Blog Tour: The Darkest Corners by Sydney Jamesson

 

 

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The Darkest Corners by Sydney Jamesson

Publication Date: November 20, 2018
SJ Publishing
eBook; 332 Pages

Genre: Psychological Suspense

This standalone novel is not a romance. It is psychological suspense with a complex love story woven through it. Expect lots of angst, emotional scenes and edge of your seat suspense as a single father and a troubled young woman confront their deepest, darkest fears together.

After surviving a life changing event, celebrated artist Maxwell Grant has not touched a paintbrush or a woman in four years. During that time, he has tormented himself over an unspeakable act he dare not admit to, even to himself.

His one chance at redemption comes through a journal left behind by Harriet Harper, a mysterious woman in his night school class.

Shocked by what he reads about her tortured existence, he becomes obsessed by her and falls headfirst into a dangerous game of he said, she said, not knowing who to believe—who to trust.

When a dangerous character from Harriet’s past appears, events take a turn for the worse and he must say and do whatever necessary to save his sanity and, more importantly, his four year old daughter, Poppy.

Some secrets never get to see the light of day; others are just waiting to be uncovered … with shocking consequences.

Nook | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN

Excerpt

Max

I PLACED THE JOURNAL on the pillow to my right, deep in thought, disbelieving that unassuming young woman I had met just over twenty-four hours ago could have lived such a life. It occurred to me that her life experiences had shaped her into an uncompromising, plain-spoken woman. No wonder she took it upon herself to speak up; to say what needed to be said to an arrogant, insensitive sod like me.

In my mind’s eye, I pictured her sitting nervously on that ten thirty-six train to Brighton, venturing into the unknown, starting over—alone—having experienced … who knows what?

At least I had a home to come back to; one Hope and I had designed together with an architect, shaping our ideas into something tangible and practical, reflecting both our personalities: my need for privacy and light, Hope’s need for satin cushions, storage and space for us to grow as a family. We had created our own piece of heaven, blissfully unaware that fate would see to it that she did not get to experience it for more than a couple of months.

And there was Harriet, courageously moving on, which is more than I had done.

As bad as it appeared—stealing a look into Harriet’s world, her private thoughts, her fears and aspirations—I could not help myself. Sure, her world was alien to me; the landscape was foreign, unrecognisable, but her emotions and sense of displacement were not. We had both loved passionately, and been forced to inhabit an unfamiliar world, forever altered.

I trotted back into the lounge, topped up my drink and threw in a couple of ice cubes, allowing them to chill the golden liquid before tasting it. Glass in hand I headed to bed, stopping to check in on Poppy first.

She was sleeping; gentle wisps of air escaped her lips as she dreamed of more precious trinkets, shopping trips, and colouring books awash with fluorescent shades that reflected a world filled with laughter and love—exactly where she belonged.

I could not sleep

Two brief encounters, and there I was allowing a young woman I barely knew to invade my psyche. Without even trying, Harriet had caused a chain reaction: what started out as annoyance and mild curiosity had morphed into something inexplicably provocative.

My skin was warm and prickly, as if it had been scrubbed clean. After my four-year hiatus, my entire body was throbbing. I turned on the bedside lamp, knocking my glasses to the floor, still trembling from what I assumed was a panic attack, or was it arousal? It had been so long since I’d felt something so visceral and unexpected, it was hard to tell. Whatever it was, there was no way I was going back to sleep.

I put Harriet’s journal to one side, deciding to ration out the entries. The last thing I needed was to become obsessed by it—by her. In hindsight, if I’d known how reading about her life was going to affect me and my life, I might have thought twice about opening what was turning into Pandora’s Box.

Then again, I wonder what would have become of me if I had not opened it and turned the pages, devouring her words like a starving man.

At least I was lucid enough to notice that the glass of Scotch I had poured myself was still there by the lamp, its contents luminescent in the light cast from beneath the shade. If nothing else, my liver was grateful for her disclosures.

Mildly anesthetized by the alcohol in my veins, I longed for sleep but it came in waves, angry tidal waves that stirred my soul and stole my breath. Like so many nights before, I began to feel ensnared, sandwiched between those browbeating buddies, Loneliness and Guilt. They were at their most potent in the hours between dusk and dawn, terrorising me with images from my past that I was still in no shape to confront. From the bottom of a glass they stared back at me, insistent and unforgiving.

My nightmare was always the same; it involved a bloodied hand reaching out to me. No matter how I fought I could not escape it. I could not see whose hand it was, but I knew the name of the phantom who haunted all my dreams. I just could not bring myself to say it out loud.

I woke, disorientated, drowning in perspiration.

Biting back frustration, I swallowed what was left of the elixir, inviting it to numb my senses, needing the deadening effect that it alone could produce in my body, in my mind.

I did not want to think.

I did not want to feel.

I wanted to forget. Not only my past but Harriet‘s too, for a couple of hours, at least.

All I had wanted to do was to step out of my shoes and into those of a free-spirited human being for a day or two, without dragging my heels or stumbling over obstacles only I could see.

In my desperation, I assumed Harriet was that person. I had her all mapped out.

She was at least six years younger than me. Her life was filled with parties, dates with twenty-something bartenders with a penchant for homemade wine and staying up all night watching boxed sets of The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones.

With every new entry I was being drawn in deeper. I bent down to pick up her journal, snatching my glasses from beneath the bed where they had landed. I decided I should do no more than flick through the pages to the very last entry, like a teenage boy about to fail a maths assignment; going straight to the answers without even trying to solve the problem.

But … that would be cheating.

Harriet was clearly a woman of many parts, an enigma with hidden depths and a past that I could either descend into, at my peril, or walk away from. She had fallen in love, experienced the joy of devotion, and yet, she’d ended up alone—like me.

So, taking a deep breath, I dived in…

About the Author

03_Sydney Jamesson

Sydney Jamesson is an English teacher by day and a USA Today bestselling author of romance, suspense by night. She is nocturnal by nature and loves nothing more than staying up late, listening to music and being inspired to write. She has always scribbled things down; in her home is one enormous waste paper basket full of discarded phrases, opening lines and pieces of dialogue that have hit her like lightning in the middle of the night or whilst parked up at a set of traffic lights. Her bestselling trilogy, The Story of Us is available worldwide, and she has been thrilled to continue Ayden Stone and Beth Parker’s epic love story in The Story of Us Series: Into the Blue, comprising: Blue Genes, Blue Hearts, Blue Moon. More recently, Sydney has focused on psychological suspense.

THE DARKEST CORNERS is a complex love story filled with lots of angst, emotional scenes and edge of your seat suspense as a single father and a troubled young woman confront their deepest, darkest fears together.

Connect With Sydney Jamesson

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Book Bub

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Link to video Trailor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JT_9G9JK4s

 

 

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Book Review: Kiss Me at Christmas by Valerie Bowman

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Title: Kiss me at Christmas  *  Author:  Valerie Bowman

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press * Genre: Romance * Format: Kindle

 

 

My Review

I was beyond thrilled when  St.  Martin’s Press offered me a free review copy of  Kiss me at Christmas by  Valerie Bowman.  I have been seeing a lot of Christmas romances  and it has put me in the holiday mood.

This book is the 10th book in Valerie Bowman playful  Brides series.  This is my first time reading this series. There was a few established characters from other books that I didn’t know,  but I was able to catch on quickly. I don’t think you have to necessarily have to go in chronological order for this series.

Lady Regina who has been on the shelf so to speak is being forced to marry the man that her Uncle wants,  or she can chose another someone else.  So far she hasn’t found  anyone  else and its looking more and more that she going to end up marrying her Uncles choice

In one last ditch effort  of independence she makes an indecent proposal  to Bow Street Runner,  Daffin Oakleaf. She wants him to relieve her of her virginity. Daffin is tempted by her offer, but turns her down. Leaving Regina wounded and humiliated.

Regina has bigger problems because someone is out to get her or her family.  Which causes its own set of problems.  Daffin is hired to protect Regina and his best friends wife, Nicole.  Both Daffin and Regina agree to remain friends,  but that is easier said then done.

I loved this story,  I thought it was well written.  I thought that the overall plot was really good.  The book had me thinking one thing at the start,  but I came off with a totally different opinion at the end of this.

I thought the characters were all well written. I loved the pairing of Daffin/Regina. I like the slow burn of this romance,  and I enjoyed the playful and even naughty moments between them.  I’m definitely  going to continue with this series.  If your looking to start a new series,  or just read a good Christmas romance look no further.

 

5 Star Rating

 

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Valerie Bowman is an award-winning historical romance author who writes racy Regency romps! Her debut novel was published in 2012. Since then, her books have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus. She’s been an RT Reviewers’ Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance and Best Historical Romance Love and Laughter. Two of her books have been nominated for the Kirkus Prize for fiction.

Valerie grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English Language and Literature with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her two rascally dogs. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.

Valerie’s next book is Mr. Hunt, I Presume and will be released on February 10, 2019.

Visit Valerie on the web at http://www.ValerieBowmanBooks.com

Book Review: Lady of a Thousand Treasures By Sandra Byrd

 

 

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Title: Lady of a thousand Treasures  ~   Author: Sandra Byrd

                Publisher:  Tyndale House Publisher ~  Genre: Historical Fiction ~ Pages: 449

 

 

Summary

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.

 

My Review

Sandra Byrd is a new author for me.  I thought this book was Amazing!!!  I love historical fiction,  but the element of mystery took this book over the top for me.   I was hooked from the beginning. I thought that the overall plot was really good. Plus, the added mystery in this took it over the top for me.

Not being a collector myself I didn’t realize how much history was behind this. I especially enjoyed the brief history she gave at the end of the story.

I  love how she puts a spotlight on women in this.   That women were not just sitting home,  but despite having few that some of us were doing amazing things.  I though her using real life persona’s  in her book was a great choice. Lady Charlotte who was a famous woman collector,  and then there was Elizabeth Garrett who was the first woman doctor.

I thought the characters were well written. I love the character of Eleanor.  I thought her heart was in the right place and she wanted to do the fair and just thing,  but it seemed like her good deeds always backfired and caused her more suffering.  Like her taking on her Uncles debts,  not wanting him to go to debtors prison because of his health.  I think he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.  I like how she relief and found comfort in her faith.

I loved the pairing of Harry/ Eleanor in this,  though I wished they had more scenes together.  There is apart of me that wished that there was a second book that features Harry/Eleanor but their children as well.  I can see them being just as adventurous as their parents.

If your looking for historical romance,  mystery, and just a good read then look no further. I like to think  HF Historical book blog and Sandra Bryd  for sending a review copy and giving me a chance to read this wonderful  book.

 

5 Star Rating

 

 

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About Sandra Byrd

Sandra Byrd’s first series of historically sound Gothic romances launched with the best-selling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice Award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, was named by the American Library Association’s Booklist as one of the Top Ten Inspirational Fiction Books of the year.

Her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books of the Year Pick, as was The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr.

Victorian Ladies, a new series, offers its first title, Lady of a Thousand Treasures, in 2018.

Connect with Sandra at http://www.sandrabyrd.com, http://www.novelcoaching.com .