Posted in Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books

A Blues Singer to Redeem Him Elle Jackson 4*#Review @readellejackson @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #HistFic #MillsandBoonInsiders #HistoricalRomance #1920s #NorthAmerica #BookReview #ABluesSingertoRedeemHim

Nights at the speakeasy…

Spark a dangerous romance

Evelyn Laroque’s performances at Lorenzo De Luca’s Kansas City blues club draw even bigger crowds than his bootleg whiskey. And every time he hears her voice, Lorenzo falls a little harder for the achingly beautiful blues singer. When Evelyn becomes a target for the KKK, Lorenzo faces an impossible choice. Will this son of a gangster turn to the mob if it’s the only way to protect the woman he loves?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The author captures this violent period of North American history succinctly. The story has a dramatic and devastating beginning, but it draws the reader into this time of lawlessness.

Evelyn is still grieving from losing her parents in a violent massacre but determined to realise her dream of being a singer whilst helping her grandmother. Lorenzo is the heir to the De Luca family, entrenched in the mob. He wants to do things differently, but his father’s influence is great. Lorenzo has powerful enemies and someone he wants to protect, but can he do it his way?

This is an atmospheric story with detailed world-building that doesn’t shy away from the prejudice and violence of the 1920s. The romance between Evelyn and Lorenzo is riven with conflicts. They both realise that any relationship would put the other in danger of reprisal, but the attraction is great and the gradual emotional connection even more compelling. The romance is forbidden but inevitable with courageous characters who the reader wants to find happiness.

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

A MidwinterMatch Jane Lovering 4*#Review @janelovering @BoldwoodBooks #love #life #friendship #romance #rivals #secrets #self-belief @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #AMidwinterMatch

Ruby Oldbridge needs to learn to take her own advice.

A brilliant counsellor at work in York, she is however floundering in her own life. Her romantic track record is woeful, her finances are in a pickle, and she’s back in a house-share after splitting up with her useless ex.

But one thing Ruby is brilliant at, is helping other people find a way through their problems, and she excels at the job she loves, doing just that.

Happy-go-lucky, Mr Positivity, Zac Drewe also loves his job – the trouble is, it’s the same as Ruby’s, and the management have decided to ‘rationalise’ their department. There’s only room for one of them.

As the snow and winter close in on York, Ruby and Zac have everything to lose, and Ruby starts to wonder if the happy face Zac shows the world, might be disguising a sadder secret.

Set against one another, they are unlikely friends. But perhaps, if they could take the time to understand each other, they might discover that rather than rivals, they could be the best thing that ever happened to one another…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is my first winter-themed book of the year and gives the reader so much more than a cosy winter read. Ruby and Zac are counsellors who find they both have to compete for the same job after a company merger. Told from Ruby’s viewpoint, we realise she is recovering from a bad break-up, being in debt and losing her home. Zac is outwardly positive and self-assured, but as the two are drawn into forced proximity, they begin to see the true person behind the facade and become friends.

The setting in a wintry York is wonderfully described and immerses the reader in this festive setting. The characters are flawed and relatable, all with stories to relate that add to the book’s authenticity. The story has a strong focus on mental health and its triggers which make it contemporary and relevant. There is a balance of humour and poignancy. The reader wants the characters to have what they deserve in life in this engaging story.

Jane Lovering is the bestselling and award-winning romantic comedy writer who won the RNA Novel of the Year Award in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. She lives in Yorkshire and has a cat and a bonkers terrier, as well as five children who have now left home. 

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

Rock Paper Scissors Alice Feeney 5*#Review @HQStories @alicewriterland #RockPaperScissors #psychologicalsuspense #Marriage #anniversary #Relationships #secrets #lies #Holiday #BookReview #publicationday

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Reading this story is like opening Pandora’s box, compelling, creepy and full of unexpected consequences.

In an attempt to rescue their marriage after ten years, Amelia and Adam head to the remote Scottish Highlands. It’s clear from the beginning both have secrets and that they dislike each other. The setting is atmospheric and claustrophobic, and the writer’s excellent use of sensory imagery immerses the reader in the gothic setting.

Told from Amelia, Adam and later Robin’s viewpoints, the reader has an omnipotent view of the character’s motivations, but all three are unreliable, so who can you trust? There is also a series of secret letters which give the reader something to think about.

As the story progresses, the twists intensify. This story keeps you gripped until the very last word. You unravel part of the truth, but there is always more to discover. The characters are complex, damaged by their pasts, and have many unlikeable traits. Despite these, this story has a poignant ethos drawing the reader’s empathy.

The ending is believable, impactful and thought-provoking.