It’s a real pleasure today joining the blog tour for The Daughter of River Valley by Victoria Cornwall, published by Choc Lit as an e-book on 17th July and available on all major platforms. I hadn’t really planned to be part of any blog tours over my summer break other than for books I’d already read – but Rachel (at Rachel’s Random Resources) asked so very nicely, and I do hate to miss out on any new books from one of my favourite publishers. I’m so pleased I said “yes”…
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?
I’ll readily admit that a love story set in 1860s Cornwall wouldn’t be a usual choice for me – unless balanced with a modern thread, and a little bit of timeslip. But this story grabbed me from its opening pages, I read it in one sitting, and loved every moment. The two main characters are quite superbly drawn, Beth with her sad past and wonderful feistiness and bravery – how many romantic heroines clobber the hero with a frying pan in the opening pages, so badly that he loses his memory and needs nursing back to health? And then there’s the nameless one – I don’t want to spoil the story in any way, but he’s quite something too, and his back story (as it reveals itself) is so well told. The love story at the book’s heart is strong, believable and very moving, particularly with the many issues it raises around the class divide, living on the edge of poverty and the background of the legacy of the Crimean War and Cornwall’s industrial past.
The sense of place in this book is exceptional – I loved the descriptions of River Valley itself, the waterfall, the wishing tree, the caves and coastline, and the wonderful glade filled with butterflies. The writing is excellent – a strong cast of supporting characters, wonderful dialogue, and the skill of a real story-teller in the handling of the emotional content, the drama and the many twists and turns of the story. The historical content is plainly well researched, and perfectly presented as background to the story.
And this is the third book in a series? Totally standalone – but that’s two more books I really must add to my kindle. I loved this one – thank you for twisting my arm, Rachel!
About the author
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.