For Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories

July 14th – 21st 2019 Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories, had a successful blog tour with 21 promotional posts and some amazing reviews.

Rosebrook Chronicles Blog tour with Rachel’s Rare Resources

The posts were promoted via Facebook and Twitter throughout the week with a bit of blurb about the book and a giveaway. But the most important of this tour was the reviews, which gave an overall perception of how this controversial new release was received by book bloggers around the world. Listed below are the reviews with links to the blogs on which they were published.

Thanks to all the book bloggers who gave up their time to spread the word and for the reviewers for their honest appraisals. Last of all a big shout goes out to Rachel’s Rare Resources for organising it.

The Reviews

To avoid an incredibly long page (which is likely to put people off), I have used toggles to organise the content. Each blog is included in its entirety but see the reviews, click the + buttons to expand the content.

Oh, Jesus, this book was awesome.
Three stories are woven into one.

This book follows three young people.

Besse And Peter lost their parents and was separated. Besse to a home with nuns and eventually adopted by a couple in London.

Peter was sent to an orphanage, but he escaped first to Liverpool then finally to London to find his Sister. But unfortunately, he finds himself running from the Irish police and the senior priest of the orphanage. Taken in by a lovely couple who help and protected him.

Robin had just achieved his 0-Levels and was unfortunately physically abused and he wasn’t allowed to further his education. So he ran away and ended up living with his teacher.

This book contains abuse in all forms from mental, emotional, sexual and physical abuse and everything in between. How three young people living back then was trying to survive there childhood and fought it well into there adulthood. With there abuse and past very much still impacting there every adult lives. And Peter and Besse still trying to find each other. Robin turning to the dark side because of the abuse he suffered.

Helen’s point was to have these three people have a voice and for there voice and stories to be heard. Well, she absolutely nailed it and more. The characters are so well developed into true to life characters and within the setting surrounding these three tragic stories. She really brings London and Ireland to life, you could really see yourself back there in the 60’s to 90’s. This such a hard thing to do and she did the book so much justice.

Rosebrook Chronicles: The Hidden Stories is a very emotional, shocking, thought-provoking, moving, absorbing, and awe-inspiring book. Which covers a vast amount of topics adoptions, religion, politics, childhood abuse and lots more.

After reading this, I am very compelled to read the rest of the series and I have also just downloaded Book One ( which is free btw).

Link to Ami-May’s Blog, Reading Through The Pain.

The hidden stories are exactly that, the untold stories of teenagers who have fallen prey to a society that turned their back on them. Now as adults they have to navigate the repercussions of their trauma and try to reconnect bonds that were torn apart.

In essence these stories are about the children and young people who fall into the black holes of an inadequate system. Inadequate due to the job stopping at the door, children being counted as statistics rather than human beings, and all of them having no real voice. That’s what their representatives are for, to give them a voice, and yet sadly that doesn’t seem to be case in the majority of cases.

Looking back on these same issues in the pre Children’s Act era and before specific legislation was put into place to try and cover every way to keep children safe, well it was a chaotic system with plenty of victims. For every children’s home, orphanage or church related crime against children that have been revealed there are many more that remain unspoken.

Saying all that, the author wants us to hear those silenced voices, but what this story is really about is what happens after the abuse. How does the child or young person deal with the aftermath, the psychological and physical scars? How are their lives defined by those moments of fear, pain, blame and the memories?

It’s an emotional and heart-wrenching contemporary read. It’s important to give voices to the silent, perhaps more so because the trauma becomes magnified when the silence goes beyond what is healthy for that individual. Kudos to Christmas for that.

Link to Cheryl M-M’s Book Blog

5☆ A Dark, Engrossing, Domestic Noir, I couldn’t put down!

Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories is a Dark, Emotive and Compelling Read that I couldn’t put down, at times it was heart wrenching and dark, to read but so Engrossing.

This is a story of three very different young children as the story progresses we learn about their lives and how their past, shapes their future.

It’s a story that at times isn’t an easy read and does contain sensitive subjects such as child abuse and violence but Helen has handled them with the right amount of sensitivity to still make an impact.

The story follows Peter and his Sister Bessie
And Robin.

Bessie and Peter were split up and sent to different Children’s homes in Ireland.
Bessie went to school with Nuns where they were cruel and abusive. But eventually she was adopted and sent to England.
But all was not as it seems when she turned 15 she fell in love with her adopted Father and she become infatuated with him.
But was the signs there from the beginning, with the special gifts!

Peter found out his Sister left Ireland and he run away from his Orphanage at the Church to look for Bessie, but Bessie’s new family made it near on impossible for him to track her down!

Robin who is very intelligent, run away at 15 after his father beat him for wanting to continue his education.
His Teacher took him in and became his guardian, he fell in love with his teacher who in fact was grooming him all along. By the time he left to go to uni his teacher was arrested on several counts of abuse.
But it didn’t stop there for Robin as his trusting nature and hunger for power led him down a dark and slippery route of politics, seedy nightlife and underhanded tactics.

So as you can see each of the stories are weaved together connecting a heart breaking and abusive past and the abuse and manipulation carries through to their adult life.

Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories is an Gripping, Dark and Emotive Read about Abuse, Strength, Manipulation, Grooming, Sexual Exploration, Self Discovery, Fitting In, Power, Struggles, Family, Heart Break, Bullying, Politics, Violence, Lies, Secrets and Relationships. The Characters are desperately flawed and complex but strong and extremely well written.
All of the stories are weaved together seamlessly, although heart breaking you can’t help rooting for them the whole way through.

My only gripe was the political side of the story, I don’t understand politics and found myself drifting, I would of preferred more of Robin’s darker side. But that’s just because it doesn’t interest me, and I certainly wouldn’t mark it down because of it.

So if you a looking for a Dark Domestic Noir, that has a touch of Suspense, gripping storylines, is Emotive, yet Engrossing then you will love Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories. I love Helen J. Christmas books and this is another Gem of a book. Her books just keep getting better and better!

Link to Dash Fan Book Reviews

Review Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories by Fany Van Hemelen:
What a great storyteller with the power to create real people!

First if you didn’t read the previous ones in this series just like me, I think this is good to do before you read this one. I haven’t done that and I could perfectly follow the immersive and sad tale. Nevertheless, in this narration three persons of former books are the key players so to have more background it is interesting to do.

I was moved by the way the author told a touching and sometimes hard story. From the first sentence she creates lively personalities with an intriguing past and a complex character.

Through times and places she gives a voice to the innocent. People who didn’t dare to say stop or thought they were even better of with the abusers then their violent homes. The story is about politics, morals and expectations between different times and besides sadness it is a book of hope. The three key players have their own way of dealing with their past and the, at first sight separate lives will flow together. Hidden Stories is a book that crawls in your head and that proves how precious a life is and how quickly it can be ruined.

After this book I am looking forward to read the next ones. I loved the character building, detailed writing and the well-developed plot line.

Link to In de Boekenkast

Before we get into today’s review, I’d like to thank the author and Rachel from Random Resources for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.

The Rosebrook Chronicles is the story of three abused teenagers who separately from one another, are trying to escape their past, and find a future where they’ll be free of their captors. Their paths intersect later in life, and the truths they discover as to how their abusers kept them for so long can finally come to light. This isn’t an easy story, nor particularly heartwarming in a traditional sense, but it’s poignant, and gives people with no platform an opportunity to tell their story. Fans of the genre will enjoy this, as will anyone who seeks the more difficult stories in this world to experience.

Written in both 1st and 3rd person POV, this novel takes place over a few decades, telling the character’s stories in a way which fully encapsulates the moment, and depicts these tales in deep, personal, internal monologue. For the simple fact this author has taken the time to sensitively write this in a captivating way, this is a great novel, but it will appeal most to people who already read the genre. For me personally, it’s not my genre, but I’m glad I read this book. The story is painful, but contains narratives which need to be brought to the forefront of conversation, and for that, I recommend this book.

If I had to give some critique, it’d be that I’m not completely convinced using 1st person added anything to the narrative, as it’s only one out of three characters who use it. This is personal preference, as I’ve never been a fan of using multiple POVs in one novel, so someone who likes it may see why it was used better than I can, but for me, I found it distracting. I also wasn’t a fan as it made the first chapter confusing for me. Robin came across as female, which may have been on purpose, but as soon as his father said ‘son’ I had to go all the way back and reread, which is a personal bugbear of mine.

Another thing I wasn’t greatest fan of, was the change of tone, going from past tense to present tense during some scenes, or the unseen narrator popping in to give little facts before giving the narration back to the characters. Again, someone who enjoys a lot of technique, style, and something that’s been written exactly as the author envisioned, will probably thoroughly enjoy this.

All in all, this is a sensitively written, engrossing tale of survival, chock o block of technique and style. Fans of ‘true’ stories will love this, as will anyone interested in checking out unusually written books.

Link to Radzy Writes

This was such a powerful read – Helen Christmas has managed to navigate the complicated worlds of abuse, politics and religion expertly, weaving the stories of her three main characters seamlessly together. Though this book does take a look at the horrors of childhood abuse, it does not dwell on the act of abuse so much as it tackles the aftermath. It allows us to see how their past abuse has affected the characters in later life, and which decisions they subsequently make. Be that which lies to tell, who to put their trust in (Rightfully or wrongly), or which path to take in life.

I found Peters to be the most interesting story of the three as he navigated the minefield of deciding how much information to reveal about himself. He spends so much of his time desperately seeking news of his baby sister, long ago sent away by the nuns for adoption, but at the same time he is running from the horrors of his past, determined to stay under the radar and not let the wrong people find him.

I understand this is connected to Helen Christmas’ Same Face Different Place series, exploring the lives of some of the more minor characters from it, but having now experienced her writing style and the complex lives of her characters, I am now very keen to get my hands on the full series and give it a read!

Link to the blog of K T Robson

I’m reading, as you probably have guessed since I’m posting this, and this book was quite a sad story. There should be a limit to how much characters can suffer within the binding of a book. The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads.

When I started reading this book I expected a horror story, and in many ways, it is what this book is. On Goodreads the author herself has written: These victims never had a voice. I wrote this book to give them one. The story takes place between the 1970s and 1990s in England, and I have to admit that my historical knowledge of British politics, which plays a semi-central part of this story, is severely lacking. It would have been beneficial to know a tat more than when Margaret Thatcher came into power. I will claim, however, that you don’t have to know a lot about British politics in order to read the book, but I will state that it increases the value of your reading experience in my opinion. I believe this book is very accurate for the historical period the plot is placed in. We hear a lot about the Catholic Church, the troubles in Ireland and the British society trying to rebuild itself after the war. Christmas gives her reader lifelike descriptions of what life was like for the different social classes, how things in the lower classes and people who depended on Social Services experienced this particular period in British history.

Continuing with the historical period, I believe that the faiths of our three characters are quite realistic for many people whose stories we’ve never heard. I’ll not spoil our main characters faith because that ruins the entire book, but I will say that I’ve never experienced characters that go through so much suffering in one lifetime. I know that all stories are different and that people today experience a lot of horrible things throughout their lifetime as well, but certain things stand out to me as horrible on a different level and several of these things we encounter in this book. Our three main characters are all interesting in their own way, but from time to time we view their story through other character’s perspective which I found confusing more than once. These other characters sometimes play a role directly in our characters life while at other times its more indirectly. I will argue with myself that these different perspectives give the story depth and perspective, but I still found it a bit confusing and frustrating from time to time while reading the book.

The Rosebrook Chronicles is a good story. The plot is intriguing and the book touches upon topics which are quite hot in our modern society. Like I said above, I believe the faiths of our main characters are quite realistic for that time period and I have rarely felt so much for any character as I have with these three. I mean, how much can go wrong in one’s life?! I felt several times during the story that NOW we have to reach a good ending soon, but Christmas throws hurdle after hurdle in their way and the result is that the reader sits there and wonders if there ever will be a good ending. Some readers might find this tiresome, and I thought I would too at some point since I know myself quite well after almost 25 years in company with myself, but I actually got more intrigued by all this drama. When I finished the book I was left wondering how on earth our society is able to screw over some of its citizens in the amount this book portrays, and I realized that it is quite possible because there will always be some slimeballs out there who knows how and when to take advantage of the system and people within and outside the system. Credit to Christmas for portraying this in an excellent way!

From what I understood The Rosebrook Chronicles is a part of a thriller series but it can also be read as a standalone novel. The author herself says that somebody might view this book as some kind of prequel, but I won’t follow up with the other books simply because I’m not the biggest thriller reader and I’ve got quite a lot on my readingplate at the moment. Actually, I take that back. I just saw the covers of the thrillers and they look very good…..Why do I do this to myself?! However, I will recommend The Rosebrook Chronicles if you enjoy historical novels placed in the UK, maybe especially if you know a bit more about politics than I do, haha. It is also an interesting book if you enjoy reading about changes in society, and how these changes have affected the different social classes. I found this book enjoyable, although it took me a bit of time to get into it, I enjoyed the storyline and I learned quite a bit about how the British society has changed over the years.

Link to TheBookReader

One of my pet hates is people who complain things were better in the old days.

Because they weren’t.

When I was a child Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were abducting, abusing and murdering children.

Spare the rod and spoil the child was still a widely held belief and, though I was incredibly lucky to have a safe and secure home life, lots of other kids didn’t.

And Rosebrook Chronicles (The Hidden Stories), a tense psychological series of interwoven stories following the lives of three abused teenagers, is a timely reminder of just how grim life was for too many children back in the ‘good old days’.


The stories open in London, 1960. Robin wants a better future but, unwittingly, puts his trust in the wrong person.

Dublin, 1968. Two Irish orphans are separated by the Church. An English family want to adopt six-year-old Bess, but elder brother Peter is left to survive in a brutal orphanage.

Eventually, he manages to escape and heads for London to find her.

Three abused teenagers, desperate to pursue their dreams, find love and re-establish broken family ties – but, at what cost?


Rosebrook Chronicles is not an easy read – at times the gloom is unremitting – but author Helen J Christmas shows why the past shouldn’t be viewed through rose-tinted spectacles.

Christmas says victims like Robin, Bess, and Peter were denied a voice. And she wrote Rosebrook Chronicles to give them one.

Food for thought for anyone who thinks the past is another country and that we should return there.

No thanks.

Review by Sue Featherstone.

Link to Book Lovers’ Booklist

When siblings Peter and Bessie became orphans, they thought they would be looked after. Robin was an intelligent sensitive teenager who wanted to better himself.

As I am writing this review, this story is still affecting me. I love dark reads but I found parts of this book a difficult read and there were times I had to take a break. Saying that this heart-breaking subject matter was written sensitively and I knew that I wanted to finish this story as I wanted to know how their lives worked out.

At the start, each child is introduced separately and you get to know them in fine detail, but as they story continued, I enjoyed how their lives were interwoven with each other. As you read their story, there is no confusion about who the scenes are about.

This story was well researched, with the historical facts running through the book, you really feel as you are following these characters throughout their lives.

Whilst I have not read others from this series, I felt that I had not missed out on anything as reading the author’s bio, this book features lesser known characters of the series. However, I am now intrigued about the other books in the series and will look out for them to read.

A hard read but I am glad I read it.

Link to Terror Tree

Rosebrook Chronicles was a challenging read for me. The subject matter was heart-breaking, and the writing was so well done that there were parts I needed to take a break from. That being said, this book is absolutely incredible. Helen J. Christmas handles this book with care, and draws you in. Though I took breaks, I always came back, needing to know what happened to these people.

I’m having trouble writing this review, because the stories are still on my mind. I loved the way each child was introduced separately, giving us their backgrounds and letting us get to know them. Then, as the story progresses, they become interwoven. This takes incredibly detailed and tight writing to pull off. There wasn’t one second where I was confused about who I was reading, and that is another aspect that makes this such a fantastic book.

Gripping, dark, and emotional, Rosebrook Chronicles is an incredible novel. The sensitive material is handled well, and the stories merge beautifully together. I highly recommend reading this.

Link to the blog of Jessica Belmont

This book is one of those that I couldn’t put down, at times it was shocking to read and utterly heartbreaking but I just had to keep reading.

This is a story of three young children, It is in no way an “easy” read it contains themes of child abuse and violence but is dealt with in such a very sensitive manner and none of those issues ever felt over done or added for drama, it was all very well written and handled

The story revolves around siblings and there childhood, growing up in children’s homes run by nuns who were not only very abusive, but down right cruel.

I found this section just so close to the bone, my own father was raised in a children’s home and this story was so well informed as I found so much comparison about the daily life rang true in what tales my father has shared with me.

We follow the siblings though so much trauma and as they grow a real sense of self discovery and coming of age along with the trials of family, the struggles, the Lies told, as well as the mix of Secrets and Relationships formed.

The Characters are raw and there stories so haunting this book is very complex with all the stories and inter woven and all the characters mentioned. yet it all flowed so well.

If your looking for your next gripping and heart wrenching read then look no further than The Rosebrook Chronicles – The Hidden Stories.

Link to Booksandemma – The Twist and Turn book blog

This is an excellent story!

I really liked the way the author decided to write this story, it was a great way to develop the characters as the book progressed and to bring the stories in line as we get to see how the different characters have developed and how they will interact when they meet at a later date.

The story does have some tough subjects and dramatic scenes but they are done well and vital to the story as it sets the scenes for the rest of the books in the series as this is a prequel.

The author has a lovely writing style and it is really showcased in this book, she is definitely one to watch for me and I have loved everything I have read by her to date.

It is 4.5 stars from me for this one, rounded up to 5 stars for Goodreads and Amazon, it is a very well written story with some excellent characterisation and a gripping plot – very highly recommended!

Link to Donnas Book Blog

Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories by Helen J Christmas