Posted in Book Review, Crime, Domestic Suspense, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller

The Couple on Maple Drive Sam Carrington 5*#Review @sam_carrington1 @AvonBooksUK #psychologicalthriller #secrets #crimefiction #podcast #Torquay #Devon #BookReview #domesticsuspense #TheCoupleonMapleDrive

Isla barely leaves the house after her brutal mugging.

Her boyfriend Zach moved in with her after the attack. To look after her.

But something else has happened now. Right on their doorstep.

I don’t want to say that someone’s out to get her…

I just hope they find out the truth before it’s too late.

Or at least before the secrets, they’re hiding from each other surface.

Because those could be even deadlier

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This book’s quiet beginning means that it’s a little while before you realise that the story is full of danger and deceit. Isla’s unreliability shows her vulnerability, and the reader empathises with her. Dual timeframes give the reader insights into the characters’ past as Isla’s memories gradually return.

The suspense is multilayered; Isla’s internal battle with her anxiety, the domestic tension between Isla and Zach and the overall suspenseful nature of the plot as the story plays out. The ending is impactful and satisfying.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Festive Read, Friendship, Murder Mystery, New Books, Romance

A Cornish Christmas Murder Fiona Leitch 4*#Review @fkleitch @0neMoreChapter_ #Cosymystery #murdermystery #Cornwall #humour #crimefiction #festive #ACornishChristmasMurder #ANoseyParkerCosyMystery #BookReview

It’s three days before Christmas, and detective-turned-chef Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is drafted in to cater a charity event run by a notorious millionaire at a 13th-century abbey on Bodmin Moor.

Things get more complicated when a snowstorm descends, stranding them all, and the next morning they find one of the guests has been gruesomely murdered in their bed…

Secrets mull like wine on the stove in every corner – can Jodie solve the crime before the killer strikes again?

A Cornish Christmas Murder is a must-read mystery full of heart and humour.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a festive, cosy mystery set in Cornwall. There are familiar characters and a classical locked room murder mystery. Jodie Parker is an ex-detective, who always finds, herself faced with solving murders. Ably assisted by her friend Debbie, young daughter Daisy, she tries to solve the gory murder that takes place, in a country house, just before Christmas.

This is a slow build mystery with intricate character building. It didn’t draw me in as quickly as the previous books. The murder mystery is well-plotted, and the characters are relatable, and there are pertinent touches of humour and poignancy.

This story is just the book to curl up with on a cosy winter’s afternoon.

Read my review of Murder on the Menu (Book1)

Read my review of A Brush with Death (Book2)

Read my review of A Sprinkle of Sabotage (Book3)

Fiona Leitch

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. Her debut novel and first in the Bella Tyson series, ‘Dead in Venice’, was published by Audible as one of their Crime Grant finalists. Fiona is represented by Lina Langlee at The North Literary Agency.

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Posted in Book Review, Childrens Books, Friendship, New Books

Keiller the Cathedral Cat in Trouble Jane Phillips Drawings by Lorna Gray 5*#Review @cosybookbinder #picturebook #JanePhillips #ChildrensBook #kidlit #BookReview #humour @CrumpsBarn #cats #pets #KeillertheCathedralCatinTrouble

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Crumps Barn Studio in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a lovely story about Keiller, the Cathedral cat. His latest adventure begins when a new member of the family arrives. Keiller is a charming character guaranteed to appeal to the young and everyone who loves animals. The story captures the nuances of a cat’s life, particularly when a new puppy disrupts Keiller’s calm. Humour is at its heart. The importance of community and friendship for everyone defines this story and leaves the reader with an uplifting feeling.

The drawings make this story memorable and bring the characters to vibrant life.

Posted in Book Review, Childrens Books, New Books, Non-Fiction

Pippin and the Medicine Penny Wright #illustrator Lorna Gray 5*#Review @cosybookbinder #picturebook #ChildrensBook #kidlit #BookReview #humour @CrumpsBarn #PennyWright #cats #pets #PippinandtheMedicine

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Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Crumps Barn Studio in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story will appeal to people who share their lives with cats as it succinctly captures cat behaviour in vivid illustrations and text. Inspired by a real-life occurrence, this follows the life of a family cat and what happens when he falls ill. It is upbeat and humorous, and the illustrations vividly tell the story too.

It is engaging reading for young people as it shows that medicine, although often unpleasant, does a worthwhile job. The focus is on the cat’s antics, and it’s a humorous read.

Posted in Book Review, Childrens Books, New Books

At The Bottom of Dudley’s Garden Dinah Mason Eagers #illustrator Anna Platts 5*#Review #picturebook #savetheplanet #ChildrensBook #kidlit #environment #flowers #bees #pollenation #AtTheBottomofDudleysGarden #BookReview @CrumpsBarn #DinahMasonEagers #AnnaPlatts

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Crumps Barn Studio in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Full of bright illustrations, this lovely book shows young readers the importance of wildflowers to the ecosystem. It is a fantasy tale about flowers and bees with a relevant message about preserving nature and saving the planet.

Inspired by a real-life environmentalist and his garden, the story is easy to read and understand. It will provoke questions about the environment.

Posted in Book Review, Childrens Books, New Books, Poetry

The Fantastic World of Crackonola Mike Mogg 4*#Review #picturebook #poetry #ChildrensBook #kidlit #TheFantasticWorldofCrackonola #BookReview @CrumpsBarn #MikeMogg

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Crumps Barn Studio in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This fun book has colourful comic illustrations that complement the verse. Intended as a children’s book of poetry, it will also appeal to an older generation as it has a classic style. The poems are of various lengths and make you smile. The picture book is beautifully presented and would make a lovely gift.

Posted in Book Review, Romance

Kissing Charlie Elsa Winckler 4* Review @elsawinckler @InkSpellPublish #BookReview #Romance #smalltown #Montana #unexpectedlove #KissingCharlie

One Kiss Will Change Their Lives Forever

Bowen therapist Charlie Wilson is not interested in men or relationships. Her only concern is making sure her sister Lindsay is safe.

But then billionaire Logan Johnson walks into her rooms and stirs powerful feelings inside of her. Logan’s perfectly knotted tie is a clear indication free-spirit Charlie should steer clear of him at all costs.

They are complete opposites, so why does he keep coming back to see her?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a charming small-town romance with a likeable couple and a good cast of supporting characters. The mix of sweet and sensual works as the emotional engagement stems from passion rather than friendship. This is an easy, enjoyable read, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

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

Christmas Surprises at Mermaids Point Sarah Bennett 5*#Review @BoldwoodBooks @Sarahlou_writes @rararesources #friendship #romance #family #coastal #community @bookandtonic #festive #novella #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview #ChristmasSurprisesatMermaidsPoint

Christmas is a time for love, laughter, families and friends, and in Mermaids Point, everyone is getting ready for the festive season.

For Nerissa and Tom, this will be their first Christmas as a couple, but making sure they have time for each other, whilst blending their families, will take some careful planning. What festive traditions will they make their own?

Laurie and Jake are flat out running Laurie’s seafront café, packaging up orders of mince pies, sausage rolls and other delectable Christmas goodies, as well as finding time for Jake’s journalism.  But when Jake’s mum offers them an unexpected gift, their plans are turned upside down.

Alex can’t help but be charmed by beautiful and talented Ivy, but he’s still recovering from his ex-wife’s betrayal and has a secret life he’s not ready to share with anyone yet. But as the Christmas spirit starts weaving its magic, Alex may find himself ready for love sooner than he imagines.

For Andrew, nothing is more important than family. As friends and family gather beneath his roof it’s a time for reflection about what the future might hold.

As far as Nick is concerned, pop sensation Aurora Storm is the one that got away. After they shared a brief holiday fling, he has been thinking about her ever since. Is Christmas the perfect time to finally reach out to her, or is love at first sight just in fairy tales?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

As well as Christmas surprises, this story connects the two excellent stories that I’ve already read. Whilst giving the reader a taste of the angst and romance to come in this series. There are updates on the two couples featured in the two previous novels and the introduction of new but connected characters. The community spirit and uplifting ethos that define this series are evident, with a lovely festive twist.

Sarah Bennett

Sarah Bennett is the bestselling author of several romantic fiction trilogies including those set in Butterfly Cove and Lavender Bay. Born and raised in a military family she is happily married to her own Officer and when not reading or writing enjoys sailing the high seas.

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Read my review of Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point

Read my review of Autumn Dreams at Mermaid’s Point

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Romance, Travel

Tempted by the Runes Christina Courtenay 5*#Review @PiaCCourtenay @headlinepg @rararesources #HistoricalRomance #Vikings #timeslip #ContemporaryRomance #BlogTour #BookReview #Runes #Dublin #Iceland #Giveaway #TemptedbytheRunes

Born centuries apart. Bound by a love that defied time.

She couldn’t believe her eyes. The runes were normally so reliable and she had never doubted them before.

Madison Berger is visiting Dublin with her family for a Viking re-enactment festival when she chances upon a small knife embedded in the banks of the Liffey. Maddie recognises what the runes on the knife’s handle signify: the chance to have her own adventures in the past.

Maddie only intends to travel back in time briefly, but a skirmish in 9th century Dublin results in her waking up on a ship bound for Iceland, with the man who saved her from attack.

Geir Eskilsson has left his family in Sweden to boldly carve out a life of his own. He is immediately drawn to Maddie, but when he learns of her connection to his sisters-in-law, he begins to believe that Fate has played a part in bringing them together. Amidst the perils that await on their journey to a new land, the truest battle will be to win Maddie’s heart and convince her that the runes never lie…

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Maddie, and Gier, are relatable vibrant characters who set out on an adventurous, romantic journey. The author creates a believably vivid Viking world using historical detail and sensory imagery.

Maddie is a likeable, impulsive character whose character develops with her timeslip adventure. The reality of 9th century Viking life jars with her theoretical knowledge, and she has to accept this and learn to achieve her true potential in the Viking world. Gier has knowledge of time travel, and he sees the runes as a sign, Maddie and he will be together. The chemistry between them builds with emotional commitment and proximity. Maddie remains the biggest challenge to their happiness. Can a twenty-first-century woman be fulfilled in a 9th Century Viking world?

This is an engaging tale of danger and desire with characters who resonate.

Christina Courtenay

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014), and the RNA Fantasy Romantic Novel of the year 2021 with Echoes of the RunesTempted by the Runes (time travel published by Headline 9th December 2021) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

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Giveaway to Win a signed paperback copy of Tempted by the Runes , a pair of silver Thor’s hammer earrings and a Thor’s hammer Christmas tree bauble (Open INT)

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

Read my review of Echoes of the Runes

Read my review of The Runes of Destiny

Read my review of Whispers of the Runes

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Romance, Victorian Romance

Farringdon’s Fate Linda Finlay 4*#Review @HQStories #BlogTour #Victorian #corsetière #RomanticSaga #EastDevon #Devon #BookReview #HistFic #HistoricalFiction #FarringdonsFate #LindaFinlay

A house. A dynasty. A gipsy’s curse.

One noble family. Five eligible daughters. A sealed fate.

Nettlecombe Manor, nestled in the rolling hills of Devon, is home to Lord Farringdon and his second wife, Lady Charlotte. As if running the vast estate wasn’t enough, Lord Farringdon has five daughters to keep him busy. Lady Charlotte is determined that the betrothal of the eldest, Louisa, should be celebrated with a ball which is the envy of Devon society and summons a corsetière from Exeter to measure them up for new corsets.  

Apprentice Jane Haydon arrives at Nettlecombe to do the fittings. Having never set foot in such a grand home, Jane is disturbed to hear tell of a gipsy’s curse which has haunted the family for generations, and a local wise woman’s vision that there will never be a wedding at Nettlecombe… 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Full of historical details, vivid descriptions and vibrant characters, this story is a must for fans of romantic sagas. Set in the late nineteenth century, it encompasses all the societal expectations. The story has drama, friendship, romance and tragedy. The Farringdon’s are under a curse, and it seems that it may well come true,

The story is very detailed and includes the craft of a corsetière, in keeping with this author’s style. Believable characters lyrical story writing make this an engaging read.