Everything is about to change…

1789. Pierre and Catherine Aubert, the Comte and Comtesse de Verais, have fled the palace of Versailles for their château, deep in the French Alps. But as revolution spreads through the country, even hidden away the Auberts will not be safe forever. Soon they must make a terrible decision in order to protect themselves, and their children, from harm.

Present day. When Lu’s mother dies leaving her heartbroken, the chance to move to a château in the south of France with her husband and best friends seems an opportunity for a new beginning. But Lu can’t resist digging into their new home’s history, and when she stumbles across the unexplained disappearance of Catherine Aubert, the château begins to reveal its secrets – and a mystery unsolved for centuries is uncovered…

Unlock the secret of the château today. Perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Fiona Valpy and The Forgotten Village!






I do love a dual timeline historical story, and this is brilliantly gripping and emotional as the story switches between now and back in the 1700’s in France, as times were becoming very different for those in the royal palaces. It gives you 2 storylines that are equally as compulsive and I loved how both came together to provide a fitting ending.

In the present day, we meet Lu and her husband Phil and their friends. All in their 50’s and wondering what lies ahead for them all next, when one of them has the genius idea of pooling all their resources and buying one property in France so they can all live together! Everyone is up for the idea, although Lu seems a little hesistant and wonders if it will come to be! Their group has had crazy ideas in the past and they’ve never panned out! But this time it happens, and when they stumble across an old Chateau that needs a bit of refurb it seems they’ve found their new home!

And in 1785, we follow the story of Catherine who finds herself living at Versailles (lucky!!) after marrying Pierre who is an advisor to King Louis XVI, so they are part of the inner circle of the royal court and life seems blissfully happy. But things are changing outside the palace walls, and as tensions rise their lives are about to become much different.

Both women have to face new changes in their lives and I loved seeing how they both reacted to these shifts in their set ups. Both are plagued with doubts and nerves but they find inner resolve and prove themselves to be quite resilient as they try to overcome challenges and tragedies that befall them.

I loved the sense of history portrayed in the past storyline, and I really enjoyed Lu trying to solve the mystery aspect in the present timeline. This was a wonderfully absorbing read and I highly recommend it!


#BlogTour The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl #BookReview @rararesources

A huge pleasure to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for THE FORGOTTEN SECRET by KATHLEEN MCGURL.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for letting me be part of it all!

A country at war

It’s the summer of 1919 and Ellen O’Brien has her whole life ahead of her. Young, in love and leaving home for her first job, the future seems full of shining possibility. But war is brewing and before long Ellen and everyone around her are swept up by it. As Ireland is torn apart by the turmoil, Ellen finds herself facing the ultimate test of love and loyalty.

And a long-buried secret

A hundred years later and Clare Farrell has inherited a dilapidated old farmhouse in County Meath. Seizing the chance to escape her unhappy marriage she strikes out on her own for the first time, hoping the old building might also provide clues to her family’s shadowy history. As she sets out to put the place – and herself – back to rights, she stumbles across a long-forgotten hiding place, with a clue to a secret that has lain buried for decades.

For fans of Kate Morton and Gill Paul comes an unforgettable novel about two women fighting for independence.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About the Author

KATHLEEN MCGURL lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband and elderly tabby cat. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.

Social Media Links –

 Website: https://kathleenmcgurl.com/

 Twitter: @KathMcGurl https://twitter.com/KathMcGurl

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KathleenMcGurl/

 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kathleenmcgurl/


Set over two timelines, 2016 and 1919, this absorbing story takes a look back at troubled times in Ireland , alongside a woman taking control of her own life after many years of being controlled by her husband, and finding her own feet again at the age of 50.

In the present timeline, we follow Claire who has been left a Farm in Ireland by an Uncle, which is in dire need of renovation and the thought of that gives her goosebumps! Not so her husband, Paul, who is used to getting his own way and just wants her to sell it so he can invest the money in something else.  Over the years she’d given up going against his wishes for the sake of her two sons, but now they’re grown up and doing their own thing she gets the courage to do what SHE wants for a change and makes the big decision to leave her husband and set out on a new journey in Ireland.

And back in 1919, we follow the story of Ellen who is a young girl living with her Dad with not much money, but sets out on her life journey with a new job and a new romance that  is put to the test early on as Jimmy is determined to join the cause to fight for Irish independence.  Ellen’s new boss is also involved with setting up clandestine meetings and Ellen finds herself passing on messages and doing all she can to avoid being detected by those out to thwart all those plotting against the English.

The two timelines worked so well with each other – we had the historical look back at some very troubling times and got to see how it affected the people living and working in Ireland at the time, and that is set against the backdrop of Claire who is looking to make her own way in life and explore the things she finds on the farm that had been hidden away for many years and to look back at the family history she didn’t hear about.  Some of the revelations are pretty shocking but dealt with in sympathetic ways but left you as a reader feel quite emotional about what went on, and how things were so different back then.