Thursday, 23 April 2015

Loving Helen (Review & Giveaway!)

Hi there!

Title: Loving Helen (Heathfire Romance #2)
Author:  Michele Paige Holmes
Publisher:  Mirror Press
Published Date:  14th February 2015
Rating: 4 Stars

*Thank you to EbooksFor Review for the review copy*

Check out my review for book one here.

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Helen Thatcher grew up under the protection of her older siblings, Grace and Christopher. Living in their shadows and keeping to herself suited Helen just fine—until she met widower Samuel Preston. Watching Mr. Preston care for his young daughter and seeing his concern extend to her own family, Helen felt her reserve slipping away, as she learned first to trust him and then realized she had fallen in love with him. But instead of returning—or even noticing her affection—Mr. Preston developed his own tender, and unrequited feelings, for Grace.

In the midst of each silently nursing their broken hearts, Helen and Samuel are faced with a daunting task—reuniting Grace with her fiancé, Nicholas Sutherland. Now it is Helen who must look out for her sister and sacrifice her own fragile heart, as she and Samuel pretend to be engaged. Helen finds the role surprisingly easy to play, allowing herself to imagine that Samuel’s loving remarks are sincere. As the time for their charade to end draws near Helen must summon her courage and tell Samuel the truth of her feelings, or risk losing him forever.

Review: Another great historical fiction romance from Michele Holmes. Can she ever go wrong?

This one was a bit of a contrast to book one, but can still be read as a standalone if you want to do so. In the previous book we got to see Helen as a shy girl who can’t stand up for herself as Grace’s sister. I couldn’t imagine the girls to be more different. But now that the story is focused on her, I was surprised by how much we didn’t know about her. She is a lot more confident than you could imagine her to be, and if she is nervous or frightened she has a very good reason to be which I can’t reveal in fear of spoiling the novel. But I liked how this book showed so much character development.

At first I was a little bit confused with trying to place this novel. It doesn’t quite start where the previous book ended. In fact, it’s showing the other half of the story. And seeing as Helen isn’t near Grace at all for the first book it isn’t simply a retelling of the story from another point of view. It’s a unique story which is closely connected to the previous one. And you start to see that many things happened in the previous novel for reasons you wouldn’t have been able to imagine.

Another character that we didn’t get to see much of in the previous novel is Christopher – who will be the lead for the next story. I liked his character fairly enough although he did seem to be overly manipulative sometimes and that bothered me. I wonder if that take on him will bother me in the next book or not…

As for the historical element to this romance it isn’t too strong, but it is evidently there in the balls they go to, the clothing they wear and the way they treat each other. But it isn’t like the romance relies on events that happen in the time period, so I wouldn’t say it is a large factor to the story.

The themes running through this one were pretty important to. Samuel had previously been married but she had died, and left him with a daughter. I have to admire him for trying to grow up his daughter in the right way but struggling as he is still grieving himself for the loss of a wife and love. And the element of family is strong in this one too. I loved it.

Can’t wait for the sequel to come out. We already have a cover as well, which makes me happy! Eagerly awaiting it.

Giveaway Time! Enter to win either a paperback of Saving Grace or an ebook copy of Loving Helen! Open internationally.


Olivia’s Question: Are you shy or more outgoing?

Olivia-Savannah x

26 comments:

  1. This sounds like a wonderful romance story, something I would enjoy. I haven't read too much of historical fiction lately, but I do want to give this novel a go - the cover is very pretty :) Wonderful review Olivia. <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. The cover to both of them are pretty gorgeous. If you do try it, make sure you let me know what you think of it!

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  2. Hi Olivia - Thanks for your review. Not sure it's for me since the romance is stronger than the historical part of the novel, but your review was very informative.
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. Ah, I can understand how you wouldn't like it so much. But thanks for commenting anyway!

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  3. Olivia you've brought out all the positive and negative points of this book so nicely, it's an excellent review :-)

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    1. It was my pleasure to read and review your book. I liked it a lot.

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  5. Okay, I can pass the cheesy cover (I don't get why romancy novels have to do that... It's very annoying) but I'm not so sure about the romance being a bigger part than the historical fiction. I always love historical fiction because besides the history within there is romance as well but it's not the main thing, so I don't know if I would read this even though I really like your review. As for the question, I'm a shy person. It's ridiculous really... and I'm not just shy, my shyness makes me behave so awkward even when people I have already met (not close friends or family or anything) and it's so embarrasing sometimes. I also get the tomato face... blushing is really annoying hahahaha

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    1. I do believe you said this about the first book as well, but I can understand why you these books might not be for you in the end. I also think that being shy is perfectly okay, some people even think it is cute! I used to be more shy than I was but then... I don't know what happened?

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  6. If aI do HF I need the strong romance so, sounds like might work

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    1. Ah, so it seems like although this might not work for some it will work for you!

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  7. Historical fiction is something that I haven't read much of, but would really love to try, and with a great book if possible :P That way I'll be more motivated to try another. I'll put this on my list since you loved it so much!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. It's a great genre so I do hope you like it when you try it some more.

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  8. That's a very thorough review. Thank you for sharing your views. :)

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  9. I read a review of this book somewhere this week. The reader didn't like it as much though. I've not read the first book, so maybe I should add it to my tbr. Nice review!

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    1. I think everyone is allowed their own opinion, so maybe you should read another review before you come to your final decision!

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  10. I love historical romance and I have not heard of this one. Thanks for the review, I will add this to my list.

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    1. I do hope you like it then! Historical romance is a genre I love.

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  11. I just started reading this one and your review sounds very promising. I hope I'll like it as much as the first book!

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    1. I am happy to see you decided to continue the series. It really was a good sequel, so make sure you let me know what you think when you are done!

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  12. Likewise the other who commented, I love historical romance, but good novels of this genre are hard to find. So thanks for sharing your impressions!

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    1. Yeah, it can be tricky to find the real gems. But I can assure you this is one of them!

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  13. I am a fan of HF and this one sounds so intriguing. I like the idea that this one is the same story told from a different point of view! Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. I think you would enjoy it! And although it is the same story, it still is completely different because there was a lot more to the previous novel that we didn't know until now.

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