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The Secret Photographs

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781529377392

Price: £24.99

ON SALE: 22nd February 2024

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Romance / Historical Romance

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At the golden hour, hidden truths and desires come to light . . .

In the genteel squares and stuccoed villas of late-Victorian Brighton, Ellen and Reynold Harper – twins, companions, colleagues, – ply their trade as portrait photographers. But at the golden hour, the girls arrive to pose for the lucrative – and dangerous – illicit photographs that really keep the Harpers’ business afloat. This is the other, shadowy world of the city: a world of erotic tableaux, boundary-crossing music hall artistes, and the sinister figure of the local gangster, the Croc.

But when Ellen is drawn into the orbit of unhappy newly-wed Clementine, she finds herself torn between loyalty to her brother, her dangerous attraction to their new model, Lily, and a burgeoning friendship with Clem. And as the two worlds of Brighton collide, the three women discover that there is only a knife edge between the promise of freedom, and the threat of ruin . . .

Atmospheric, sensual and powerfully moving , The Golden Hour is a spellbinding portrait of three women determined to find their freedom – perfect for fans of Sarah Waters, The Doll Factory and The Essex Serpent

*Jacquie Bloese’s stunning debut, THE FRENCH HOUSE, is available now*


A compelling Sapphic novel in which subjugated women defy society's expectations . . . Atmospheric, dark, and daring
Essie Fox, author of The Fascination
The Golden Hour is luminous - a sensitive and moving portrayal of women caught up in the perilous world of erotic photography in late Victorian Brighton. Jacquie Bloese brings the period and characters vividly to life. Perfect for fans of Sarah Waters and Sarah Perry
Sean Lusk, author of The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley
A delicious peep into the world of 'what the Butler saw', contrasting the drudgery of the steamy laundry with the sordid cigar smoke of the gentlemen's clubs. The characters and the setting were all portrayed with such vivid colour and conviction . . . there was also a strong element of defying the patriarchy, which resonates with issues today
Suzanne Goldring, author of The Girl Who Never Came Back
A captivating panorama of late-Victorian Brighton, where beauty and seediness coexist in the shadowy alleyways behind the seafront. The story highlights the hypocrisy of a society where women are expected to be angels, while the men think nothing of buying titillating photographs for their private entertainment. All the characters are vividly drawn . . . and the writing is beautifully atmospheric
Gill Paul, author of A Beautiful Rival
An absorbing novel of secrets and survival that exposes darker aspects of Victorian life, as three women seek to defy societal conventions in order to determine their own destinies. A gutsy tale that is sure to please!
Anita Frank, author of The Good Liars
A divine and sumptuous portrait of Victorian Brighton, written in gloriously seductive prose, I was enthralled. Jacquie Bloese writes so evocatively, truly drawing on all the senses. A stunning writer and such an absorbing novel
Amanda Geard, author of The Midnight House
In The Golden Hour, Jacquie Bloese's pitch-perfect prose draws us powerfully into late Victorian Brighton, and the shadowy world of illicit photography. I loved this novel: its fascinating narrative, its strong themes of female empowerment, its mesmerising characters. It's a novel to be savoured, and I whole-heartedly recommend it.
Gill Thompson
I adored it. It's a glorious and sumptuous feast for the senses and it drew me in from the start, wanting to find out more about these women's stories and their struggles for freedom and change. It's an absolute joy. I couldn't put it down.
Rosanna Ley
Engrossed to the last page. The Golden Hour opens with a mystery and pulls the reader through a labyrinth of plot twists, its key character Ellen shining in her struggle to assert her right to define her own life and loves
Natalie Meg Evans, author of The Dress Thief, The Italian Girl’s Secret and The Locket
Compelling and beautifully drawn characters, an intriguing setting and tons of atmosphere - I felt I was right there, seeing, hearing and even smelling the sea in fin-de-siecle Brighton. I loved this book and want to read more by Jacquie Bloese
Frances Quinn
The beautifully written The Golden Hour captures how these women's lives unravel at the mercy of their men. A passionate, enthralling and historically rich book. Hard to put down
Georgia Kaufmann