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, 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, Friendship, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Book Lovers Emily Henry 5* #Review @VikingBooksUK @PenguinUKBooks #EmilyHenry #romcom #holiday #smalltownromance #beachread #BookReview #BookLovers #smalltown #WeAreBookLovers

The sizzling, sexy, sharp new enemies-to-lovers romcom by NYT bestseller, Emily Henry 📚💕

Nora is a cut-throat literary agent at the top of her game. Her whole life is books.

Charlie is an editor with a gift for creating bestsellers. And he’s Nora’s work nemesis.

Nora has been through enough breakups to know she’s the woman men date before they find their happy-ever-after. That’s why Nora’s sister has persuaded her to swap her desk in the city for a month’s holiday in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. It’s a small town straight out of a romance novel, but instead of meeting sexy lumberjacks, handsome doctors or cute bartenders, Nora keeps bumping into…Charlie.

She’s no heroine. He’s no hero. So can they take a page out of an entirely different book?

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Book Lovers is a feel-good read, especially if you love books and vibrant characters that make you read just one more chapter. Nora is a successful literary agent who puts her sister’s needs first and always looks after her authors. Charlie is an enigma when they first meet, she is wrong-footed from their first encounter, but she can’t forget him.

I enjoyed the witty dialogue, the gentle romance full of emotion and the believable family dynamic. The story explores differing perceptions of events, relationships, parenting and love, and it resonates, but laughter and romance are never far away.

The ending is a perfect conclusion to this lovely escapist read.

Read my review of Beach Read

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, Friendship, Murder Mystery, New Books, Noir

The Cook Ajay Chowdhury 5*#Review #DetectiveKamilRahman @ajaychow @vintagebooks @HarvillSecker #BookReview #TheCook #CrimeFiction #Detective #murdermystery #Kolkata #London #Lahore

Kamil Rahman is a cook in a Brick Lane restaurant. But he used to be a detective back in Kolkata.

And somehow trouble still knows how to find him.

When a young woman Kamil knows is murdered the police are convinced her boyfriend is the culprit. Kamil isn’t so sure and feels he has no choice but to start his own investigation. Meanwhile, his friend and restaurant manager, Anjoli, is troubled by a rise in the number of homeless deaths in their local area.

Initially, the cases seem unrelated, but as the duo dig deeper, they discover connections that stretch from London to Lahore.

Together they take on the indifference of the authorities to the homeless and the casual racism that pervades the investigation of killings of Muslims – all while trying to stop a supremely intelligent murderer who always seems to be several steps ahead of them.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Kamil settled in his life in Brick Lane, East London; now, he is a cook in the restaurant that his friend Anjoli manages. It’s the second in the series but readable as a standalone. The book begins with a young woman realising that the man she married is controlling, she works out a way to escape to London to train as a Nurse, and it’s here that Naila meets Kamil. The amateur sleuths investigate a murder of a colleague of Naila’s and the deaths of homeless men in the vicinity.

I like the dynamic between Kamil and Anjoli and how he accepts his new life. The well-plotted murder mystery has surprising twists, and the story explores darker contemporary and cultural issues through the characters and plot. The humour and believable relationships make this memorable.

Read my review of The Waiter

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Detective, Friendship, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books

The Hiding Place Simon Lelic 4*#Review @Simon_Lelic @VikingBooksUK @PenguinUKBooks #CrimeFiction #detective #game #murdermystery #bookreview #TheHidingPlace

FOUR FRIENDS. ONE MURDER. A GAME THEY CAN’T ESCAPE

‘It was only a game.’

Until a boy went missing.

‘No one was meant to get hurt.’

But a body has been found.

‘Just some innocent fun.’

Except one of them is a killer.

Ready or not, here I come.

It’s time to play hide and seek again.

DI Fleet is up against some of the most powerful people in the country as he attempts to discover the truth about what happened on the day of the game…

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Chilling and claustrophobic detective fiction unfolds following an anonymous tip-off that leads to discovering a boy’s remains within the grounds of the school he attended over twenty years ago. DI Fleet and DS Collins investigate the cold case, increasingly hampered by powerful forces as the number of suspects grows.

The sense of place is vivid, and the school and what it stands for are integral to the story. Complex characters, often unlikeable and evil, populate this murder mystery. I like the twisty plot, the atmospheric setting and the relentless investigators determined to find the truth despite the considerable obstacles.

An absorbing, addictive read immerses the reader in the setting and the story.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Friendship, Suspense

Guilty Women Melanie Blake 5*#Review @MelanieBlakeUK @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours#BlogTour #BookReview #SoapOpera #Thriller #Guilt #Relationships #Friendship #Revenge #suspense #GuiltyWomen

Can they get away with MURDER? On a beautiful island off the English coast, four TV actresses gather. Their fifth member is missing – and only they know why she was killed. As the secret between them threatens to come out, tensions on set run high. The women are determined that the show must go on – whatever the cost. But one of them is on the edge of telling the truth – and no soap opera in the world could survive this scandal… All of the women have something to hide – but the question is, are they ALL GUILTY?

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Continuing from book one, Ruthless Women, Guilty Women has the eighties ‘blockbuster’ vibes with a contemporary twist. The female characters are ruthless, but you can see why they must be when you meet the men. The strong friendship bond between the main protagonists makes this so readable. The plot is full of action, shocks and surprises and keeps you turning the pages. The characters are vibrant and flawed, but they make you care about them, and you are intrigued to know what next? Are they guilty?

Melanie Blake

MELANIE BLAKE is the bestselling author of Ruthless Women, which became a Number 4 Sunday Times hardback bestseller and an ebook bestseller in 2021, selling over 150,000 copies. Guilty Women is her second novel about the cast of Falcon Bay, and her first with HarperFiction. Growing up in a working-class household with severe dyslexia, Melanie has her own Rags to Riches story, just like that of her characters – at 15 she was told by her school career advisors that her decision to work at a record shop was ‘a clear example that she wouldn’t go far in her career’. They were wrong. By 19 she was working at the BBC’s iconic Top of the Pops show and by 26 she had built a reputation as one of the UK’s leading music and entertainment managers. She also created her own acting agency from scratch which became the most successful independent boutique agency in the UK. Melanie still represents a high-profile stable of actresses, but is also now enjoying success in her own right as a author, playwright and producer. #GuiltyWomen | @MelanieBlakeUK

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

The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim Jules Wake 5* Review @Juleswake @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #BlogBlitz #BookReview #Women #friendship #romance #trust #family #romcom #YorkshireEscapes

She’s trying to figure out her future.

He’s trying to forget his past.

But with the help of some unlikely friends, young and old, and a scruffy dog who just can’t help getting into trouble, a new community is formed – just when they all need each other the most.

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

My Thoughts…

This story admirably showcases this author’s skill in taking relatable characters in everyday circumstances and bringing out what is unique in each person and situation.

Ettie is still searching for a career that suits her. Initially, she appears to lack commitment and drive, but the reader soon appreciates this is not the case. I enjoyed getting to know Ettie and the friends she met whilst wild swimming. Each character has a unique story that emerges and adds to this read’s motivational and uplifting quality.

Dominic is driven and determined to make a success of his latest project, whether he enjoys it or not. His past tragedies define him, and meeting Ettie challenges him to think again. Their friendship and romance are lovely and full of humour, misunderstanding and passion. The many engaging elements in this story make it the perfect read to help you relax.

Jules Wake

Jules Wake is the internationally bestselling author of over ten books including The Saturday Morning Park Run. She also writes as Julie Caplin and her Romantic Escapes series has hit the bestseller charts around the world.

After reading English at the University of East Anglia, Jules Wake worked in PR where she honed her fiction writing skills on press releases.  She’s now a full-time author and what better job is there than making stuff up! It certainly beats housework.

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