Wednesday, 25 July 2018

New Release Spotlight & Review: The Daughter of River Valley by Victoria Cornwall

Beth Jago appears to have the idyllic life, she has a trade to earn a living and a cottage of her own in Cornwall’s beautiful River Valley. Yet appearances can be deceptive …

Beth has a secret. Since inheriting her isolated cottage she has been receiving threats, so when she finds a man in her home she acts on her instincts. One frying pan to the head and she has robbed the handsome stranger of his memory and almost killed him.

Brought together by unknown circumstances, and fearful he may die, she reluctantly nurses the intruder back to health. Yet can she trust the man with no name who has entered her life, or is he as dangerous as his nightmares suggest? As they learn to trust one another, the outside threats worsen. Are they linked to the man with no past? Or is the real danger still outside waiting … and watching them both?

4.5 stars

Set in nineteenth-century Cornwall, with its rugged coastline and river valleys, the author has written an intriguing novel which kept me turning the pages as fast as I could read.

I appreciate the originality of how the two protagonists meet; It's brutal, realistic and traumatic in its consequences. It's the beginning of the end of a life as Beth Jago knowns it since she turned up at her Grandfather's cottage as an eight-year-old orphan. For Joss Roscarrock, going to River Valley and visiting the cottage where Will Jago lived is a chance to not only reminisce about his idyllic childhood summers spent with the old man but to rid the property of its squatter.

The author has written two likeable and relatable protagonists. Beth is compassionate, hard-working and loyal and very stubborn. Softly spoken, she easily blends in the folk from the nearby villages. Despite her background, she's an accepted member within their community. By contrast, Joss struggles to fit within the society he lives. Deeply affected by his past he's ruthless in his ambition to build up the company he inherited but feels something missing from his life to give it a purpose. Together, each is capable of assisting the other to achieve what they need from life but is it too late for them as a potential couple once the truths are revealed, despite the sizzling chemistry between them?

Of the secondary characters, Martha Kitto is the most fascinating and I enjoyed her interactions with Beth. Her knowledge of folklore adds insightful interest to rural customs of those living during the Victorian Times; I love having to search Google after reading a stimulating fact and this narrative provided this opportunity a couple of times including the scenes during Golowan Feast, the Midsummer festival; a tradition very similar to ones still celebrated throughout Europe. Additionally, Ms Cornwall paints a lovely portrait of the beautiful Cornish countryside and how people and worked there during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Overall, an enthralling historical novel and my first by this author and definitely not the last.

***arc generously received courtesy of Choc Lit via NetGalley***

Victoria Cornwall can trace her Cornish roots as far back as the 18th century and it is this background and heritage which is the inspiration for her Cornish based novels.

Victoria’s writing has been shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romantic Fiction and her debut novel reached the final for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award.

Victoria likes to read and write historical fiction with a strong background story, but at its heart is the unmistakable emotion, even pain, of loving someone.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

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