Posted in Book Review

Sunshine at the Comfort Food Cafe – Debbie Johnson 5* Review

My name is Willow Longville. I live in a village called Budbury on the stunning Dorset coast with my mum Lynnie, who sometimes forgets who I am. I’m a waitress at the Comfort Food Café, which is really so much more than a café … it’s my home.

For Willow, the ramshackle café overlooking the beach, together with its warm-hearted community, offers friendship as a daily special and always has a hearty welcome on the menu. But when a handsome stranger blows in on a warm spring breeze, Willow soon realises that her quiet country life will be changed forever.

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

I read a lot of books, and most of them are good but the ‘Comfort Food Cafe series’, has a magic sparkle that makes it’s stories marvellously memorable, even when you read as much as I do.

It has a broad appeal; there’s romance, lots of laughs and heartwarming poignant moments. The whole age spectrum is covered, including various charismatic animal friends. Most readers will see a little of their own lives written into the pages of these realistic, yet wonderfully escapist stories, which means they are relevant, contemporary and worth reading.

‘Sunshine at the Comfort Food Cafe’, the fourth book in the series is Willow’s story. Willow is unique, definitely new age and the primary carer for her mother Lynnie who has dementia. The friends at the cafe support her in practical ways, which make her life easier and give her much-needed respite but she has put romance and having a family of her own out of her mind, her mother’s well being her only focus.

Willow’s meeting with Tom, echoes a vibrant childhood memory, he is intelligent, successful but a loner and quite probably Willow’s soulmate in another life. Exploring Willow’s life, the author illuminates some of the problems of living with Dementia and how it affects not only the sufferer but their carers. Willow is vibrant, eccentric and loyal and in a village full of lovely characters, she is my favourite. Her quirky sense of humour and positive outlook on life is refreshing. Willow is not a victim, she loves her mother and wants to care for her, but she deserves to have some lighter moments in such a dedicated life.

There are lots of humorous moments in this poignant story, learning to dance the ‘Strictly’ way is one of them, hilarious and the ‘ Mr Darcy scene in the pond is another. If you love animals, there is another delightful animal charmer to meet too.

It reads well as a standalone story; courtesy of Willow you get a handy ‘Game of Thrones’ style crib sheet introducing all the characters but if you get the chance read all the books because you’re in for a treat.

Perfect to read at any time, it’s as addictive as cake and coffee and just as yummy.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review

Blog Tour -Blood Ties – Heather Burnside 3* Review

Adele Robinson is locked up – convicted for the murder of her abusive father. She quickly realises that she’ll have to play it tough if she’s going to survive, and soon gains a reputation for standing her ground.

Meanwhile, her brother Peter is building his criminal empire on the outside – running protection rackets, seedy nightclubs and all manner of schemes to make a fast buck. He soon comes to the attention of, not only the police, but also Manchester’s rival gangs, and a turf war breaks out.

And when things start to get bloody, only Adele can step in to protect the family business. Will she get out in time to save Peter? After all, blood is thicker than water, and when family’s in trouble, you can’t look the other way.

 Links to buy

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2C7MllX

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2CCWcMg

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2sGi4qp

iBooks: https://apple.co/2omUg5x

My Thoughts…

‘Blood Ties’ isn’t a sophisticated thriller, it’s base, gritty and often violent. It focuses on a crime family based in Manchester, one sibling Adele, is imprisoned for brutally killing her abusive father and on the outside, her younger brother Peter is furthering his organised crime empire. 

Part one focuses on Adele’s time in prison, and how she copes, I’m not keen on prison drama, but this did show Adele’s character development and possibly introduced other characters that she may meet in a future book perhaps?Peter’s empire building makes him fall out with old friends as he forms new alliances. Protection and revenge dominate Peter’s life, and he discovers how ruthless his new business associates are. 

Part two focuses on Adele’s life immediately after her release, and with the limited choices left to her with a prison record, she is obligated to work for her brother. She finds life on the outside is challenging and just as dangerous as imprisonment.

This story is easy to read if a little stereotypical in parts. The pacing is good, and it doesn’t rely on graphic violence. I think it would be more exciting written in predominately active tense, rather than relying on passive descriptions.

I received a copy of this book from Aria Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Heather Burnside is a Manchester-based author who, after taking a career break to raise a family, swapped credit control for writing and decided to study for a writing diploma. Heather had articles featured in several popular UK magazines before publishing her first Manchester-based crime thriller in 2014.

Website: https://heatherburnside.com/

Twitter: @heatherbwriter

Facebook: @HeatherBurnsideAuthor