Book review: History and romance take star billing with Ebury Press

Chase away the January blues with a winter-warming collection of books from Ebury Press.
History and romance take star billing with Ebury PressHistory and romance take star billing with Ebury Press
History and romance take star billing with Ebury Press

Ebury is a thriving division of the Random House Group and it is welcoming a new year with the second book in a thrilling alternative history of the terrible Tudors, and two heartwarming tales of love and hardship.

The Boleyn Deceit by Laura Andersen

Andersen’s exciting and original spin on Tudor history takes flight in the second book of her enthralling Anne Boleyn trilogy which dares to imagine what might have happened if Anne had given Henry VIII a son.

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The refrain here is ‘Long live Henry IX’ and the heart-thumping action is as deadly, dramatic and dangerous as the real thing.

William Tudor, now King Henry IX, sits alone on the throne while England continues to battle with those who doubt his legitimacy. William is betrothed to a young princess from France, but still has eyes only for his childhood friend Minuette.

Meanwhile, court tongues are wagging and, even more dangerous if it was discovered, is the truth that Minuette’s heart and soul belong to Dominic, now Duke of Exeter, William’s best friend and trusted adviser.

Brave, honourable and fiercely loyal, Dominic knows he is the one person William relies on to say the things that no one else dares and the deception over Minuette could break their friendship forever.

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And all around them swirl the ever-shifting, ever-hazardous world of sixteenth century court politics, religion and intrigue…

This superbly imagined, clever and fast-paced series is brimming with passion, perilous politics and dangerous romance as the cast of characters and their fascinating lives move into top gear.

A thrilling fictional slice of turbulent Tudor history…

(Ebury, paperback, £7.99)

Emma by Rosie Clarke

Prepare to shed a few tears as Rosie Clarke brings us the emotion-packed tale of a young woman forced into marriage with a violent husband in the tough 1930s.

When Emma Robinson falls in love with handsome, well-educated architect Paul Greenslade, he promises her that they will soon marry… but everything changes when she discovers she is pregnant.

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There are harsh consequences when he disappears rather than marrying what his family considers a common shop girl. Forced by her controlling father to marry train driver Richard Gillows, a brutish tyrant who likes his drink too much, Emma learns quickly that a jealous husband is a violent one.

Their marriage is nothing more than a transaction for Richard to get his hands on her family’s business and Emma vows to make a life for herself and her son by starting a partnership in the local clothes shop… and to find her father’s secret fortune before Richard does.

Previously published as The Ties That Bind by Linda Sole, this is a warm and vibrant story which puts love, family and friendship at its heart.

(Ebury, paperback, £5.99)

Orphan Girl

Maggie Hope

Maggie Hope, who has been writing short stories since the early 1970s, is a born storyteller and Orphan Girl, a moving tale of love and loss, sweeps us away to Bishop Auckland in the early decades of the 20th century.

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Lorinda Leigh from Durham is only a child when tragedy deprives her of her true family and, sent to live with her hard-hearted and manipulative aunt Doris in her boarding house in nearby Bishop Auckland, she grows up desperately craving affection.

Treated as an unpaid servant, Lorinda – forced by her callous aunt to ditch her real name and become known as Ada – is delighted when Johnny Fenwick, one of her aunt’s lodgers, takes an interest in her.

Ada finally sees a chance to escape her drab surroundings and her unkind aunt but it will mean sacrificing true love and accepting a marriage of convenience. Is it a risk worth taking?

Previously published as Lorinda Leigh by Una Horne, Orphan Girl is packed with the gritty realities of working class life in northern England as well as the heady passions of young love.

A treat for all true romantics…

(Ebury, paperback, £5.99)

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