Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

A Summer of Second Chances Carol Thomas 4*#Review @carol_thomas2 @ChocLituk @rararesources #SecondChance #Summer #Romance #Friendship #Humour #RomCom #BlogTour #BookReview #BankHolidayWeekend #MondayBlogs #MondayMotivation #ASummerofSecondChances

Does first love deserve a second chance?

Ava Flynn sometimes feels like the clothes donated to her charity shop have seen more life than her, but ‘maximum dedication for a minimal wage’ is what it takes to keep her mother’s beloved wildlife charity, All Critters Great and Small, running – especially in the village of Dapplebury, where business is certainly not booming.


But when Ava’s first love, Henry Bramlington, returns to the village, suddenly life becomes a little too eventful. Henry escaped Dapplebury many years before, but now he has the power to make or break the village he left behind – All Critters Great and Small included. Can Ava trust the boy who ran away to give both her and her charity a second chance?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Choc Lit in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a charming and heartwarming story about second chances and village life.

Ava runs the charity shop in the village of Dapplebury, forsaking her true vocation. The village needs rejuvenation, but at what cost to its heritage and the surrounding wildlife? Henry returns to the village after years away and history with Ava. He has the power to change the village but will this be a good thing?

The romance is gentle and fraught with conflict. The village characters are relatable, and there is a believable village vibe. The plot has humour, mystery and surprises. The animal characters are the stars.

A lovely summery story full of community spirit, friendship and love.

Carol Thomas

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively Labrador. She has been a primary school teacher for over twenty years and has a passion for reading, writing and people watching. When she is not in school, chasing after her children, or stopping her dog from eating things he shouldn’t, she can be found loitering in cafes drinking too much tea and working on her next book.

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Posted in Book Review, Crime, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Killing Kind Jane Casey 5* #Review @JaneCaseyAuthor @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #Legal #suspense #PsychologicalSuspense #BookReview #TheKillingKind #CrimeFiction

As a barrister, Ingrid Lewis is used to dealing with tricky clients, but no one has ever come close to John Webster. After Ingrid defended Webster against a stalking charge, he then turned on her – following her, ruining her relationship, even destroying her home.

Now, Ingrid believes she has finally escaped his clutches. But when one of her colleagues is run down on a busy London road, Ingrid is sure she was the intended victim. And then Webster shows up at her door…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an intelligent, layered psychological suspense where the main protagonist is a barrister. Her interpretation of events is concise, considered and critical. Ingrid has elements of unreliability that are notable for the protagonists in this genre, but with a few exceptions, she is trustworthy. John is a sociopath. Complex, he keeps his true intentions secret until the climactic conclusion.

The legalistic setting has intrinsic interest. The plot is twisty and the characters shadowy, creating an ethos of menace and mystery. The lines of right and wrong are blurred, and the differences between justice and the law explored through the events that unfold.

This is a compelling story with convincing characters and a set of events that are frighteningly real.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Holiday Romance, New Books, Romance, Travel

Summer at the French Olive Grove 5*#Review Sophie Claire @HodderBooks @SClaireWriter #Romance #Family #Friendship #Rural #Village #Provence #grief #BookReview #Holiday #France #SummerAtTheFrenchOliveGrove

Filmmaker Lily’s life is all about work and adventure. So when she suffers an accident on her travels and finds herself recuperating in the quiet French seaside village where she spent her childhood, she can’t wait to escape. Not least because Olivier – Lily’s childhood friend and former crush, who she has spent the last thirteen years avoiding – is staying next door . . .

Strong-minded masterbaker Olivier is happily settled in St Pierre, preparing to marry and put down roots. But Lily’s return to the village risks turning his carefully-laid plans upsidedown, and as the pair rediscover their familiar rivalry and fun, sparks fly.

Is Lily really as fearless and independent as she seems on the surface – or is she just running from the past? And what if Olivier is the only one who can teach her what it really means to be brave?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Hodder and Stoughton via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

Lily is an intrepid filmmaker with a conscience. Whilst filming at a coffee cooperative run by women in Columbia filming Lily is courageous in protecting the women when they are threatened but doesn’t come out of the incident unscathed. Returning to her grandmother in Provence has bittersweet memories, especially when she is met at the airport by Olivier, her best friend and teenage crush.

The friends to lovers romance between Lily and Olivier is conflicted. It develops realistically with many heartwarming, humorous and heartbreaking moments. Lily’s grandmother is a lovely character who has always positively influenced her life. The story flows well with an absorbing setting and believable cast of supporting characters.

The romantic tension is intense, and the reader realises how important the couple’s friendship is. Lily and Olivier undergo significant character development until they reach a dramatic and satisfying conclusion.

Friendship, family romance and self-realisation make this an engaging summer read.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, New Books, Romance

From Best Friend To Fiancée Ellie Darkins 5*#Review @EllieDarkins @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonTrueLove #HarlequinRomance #MillsandBoonInsiders #Romance #FridayReads #FromBestFriendToFiancée

She’s strictly off-limits…
Isn’t she?

Jannes is a professional yachtsman with a playboy reputation. The tabloids devote more columns to his romantic entanglements than his round-the-world races! But scandals spook sponsors, so Jannes makes a proposal of mutual convenience to his commitment-phobe best friend Lara: pose as his girlfriend for PR purposes only and he’ll help keep her chaotic family at bay. It’s perfect… Until the paparazzi leak photos of Lara with a diamond ring on her finger!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Friends to lovers romance always put the protagonists in a quandary. Will the physical attraction damage the emotional connection they have as friends? This is the question for Lara and Jannes as they embark on a fake relationship to help Jannes’ career risking their friendship for a PR stunt.

Jannes and Lara have trust issues which make their friendship precious. Their emotional connectivity and the glamorous setting allow their physical attraction to develop. It makes the couple face their emotional issues together in a bid to be both friends and lovers.

The characters are flawed and likeable, the dialogue is witty, and the story explores contemporary issues.

Posted in Book Review, Medical Romance, New Books

The Vet’s Unexpected Hero Traci Douglass 3* #Review @Traci_Douglass @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsiders #MillsandBoonMedical #HarlequinMedicalRomance #Vet #FridayReads #FloridaFirstInResponse #TheVetsUnexpectedHero

Safety in his arms?

In this First Response in Florida story, vet Lucy is happy with her quiet, ordered life. Until a tropical storm threatens her Florida Keys animal sanctuary, and the arrival of gorgeous, yet guarded, emergency medic Jackson Durand brings disorder – and desire!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A story focusing on Lucy, a vet who runs an animal shelter in the Florida Keys. She left her familial home to escape a controlling relationship and a family who don’t offer the support she needs to further her independence. Jackson is an EMT whose commitment issues stem from his childhood. The setting is the build-up of a tropical storm to a hurricane forcing the couple into close physical proximity.

The scenes in the medical setting are atmospheric, but the animal shelter needs a greater focus. Lucy and Jackson are complex characters. The setting ensures that the reader gets to understand them despite the brief time period.

There’s an undeniable attraction with a passionate outcome and the sought after emotional connection.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Bridesmaid Nina Manning 5*#Review @ninamanning78 @BoldwoodBooks #Psychological #Suspense #Friendship #Secrets #Lies #Psychsuspense @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #TheBridesmaid #BlogTour #BookReview #publicationday @claire_fenby

‘Promise me? If you hear any secrets, never tell me. That would make you a most treasured friend. More than a friend really. You’re almost like a sister to me…’

Your best friend….

From the moment they met as children, Sasha knew that beautiful, wealthy, and confident Caitlin would always be her absolute best friend.  Sasha would do anything to make Caitlin happy.  

Even keep her darkest secrets…

The years have passed, but their friendship remains.  And when Caitlin announces she’s getting married there is only one choice for the role of bridesmaid.  

Sasha will make sure Caitlin’s wedding is as beautiful and perfect as she is.  Won’t she? 

Your worst nightmare?

But Sasha is growing tired of always being in Caitlin’s shadow  – always the bridesmaid, never the bride.  And as the big day approaches, cracks begin to appear between the two woman.  Secrets and lies swirl between the two friends like confetti. Both of them are hiding dark secrets, both of them are lying. 

Could the secrets that once bound these two friends, rip them apart for good?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Toxic friendships, dysfunctional families and class divide are all explored in this psychological suspense. Three timelines are woven together to deliver an absorbing story that has many noir elements. Sasha’s friendship with Caitlin is unequal at best. The two girls are divided by class and familial expectations. Sasha’s family works at the house, Caitlin is the owner’s treasured granddaughter. The story of how the girls meet and grow up together is merged with a fateful birthday party where everything changes and the wedding where revenge is sought and revelations abound.

The characterisation is good, but Caitlin and Sasha still manage to keep their secrets until the end. There are many disturbing themes explored believably in this story. Poignant and shocking with a surprising ending.

Nina Manning

Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast. Her debut psychological thriller, The Daughter in Law, was a bestseller in the UK, US, Australia and Canada. She lives in Dorset.

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Read my review of The Daughter in Law

Read my review of The Guilty Wife

Read my review of The Housemate

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Domestic Suspense, Domestic Thriller, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller

The Serial Killer’s Wife Alice Hunter 5*#Review #DidSheKnow @AvonBooksUK @Alice_Hunter_1 #BlogTour #BookReview #CrimeFiction #psychsuspense #Lies #Secrets DomesticSuspense #TheSerialKillersWife

They’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.

Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.

When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.

But the worst is beyond imagining.

As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.

They’re husband and wife – till death do them part…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The intensity of this twisty psychological suspense builds with every page turn. Then the secrets begin to unfold, and you can’t stop reading. You have to know, what next?

Told mainly from Beth and Tom’s viewpoints, this story gives the reader insight into the main players, but you’re never sure if they are truthful, and the mystery deepens. A well-written plot makes it easy to read. Beth is so shocked by the police investigation into her husband it’s hard not to empathise with her.

The suspense builds believably and relentlessly. With each revelation, another question is raised. The ending draws all the plot strands together with some notable twists that resonate.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, New Books, Romance

A Secret Scottish Escape Julie Shackman 4* #Review @G13Julie @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #Romance #heartwarming #ASecretScottishEscape #BlogTour #BookReview

Escape to the beautiful Scottish Highlands for a heartwarming and feel good cosy romance that will whisk you away.

When Scotland’s sleepiest hamlet becomes the centre of hot gossip, Layla Devlin finds herself caught in a mystery…

When Layla’s fiancée has an unexpected heart attack and dies – in another woman’s arms, no less – Layla is determined to pack up and leave Loch Harris, the village she’s always called home. But an unexpected inheritance and love for her quiet corner of Scotland send her down a new path.

Now Layla finds herself facing a whole new kind of drama. Rumours swirl that a celebrity has moved into Coorie Cottage and Layla is determined to have him headline her opening night at local music venue The Conch Club. But the reclusive star is equally determined to thwart Layla’s efforts. Rafe Buchanan is in hiding for a reason, and soon his past comes to Loch Harris to haunt him…

Amazon Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a heartwarming story about finding your purpose in life. Layla feels heartbroken and betrayed when her fiance dies unexpectedly. His hurtful secrets make her want to run away. Music and helping the community she loves help her heal. She has supportive relationships with the father who raised her and her best friend. Mysterious men with secrets is a recurring theme in this story, and one of them offers a second chance for Layla if she’s courageous enough to try again. The setting is well described. This is an uplifting story of love and loss.

Julie Shackman

I am a contemporary romance author from Scotland, who is obsessed with stationery and handbags.

I am married with two sons and have a poodle cross Romanian rescue puppy called Cooper. A Secret Scottish Escape is my fifth book.

I trained as a journalist and studied Communication & Media. When I’m not reading or writing, I love getting out for long walks, listening to music and watching romcoms.

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Posted in Cover Reveal, Gothic Fiction, New Books, Thriller

Whisper Cottage  Anne Wyn Clark #CoverReveal @EAClarkAuthor  @AvonBooksUK #gothic #thriller #Preorder #WhisperCottage #HearTheWhispers #September2

We’re revealing the cover of a new gothic thriller called Whisper Cottage by Anne Wyn Clark

When Stina and Jack move to an old rural cottage, they’re hoping for a fresh start.

Their new home is run-down compared to their neighbour’s, but generous Mrs Barley quickly becomes a friend.   Until Stina sees a mysterious figure in the widow’s garden, and her happy new life begins to unravel. And when she hears strange noises in the night, she is forced to question if Mrs Barley is what she seems.  

Why do the other villagers whisper about her? Why is she so eager to help the couple? And what is she hiding in her picture-perfect home? 

Publication Date – 2nd September 2021

#Preorder Amazon UK

Did you #HearTheWhispers? 🤫Pre-order the haunting new thriller that will keep you up for hours!Whisper Cottage by @EAClarkAuthor is out 2nd September.  https://amzn.to/3fzirZ7

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Serial

The Promise of Summer Part 1- With This Ring… Bella Osborne 5* #Review @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #preorder #ThePromiseofSummer

With a terrible track record when it comes to men, Ruby has all but given up on love. She finally decides to take fate into her own hands and boards a train to London to attend the appointment of a lifetime.

When a stranger starts chatting to her, Ruby’s faith in romance is restored as he nervously reveals a sparkling diamond and an extravagant proposal plan. When he leaves the ring behind, Ruby is determined to track him down – but fellow passenger Curtis has other ideas about how best to save the day.

Can this unlikely pair reunite the ring with its rightful owner before it’s too late?

Pre-order Amazon UK

Publication Date – 26th May 2021

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

My Thoughts…

The first part of a new series is something to celebrate, and this one is full of humour, mystery and romance. Ruby works at a friendly florist shop and is friends with Kim, the owner. She travels to London for an important appointment. She meets two men on the train who influence her future life.

Trying to return the ring draws Curtis and Ruby together with amusing results he is a mysterious man but appears kind. The original plot is peppered with witty humour, gentle romance and mysteries to solve. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

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