Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Mystery

4* #Review The First Time Lauren Pailing Died – Alyson Rudd @HQStories @allyrudd_times #LiteraryFiction #timeslip #love #grief #family #friends #mystery

Lauren Pailing is born in the sixties and a child of the seventies. She is thirteen years old the first time she dies.

Lauren Pailing is a teenager in the eighties, becomes a Londoner in the nineties. And each time she dies, new lives begin for the people who loved her – while Lauren enters a brand new life, too.

But in each of Lauren’s lives, a man called Peter Stanning disappears. And, in each of her lives, Lauren sets out to find him.

And so it is that every ending is also a beginning. And so it is that, with each new beginning, Peter Stanning inches closer to finally being found…

Amazon UK

Waterstones

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

My Thoughts…

This story may not appeal to everyone. You have to be willing to accept the concept of parallel lives that exist but only come to your notice, if you act in a certain way. Lauren Paling as a young girl, sees snapshots of her other possible lives, she learns not to share these insights with others who don’t understand, but then she dies and the emotional rollercoaster journey begins.

In each life she is different, and although surrounded by those who love her, they may relate to her, in different ways. The stories explore, love friendship, relationships loss and grief in a poignant way.

Lauren is searching for a mystery man in each life, without knowing his significance to her, if any. This is a story that can be read more than once, and perhaps needs to be, to fully grasp everything it is about, but that might just be me?

The historical scene-setting is well done, I grew up in this time frame, and I enjoyed the mid to late 20th Century references. Each life has subtle differences to authenticate it to Lauren, as part of her struggles to accept her new present and forget what has gone before.

The plot is detailed and the characters are likeable and believable, despite the extraordinariness of the storyline. This has a uniqueness, because of its emotional content and characterisation, even though the parallel lives concept is often used in science- fiction literature.

If you enjoy variety in your reading and enjoy a lovely, out worldly story this is for you.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Excerpt, Extract, Romantic Comedy

Meet Me In CockleberryBay – Nicola May 4* #Review @nicolamay1 @EyeandLightning @rararesources #RomCom #HolidayFiction #SelfDiscovery #Romance #Coastal #Relationships #Friendship #BlogTour

The cast of the runaway bestseller, The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, are back – including Rosa, Josh, Mary, Jacob, Sheila, new mum Titch and, last but by no means least, Hot, the adorable dachshund.

Newlywed, and with her inherited corner shop successfully up and running, Rosa Smith seems to have all that anyone could wish for. But the course of true love never did run smooth and Rosa’s suspicions that her husband is having an affair have dire consequences.

Reaching rock bottom before she can climb back up to the top, fragile Rosa is forced to face her fears, addiction and jealousy head-on.

With a selection of meddling locals still at large, a mystery fire and Titch’s frantic search for the real father of her sick baby, the second book in this enchanting series will take you on a further unpredictable journey of self-discovery.

Amazon UK

Amazon

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

There is nothing fluffy about this romantic comedy. It is romantic and humorous, but it explores what happens after ‘The Happy Ever After’, and deals with addiction, self-belief and jealousy.

I haven’t read the first book in this series, but there is sufficient backstory, on events and characters, to make this one enjoyable as a standalone read. However, I do think I’ve missed out and want to read the first one too.

The setting of Cockleberrybay is authentic and lovely. The beauty of the setting hides a myriad of emotions, relationships and secrets you would never be aware of. The village setting is realistic, with the usual do-gooders, gossips and sense of community that is nearly always there and unique to this type of setting.

The story covers Rosa’s personal struggle with self-esteem and addiction, catalysed by her new marriage to Josh, which flounders when they are separated by distance. Titch needs to find her baby’s father, and her desperation adds emotional depth to this story.

Contemporary social issues are explored through flawed characters, who are easy to empathise. They are believable and you root for them. This story draws you into its picture-perfect setting and lovely, quirky real characters.

A story of real-life relationships, extraordinary friendship and community in a lovely coastal setting,

extract from Meet Me in Cockleberry Bay
where Rosa and Mary are still finding their feet in their relationship

‘Keep your sense of identity, Rosa.’ Mary took her daughter’s hand as they walked down the steep street to the beach. ‘“Give your hearts but not into each other’s keeping. For the pillars of the temple stand apart and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow”.’

          ‘Mary! Enough of Kahlil now, thanks.’

‘All he means is that space is good in a relationship.’

‘Says the woman who’s never had one,’ Rosa tutted.

Hurt, Mary released her hand. ‘You don’t know that.’

Rosa felt a sudden anger rising. ‘And anyway, I don’t need your advice,’ she said bitterly. ‘Thanks to you, I’ve been on my own in many ways and for many years.’

Mary squeezed her daughter’s shoulder. ‘And for that, I am truly sorry.’

Rosa softened. ‘Oh, I’m sorry . . . I didn’t mean . . . I think what I’m trying to say is that I’ve found love now, with Josh – and with you, of course. And I want to spend as much time as possible living and breathing it. It’s all so bloody confusing.’

‘There is no rush, let it all happen naturally. Although Josh is thirty-one now, isn’t he?’

‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ Rosa reared up again.

 ‘I know you had a miscarriage, love.’ Rosa flinched as Mary promised, ‘If you ever want to talk about it, you know you can.’

Rosa thought back to the painful and ongoing period she had suffered not long after the wedding.

 ‘In sickness and in health, my dear,’ Mary said gently.

‘I was just late, that’s all,’ Rosa lied, ‘and I tell Josh everything normally. I was just so happy about the wedding.  Didn’t want to make a fuss and spoil things.’

They reached the beach and Rosa bent down to let Hot off his lead. The excitable dachshund immediately tore down the beach towards a group of unsuspecting seagulls.

Mary stuttered, ‘I d-do love you, Rosa.’

Giving her mother a watery half-smile, Rosa turned and started to run over the sand towards the sea’s edge and away from the mutual affection they both struggled to accept and convey.

Award-winning author Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire with her rescue cat Stanley. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Inspired by her favourite authors Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews, Nicola writes what she describes as chicklit with a kick.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Mystery, Romance, Suspense

The Dead Wife – Sue Fortin 5* #Review @HarperCollinsUK @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @suefortin1 #Suspense #FamilyDrama #InvestigativeJournalist #DomesticThriller #PublicationDay @rararesources

SINCLAIR WIFE DEAD!  HUSBAND CLEARED! 

Police have ruled out suspicious circumstances in the investigation into the death of Elizabeth Sinclair, wife of charismatic entrepreneur Harry Sinclair, found drowned in the lake of the family’s holiday park.

It’s been two years since the Sinclair case closed but when reporter Steph Durham receives a tipoff that could give her the scoop of the year, she’s drawn deeper and deeper into the secretive Sinclair family.

Elizabeth’s death wasn’t a tragic accident. And the truth will come at a deadly price…

Amazon UK

Waterstones

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins UK – Harper Fiction in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

You are thrown into the deep end from the beginning of this book, as you witness a personal tragedy. These scenes engender your empathy towards the victim. Is she as innocent as she seems?

Steph is the PR and journalist for a travel company based in the South of England. She has always wanted to be an investigative journalist, since her days of cub reporting in the North West, but things didn’t work out. The opportunity to review a new leisure venture in her home town is viewed with mixed emotions, but she needs the money. Her friend suggests she uses social media, to advertise her latest job, with a view to gaining further work. The interest she attracts is unexpected and leads her into a role she has always wanted, but at what cost?

The Lake District setting is always good for fiction. The beauty and danger of the landscape, the perfect foil for accidents, or even murder. The Sinclair family, practically own the town, and you are immediately wondering if their influence could cover up a murder? Steph’s estranged mother ran the initial police investigation and her deceased father worked for the Sinclairs, something that puts her at risk, even before she starts her investigation.

The suspense increases with every chapter, and the dual timeline, of Steph’s present-day investigation of Elizabeth’s death, and the historic revelations of Elizabeth’s life up to her demise, work well.

Only Steph and widower Harry are characters that you can empathise, even Elizabeth has her own agenda, and is not really likeable. The other two brothers Dominic and Owen are not attractive humans. One the dominant bully, the other weak, but manipulative. The clues are well hidden in the plot, disguised by the misinformation, but they are there. The ending is well-written, as the suspense reaches breaking-point.

This story keeps you on tenterhooks throughout, with authentic characters, a twisty plot and an unexpected end, it is an excellent domestic thriller.

Sue Fortin is an award-winning USA Today and an Amazon best-selling author, an international bestseller and has reached #1 in the Amazon UK Kindle chart. Sue writes mystery, suspense and romance, sometimes combining all three. 

Sue was born in Hertfordshire but had a nomadic childhood, moving often with her family, before eventually settling in West Sussex where she now lives with her husband, children and grandchildren. Facebook Page Twitter Instagram Website