A Heart Divided by Mary Brock Jones

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I approached Mary Brock Jones’ ‘A Heart Divided’ with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.

Excitement – because I believe the incredible history offered by the Central Otago Goldfields in the South Island of New Zealand makes it deserving of a romance sub-sub genre all of  its own, and any release of a new book set in that era only serves to advance the cause.

Trepidation – because I am intimately familiar with all of the places in Brock Jones’ novel. The beautifully stark landscape studded with sculptural rock formations is a hero to get lost in and fall in love with in itself. To have lived in Central Otago is to yearn for it. So it was important to me as a reader that the writer did the landscape justice. Fortunately, I needn’t have worried. Brock Jones depicted the environment wonderfully well and any reader who has not visited will almost certainly come away with a true sense of the remarkable setting. Continue reading

The Chieftain’s Curse by Frances Housden


Diving back into The Chieftain’s Curse in order to refresh my memory for this review, I’d barely read a few sentences before I found myself ensnared deep within Cragenlaw Castle’s walls and in serious danger of curling up on the sofa to read the book a second time instead of getting down to work.

When I finally tore myself away, achieved only by switching off the E-reader completely, the residue of Cragenlaw and its inhabitants, were still suspended in my consciousness like a spell cast by the witch responsible for the curse itself. Continue reading