Wednesday 12 October 2022

BLOG TOUR: Squire's Hazard (The Meonbridge Chronicles Book 5) - Carolyn Hughes

How do you overcome the loathing, lust and bitterness threatening you and your family’s honour?

It’s 1363, and in Steyning Castle, Sussex, Dickon de Bohun is enjoying life as a squire in the household of Earl Raoul de Fougère. Or he would be, if it weren’t for Edwin de Courtenay, who’s making his life a misery with his bullying, threatening to expose the truth about Dickon’s birth.

At home in Meonbridge for Christmas, Dickon notices how grown-up his childhood playmate, Libby Fletcher, has become since he last saw her and feels the stirrings of desire. Libby, seeing how different he is too, falls instantly in love. But as a servant to Dickon’s grandmother, Lady Margaret de Bohun, she could surely never be his wife.

Margery Tyler, Libby’s aunt, meeting her niece by chance, learns of her passion for young Dickon. Their conversation rekindles Margery’s long-held rancour against the de Bohuns, whom she blames for all the ills that befell her family, including her own servitude. For years she’s hidden her hunger for revenge, but she can no longer keep her hostility in check.

As the future Lord of Meonbridge, Dickon knows he must rise above de Courtenay’s loathing and intimidation, and get the better of him. And, surely, he must master his lust for Libby, so his own mother’s shocking history is not repeated? Of Margery’s bitterness, however, he has yet to learn… 

Beset by the hazards triggered by such powerful and dangerous emotions, can Dickon summon up the courage and resolve to overcome them?

Secrets, hatred and betrayal, but also love and courage –
Squire’s Hazard, the fifth MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLE 

What did I think?

The fictional village of Meonbridge is one of my favourite places to virtually visit through Carolyn Hughes' fabulous Meonbridge Chronicles series.  Squire's Hazard is book five and I was as eager to read it as I am eager for more - I just can't get enough of these books!  

Squire's Hazard can most definitely be read as a standalone and for anyone new to the series, or established fans requiring a reminder, there is a handy of cast of characters at the start of the book.  

This book sees young Dickon de Bohun taking centre stage as he learns all the skills required to be the future Lord of Meonbridge.  Dickon has the misfortune to be studying alongside Edwin de Courtenay, who takes an instant dislike to Dickon and begins a campaign of bullying that certainly raised my ire.  I'm not one for violence but I could have boxed that Edwin's ears!

Dickon is growing up fast and so is his childhood friend, Libby.  With hormones raging, the pair become confused and excited by the new feelings they are experiencing but they know that they can never marry due to their very different positions in society.  I loved this part of the story, with Dickon and Libby falling in love but destined to be starcrossed lovers.  They are too young to understand the different forms of love but it's clear that they have deep affection for each other.

Carolyn Hughes' writing is once again exceptional as she takes us on a virtual journey into the 14th century.  The whole story is so immersive and vivid that I felt as if I was actually in Meonbridge watching events as they happened.  I've loved every single instalment in this fantastic series and I've become so invested in the characters' lives that I feel like I'm meeting old friends everytime I pick up one of the books.  

Vivid, immersive and compelling, Squire's Hazard is a stunning piece of historical fiction.  It's not a book you simply read, it's a complete sensory experience as Carolyn Hughes takes us back in time through her incredible writing.  Very highly recommended and not to be missed.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from:
Amazon US

About the author:

CAROLYN HUGHES has lived most of her life in Hampshire. With a first degree in Classics and English, she started working life as a computer programmer, then a very new profession. But it was technical authoring that later proved her vocation, as she wrote and edited material, some fascinating, some dull, for an array of different clients, including banks, an international hotel group and medical instruments manufacturers.

Having written creatively for most of her adult life, it was not until her children flew the nest several years ago that writing historical fiction took centre stage, alongside gaining a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University and a PhD from the University of Southampton.

Twitter: @writingcalliope 

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