Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Motivational, New Books

Freckles Cecelia Ahern 5*#Review @HarperFiction #Freckles @HarperCollinsUK @Cecelia_Ahern @fictionpubteam #BookReview

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
 
When a stranger utters these words to Allegra Bird, nicknamed Freckles, it turns her highly ordered life upside down. In her current life as a parking warden, she has left her eccentric father and unconventional childhood behind for a bold new life in the city.
 
But a single encounter leads her to ask the question she’s been avoiding for so long:  who are the people who made her the way she is?  And who are the five people who can shape and determine her future? Just as she once joined the freckles on her skin to mirror the constellations in the night sky, she must once again look for connections.

Told in Allegra’s vivid, original voice, moving from Dublin to the fierce Atlantic coast, this is an unforgettable story of human connection, of friendship, and growing into your own skin. 

Five people. Five stars. Freckle to freckle. Star to star.


Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Allegra or Freckles is a young woman finding her place in the world. She doesn’t relate well to others but enjoys her role as parking warden in Dublin. It is whilst doing her job she meets someone who tells her something she cannot forget. Her quest is to find the five people who define her. Told from Allegra’s viewpoint, the reader has intimate knowledge of Allegra’s often confusing world. The story has many layers and believable characters. Allegra draws the reader’s empathy, and you want her to succeed and be happy. Allegra develops as a character, learning from each encounter, and by the story’s conclusion, she knows herself.

The ending is poignant and uplifting and gives the reader hope that Allegra’s future is hopeful.

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

The Perfect Christmas Gift Katie Ginger 5*#Review @KatieGAuthor @HQStories #festive #Christmas #ChristmasGift #BlogTour #BookReview #PublicationDay #ThePerfectChristmasGift

Can neighbours become more than just good friends this Christmas?

Bella Moore is excitedly counting down the days to Christmas. That is until she arrives home one evening to find her boyfriend leaving her for another woman. Completely heartbroken, Bella is left wondering if Christmas can still be the same this year.

Next door, Bella’s neighbour Nick is facing his first Christmas as a single dad and doubting whether he can make it the magical time his son Freddie deserves.

Determined to fix both Christmas and their broken hearts, Bella comes up with an idea: a Christmas giving tree for the whole village, where the community can unite and secretly give each other the Christmas presents they truly need.

As Bella becomes chief elf, taking donations and delivering gifts with much-needed help from Nick and Freddie, the two neighbours grow closer and start seeing each other in a whole new light.

But when Nick’s estranged wife returns just before Christmas, is their budding romance over before it’s begun? Or will love be Nick and Bella’s perfect gift this Christmas?

A heart-warming hug in a novel.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A lovely festive story with a theme of giving, Neighbours Bella, Nick and his son Freddie work through their heartbreak and loss to make Christmas memorable for everyone in the village. This is an emotional and uplifting story with relatable characters who draw the reader into their world. The village ethos is well-described, and there’s an element of second chance romance for Bella and Nick.

The story isn’t without conflicts, but friendship and trust overcome these. This is heartwarming and uplifting, the perfect festive read.

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 Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Festive Read, Friendship, New Books, Romance, Travel

Unwrapped by Her Italian Boss Michelle Smart 5*#Review @chellebellwrite @MillsandBoon @HarelquinBooks #MillsandBoonModern #HarlequinPresents #festive #romance #MillsandBoonInsiders #BookReview #UnwrappedbyHerItalianBoss

Can she resist his snowbound seduction?

After a rocky first impression, innocent Meredith’s got a lot to prove to her new billionaire boss Giovanni! He’s trusting her to make his opulent train’s maiden voyage a success. Trusting herself around him? That’s another challenge entirely…

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This is a festive story set in Switzerland, Paris and across the Alps. Part of the story takes place on a luxury train, and this well-described setting makes this a vivid read. Merry is innocent and career-driven, running away from her dysfunctional family. Giovanni is a self-made billionaire, Merry’s temporary boss who hates Christmas because of a personal tragedy. There are elements of humour and poignant moments which draw the reader’s empathy.

The chemistry between the two is well-written with sparkly romance. Giovanni has old fashioned manners and speech that fit perfectly with the festive old-world setting. There is angst, reconciliation, self-realisation and a lovely romantic conclusion.

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

The Couple Upstairs Shalini Boland 5*#Review @ShaliniBoland @bookouture #Relationships #Secrets #Lies #Friendship #BookReview #psychsuspense #TheCoupleUpstairs

Our new home was supposed to be a chance to leave our past behind. But was moving here the worst mistake of our lives?

All our friends and family were gathered, glasses raised to toast our fresh start. It should have been a night for happiness and celebration. Zac and I had worked so hard for this: our first home together, just minutes from the sea. But the dream quickly turned into a nightmare…

We’d invited our neighbours too. I wanted to make a good impression – to show them we’re exactly the sort of people they want living on their street.

I hadn’t thought about who they might be, the strangers I was letting in.

It was going so well. There was laughter in the air and the wine was flowing. But then I noticed the narrowed eyes, the whispers.

And then the lights went out.

As my heart thumped in my chest, all the little things that had been going wrong since we moved here flashed through my mind: the food poisoning, the arguments, the flood of nasty reviews shaking my business.

Am I going crazy? Or is someone trying to destroy us?

From the USA Today bestselling author Shalini Boland comes an absolutely heart-thumping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Supremely confident psychological suspense with an unreliable protagonist, a supposedly idyllic community setting that is not quite what it seems and a manipulative and twisted antagonist. I love this author’s books because there is always an unexpected twist. For regular readers, the fun is trying to guess who isn’t what they seem.

Classic, domestic suspense with the expected underlying edge of menace. What seems obvious is twisted until it is unrecognisable and the threat real. The perfect book if you like your psychological suspense atmospheric and well-written.

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

Christmas Wishes At The Chocolate Shop Jessica Redland 5* #Review @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks #BlogTour @rararesources #Romance #Friendship #Heartwarming #UpLit #Family #Relationships #Loss #Love #BookReview #boldwoodbloggers #WhitsboroughBay #Christmas #festive #chocolate #ChristmasWishesAtTheChocolateShop @bookandtonic

Sometimes you just need a little Christmas magic to make your wishes come true…

When master chocolatier, Charlee, takes the leap to move to the picturesque seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, she is determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and set up a chocolate shop.

Luckily, she finds the perfect location for Charlee’s Chocolates on beautiful Castle Street… Now she just has to refurbish it in time for Christmas!

With a useless boyfriend and countless DIY disasters, Charlee doesn’t know if she’ll make it in time. With no ‘traditional’ family to support her, she feels lost in her new surroundings and the secrets of the past are weighing her down.

But the warmth and festive spirit of the Whitsborough Bay community will surprise her, and when plumber, Matt, comes to the rescue, it might be that all of Charlee’s dreams could come true this Christmas, and she could learn what family really means…

Escape to Castle Street for the perfect uplifting, festive read from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.

Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop was originally released as Charlee and the Chocolate Shop. Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features several new chapters.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story has everything a festive read needs, cleverly crafted characters, conflicts and chocolate.

Charlee is feeling the loss of her grandparents when she decides to relocate to Whitsbrough Bay. She makes chocolate and decides to buy a shop. It’s on Castle Street, familiar to regular readers of this series. It needs work, before she can open, and her boyfriend doesn’t have the inclination or skills to help. Meeting Matt, who has professional DIY skills, gives Charlee chance of opening in time. There’s chemistry between Charlee and Matt but many hurdles to their happiness to overcome.

This is a heartwarming read with believable characters and some lovely festive touches.

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 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, Friendship, Literary Fiction, New Books, Parenting and Famlies

We Are Not Like Them Christine Pride and Jo Piazza 4* #Review @jopiazza #ChristinePride @HQStories #HQNewVoices #WANLT #Women #Race #Mothers #Love #Betrayal #Friendship #injustice #literaryfiction #prejudice #courage #forgiveness #WeAreNotLikeThem

Not every story is black and white.

Riley and Jen have been best friends since they were children, and they thought their bond was unbreakable. It never mattered to them that Riley is black and Jen is white. And then Jen’s husband, a Philadelphia police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager and everything changes in an instant.

This one act could destroy more than just Riley and Jen’s friendship. As their community takes sides, so must Jen and Riley, and for the first time in their lives the lifelong friends find themselves on opposing sides.

But can anyone win a fight like this?

We Are Not Like Them is about friendship and love. It’s about prejudice and betrayal. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, no matter the cost.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story explores injustice, prejudice and race in an insightful way from the perspective of an interracial friendship. The beginning is poignant and fills the reader with anger at the injustice of the indiscriminate shooting of a young black male. Immediately the question, would the victim be lying there dying if he was white, is at the forefront of the reader’s mind.

Then the two female protagonists are introduced, Jen is a homemaker, Riley, a successful broadcast journalist, Jen is white, Riley is black, and they have been friends since childhood. The repercussions of the shooting are delivered to them independently, but as Jen runs and leaves Riley questioning, both sense this the end of something.

Their friendship has survived the years by avoidance of potentially divisive issues which the shooting and its fallout bring to the fore. Inequalities exist in Jen and Riley’s relationship. Riley is the giver, Jen is the taker, and this is significant for what follows.

The story explores contemporary issues. It strives to present everyone’s viewpoints whether this is successful is open for debate. Well written, and eloquent it engages the reader and provokes thinking.

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

High Blue Sky Victoria Connelly 4*#Review @VictoriaDarcy #TheHouseintheClouds @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #renovation #secrets #friendship #healing #family #life #relationships #HighBlueSky #SussexDowns

What would you sacrifice to be with the person you love?

Summer has arrived and it’s over a year since strangers Abigail and Edward bought Winfield Hall at auction and restored it together. Now, two new tenants are about to join them at their beautiful Georgian home.

Workaholic Harry Freeman has forgotten what it is to relax so when he meets healer, Aura Arden, and learns to meditate with her, he can’t believe how good he feels and he soon finds himself falling for her. But, with her bare feet and crystal beads, Aura’s not a big hit with Harry’s old-fashioned parents, and he finds himself torn between the people he loves most in the world.

It isn’t just Harry and Aura finding love. Summer has woven its spell over Edward and his brother Oscar, and both are making a play for Abi. But Abi isn’t happy at having to choose between these two very different men and, when Oscar’s behavior spirals out of control, she realizes that some decisions can have devastating consequences.

High Blue Sky is the second novel in the heart-warming trilogy from the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and The Book Lovers series.

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Book two introduces two new residents to the idyllic Winfield Hall, the house Edward and Abi co-own. Harry, an advertising executive, needs to find a better work-life balance. Aura, a healer, focuses on the natural world and the power of crystals. They form an unlikely but valuable friendship that blossoms as the story progresses despite significant external conflicts. The house renovations continue, and it remains an intrinsic influence.

Edward and his brother Oscar’s romantic focus is Abi, causing her problems and threatening her developing friendship with Edward. This gently paced story has believable character development. There is an insightful exploration of family relationships, and at points, in the story, they threaten the positive ethos of Edward and Abi’s home.

Character-driven, this is an absorbing read, and the ending leaves the reader wanting to see what happens in the series’ final instalment.

Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly lives in a 500-year old thatched cottage in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, The Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in Germany. Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

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

A Winter Wish for the Cornish Midwife Jo Bartlett 4*#Review @J_B_Writer @BoldwoodBooks #BlogTour @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #Cornwall #Coastal #BookReview #relationships #secrets #loss #grief #SecondChances #Love #uplit #Dreams #AWinterWishfortheCornishMidwife

A secret love…

As winter descends on the coastal town of Port Agnes, midwife Toni Samuels’ mood is as dark as the winter clouds that roll in. Toni loves her job as a midwife, but her private life is falling apart. Because Toni is keeping a secret– a relationship with fellow male midwife Bobby that no one can ever know about.

A damaged hope…

Kind and gorgeous, Bobby is a huge hit at the midwifery centre, but he’s tired of keeping his feelings for Toni a secret – of always coming second best. He knows that Toni’s past is painful, but unless she can be open with her feelings for him, he’s prepared to walk away from their love.

Can love find a way?

Toni loves Bobby and wishes things could be different between them. But torn between her past and a future with him, everything seems hopeless. Until fate hands Toni one last chance…

Now Toni’s secret wish is in her hands…if only she can be brave enough to take a chance and make her dreams come true.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The third book in the Cornish Midwife series is full of angst, emotion and loss. It focuses on Toni and Bobby and the story behind their secret affair. The prologue sets the scene in a customary dramatic way and what follows is a story full of guilt, sacrifice and forgotten wishes.

This story is both frustrating and heartwarming, as the reader urges Toni to consider her happiness first and think of the future that is hers if she is brave enough to let go and move on. This story immerses the reader in Toni and Bobby’s lives and the contrast in them. It is less dramatic but more emotionally intense than the previous two stories.

Jo Bartlett is the bestselling author of nineteen women’s fiction titles. She fits her writing in between her two day jobs as an educational consultant and university lecturer and lives with her family and three dogs on the Kent coast. Boldwood is published the first title in The Cornish Midwife Series – part of a twelve-book deal – in April 2021. 

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