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

Falling For a French Dream Jennifer Bohnet 5*#Review @jenniewriter @BoldwoodBooks #Secrets #Friendship #Life #Family #FrenchRivera #OliveFarm #BookReview #BlogTour #Secrets @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #mystery #Relationships #FallingForAFrenchDream

Escape to hills high above the French Riviera with international bestseller Jennifer Bohnet.

After tragically losing her husband, Nicola Jacques and her teenage son Oliver relocate to his father’s family’s Olive Farm in the hills above the French Riviera.

Due a family feud, Oliver has never known his fathers’ side of the family and Grandpapa Henri is intent that Oliver will take over the reins of the ancestral farm and his rightful inheritance.

Determined to keep her independence from a rather controlling Grandpapa, Nicola buys a run-down cottage on the edge of the family’s Olive Farm and sets to work renovating their new home and providing an income by cultivating the small holding that came with the Cottage.

As the summer months roll by, Nicola and Oliver begin to settle happily into their new way of life with the help of Aunts Josephine and Odette, Henri’s twin sisters and local property developer Gilles Bongars.

But the arrival of some unexpected news and guests at the farm, force Nicole and Aunt Josephine to assess what and where their futures lie.

This book was previously published as The French Legacy.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A poignant story of family, grief and second chances in the South of France. The characterisation and setting of this story immerse the reader into Nicola and Oliver’s lives. This is a multi-generational story with Henri, Oliver’s grandfather, as the strict, unbending Patriarch. Josephine and Odette Oliver’s great aunts welcome Nicola and her son unreservedly and are instrumental in working towards the compromise essential for the family to heal.

Romance flourishes from loss, and Nicola has to decide where her heart lies. Vivid descriptions evoke the reader’s imagination to visualise the location and the events that unfold. This is a character-led story, and each one is lovingly crafted into a believable individual who the reader can like or dislike.

Jennifer Bohnet is the bestselling author of over 14 women’s fiction titles, including Villa of Sun and Secrets and A Riviera Retreat. She is originally from the West Country but now lives in the wilds of rural Brittany, France.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Historical Crime Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Political Thriller

The Garfield Conspiracy Owen Dwyer 4* #Review @OwenDwyerAuthor @LibertiesPress @midaspr #BlogTour #BookReview #publicationday #histfic #psycholgical #contemporaryfiction #TheGarfieldConspiracy #IrishFiction #LiteraryFiction

A burnt-out writer is visited by the characters he is researching while writing a book about the mysterious assassination of US President James Garfield.

Richard Todd, an award-winning writer, is outwardly successful but inwardly plagued by uncertainties. Worst of all, he can’t seem to write any more. When a bright young editor, Jenny Lambe, arrives on his doorstep to work with him on his latest book, about the assassination of US president James Garfield, his life is sent spinning off in a new direction.

President Garfield was killed by Charles Guiteau, who was tried and hanged for the murder. But was he acting alone, in July 1881, or was there a more sinister force at work? Richard hears Guiteau’s voice in his head, and as his relationship with Jenny deepens, he is visited by other characters from the assassination drama – including Garfield himself, his Secretary of State James Blaine, Republican senator Roscoe Conkling, Conkling’s mistress Kate Chase Sprague, and the investigating police officer, Detective McElfresh. Are they helping Richard to solve the mystery surrounding Garfield’s murder – or pushing him further towards the edge?

A remarkable, disturbing portrait of a middle-aged man torn between his carefully constructed life and new adventures which may beckon, in the present and the past, from one of Ireland’s most exciting emerging authors, and based on original research into a little-known period in US history.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

An engaging medley of historical and literary fiction, this original story is a satisfying read. It begins with a once-successful author being confronted with his failings by a young historical researcher at the behest of his publisher. Richard is a little stereotypical, as is Jenny, but this is intentional, and the reasoning becomes clear as the story progresses.

The author explores contemporary issues in a thought-provoking way. The story’s historical aspect is refreshing and well-researched. The appearance of the salient characters in the story brings it to vibrant life. The twist is unexpected and completes this unique story perfectly.

Owen Dwyer

Owen Dwyer is a prize-winning short-story writer who has won the Hennessy Emerging Fiction Prize, the Silver Quill (twice), the Smiling Politely Very Very Short Story competition, the South Tipperary County Council Short Story competition and the Biscuit Fiction Prize, and has had stories published in Whispers and Shouts magazine. His previous novel, Number Games, was published to glowing reviews by Liberties Press in 2019, and follows The Cherry-picker (2012) and The Agitator (2004). Owen lives in Dublin with his wife and their three children.

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

Snowflakes Over The Starfish Cafe Jessica Redland 5* #Review @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks #BlogTour @rararesources #Romance #Friendship #Heartwarming #UpLit #Family #Relationships #Loss #Love #BookReview #boldwoodbloggers #WhitsboroughBay #BonfireNight #festive #cafe #SnowflakesOverTheStarfishCafe @bookandtonic

Welcome to The Starfish Café – where you will find stunning views, delicious food and lifelong friendships.

Two broken hearts.

Since she inherited The Starfish Café, Hollie has poured her heart into the business, striving to keep her mother’s traditions and warm-hearted spirit alive. But behind closed doors Hollie is searching for true happiness, as she grieves the tragic loss of her family who were once the beating heart of the café…

An unexpected meeting.

Jake lives by two rules: don’t let anyone get close and don’t talk about what happened. Little does he know that a chance meeting at The Starfish Café, facilitated by a fluffy lost dog, is about to turn his world upside down…

The chance to love again.

Can Hollie and Jake break down the barriers that have been holding them back from finding love and happiness, before Christmas comes around? Afterall, with courage, nothing is impossible…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Hollie and Jake’s path to future happiness is emotional and ultimately uplifting. Both have experienced loss, and the resultant grief has shaped their view of life. Hollie copes by fulfilling her mother’s dream, Jake follows his vocation and avoids personal relationships. The story unfolds from their dual perspectives beginning in the past.

It explores loss and its emotional effects sensitively. The community and the main protagonists are vividly portrayed and easily visualised. There is an intricate balance of humour and poignancy which is authentic.

The wintery coastal setting is vibrant and is the perfect background for this heartwarming read.

Jessica Redland

Jessica Redland writes uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community set in Yorkshire where she lives. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast and her Hedgehog Hollow series takes them into beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.

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

Hot Desk Zara Stoneley 4* #Review @ZaraStoneley @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources RomCom #office #BlogTour #BookReview #HotDesk

Same desk, different days.

A post-it note is just the beginning…

Alice loves her job and wants to keep it – whatever the price. But then she’s told the company is switching to flexible working and hot desking…Alice’s desk might look a mess, but she knows exactly where everything is. Or she did. Until she found out she’s going to share it with the most annoying guy in the office.
 
Jamie can work from anywhere. He’s quite happy to sweep his work life into a box at the end of the working day. But can sharing a desk with Alice be as much fun as teasing her in person?
 
With no option but to try it and see, will their relationship turn into open warfare or will it ever progress beyond a post-it note?

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

My Thoughts…

This isn’t my favourite of this author’s books, as the setting and pandemic references didn’t give me the escapist read vibe I like in this type of novel. Alice and Jamie’s desk share leads to communication via post-it notes which is amusing and eventually deepens into something more. For Alice, her desk and working in the office is much more than a job, it’s her space, an extension of her, and she feels its loss keenly. There are lots of humorous moments and a gentle romance.

Zara Stoneley

USA Today bestselling author Zara Stoneley was born in a small village in the UK. She wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up.

After many (many) years, and many different jobs, her dream of writing a bestseller came true, and more than half a million copies of her books have now been sold worldwide.

She writes about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hopes that her tales make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say ‘ahhh’.

Zara now lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a lively cockapoo, a cocker spaniel puppy and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat.

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

Starlight Cottage K.T.Dady 4*#Review #PepperBay @kt_dady @rararesources #IsleofWight #Friendship #family #Romance #secondchances #community #BlogTour #BookReview #StarlightCottage #mentalhealth

Welcome to Pepper Bay. A small close-knit community where you’ll find chocolate box cottages, quaint shops, drama, friendship, and love.

Snuggle down with this cosy, feel-good, comfort read that whisks you away to a beautiful bay on the Isle of Wight.

The Pepper Bay books are standalone stories that intertwine with recurring characters.

Starlight Cottage – Anna Cooper and Jake Reynolds both live at the luxury London building, River Heights. The only difference is that Jake lives in the penthouse, and Anna lives in a tent on the roof.

When Jake finds out, he offers Anna a chance of a new life in his grandmother’s childhood home in Pepper Bay, and she decides to take the opportunity to see if she really can make a fresh start somewhere else.

The beauty of Pepper Bay, with its quaint shops, chocolate box cottages, and all of Jake’s closest friends, immediately fills Anna’s heart with nothing but love, and it isn’t just Starlight Cottage that she finds herself falling in love with.

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

My Thoughts…

The first meeting between Anna and Jake isn’t promising, but it introduces the characters succinctly and adds some lovely touches of humour and poignancy. Max the dog is a lovely character, the perfect friend, and matchmaker. Pepper Bay proves to be their salvation, with its caring, kindly intrusive community and coastal beauty. Both characters have emotional journeys to travel to reach their happy place, and the reader is immersed in their story and wants them to get there.

This is a gentle romance with believable characters that is an engaging read.

Author, reader, mum, chocolate lover, and a huge fan of a HEA. I was born and raised in the East End of London, and I’ve been happily writing stories since I was a little girl. When I’m not writing, I’m baking cakes or pottering around in my little garden in Essex, trying not to kill the flowers. I’m the author of contemporary romance, middle-grade, and the thought-provoking thriller about mental illness, The Focus Program.

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

Next of Kin Kia Abdullah 5*#Review @HQStories @KiaAbdullah #CrimeFiction #LegalThriller #CourtroomDrama #NextofKin #BlogTour #BookReview #FamilyDrama #women #Secrets #Lies #psychsuspense

ON AN ORDINARY WORKING DAY…

Leila Syed receives a call that cleaves her life in two. Her brother-in-law’s voice is filled with panic. His son’s nursery has called to ask where little Max is.

YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE…

Leila was supposed to drop Max off that morning. But she forgot.

Racing to the carpark, she grasps the horror of what she has done.

IS ABOUT TO COME TRUE…

What follows is an explosive, high-profile trial that will tear the family apart. But as the case progresses it becomes clear there’s more to this incident than meets the eye…

A gripping, brave and tense courtroom drama, Next of Kin will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final, heart-stopping page.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is a fusion of family drama, moral dilemma, legal thriller and psychological suspense. All the elements are believably woven into an addictive, poignant human drama with unexpected twists and unreliable protagonists.

The characters are flawed and relatable, but the two sisters draw the reader’s empathy as they face an unparalleled tragedy. Divided into three parts, the tragedy and aftermath, the courtroom drama and the unexpected twists. The story deals with an emotive subject sensitively. It focuses on the two sisters and their husbands and the police officer investigating the case.

It is an impactful and well-paced story that immerses the reader in an unthinkable situation and lets them draw their conclusions. The unreliable protagonist element adds doubt.

The final twists are shattering in a story that shocks throughout.

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

Love on Location Lynne Shelby 5*#Review @LynneB1 @AccentPress #Romance #Movies #Greece #Kyros#SummerRead #Scriptwriter #LoveonLocation #Relationships #Friendships @rararesources #BookReview #BlogTour

Can movie magic lead to a real-life romance?

When Laurel Martin is hired to rewrite the script for a new timeslip blockbuster, she expects the historical advisor hired by the studio to be an elderly academic who won’t interfere too much with her writing. But when she meets Professor Jason Harding, a young and unexpectedly handsome archaeologist who has some ideas of his own about the script, she realises the job isn’t going to be as simple as she first thought.

As their work takes them from arguing over historical details in a cramped London office to discovering the hidden beauties of a Greek island, Laurel and Jason’s relationship starts to echo the romance of their script.

But with Laurel’s actor ex-boyfriend making trouble at home, and constant issues with the volatile director, will Laurel and Jason ever be able to write the happy ending for their own story?

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

My Thoughts…

Set against the background of the filmmaking industry, this story immerses the reader in the world of scriptwriting, glamorous locations and exacting directors.

Laurel is asked to revise a script with the help of Jason, a historical advisor. She hopes this is her chance to write movie scripts full-time. Life is more complex than the script she writes in her mind. Jason is an academic and an archaeologist. The couple clash over the script but gradually realise together they are a talented team.

Vivid descriptions of the locations, and the glamour and unpredictability of the film industry, make this an informative read. The perfect Summer escape is completed with believably flawed vibrant characters and realistically crafted romance.

Lynne Shelby

Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, ‘French Kissing’ won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition. She has done a variety of jobs from stable girl to child actor’s chaperone to legal administrator, but now writes full time. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.

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

Death Comes to Bishop Well: The Shires Mysteries Anna Legat 5*#Review @LegatWriter @AccentPress # #CrimeFiction #Wiltshire #DeathComestoBishopWell #TheShiresMysteries #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources

When Sam Dee moves to the beautiful Wiltshire village of Bishops Well, he expects a quiet life of country walks and pub lunches. OK, so his new neighbour, Maggie Kaye, is a little peculiar, but she’s very nice – and his old pal Richard Ruta lives just down the road.

But when Richard throws one of his famous parties, things take a sinister turn. Sam, Maggie and the rest of the guests are dumbfounded when Richard falls down dead. A horrible tragedy – or a cunningly planned murder?

With a village full of suspects – and plenty of dark secrets – just who exactly would want to bump off their host? Is there a connection to another mysterious death, nearly twenty years before?

Armed with her local knowledge, Maggie – with Sam’s reluctant but indispensable help – is soon on the case. But when the body count starts to rise, will sleepy Bishops Well ever be the same again?

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

My Thoughts…

This book, the first in The Shires Mysteries’series is a fusion of cosy and murder mystery with a twenty-first-century twist. Set in a small Wiltshire town, the inhabitants are ordinary but beneath the respectable exterior are the secrets that lead to murder.

Sam, a retired barrister, relocates to the town to escape the memories of his dead wife, which haunt him. Maggie is his neighbour with an unusual talent for seeing the dead. The unlikely couple, drawn together as amateur sleuths when one of the town’s celebrities dies in suspicious circumstances.

Intricate world-building slows the novel’s pace, but it’s essential to create a believable setting for this type of story. Excellent characterisation, so vital for this genre, draws the reader into the story. The suspects are numerous and the motives plentiful, and it’s fun to work out the perpetrator and motive. Authentically flawed characters, many with less than politically correct views, make this relatable. The older protagonists will appeal to many cosy mystery fans, but the story has a contemporary edge that widens its reader appeal.

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, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance, Travel

A Christmas Wedding in the Cotswolds Lucy Coleman 5*#Review @LucyColemanauth @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #AChristmasWeddingintheCotswolds #boldwoodbloggers #BookReview #BlogTour #Romance #Friendship # #uplit #wedding #festive

What could be more festive than a winter wedding in the picturesque English countryside? Join us for Christmas in the Cotswolds with the bestselling Lucy Coleman

Imogen Tolliman and Gray Adams can’t wait to get married after getting engaged the previous year, when they were stranded by snow in a blizzard. Now they are busy planning their wedding, but when the date slips six months because Gray is working on a huge film project, it seems like fate that after their snowy start, they will end up getting married at Christmas.

The couple are living in Immi’s grandfather’s picturesque lock-keeper’s cottage at the Aysbury
marina in the Cotswolds, which they are renovating to become their forever family home. As well as building work, full-time jobs and wedding planning, Immi is in charge of raising money to build a children’s playground, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Santa Ahoy Cruises – her grandfather Tollie’s life work
.

When Gray is suddenly forced to travel abroad, Immi is left to cope with everything alone, and
before long, even the best-laid plans start to wobble. When a terrible betrayal is uncovered, the whole community of Aysbury is left reeling, and Immi is left wondering if there will be a wedding after all…

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to an unforgettable Cotswolds Christmas full of romance and laughter, friendship and family and much-loved festive traditions.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts

With characters we first met in Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage, this is a lovely heartwarming story of community, friendship, love and secrets. Planning her wedding keeps getting further down Immi’s to-do list. She needs help but doesn’t like to ask. Events conspire until compromises and accepting she can’t do everything alone is inevitable. This story reads well as a standalone as salient details of their lives so far are integrated into this story.

The characters are believably flawed, and the sense of community is uplifting. The conflicts Immi faces are relatable, and this is a journey of self-belief and self-discovery for her. The sense of place and season is vividly described.

A lovely rural story with engaging characters and a picture postcard setting.

Lucy Coleman

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

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

The Man on Hackpen Hill J.S. Monroe 5* #Review @HoZ_Books @JSThrillers #PsychologicalThriller #CrimeFiction #Detective #Noir #Suspense #psychsuspense #BlogTour #BookReview #TheManonHackpenHill #preorder #2September

It isn’t unusual for crop circles to appear overnight on Hackpen Hill. In this part of Wiltshire, where golden wheat fields stretch for miles, the locals have got used to discovering strange mathematical patterns stamped into the earth.

But this time, it’s different. Not only because this particular design of dramatic spiralling hexagons has never been seen before. But because of the dead body positioned precisely in the centre of the circle. DI Silas Hart, of Swindon Police, is at a loss.

Only Jim, a scientist at secretive government laboratory Porton Down, knows the chilling truth about the man on Hackpen Hill. And he wants Bella, a trainee journalist on her first ever story, to tell the world. But Silas has other ideas – and a boss intent on a cover up.

As Bella and Jim race against time, dark forces conspire against them, leading them to confront the reality of their own past and a world in which nothing is as it seems.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story has an intrinsic sense of authenticity, which is in itself chilling given the disturbing elements it explores. It features the detective team of Silas and Strover, a familiar combination if you’ve read the authors other psychological thrillers. It begins with a disquieting prologue that sets the scene for what follows. Bella leaves Oxford for a fledgling career in journalism. Her complex past unfolds as the story progresses. Silas and Strover are investigating a death in a crop circle which leads them into the fields of secret laboratories and mental health issues. Jim meets Bella in a Wiltshire pub, accidentally he believes at first.

The story is told from these points of view. The police investigation is absorbing and allows the reader to make their deductions. Bella and Jim are both unreliable protagonists, but they are easy to empathise with. The plot is fast-paced with its short chapters. The use of sensory imagery makes the events easy to imagine. The plot twists are impactful. The story changes perspective dramatically but realistically and is addictive reading. The climactic ending is satisfying, delivering action, poignancy and positivity for the main protagonists.

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