Posted in Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Murder Mystery, Mystery

Mystery at Apple Tree Cottage (An Eve Mallow Mystery Book 2) Clare Chase 4* #Review @ClareChase_ @bookouture #CozyMystery #MurderMystery #Suffolk #Mystery #Village #Coastal #BookReview #EveMallowMystery

Obituary writer and amateur sleuth Eve Mallow is enjoying life in sleepy Saxford St Peter – until a mysterious murder lands right at her door…

It’s spring in Saxford St Peter – time to get back in the garden, listen to the birds, and take gentle strolls in the woods. But for some, it’s the season for murder.

Eve Mallow is relishing the gentle pace of the village until a new arrival stirs everyone up. Ashton Foley is back: a teenage tearaway turned interior designer to the stars. He’s mad, bad and dangerous to know, but charming too – as Eve herself can testify – and every house in Saxford opens its doors to him.

So when he’s found murdered in the woods near his mother’s home, Apple Tree Cottage, there’s no shortage of suspects. A jealous husband? A spurned lover? Or has someone from his past life caught up with him?

The police soon hit on a simple solution, and arrest his mother’s partner Howard. Ashton always hated him, and he bears all the marks of a recent fight. But Ashton’s mother, miles away in New Zealand, is convinced he’s innocent and enlists Eve’s help to prove it.

There’s just one problem. Eve saw Howard sniffing around Apple Tree Cottage on the morning of the murder, and she’s fairly sure he’s guilty, too…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Despite living in London for years American Eve fits effortlessly into the little Sussex coastal village she calls home. Working in the village cafe for her friend Viv and writing obituaries she is enjoying the slower pace of life. The downside is she attracts murder and has a unique talent for solving them. It’s lovely to reacquaint, with characters introduced in book one, but this is a complete mystery and reads as a standalone.

When Ashton returns to the village, reformed and rich, there’s something about him that unsettles Eve. The victim has a chequered past and is a player, the possible suspects are many, including the person the police arrest.

Eve asked to help by Ashton’s mother uses her communication and observation skills to good effect. The plot is fast-paced with subtle twists. The characters are complex and suit the cosy mystery ethos.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Humour, Romance, Travel

The Jetsetters Amanda Eyre Ward 4*#Review @amandaeyreward @PenguinUKBooks #Family #Drama #Relationships #Life #Love #Friendship Parents #Children #Secrets #Lies #Travel #TheJetsetters #BookReview

A family reunited on a holiday of a lifetime…what could possibly go wrong?

When 70-year-old Charlotte Perkins submits an essay to the ‘Become a Jetsetter’ contest, she dreams of reuniting her estranged children: Lee, an almost-famous actress; Cord, a handsome Manhattan venture capitalist; and Regan, a harried mother who has never forgiven Charlotte for buying her a Weight Watchers gift certificate for her birthday.

But when she wins the cruise, the reality is not quite as she expected. As they sail from sun-drenched Athens, to glorious Rome, to tapas-laden Barcelona, lovers old and new join the adventure, and long-buried secrets are revealed.

Can four lost adults find their way back to themselves, and to each other? And more importantly, can they do it without killing each other?

A funny and deliciously sun-scented novel about the courage it takes to reveal our true selves, the pleasures and perils of family, and how we navigate the seas of adulthood to cruise – we can only hope – toward joy.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story has the perfect mix of family drama and exciting holiday destinations. Charlotte is determined to reunite her family after losing her closest friend. Entering a writing competition, to win a cruise, seems the right thing to do. The story gives insight into past relationships and secrets the family members are keeping. The cruise ship setting works well. There’s nowhere to run, and this intensifies family tensions.

Brittle and flawed characters gradually share their past and present issues, making them easy to empathise. The family dynamic is complex but relatable. The intense emotion relieved by humorous moments.

The vividly described holiday locations add contrast to the story too. The vibrant imagery makes this story a sensory delight. The perfect balance to the literary dialogue as the family drama unfolds.

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Literary Humour, Travel

My Sardinian Summer Michaël Uras 3*#Review @MichaelUras @HodderBooks #Translator Adriana Hunter #Travel #Family #Friends #Life #Self Discovery #Summer #Sardinia #Literary #Fiction

Giacomo is stuck in a funk he can’t shake – and a translation he can’t finish. When he’s summoned home to Sardinia, to say a final goodbye to his dying grandmother, he’s offered the perfect opportunity to escape.

On the noisy, sun-drenched island, Giacomo reconnects with long-lost friends and overbearing relatives, relives the childhood he once couldn’t wait to leave behind, and rediscovers new joie-de-vivre within him. Never mind that he’s making no progress on his translation. . .

When the time comes to leave once more, Giacomo wonders: has he fallen back in love with his home-island? Or has he been hiding from something which he needs the courage to return and confront?

But most importantly – is his grandma really as ill as she’s claiming to be?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story has an autobiographical quality about it. Giacomo is a translator returning to his home village in Sardinia when his grandmother falls ill. The remote village setting and the quirky characters that live there, give this story its humour, intrinsic interest and poignancy.

Giacomo is at a crossroads in his life. He uses his time in the village, to come to terms with this and make sense of his existence. There are memories revisited and acquaintances renewed, which create a web of anecdotes and experiences rather than a linear plotted story.

There are literary references and insight into the life of translator which Giacomo equates with his status, the ‘nearly’ man. It’s not a commercial book. It is an insight into an ordinary man’s life in a unique place, fascinating but not always relatable.

Posted in Book Review, Romance

At Your Service A.C.Arthur 4*#Review #TheFabulousGolds @ACArthur @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonDare #MillsandBoonInsiders #BookReview #PublicationDay #ThursdayMotivation #AtYourService

‘You know what I’m doing…
Are you going to stop me?’

Tech entrepreneur Nina Fuller’s new app is on the verge of a major breakthrough. But there’s a string attached—or rather, a ring. An engagement ring. And it’s attached to tall, dark, and delicious fashion exec Major Gold. All Nina has to do is play her part as his fiancée. Not want him too much. And absolutely, positively not fall in love with him…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The second book in The Fabulous Golds series reads well as a standalone. I like the characters and the family dynamic, so I hope to read the first book too. The fashion and app technology industry provide an original setting for this romantic, sensual story.

Nina and Major’s physical attraction is immediate. The chance of their feelings deepening is complicated by their business arrangement and fake engagement. The passionate love scenes show their emotional connection, as both realise this may be the real thing.

There are no surprises, but the well-paced plot and engaging characters make this an enjoyable, romantic read.