‘House of Shadows’ by Nicola Cornick

hos ncSTORY: London, 1662:

There was something the Winter Queen needed to tell him. She fought for the strength to speak.
‘The crystal mirror is a danger. It must be destroyed – ‘
He replied instantly. ‘It will’.

Ashdown, Oxfordshire, present day:

Ben Ansell is researching his family tree when he disappears. As his sister Holly begins a desperate search, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to an ornate antique mirror and to the diary of Lavinia, a 19th century courtesan who was living at Ashdown House when it burned to the ground over 200 years ago.

Intrigued, and determined to find out more about the tragedy at Ashdown, Holly’s only hope is that uncovering the truth about the past will lead her to Ben.

REVIEW: Queen Elizabeth is married to King Frederick who is a member of the Order of the Rosy Cross. From this group she was given a crystal mirror surrounded by diamonds plus a large pearl known as the Sistrin pearl. Both of these things are said to be powerful and while the force was once used for good, the power has now been corrupted by the greed of men. Thus begins the story of how this mirror and pearl have affected the lives of people from 1596 to the present day.

William Craven was a loyal courtier to Queen Elizabeth for many years. It is said that they had married after the death or King Frederick. Craven did the Queen’s bidding in many different ways. Knowing that the mirror and pearl have now become symbols of evil, Craven thought he had destroyed them. But they resurfaced many years later.

Today, we find Holly whose brother, Ben, has gone missing from their vacation home called Ashdown Mill. The area was once part of a home that Craven had built for Elizabeth. Holly decides to move into the house while the search is on for Ben. When she starts researching the area and the history of Craven and Elizabeth, she uncovers information about the mirror and pearl. In addition, she finds an old diary written long ago with ties to this significant past.

This was an interesting book, but a bit too long and detailed for my taste. It goes back and forth from the 1600’s to present day. History buffs will probably love it.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘The Lady and the Laird’ by Nicola Cornick

TLATL NCSTORY: An Indecent Proposal!

Lady Lucy MacMorlan may have forsworn men and marriage, but that doesn’t mean she won’t agree to profit from writing love letters for her brother’s friends – letters that become increasingly racy as her fame grows. That is, until she deliberately ruins the betrothal of a notorious laird, Robert, Marquis of Methven.

Past centuries of bloodshed have left the Methven and MacMorlan families bitter enemies and Robert is furious that Lady Lucy’s letters have cost him the bride he needs so urgently to save his ancestral clan lands. Now he makes Lucy a shocking proposal; in return for his silence she must become his wife and provide him with the heir he needs. It is an inconvenient marriage of convenience but can the rugged laird and the bluestocking beauty fight against the power of love?

REVIEW: This is Ms. Cornick’s first novel in Scottish Brides series and it really is a MUST read!

The novel is very funny, entertaining and just too sweet for words!

If you’re familiar with this author, then you already know that her novel’s are populated with strong, complex and always, always witty characters that stay with you a long time, and that’s what you’ll find here as well.

I adored both main characters, but especially Lucy. Her background in regards to her twin sister just took my breath away.

This was a strong woman with some issues that only a strong man could help with. As for Robert, not much was going to stand in this man’s way when it comes to his duty to his Clan.

I also liked the pace of the story. It wasn’t too fast and allowed me to thoroughly immerse into not just the growing relationship between the leads, but also into their respective backgrounds. It’s their lives before they met each other that shaped who they were, and how that would impact their future, if they were to have one.

There are so many, many scenes which made me laugh out loud that I had tears in my eyes…like the scene in which Robert is jilted at the altar and our heroine realizes that he knows this debacle is her fault.

If you’ve never had a chance to read this author, then this is a perfect book to introduce her to you. I promise you’ll find the plot interesting, characters entertaining and the dialogue witty and charming. And let’s not forget those love scenes which will get your blood pumping! Recommending it to all Regency lovers, and especially those who love a man in a kilt!

Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by publisher through NetGalley.