The Honey and The Sting by E.C. Fremantle

Set in the 1600s, this is a story about a strong mother willing to do everything in her power to stop her son being taken away from her. But George Villiers is a powerful man and always gets what he wants and with a bunch of his men helping him, how can Hester ever win against him?

Luckily, her sisters are always on her side. The three sisters have lived together on their own with Hester’s son ever since their parents passed away, with the help of Ambrose – her father’s dearest friend. Together, they hatch a plan to keep Rafe safe.

Each sister has their own strength: Hester is quick thinking and resourceful, Melis has visions of the future and Hope has her beauty. They must each use their skillsets to keep Rafe hidden from Villiers’ men. This becomes a challenge for Melis and Hope as their strengths become their weaknesses in the outside world…

On the run, none of the family feel safe but needs must, because Hester has her own secret weapon against Villiers and if she can get it into the right hands, she won’t only be saving her family, she’ll be helping England.

Set in the idealic English countryside, Fremantle manages to create a unique balance in her tale that brings soothing landscapes as the background to a plot that is unraveling with rapid momentum. At times I found myself lulled into a false sense of calmness by the peaceful locations the sisters find themselves in, and then I’m quickly pulled out of that zone by a surge of adrenaline as the threat of Villiers’ men becomes imminent again. It’s a truly captivating story without a doubt!

The Honey and The Sting is a beautiful, moving and enchanting read that will remind us how powerful a mother’s love for their child is. It’s both complex and heartfelt.

The Honey and The Sting is out now in hardback and eBook versions from Michael Joseph.

Until next time, Chloé x

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