Review: The Garden of Promises and Lies by Paula Brackston

☆☆➹⁀☆ 4.5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

As the bustle of the winter holidays in the Little Shop of Found Things gives way to spring, Xanthe is left to reflect on the strange events of the past year. While she’s tried to keep her time-traveling talents a secret from those close to her, she is forced to take responsibility for having inadvertently transported the dangerous Benedict Fairfax to her own time. Xanthe comes to see that she must use her skills as a Spinner if she and Flora are ever to be safe, and turns to the Spinners book for help. 

It is then that a beautiful antique wedding dress sings to her. Realizing the dress and her adversary are connected in some way, she answers the call. She finds herself in Bradford-on-Avon in 1815, as if she has stepped into a Jane Austen story. 

Now in Xanthe’s time, Fairfax is threatening Xanthe into helping him with his evil doings, and demonstrates all too clearly how much damage he is capable of causing. With Fairfax growing ever more powerful, Xanthe enlists the help of her boyfriend Liam, taking him back in time with her. It is a decision that might just ensure she prevails over her foe, but only by putting her life—and his—on the line.



My Thoughts:

Brackston’s latest novel is the third installment of her Found Things series.  While the author gives new readers plenty of backstory and detail to jump into the novel, I feel it is more prudent to read the series in order for full appreciation of the story arc.   
The story starts a bit slow as the author provides new readers with references to prior books, but the pace quickly picks up, and the increasing threat from Fairfax along with the dangers of time-travel create a sense of foreboding and good tension as the story progresses. Xanthe travels back to the Regency period in this book, and the author provides ample, delicious detail of life in those times.  The book is well researched, and the author’s presentation of historic information inspires me to do more research of the period on my own.
While the first book in the series, The Little Shop of Found Things, remains my favorite in the series, The Garden of Promises and Lies is a close second.  I enjoyed the character and relationship development.  I’ve become more invested in the characters with each book.  Xanthe is becoming more adept at time travel and better at playing to win with her foes.  I loved that she has begun to trust her friends more which led to a more intriguing plot.
I had thought this was to be the last book in the Found Things series, but the incredible cliffhanger at the end of The Garden of Promises and Lies is a pleasant clue that we readers can expect more Xanthe in our future.  

About the Author: Paula Brackston (aka PJ Brackston)is the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter, The Winter Witch, and The Midnight Witch(2014). 

Paula has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. In 2007 Paula was short listed in the Creme de la Crime search for new writers. In 2010 her book ‘Nutters’ (writing as PJ Davy) was short listed for the Mind Book Award, and she was selected by the BBC under their New Welsh Writers scheme.

Paula lives in Wales with her partner and their two children.

© Copyright 2020 Book Junkie Reviews. All rights reserved.

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