THE LOST LOVE LETTERS OF HENRI FOURNIER by Rosalind Brackenbury

The Lost Love Letters of Henri Fournier

What do you do when you’ve lost the love of your life?

Seb Fowler has arrived in Paris to research his literary idol, Henri Fournier. It begins with an interview granted by a woman whose affair with the celebrated writer trails back to World War I. The enchanting Pauline is fragile, but her memories are alive—those of an illicit passion, of the chances she took and never regretted, and of the twists of fate that defined her unforgettable love story.

Through Pauline’s love letters, her secrets, and a lost Fournier manuscript, Seb will come to learn so much more—about Pauline, Henri, and himself. For Seb, every moment of Pauline’s past proves to be more inspiring than he could have imagined. She’s given him the courage to grab hold of whatever life offers, to cherish each risk, and to pursue love in his life.

Intimately epic, The Lost Love Letters of Henri Fournier spans generations to explore every beautiful mystery of falling in love, being in love, and losing a love—and, most important, daring to love again and discovering just how resilient the human heart can be.

Spanning time from 1910 to 2013, this tale of forbidden love, war and the taboos of the time.

Little did Sebastian know that first interview with Pauline in 1975, would send him on a journey, to write his book, to fall in love and then lose her before going back to where it began. Only this time Pauline is long gone and what is left are Henri’s family.

And more lost letters and another unpublished story. And within a few weeks he is planning on selling his own home and living with the last of the family.

This is the story of a very young man, having an affair with a very married woman as well as being an actress of some fame. Henri’ is young and impressionable and full of energy and writes a beautiful book before war comes calling and Henri will not be returning.

The problem for me was the love letters. Really there wasn’t a lot told about exactly what was in them. Every thought each character had been written down and it slowed the pace significantly enough that I got bored and didn’t really care about any of them. They were all rather superficial and hard to care about. Even though they did exist. Pauline and Henri. And his body was found and returned home. The unpublished work never published but the originals were by their descendants.

I would not read it again.

NetGalley/ Lake Union Publishing June 12, 2018

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NO CURE for the DEAD by Christine Trent

No Cure for the Dead (A Florence Nightingale Mystery #1)

A Florence Nightingale Mystery

When a young nurse dies on her watch, Florence Nightingale must uncover the deep-hidden secrets someone will kill to keep buried.

It is 1853. Lady of the Lamp Florence Nightingale has just accepted the position of Superintendent of the Establishment for Gentlewomen During Temporary Illness in London. She has hardly had time to learn the names of the nurses in her charge when she suddenly finds one of them hanging in the Establishment’s library. Her name was Nurse Bellamy.

Florence’s mettle is tested by the dual goals of preserving what little reputation her hospital has and bringing Nurse Bellamy’s killer to justice. Her efforts are met with upturned noses and wayward glances except for her close friend and advocate inside the House of Commons, Sidney Herbert. As Florence digs deeper, however, her attention turns to one of the hospital investors and suddenly, Sidney becomes reluctant to help.

With no one but herself to count on, Florence must now puzzle out what the death of an unknown, nondescript young nurse has to do with conspiracies lurking about at the highest levels of government before she’s silenced too.

A Fictionalized version of the famous Nurse Nightingale has her just beginning her career in a Women’s Hospital that is in desperate need of a remodel and probably a good fumigation!

Florence is determined to succeed in her new post as superintendent but she isn’t getting very far, as nurses are not formally trained and viewed on the same level as prostitutes. So she first needs to see them trained and have their own personal hygiene updated as well.

When she finds the dead nurse swinging from the library ceiling, she quickly finds out that if she doesn’t find out who did this and why she will be out of a job.

This was a very grim and hard to get through read. I honestly can’t find one redeeming quality in any of them, including Florence. Not a very flattering look at this fictionalized view of her.

Would I read it again? No. But give it a try to see what you think!

Netgalley/Crooked Lane Books  May 8, 2018

Titles To Look Forward To In May!

Sign of the Cross (Cal Donovan #1) Introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan in the first of an intriguing new series of religious conspiracy thrillers.   May 1st

Love and Ruin The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century. May 1st

Summer in a Cornish Cove Set against the stunning backdrop of the glorious Cornish Riviera, this summer will change their lives for ever! The book to fall in love with this summer – May 1st

The Favorite Sister When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder… May 15th

Fowl of the House of Usher (A Bird Lover's Mystery #7) It really is the dead of winter in Ruby Lake when a party becomes an invitation to murder for Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms . . . May 15th

 

Meltdown A timely thriller illuminating facts regarding the state of the world’s energy crisis, climate change, and the quandary of nuclear energy— May 15th

Beach House Reunion (Beach House #5) Whisking you back to the shores of her bestselling Beach House series, Mary Alice Monroe weaves together a tale of the struggles and triumphs of the historic Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina. May 22nd

A lot of good titles coming in May. Time to start planning those vacation reads! What’s on your May list?

xx Patricia

LOVE AND RUIN by PAULA McLAIN

Love and Ruin

The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century

In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in devastating conflict. She also finds herself unexpectedly—and uncontrollably—falling in love with Hemingway, a man already on his way to becoming a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the tumultuous backdrops of Madrid, Finland, China, Key West, and especially Cuba, where Martha and Ernest make their home, their relationship and professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man’s wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that will force her to break his heart, and her own.

This was a great work of historical fiction. Coming after The Paris Wife, where we read about Hemingway’s marriage to Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives, this to me was even better!

Martha Gellhorn is a well-known name in journalism and I loved her fierce independence and the way she knew herself so well. Instead of getting lost in the shadow of the great Hemingway, Martha was the one that got away. The one that left him and made her own star shine so brightly. I have great admiration for this woman and this was a very good look at two passionate people and the ups and downs of their relationship, but this was truly Martha’s story.

What a great story!

Netgalley/Ballentine Books  May 01,2018

SIGN of the CROSS by GLENN COOPER

Sign of the Cross (Cal Donovan #1)

Introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan in the first of an intriguing new series of religious conspiracy thrillers. 

Responding to an urgent summons from the Vatican, Harvard professor of religion and archaeology, Cal Donovan, flies to Italy to interview a young priest who has developed the stigmata of the crucifixion. Stunned to discover that the priest’s condition may be genuine, Cal determines to uncover the cause of the mysterious wounds.

But Cal is not the only one. When Giovanni is kidnapped from his church at dead of night, Cal comes to realize that the priest holds the key to an earth-shattering secret: a secret which a shadowy nationalist organization is desperate to control. Teaming up with Giovanni’s sister Irene, Cal must unravel the mystery and track down Giovanni in a perilous race against the clock … before an apocalyptic catastrophe is unleashed.

I do love a good religious conspiracy book! Especially one so well researched.

As a Catholic and a History teacher the subject matter was very interesting. We all know the Nazi’s made off with a lot of holy relics and artifacts. Remember the movie The Monument Men? And it’s quite easy in this day and age to imagine those bad guys are still out there trying to take things that don’t belong to them and they have no problem killing anyone in their way.

Full of suspense, rich in history and fast paced action will draw you in and keep you biting your lip!

Cal is a good character. Funny, a bit of a drinker and yet can still hold his own with the Pope. He is like a Catholic Indiana Jones! And I loved every minute of this book.

Netgalley/Severn House May 01, 2018

 

What’s On Your Reading Pile Today?

The Neighbor In a taut psychological thriller filled with breathtaking twists, Joseph Souza explores the tangle of betrayal and deception between two neighboring couples, and asks how well we can really know others–or ourselves.

Love and Ruin The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century

Sign of the Cross (Cal Donovan #1) Introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan in the first of an intriguing new series of religious conspiracy thrillers. 

This is a short list this week as I also have to finish packing. But some good books on the shelf. Remember The Fourth Monkey? Well I have the sequel. The Fifth To Die by J.D.Barker so I am looking forward to some really good horror!

I’m almost finished with Sign of the Cross. It is one of those books that I have to keep grabbing my research card or bug my good friend and author, Felix Alexander, who wrote The Secret of Heaven and see if his research matched up to mine. Thank goodness! There’s murder, intrigue and even the stigmata in this one. Severn House has the most interesting reads!

Enjoy your Wednesday. What’s on your week?

xx Patricia

 

THE CANDLE FACTORY GIRL by TANIA CROSSE

The Candle Factory Girl: A gritty story of deceit and betrayal...

1930’s London – A backstreet saga full of hopes, dreams and the fight for survival. Perfect for the fans of Rosie Clarke and Lindsey Hutchinson.

Work at Price’s Candle Factory in Battersea is tedious for intelligent, seventeen-year-old Hillie Hardwick, but she knows she is lucky to have a job at all.

Her home life is no better, as she constantly battles with her exacted and bullying father in order to protect her mother and five younger siblings from his tyranny of abuse.

Her only solace is her loving relationship with the chaotic Parker family and her best friend, Gert Parker.

When matters violently escalate for Hillie, smitten Jack-the-Lad Jimmy Baxter seems her only salvation.

But could this be the biggest mistake of her life, and should she be looking for protection nearer home?

A story that crackles with unease where courage and friendship are the only hope.

Set in a time where women and girls did not have much say in their lives. It was acceptable to leave school at 14 and go to work. And that is what Hillie did. Much to her own dismay. She works and must turn her paycheck over to her father, who in turn physically and verbally abuses her on a daily basis as well as her mum.

Hillie doesn’t understand why her father does this. Why he hates her so much. She just wants out. And in her desperation she makes a choice she may later come to regret.

This story of families, secrets, hardship and life in the 30’s was a little sad, but ultimately seeing Hillie free herself allows other girls to stand up to their overbearing parents and grab the life and love that they want.

Good, Solid story!

NetGalley/Aria   March 01, 2018