27 May, 2014

Book Tour: The Lost Duchess by Jenny Barden

 The Lost Duchess

  Add to GR Button     An epic Elizabethan adventure with a thriller pace and a high tension love story that moves from the palaces of England to the savage wilderness of the New World. Emme Fifield has fallen about as far as a gentlewoman can. Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, her only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in the new America where nobody has ever heard of the Duchess of Somerset. Emme joins Kit Doonan's rag-tag band of idealists, desperados and misfits bound for Virginia. But such a voyage will be far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to the mysterious Doonan inconvenient to say the least. As for Kit, the handsome mariner has spent years imprisoned by the Spanish, and living as an outlaw with a band of escaped slaves; he has his own inner demons to confront, and his own dark secrets to keep... Ever since Sir Walter Raleigh's settlement in Virginia was abandoned in 1587 its fate has remained a mystery; 'The Lost Duchess' explores what might have happened to the ill-starred 'Lost Colony' of Roanoke.

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About the Author

I've had a love of history and adventure ever since an encounter in infancy with a suit of armour at Tamworth Castle. Training as an artist, followed by a career as a city Jenny (Portrait 2)solicitor, did little to help displace my early dream of becoming a knight. A fascination with the Age of Discovery led to travels in South and Central America, and much of the inspiration for my debut came from retracing the footsteps of Francis Drake in Panama. The sequel centres on the first Elizabethan 'lost colony' of early Virginia. I am currently working on an epic adventure during the threat of invasion by the Spanish Armada. My work has appeared in short story collections and anthologies and I've written for non-fiction publications including the Historical Novels Review.

I am active in many organisations, having run the 'Get Writing' conferences for several years, and undertaken the co-ordination of the Historical Novel Society’s London Conference 2012. I am a member of that organisation as well as the Historical Writers' Association, the Romantic Nevelists' Association and the Society of Authors. I'll be co-ordinating the RNA's annual conference in 2014. I have four children and now live on a farm in Dorset with my long suffering husband and an ever increasing assortment of animals. I love travelling, art, reading and scrambling up hills and mountains (though I'm not so keen on coming down!).

Author Links

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Also by Jenny Barden

Mistress of the Sea

Publication Date: June 20, 2013
Ebury Press
Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Add to GR Button     Mistress Cooksley may be a wealthy merchant's daughter, but she blushes at my words and meets my eyes look for look. Yet I cannot hope to court her without fortune, and a dalliance with a pretty maid will not hinder me from my path. Captain Drake's endeavour might bring me gold, but I, Will Doonan, will have my revenge. The Spaniards captured my brother and have likely tortured and killed him. For God and St George, we'll strike at the dogs and see justice done. I thought I'd left Mistress Cooksley behind to gamble everything and follow Drake, and here she is playing the boy at the ends of the world. She's a fool with a heart as brave as any man's. Yet her presence here could be the ruin of us all...


Series: N/A
Release Date: 5 June, 2014
Publisher: Ebury Press Paperback
Genre: fiction/historical/romance
ISBN: 9780091949679
Edition: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Written: 27 May, 2014

The Lost Duchess is a tale of scandal, of exploration, and of finding one's self amid hardships and toiling. Given a solid foundation on the colonization of America, The Lost Duchess touches on a period that is virtually unknown and rarely written on well. Barden does a masterful job of bringing to life one of the most crucial points in both British and American history.

Barden's story introduces us to Emme Fifield, a young woman who is in service to Queen Elisabeth of England. Trapped in a scandal at a time where women were seen to blame if a man couldn't 'control his urges', Emme is desperate for a way to make a fresh start. And when the intriguing Sir Walter Raleigh reports back to the Queen about his findings in the new world, Emme sees a chance for a new start... if she can get the Queen's permission.

Convincing the queen she can be an asset if she travels to the new world in the guise of a maid to the new Governor's daughter, Emme sets sail out into the largely unknown voyage. Her plan, however, is to not return as she should. The matter is only complicated further by her attraction to the handsome mariner, Kit Doonan. Kit seems determined to also leave his life in England and the life of a seafarer behind in favor of becoming a planter in the New World.

Things are never easy, not for someone with Emme's determined and stubborn mindset; especially when it seems that every time she turns around, there's someone else reminding her of her duty to the queen and that brashness is not acceptable for maidservants. Emme does eventually return to England to give her report to the Queen, and to finally find true love. 

Barden's book is captivating, an easy read that left me captivated for hours. I could read fifty pages easily in an hour and not realize it'd been that many pages so quickly. Barden's writing style is detailed and descriptive, painting pictures in the mind while giving a fair amount of historical accuracy and lessons to the readers. 

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves the thrill and adventure of colonization, those who enjoy the idea of forbidden romance, or simply someone who just loves to read.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Kathryn. I'm so glad you enjoyed The Lost Duchess. Heartwarming to read this!