Thursday 3 November 2022

THE SQUIRE'S HAZARD by Carolyn Hughes
Series: Meonbridge Chronicles #5
Release Date: 6th October 2022
Publisher: Riverdown Books
Genre: Historical Fiction

How do you overcome the loathing, lust and bitterness threatening you and your family’s honour?


It’s 1363, and in Steyning Castle, Sussex, Dickon de Bohun is enjoying life as a squire in the household of Earl Raoul de Fougère. Or he would be, if it weren’t for Edwin de Courtenay, who’s making his life a misery with his bullying, threatening to expose the truth about Dickon’s birth.


At home in Meonbridge for Christmas, Dickon notices how grown-up his childhood playmate, Libby Fletcher, has become since he last saw her and feels the stirrings of desire. Libby, seeing how different he is too, falls instantly in love. But as a servant to Dickon’s grandmother, Lady Margaret de Bohun, she could never be his wife.


Margery Tyler, Libby’s aunt, meeting her niece by chance, learns of her passion for young Dickon. Their conversation rekindles Margery’s long-held rancour against the de Bohuns, whom she blames for all the ills that befell her family, including her own servitude. For years she’s hidden her hunger for retribution, but she can no longer keep her hostility in check.


As the future Lord of Meonbridge, Dickon knows he must rise above de Courtenay’s loathing and intimidation and get the better of him. And, surely, he must master his lust for Libby, so his own mother’s shocking history is not repeated? Of Margery’s bitterness, however, he has yet to learn…


Beset by the hazards these powerful and dangerous emotions bring, can young Dickon summon up the courage and resolve to overcome them?


Ahhhhh here we are back in good old Meonbridge. I've read every book in this series and they have just kept getting better. I have to say this is a series that I've really become invested in. While the book is part of a series, it can absolutely be read as a standalone, but I don't like jumping into the middle of a series so take the plunge and read the other books. You won't be sorry. With the handy list of characters at the front of the book to keep you on track with each character, this is a marvellous series.

Squire's Hazard follows young Dickon De Bohun as he trains as a squire at Steyning Castle under the tutelage of the Earl Raoul de Fougère. Despite his humble beginnings, he has taken to all aspects of life at Steyning well and has become an accomplished horseman. All is as it should be but for the constant pranks and bullying he must endure at the hands of the absolutely vile Edwin De Courtenay who feels that Dickon has no place at Steyning due to his parentage and early upbringing and threatens his future there. Yet Dickon feels he must remain honourable and not tell anyone what is happening despite the fact that his future as a squire is now under threat.

The responsibility of not letting his grandmother down and becoming worthy of the title of The Lord of Meonbridge, Dickon feels that his life is spiralling out of control. The pressure of his future responsibilities and the difficulties Edwin heaps upon him make his life a misery. Thrown into the mix his confusion about how to deal with his feelings towards his childhood friend who is blossoming into a beautiful young woman and his new station in life leave him feeling confused and at odds with his responsibilities and the different way those he grew up with now treat him.  

I can't recommend Carolyn Hughes highly enough. She has really written such an interesting character driven book that is so well thought out and researched that the book flowed with historical accuracy and gave an interesting view into the period. As a reader I was once again totally transported to Meonbridge and the differing houses with their rich and colourful characters. It has an immersive and authentic use of the language of the time without feeling overpowering. Never did this book or any of the others feel bogged down with historical fact or too much information. In fact, I learned a thing or two reading it!  The story flowed seamlessly, and the plot was interesting and kept me hooked from start to finish. If you love historical fiction, then I highly recommend this wonderful and interesting book. 



CAROLYN HUGHES has lived much of her life in Hampshire. With a first degree in Classics and English, she started working life as a computer programmer, then a very new profession. But it was technical authoring that later proved her vocation, as she wrote and edited material, some fascinating, some dull, for an array of different clients, including banks, an international hotel group and medical instruments manufacturers.


Having written creatively for most of her adult life, it was not until her children flew the nest several years ago that writing historical fiction took centre stage, alongside gaining a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University and a PhD from the University of Southampton.


Squire’s Hazard is the fifth MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLE, and more stories about the folk of Meonbridge will follow.


You can connect with Carolyn through her website and on social media.


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One Response so far.

  1. Thank you for hosting Carolyn Hughes today, and for your wonderful review! x

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