Book Review: The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly

Earlier this year I read the Book Lover series and the first one, The Book Lovers became one of my favourites on my forever shelf. When Rachel’s Random Resources invited me to this tour, I quickly agreed because I knew I would be in for a treat.  Scroll down to see if it matched my high expectations.

Book Review: The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly

The_Beauty_Of_Broken_Things-Victoria_Connelly review cover

The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly

Title: The Beauty of Broken Things

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Amazon Publishing UK

Release date: 9th June 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Blurb:

United by tragedy, can two broken souls make each other whole?

After the tragic loss of his wife, Helen, Luke Hansard is desperate to keep her memory alive. In an effort to stay close to her, he reaches out to an online friend Helen often mentioned: a reclusive photographer with a curious interest in beautiful but broken objects. But first he must find her—and she doesn’t want to be found.

Orla Kendrick lives alone in the ruins of a remote Suffolk castle, hiding from the haunting past that has left her physically and emotionally scarred. In her fortress, she can keep a safe distance from prying eyes, surrounded by her broken treasures and insulated from the world outside.

When Luke tracks Orla down, he is determined to help her in the way Helen wanted to: by encouraging her out of her isolation and back into the world. But Orla has never seen her refuge as a prison and, when painful secrets and dangerous threats begin to resurface, Luke’s good deed is turned on its head.

As they work through their grief for Helen in very different ways, will these two broken souls be able to heal?

Purchase Links

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

Aus: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

My Thoughts

The tone of this book was different to the Book Lovers series, but I loved it and it showcased Victoria Connelly’s ability to write a more emotive, slightly darker novel delving deeper into the subject of grief and adapting to a different life after tragedy.

One thing this has in common with the series is her knack of bringing ideas, objects and hobbies alive with the descriptions inciting all the reader’s senses. In the Book Lover’s series it was reading, music and colour. The reader experiences the joy and pleasure along with the protagonist, and in this instance; it is photography and gardening. The beautiful prose allowed me to capture Helen and Orla’s passion for photography and the smell of the garden and allotment. I became immersed in the plot immediately with the opening scenes with Helen. She may only have been in the opening chapter but the essence of her is the thread binding the two central characters and I would love to know more about her and experience life in her eyes for a while. Her viewpoint was uplifting.

Luke’s grief and bewilderment leapt off the page as he makes the decision to find his wife’s elusive friend. The setting of his destination is stunning and has given me another place to visit on my Bucket list. Along with Orla’s fear of the outside world it gave an insight into mental health after trauma and life-changing experiences. It handles the raw pain of grief in a sensitive manner. I loved watching the blossoming friendship between Orla and Luke and the emotional journey they go through to heal.

All characters have depth, including those with smaller roles like Bill and his friends. The community spirit made me long to live in the village with him and his wife. It is the small details like her knitting that add to the depth of characters bringing them alive.

This novel is about true love, friendship, courage and learning to live your life appreciating every snapshot small and large.

Would I recommend?

Yes. It is set in a beautiful location and there are many memorable characters to cherish including One Eye, the dog who I would love to own.  It is an emotional read which left me feeling warm, upbeat and full of hope and also longing for more. I can’t wait for her next release.

Author Biography

Victoria Connelly Author Photo (1)

Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly studied English Literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.

Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

Social Media Links

Website: www.victoriaconnelly.com

Instagram: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Facebook: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and the advanced copy so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Scenes from a Country Bookshop by Victoria Connelly

This is my final day on this tour for the Book Lovers series. I am pleased to share my review for the forth book in the Book Lovers Series by Victoria Connelly, Scenes from a Country Bookshop. If you have read my previous reviews for the first three books, The Book Lovers and Rules for a Successful Book Club  and Natural Born Readers you will know I binge read these in a few days. This one was no different. Scroll down to find out more.

Book Review: Scenes from a Country Bookshop by Victoria Connelly

Scenes from a Country Bookshop - Victoria Connelly

Scenes from a Country Bookshop by Victoria Connelly

Title: Scenes from a Country Bookshop

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Release Date: 6th Nov 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

BLURB

Love can sometimes be really complicated…

Josh Nightingale has always been married to his books. Happy to run his bookshop in the small town of Castle Clare, he’s never really had time for romance and truly believes that he’s never going to fall in love. But, when April Channing opens a new shop opposite his, everything changes.

Sweet and attentive one moment, abrupt and aloof the next, Josh really can’t understand April at all. What exactly is going on? Josh is pretty sure that the answer can’t be found in a book.

Join the Nightingale family once again for this deliciously heartwarming novel, the forth in The Book Lovers series, by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and A Weekend with Mr Darcy.

My Thoughts

This novel is all about colour. Josh lives his life in books  as his home testifies this with his boring beige walls. He is happy living in a fantasy world which is a trait I can understand. April is the opposite and is a colour magpie, like myself. I related to her appreciation of colour and bohemian ways. This is an aspect I love about this series, I relate to many of the characters which adds an extra layer of enjoyment and involvement in the story. It makes you turn the page. The new characters introduced in this book are adorable and I would love to meet them in real life.  It is difficult to say more about the novel without giving away any spoilers but I enjoyed the twists and unexpected events. 

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is a lovely addition to the Book Lovers series. Overall, this series highlights an author with deep characterisation and observational skills making her novels a delight to read and love. The words bring the Nightgale family and Castle Clare alive giving the reader a chance to escape and enjoy. My TBR list has grown with the recommendations of the fictional book club and they have encouraged me to explore different music and appreciate things a little bit more.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

 

Thank you for Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Natural Born Readers by Victoria Connelly

I am pleased to share my review for the third book in the Book Lovers Series by Victoria Connelly, Natural Born Readers. If you have read my previous reviews for the first two books, The Book Lovers and Rules for a Successful Book Club, you will know I binge read these in a few days. This one was no different. Scroll down to find out more.

Book Review: Natural Born Readers by Victoria Connelly

Natural Born Readers - Victoria Connelly

Natural Born Readers by Victoria Connelly

 

Title: Natural Born Readers

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Release Date: 26th Sept 2017

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

BLURB

Can the past always be forgiven?

Ben Stratton and Bryony Nightingale. Everybody thought they’d be together forever. But, when Ben leaves the small market town of Castle Clare to travel the world, Bryony is heartbroken, seeing his departure as the ultimate betrayal.

Throwing herself into her work running the much-loved children’s bookshop, Bryony determines to forget Ben and to start dating again. But Ben doesn’t make it easy for her, sending her postcards filled with his love and posting her foreign editions of all the great romantic novels from the countries he’s travelling through.

Then, after six long years, the unexpected happens and Ben returns, determined to win Bryony back. But will she forgive him and does he have the courage to tell her the truth about why he left her?

Natural Born Readers is the third book in the warm-hearted Book Lovers series by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and A Weekend with Mr Darcy.

MY THOUGHTS

There are five Nightingale siblings and this book focuses on Bryony. Of all of them, she is the character  I relate to most from her love and philosophy about colour to her delightful children’s book shop. If I ever fulfilled my dream it would be this. There were times, I thought Victoria Connelly had borrowed my fantasy place and written it into her novel. The descriptions of setting are immersive making it a wonderful place to escape to.

Whereas The Book Lovers largely focuses on the passion of books, and second novel is dedicated to music,  the passion in Natural Born Readers is between the characters. The adoration of books is still threaded throughout as it delves into whether the childhood sweethearts, Bryony and Ben can become lovers as adults. The joy of gardening encouraged me into the garden and luckily the tantalising descriptions of baked products are few, otherwise I would have needed a new wardrobe in a bigger size.

WOULD I RECOMMEND?

Yes! Like the other book in the series, this is a gentle, compelling romance which is an ideal escape during lockdown. The warmth of the Nightingale family shines on every page making it is a beautiful read.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

 

Thank you for Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly

Today the sun is shining and I am thrilled to bring you the second book in the Book Lovers Series,  Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly. My review for the beautiful first book The Book Lovers can be found here.

Book Review: Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly

Rules for a Successful Book Club - Victoria Connelly

Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly

Title:Rules for a Successful Book Club

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Release Date: 14th Feb 2016

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

Blurb

Everyone deserves a second chance at love, don’t they?

Polly Nightingale never meant to fall in love again especially not with a biker thirteen years her junior. But then Jago Solomon enters her life with a guitar strapped to his back, and Polly and her six-year-old son, Archie, know that they’ve never been happier.

But what happened three years ago when Polly’s husband, Sean, went missing? And what will it mean for Polly and Jago if her past ever catches up with them?

Join the Nightingale family once again for the second in The Book Lovers series by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls.

My Thoughts

I was eager to start this book after reading the Book Lovers, and I was not disappointed. All the favourites from book one including Sam and Callie return to provide another few beautiful and calm hours in Castle Clare. Polly Nightingale and her son, Archie is the main focus as the cope with the turmoil of her missing husband. The love of books still shone through to my delight but so does the the evocative sounds of music. The author has an ability to describe the senses that make them tingle. The scenes of Jago teaching Archie the guitar are moving, realistic and shows the depth and talent of writer to get into the character completely.

Would I recommend?

Yes! Like the first book in the series, this is the ideal escapism for these turbulent times. It is calm, gentle romance and a delight to read.

Author Biography

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

Victoria Connelly

Thank you for Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Book Review: The Book Lovers by Victoria Connelly

Happy Easter to you all. This will be an unusual on for many and on days like today, it is always good to know books are consistent companions for you to escape into.  I am pleased to share with you one of my favourite books of this year,  The Book Lovers by Victoria Connelly.

Book Review: The Book Lovers by Victoria Connelly

The Book Lovers - Victoria Connelly

The Book Lovers by Victoria Connelly

Title: The Book Lovers

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press 

Release Date: 27 Aug. 2015

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

Blurb

Author Callie Logan never expected to swap her life in London for one in rural Suffolk but, after the breakdown of her marriage, she decides that a fresh start is just what she needs. Finding Owl Cottage in the tiny village of Newton St Clare, Callie determines to give up on love and throw herself into her work. But fate seems to have other ideas and she soon has two very different men vying for her attention.

First there’s Leo who likes to live on the wild side which usually means taking his dates foraging in the local woods for their supper. Then there’s Sam Nightingale, owner of Nightingale’s bookshop. Sam, recovering from a divorce, has also vowed to embrace the single life. That is, until he meets Callie.

But is Callie willing to risk her heart again and, if she is, will she make the right choice?

The Book Lovers is the first in an exciting new series by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and A Weekend with Mr Darcy.

My Thoughts

This book is simply wonderful and the perfect escapism for 2020. As you may know, I love books about books and book shops. This one excels itself in the passion for the written word and the physical book.

I was in heaven as I wandered the Nightgale bookshops in Castle Clare. Each one is run by a different member of the Nightgale family; all shops are unique and specialise in a different form of books. The Book Lovers focuses on the rambling second hand shop belonging to Sam Nightgale. The descriptions and small details made me believe I was there. The enthusiasm the characters had for the books they held, sniffed and adored called to me.  The author understands the mind of a book worm well. The settings alone would have kept me reading but the characters had depth, warmth and back stories that kept me captivated. I binge read the whole series in less than a week. 

Callie is an author, recovering from a painful divorce and as a novice writer, I connected with her instantly as she struggled with writer’s block, deadlines and life. The chemistry between her and Sam Nightgale grows as they bond over their love of books . The conversations between the two characters is an ode to literature and I could not help hear the voice over from the Marks and Spencer’s ads declaring in a sultry voice “This is not just a best seller, it’s a Nightingale bestseller” as they delighted over the shop’s stock.

There is a plethora of delightful, memorable characters in the town and the introduction of the extended Nightgale family prepares you for the other books in the series.  

Would I recommend?

Yes! This warm, delightful and comforting novel is pure escapism for a bibliophile.  I did not want to leave. I fell in love with Castle Clare, the shops and Sam Nightgale for his passion for books. I loved the writing and immersive story line so much, I bought the audio version to calm me on sleepless nights. This will be on my forever shelf for me to return to over and over. 

Author Biography:

 

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly is the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and The Book Lovers series.

With over one million sales, her books have been translated into a dozen languages. The first, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in Germany. Victoria flew to Berlin to see it being made and even played a cameo role in it.

A Weekend with Mr Darcy, the first in her popular Austen Addicts series about fans of Jane Austen has sold over 100,000 copies. She is also the author of several romantic comedies including The Runaway Actress which was nominated for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Best Romantic Comedy of the Year.

Victoria was brought up in Norfolk, England before moving to Yorkshire where she got married in a medieval castle. After 11 years in London, she moved to rural Suffolk where she lives in a Georgian cottage with her artist husband, a Springer spaniel and her ex-battery hens.

She’s written about her experience of country life in three volumes of autobiography: Escape to Mulberry Cottage, A Year at Mulberry Cottage and Summer at Mulberry Cottage.

You can get a heart-warming novella, A Dog Called Hope, when you sign up for her newsletter at: victoriaconnelly.com

You can find her on Twitter @VictoriaDarcy and at facebook.com/victoriaconnelly

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources  for inviting me to this tour, a copy of the book to give my honest opinion  and introducing me to this wonderful series. 

Follow me or pop in later this week for my reviews for the rest of the series. 

Happy Easter and stay safe at home to read!

Love

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