Book Review: Heart of Stone

Heart of stone

I first ‘met’ today’s blog tour guest via our shared publisher, when he signed up earlier this year, so I’m thrilled to be part of the tour for John Jackson’s historical novel, Heart of Stone.

Genre: Historic Fiction

Release Date: 24th October 2017

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Dublin, 1730

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When young and beautiful Mary Molesworth is forced to marry Robert Rochford, widowed heir to the earldom of Belfield, she finds that her idea of love is not returned. Jealous, cruel and manipulative, Robert ignores her after she has provided him with a male heir, preferring to spend his nights with his mistress. Power-hungry, Robert builds up a reputation that sees him reach for the highest positions in Ireland. Caught in an unhappy marriage, Mary begins to grow closer to Robert’s younger brother, Arthur. Acknowledging their love for each other, they will risk everything to be together. But Robert’s revenge threatens their lives and tears them apart. Will Mary and Arthur find a way to escape Robert’s clutches? Based on real events, Heart of Stone is a tale of power, jealousy, imprisonment, and love, set in 1740s Ireland.



It’s been so long since I read any historical fiction, and getting stuck into Heart of Stone reminded me why this is still my favourite genre. I have to be honest, I know nothing of the time or place this tale is set in, but that’s quickly identified as being unimportant; John manages to capture the setting beautifully. The characters are well-drawn, with Arthur easily my favourite in the book, and I found it unable to put down. Moving swiftly from the city of Dublin to grand country houses and military garrisons, the action and pace keep building, with characters you’re either rooting for, or wishing would get their comeuppance as soon as physically possible (I shan’t let you know which is which, of course!). Definitely recommended.



Following a lifetime at sea, John Jackson has now retired and lives in York and has now turned his hand to writing fiction. An avid genealogist, he found a rich vein of ancestors. They included Irish peers, country parsons, and army and navy officers. They opened up Canada and Australia and fought at Waterloo. John is a keen member of the Romantic Novelists Association and graduated through their New Writers Scheme. He is also a member of the Historic Novel Society and an enthusiastic conference-goer for both. He describes himself as being “Brought up on Georgette Heyer from an early age, and, like many of my age devoured R L Stevenson, Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe and the like.” His modern favorite authors include Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow, Lindsey Davis, Liz Fenwick and Kate Mosse.


Twitter: @jjackson42

Goodreads Author Page:





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