Posted in Book Review, Romance

Desert Prince’s Defiant Bride Julieanne Howells 4*#Review @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @julieannehowel#MillsandBoonModern #HarlequinPresents #Romance #BookReview #MillsandBoonInsiders #weekendreads

A royal ruse…or a royal wedding?

A pretend engagement to Crown Prince Khaled wasn’t part of Lily’s plan to prove her brother’s innocence, but the brooding sheikh is quite insistent. Their simmering chemistry makes playing his fiancée in public easy—and resisting temptation in private impossible!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This engaging contemporary romance has humour, mystery and passionate attraction. The physical attraction between Kahled and Lily has increasingly emotional commitment as they are drawn together in a fake engagement. The simple plot allows the romance to be the story’s focus. The couple’s interactions are often humorous and easy to imagine.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Literary Humour, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Heartcross Castle Christie Barlow 5*#Review @ChristieJBarlow @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #LoveHeartLane #BookReview #Humour #Romance #romcom #family #secrets #celebrity #HeartcrossCastle

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what.

A second chance…
When her grandfather Marley passes away Grace Power discovers she’s been left the beautiful but crumbling estate of Heartcross Castle. As a single mum of three, Grace has no idea what she’s going to do with it – but who can say no to a roof over their kids’ heads and a chance to get away from past hurts?

And a forever home
Heartcross Castle is full of secrets – especially a lost security deposit box that holds the truth to everything… But when celebrity chef Andrew Glossop sets his eyes on the castle and, to make matters worse mistakes Grace as the new housekeeper, Grace tells him there is absolutely NO CHANCE he is getting his hands on her home. Devastated to have got it so wrong, Andrew will do anything to make it up to her – but is she willing to listen?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Heartcross Castle is an engaging read. Grace is a likeable, strong character who puts her children first. The chance to escape from an abusive relationship takes her back to her hometown, and she soon finds support from friends despite her absence.

Believable characters and a vibrant setting immerse the reader in this story. The mix of humour and poignancy is perfect. Family secrets, renewal of old friendships and the chance of romance make this one of my favourite books in the Love Heart Lane series.

Christie Barlow

Christie Barlow is the number one international bestselling author of fifteen romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.

Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she co-presents The Book Show on Radio Northwich, enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, New Books, Noir, Parenting and Famlies

Other Parents Sarah Stovell 4*#Review @sarahlovescrime @HQStories #otherparents #relationships #community #secrets #rurallife #friendship #political #humour #noir #parenting

Rachel Saunders knows gossip is the price you pay for a rural lifestyle and outstanding schools. The latest town scandal is her divorce – and the fact that her new girlfriend has moved into the family home.

Laura Spence lives in a poky bedsit on the wrong side of town. She and her son Max don’t really belong, and his violent tantrums are threatening to expose the very thing she’s trying to hide.

When the local school introduces a new inclusive curriculum, Rachel and Laura find themselves on opposite sides of a fearsome debate.

But the problem with having your nose in everyone else’s business is that you often miss what is happening in your own home.

Waterstones Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Immersive, insightful and inquisitive are three adjectives that reading this novel conjures in the reader’s mind. It is an intriguing study of small-town/rural life from the viewpoint of five women. It explores disturbing contemporary issues, astutely exposing them to the reader. The narrators have an unreliable quality that makes it difficult to know who to believe and whose opinion to trust. It is addictive reading.

Believably flawed characters all have secrets, and there are relatable dynamics in the acquaintance, family and friendship groups. The writing has a lyrical quality, but the characters and situations are easily recognisable. Vivid settings and vibrant characters bring the story to life in an engaging way.

Sarah Stovell is a lecturer in creative writing at Lincoln University and a crime fiction author. She has published four novels, including the critically-acclaimed psychological thrillers Exquisite and The House. Her latest novel Other Parents, published in January 2022will delve into small-town British life through a series of scandals.

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

Making Waves At Penvennan Cove Linn B Halton 4*#Review @LinnBHalton @Aria_Fiction #BookReview #MakingWavesAtPenvennanCove

For once, things are going well for thirty-year-old Kerra Shaw. She has a fulfilling job helping small businesses in the local community, she is within a few minutes walk of all the people she loves best, and most importantly, she has finally got together with her childhood sweetheart, Ross.

It’s not all plain sailing, though, because they have to keep their relationship a secret. The feud between their families still rages on, and Kerra doesn’t want to pour fuel on its flame and risk losing everything.

But Kerra should know better than anyone that secrets don’t stay hidden for long in a community like Penvennan Cove…

AmazonUK

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus Books – Aria Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

My second visit to Penvennan cove is heartwarming. Kerra and Ross continue their romance in secret, but are there ever secrets in a small-town setting? Read the first book in the series, if you can, as you learn a lot about the main characters and the community. This story of family, friendships, secrets and small-town communities has relatably flawed characters and a believable relationship dynamic. The ethos is contemporary and realistic and explores all aspects of living in a small coastal town. The setting is vibrant and complements this engaging story.

Read my review of Coming Home to Penvennan Cove

Linn B. Halton

From interior designer to author, when Linn B. Halton’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic. Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. Linn writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Friendship, Murder Mystery, New Books, Suspense

At Death’s Door: The Shires Mysteries Anna Legat  5*#Review @LegatWriter @AccentPress #CrimeFiction #Wiltshire  #AtDeathsDoor  #TheShiresMysteries #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #cozymystery #cosycrime #family #drama #MondayBlogs

When Maggie Kaye and Sam Dee join the Bishops Well archaeological dig, they are as surprised as everyone else to unearth a body that was buried there less than fifty years ago. It can’t possibly be the remains of an ancient Celt.

Maggie, with her usual flair – and psychic intuition – is convinced that there is more to this discovery than meets the eye. And some Bishops residents seem to know a lot more about the case than they are willing to let on.

But nobody is as shocked as Maggie when a face from the past – a face she thought she’d never see again – appears in the village, and long-hidden secrets begin to surface.

With danger at her door, and Sam by her side, can Maggie uncover the truth before it’s too late?

Amazon UK Waterstones Kobo Hive

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

My Thoughts…

The Shire Mysteries blend cosy crime with family drama. Maggie sees the dead, an invaluable gift in her role as amateur sleuth and often enlivens her neighbour Sam’s life with ghostly sightings and provoking thoughts.

An archaeological dig unearths an unexpected find that revisits the past. Tragedy in Maggie’s personal life leads to an unexpected visitor.

Believable characters, a well-written mystery and touches of humour make this a lovely escapist read.

Anna Legat

Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. Murder isn’t the only thing on her mind. She dabbles in a wide variety of genres, ranging from dark humorous comedy, through magic realism to dystopian. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

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

Wishing Under a Starlit Skye Lisa Hobman 5*#Review @LisaJHobmanAuth @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #Skye #parenting #Dating #Love #Romance #Friendship #MondayBlogs @bookandtonic

Glentorrin bakery owner, and lone parent, Caitlin Fraser, is single and finally ready to mingle.
With her daughter, Grace, about to become a teenager, and her friends all settling down, Caitlin decides she deserves a shot at happiness too.
Resisting the pull of dating apps, Caitlin embarks upon a series of disastrous singles events where she bumps into fellow villager, and astronomy buff, Archie Sutherland, who is nursing his own past secrets.
When Grace’s best friend’s father, handsome Lyle Budge, asks Caitlin to dinner, things progress quickly and she has a taste of what their future as a family could be, much to both their daughters’ delight! But when Archie makes a shocking discovery, and he turns to Caitlin for help, she soon discovers Lyle isn’t the sharing type, meaning prickly ultimatums loom for everyone.
Will wishing upon the stars over Glentorrin help Caitlin to figure out her way forward? Or is her hunt for romance like a once in a lifetime comet, easily missed in the blink of an eye?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is another emotional story set in Skye. The story focuses on Caitlin, a single mother who has invested her life in Grace, her daughter. Deciding she would like to start dating now her daughter is almost a teenager leads to many humorous and poignant moments in this engaging story.

Believably flawed characters and realistic friendship dynamics draw the reader into Glentorrin’s community and become invested in their lives. The location is vividly described and integral to the story.

The ending is romantic and heartwarming.

Lisa Hobman

Lisa Hobman has written many brilliantly reviewed women’s fiction titles – the first of which was shortlisted by the RNA for their debut novel award. In 2012 Lisa relocated her family from Yorkshire to a village in Scotland and this beautiful backdrop now inspires her uplifting and romantic stories. Her first title for Boldwood Dreaming Under an Island Skye was published in February 2021.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Espionage - Spy - Thriller, International Thriller, New Books, Political Thriller, Thriller, Travel

From a Position of Strength Sean Heary 4*#Review @Sean_Heary @lovebookstours @KellyALacey @igbooktours @seanhearyauthor #lovebookstours #Thriller #Political #Spy #ConspiracyTheory #International #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs

Lying by the pool under a clear Tuscan sky, Lorenzo Rossi, the former head of the Vatican police, receives a surprise visit from his ex-fiancée, CIA Agent Cathy Doherty. Cathy is concerned about Rossi’s safety. 

Three nights ago, a Russian GRU intelligence officer Elena Trusova was critically injured in a vehicle rollover on a remote road leading to Rossi’s olive farm in Siena, Italy.

Rossi assures Cathy the proximity of the accident is pure coincidence, but agrees to investigate after Cathy reveals the Russian was a double agent working for the CIA and probability on her way to see him.

Together they uncover a heinous right-wing plot that, if successful, would lead to nuclear Armageddon.

Can Rossi and Cathy stop a president gone mad or is this the end of the world as we know it?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This third novel featuring Rossi and Cathy is an entertaining read. The story is complete and is readable as a standalone. This fast-paced and conspiracy theory orientated spy thriller is pacy. The characters are relatable and draw the reader into their world of danger, deceit and desire.

An easy to follow plot has surprising twists and an impactful ending. Vivid, sensual imagery captures the characters and locations’ vibrancy. The dynamic between Rossi and Cathy is engaging, and their humour and romantic banter make this story resonate.

This is a great series if you enjoy conspiracy thrillers with a good balance of action and humour.

Sean Henry

Sean travelled the world for thirty years as a mining company executive, living for many years only a stone’s throw from the Kremlin. No wonder he likes to write political thrillers. He also worked for several years in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where he picked up a taste for Central Asian cuisine and met his wife. Born and raised in Australia, Sean now makes Germany his home.

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

A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow Jessica Redland 5* #Review @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks #BlogTour @rararesources#Friendship #UpLit #Secrets #FamilyDrama #Wedding #Relationships #BookReview #boldwoodbloggers #AWeddingatHedgehogHollow

It’s time for the wedding we’ve all been waiting for…

Life at Hedgehog Hollow is never dull, although Samantha hopes that the new year ahead will be a little less chaotic as she prepares to marry the love of her life, Josh. But disaster strikes when she checks the rescue centre’s bank account after the festive season and discovers it has been emptied. Who would do such a thing, and why? With the future of Hedgehog Hollow now in jeopardy, planning a wedding has lost its shine.

Phoebe is desperate to escape the shadow of her family, infamously known for their attacks on Samantha’s beloved rescue centre. Could the kindness of the Hedgehog Hollow team be the chance she needs for a fresh start, or will her family’s secrets continue to drag her back?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This warm, uplifting read sensitively explores themes of abuse and violence. It takes you on an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows. Told from dual viewpoints, we learn what’s happening in Samantha’s life and Phoebe’s heartbreaking secrets. There are lots of heartwarming hedgehog stories that define this story. Family life for Samantha and Joshua is never dull. There are more developments of past themes in this book.

This believable, emotional story is full of humour, poignancy and romance with characters that immerse you in their lives.

Jessica Redland

Jessica Redland is the top 10 bestselling author of over thirteen novels, including The Secret to Happiness. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Murder Mystery, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

Hide Nell Pattison 4*#Review #Narrator David Thorpe, Sherry Baines , Alex Wingfield, Nick Biadon, Clare-Louise English, Billy Ashcroft, Beth Eyre @Writer_Nell @AvonBooksUK #HarperCollinsUKAudio #Hide #Suspense #Thriller #Mystery #Audiobook #Review

Seven friends. One killer. You can run, but you can’t hide…

The winter hike is meant to bring their nature group together.
Emily, the sister who never lets her hearing loss hold her back.
Lauren, the sister who always feels a step behind.
Morna, who doesn’t get on with Lauren.
Ben, whose feelings for Emily border on obsession.
Dan, the quiet newcomer to the group.
Kai, who isn’t just on the hike to enjoy the wildlife.
And Alec, the one who knows all their secrets.

As the sun sets, a gunshot rings out on the nature reserve.
One of the seven is dead. And one of their number killed them…

Amazon Audible Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from Harper Collins UK Audio (Avon ) via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This a character driven, claustrophobic, complex thriller set on a remote nature reserve in Winter. There are seven main characters who meet as a nature group. They appear diverse and unconnected except for the group but as the story progresses their connections emerge.

The characters are hard to empathise with and all have secrets from each other. The suspense is cleverly created using the characters’ interactions, the setting and the weather. It takes a while to get into the story but once each character speaks and the tension between them grows, it’s addictive listening.

The actors portraying the characters bring the story to life and this book works well in an audio format.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Medical Romance, Romance

A Spring Surprise for the Cornish Midwife Jo Bartlett 5*#Review @J_B_Writer @BoldwoodBooks #BlogTour @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #Cornwall #Coastal #BookReview #relationships #secrets #loss #fostering # #Love #uplit #Dreams #friendship #trust #ASpringSurprisefortheCornishMidwife #MondayBlogs

Midwife Jess knows she’ll never have a baby of her own, but she’s determined to still be a mum. So Jess decides to foster, providing love and support for children who desperately need it – something Jess never had as a child when she was in foster care.

Jess loves caring for the precious babies who come into her life, but letting them go again breaks her heart every time – can she really be a mum after all?

But then Jess finds a surprise on her doorstep – a newborn baby! As the search for the missing mum begins, Jess cares for the precious babe day and night. She desperately wants to reunite mum and baby, but knows that when the day comes, her own heart will shatter.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This book has an engaging blend of community, drama and emotion. The characters are relatable and easy to like. The team dynamic is believably written and the balance of angst, friendship, humour and romance immersive, so that the reader feels integral to the story.

This story focuses on midwife Jess who has a tragic backstory that has left her with trust issues. Her story is heartbreaking and heartwarming and she is admirable and easy to empathise with. There are sub plots featuring the other midwives that feature in previous books but its possible to read and enjoy this story as a standalone.

This is one of the best books in the series so far and I can’t wait for the next one.

Jo Bartlett is the bestselling author of nineteen women’s fiction titles. She fits her writing in between her two day jobs as an educational consultant and university lecturer and lives with her family and three dogs on the Kent coast. Boldwood published the first title in The Cornish Midwife Series – part of a twelve-book deal – in April 2021.

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