blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: An Unsuitable Heiress – Jane Dunn

‘Do you realise, Corinna, just how hard it is for a young woman of irregular birth, without family, fortune or friends in the world? Marriage is the only way to get any chance of a life.’
Following the death of her mother, Corinna Ormesby has lived a quiet life in the countryside with her cantankerous Cousin Agnes. Her father’s identity has been a tantalising mystery, but now at nineteen Corinna knows that finding him may be her only way to avoid marriage to the odious Mr Beech.
Deciding to head to London, Corinna dons a male disguise. Travelling alone as a young woman risks scandal and danger, but when, masquerading as a youth, she is befriended by three dashing blades,
handsome and capable Alick Wolfe, dandy Ferdinand Shilton and the incorrigible Lord Purfoy, Corinna now has access to the male-only world of Regency England. And when she meets Alick’s turbulent brother Darius, a betrayal of trust leads to deadly combat which only one of the brothers
may survive.
From gambling in gentleman’s clubs to meeting the courtesans of Covent Garden, Corinna’s country naivety soon falls away. But when she finds her father at last, learns the truth about her parentage
and discovers her fortunes transformed, she must quickly decide how to reveal her true identity, while hoping that one young man in particular can see her for the beauty and Lady she really is.

Jane Dunn is an historian and biographer and the author of seven acclaimed biographies, including Daphne du Maurier and her Sisters and the Sunday Times and NYT bestseller, Elizabeth & Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens. She comes to Boldwood with her first fiction outing – a trilogy of novels set in the Regency period, the first of which was published in January 2023. She lives in Berkshire with her husband, the linguist Nicholas Ostler.

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My thoughts: I loved this, Corinna (or Cory) is a wonderful protagonist and the friends she makes in London (and Will from back home) are a fun and charming bunch. The author has great fun with the Georgian slang these young bucks speak, and the various slightly outrageous things they get up to.

Cory is incredibly brave, and very lucky as things could have gone very wrong when she runs away dressed as a boy.

If you like Bridgerton or Georgette Heyer or any of the more recent Regency books (there’s so many around) then you need to get stuck into Jane Dunn’s books, there’s two out so far, and they’re both great. I loved this one and didn’t want it to end. With a fabulous cast of characters and real heart, it’s very much worth a read.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Second to Sin – Murray Bailey

“It only takes a second to sin,” Father Thomas said. He believes in saving souls, but Charles Balcombe is beyond saving. His control over his killer instinct appears to be weakening. BlackJack has killed again and more questions are being asked of Detective Inspector Munro. He is under increasing pressure to solve the murders, especially when he picks up more cases from Kowloon rather than solving his own.
As Balcombe battles with his demon, he investigates the death of a young woman. Was it an accident or did she kill herself? At first Balcombe thinks it’s straightforward but as he digs, other cases reveal an evil in Hong Kong. One that could consume them all.

Set in 1954, this is book 2 of the series. It can be read as a stand-alone but the author recommends book 1 (Once a Killer) first.
Perfect for fans of Chris Carter, David Baldacci and Tom Wood.

My thoughts: Balcombe is asked to look into a supposed suicide by a friend, the young woman was a Catholic and the scene felt odd. She wasn’t depressed and the last thing she’d done was take confession.

While he’s digging into her life and finding other suspicious deaths of young women, Inspector Murdo has his hands full. He’s looking into a cold case where a little girl went missing, and trying to keep another detective from getting too close to the BlackJack killings – he doesn’t need anyone to connect too many of the dots.

Balcombe is starting to lose control of BlackJack, the most recent killings have been extra brutal and he messed up slightly, leaving a clue that Munro’s colleague picks up on. Could it all get too hot for the unlikely pair?

There was less Albert in this book, which was a shame, but the cases Munro and Balcombe worked on were interesting and shocking, especially Balcombe’s – you won’t guess the ending at all. This series gets better with each book and is currently free on Kindle Unlimited.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Scarlet – Genevieve Cogman

In Revolutionary France, the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel rescue vampire aristocrats from the guillotine. And Eleanor, an English maid, is key to their most ambitious plot yet: save the royal family. But revolution’s a bloodthirsty business . . . Scarlet is a thrilling, fast-paced romp by Genevieve Cogman.

My thoughts: what if all the aristocrats (or most of them) were vampires and the French Revolution was against them as well as the human kind?

Eleanor works for a vampire aristo in England, who lends her to another – Sir Percy Blakeney and his wife due to her resemblance to a very important French woman they plan to rescue. Because Percy and his friends are the infamous Scarlet Pimpernel!

However Eleanor gets frustrated with their short sighted approach to things – rescuing those poor, innocent aristocrats, from the ungrateful poor, and not realising that some of the aims of the Revolution are positive. Because she’s working class, a maid, she has a very different perspective.

But she’s still willing to help them with the plan, and risk her own life, as she does several times, to help others in France.

Hijinks ensue as the team get into character and then end up in the sewers, as part of their escape. Can Eleanor succeed? Will she convince even one of the Pimpernel’s crew that not all of the Revolution’s ideas are bad?

This is the first in a trilogy from one of my favourite writers and I really enjoyed it, can’t wait for the next installment.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.


Book Blitz: The Timewalker Archives – Emily VanderBent

TheTimeWalker copy

This gorgeous special edition by Emily VanderBent is now available for preorder and contains both Crimson Time and Fractured Past. The Timewalker Archives will make a beautiful addition to any bookshelf!

This special edition includes:

  • An exclusive cover designed by @jeaninecroft with diamond 3D lettering
  • Full color character art by @colouranomaly
  • Colored pages including a signing page, book playlist, note from the author, and title page
  • 3 bonus scenes (one woven directly into the story and two in the book’s back matter told from Kolt and Teo’s perspective)
  • In-text graphics including articles, letters, and newspaper clippings
  • Exclusive trace pages designed by @marissamillerbooks

The Timewalker Archives Cover

The Timewalker Archives

Expected Publication Date: May 25, 2023

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy


  • Time Travel
  • Historical Descendants
  • Secret Society
  • Hidden Abilities
  • Deadly Competition
  • Slow Burn
  • Forced Proximity
  • Rivals to Lovers

Unlikely alliances, ancient lineages, and a rich history shrouded in secrets propel Adelaide Anson in her search for the only thing that matters—the truth behind the fire that claimed her parents’ lives.

When a mysterious letter appears promising answers, she finds herself joining the exclusive time traveling order of the Red Rose Society. As she makes her way from the French Revolution to the American Civil War and back again, Adelaide is left wondering who she can trust, and more importantly, who she’ll be. With danger and dashing companions at every turn, her emerging ability to see fragments of history leads her on a path to uncover the answers she seeks—and some she did not ask for.

While time unravels in ways she never thought possible, she’s forced to examine her role in history’s making. But as she quickly learns, the truth comes with a price and some secrets are better left buried.

Adelaide’s tale of twisted time will leave her asking the ultimate question—is protecting the past worth sacrificing your future?

The Timewalker Archives Vol. 1 combines Crimson Time and Fractured Past, the first two books in a young adult historical fantasy series perfect for fans of NBC’s Timeless and Alyson Noël’s Stealing Infinity.

Preorder Here!

About the Author


Emily VanderBent is a natural-born storyteller. As a writer and historian, she desires to celebrate women in history. Through her books, VanderBent uses elements of history to creatively engage readers with the past. She hopes her writing will encourage young women to fearlessly pursue their passions and own the narrative of their individual story.

While living in the real world, Emily dreams of days long past and stories yet to be told.

Emily VanderBent

Instagram: @emilyvanderbent_author

Twitter: @emvan6

TikTok: @emilyvanderbent_author

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Blog Tour: The Body at Carnival Bridge – Michelle Salter

How deadly is the fight for equality?
It’s 1922, and after spending a year travelling through Europe, Iris Woodmore returns home to find a changed Walden. Wealthy businesswoman Constance Timpson has introduced equal pay in her
factories and allows women to retain their jobs after they marry.
But these radical new working practices have made her deadly enemies.
A mysterious sniper fires a single shot at Constance – is it a warning, or did they shoot to kill? When one of her female employees is murdered, it’s clear the threat is all too real – and it’s not just Constance in danger.
As amateur sleuth Iris investigates, she realises the sniper isn’t the only hidden enemy preying on women.

Michelle Salter is a historical crime fiction writer based in northeast Hampshire. Many local locations appear in her mystery novels. She’s also a copywriter and has written features for national magazines. When she’s not writing, Michelle can be found knee-deep in mud at her local nature reserve. She enjoys working with a team of volunteers undertaking conservation activities.

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My thoughts: Iris Woodmore has returned from her travels around Europe and is trying to fit back into her old life in Walden. But things have changed, her father’s got a girlfriend, her friends have moved on with their lives, and she doesn’t have a job anymore. After finding the body of a young woman in a canal barge, she’s drawn into another complicated and complex case.

Taking in several concerns of note to the times; from women working, returning injured servicemen, the new freedoms afforded to women, changes in fashion (Iris has bobbed hair and trousers!), it’s a tricky case. There’s a lot more going on around the biscuit factory than just baking!

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Misadventures of Margaret Finch – Claire McGlasson

Blackpool, 1938. Miss Margaret Finch – a rather demure young woman – has just begun work in a position that relies on her discretion and powers of observation. Then, her path is crossed by the disgraced Rector of Stiffkey (aka Harold Davidson), who is the subject of a national scandal.

Margaret is determined to discover the truth behind the headlines: is Davidson a maligned hero or an exploiter of the vulnerable? But her own troubles are never far away, and Margaret’s fear that history is about to repeat itself means she needs to uncover that truth urgently.

This deeply evocative novel ripples with the tension of a country not yet able to countenance the devastation of another war. Margaret walks us along the promenade, peeks into the baths and even dares a trip on the love boat in this, her first seaside summer season, on a path more dangerous than she could ever have imagined.

Claire McGlasson is a journalist who works for ITV News and enjoys the variety of life on the road with a TV camera. She lives in Cambridgeshire. The Rapture is her debut novel.

My thoughts: this was such fun, Margaret Finch is working for the Mass Observation project of the 1930s, observing the working classes on holiday in Blackpool. She should be doing something with her degree from Cambridge, but she’d rather be doing this than return home to her insufferable step-mother.

Being fairly naive and a bit sheltered, Margaret’s eyes are opened by her work. Her relationship with her boss, James, is a bit strange, as is he, and then there’s the weird friendship she strikes up with the defrocked Rev Davidson (a real person) who claims he was simply helping out sex workers, but the Church disagreed.

Margaret investigates him, digging into his stories, partly for her work and partly for her own satisfaction. What she finds is much more complicated and messy than the preacher turned showman will ever admit.

Mixing fact with fiction, this is a snapshot of a period of time when whole towns would holiday together and when it was deemed acceptable to essentially spy on people. Margaret Finch is an interesting and sympathetic figure, what’s she’s doing isn’t particularly pleasant at times, and she makes a fair few mistakes along the way, but ultimately she finds a life for herself and becomes a better person for her experiences. Redemptive and entertaining.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Dust Child – Nguyên Phan Qué Mai

During the Việt Nam War, tens of thousands of children were born into relationships between American soldiers and Việtnamese women. Tragic circumstances separated most of these Amerasian children from their parents. Many have not found each other again…

In 1969, two sisters from rural Việt Nam leave their parents’ home to find work in Sài Gòn. Caught up in the war that is blazing through their country they, like many other young Việtnamese women, are employed as hostesses in a bar frequented by American GIs. Soon they are forced to accept that their own survival, and that of their family back home, might mean compromising the values they have always held dear. As the fighting moves closer to the city, the elder sister, Trang, begins a romance with a young American helicopter pilot.

Decades later, two men wander the streets and marketplaces of modern Sài Gòn. Phong is a ‘Dust Child’ – the son of a Black American soldier and a Vietnamese woman, abandoned by his mother and ostracized all his life – and is looking for his parents and through them a way out of Việt Nam. Meanwhile war veteran Dan returns with his wife Linda, hoping to ease the PTSD that has plagued him for decades. Neither of them can escape the shadow of decisions made during a time of desperation.

With the same compassion and insight that has made The Mountains Sing a favourite of readers across the world, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai brings to life the interwoven stories of these four unforgettable characters, and asks what it takes to move forward.

NGUYỄN PHAN QUẾ MAI is an award-winning Vietnamese poet and novelist. Born in the Red Delta of Northern Việt Nam, she grew up in the Mekong Delta, Southern Việt Nam. She is a writer and translator who has published eight books of poetry, short stories and non-fiction in Vietnamese. Her debut novel and first book in English, The Mountains Sing, is an international bestseller, runner-up for the 2021 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and winner of the 2021 PEN Oakland/ Josephine Miles Literary Award, the 2020 Lannan Literary Award Fellowship, and others, and has been translated into fifteen languages. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and her writing has appeared in various publications including the New York Times. Quế Mai was named by Forbes Vietnam as one of the twenty most inspiring women of 2021. Dust Child is inspired by her many years working as a volunteer helping family members unite, and reflects the real-life experiences of Amerasians and their family members. Moving between the Việt Nam war and the present day, DUST CHILD is a powerful and compelling tale of family secrets and hidden heartache @nguyen_p_quemai

My thoughts: this is a moving and at times profoundly sad book, chronicling the lives of young Vietnamese women and their children during the years of the war and after. Trang and her younger sister move to the city, hoping to make money to help their parents. Finding work as bar girls, getting American GIs to buy drinks and sometimes their bodies, far from their dreams of a better life.

Trang falls in love with one American but he leaves her pregnant and alone. A story sadly common to many young women like her.

Phong is the child of one such story – abandoned at an orphanage, his life is never easy and as the son of a Black soldier, his appearance marks him out as different. He is lucky in his wife and children, and wants to emigrate to America for a better life for them.

He meets Dan and Linda, Americans on holiday, but with a purpose. Dan was one of those GIs, and he left behind a young woman and their child. He wants to find them and try to make amends. But are they even still alive?

All of the characters have suffered, and some are still suffering, from the after effects of the war. PTSD, poverty, trauma, none of it is easy to bear. But slowly as their stories interweave and the truth begins to reveal itself, they find ways to start to heal, to forgive and move on from the painful past.

Inspired by the author’s work with Amerasians (the children of American GIs and Vietnamese women), this is an important story about love, hope and family.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Covert in Cairo – Kelly Oliver

Cairo. December 1917.
Following a tip-off from notorious spy Fredrick Fredricks, Fiona Figg and Kitty Lane of British Intelligence find themselves in the hustle and bustle of Egypt. But ancient mummies aren’t the only bodies buried in the tombs of Cairo.
When a young French archeologist is found dead in a tomb in the desert with his head bashed in, and an undercover British agent goes missing, the threat moves closer to home.
As they dig deeper, soon Fiona and Kitty uncover a treasure trove of suspects, including competing excavators, jealous husbands, secret lovers, and belligerent spies! Fiona wonders if the notorious
Fredrick Fredricks could be behind the murders? Or is the plot even more sinister?
One thing is clear – If Fiona and Kitty can’t catch the killer, they might end up sharing a sarcophagus with Nefertiti.
With humor as dry as the Arabian desert, and pacing as fast as a spitting camel, Fiona and Kitty are back in another sparkling adventure, this time in WW1 Egypt.

Kelly Oliver is the award-winning, bestselling author of three mysteries series: The Jessica James Mysteries, The Pet Detective Mysteries, and the historical cozies The Fiona Figg Mysteries, set in
WW1. She is also the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is bringing new titles in the Fiona Figg series to Boldwood, the first of
which, Chaos in Carnegie Hall, was published in November 2022.

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My thoughts: we’re in British occupied Egypt in 1917, Lord Caernarvon, Howard Carter, T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) and Gertrude Bell are all present when Kitty and Fiona arrive (with chauffeur/chaperone Clifford and pooch Poppy in tow). They’re on the trail of the ever annoying Frederick Fredericks and a missing British agent.

The army is in town, with soldiers travelling back and forth to the Western Front, unlike WW2 where fighting took place in North Africa (my great-uncle was a Captain of a tank at the time), there’s no fighting in Egypt but as a British territory, there’s certainly a lot of war related activity. So of course there are spies, and undercover Germans (officially they’d been expelled from the country) as well as unhappy natives who wanted all of the Europeans gone. Then there’s the archaeologists and crooks stealing ancient artifacts to either sell on the black market or send home to museums.

With all this going on, Fiona and Kitty need to locate the agent, arrest Fredericks, hunt down black market smugglers, ensure the Suez Canal is in one piece, oh and Fiona would quite like to find Archie too. Easy. Armed with their collection of costumes, assistance from the local British intelligence bureau, Kitty’s array of skills (definitely not learnt in a French boarding school) and Fiona’s nose for trouble, they’ll be done in no time. Just a few balls, murders and kidnappings first.

It’s more like chaos in Cairo, as a French archeologist is murdered, they both get kidnapped several times, a British agent is poisoned, Fredericks appears and disappears, they hob nob with the local British celebrities and functionaries, and Fiona eats a lot of toast (local cuisine not suiting her). Tremendous fun and a bit silly, even with a war raging away in the background, Fiona even gets to dig out her beard and mustache collection.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own .

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Girl With A Knife – James T. Hogg

GirlwithaKnife copy

Welcome to the book tour for Assault, the first novel in the Girl with a Knife series by James T. Hogg! Read on for more details!

An epic historical novel of love and revenge, good and evil, in seventeenth-century America, spanning five volumes.


Assault (Girl with a Knife #1)

Publication Date: March 21st, 2023

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Mystery/ Thriller

Publisher: All Night Books

Faythe Emily Wentworth was taught by her father how to fight, and never shies from a conflict, no matter the odds. In her small settlement town, she must always be on guard. She is especially wary of one of the Downing brothers who taunts her, longing to take her, threatening to do so by force…

Faythe’s little sister Chloe is different. She is sweet-tempered, always seeing the good in others, and never suspecting ill intent.

Chloe’s innocence is shattered in a vicious attack, and Faythe is determined to seek vengeance and justice for her sister, and later, her family. Armed with a knife and a burning obsession, Faythe fights the superstitions and injustices that have led to her family’s destruction.

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About the Author

James T. Hogg is the pseudonym of one of the most prominent New York City real estate attorneys. As a real-life attorney he has pub­lished two non-fiction books about real estate and business, one of which was a Wall Street Journal best seller.

Girl With a Knife is his first novel, based on a story he told many times to his now-grown chil­dren. His goal was to create a story that the reader simply cannot put down, even when it is midnight and the reader needs to sleep.

In this novel, Hogg has created a world where girls and women of all cultures are equal or superior to the male characters around them, an epic tale that will appeal to women and men of all ages.

James T. Hogg

My thoughts: this is an interesting and intense story of injustice and struggle, set when the United States was still young and expanding. Moving back and forth between two narratives – the assault on Chloe and that of a young Native American woman.

Chloe is violently attacked by the sons of a prominent family in their small town, a family that will do anything to stay in power. Her sister Faythe will do anything to right this terrible wrong.

Nununyi is a young Native woman, injured in a fight with white men. Rescued by one of these men, who wants a different life, he nurses her back to health and they become a couple. She is drawn to her tribe and her childhood sweetheart, who thinks she’s dead.

Both women will have to overcome the prejudices and ignorance of the age, having to be tougher than many of the men around them. As the first part of this story ends, Faythe’s father is accused of a crime, and it will be up to her to help him.

Book Tour Schedule

April 17th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off)

@squeakeysundergroundlibrary (Review)

@mombiebooknerdpa (Review)

@plungeintobookstours (Spotlight)

I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight)

April 18th

@demigodreading19 (Review)

Riss Reviews (Review)

The Faerie Review (Review)

Timeless Romance Blog (Spotlight)

April 19th

David’s Book Blurg (Review)

@fathomsamidstthelines (Review)

@slowbookworm (Review)

Stine Writing (Spotlight)

April 20th

@jaslikestoread (Review)

Rambling Mads (Review)

Bunny’s Reviews (Review)

@amber.bunch_author (Spotlight)

April 21st

@ameliaveganreader (Review)

@creepylilbookworm (Review)

@paulalearmouth (Review) (Spotlight)

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Blog Tour: Strangers in the Night – Heather Webb

It was the tumultuous romance that scandalized the world: Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner fought, loved, and lived life to the hilt. Now their unbridled story is brought vividly to life by Heather Webb, the bestselling author of Meet Me in Monaco and The Next Ship Home. In the golden age of Hollywood, two of the brightest stars would define—and defy—an era…

She was the small-town southern beauty transformed into a Hollywood love goddess. He was the legendary crooner whose voice transfixed the world. They were Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra. Separately they were irresistible; together they were an explosive combination. Ava’s star is rising just as Frank’s career—and public image as a family man—is taking a hit. Gone are the days of the screaming bobbysoxers and chart-topping hits. Ava, however, finds herself gracing the front page of every tabloid in America. Jealousy and cheating abound, and when the two succumb to their temperaments and their vices, their happiness is threatened at every turn. As the pair ride the rollercoaster of success and failure, passion and anger, they both wonder if the next turn will be the end of their careers, and most devastating of all—the end of all they’ve shared.

A captivating novel with a star-studded cast spanning continents and decades, Strangers in the Night brings to life the most riveting love story of the twentieth century.

Heather Webb is the award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of The Last Ship Home, The Phantom’s Apprentice, Rodin’s Lover, and Becoming Josephine. Heather is also a freelance editor, and teaches craft courses at a local college. Her novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages, worldwide. She lives in Connecticut with her family and one feisty rabbit.

My thoughts: like the author I grew up listening to Frank Sinatra as played by my Grandad – first on vinyl and then on CD. I can still remember him soft shoe shuffling round the living room saying “this is the song, this is the song!” So I was intrigued to read a novel based on his controversial relationship with second wife Ava Gardner.

He was still married to Nancy, mother of Frank Jr, Nancy and Tina, when he met film star Gardner, who was at the time married to fellow actor Mickey Rooney. Hence the controversy. Although she was single when their affair really started, and in this book pushes him to do the right thing and divorce Nancy, rather than be his mistress.

Drawing from various sources, including official biographies, this book charts their volatile marriage, both parties affairs, the rows, the separation, their lifelong friendship, up to Ava’s sad death in her London flat from a pneumonia related condition.

She was incredibly beautiful, and talented, but never felt like she attained the fame that she wanted. He was the bigger star, but was going through a career lull when they married, but would go on to win an Oscar and bounce back in both film and music. They were a volatile combination, both with massive egos, career driven and terminally unfaithful (him more than her).

It’s an incredibly fascinating read, hard to say how much is fact and how much the author’s creation. Neither wrote an autobiography, although Tina Sinatra wrote about her dad, and was perhaps best placed to do so, and the author draws on this book.

It is however a fun insight into the glamorous world they lived in, there’s a lot of name dropping, although these are their friends and co-stars, from Lana Turner to the Rat Pack, Montgomery Clift to Grace Kelly. Hollywood in its heyday.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.