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

Starting Over At Sunset Cottage Lisa Hobman 5*#Review @LisaJHobmanAuth @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources @bookandtonic #Loss #Love #Romance #Friendship #Village #Scottish Highlands #Relationships #Mystery #StartingOverAtSunsetCottage

Do you love someone enough to let them go?

It was love at first sight when talented art student Felicity “Flick” Johnston-Hart and Jim MacDuff’s worlds collided at Oxford University.

However, after years of blissful marriage, everything crashes down when their marriage comes to a painful and abrupt end, thanks to Flick’s interfering mother Penelope.

Finally succumbing to maternal pressure, Flick falls into the high-flying career her mother believed she was destined for.

However, she soon realises life without Jim isn’t all she’d hoped, and that some decisions, once made, cannot be undone.

Meanwhile, Jim is settling back into life as a single man in the beautiful Highland village of Shieldaig, when an unexpected visitor brings painful news. A letter from beyond the grave leads him to do something he never imagined and takes him on a journey he didn’t anticipate.

Can either of them heal and truly move on?

Or is it true that a broken heart can never be a blank canvas?

This book was previously published as Through the Glass.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a romantic story that explores love and relationships from an original viewpoint. Well-plotted, it has unexpected drama and mystery weaved into it. Jim and Flick fell in love at university, got married, and were happy until Flick ended it all. Devastated Jim, returns to Scotland and seeks solace in the highland village community with his loyal Labrador Jasper.

This story begins when their marriage ends and revisits their love affair through historical flashbacks. These allow the reader to get to know the couple intimately and understand what made them work and ultimately fail as a couple. Flick breaks Jim’s faith in love and trust when she leaves him. Even when circumstances change, he isn’t sure he can go there again. Unexpected loss and tragedy make him search for what he truly wants and give this story a positive conclusion.

This is an emotional, insightful story with believably flawed protagonists. It is a poignant but ultimately uplifting read.

Lisa Hobman

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

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Suspense, Domestic Thriller, Gothic Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Paranormal, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Woman in the Woods Lisa Hall 4*#Review @LisaHallAuthor @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #Psychological #Suspense #Gothic #domesticthriller #TheWomanintheWoods

Is her family in danger?

When Allie moves to a quaint old cottage with her husband, it’s their dream home. Nestled in the village of Pluckley, it seems a perfect haven in which to raise their two children. But Pluckley has a reputation. It’s known as England’s most haunted village. And not long after the birth of their new son, Allie begins to notice strange things…   
 
What’s the flash of white she sees moving quickly through the woods to the back of their house? And what’s the strange scratching noise coming from the chimney?
 
As Allie discovers more about the history of their new home, she uncovers a story of witchcraft and superstition, which casts a long shadow into the present day. And not everything is as it seems. Her family might well be in danger, but it’s a danger none of them could have foreseen…
 

Bestseller Lisa Hall’s The Woman in the Woods is full of creeping unease and nerve-wracking tension, and will have readers on the edge of their seats…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Allie and her family move into a countryside house, it seems idyllic, but strange things begin to happen. When she finds out about the haunted status of the house and village Allie starts to wonder if they are safe.

Allie is an unreliable protagonist, but the reader feels empathy. Allie’s increasingly fragile mental state and emotional vulnerability raise questions in the reader’s mind about the validity of Allie’s perception of events. Vivid sensory imagery draws the reader into Allie’s fearful world.

There is an ethos of simmering menace that intensifies with each strange event. Impactful twists interwoven with gothic and paranormal elements make this a compelling and chilling story.

Posted in Book Review, Espionage - Spy - Thriller, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Fiction, New Books, Romance

Her Secret War Pam Lecky 4*#Review @pamlecky @AvonBooksUK #BookReview #HistoricalFiction #WW2 #espionage #IrishFiction #PublicationDay #WomeninWar #secrets #HerSecretWar

A moment that ruins her life

On 31st May 1941, Germany drops bombs on neutral Dublin and Sarah Gillespie loses her family and home that fateful night. Days later, the man she loves leaves Ireland to enlist in the RAF.

A decision that changes her life

With nothing to keep her in Ireland and a burning desire to help the war effort, Sarah seeks refuge with relatives in Hampshire, England. But before long, Sarah’s family history catches up with her.

A mission that could cost her life

Sarah is asked to prove her loyalty to Britain through uncovering a spy at Vickers Supermarine, the manufacturers of the legendary Spitfire fighter plane. But to progress with her mission, she must become involved with a fifth columnist. And so the most dangerous game she’s ever played ensues…
  

A gripping story that explores a deadly tangle of love and espionage in war-torn Britain.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is told from an Irish woman’s perspective bringing refreshing originality to its WW2 setting. Sarah seeks solace with her Uncle and his family in England after the devastating loss of her family in Dublin. Embracing an English way of life, she does her bit for the war effort.

Sarah’s nationality and skills embroil her in a dangerous espionage mission that threatens everyone she values. This story has friendship, family drama and romance alongside the intriguing world of wartime espionage. There are intricate historical details and believable character development in an ethos of courage and danger, and it’s an engaging read.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Gothic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Room in the Attic Louise Douglas 5* #Review @LouiseDouglas3 @BoldwoodBooks #Family #Drama #Secrets #grief #loss #Suspense #mystery #Gothic #SocialHistory #mothers #women #Psychological #BookReview #BlogTour #boldwoodbloggers #TheRoomintheAttic @rararesources

A child who does not know her name…

In 1903 fishermen find a wrecked boat containing a woman, who has been badly beaten, and a young girl. An ambulance is sent for, and the two survivors are taken to All Hallows, the imposing asylum, hidden deep on Dartmoor. The woman remains in a coma, but the little girl, Harriet, awakens and is taken to an attic room, far away from the noise of the asylum, and is put in the care of Nurse Emma Everdeen.

Two motherless boys banished to boarding school…

In 1993, All Hallows is now a boarding school. Following his mother’s death and his father’s hasty remarriage, Lewis Tyler is banished to Dartmoor, stripped of his fashionable clothes, shorn of his long hair, and left feeling more alone than ever. There he meets Isak, another lost soul, and whilst refurbishment of the dormitories is taking place, the boys are marooned up in the attic, in an old wing of the school.

Cries and calls from the past that can no longer be ignored…

All Hallows is a building full of memories, whispers, cries from the past. As Lewis and Isak learn more about the fate of Harriet, and Nurse Emma’s desperate fight to keep the little girl safe, it soon becomes clear there are ghosts who are still restless.

Are they ghosts the boys hear at night in the room above, are they the unquiet souls from the asylum still caught between the walls? And can Lewis and Isak bring peace to All Hallows before the past breaks them first…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Atmospheric and chilling, The Room in the Attic brings All Hallows to life in a disturbing and resonating way. The story is told predominantly in dual timelines. 1903, when All Hallows was an asylum and 1993 when it housed a draconian boarding school. Lewis returns in the present day as a grown man, but the past makes him want to run.

The character-led stories are emotional with elements of gothic fiction and psychological suspense. The characters are believably vibrant and immerse the reader into their world. The social history and social injustice explored in the 1903 story is disturbingly poignant. The plight of the two boys in 1993 is equally harrowing, and their grief makes them susceptible to paranormal occurrences.

The mysterious plot’s clever twists let the characters shine and enthral the reader. The author captures perfectly the sense of fear, hopelessness and sadness that pervades, All Hallows.

Louise Douglas

Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author of 6 novels including The Love of my Life and Missing You – a RNA award winner. The Secrets Between Us was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. She lives in the West Country. Louise’s first book for Boldwood, The House by the Sea was published in March 2020.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Romance

The Secrets of Hawthorn Place Jenni Keer 5*#Review @JenniKeer @AccentPress #Love #Secrets #DualTime #HistFic #contemporaryFiction #Romance @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview

Love will always find a way… Discover the intriguing secrets of Hawthorn Place in this heartfelt dual-time novel, filled with warmth and charm, perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Cecelia Ahern.

Two houses, hundreds of miles apart…yet connected always. When life throws Molly Butterfield a curveball, she decides to spend some time with her recently widowed granddad, Wally, at Hawthorn Place, his quirky Victorian house on the Dorset coast. But cosseted Molly struggles to look after herself, never mind her grieving granddad, until the accidental discovery of an identical Art and Crafts house on the Norfolk coast offers her an unexpected purpose, as well as revealing a bewildering mystery. Discovering that both Hawthorn Place and Acacia House were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, Molly uncovers the secret of a love which linked them, so powerful it defied reason. What follows is a summer which will change Molly for ever…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This multi-layered story with love at its centre and a myriad of everyday and magical occurrences draws the reader into two believably created worlds. In the present day, Molly returns to her family when her relationship fails, she is difficult to warm to initially, but her character development is satisfying as the story progresses. Taken to a late Victorian world, the reader sees the constraints of society and the pain of true love evident for Percy, an architect and his true love.

Two houses in Dorset and Norfolk are the setting for this dual timeline story. There’s intrigue, magic and self-realisation as Molly uncovers family secrets and finds herself in the process. Cleverly crafted relatable characters, vividly described settings rich in contemporary and historical detail make this lovely story a resonating reading experience.

Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of the Secrets of Hawthorn Place, plus chocolate and a sparkly pen. (UK Only)

Click on this link to enter

*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 despatch or delivery of the prize.

Jenni Keer

Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing commercial women’s fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere, with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.

Jenni is also the author of The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker and The Unexpected Life of Maisie Meadows.

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

The Cosy Cottage in Ireland Julie Caplin 5*#Review @JulieCaplin @0neMoreChapter_ #RomanticEscapes @rararesources #Ireland #CookerySchool #CelebrityChef #lawyer #Romance #Travel #HolidayRomance #TheCosyCottageinIreland #BlogTour #BookReview @Juleswake

Snuggle up in your favourite armchair and take a trip across the Irish sea for comfort food, cosy cottage nights and a heartwarming romance…

Talented lawyer Hannah Campbell is after a change in her workaholic Manchester life – so on an uncharacteristic whim she books herself a place at the world-renowned Killorgally Cookery School in Country Kerry. But on her first night in Ireland, sampling the delights of Dublin, Hannah can’t resist falling for the charms of handsome stranger Conor. It’s only when Hannah arrives at her postcard-pretty home at Killorgally for the next six weeks that she discovers what happens in Dublin doesn’t quite stay in Dublin …

Nestled amongst rolling green hills and breath-taking countryside, the cookery school throws Hannah and Conor together – for better or worse.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Dublin is brought to life in an atmospheric and visual way in the first few pages of this story. Hannah and Conor’s first meeting is full of humour and simmering passion. When this becomes something more, it seems like a natural progression even though it is out of character for Hannah.

There’s a well-described rural setting for the cookery school, with an eclectic mix of course attendees reminiscent of Bake-Off. that add variety with their believable dynamic. The romance has obvious chemistry but is conflicted as Conor has secrets, Hannah is so attracted to him, but she doesn’t want to be just another conquest. The story even has an intriguing mystery.

Gentle romance, humour and vibrant characters make this an engaging, romantic escape.

Julie Caplin

Julie Caplin, formerly a PR director, swanned around Europe for many years taking top food and drink writers on press trips (junkets) sampling the gastronomic delights of various cities in Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Copenhagen and Switzerland. It was a tough job but someone had to do it. 

These trips have provided the inspiration and settings for her Romantic Escapes series which have been translated into fifteen different languages.

The first book in the eight strong series, The Little Café in Copenhagen, was shortlisted for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

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

Mistletoe at Moonstone Lake Holly Martin 5*#Review @HollyMAuthor #BlogTour #BookReview #RomCom #festive #Winter #MistletoeatMoonstoneLake

Escape to the breathtaking Cornish Coast this winter, where the ocean sparkles in the moonlight and romance crackles like an open fire. This gorgeous new love story by Holly Martin, bestselling author of Sunlight Over Crystal Sands, is the perfect treat to warm your heart this Christmas.

Artist Zoey Flynn hadn’t planned to spend her favourite holiday on the shores of Jewel Island, but when her fiancé breaks off their engagement before their Christmas Eve wedding, this Cornish paradise is just the distraction she needs.

With a cosy cottage to call home for a month and a stall at the island’s famous Christmas market to sell her paintings, Zoey quickly puts her heartbreak behind her. Love is the last thing on her mind. That is until the handsome Kit Lewis crosses her path…

Their connection is instant, but Zoey has a secret. And the deeper she and Kit fall for one another, the harder it is to hide. Kit knows Zoey is holding something back and if she won’t tell him the truth she could lose him forever.

Is keeping a promise from the past worth sacrificing a future with the man she loves? Or might Kit be the one person she can trust?

Love, laughter and long-hidden secrets are waiting for you on stunning Jewel Island.

Buy Link

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

My Thoughts…

Like all books in the Jewel island series, this one is full of engaging characters. There is emotion, laughter, mystery and romance, with the addition of a Christmas market and other relatable festive touches. Christmas time on Jewel Island is lovely and vivid imagery draws the reader into the festivities. Zoey and Kit’s cute meet is memorable. It leads to an instant connection and hilarity. The visual images the author conjures up resonate.

There’s definite chemistry, but past heartbreaks make them cautious. Christmas has its complications, but like all good Christmas stories, this one has a lovely ending.

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Cover Reveal, Gothic Fiction, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Lighthouse Fran Dorricott  #CoverReveal @franwritesstuff  @AvonBooksUK #suspense #gothic #preorder #3February2022 #TheLighthouse

No one expected them to go there. The question is: will any of them leave?

Six friends travel to a remote island north of the Scottish Highlands for an old school reunion. They’ve rented The Lighthouse – a stunning, now abandoned building that was once notorious for deaths at sea.

On the first evening, someone goes missing. The group search all through the night to no avail. But when the five remaining friends return to the lighthouse early the next morning, they are shocked to find James inside. He’s looks terrified – but won’t say a word about where he’s been.

The party vow to put the strange night behind them and enjoy the rest of their stay, but when more unexplained things begin to occur, tensions escalate. It’s clear James knows something, but nothing will persuade him to give up the secrets of the island. Is he protecting his friends from a terrible truth, or leading them into more danger?

Amazon UK

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Posted in Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books, Victorian Romance

The Earl Who Sees Her Beauty Marguerite Kaye 5*#Review @MillsandBoon @MargueriteKaye @HarlequinBooks #HistoricalRomance #RevelationsoftheCarstairsSisters #VictorianRomance #BookReview #HistoricalFiction #MillsandBoonInsiders #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical

Unaware of her beauty…

Until he awakens her.

Prudence Carstairs knows her scars leave her with no romantic prospects—instead, she’s content revolutionising her employer’s home with her technological marvels. Then he unexpectedly perishes, and his mysterious younger brother, dashing Dominic Thorburn, reluctantly takes over. In the new earl, Prudence finally finds someone who meets her gaze without flinching. Might he see the beautiful, intelligent woman beyond her scars?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is both a gentle Victorian romance and an adventure into Victorian history. Prudence has physical scars from her childhood that make a suitable match unlikely. She finds solace in working for an Earl and innovating his household. She is a determined and independent character who develops her intellectual and practical skills to innovate around the Earl’s residence. When he dies, his younger heir sees her in an entirely different way to most and makes her believe her life can include love and a family.

This story highlights the expectations placed on women by Victorian society and the obsession with physical perfection and marriage being their best choice in life. Victorian innovation is an integral part of this story and gives it authenticity and depth.

The romance develops believably and with emotion that overcomes their internal and external conflicts to happiness.

Posted in Book Review, Historical Fiction, New Books

Daughters of War Dinah Jefferies 5*#Review @DinahJefferies @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #France #Sisters #WW2 #DaughterofWar #MondayBlogs

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The first book in this historical fiction trilogy set in WW2 is an emotional and sensory delight. Cleverly created characters draw the reader into their tumultuous lives in occupied France. The story focuses on three sisters living in an idyllic setting in Dordogne, France, which is blighted by enemy occupation and the ravages of war. Hélène, the eldest, a nurse and surrogate mother to the younger women. Elise, the rebel whose courage leads to impulsive acts that may have far-reaching repercussions and Florence, the youngest, a dichotomy of practicality and dreamer.

The beautifully described setting is evocative of the place and time. Intricate world-building and historical details bring the characters and setting to authentic and vibrant life. The plot reflects the dangers and deprivations of war in an immersive way. Empathy is the reader’s paramount emotion, as the sisters and the community try to maintain hope and humanity in dire circumstances. Emotive and thought-provoking, it resonates.

Dinah Jefferies