Blog Tour: The Secret Wife by Gill Paul

by - August 25, 2016

Happy Publication Day Gill Paul!!!!

So not only have I been incredibly lucky to receive a copy of Gill Paul's latest novel, The Secret Wife, but I have the amazing honour of hosting this new little gem on my blog as part of the blog tour, and it's publication day!! 

Before I let you know my thoughts, here is a little bit about the book to wet the taste buds.

Publishes in eBook & Paperback: 25th August


Russia is on the brink of collapse, and the Romanov family faces a terrifyingly uncertain future. Grand Duchess Tatiana has fallen in love with cavalry officer Dmitri, but events take a catastrophic turn, placing their romance – and their lives – in danger . . .


Kitty Fisher escapes to her great-grandfather’s remote cabin in America, after a devastating revelation makes her flee London. There, on the shores of Lake Akanabee, she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to a long-buried family secret . . .

Haunting, moving and beautifully written, The Secret Wife effortlessly crosses centuries, as past merges with present in an unforgettable story of love, loss and resilience.


I'm not even really sure I know where to begin this review - I feel like this book hangover is going to be one of those 'grown-up' hangovers, which take a number of days to overcome. Having not read any of Gill Paul's previous novels I felt excited when I received an email to ask if I wanted to be part of the blog tour. It's one of the things I really love about book blogging; the opportunity to discover new authors all the time, and boy am I excited to have come across Gill Paul.

Immediately I was drawn to the cover of the book; the imagery creating a real sense of mystery and secrecy. I couldn't wait to begin and it wasn't long at all before I was completely hooked!! The Secret Wife is one of those stories I just didn't want to put down... not even for a second - I even forced myself to put it down and turn my light off one night, only to find myself 5 minutes later flicking my bedside lamp back on and delving into the pages once more! 

Following the story across two different time periods, 1914 and 2016, Gill Paul brings the love story of Grand Duchess Tatiana and Dmitri Malama to life beautifully. Jumping between two periods can be a very challenging style to write in, however Gill Paul masters this, enabling the reader to follow the story with ease. It took me a few chapters to get familiar with some of the Russian names, but I quickly became comfortable with them.

When reading their story, you can really feel the heartache and pain the characters face throughout their difficult journeys. It is not long before you become completely engrossed in the story, feeling the love, the pain and the desperation of the characters as they face a life of turmoil. I became increasingly captivated by the story, feeling as though I was living the journey with them. I really loved how Gill Paul uses Dmitri and Tatiana's story to help Kitty reflect on her own life and help her find her 'purpose' she has begun to search for, and to help put her own love story with Tom in to perspective in order to make the right decision about their future. 

Gill Paul has truly brought her characters to life through her writing. One of the little habits that forms between Dmitri and Tatiana is when they lean their heads against one another so they can 'hear what the other is thinking' and I feel as though this connection is made between the reader and the characters when you open the pages. You can really feel the heart and soul of each of the characters flowing through the pages of the book.

Gill Paul has adapted the story of the Romanov family into a heart-wrenching and devastatingly beautiful account of the undying love and unbreakable bond between a man and a woman, destined to be together. 

I absolutely loved The Secret Wife and cannot wait to discover more of Gill Paul's books. I was already spreading the word to friends and family when I was only a few chapters in and I can't wait share it with everyone!

I give The Secret Wife;

Buy The Secret Wife on Amazon UK now: Click Here

Here's a tasty little treat for you, an extract from the prologue of The Secret Wife:

Kitty walked back to the car to retrieve her bags and drag them down the track, flattening the grass in her wake. She ate a salt beef and gherkin sandwich from the selection she had bought at the airport, drank a can of Seven-Up, then donned some sturdy gloves to start tearing at the creepers that smothered her cabin. Already it felt like hers, she noted. Already she was falling in love with it.

One of the plants was what she and her school friends called ‘sticky willy’. They used to try and stick it on each other’s backs without being noticed. Another type of creeper filled the air with spores that tickled the back of her throat. She was careful not to let any leaves touch her skin because she knew they had poison ivy in America but she wasn’t sure what it looked like. A swarm of tiny black flies rose into the air and floated away in the breeze. She worked with grim determination, hoping that by totally exhausting her muscles she could quell the panicky thoughts that clamoured in her brain. Don’t think about Tom. Stop thinking. She had brought her mobile phone and laptop through force of twenty-first-century habit, but both were switched off. She couldn’t bear to listen to his excuses and self-justifications, simply didn’t want to deal with any of it.

When she had yanked back most of the overgrowth, she saw that the weathered wooden slats made the cabin look like an organic part of the wooded landscape. Despite having just one room it was big, perhaps twenty feet long, with windows all around, and the sloping roof had a little chimney sticking out. She went inside again and loaded debris into some heavy-duty bin bags she’d brought along, stopping to read a few yellowed news headlines: the accident at the Chernobyl power plant in Russia; the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle. The springs on the bed had long gone, so she hauled it outside to dispose of later then unrolled the sleeping bag she had brought and spread it in one corner.

By the time she finished, the sun was lowering over the lake and birds were squawking loudly, expending their final burst of energy for the day. She went to sit on the porch to listen. A whip-poor-will called, and it sounded for all the world like a wolf whistle. Shadowy bats zipped by, and frogs croaked in the distance.

Suddenly she saw something glint under the fractured wood of the steps, nestled amongst the tree roots. She lay down full length stretching her arm to grasp it and was immediately surprised by the weight of the object. She pulled it out and saw it was a golden oval, less than an inch long, studded with tiny coloured jewels – blue, pink and amber – set within swirls of gold tendrils, like flowers on a vine. It looked expensive. On the back she could make out some scratched engraving but it had been rubbed away over the years. There was a hole in the top and she assumed it had been threaded on a chain. Someone must have been upset to lose such a stunning pendant. She’d never seen anything quite like it.

Kitty slipped it deep into the pocket of her jeans and opened another airport sandwich, turkey and salad this time. She ate it for supper, washed down with a miniature bottle of Chenin Blanc she’d brought from the plane, as she sat with her legs dangling off the edge of the porch. In front of her, the trees swayed in a slight breeze and the smooth surface of the lake reflected the dramatic colours of the sky, changing from pale pink to mauve to gold and then bronze, as vivid and surreal as the painted opening title shots of a Hollywood movie.

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