- File Size: 804 KB
- Print Length: 289 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1974600351
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Crooked Cat Books (October 24, 2017)
- Publication Date: October 24, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B074L68VL3
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,602 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Heart of Stone Kindle Edition
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Set in the 1700's Ireland during a turbulent period in history, we are introduced to the Rochford brothers, Robert, Arthur and George, all set to inherit wealth from their father upon his death. Robert is livid that his younger brother George has already produced an heir and unless he can find a wife to give him a son, then all the wealth will in time fall to George's sullen son. Robert has his sights on the young and impressionable Mary Molesworth. Mary is besotted by Robert and truly believes him to love her. However, it soon becomes evident that Robert only wants Mary to produce a son for him. She is nothing more than something he owns. Mary finds comfort from Arthur Rochfort who is the polar opposite of his bullying, aggressive and cold brother.
I can only imagine the amount of research that was required to write this novel and John Jackson has done a sterling job! My only criticism of the time period is the amount of going back and forth the landed gentry seemed to do throughout the year moving from one house to another depending on the season. It was exhausting! I felt very sorry for poor Mary constantly decamping at the barked orders of her hard-hearted husband.
John has written Mary's isolation and loneliness very well and can only imagine how desperate she felt at times. It was easy to understand how she would fall in love with Arthur was by far a more amenable character in contrast to Robert who is hell-bent on exacting revenge. The other brother George was a particularly horrible character, caring nothing for his starving tenants and completely focused only on how much money he can make. He, like Robert appeared to have a Heart of Stone!
1740 definitely was not a good time to be either a woman or a common man. John has described well the hardships faced during this time period and the lack of insight by some into the suffering going on in front of them. The rich and the poor were worlds apart on most fronts although the famine was a great leveller with some of the wealthy, including Mary herself finding times tough for herself and her children.
Heart of Stone was a great read that I enjoyed. For those of you who enjoy historical novels with a romantic slant to them then this is definitely the book for you. A super story of love, passion, jealousy, revenge and the harsh realities of Ireland during this time period, John Jackson has crammed so much into this fab book. Looking forward to reading more from John.
When Mary Molesworth is forced to marry Robert Rockford, she hopes to establish some semblance of love in her marriage but she soon realises that that will never be and that her husband revels in his cruel and vicious nature. But when she meets his younger brother, Arthur, Mary recognises a tender heart like her own and she cannot help but fall in love with him and the feeling is certainly mutual. But neither Mary nor Arthur realise how truly terrifying Robert can be and the lengths to which he will go to have his revenge ...
There are so many elements that I loved within this story - the setting, the time period, the essence of history that seeps through the narrative - but my favourite aspect of this book was the characters themselves. From Robert who I loathed from the beginning to Mary and Arthur who I desperately wanted to find their happily ever after together, these excellently developed characters drew me in and made me feel, and that is always such an important part of a great novel for me. The harsh reality of life for women at that time in history is portrayed well throughout, and there is plenty of drama and danger alongside romance to make HEART OF STONE a wonderful all-rounder when it comes to readers.
HEART OF STONE by John Jackson is an emotional, historical novel about the desperate lengths that some will go to for power and others for love, and I highly recommend it.
*I voluntarily reviewed this book from the author
Unfortunately for her, Robert’s only reason for marrying Mary is his desperation for her to produce the heir he needs to ensure his younger and equally vile brother George’s children do not inherit the family title and estate. When Mary finally succeeds, Robert loses all interest in her and turns his attention away from Mary to his mistresses. However, as well as his younger brother George, Robert also has another brother, Arthur. Arthur is handsome and the opposite to his two cruel brothers. Arthur is also in love with Mary and as she discovers how much he means to her both their lives take a terrible turn.
This is John Jackson’s debut novel and is written in a different way to most of the books I usually read, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. In fact, I found it refreshing and became absorbed by Mary and Arthur’s story very quickly. This book is based on John’s own ancestors and is obviously well researched. I love reading novels that not only entertain me but also teach me something. Robert is a vile man. He is violent, jealous and cruel both physically and emotionally and I was desperate for him to get his comeuppance. It was shocking how someone could take out his jealousy on his wife at that time and get away with it and how women were completely at the mercy of their husbands, especially those with wealth and power, like Robert. Mary’s step-mother was another callous character who I disliked intensely and so was George. Mary wasn’t the only one suffering in the story though thanks to the harsh winters and famine of the time, and the suffering that took place by those confined to life in a debtors prison.
I raced through the book enthralled by the building tension, Mary’s difficulties, Arthur’s love for her and my dislike for Robert (and George), right through to the satisfying ending.