Book reviews, Graphic novels

Bloodlust & Bonnets byEmily McGovern – Book Review



Georgette Heyer meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this smart, funny graphic novel by Emily McGovern, the award-winning author of My Life as a Background Slytherin.

The year is 1820, and bored young debutante Lucy knows there must be more to life than embroidery and engagements – no matter how eligible the bachelor might be. Some bachelors, she has discovered, are less ‘eligible’ than they are ‘bloodthirsty,’ however… literally. It turns out that there are a lot of vampires in late-Regency England, and Lucy has an eye for spotting them and the desire to rid the world of them.

It’s not long before Lady Violet Travesty, leader of a mysterious vampire cult, spots Lucy’s talents and offers her a place amongst her vampire acolytes.

Unfortunately, Lady Violent is most horribly slain by the famous Lord Byron before Lucy can accept. Lucy instead joins Lord Byron and his enormous, psychic eagle Napoleon in their ongoing fight against evils such as bloodsucking ghouls and bad taste. Before long they’re joined by the mysterious Sham, an androgynous bounty hunter, who catches Lucy’s eye. The trio lie, flirt, fight and manipulate each other as they make their way across Britain, disrupting society balls, slaying vampires, and making every effort not to betray their feelings to each other as their personal and romantic lives become increasingly entangled.

A balm for the soul for readers who love Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, novels by Eloisa James and Jane Austen, and the action and adventure of Xena, Warrior Princess, Bloodlust & Bonnets is the most modern action-heavy love-story set two hundred years ago that you’ll read this year.


This is so much fun…

It starts as Lucy dispatches her suitor with his own cane, she’s bored…she then carries on finishing off a crowd of vampires….she knew they were vampires didn’t she?

She is approached by Lady Travesty who wants her to join her secret immortal vampire cult, she’s ‘saved’ just in time by Lord Byron…you know? From the books?

He takes her to his Scottish magic castle, well his psychic eagle, Napoleon does!

Lucy meets, Sham, a short person with a gun, and so the three of them travel the country in search of the enemy,  Lady Travesty….but they each seem to have a different reason why.

Lovely, simple illustrations with a lot of slapstick humour. A joy to read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.



Emily was born in the UK but grew up in Brussels, where she attended the European School of Brussels II. After graduating, she began a Foundation Art Diploma course at London College of Fashion. She studiously avoided any fashion, and instead spent her time making hand-drawn animations and weird paintings of witches.

She began a BA degree in Russian Studies at University College London and spent a year in Russia working in a rural commune, where she ran a weekly art “gathering” for the kids. The year abroad allowed her to go to many Russian art galleries, which were a revelation to her – artists such as Vereshchagin and Vasnetsov she found influenced her greatly.

She graduated with First Class Honours and by 2016 was building a comic driven social media platform based around the regular posting of her ‘My Life As A Background Slytherin’ comic. Bloodlust & Bonnets is her first graphic novel.


Book reviews, Graphic novels, Womens fiction

Horizontal Collaboration by Navie and Carole Maurel – Book Review



“Horizontal Collaboration” is a term used to describe the sexual and romantic relationships that some French women had with members of the occupying German forces during World War II. In this poignant, female-centered graphic novel created by writer/artist duo Carole Maurel and Mademoiselle Navie, the taboo of “sleeping with the enemy” is explored through the story of a passionate, and forbidden, affair. In June 1942, married Rose (whose husband is a prisoner of war) intervenes in the detainment of her Jewish friend and then accidentally embarks on a secret relationship with the investigating German officer, Mark. There is only one step between heroism and treason, and it’s often a dangerous one. Inside an apartment building on Paris’s 11th arrondissement, little escapes the notice of the blind husband of the concierge. Through his sightless but all-knowing eyes, we learn of Rose and Mark’s hidden relationship, and also of the intertwined stories and problems of the other tenants, largely women and children, who face such complex issues as domestic violence, incest, and prostitution. This fascinating graphic novel tackles the still-sensitive topic of who it is acceptable to love, and how, and the story’s drama is brought vividly to life by intimate and atmospheric illustrations.



Well this broke my heart !

A stunningly illustrated graphic novel that tells the tale of women in France during World War 2…

Virginie’s grandmother, admits she never loved her husband Raymond, but she had been in love once…

The story then goes back to the war, in France. Rose lives with her young son, Lucien, her husband Raymond is away, a prisoner of war. She is a nurse and she is helping young Anael, a young Jewish boy who is hiding with his mother in the same building…

There is also Josephine, she works at a cabaret….but is really an ‘escort’…the only way she can survive, but she is struggling to cope and there is tragedy ahead…

Madame Flament, an elderly woman, who appears a bit dotty, but this is not the case….can she be trusted…..can anyone?

Young Rose falls in love with a German soldier…..they keep their trysts secret as no one would understand….

Camille the blind man is loved by all and although he is blind he sees more than anyone….

A beautiful story that shows the awful circumstances many women found themselves in and the effects of war on those left at home alone…..what they had to do just to survive, with love, loss, domestic violence, tragedy and betrayal…..a stunning read..

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.





Carole Maurel cut her teeth on animated films before devoting herself to illustration, in particular, graphic novels. Her 2017 book The Apocalypse According to Magda was awarded the Artémisia Avenir award, which celebrates women in comics.

Navie is a screenwriter for press, cinema and television. She has a degree in history from The Sorbonne in Paris, where she specialized in the history of fascism – making Horizontal Collaboration an excellent fit for her first graphic novel.

Twitter @rolcamaurel