Coffee Pot Blog Tour: Elizabeth St. John / By Love Divided


Welcome everyone to a stop on the Coffee Pot Book Blog Tour.

Today I am hosting Elizabeth St. John's lush and beautiful, By Love Divided. We have a lot going on, so grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and get comfy. I have a blurb and a review of this fantastic book. But first a few details.

The Details

By Love Divided (The Lydiard Chronicles Book 2)

By Elizabeth St.John

Book Title: By Love Divided

Series: The Lydiard Chronicles, Book 2

Author: Elizabeth St.John

Published: October 2017

Publisher: Falcon Historical

Page Length: 381 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

About Elizabeth St.John:

Elizabeth St.John spends her time between California, England, and the past. An acclaimed author, historian, and genealogist, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Lydiard Park and Nottingham Castle to Richmond Palace and the Tower of London to inspire her novels. Although the family sold a few country homes along the way (it's hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth's family still occupy them-- in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their legacy. And the occasional ghost. But that's a different story.

Having spent a significant part of her life with her seventeenth-century family while writing The Lydiard Chronicles trilogy and Counterpoint series, Elizabeth St.John is now discovering new family stories with her fifteenth-century namesake Elysabeth St.John Scrope, and her half-sister, Margaret Beaufort. A new medieval short story featuring these women, Road to the Tower, is within the recently-published Historical Fiction anthology Betrayal.




Connect with Elizabeth:

WebsiteTwitterFacebook InstagramAmazon Author Page

The Blurb:

London, 1630. 

Widowed and destitute, Lucy St.John is fighting for survival and makes a terrible choice to secure a future for her children. Worse still, her daughter Luce rejects the royal court and a wealthy arranged marriage, and falls in love with a charismatic soldier. As England tumbles toward bloody civil war, Luce’s beloved brother Allen chooses to fight for the king as a cavalier. Allen and Luce are swept up in the chaos of war as they defend their opposing causes and protect those they love.

Will war unite or divide them? And will they find love and a home to return to—if they survive the horror of civil war. In the dawn of England’s great rebellion, love is the final battleground.

A true story based on surviving memoirs, court papers, and letters of Elizabeth St.John's family, By Love Divided tells of the war-time experiences of Lucy St.John, the Lady of the Tower. This powerfully emotional novel tells of England's great divide and the heart-wrenching choices one family faces.

My Review:

The Plot in Brief: (No Spoilers) Book two of the Lydiard Chronicles picks up the story of Lucy St.John Apsley, now widowed, and her struggles to survive economic ruin in the years after her husband's death. Desperate to hold her family together, she faces heartbreaking choices. As her children mature they too are faced with choices that bring both pain and joy. Torn apart by the English Civil War, the family finds themselves divided, can their familial love withstand the storm that sweeps across the land?

The Characters:  With a deft hand, Elizabeth St. John brings to life her ancestor Lucy St. John Apsley, and her world. The story centers around Lucy,  her eldest daughter, Luce, and son, Allen Apsley. Luce is highly educated, a serious young woman who pushes against a prescribed marriage of convivence; she wants to marry for love. Allen is on the cusp of manhood, with the rashness of youth he fights his mothers battles as best he can. He's headstrong and doggedly loyal to his family and his king. The family have court connections which bring us into the fold of the glittering but jaded world of King Charles I. So vivid are the descriptions you feel at times as if your are peeking out from behind a tapestry. Shush, there's Barbara Villiers, I think she heard us. 

Lucy and her children are fully fleshed out and are incredibly believable. They beguile you, suck you into their story; you cheer for them and, cry for them, and with fingers crossed, you turn the last page. 

The History: Meticulously researched, this book sings with history and period detail. The time frame begins just prior to the Civil War through to the execution of King Charles. St.John describes with clarity a confusing and tumultuous time as England sped over a cliff and cast off centuries of monarchical rule for a short-lived theocracy run by Parliament. With vivid descriptions of court life, the machinations of parliament and king, as well as life in a war-torn country, the author really pulls the reader into the story. But along with the drama of the world at large, St.John shares a poignant picture of family life, the bonds of love between mother and child, siblings and extended family member. St. John paints for us the daily trappings of life, the highs and lows in the 17th century, without bogging the reader down with information dumps, a real treat in the genre of historical fiction. 

Overall: I think you can tell that I really enjoyed this book. The editing is great, the pace clips along and never gets lost in the details. Although this is book two of a series, I read it as a stand alone, and found no issues with backstory details or flashbacks, which can be annoying. The history is spot on and gives the reader a great overview of the time. The narrative also tells two powerful love stories which I really enjoyed. 

By Love Divided was one of my favorite reads of the year and I look forward to reading book one and three!

Recommendation: I highly recommend this book/series to lovers of historical fiction/romantic historical fiction. I have included a link to Amazon, as I know you'll want to read this book to!

I Rate this book: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐5 stars

This book earned the Readers Choice Award!

Don't miss the other stops on the book tour!


  1. Such a fabulous review - I a so glad you enjoyed By Love Divided, it is such a great book.

    Thank you so much for hosting today's tour stop.


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