When love is blindTitle: When Love is Blind

Author: Mary Burchell

Pages: 147 Pages

Publisher: Endeavour Press

The Blurb

Dreams have been dashed…

Antoinette Burney, a more than promising music student, is disappointed and furious when the famous concert pianist Lewis Freemont fails her in an exam.

To make matters worse, he tells her forthrightly that she will never make the grade as a professional pianist.

Her hopes and dreams of success and notoriety are all destroyed in a single blow.

She doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to forgive him.

But it would seem that fate has other ideas and the tables are quickly turned, making Antoinette the innocent cause of the accident that, in destroying Lewis Freemont’s sight, destroys his career as well.

Subdued by his debilitating condition and the knowledge that he will never play the piano again, Lewis quickly becomes a shell of his former self.

Horrified and remorseful, when Antoinette gets a chance to make some sort of amends — by becoming Lewis’s secretary — she seizes it with both hands.

Just when she thought life couldn’t get any more complicated, Antoinette soon finds herself falling in love with the man that only a few weeks ago, she despised.

But what will Lewis do when, as inevitably he must, he discovers who she really is?

Full of hope and broken dreams, When Love is Blind is a heartfelt tale about never giving up.

The Review

If you are a fan of the classical romance then When Love is Blind is the book for you. Originally written in 1968, Mary Burchell delivers a story of love. Part Beauty and the Beast part Cyrano de Bergerac, the story focuses on Antoinette Burney; once music student whose career was cruelly ended by Lewis Freemont a concert pianist with too sharp a tongue. Overcoming the animosity due to Lewis Freemont’s sudden blindness, the course of love doesn’t run smoothly.

This is only a short novel but it one that has stood the test of time. It has aged beautifully. When Love is Blind is a classic story of love overcoming diversity and I really enjoyed reading it.

When Love is Blind by Mary Burchell is available now.

For more information regarding Endeavour Press (@EndeavourPress) please visit www.endeaourpress.com.

3 Stars

The Language of LoveTitle: The Language of Love

Author: Jean Saunders

Pages: 140 Pages

Publisher: Endeavour Press

The Blurb

Every end brings a new beginning…

Widowed at the young age of twenty, Annette Granger vowed that she would never love another man.

Instead, she was going to focus her career and throw herself into making her business a success.

Eight years on, Annette is now running the most accomplished florists in London and although her professional life is soaring to new heights, the same cannot be said for her personal life.

That is, until the mysterious Dutchman Pieter Van Ness walks into her life, turning Annette’s world upside down.

Still devoted to her husband, Annette resists the gorgeous Pieter’s advances despite him awakening a hunger within her that she long thought dead.

Will Annette allow herself to be loved, and more importantly, will she allow herself to love again?

Filled with heart-stopping romance, The Language of Love is a moving tale about new beginning that will have you laughing and crying in equal measures.

The Review

When I initially requested The Language of Love by Jean Saunders from NetGalley I was unaware that it was originally printed in 1983. Not that this is a problem. Great things happened in 1983 such as: the introduction of the (soon to be defunct) pound coin, the song Karma Chameleon was released and – most importantly – I was born. Had I known it was released in 1983 I still would have requested it because it has a lovely cover and I am sucker for them.

I found out its original release date before I started reading and to be honest it helped me along the way quite a lot. For you see The Language of Love is very much of its time. It is a lovely story of a lonely florist who is scared to let her heart be free to love after suffering a terrible loss. And, as is the way with romantic stories, the florist – Annette – finds love with a seemingly arrogant Mr Darcy type. So far, so normal. The issue with The Language of Love is not the story, it is the passage of time since it was released. Readers have adapted and changed and what was relatively acceptable in 1983 isn’t acceptable now. The florid language used to describe the sexy scenes made you think of wind machines and big hair do’s and chiffon nightgowns…possibly with enormous shoulder pads. Also the desires that Annette has to give up her career and raise a family and look after a husband don’t really resonate in 2017.

That being said, if you read the book in context of its original publication date and what society was like in the 1980s it makes it easier to swallow. It is a story about freeing your heart again and in a strange sense it is rather hopeful. It is just a bit cloying for a modern 21st century female reader.

The Language of Love by Jean Saunders is available now.

For more information regarding Endeavour Press (@endeavour_press) please visit www.endeavourpress.com.

3 Stars

aliceTitle: Alice

Author: Eva Hanagan

Pages: 182 Pages

Publisher: Endeavour Press

The Blurb

Sometimes you have to return to the past… 

Shortly after the death of her much-loved husband, Alice Willoughby decides to return to Fernhust, her late aunt’s rambling house on the Sussex Downs and scene to a great part of her happy childhood.

Settling down to rebuild her life, Alice finds herself caught between a wistful nostalgia for her youth and a growing sense of guilt for her absence during her Aunt Sophie’s last pitiful years.

A guilt no doubt heightened by the wily charms of her manipulative old headmistress, Miss Vine.

Yet Alice’s weakening confidence is greatly bolstered by her friendship with Paul, an attractive antiques dealer and newcomer to the village.

With Paul’s warmth and gentle manners, Alice can’t help but feel pleased with his curious familiarity with Aunt Sophie’s home.

But her pleasure is undermined by a nagging unease.

Why did her aunt fail to make a provision in her will for her loyal housekeeper Nancy?

Such a cruel, inexplicable omission.

As Alice tackles this puzzle, she discovers that things, objects and people are not always quite what they seem…

With its wittily portrayed cast of characters, Alice is a sharply observed and affectionate portrait of one woman’s triumph of hope over despair.

The Review

Before I started reading Alice by Eva Hanagan I foolishly looked at the star rating on Goodreads. It was stuck on two stars. I am split as to if I think this is fair or not.

I think it is a little unfair. Alice isn’t a bad novel. It is written very much in a style of how the Southern, older, upper-middle class generation is likely to sound (all stereotypes being adhered to). It is a story of old friends, antique forgery and a bit of mystery.

Alice is a novel that tries hard but in a weird sense is hard to appreciate or empathise with. The writing is very stylised and the story is good. It just doesn’t have mass appeal.

Alice by Eva Hanagan is available now.

For more information regarding Endeavour Press (@EndeavourPress) please visit www.endeavourpress.com.

3-stars

least-saidTitle: Least Said

Author: Pamela Fudge

Pages: 182 Pages

Publisher: Endeavour Press

The Blurb

We’re all searching for our happily ever after…

Jon and Wendy are happily married.

Parents to adorable six-year-old Will, life is as sweet as the cakes Wendy bakes for a living.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Jon and Wendy met after both their parents were killed in a coach crash in Scotland.

After they married, all they wanted was a child of their own.

But after experiencing problems conceiving, Jon learns he has a low sperm count and that while not impossible, having a baby might not be on the cards.

Embarrassed and ashamed, Jon convinces Wendy that her weight is the real reason why they can’t conceive.

Soon, their happy marriage is in jeopardy, and when Wendy finds a text on Jon’s phone from a female co-worker promising him a weekend to remember, she is convinced Jon’s having an affair.

Angry and hurt, Wendy ends up in bed with a rugby player, Adonis, at her friend’s wedding.

So when Wendy discovers she is pregnant, she doesn’t know who the father is.

Unsure what to do, when her best friend Tina suggests she keep the issue of paternity secret, Wendy agrees.

Time passes and Wendy’s worries are all but forgotten until one day she runs into Adonis.

When he shows up at Will’s school soon after, Wendy is convinced that he’s stalking her.

The Review

Oh I am in a quandary. Least Said by Pamela Fudge is a good story. There were elements of Least Said that were told really well but there were other parts that kind of annoyed me.

Least Said is the story of Wendy and Jon. They have a perfect marriage and are the proud parents of a perfect little boy. However, behind the picture perfect existence is a secret. The secret being that Will, their son, may not actually have been fathered by Jon but the product of a one night stand. And like all dirty secrets the truth – if revealed – will alter the course of the lives for this family.

So far so good, right? I admit, the premise for this book is really good and the last third of the book is really well written and gripping. However, earlier in the book I found myself getting really frustrated. The details of Wendy’s affair were just banged out at every opportunity. It felt like Fudge laboured the point until it got difficult to feel any sympathy for Wendy. I found myself telling the book “yes, I get it, she had an affair and it could destroy her life. Blah blah blah.”

Maybe it was just me. Maybe I need to have a bit more tolerance but I felt that the point was over emphasised far too much.

Besides this bone of contention, the story is pretty good. Fudge nails the feeling of paranoia from Wendy who is convinced that her past is going to catch up with her mixed with the innocence of a child that is being protected by his parents.

Give Least Said a read and join in the debate.

Least Said by Pamela Fudge is available now.

For more information regarding Pamela Fudge (@Pam_Fudge) please visit www.pamfudge.co.uk.

For more information regarding Endeavour Press (@EndeavourPress) please visit www.endeavourpress.com.

3-stars

byronTitle: Byron – A Poet Dangerous to Know

Author: Geoffrey Trease

Pages: 165 Pages

Publisher: Endeavour Press

The Blurb

“A poet dangerous to know,” said Lady Caroline Lamb, infatuated with Lord Byron

As were many others, both in fact and in fancy, for he was a man who had the misfortune to become a legend in his own time.

It was largely a scandalous legend.

The reputed improprieties of his life have continued to shadow his name and obscure the details of what was in essence a tragic story.

Born of an unhappy marriage, lame from infancy, reared in an uncomfortable mixture of poverty and grandeur, Byron was also gifted, spectacularly handsome, and a peer, attributes which ensured his entry into fashionable London society.

He was headstrong, brave almost to recklessness, and proud, a storm-centre wherever he went, his complex character an enigma both to his admirers and detractors.

Geoffrey Trease traces Byron’s turbulent career, outlining with tact and clarity the varied relationships that formed his character and ordered his life from its deprived beginning to his untimely death, mourned by Greek patriots and a handful of loyal and devoted friends.

He relates the poet’s work to the events that inspired and enriched them.

Byron’s poems are so interwoven with his personal life that they are often incomprehensible by themselves, and Byron’s human relationships must be explained as well as his foreign travels and romantic death.

The Review

I’m not a lover of reading poetry. It hurts me to say that because I do love reading and I’m an old romantic at heart but I have never really fallen in love with poetry as an art form. However, as a craft I absolutely adore it. I love getting to the nitty gritty of a poem and basking in the cleverness of the writer. I get to do this a lot because I work in a high school and I am often involved in poetry lessons.

This year I discovered the poetry of Byron. It is actually quite shocking that it took me 33 years but hey ho, what can you do?  I found his work captivating so when the option came up to read about his fascinating and scandalous life I jumped at the chance.

Byron A Poet Dangerous To Know is a brilliant guide to all things Byron. The book delves into his life, his loves, his family history and all the little things that made Byron tick. Trease’s writing style made the biography very readable. Never did I feel too bogged down by information and it almost felt like the biography read as a novel but then Byron’s life was lived in quite a dramatic and entertaining fashion that I am not surprised by this.

If you are new to Byron’s poetry then I would definitely recommend giving Geoffrey Trease’s book a read.

Byron A Poet Dangerous To Know by Geoffrey Trease is available now.

For more information regarding Endeavour Press (@EndeavourPress) please visit www.endeavourpress.com.4-stars