Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books, Regency Romance, Romance

The People’s Princess Flora Harding 5*#Review #Audiobook #Review #Narrator Julie Teal #ThePeoplesPrincess #HistFic #HistoricalFiction

Step behind the palace doors in this gripping historical novel that is a must read for fans of The Crown and Princess Diana!

Buckingham Palace, 1981

Her engagement to Prince Charles is a dream come true for Lady Diana Spencer but marrying the heir to the throne is not all that it seems. Alone and bored in the palace, she resents the stuffy courtiers who are intent on instructing her about her new role as Princess of Wales…

But when she discovers a diary written in the 1800s by Princess Charlotte of Wales, a young woman born into a gilded cage so like herself, Diana is drawn into the story of Charlotte’s reckless love affairs and fraught relationship with her father, the Prince Regent.

As she reads the diary, Diana can see many parallels with her own life and future as Princess of Wales.

The story allows a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in the palace, the tensions in Diana’s relationship with the royal family during the engagement, and the wedding itself.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

The People’s Princess is a dual timeline historical fiction audiobook inspired by Diana and Charlotte, Princesses of Wales. The narrator makes the characters authentic and easy to visualise. The listener quickly develops empathy with Charlotte and Diana.

Charlotte’s viewpoint stems from a personal journal found by a historian and given to the fictional Diana character before her wedding. The book portrays the Regency period as severe rather than romantic for Princess Charlotte. Diana’s story reflects the public perception of the time before her marriage that later emerged through the media. Her story is one of coming of age, disillusionment and poignancy. Parallels between the two teased out in this historical fiction make it compelling listening.

I enjoyed the creative sensory imagery that brought Regency England and London in 1981 vividly to life, immersing the listener in the two different worlds. It is an emotional story with believably flawed characters and pertinent historical details that make this is an engaging audiobook.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Party At N0.12 Kerry Wilkinson 4*#Review #Audiobook @kerrywk @bookouture #BookoutureAudio Narrated Tamsin Kennard Andrew Kingston #psychologicalsuspense #ThePartyAtN012

Everyone’s invited. Someone will never leave.

In a grand townhouse rented specially for the evening, Hannah beams at her guests under the sparkling chandelier. Her sisters, her mother and aunt, her best friends… although she’ll miss them all so much when she moves away, tonight is about celebrating the happy times and raising a toast to the future.

But the next morning, one of the guests is found cold and lifeless in their pristine white bed.

Hannah is desperate to call the police. After all, it must have been an accident. Perhaps too much wine, on a night where emotions were running high. But it soon becomes clear that every single person at the party has something to hide.

A mother who’ll do anything for her daughters.

Best friends with dark secrets between them.

A sister with a jealous streak.

What if one of them is a killer?

And what if this is just the first victim?

An absolutely unputdownable thriller that won’t let you sleep until you’ve reached the final page.

Amazon UK

I received an audiobook via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I enjoyed listening to this story as an audiobook. The narrators bring all the characters to life and create the suspenseful atmosphere of the party and what follows. Once you get to know the characters and their relationships, this is an immersive listening experience. The tension builds with revelations from the past and the police investigation. The final scenes are surprising.

Many of the characters are flawed and difficult to empathise with, but the mystery engages the reader and makes listening to just one more chapter essential.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Blitz, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Giveaway, New Books

A Nose for Mischief K.T. Lee 4*#Review #Narrator Ann Richardson @KTLeeWrites @hersmoothvoice #Audiobook #Review #cozymystery #RiverbendK9 @rararesources #AudioBlitz #ANoseforMischief #cosycrime

When materials engineer Zoey Butler lands her dream job at Future State Energy, she believes her research in renewable energy will make headlines. Unfortunately for her, she’s right. Zoey is working on her latest experiment when FBI Special Agent Alexis Thompson and her K-9 partner, Waffle, raid Future State and arrest the head of the development for fraud. Zoey helps the FBI find answers in the aftermath, but she soon finds herself jobless and unemployable. Desperate and out of options, she reaches out to Alexis, the one person who knows Zoey was duped like everyone else.

Liam Graham is an FBI special agent and instructor at Riverbend K-9 Academy. When Alexis brings in a new recruit with an unusual background, Liam pairs her up with Tasha, a dog in need of a handler to stay in their competitive program. Zoey is thrilled to put her past behind her and give the mischievous rescue dog her own second chance. However, shortly after she arrives, the FBI realizes the Future State case is far from closed. And Zoey may be the key to solving it.

Zoey offers to go back to Future State to help the FBI end things once and for all. Only this time, she’ll have Liam and Tasha for backup. But, the problems at Future State are more explosive than any of them suspect.

Audible Scribd Kobo Apple Chirp Nook Google Play Overdrive

I received a copy of this audiobook from the author via Authors’ Direct in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The first book in the Riverbend K-9 series works well as an audiobook. The characters come to life with the professional narration, and it keeps the listener engaged throughout. A North American cosy crime story this is character-driven. The characters are complex, but the plot is relatively simple, allowing the characters to shine.

There are elements of friendship and romance and lots of lovely dog characters who are the stars of this story.

K.T.Lee

K.T. Lee is a writer, mom, and engineer who grew up on a steady diet of books from a wide variety of genres. She’s the author of multiple books, including those in the Riverbend K-9 Series and The Calculated Series.

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Ann Richardson (Narrator)

Ann Richardson has been happily sequestered away narrating in her home studio since 2008. She narrates for large audiobook publishers such as Blackstone, Penguin Random House, MacMillan, Oasis, Tantor, and many others, in addition to smaller, independent publishers and directly with authors. Her performances have garnered several Earphones awards and glowing reviews in AudioFile Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area but spent her youth in the Midwest, where she grew up surrounded by animals and cornfields. “I’m so lucky to have discovered what I was truly called to do with my talents and energy. I fall in love with nearly every book I narrate and am also incredibly grateful to work with such talented authors and publishers in this cohesive, supportive industry.”

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Giveaway to Win 10 x Audio Copies of A Nose For Mischief via Author’s Direct. (Open INT)

Click on the giveaway link to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the despatch or delivery of the prize.

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

The Drowned Village Norma Curtis 4*#Review #Audiobook #Review @TheNormaCurtis @bookouture #WW2 #Wales #historicalfiction #contemporaryfiction #romance #relationships #secrets #lies #loss #TheDrownedVillage

She’s guarded her secret for a lifetime. He’s not ready to let go.

Sixty-five years ago. Pushing aside drooping hollyhocks, Elin Jenkins tosses back her dark hair and runs up the familiar path to the tiny village of Capel Celyn, past the mossy graveyard with its crumbling stones, towards the farm that’s been in her family for generations. Laughing, Al catches her around the waist, squeezing her tight. ‘Marry me,’ he whispers. ‘I’ll use my Navy liberty leave, we’ll go ask your parents. I don’t want this to end.’ Tears prick her eyes as she smiles up at him.

Three days later, Al is on his ship back to Pennsylvania. And in the months that follow, Elin’s frantic telegrams to him go unanswered. Then she receives the wedding invitation. Scribbled on the back are three words: No hard feelings.

Present-day. Al Locke, retired Navy Captain, smooths his silver hair and finishes up with a spritz of aftershave. With a spring in his step he hasn’t had for decades, he sets off up the well-worn track through the valley. As he rounds the last bend, his heart begins to race. He has no doubt he will meet her in the village today. He will, at last, hear the horrible truth of what happened to Elin after he left, and he’ll confess why he couldn’t face coming back… until now.

As Al crests the final, familiar hill, a startling brightness draws him in like a vision. Before him, a glittering lake fills the entire valley. The pretty stone village of Capel Celyn, and all traces of Elin, are gone…

A beautiful and heartbreaking story about lost love, forgiveness and family secrets.

(Previously titled The Captain’s Wife)

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story works well as an audiobook. The narrator brings each of the main characters to life in a believable way, drawing the reader into their world. It’s a dual timeline story set in WW2 and the postwar period and then in present times. The revised title is apt because it concentrates on the opposition to a proposed reservoir that involved the drowning of the village.

The story’s heart is the short and tragic romance between a young village girl Elin and an American Navy sailor, Al. The novel captures the intensity of their relationship and its sad aftermath beautifully. This story has a mystery, friendship, lies, and secrets and shows first love can resonate for a lifetime.

The gently paced story is full of emotion and historical detail. The ending is poignantly romantic yet realistic.

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 Audiobook Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books

The Appeal Janice Hallett 5*#Review @JaniceHallett @ViperBooks #audiobook @HachetteAudioUK #CrimeFiction #murdermystery #legal #psychological #suspense #BookReview #TheAppeal

In a town full of secrets…. 

Someone was murdered. 

Someone went to prison. 

And everyone’s a suspect. 

Can you uncover the truth?

Dear Listener – enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death. 

Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What’s more, we believe far darker secrets have yet to be revealed. 

Throughout the Fairway Players’ staging of All My Sons and the charity appeal for little Poppy Reswick’s life-saving medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. Yet we believe they gave themselves away. In writing. The evidence is all here, between the lines, waiting to be discovered. 

Will you accept the challenge? Can you uncover the truth? 

The standout debut thriller of 2021 that delivers multiple brilliant twists, and will change the way you think about the modern crime novel.

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

This book has a contemporary and original format well suited to audiobook media. The author’s insightful exploration of community, social hierarchy and relationships are intrinsic to the story.

A respected barrister is prepping for an appeal. On his instruction, two pupil lawyers investigate the case through emails, messages and crime documents. The ordinariness of the email and other electronic communications belie the information they contain. The reader is invited to get to know the characters and their relationship dynamics. Being part of the investigative team immerses the reader in the story, which is addictive.

The narrators are excellent, bringing each character to vibrant life. Whilst, there are no physical descriptions of the characters, sensory imagery makes them and the events that unfold easily visualised.

Additional information and a list of characters are divulged to the pupil lawyers. This allows them to focus on the case’s pertinent areas and produce a legal analysis of the information to make a viable appeal case. The final revelations reveal the truth with just a hint of mystery to ponder.

This is an engaging and enjoyable audiobook.

Posted in Adventure Fiction, Audiobook Review, Historical Fiction

Ascent Jed Mercurio 4*#Review @jed_mercurio @PenguinUKBooks Vintage Digital #Ascent #PenguinRandomHouseUKAudio #AudioBook #Review Narrator John Hopkins

A truly stunning novel of one man’s dangerous obsession with immortality, from the BAFTA award-winning creator of Bodyguard and Line of Duty

ONE OF THE GUARDIAN‘S ‘1000 NOVELS EVERYONE MUST READ’

Yefgenii Yeremin is a flyer and a phantom.

Destined to go down in Soviet history books as ‘Ivan the Terrible’, the most deadly fighter pilot of the Korean War, one moment of madness sees Yefgenii throwing his reputation to the wind. Exiled to a remote Arctic base, his name unknown and victories uncelebrated, he must endure a fate worse than death: anonymity.

But when a man arrives from Moscow’s Space Committee in search of a volunteer prepared to sacrifice himself for his country, Yefgenii seizes his one last chance of immortality.

Amazon Audible UK Waterstones

I received a copy of this audiobook from Penguin Random House UK Audio via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is an intense story well suited to the audiobook. The narrator keeps the listener’s engagement throughout.

The story explores the historical period from the Korean War in the 1950s to the space race in the 1960s from the Russian viewpoint. Yefgenii Yeremin lost his family during WW2 and suffered life-changing emotional damage. His early life is brutal and devoid of nurture. Disturbing to listen to it shapes him into to driven man he becomes.

His missions during the Korean War are deniable and secret and eventually leave him without the recognition he seeks. The relationships between the fighter pilots are complex and relatable. The story is absorbing as it moves to the frozen north and anonymity. Yefgenii is always seeking something just beyond his reach. He denies himself basic human comforts and emotions desired by most people. His part in the space race gives him a chance of the immortality he seeks but at the expense of everything else in his life.

The research is detailed, and the sense of place and time succinct. The story is an absorbing mix of action and introspection, poignant and with a conclusion that resonates.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Humour, Romance

Eudora Honeysett is Quite Well, Thank You Annie Lyons 5*#Review Narrator Nicolette McKenzie @1AnnieLyons @0neMoreChapter_ #Audiobook #Review #Friendship #Family #multigenerational #HistFic #Romance #Uplit

Eudora Honeysett is done – with all of it. Having seen first-hand what a prolonged illness can create, the eighty-five-year-old has no intention of leaving things to chance. With one call to a clinic in Switzerland she takes her life into her own hands.

But then ten-year-old Rose arrives in a riot of colour on her doorstep. Now, as precocious Rose takes Eudora on adventures she’d never imagined she reflects on the trying times of her past and soon finds herself wondering – is she ready for death when she’s only just experienced what it’s like to truly live?

A heartfelt story of life, death, friendship and family.

Audible UK

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

My Thoughts…

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started to listen to this story. Eudora Honeysett is an older woman who is ready to die. The artwork on the cover is so bright and cheerful, so I continued to listen. The story unfolds into a delightfully, gentle, poignant story about finding friendship and family in later life.

Eudora is eccentric, opinionated and sad until she meets a young girl Rose and Stanley, a good-hearted widower and their friends and family. They see something worth saving in Eudora. Eudora’s current life experiences are increasingly positive, but flashback chapters show a life full of betrayal, loss and sacrifice.

Excellent narration makes the characters vibrant, especially Eudora. Her introspection and dialogue are witty, making her memorable.

This is a lovely story with relatable characters and events.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Murder Mystery

Crossing the Line Isabella Muir #Audiobook 4* #Review @SussexMysteries A Giuseppe Bianchi Mystery #HistoricalFiction #Histfic #Crime @rararesources Narrator CharlesJohnston #SussexCrimes #1960s #CrossingtheLine

Tragic accident or cold-blooded murder?

Retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi, travels to England to escape one tragic death, when he comes face-to-face with another. When the body of a teenager is found on a Sussex beach, Giuseppe is drawn to the case – a case with no witnesses, and a case about which no one is prepared to talk.

National news reports of a missing 12-year-old in Manchester spark fear across the nation. The phrase “stranger-danger” filters into public consciousness. Local reporter, Christina Rossi, already has concerns about her local community. Families are not as close-knit as they first appear.

As the sea mist drifts in and darkness descends, can Giuseppe and Christina discover the truth and prevent another tragedy?

Crossing the Line is the perfect listen for everyone who loves Agatha Christie style twists and turns, with a Mediterranean flavor. Imagine the charismatic Italian police series, Montalbano, combined with those TV favorites set in the 1960s – Endeavour, George Gently, and Call the Midwife. 

Audible UK

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

My Thoughts…

This audiobook is the first in the Guiseppe Bianchi mystery’s featuring an Italian ex-detective on a semi-permanent retirement in mid-1960s England. Set in Sussex like the author’s previous mystery series, this atmospheric story rich in period details unfolds at a gentle pace in keeping with 1960s England.

Guiseppe has regrets and secrets. They don’t affect his investigation skills which he puts to good use solving a particularly poignant case. The investigation is poignant and with a culture of silence and misinformation.

The narrator is easy to listen to and professional. This story works well in audiobook format and has a conclusion with a satisfying twist.

Isabella Muir

Isabella is never happier than when she is immersing herself in the sights, sounds and experiences of the 1960s. Researching all aspects of family life back then formed the perfect launch pad for her works of fiction. Isabella rediscovered her love of writing fiction during two happy years working on and completing her MA in Professional Writing and since then she has gone on to publish six novels, three novellas and two short story collections.

Her latest novel, Crossing the Line, is the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi who is escaping from tragedy in Rome, only to arrive in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to come face-to-face with it once more.

Her first Sussex Crime Mystery series features young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, we meet Janie, who looks after the mobile library. She is an avid lover of Agatha Christie stories – in particular Hercule Poirot. Janie uses all she has learned from the Queen of Crime to help solve crimes and mysteries. As well as three novels, there are three novellas in the series, which explore some of the back story to the Tamarisk Bay characters.

Isabella’s standalone novel, The Forgotten Children, deals with the emotive subject of the child migrants who were sent to Australia – again focusing on family life in the 1960s, when the child migrant policy was still in force.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Inspiration, Motivational

Growing Season Seni Glaister 5*#Review @SeniGlaister @HQStories Narrator Kristin Atherton #HarperCollinsAudioUK #Audiobook #BlogTour #Review #loss #selfrealisation #uplit #nature #life #love #GrowingSeason

Danny is riddled with anxiety. But he wants to be strong for his wife Sam. She’s been through so much already. If only he had someone to talk to.

Sam is facing a very different future to the one she expected. She’s ready to move on, yet other people won’t let her. If only she had someone to talk to.

Their new neighbour Diana is hiding from her past. She wanted a new life. Now she’s got it she feels angry and alone. If only she had someone to talk to.

Each of them is hiding their pain. Each of them needs to heal. But only when they learn to let each other in will they finally be able to grow.

I received an audiobook from HQ (Harper Collins Audio UK) via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This character-driven story features a multi-generational friendship. Told from three viewpoints Diana, Sam and Danny, it is a detailed emotional story that explores finding your true self, fitting in, honesty and loss.

It’s introspective and works well as an audiobook. The narrator is clear and engaging, voicing the characters believably and distinctly. The gentle pace enables the listener to know each character well, and the humour, insight and poignancy, make it an emotional read.

The parallels with nature that affects the characters’ lives are well crafted and make this an engaging, thought-provoking story.