morning and was unable to put it down until it reached its climatic ending on Monday night.

The story is written in two periods of time, between 1914 and 2016. The story starts in 2016 when Kitty Fisher receives a mysterious letter informing her of an inheritance that her great grandfather left in an old cabin in Lake Akanabee outside New York. After discovering that her husband had been cheating on her, Kitty takes the time away in the cabin to sort out life as well as try to trace her family history and discover more about her intriguing great grandfather.

The other part of the story is set in1914 when cavalry officer Dmitri Malama awakens from his injuries and finds Grand Duchess Tatiana Romanov tending to his wounds, the two of them embark on a tentative friendship sharing stories of literature and fall in love with one another, as Russia embarks in wars and Dmitri fights for his country, their love grows and the two secretly wed. As things worsen in Russia, the country turns against the royal Romanov family and the family is tragically killed, Dmitri’s world falls apart. As the years pass, Dmitri refuses to give up on his beloved and puts all his energy into travelling through Europe hoping to find her. Through his grief, Dmitri becomes an accomplished novelist and slowly finds the energy to move on and even though he finds solace and companionship in another woman’s arms, his heart will always belong to Tatiana.

The story is such a gripping one and is not only a love story but is also a work of fiction, as the characters that Gill has written about are all real and for more this made for such a wonderful story. The story is based on historical facts and this alone made the story quite thrilling reading. As the lifeline of Dmitri and Tatiana’s love life spanned over years and then carried on with Dmitri’s life. I’ve loved Gill’s previous books as the research and work she puts into her novels is outstanding and makes for fascinating and educational reading.

The inclusion of Kitty’s present drama, was a clever idea as it tied neatly with the historical tale as Kitty delved further into her family’s history and the chapters interweave seamlessly, straying from poverty stricken Russia and Berlin to modern day New York, where Kitty is struggling to find a wifi signal.

A luxurious story riddled with atmosphere and despair from the very beginning, ‘The Secret Wife’ is a cleverly crafted and meticulously researched book and is not only a work of haunting fiction but essentially a sweet historical love story, that made for tender and poignant reading. I absolutely adored this story.

You can buy The Secret Wife from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Cover Reveal – The Secret Wife By Gill Paul

The Secret WifeToday on Handwritten Girl, I’m revealing the cover to Gill Paul’s new book called ‘The Secret Wife’.

The story of ‘The Secret Wife’ is –

A Russian grand duchess and an English journalist. Linked by one of the world’s greatest mysteries . . .

1914

Russia is on the brink of collapse, and the Romanov family faces a terrifyingly uncertain future. Grand Duchess Tatiana has fallen in love with injured cavalry officer Dmitri, but events take a catastrophic turn, placing their romance – and their lives – in danger . . .

2016

Kitty Fisher escapes to her great-grandfather’s remote cabin in America, after a devastating revelation forces her to flee London. There, on the shores of Lake Akanabee, she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to an extraordinary, long-buried family secret . . .

Haunting, moving and beautifully written, The Secret Wife effortlessly crosses centuries, as past merges with present in an unforgettable story of love, loss and resilience.

For fans of romantic, historical novels, ‘The Secret Wife’ is a must read.

You can pre-order The Secret Wife from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 25th August 2016.

The Affair By Gill Paul

The Affair‘The Affair’ is the latest book by Gill Paul.

In Rome 1961, Diana Bailey is brought to the set of ‘Cleopatra’ to begin work as a historical advisor and strikes up a friendship with young make up artist, Helen. Tensions are running high on the film set as the film is running into financial difficulty and the paparazzi are whipping up a media storm over the very public affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. As Diana adjusts to her new life away from her troubled marriage, she seeks solace in Ernesto, a charming member of the film crew. But as she grows closer to him, she spends less time with Helen, who is harbouring a dark secret of her own.

‘The Affair’ is the first book that I have read by Gill Paul and I honestly thought it was a captivating story about one of the silver screens most admired and sought after heroines.

Told beautifully through the eyes of bystanders, the story of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s torrid love affair is revealed whilst filming one of most cinematographic films of all times, ‘Cleopatra’. Set in Italy, the story is vividly descriptive, from the beautiful landscapes to the breathtaking costumes, the story was such a gloriously captivating tale, that I couldn’t put it down.

Within ‘The Affair’ there are three stories, the main story revolves around Diana, as she embarks on her adventure on Italy and her new found relationship in Ermesto whilst her husband stays at home in England, the sub stories are the affair between Elizabeth and Richard and the paparazzi that are eager to capture their every moment together and finally there is Scott, a young American journalist who wants to be taken seriously as a journalist and reveal Italy’s drug lords but all his editor wants is stories of Elizabeth and Richard. With alternate chapters of the story being seen through the characters eyes, with twists and turns thrown in throughout, I thought it flowed cleverly together and came together nicely in the end.

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Affair’ I thought it was a wonderfully unique story that had my full attention from the very start, filled with glamorous locations and characters, this story oozes sophistication and sex appeal that made it a very hard book to put down. A story that is beautifully written and obviously a lot of hard work went into, this book is definately for fans of Elizabeth Taylor and for those who had a keen interest in her great affair with Richard Burton.

You can buy The Affair on Amazon and is available from good bookshops.

Handwritten Girl’s Adventure To Avon/Harper Collins

Harper Collins/Avon

Authors from left to right – Laura Ziepe, (Essex Girls), Sophie Hart, (The Naughty Girls Bookclub), Gill Paul, (The Affair and Women and Children First), Julia Williams, (A Merry Little Christmas) Fiona Gibson, (Pedigree Mum), Claudia Carroll (A Very Accidental Love Story) and Erin Kaye (Second Time Around).

Last week, Handwritten Girl was a bit quiet as I had taken myself away on a little adventure to London, to the Avon Digital Drinks reception at the Harper Collins building.

Becke Parker kindly invited me along with with fellow book reviewers giving us the perfect opportunity to meet some of our favourite Avon authors. It was there that I met author of ‘Pearshaped’, Stella Newman and Sam Binnie, who’s latest book ‘The Baby Diaries’ has just hit the bookshelves. Both authors were so welcoming and we discovered a mutual love for Ryan Gosling.

Fiona Gibson, author of ‘Pedigree Mum’ was lovely, having travelled from Scotland was eager to hear all about the website and gave me a copy of her latest to review. Erin Kaye, fellow Northern Irelander is an author I had heard off but hadn’t had the chance to read, but this was soon rectified after she kindly gave a signed copy of her latest ‘Second Time Around’. Erin was particularly lovely, offering me tips and advice on my writing, whilst telling me about her own writing journey and how she thinks the writing industry itself, is developing.

Finally I got to meet the lovely bubbly Claudia Carroll, having chatted regularly on Twitter, it was wonderful to meet her in person and what a delightful character she was, chatting away and offering tips and ideas for what we could do during our brief stay in the city.

After wine and cupcakes and being shown around the offices where I was allowed to take books that caught my attention. I left Harper Collins on a high with a big bag of books including a advanced copy of Claudia Carroll’s brand spanking new book, ‘Me and You’. After a short but fun evening, I wish to extend a huge thank you to Becke Parker, for the wonderful invite and for looking after all of us!