Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Psychological Suspense

The Last Time We Saw Marion Tracey Scott – Townsend 5*#Review @authortrace @Wildpressed @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #TheLastTimeWeSawMarion #FamilyDrama #Love #relationships #supernatural #MentalHealth #psychological #suspense #psychsuspense #BlogTour #BookReview #booktour

Meeting author Callum Wilde is the catalyst that turns Marianne Fairchild’s fragile sense of identity on its head, evoking demons that will haunt two families.

She is seventeen and has spent her life fighting off disturbing memories that can’t possibly belong to her.

His twin sister Marion died seventeen years ago.

When Cal and his older sister Sarah spot Marianne in the audience of a TV show that Cal is recording, they are stunned by her uncanny resemblance to Marion. They have to find out who she is, but they both soon come to regret the decision to draw her into their lives. Events spiral out of control for all of them, but whilst Cal and Sarah each manage to find a way to move on, Marianne is forced to relinquish the one precious thing that could have given her life some meaning.

The book is set in a haunting estuary landscape of mudflats, marshes and the constant resonance of the sea.

The Last Time We Saw Marion is the story of two families – but the horrible truth is that two into one won’t go…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This author explores the nuances of relationships with insight and sensitivity. They investigate the lives of two families drawn together by appearance, death and something unexplainable in human terms. Sarah and Cal see a woman who is the image of their sister just before she died. Without considering the consequences, they draw her into their lives with tragic results.

A harrowing and hauntingly poignant tale that takes place in the present and past from different viewpoints. Cal and Marianne are unreliable protagonists. Does emotional instability affect their connection or something supernatural?

The setting is evocative and reflects the tumultuous family drama, Flawed and relatable characters, and the inevitableness of the journey’s tragic conclusion makes this addictive and emotional reading.

Tracey-Scott-Townsend is the author of six novels — the most recent The Vagabond Mother (January 2020) and Sea Babies (May 2019) — all published by Wild Pressed Books and Inspired Quill Publishing. Reviews often describe her novels as poetic or painterly.

She is also a poet and a visual artist. She has a Fine Art MA and a BA (Hons) Visual Studies. She has exhibited paintings throughout the UK (as Tracey Scott). She has a long career as a workshop facilitator with community groups and in schools.

Tracey is co-director of an up-and-coming small independent publisher, Wild Pressed Books, which has a growing roster of authors and poets.

Mother of four grown-up children, Tracey spends as much time as possible travelling the UK and Europe in a camper van with her husband and two dogs, writing and editing while on the road. 

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Gothic Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

My Sweet Girl Amanda Jayatissa 4*#Review @AmandaJayatissa @HodderBooks @BerkleyPub #BookReview #MySweetGirl #psychological #suspense #PsychologicalThriller #friendship #secrets #family #contemporaryfiction

A girl in a new country.

A dark secret left behind.

A dead body which might tell all.

Ever since she was adopted from an orphanage in Sri Lanka, Paloma has led a privileged Californian life: the best schools, a generous allowance and parents so perfect that Paloma fears she’ll never live up to them.

Now at thirty, Paloma has managed to disappoint her parents so thoroughly that their relationship will never recover. Unemployed and friendless, the only person still talking to her is Arun – the Indian man subletting her spare room. That is until Arun discovers Paloma’s darkest secret, one that could jeopardize her fragile place in this country, and the next day is found face down in a pool of blood.

On finding Arun’s body Paloma flees her apartment. But by the time the police arrive, there’s no body to be found or signs of struggle – and no evidence that Arun ever even existed in the first place.

The police may be quick to dismiss everything, but Paloma knows what she saw. Is this tangled up in her childhood in Sri Lanka and the desperate actions she took to leave so many years ago? And did Paloma’s secret die with Arun or is she now in greater danger than ever before?


Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

An intense and twisty psychological thriller told in dual timelines. Present-day San Francisco finds Paloma’s life in a desperate freefall. The reasons why gradually emerge intricately tied to her childhood in an orphanage in Sri Lanka. Paloma is an unreliable protagonist, drinking too much alcohol whilst taking prescription drugs for her mental health issues. She is intelligent and likeable but is on a self-destructive path. There is a resonating, supernatural element in this story. Beginning in her past Sri Lankan life, becoming increasingly disturbing in her adult life. Delusional, a clever revengeful illusion, or something more menacing? The reader doesn’t know until the final revelations.

Relentless pacing keeps the reader turning the pages. It allows little time to peruse the evidence. The plot keeps its secrets well the reveals are few but impactful. Amidst the sinister and supernatural,` there is a poignant ethos surrounding the main protagonist. It shows her loneliness and vulnerability.

Posted in Cover Reveal, Crime, Detective

Buried Lies Jenny O’Brien #CoverReveal @ScribblerJB @HQStories #CrimeFiction #DetectiveGabyDarin #MondayBlogs #BuriedLies

HER PARTNER. HER SON. SHE’S NEXT.

Hannah Thomas returns home one morning to every mother’s worst nightmare: a missing child and a dead fiancé. When DI Gaby Darin questions her, Hannah insists she can’t think of anyone who’d want to hurt her family – and yet it all feels disturbingly personal. 

Mere hours into the investigation, a second body is found. As Gaby and her team dig into the victims’ lives, they hit dead ends at every turn – particularly when it comes to Hannah’s past. What is the grieving woman hiding? 

But when Gaby stumbles upon Hannah’s tragic secret, it doesn’t bring her any closer to the truth. Can she connect the dots before the killer strikes again?

Amazon UK

Jenny O’Brien

Born in Dublin, Jenny O’Brien moved to Wales and then Guernsey, where she tries to find time to write in between working as a nurse and ferrying around 3 teenagers.
In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off. She’s also an all-year-round sea swimmer. Readers can find out more about Jenny and her books on her blog

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Books in series reading order, although each is stand-alone:-

  • Silent Cry (Gaby Darin Book One)
  • Darkest Night ( Gaby Darin Book Two)
  • Fallen Angel (Gaby Darin Book Three)
  • Lost Souls (Gaby Darin Book Four)
  • Buried Lies (Gaby Darin Book Five)              

Click on book title link to read my reviews.

Posted in Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Historical Crime Fiction, Murder Mystery, New Books

A Lesson in Murder Verity Bright 4* #Review A Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery Book @BrightVerity @bookouture #Historical #1920s #cozymystery #MurderMystery #ALadyEleanorSwiftMystery #BookReview

When Lady Swift is invited to her old school, she walks through familiar classrooms, finds her favourite books in the library… and surely that’s not a body? Time for a lesson in murder!

Autumn, 1921. Lady Eleanor Swift is invited to her old school, St Mary’s, as a guest speaker. Her favourite teacher, Mrs Wadsworth, has asked that Eleanor talk about her intrepid travels around the globe – travelling the Silk Road by bicycle, crossing the Himalayas and even befriending the Maharaja of India. But in the circumstances, perhaps it would have been a good idea to talk about her career as a daring detective…

Because no sooner has Eleanor brushed up on her times tables then she is greeted by terrible news: Mrs Wadsworth has been murdered. Eleanor is utterly devastated but she owes it to her dearest teacher to find out who killed her and why. So, alongside Gladstone the bulldog, it’s best paw forward to track down a villain.

But when the art teacher is also found dead, Eleanor is sure someone is trying to do away with the people who taught her everything. As Eleanor delves into possible motives, she discovers a clue in the most unlikely place: her mother’s old school diary. Does the route to the murderer lie within a secret passageway her mother uncovered? Can Eleanor nail the culprit in time or is the killer coming for her next?

A totally gripping and glamorous 1920s cozy! 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Lady Eleanor Swift’s latest murder investigation takes place in her old boarding school. The suspects are numerous, and Ellie and Clifford pose as school staff to find the murderer. The school setting is atmospheric and evokes classic murder mysteries. The engaging characters and twisty mystery plot make this another addictive read.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Mental Health, New Books, Romance

The Landlord of Hummingbird House Jane Harvey 5*#Review @DreenaC @rararesources #Relationships #MentalHealth #Romance #Friendship #Family #Secrets #LiteraryFiction #Uplit #BookReview #TheLandlordofHummingbirdHouse

When April moves into Hummingbird House, she is intrigued by her mysterious landlord, Dai.

With a bruised heart and a distinct lack of furniture, she spends the summer getting to know the other occupants. As she smartens up her home and makes peace with her recent past, she befriends Paul, a solitary ex-chef, and Betty, an elderly lady who lives in the basement flat.

But Hummingbird House holds many secrets, and the relationships of the tenants are not as straightforward as they seem. April learns some shocking truths one eventful night, and realises that victims and villains can look the same.

The Landlord of Hummingbird House is a contemporary novel exploring unlikely friendships, unexpected love interests, and family relationships. Here, everyone is in need of a second chance – and appearances can be deceptive.

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

The reader, not sure what to expect, is drawn into this insightful and poignant tale gently. The carefully drawn characters are full of flaws, secrets and wisdom and make this addictive reading. This multi-viewpoint story gives the reader an omnipotent view of the characters and events.

April is the latest tenant in the house. She is healing from a breakup, and her life is now an emotional journey of self-realisation. She offers help and support to the others in the house even if they are not sure they need or want it.

Friendship, humour, poignancy and romance, are believably written into this contemporary story. Hummingbird House’s characters and ethos are vibrant and vividly portrayed and make this immersive reading.

Jane Harvey is a pen name (shhh). She crafts fun fiction for the thinking woman, where she enjoys exploring unexpected friendships and writing happy endings. This is lucky, because in real life her (prize-winning) fiction is a little bleaker. She was born and raised on the island of Jersey, and lives with two males and a dog. She owns an admirable collection of animal vases and unusual lighting.

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Posted in Book Review, Medical Romance, New Books, Romance

Twins for the Neurosurgeon Louise Heaton 4*#Review @louisaheaton @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonMedical #HarlequinMedicalRomance #Twins #MedicalRomance #Neurosurgeons #London #TwinsfortheNeurosurgeon #ReunitedatStBarnabasHospital

Two tiny heartbeats…

…will change their lives forever!

Top neurosurgeons Samantha Gordon and Yanis Baptiste spend one unforgettable night together in Paris. Their reunion in London proves even more explosive when they discover Sam is pregnant with twins! Neither Sam nor Yanis is prepared for parenthood, but those two tiny heartbeats could help them find the family neither of them believed they would ever have…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

For Sam and Yanis working together in Paris leads to an intense attraction. After a traumatic surgery, they enjoy an intimate encounter on Sam’s last night in the city. Sam doesn’t like letting down her guard and doesn’t expect to see Yanis again. When he takes a neurosurgeon’s role at Sam’s hospital, she is surprised, and that’s not her only shock that day.

Sam and Yanis are dedicated professionals who have to learn to adapt to a new lifestyle. Yanis is supportive, and understanding although he has doubts and worries. Sam has many issues, but as they learn to work as a personal team, they find the love they deserve.

An authentic medical setting and a heartwarming romance make this an engaging read.

Posted in Book Review, New Books, Romance

From Wedding Fling To Baby Surprise Nina Singh 4*#Review @ninasinghauthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #Romance #MillsandBoonTrueLove #HarlequinRomance #MillsandBoonInsiders #BookReview

Their spontaneous fling…Will have unexpected consequences

Unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, Laney desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. When sexy stranger Gianni Martino steps in as her plus-one, Laney can’t help herself from exploring the explosive chemistry between them! But soon, she discovers who Gianni really is! Escaping to Italy to protect her heart, Laney finds that Gianni is not so easily forgotten…and neither is their fling!

 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is a fusion of romance tropes, notably fake romance, enemy to lover and pregnancy surprise. I like Laney, even though she is brittle at times. Her family’s critical comparisons make her this way. It’s difficult for her to believe that Gianni likes her the way she is, particularly when she discovers his secret. Their relationship is slow to develop, but the attraction intensifies, accompanied by emotional commitment.

Posted in Book Review, New Books, Romance

Redeemed by His New York Cinderella Jadesola James 4*#Review @jadesolajames @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsiders #Romance

She can save him – if he’ll let her…

Kitty will do anything for the foundation inspired by her tumultuous childhood. Even agree to a fake relationship to help Laurence, the impossibly guarded man from her past, land his next deal. Only their chemistry is anything but make-believe!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I enjoyed this Cinderella-style romance. The protagonists both had difficult and emotionally bereft childhoods. Kitty is self-reliant. She created a charitable foundation to help young people forgotten by the welfare system to realise their potential. Laurence is rich but emotionally distant.

Both flawed characters have unlikeable traits, but they have a powerful chemistry that catalyses a sensual romance. It’s easy reading, and the main characters develop as individuals and deserve their happy ending.

Posted in Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Friendship, Murder Mystery, New Books

The Man Who Died Twice Richard Osman 5*#Review @richardosman @VikingBooks @PenguinBooksUK TheThursdayMurderClub #BookReview #TheManWhoDiedTwice #MurderMystery #cozymystery #friendship

It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The second book in this cleverly crafted series is an engaging read. The club members vow to seek justice for Ibrahim after a brutal assault and are pitted against organised crime when someone from Elizabeth’s past returns.

The main characters are distinctive and easy to like. The well-paced plot has humour and poignancy with a positive view of ageing, which is refreshing and uplifting. The downside of getting older is explored but not seen as defining the characters.

An engaging mystery with entertaining characters makes this story well worth reading.

Read my review of The Thursday Murder Club

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Romance

I have something to tell you Susan Lewis 5*#Review @susanlewisbooks @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #Lies #Secrets #Crime #Love #Relationships #Forgiveness #FamilyDrama #Marriage #Friendship #Legal #BookReview #Ihavesomethingtotellyou

High-flying lawyer Jay Wells has it all. A successful career, loving husband Tom and a family she adores. But one case – and one client – will put all that at risk.

Edward Blake. An ordinary life turned upside down – or a man who quietly watched television while his wife was murdered upstairs? With more questions than answers and a case too knotted to unravel, Jay suspects he’s protecting someone.

Then she comes home one day and her husband utters the words no-one ever wants to hear. Sit down, because I have something to tell you….

Now Jay must fight not only for the man she defends, but for the man she thought she trusted with her life – her husband.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

You are always guaranteed an immersive reading experience with this author. The characters are complex, flawed and relatable. The situations they encounter are believably created and explore moral dilemmas and relationship dynamics. The pacing is perfect, and you are addicted after the first few pages.

Jay is a successful criminal lawyer who takes on a case as the duty solicitor. She has a good balance of personal and professional life and enjoys her work. Edward is a successful architect and property developer. When he discovers his wife’s body upstairs in his home, he finds himself the prime suspect in her killing.

This is a multilayered story with a strong,well-researched legal element. Interwoven with the criminal case is a myriad of emotional relationships, as perceived by Jay, the lawyer. Her marriage seemingly perfect comes under pressure, and as she delves deeper into her client Edward’s life, she finds herself compromised, emotional and professionally.

This is an engaging and fascinating story that resonates.

Susan Lewis

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including One Minute Later and Home Truths and My Lies, Your Lies. Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s. Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France, but now resides in Gloucestershire with husband James, two stepsons and dogs.