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

The Storm Girl Kathleen McGurl 5*#Review @KathMcGurl @HQStories @rararesources #Timeslip #HistFic #ContemporaryFiction #Adventure #Mystery #Family #Secrets #Betrayal #Loss #friendship #romance #BlogTour #BookReview #TheStormGirl #Mudeford

A heartbreaking choice. A secret kept for centuries.

1784. When Esther Harris’s father hurts his back, she takes over his role of helping smugglers hide contraband in the secret cellar in their pub. But when the free traders’ ships are trapped in the harbour, a battle between the smugglers and the revenue officers leads to murder and betrayal – and Esther is forced to choose between the love of her life and protecting her family…

Present day. Fresh from her divorce, Millie Galton moves into a former inn overlooking the harbour in Mudeford and plans to create her dream home. When a chance discovery behind an old fireplace reveals the house’s secret history as a haven for smugglers and the devastating story of its former residents, could the mystery of disappearance from centuries ago finally be solved?

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I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher.

My Thoughts…

In a dual timeline story set in Mudeford near Christchurch in Dorset, divorced, Millie moves into an old historic former Inn needing renovation; as the work progresses, the house begins to give up its secrets. In 1784 Ester lives and works in the Inn at Mudeford. She and many townsfolk are involved in smuggling. The sense of betrayal and danger immerses the reader in the historical part of this story. Historical details vibrantly bring 1784 Mudeford to life. The Inn is the link between the past and present, and the two interwoven timelines create an engaging story full of adventure, mystery and romance.

I love the clever plotting that links the two time periods, the believable characters and the mystery to be solved.

Kathleen McGurl

Kathleen McGurl lives near the coast in Christchurch, England. She writes dual timeline novels in which a historical mystery is uncovered and resolved in the present day. She is married to an Irishman and has two adult sons. She enjoys travelling, especially in her motorhome around Europe but her home is Mudeford, where this novel is set.

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

Summer at the French Café Sue Moorcroft 5* #Review @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK #Romance #Family #Secrets #BlogTour #Summer #relationships #Alsace #France #BookCafé #Bookshop #Café @rararesources #Friendship #BookReview #SummerattheFrenchCafé

Sparkling sun, strolls in the gorgeous French countryside, that first sip of cool, crisp wine – Summer is Kat’s favourite season. And this year should be no exception…

As soon as Kat Jenson set foot in the idyllic French village of Kirchhoffen, she knew she’d found her home. Now she has a dreamy boyfriend, a delightful dog and the perfect job managing a bustling book café in the vibrant Parc Lemmel.

But when she learns her boyfriend isn’t all he seems, it’s the start of a difficult summer for Kat. Vindictive troublemakers, work woes and family heartache follow, and the clear blue sky that was her life suddenly seems full of clouds.

Then she gets to know the mysterious Noah, and her sun begins to shine brighter than ever. But Noah has problems of his own – ones that could scupper their new-found happiness. Together, can they overcome their many obstacles, and find love again?

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

In the Alsace region of France, summer is not without its emotional complications for Kat, the manager of a bustling book café. Looking forward to a lovely summer in a job she loves, her relationship implodes with subsequent difficulties at work that threaten her career. Having her brother Solly and meeting the enigmatic Noah are the positive influences in her life, but they are not without problems, and Kat is reluctant to risk taking a chance on love again.

Romance is a theme of this story, but it’s conflicted with Kat and Noah’s emotional past and his current family drama. Blended families are another predominant theme explored through Kat and Noah’s experiences. Lies and secrets complicate their lives, and they have to work hard to be together.

Despite the angst and the drama, there are many lighthearted moments in this realistically plotted story, and I particularly enjoyed those with Kat’s cute dog Angelique. I also enjoyed the believably flawed characters, the storytelling, and the vibrant setting.

Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author and has reached the #1 spot on Kindle UK and Top 100 on Kindle US. She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary. Her novels, short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared around the world.

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

Whisked into the Billionaire’s World Nina Singh 4*#Review @ninasinghauthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #Romance #fairytale #MillsandBoonTrueLove #HarlequinRomance #MillsandBoonInsiders #BookReview

A proposal she can’t say no to!

When hotel manager Clairey has no choice but to halt the hotel’s most important wedding, she finds herself fired…and face to face with Drex, the groom’s billionaire brother. She’s stunned by his proposal that they fix the mess she’s made together! But, catapulted into Drex’s opulent world, Clairey’s unprepared for the inconvenient feelings that blur the lines of their convenient partnership…

 

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

This sweet romantic story has a Cinderella vibe, and if you accept that this is closer to a fairytale than reality, it is a good relaxing read.

After a rash but well-motivated attempt to stop a wedding, Clairey is out of a job. Drex is used to clearing up after his younger brother, but now he has responsibility for his young niece and needs help. Clairey and Drex, both victims of a troubled upbringing, are attracted to the other on many levels, and their emotional connection is as strong as their physical attraction. Still, neither sees it, causing conflict in their fledgeling relationship.

Clairey seems very accepting, always falling in with Drex’s plans, but she is motivated by her love for him and his niece. Drex is under pressure from his vast business empire and unwilling to pursue his attraction and feelings for Clairey as he is her boss. Still, eventually, after much heart-searching, he realises he loves her.

This book is an escapist romantic story between two likeable protagonists who deserve their happy-ever-after.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, New Books, Noir, Suspense, Thriller

The Game Scott Kershaw 4*#Review @MrScottKershaw @HQStories #thriller #THEGAMEISON #TheGame #BlogTour #BookReview #suspense

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Five individuals become involved in a sinister game because they each have to save someone they love. Who initiates the game is a mystery. There are rules to follow, and no one knows each other, but they have to work together to succeed, but only one can win.

This thriller’s premise evokes a chill down your spine from the start. What would you do? It is compelling, disturbing, and suspenseful, written from the viewpoints of the five players interspersed with a few pre-game chapters—the relevance apparent at the impactful conclusion. The author creates a claustrophobic, intense ethos that draws the reader into the game. The characters are flawed and relatable, and the twists are good. I like the original perspective of this contemporary thriller.

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

Cause of Death: The Shire Mysteries Anna Legat  5*#Review @LegatWriter @AccentPress #CrimeFiction #Wiltshire  #CauseofDeath #TheShiresMysteries #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #cozymystery #cosycrime #family #drama

All is not well in the village. The local meadows have been the pride of Bishops Well for hundreds of years, but now they are facing the sharp blades of developers. The landowner is a rich and reclusive author who is happy to see them destroyed, but the villagers – including Sam Dee and Maggie Kaye – are fighting back.

Until that is, someone decides to silence one of their number permanently.

As Maggie and Sam soon discover, there is more than a quick buck to be made in the developers’ plans. There are age-old secrets and personal vendettas that could have deadly repercussions in Bishops Well today.

With Sam’s legal expertise and Maggie’s… well, Maggie-ness, they delve into the past, determined to unearth the truth. And, as sparks begin to fly, could there finally be something more between this sleuthing duo?

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Maggie and Sam have a new murder to investigate amidst the furore caused by a proposed development on disputed common land. Community is at the heart of this cosy mystery. The story begins with painting a white horse on a hill that overlooks the village to aid in the campaign against a proposed housing development. For those new to The Shires, this interlude introduces the main characters and allows the reader to absorb the group dynamic and hierarchy.

Psychic Maggie and ex QC Sam have diverse skills and connections that make them effective amateur detectives. Sam keeps Maggie grounded, and she gives him the emotional support he needs. A good balance of investigation and personal developments for the two protagonists makes this an engaging story.

Multilayered and suspenseful the mystery keeps the reader guessing. The connections between past and present are clever. I enjoy reading this is a lovely English cosy mystery complete with dramatic crimes, quirky characters and an idyllic rural setting.

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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Read my review of Death Comes to Bishops Well

Read my review of At Death’s Door: The Shires Mysteries

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Literary Humour, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

Woman of a Certain Rage Georgie Hall 5*#Review @GeorgieHallUK @AriaFiction @HoZ_Books #WomanofaCertainRage #Women #Ageing #Menopause #humour #loss #repost #BookReview #paperback #publicationday

Eliza is angry. Very angry, and very, very hot.

Late for work and dodging traffic, Eliza’s still reeling from the latest row with her husband Paddy. Twenty-something years ago their eyes met over the class divide in oh-so-cool Britpop London, but these days their eyes only meet to bicker over the three-seat sofa.

Paddy seems content filling his downtime with canal boats and cricket, but Eliza craves the freedom and excitement of her youth. Being fifty feels far too close to pensionable, their three teenage children are growing up fast, and even the dog has upped and died. Something is going to have to change—menopause be damned!

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

This story captures the essence of what it’s like for most women growing older, with a wealth of experience and knowledge but not to be seen. Eliza’s story immerses the reader in a myriad of emotions, there are many hilarious moments, but these are tempered by the fear, poignancy and the sense of loss.

Eliza is menopausal and suffering. Her body is unrecognisable, life’s pleasures seem a distant memory, and everyone appears to be getting on with their lives without her. This is an entertaining read written in an engaging but relatable way. It explores many issues that women at this stage of their life face.

It’s an easy read and will appeal to many women of a certain age.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Giveaway, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

Temptation in Istanbul Hana Sheik 4*#Review @HanaSoChic @HarlequinBooks @MillsandBoon @rararesources #MillsandBoonTrueLove #HarlequinRomance #BlogBlitz #BookReview #SecondChance #Romance #TemptationinIstanbul #publicationdaypush #publicationday

Escape to Istanbul, where a nanny may just tempt a bruised billionaire to give love a second chance in this heartwarming romance by Hana Sheik.

A single dad’s greatest temptation?

The nanny on his doorstep! 

Billionaire Faisal is anxiously awaiting custody of his little girl, who’s been living miles away with her mother. First, he must win the approval of her nanny, Maryan, who has travelled with her to Istanbul. While he shows Maryan the delights of his city, the instant attraction between them is hard to ignore. But Maryan leaves in two weeks, so Faisal must decide how much of his bruised heart he is prepared to risk…

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I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher.

My Thoughts…

Billionaire Faisal wants to reconnect with his young daughter, who he has seen little of since his break up with her mother. He is determined to make time for her in his busy life. Maryan wants Zara to be happy with her father, but she needs him to know what that requires, even if she oversteps.

Maryan and Faisel have an instant attraction that they both dismiss. Both have trust issues, and they live in different worlds. When Faisel asks Maryann to stay at his home to settle his daughter, they are in each other’s orbit, and the temptation to give in to their feelings is too powerful to resist.

Gentle romance full of internal and external conflicts. The characters are likeable, and you want them to find happiness together. I like the setting and the chemistry between Faisel and Maryan.

Hana Sheik

Hana Sheik falls in love every day reading her favourite romances and writing her own happy-ever-afters. She’s worked as a data entry operator, customer service rep, telemarketer, and ghostwriter—but being a romance author is without a doubt the best job ever! Born in Somalia, she moved to the beautiful capital of Canada as a toddler and still lives there happily with her family. She loves to hear from readers. Reach out to her on the contact page at hanasheik.com

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Giveaway to Win 3 x paperback copies of Temptation in Istanbul (Open to UK / Ireland / US & Canada)

Click on the giveaway link to enter.

*Terms and Conditions – UK / Ireland / US and Canada 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 Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, New Books

Idol Louise O’Neill 4*#Review @oneilllo #LouiseONeill @TransworldBooks #idol #truth #socialmedia #bookreview #preorder

‘Follow your heart and speak your truth.’

For Samantha Miller’s young fans – her ‘girls’ – she’s everything they want to be. She’s an oracle, telling them how to live their lives, how to be happy, how to find and honour their ‘truth’.

And her career is booming: she’s just hit three million followers, her new book Chaste has gone straight to the top of the bestseller lists and she’s appearing at sell-out events.

Determined to speak her truth and bare all to her adoring fans, she’s written an essay about her sexual awakening as a teenager, with her female best friend, Lisa. She’s never told a soul but now she’s telling the world. The essay goes viral.

But then – years since they last spoke – Lisa gets in touch to say that she doesn’t remember it that way at all. Her memory of that night is far darker. It’s Sam’s word against Lisa’s – so who gets to tell the story? Whose ‘truth’ is really a lie?

‘You put yourself on that pedestal, Samantha. You only have yourself to blame.’

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Idol is a compelling and insightful contemporary story that explores current issues through the unreliable narrator Samantha, a phenomenally successful lifestyle and social media influencer. Her books are bestsellers, she has millions of social media followers, and her company is about to be made into a public corporation. Still, when a voice from the past challenges her latest expose, the foundation of her life and reality crumble devastatingly.

Dark and disturbing, many of Samantha’s experiences are challenging to read, but they show how she became the person she is. Perception, manipulation and reality are all effectively questioned in this addictive story. Relatable characters draw the reader into a world of judgement and lies. The brilliantly flawed individuals make it hard to like them in many cases.

I like the believability of the story and its contemporary relevance.

Published 12 May 2022 available for preorder

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books, Saga

A Ration Book Victory Jean Fullerton 5*#Review @AtlanticBooks @CorvusBooks @JeanFullerton_ #HistoricalRomance #WW2 #EastEnd #London #1944 #Secrets #Lies #BlogTour #saga #Family #Friendship #Rationing #HistFic #RationBookSeries @rararesources #BookReview #Giveaway #ARationBookVictory

Jean Fullerton, the RNA-shortlisted queen of the East End, returns with the final nostalgic and heart-warming story of the Brogan family.

In the final days of the war, only love will pull her through . . .

Queenie Brogan wasn’t always an East End matriarch. Many years ago, before she married Fergus, she was Philomena Dooley, a daughter of Irish Travellers, planning to wed her childhood sweetheart, Patrick Mahone. But when tragedy struck and Patrick’s narrow-minded sister, Nora, intervened, the lovers were torn apart.

Fate can be cruel, and when Queenie arrives in London she finds that Patrick Mahon is her parish priest and that the love she had tried to suppress flares again in her heart.


But now in the final months of WW2, Queenie discovers Father Mahon is dying and must face losing him forever. Can she finally tell him the secret she has kept for over fifty years or will Nora once again come between them?

And if Queenie does decide to finally tell Patrick, could the truth destroy the Brogan family?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The final chapter in the ration book series is predominately set in 1944 and explores the approaching end of WW2 and how it affects the Brogan family. The main focus is on Queenie, the matriarch who has a touching romance and tragic loss in her early life. Queenie’s viewpoint alternates between her early years in Ireland in the late nineteenth century and her present life in the East End of London in 1944.

Queenie’s story poignantly told shows how she became the woman she is, particularly her strength of character and love of her family. Billy also has a storyline that gives him defining character development.

I love the family dynamic, the flawed characters that give the story its humour and heartache and the wonderfully described setting that comes to life on every page.

Jean Fullerton

Born and bred in East London Jean is a District Nurse by trade and has worked as an NHS manager and as a senior lecturer in Health and Nursing Studies. She left her day job to become a full-time writer in 2015 and has never looked back.

In 2006 she won the Harry Bowling Prize and now has seventeen sagas published over three series all of which are set in East London.

She is an experienced public speaker with hundreds of WI and women’s club talks under her belt, plus for the past fifteen years, she has sailed all over the world as an enrichment speaker and writing workshop leader on cruise ships.

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Giveaway to Win one of 6 signed copies of A Ration Book Victory (Open to UK Only)

Click on this link to enter the giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK 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 Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, New Books, Romance

The Billionaire’s One-Night Baby Joss Wood 5*#Review #ScandalsofLeRouxWedding @JossWoodbooks @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #Romance #MillsandBoonModern #HarlequinPresents #SouthAfrica

Bound forever…by one night!

South African billionaire Jago doesn’t believe in happily ever after. But a single breath-taking encounter with Dodi…that he believes in. Only now Dodi’s pregnant! And suddenly Jago can’t picture a future without their child – or her…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The emotion and the passion match the sizzling hot climate of South Africa, the setting for this billionaire romance. Jago and Elodie Kate (Dodi) have always been in each other’s lives, as she is his sister’s best friend, but they have hardly talked, although they did share a passionate kiss years before.

Emotional and sensual, the chemistry between Jago and Elodie intensifies in her high-end wedding boutique. Wary of commitment after traumatic childhoods and past relationships, the unexpected pregnancy forces them to be honest about their true feelings and face their fears. Their conflicted romance takes them on an emotional rollercoaster with a romantic and satisfying conclusion.

I like the believable characters, family dynamics and passionate romance.