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The Wardrobe Mistress By Natalie Meg Evans

The Wardrobe Mistress‘The Wardrobe Mistress’ is the latest book by Natalie Meg Evans.

London 1945. A young war widow steps aboard a train in search of a new life. Clutching the key to a mysterious inheritance, Vanessa Kingcourt can no longer resist the pull of the old Farren Theatre – an enchanted place seeped in memories of her actor father. Now owned by troubled former captain Alistair Redenhall, The Farren is in need of a Wardrobe Mistress and a new lease of life. With no experience and no budget for supplies, Vanessa must use her intuition to create beautiful costumes from whatever scraps of silk and thread survived the blitz. It’s a seemingly impossible task, but a welcome distraction as she struggles to resist her blossoming feelings for Alistair. What Vanessa discovers could unravel family secrets sewn deep into the very fabric of the London theatre scene . . . but will she repeat the same terrible mistakes her father made? And can she dare to love a man who will never be hers?

Natalie is back with another gripping read set in the aftermath of the Second World War.

In this story, we meet Alistair and Vanessa, an unlikely pair who forge a professional friendship when they work at The Farren, a popular theatre.

After her father left when she was child, Vanessa was consumed with wondering what became of him. She knew he had an acting career at The Farren, so she returns to the old theatre after his death and takes on the old of wardrobe mistress even though she has absolutely no experience in the trade. Meanwhile, Alaistair is the husband of Vanessa’s best friend whose marriage is falling apart, having left the navy after the war, Alaistair takes over the The Farren and prepares for their first performance.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the background of war ridden London trying to recover itself made for atmospheric reading. The characters are engaging and complimentary with each other, with Vanessa’s humour and outspoken nature and Alaistair’s charisma, they made an entertaining couple, even though they both tried to deny their attraction to each other. There are two parts to the story, as Vanessa delves into her father’s past and tries to solve the mystery of the tiny key that she was given as a child and as she tries to find her place in life.

Filled with flamboyant and dramatic characters, beautiful fashion and riddled with suspense and mystery throughout ‘The Wardrobe Mistress’ is a romantic and luxurious tale that made for memorable reading

You can buy The Wardrobe Mistress from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

After The Last Dance By Sarra Manning

After The Last Dancer’After The Last Dance’ is the latest book by Sarra Manning.

Kings Cross station, 1943. Rose arrives in London hoping to swap the drudgery of wartime for romance, glamour and jiving with GIs at Rainbow Corner, the famous dance hall in Piccadilly Circus. As the bombs fall, Rose loses her heart to a pilot but will lose so much more before the war has done its worst. Las Vegas, present day. A beautiful woman in a wedding dress walks into a seedy bar and asks the first man she sees to marry her. When Leo slips the ring onto Jane’s finger, he has no idea that his new wife will stop at nothing to get what she wants. So when Jane meets Rose, now a formidable older lady, there’s no love lost between them. But with time running out, can Rose and Jane come together to make peace with the tragic secrets that have always haunted their lives?

I’m a huge fan of Sarra’s books, they’re always witty and sassy stories of strong women, so when she moved to Sphere Books to write Historical Fiction, I was curious to see how this genre would work out for her and I’m delighted to say that I really liked this book.

The story floats between two times, 1943 during the peak of World War II when Rose moves to the bright lights of London, where she hangs out with her new friends at Rainbow Corners, she meets GI’s and falls for a handsome American pilot, a man who promises her the world as the war rages around them, she feels safe with him and hopes for a future with him when the war is over. The story then moves forward to present day, where we meet Jane, who’s just run from away from her fiancé in Las Vegas. She meets English gentleman Leo, a charismatic man who is riddled with his own ghosts and demons, she convinces Leo to marry her and two of them embarking on a turbulent relationship. But, when the pair of them return to England when they receive word of Leo’s sick aunt Rose, the two of them find themselves not only getting to know each other but themselves as well.

I loved the characters in this book, particularly Rose and Jane, two fiery and passionate women, who argue against each other but yet so similar in their lives as well as their concern for Leo, a troubled soul, who has yet to settle down. After living through the war and losing friends and love, Rose has become a hardened and successful woman who is not afraid to voice her opinion. Whilst Jane, has a spent a her time running from life and trying to finally find happiness, but as she gets to know Leo, she begins to realise that life isn’t always about material possessions as the two of them form a bond with each other, as they deal with the difficulty of Rose’s illness.

The story is beautifully written and oozes glamour from the first page, set against the bomb ridden back drop of London, the social dance halls provide the perfect distraction to the war that claims lives around them. The plot line is skilfully written and has a playful narrative throughout whether it’s the banter between Rose and her forsaken nephew Leo, or Leo and Jane beginning their new relationship, the dark scenes of war and carnage are accompanied with tender love scenes.

An atmospheric story that spans wonderfully over the years, ‘After The Last Dance’ is a sophisticated love story that pulls the reader in.

You can buy After the Last Dance from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Sarra Manning Releases New Book – The House Of Secrets

The House Of SecretsSarra Manning is back with her second historical fiction book called ‘The House Of Secrets’.

The story of ‘The House Of Secrets’ is –

Every home has a story to tell . . .

An ordinary house on an ordinary street, built in 1936 and never lived in. Its rooms might be empty, but this house is full of secrets.

When Zoe and Win, raw and reeling from a recent tragedy, move into their new home it’s meant to be a fresh start and a way to mend the holes in their relationship.

But pushed to the back of a cupboard is a suitcase that’s been gathering dust for eighty years. Inside is a wedding dress, letters and a diary all belonging to a woman called Libby. And there’s something else in the suitcase, something that echoes Zoe’s own pain.

Zoe follows Libby’s trail from Paris to Spain on the brink of Civil War to secret trysts in London, and as Libby finds the courage to live and love again, Zoe begins to let go of her own grief.

But when Libby’s story takes a darker turn, Zoe becomes increasingly obsessed with discovering what really happened all those years ago. Because if Libby managed to get her happy ever after then maybe Zoe and Win can too.

With it’s beautiful cover, ‘The House Of Secrets’ sounds like a classy read from Sarra.

You can pre-order The House of Secrets from Amazon and will be available to buy from 27th July 2017.

Adele Parks’ New Book – Spare Brides

Spare BridesFans of Adele Parks will be delighted to hear that she has already lined up her next book for 2014 and for the first time ever, she has written a historical fiction book called ‘Spare Brides’

The story of ‘Spare Brides’ is –

New Year’s Eve, 1920. The Great War is over and it’s a new decade of glamorous promise. But a generation of men and women who survived the extreme trauma and tragedy will never be the same.

With countless men lost, it seems that only wealth and beauty will secure a husband from the few who returned, but lonely Beatrice has neither attribute. Ava has both, although she sees marriage as a restrictive cage after the freedom war allowed. Sarah paid the war’s ultimate price: her husband’s life. Lydia should be grateful that her own husband’s desk job kept him safe, but she sees only his cowardice.

A chance encounter for one of these women with a striking yet haunted officer changes everything. In a world altered beyond recognition, where not all scars are visible, this damaged and beautiful group must grasp any happiness they can find – whatever the cost.

I love Adele’s books and I am usually found in a sobbing mess after reading them and with a wonderfully glamorous cover, ‘Spare Brides’ definitely sounds like an heartbreaker of a story.

You can pre-order Spare Brides from Amazon and will be available to buy from 13th February 2014.

Historical Fiction Winner Revealed

Historical Fiction GiveawayCongratulations to June Seghni, who is the lucky winner of my Historical Fiction giveaway. A book bundle filled with two books is on its way to her.

A huge thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway, and don’t worry if you didn’t win this time because I have loads more competitions lined up!