Book Review: The Honey and the Sting by E.C. Fremantle – #BookReview #TheHoneyAndTheSting

Three sisters.

Three secrets.

Three ways to fall . . .

England, 1628.

Forcibly seduced by the powerful George Villiers, doctor’s daughter Hester is cast aside to raise her son alone and in secret. She hopes never to see Villiers again.

Melis’s visions cause disquiet and talk. She sees what others can’t – and what has yet to be. She’d be denounced as a witch if Hester wasn’t so carefully protective.

Young Hope’s beauty marks her out, drawing unwelcome attention to the family. Yet she cannot always resist others’ advances. And her sisters cannot always be on their guard.

When Villiers decides to claim his son against Hester’s wishes, the sisters find themselves almost friendless and at his mercy.

But the women hold a grave secret – will it be their undoing or their salvation?

Because in the right hands, a secret is the deadliest weapon of all . . .

Hester, Melis and Hope live in the comfort and quiet of their own home, tending to their bees and honeycombs. Everything might seem perfect. But for the three sisters, life is a hive of fear, suspicion and grief. Hope is ridiculed and rejected by the local folk for her striking appearance and seeks validation in other ways. Melis is tormented by visions of the future, of dangers she cannot protect her sisters from. And Hester awaits the day the man who attacked her will come to claim their son, Rafe, and take him away. 

When George Villiars, infamous and abhorred duke, arrives after eight years to take Rafe and begin his cruel tutelage, the three sister rally, drawing on the help of family friend, Ambrose Cotton, to ensure his safety. But George Villiars, a violent and charismatic man is not deterred. He sends old lover and army man to retrieve his child and ensure the sisters’ meet an ‘accidental’ end. For all his love and devotion, Felton does not see the man George truly is and secrets will surface, the like he cannot comprehend.

Hester, Melis and Hope gather what belongings they can and flee their home. But where their journey will end, even Melis cannot predict, with sweetness or with a sting, life or death, their futures are a frightening thing.

As with all EC Fremantle’s books, The Honey and the Sting is beautifully written. I adored her previous book, The Poison Bed (review here) and have been waiting for her next with much anticipation. This fabulous novel grabbed me hook, line and sinker. The tension is taut and hair-raising all the way through, not once does it let up, and the gothic menace from strange goings-on sure does make your bones rattle. It’s quick-paced and emotional. The characters’ development and plot progression kept me glued to the pages. I loved Melis, she was my favourite character as I felt she was a bit of an enigma, someone you can never fully unravel. This is a fabulous novel with an ending that has a helluva sting. 

To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:


About the Author

(c) JP Maslet

E. C. Fremantle holds a first in English and an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck. As a Fashion Editor she has contributed to various publications including Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair and The Erotic Review and has had her fiction published in The Mechanic’s Institute Review. She lives in London and is now working on her sixth historical novel, The Honey and The Sting.

For more information and for upcoming events have a look at Elizabeth’s website:

With thanks to Gaby and Michael Joseph for my ARC, which I received in exchange for an honest review!


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