Monday 22 January 2024

πŸ“– Blog Tour ~ Shadows in the Ashes by Christina Courtenay


Headline Review
18 January 2024

My thanks to the publisher and Rachel's Random Resources for the book
and the invitation to the blog tour

Present Day

Finally escaping an abusive marriage, Caterina Rossi takes her three-year-old daughter and flees to Italy. There she’s drawn to research scientist Connor, who needs her translation help for his work on volcanology. Together they visit the ruins of Pompeii and, standing where Mount Vesuvius unleashed its fire on the city centuries before, Cat begins to see startling visions. Visions that appear to come from the antique bracelet handed down through her family’s generations…
AD 79

Sold by his half-brother and enslaved as a gladiator in Roman Pompeii, Raedwald dreams only of surviving each fight, making the coin needed to return to his homeland and taking his revenge. That is, until he is hired to guard beautiful Aemilia. As their forbidden love grows, Raedwald’s dreams shift like the ever more violent tremors of the earth beneath his feet.

The present starts eerily to mirror the past as Cat must fight to protect her safety, and to forge a new path from the ashes of her old life…

πŸ“– My Review…

Living in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, the residents of Pompeii are, in AD79, unaware of the disaster which is about to befall them. Raedwald is a gladiator who has been taken against his will to fight in the arenas. When he is assigned to look after the wife on a prominent Roman, Raedwald can't help but be attracted to the beautiful young woman however, a clandestine relationship between the wife of such a prominent Roman and a captive gladiator is strictly forbidden.  

In the present day, Caterina Rossi has escaped an abusive relationship and has settled in her native Italy where she meets Connor, a scientist, who is visiting the area to write a report about volcanoes and hires Caterina to do some translation for him. Hurt by the events of the past, Caterina is reluctant to trust a man again and yet she is strangely drawn towards Connor.

As the story starts to overlap and coalesce we soon get to know much more about what is happening with Raedwald and Aemilia in AD79 whilst at the same time appreciate the burgeoning relationship between Caterina and Conor in the bustling city of Sorrento.

There are very few authors around who can really bring a dual time narrative to life but this author is up there with the best of them as she can, with a magic flick of words, take you from past to present and back again in an imaginative story which is as seamless as it is compelling. I found the setting of the story in Italy, and Pompeii in particular, to be really descriptive and could very easily imagine life in the ancient world as Raedwald and Aemilia cross paths in the city they call home and yet I also followed Caterina's drama filled life with equal anticipation of a peaceful conclusion,

Beautifully written, and authentically researched there is much to enjoy in escaping into the past whilst following a strong connections with the future and with a particular talisman to link the two time-frames the echoes of the past are allowed to sing strong and true. There is anguish in both time frames, harsh events which overshadow happiness but with romance, love and hope at its core Shadows in the Ashes is a definitely story which resonates long after the last page is turned. 

About the Author

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association, now a Vice President, and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014) and the RNA Fantasy Romantic Novel of the year 2021 with Echoes of the Runes. SHADOWS IN THE ASHES (dual time/timeslip romance published by Headline Review 18th January 2024) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

Twitter @PiaCCourtenay #ShadowsInTheAshes

@headlinepg @rararesources

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffareadstoo appreciates your interest.