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Monday, 22 August 2016

Blog Tour: The House in Quill Court by Charlotte Betts

Today, I'm thrilled to be one of the blogs kicking off the tour for The House in Quill Court by Charlotte Betts. As my regular readers will know, I don't read a great deal of historical fiction, so I was really looking forward to reading this as something a bit different- and I can safely say that I've had my head turned by this book!

There is so much story packed in to The House in Quill Court that it's pretty hard to give you any kind of summary without any spoilers... but here I go...

It's 1813 and creative and artistic Venetia Lovell lives in a cottage by the sea in Kent, along with her Mama, her younger brother and, when he isn't travelling with his business, her Father. Hers is a happy existence, and her hopes and dreams lie in joining her father in business- despite the fact that she's a mere female. But one day Venetia's whole world crumbles around her when news arrives with the handsome and dour stranger, Major Chamberlain, forcing the Lovells to move to Quill Court in London. Here, every ounce of Venetia's skill, creativity and determination are tested to breaking point as she struggles against all odds to keep her family safe.

I read The House in Quill Court in one sitting. Curled up in my armchair for one entire wet and windy August Saturday, I found myself completely immersed in regency London. This is one of the joys of this novel- the depth of period detail that Betts weaves into the story, without it slowing down for a moment. I particularly liked the fact that we get to see the divide between the merchant classes in London- from Venetia's perspective- those living in poverty and squalor... and those that exist somewhere between the two- from following Kitty the maid's tale. 

The plotting is detailed and relentless- and makes for a really exciting read. There are some fantastic, unexpected villains as well as some heroes you'll thoroughly enjoy cheering on. Venetia is a strong heroine- and really grows through the course of the novel- though, the character that I think will remain with me the longest after reaching the end of the book is Kitty. But I can't tell you why- you'll just have to read it for yourself. 

Whether you're a fan of historical reads or not, I recommend this book to anyone who's looking for a fast-moving, exciting read. You'll find yourself plunged head-long into the dangers and delights of an intriguing period of history. With moments that made me gasp and spill my umpteenth cup of tea- The House in Quill Court was an unexpected delight- a five-star read for sure- and I'm looking forward to reading my way through everything else ever written by Charlotte Betts!

Paperback:                 Kindle:

The Blurb:
1813. Venetia Lovell lives by the sea in Kent with her pretty, frivolous mother and idle younger brother. Venetia's father, Theo, is an interior decorator to the rich and frequently travels away from home, leaving his sensible and artistic daughter to look after the family. Venetia designs paper hangings and she and her father often daydream about having an imaginary shop where they would display the highest quality furniture, fabrics and art to his clients.

When a handsome but antagonistic stranger, Jack Chamberlaine, arrives at the Lovell's cottage just before Christmas bringing terrible news, Venetia's world is turned upside-down and the family have no option but to move to London, to the House in Quill Court and begin a new life. Here, Venetia's courage and creativity are tested to breaking point, and she discovers a love far greater than she could have ever imagined...

About the Author:
Charlotte Betts began her working life as a fashion designer in London. A career followed in interior design, property management and lettings. Always a bookworm, Charlotte discovered her passion for writing after her three children and two step-children grew up. 

Her debut novel, The Apothecary’s Daughter, won the YouWriteOn Book of the Year Award in 2010 and the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers, was shortlisted for the Best Historical Read at the Festival of Romance in 2011 and won the coveted Romantic Novelists' Association's Historical Romantic Novel RoNA award in 2013. Her second novel, The Painter’s Apprentice was also shortlisted for the Best Historical Read at the Festival of Romance in 2012 and the RoNA award in 2014. The Spice Merchant’s Wife won the Festival of Romance's Best Historical Read award in 2013. 

Charlotte lives with her husband in a cottage in the woods on the Hampshire/Berkshire border.

www.charlottebetts.com | @CharlotteBetts1

1 comment:

  1. Laura, thank you so much for this fabulous review. I'm thrilled you enjoyed the story. I had fun writing it, too!