Secrets Behind the Billionaire’s Return by Rachael Stewart – a romance set in contemporary Yorkshire

Secrets Behind the Billionaire’s Return By Rachael Stewart 

This is a romance novel – but not one set in an exotic location with non stop sunshine and fancy food and drinks. This book opens in a   Yorkshire B&B which is perhaps past its best, and the heroine would not describe herself as glamorous. It is a heartfelt look back at a difficult past for both of the main characters, and a subtle look at how desperation and need to take action to survive has shaped the present. It is a contemporary book, but is still to an extent timeless, as the situation that the heroine is in is a version of a well known tale. This, as the back of the book says, is about “The man she never forgot, (and) The feelings she never lost” on the part of Felicity about Sebastian, but it is less certain what he feels about the woman he last saw as a teenage girl. The nature of his departure sixteen years before was unexpected by everyone, and is still shrouded in mystery. Felicity was left bereft of the very young man she loved, and because of how he suddenly left, with the unexpected consequence of their love. 

This is a book which neatly combines the realities of a difficult family situation where money has been a problem with encountering someone with unimaginable wealth.  There is a reality behind this book of a lovely Yorkshire setting, with a large well appointed estate. It describes with great accuracy the quietness of a supportive small community with the excesses of fame and fortune, and the challenges that both can bring with some of the advantages. The characters are so well written that they leap from the page in all their doubts and emotions, with all their assumptions and confusions. This is apparently the first book in a trilogy, and it is good to read the introduction to characters and begin to understand what motivates them. I was pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this enjoyable book. 

Sebastian is first seen driving towards the gates of a great estate that has been left uninhabited but maintained for some sixteen years. He drives an expensive car and it seems that he is very wealthy. Nevertheless as he approaches the gates he finds that he cannot bring himself to drive through them, towards the house where he has ordered a room to be prepared for him. He is so upset by the memories that he decides to go elsewhere for the night, so returns to the village and a certain Bed and Breakfast that he passed. When he arrives it is to find a cosy scene of a family of guests in a house he remembers all too well. He recognises the car outside as belonging to a certain woman, and as he enters he spots Felicity, carrying a tray of hot drinks. Her reaction to seeing him and realising who his identity is dramatic, and as she begins to recover she does not acknowledge him as anyone but a normal guest. Her teenage daughter Angel, to whom she is very close, appears and is confused about her mother’s inexplicable reactions. It is only when everyone else has departed that Sebastian engineers the opportunity to talk privately that Felicity reveals a secret that shakes Sebastian’s world, and reawakens memories and emotions he has repressed for so long. Felicity sees problems ahead based on her hard won experience, and while Sebastian perhaps believes that his financial stability will make all the difference, he begins to appreciate that emotions and feelings cannot so easily be sorted out. As both people begin to rediscover old and realise new feelings for each other, they must learn how to deal with these feelings in the new circumstances in which they find themselves. 

This is a carefully written and thoughtful book which sets up an interesting set of circumstances. Sebastian has become used to enormous wealth and how it means that he can summon virtually anyone and anything. Felicity has had to learn to cope with a lot less, and yet has a relationship with her daughter which she values above everything else. This book is a clever bringing together of two people, two world views, and much more, as well as a look at various themes such as the influence of money, memory and more. I look forward to reading more of the “Claiming the Ferrington Empire”      

Beauty and the Reclusive Millionaire by Rachael Stewart – Romance and more on a Greek island

Beauty and the Reclusive Millionaire by Rachael Stewart

Catherine Wilde is a very famous actress, with a fantastic film about to premiere. She is en route to a Greek island for a month in which to pause and write a script – but that is not the only reason for choosing this particular island. This is a lovely romance novel providing a sunny alternative to winter blues. Set on an island with stunning views, in a converted farmhouse built into the landscape, the setting provides almost another character. This is a vibrant story of regrets and the problems of building a relationship after traumatic events. Catherine has her issues despite her attractiveness, and the man she is going to visit has more than a few problems despite his wealth. This is a novel of regrets and guilt, but also mutual attraction and more. I was pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this escapist treat. 

When Catherine arrives on the island she tries to put aside some of the trapping of her celebrity by moving her own luggage and making the effort to relax. Apart from relaxing she is on a mission for her best friend Flo. Flo’s brother Alaric owns and lives on the island alone apart from two devoted members of staff.  Every need and want is catered for, including wonderful home cooked food, expensive drinks and internet contact with the outside world. After all, Alaric has been living in his beautiful house for years while shunning the outside world. It emerges that he has physical scars on his face which have changed his appearance from one side, but far worse are the mental scars that have resulted in extreme survivor’s guilt. While he grew up with Catherine and knows much about her unhappy family background, he feels as separate from her and her Hollywood world as anyone else. Nevertheless the overwhelming attraction he feels for her causes him pain – and he does his chilly, autocratic best to avoid her, even though they are in the same large house. Catherine meanwhile is also greatly attracted to him, knowing something of his struggle to cope with the world, with memories of his protection of her as a teenager. Charged by her friend to extract him from his self imposed exile, she realises that she must try to break down the barriers that he has erected. Can a relationship really exist for more than more than a few stolen hours when there are so many memories and regrets in the way?

This is a lovely sunshine escapist read for all contemporary romance fans. The characters are well drawn and become real individuals from their first appearance, and their actions are completely consistent with their gradually emerging back stories. This book represents a light and well written escape from winter weather and real life, a dream-like tale of attraction against the odds. I recommend it as a great read for winter days and when the reader needs escape into a sunnier, different places.

Naughty Or Nice by Rachael Stewart – an adult book of passion and family issues in a glamorous world


This is an adult romance, steamy and thoroughly detailed book, but it is more than that category suggests. This is a book about the complications of contemporary life, as the age old problem of  family expectations and chosen love. There is a sprinkling of the problems women face in business as they break free from family and male leads. All the glamour of international wealth and business is included in this book, as wonderful apartments and business travel is explored. At the bottom of the narrative is a tale of attraction and love which fights against barriers, expectations and family love. The natural hesitancy of a new relationship is transformed in this novel by an existing knowledge of both partners in a previous existence, one complicated by a special family relationship. There are long term feelings of betrayal which date back five years, but there are elements of the relationship which go back much earlier in the protagonists’ lives. In some senses this is a light book of entertainment of a specific kind, but it does touch on some deeper issues with confidence. This is a very different sort of book, but I was intrigued to read and review it.  


The book opens with the eighteen year old Eva Beaumont celebrating her birthday, waiting for Lucas Waring. He is a special friend, almost part of the family having been left effectively alone after his distant mother died. Lucas is her brother Nate’s  best friend and in time will become his business partner. Lucas rejects her, and she is left hurt and confused. After ten years they meet on an immensely significant evening for Eva, as she launches a product that is due to be immensely successful. In the presence of her parents who provided some of the start up capital, she is ready to face potential manufacturers who are all keen to get her business. All is going well, until she is deeply unsettled by the sight of Lucas, who is keen for the business opportunity, but finds another element of their meeting disturbing and intriguing. Within minutes their passionate encounter shows how much attraction may well challenge long established hatred and the resentments of the past. 


It emerges that Lucas has been seen as betraying Nate five years before. He has been seen as the one who walked out on Nate when their business hit a problem. It will take a lot to overcome the near hatred that Eva’s family have for Lucas, and his own disappointment in their assumption that he betrayed them which has left him estranged. The question that the book asks is whether Lucas and Eva’s undoubted mutual physical attraction can overcome the pressures that keep them apart.


This is a book which indulges in many physical descriptions of passion. It also has things to say about the importance of family solidarity for good or bad. It will not be to everyone’s taste, but it is undoubtedly more than it first appears. The element of Christmas makes it a seasonal read, but it is certainly not limited to this time of year.  

Mills & Boon DARE – Mr One-Night Stand by Rachael Stewart – An Adult Book

In a market full of romance themed novels, one of the leaders has always been Mills & Boon. This novel is under the DARE imprint, and new M&B author Rachael Stewart has written a book full of passionate encounters which are more frankly described than in many contemporary reads. So an adult book, with fulsome descriptions, but also a real story of a man and a woman with family responsibilities, ambitions, and all the doubts and insecurities of people in a new relationship. This is a book in which, while perhaps disturbingly detailed and pushing the edge, there are several things to notice. This is a novel about consenting adults, where no one appears to be forced or exploited, and where both Jennifer and Marcus struggle to discover what they should be doing. This is far from a one dimensional novel; it tries to explain why the couple do what they do, and how much emotion and thought their relationship, though perhaps unconventional, involves. I was interested to see this perhaps surprisingly complex novel worked out beyond the obvious content, and was grateful to receive a copy to review.

Marcus Wright is in a bar. Wealthy, handsome and with a driving ambition, he is getting frustrated waiting for Tony Andrews, who is entering into some unspecified contract. He knows that there is a partner involved who is probably the real drive behind the business. When a beautiful and stylish woman enters the bar the atmosphere changes, and they both indicate their willingness to get to know each other better (to put it euphemistically). When he discovers that this woman who has insisted on paying their bills is Tony’s partner, he wants to forget the whole thing, by which time it is too late. He discovers a new level of intimacy with this woman, which rebounds on him when she finds out about their new business links. They have to find a way of coping with their desire for each other in the light of their business commitments, and their own family backgrounds.

Although this book could be seen as a “Guilty pleasure”, it actually has a lot going for it in terms of a novel. There is no violence, no murders and does represent a relationship of equals. It is an engaging read which does present an extreme of sexual content, but actually it has a lot of narrative power and although it revolves largely around high powered business (of an undefined nature) and wealth, there are still aspects of reality represented, as the health of families and the underlying ambition are relatable. Perhaps it may seem an unlikely choice to review, but it is likely to be a popular novel, and deserves success.