#BookReview RACHEL TO THE RESCUE by ELINOR LIPMAN

ABOUT THE BOOK

Rachel Klein is sacked from her job at the White House after she sends an email criticising Donald Trump. As she is escorted off the premises she is hit by a speeding car, driven by what the press will discreetly call ‘a personal friend of the President’.

Does that explain the flowers, the get-well wishes at a press briefing, the hush money offered by a lawyer at her hospital bedside?

Rachel’s recovery is soothed by comically doting parents, matchmaking room-mates, a new job as aide to a journalist whose books aim to defame the President, and unexpected love at the local wine store.

But secrets leak, and Rachel’s new-found happiness has to make room for more than a little chaos. Will she bring down the President? Or will he manage to do that all by himself?

Rachel to the Rescue is a mischievous political satire, with a delightful cast of characters, from one of America’s funniest novelists.

PUBLISHED BY LIGHTNING BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

PUBLISHER WEBSITE

AMAZON

HIVE.CO.UK

MY REVIEW

My first Elinor Lipman book and it won’t be my last! This was such an enjoyable, funny and cutting book humour wise that I looked forward to picking it up everyday to see just what the main character was going to have to endure after her accident upon leaving the White House where she briefly worked for ‘that’ man! Until she sends a ranty email his way!!

When she starts receiving flowers from the presidents’ own family when she wakes up in hospital this starts her off on a complete life change and perfectly sums up the world we live in right now – from nobody to viral news story overnight!!

The more she finds out about the accident the more she is drawn into a world of scandal, subterfuge and gossip! All set amidst the Covid pandemic too which added to how relevant the story felt! It was probably shocking too that it all felt like it could actually happen! With the craziness that 2020 has thrown at us, I’m not ruling anything out!!

The story clipped along at a great pace and I loved Rachel’s parents as characters too! Straight talking, go getting and lots of fun! This was a timely and funny read and one I can highly recommend!! 



★★★★★

My thanks to Scott at Lightning books for the copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BlogTour ANYONE FOR EDMUND? by SIMON EDGE #BookReview @EyeAndLightning @DamppebblesBT

Delighted to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for the fabulous ANYONE FOR EDMUND? by SIMON EDGE today. My thanks to the author, publisher and Emma at Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for putting it all together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

They dug up his bones. They didn’t know he had a mind of his own.

Under tennis courts in the ruins of a great abbey, archaeologists find the remains of St Edmund, once venerated as England’s patron saint, but lost for half a millennium.

Culture Secretary Marina Spencer, adored by those who have never met her, scents an opportunity. She promotes Edmund as a new patron saint for the United Kingdom, playing up his Scottish, Welsh and Irish credentials. Unfortunately these are pure fiction, invented by Mark Price, her downtrodden aide, in a moment of panic.

The only person who can see through the deception is Mark’s cousin Hannah, a member of the dig team. Will she blow the whistle or help him out? And what of St Edmund himself, watching through the prism of a very different age?

Splicing ancient and modern as he did in The Hopkins Conundrum and A Right Royal Face-Off, Simon Edge pokes fun at Westminster culture and celebrates the cult of a medieval saint in another beguiling and utterly original comedy.

PUBLISHED BY  Lightning Books on 10th August 2020 in paperback and digital formats

Purchase Links:

 Eye & Lightning Books (Free UK P&P)https://bit.ly/30XKfz9 

Amazon UKhttps://amzn.to/3feyTfc

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Simon Edge was born in Chester and read philosophy at Cambridge University.

He was editor of the pioneering London paper Capital Gay before becoming a gossip columnist on the Evening Standard and then a feature writer on the Daily Express, where he was also a theatre critic for many years. He has an MA in Creative Writing from City University, London, where he also taught literary criticism.

He is the author of three previous novels: The Hopkins Conundrum, which was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award, The Hurtle of Hell and A Right Royal Face-Off.

He lives in Suffolk.

Social Media: Twitter: https://twitter.com/simonjedge 

Website: https://www.simon-edge.com/ 

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

MY REVIEW

What a blast of a read!! A wonderful mix of historical and political farce!! Who knew that mix would work so well!! But it does and I found myself laughing away on many occasions as the worlds of history and politics clash in spectacular fashion!

Hannah is part of an archeological dig and they hit the jackpot with their recent find!!  The remains of St Edmund are discovered and politicians start sniffing around to use this in only ways that politicians know how!!

Mark Price is a special advisor to a rising star in politics and is also cousin to Hannah! When he finds out about the link, he wants in on a way to boost his own standing in his line of work – there’s lots of egos about in the offices of Whitehall – and who cares if the truth needs to be bent a little…. ok, a lot!! The art of spin is showcased in amazing fashion in this book and you just know there are people like this walking around Westminster right now!! 

Using St Edmund to try and unite the United Kingdom is a bold gesture, even more bolder when the past reveals he wasn’t the great uniter than many thought but all is not fair in love and politics so the wheels are set in motion to alter history!  Hannah sees through it all and wonders what her cousin is playing at. As does the leading expert on St Edmund who seems to be a little baffled by all this ‘new’ information about an historical figure he thought he knew everything about.  

Add to the mix, the voice of the dug up Saint – he doesn’t seem to be a fan of the modern world! – and you’re left with a hilariously absurd story that left me laughing out loud, along with being horrified of the levels that some will go to boost their own careers!  

Highly recommended if you’re looking for something just that little bit different to raise a smile in these strange times we find ourselves living in!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour The Merest Loss by Steven Neil #BookReview @rararesources

Delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for THE MEREST LOSS by STEVEN NEIL. My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for letting me be part of it all!

The Merest Loss

A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris. 

When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?


 Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?


 The central character is Harriet Howard and the action takes place between 1836 and 1873. The plot centres on Harriet’s relationships with Louis Napoleon and famous Grand National winning jockey, Jem Mason. 


The backdrop to the action includes significant characters from the age, including Lord Palmerston, Queen Victoria and the Duke of Grafton, as well as Emperor Napoleon III. The worlds of horse racing, hunting and government provide the scope for rural settings to contrast with the city scenes of London and Paris and for racing skulduggery to vie with political chicanery.


 The Merest Loss is historical fiction with a twist. It’s pacy and exciting with captivating characters and a distinctive narrative voice.

Purchase Links

https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/steven-neil.html

About the author

 Steven Neil has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. In his working life he has been a bookmaker’s clerk, management tutor, management consultant, bloodstock agent and racehorse breeder. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire. 

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100016617465298 and https://twitter.com/stevenneil12

MY REVIEW

I found this to be a thoroughly fascinating and engaging story that has a great mix of characters and backgrounds and just made me want to research more about the woman behind the story – Harriet Howard.

She was a young actress in the 1840’s who was ‘encouraged’ by the British Government to strike up a relationship with Louis Napolean so he can be kept an eye on as it was such a tumultuous time historically and politically for both countries.  But her rise to the top was questioned by so many considering her very humble background and that adds such an enthralling element to her as a character.

In addition to her timeline, there is also a later timeline where a young man called Martin is in Newmarket trying to trace his father with the help of Tom Oliver who knew Harriet. Martin has a list of 5 names and is trying to work out who is his father.  This adds the world of horse racing to the mix and ‘the sport of kings’ is a great addition to the story.

The story of Harriet though is the main pull of this book and we get to see her progress from aspiring actress to a leading lady on the social stage. Her acting skills bring her to the attention of the government and it’s staggering to see the lengths they will try to get her to work for them.  She is supplied with money and the means to visit the social events to build up her profile and to put her in the circle of Louis Napolean as he tries to raise his own profile and achieve his political aim.

The character list at the start of the book is a little daunting, but most welcome once the book had begun! I found this book to be so well written that I was completely swept along in the political and sporting worlds!  There’s welcome political and historical facts mixed in with the storyline which really helped add depth to the story as it played out and it’s one of those stories that you can easily see being turned into a TV mini-series!!