Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Couple at No. 9 Claire Douglas 5* #Review @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks @Dougieclaire #PsychologicalThriller #Crime #FamilyDrama #suspense #preorder

It was the house of their dreams. Until the bodies were found . . .

BODIES FOUND UNDER PATIO

When pregnant Saffron Cutler moves into 9 Skelton Place with boyfriend Tom and sets about renovations the last thing she expects is builders uncovering a body – two bodies, in fact.

POLICE INVESTIGATE

Forensics indicate the bodies have been buried at least thirty years. Nothing Saffy need worry herself over. Until the police launch a murder investigation and ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner – her grandmother, Rose.

OWNER QUESTIONED

Rose is in a care home and Alzheimer’s means her memory is increasingly confused. She can’t help the police but it is clear she remembers something.

A KILLER AT LARGE?

As Rose’s fragmented memories resurface, and the police dig ever deeper, Saffy fears she and the cottage are being watched.

What happened thirty years ago?

Why did no one miss the victims?

What part did her grandmother play?

And is Saffy now in danger?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Atmospheric, chilling and poignant, this psychological suspense is a page-turning read. It’s a family drama spanning three generations with timeslips back to the late 1970s and early 1980s, a time I lived through.

The main protagonists are flawed and relatable, making the menacing events and revelations resonate. The twists are impactful with some, easier to work out than others. The balance of pacing and the gradual revealing of the lies and secrets keeps the reader absorbed until the end.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

#TheTherapist B.A.Paris #Audio #BlogTour 5*#Review @BAParisAuthor @HQStories #psychological #Suspense #domestic #relationships #secrets #lies #friendships #BookReview #PsychSuspense #audiogram #AudioQandA

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating, grisly secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it.

Her neighbours are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…

Amazon UK

B.A. Paris Q&A 4

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

My Thoughts…

The Therapist is an addictive blend of cleverly crafted characters, nail-biting psychological suspense and a puzzling plot. Alice and Leo move into the exclusive gated development in London to begin their lives together. Alice is unsure if London life will suit her, but Leo wants to live in London, and she wants to see more of him.

Told exclusively from Alice’s perspective, she soon reveals herself as an unreliable protagonist. A past family tragedy still defines her life, and she sees the change of lifestyle as a way of living again. Alice dislikes The Circle’s sinister ethos. A series of unexpected revelations intensify her emotional vulnerability to breaking point. Everyone has secrets, and Alice isn’t sure who she can trust. The house’s tragic history immerses Alice until her life starts to unravel, pushing her relentlessly towards danger.

Short passages from the past with undefinable characters intensify the sense of menace and suspense towards the climactic, twisted conclusion. The final shocking twist is well disguised. This is a book you won’t want to put down. It will have you checking you’ve locked the doors.

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, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Will They, Won’t They? Portia MacIntosh 5*#Review @PortiaMacIntosh @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #RomCom #BookReview #BlogTour #WillTheyWontThey #Family #festive

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The opening chapter gets the reader’s attention in this story of relationships and self-discovery. Emmy is a believably flawed protagonist who learns what matters to her when she returns to her home town amid sadness and scandal. The shallowness of celebrity status and the intrusiveness of social media are explored. The story is set in the prelude to Christmas with the focus on a local pantomime. This book showcases quintessentially British humour, which I loved balanced with moments of poignancy. The romance is secondary to the family drama and Emmy’s self-realisation journey.

The characters are varied and relatable, and the festive setting gives the story an extra sparkle.

Portia MacIntosh

Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of 16 novels, including The Plus One Pact and My Great Ex-Scape. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real-life experiences.

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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?

Amazon UK Amazon Harper Collins

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?

Amazon UK Amazon

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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