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

Mine to Five Tara September 5*#Review @TaraSeptember #Narrator @verla_bond #Romance #Workplace #ContemporaryRomance #Audiobook #Review #BlogTour #Festive #FridayReads #MinetoFive

Working beyond nine to five and barely getting by, Melanie Thomas is eager to celebrate the impending holiday season and to toast the start of her dream marketing job over drinks with her boyfriend. Unfortunately, he has different planslike seeing other women. 

Indulging in a pity party with tequila, Melanie confides in a sexy stranger at the bar. It’s almost Christmas. One night of letting go won’t hurt anything, right? Turns out it just might—when the stranger is her new boss. Determined to succeed at her job, Melanie won’t be scared away. This is her chance, even if her hot boss has her feeling all merry and bright and wishing for a less-than-professional relationship.

Matthew Ryans is burned out and on thin ice at the company he helped build unless he gets his head back in the game. Yet his head, both upper and lower, are quickly becoming obsessed with his new assistant. Still, he can’t seem to fully begrudge Melanie’s distracting presence and the Christmas joy she brings with it. Especially considering that her enthusiasm has him reenergized. For once, he is longing for Mondays, but with his heart and job on the line, he can’t risk blurring the lines no matter how strong the lure of holiday mistletoe is.  

Will their holiday passion be able to fuel mutual career success, or will it only get in their way in the New Year?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

A well-paced sexy romance set in the workplace. With believable and relatable characters and a storyline perfect for an audiobook listen. This is the second of this author’s books I’ve listened to by this narrator, who makes it easy to engage with the characters and the story.

Melanie and Mathew’s meeting at a bar leads to complications in their work lives, even though neither can remember the details of the encounter. This is a sensual romance with passion and forbidden love which explores the dangers of workplace romance and the unfair consequences for women.

The story has a festive setting, which adds to the romance and whilst there are no real surprises, the ending is passionate and so romantic.

Tara September

Tara September is a multi-award-winning contemporary romance author living in Southwest Florida. Blogger and former PR executive for The Walt Disney Company, Tara holds a Master’s degree in journalism & communications from New York University. For over a decade, Tara has penned a popular lifestyle, travel and parenting blog at TaraMetBlog.com

An avid romance reader though, she has been daydreaming about being an author since she was a kid. Dozens of bad dates and adventures later, she still finds it impossible that she met her husband on a NYC subway. They now have identical twin boys and four cats underfoot/on her laptop/everywhere. Fueled by an IV of green tea and an outrageous stock of champagne, she’s finally writing the happily ever after tales she’s been dreaming about.

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If readers sign-up to Tara September’s newsletter they can automatically get her short story It Might Be You for free at Newsletter Sign Up 

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Romance

Meet Me in London Georgia Toffolo 4*#Review @ToffTalks @MillsandBoon #Romance #Festive #London #Audiobook #Review #BookReview #HarperCollinsAudioUK #MondayBlogs #MeetMeinLondon #MillsandBoonInsider

What do you do when your fake engagement starts to feel too real…

Aspiring clothes designer Victoria Scott spends her days working in a bar in Chelsea, and her evenings designing vintage clothes, dreaming of one day opening her own boutique. But these aspirations are under threat from the new department store opening at the end of her road. She needs a Christmas miracle, but one is not forthcoming.

Oliver Russell’s Christmas is not looking very festive right now. His family’s new London department store opening is behind schedule, and on top of that his interfering, if well meaning, mother is pressing him to introduce his girlfriend to her. A girlfriend who does not exist. He needs a diversion. Something to keep his mother from interfering while he focuses on the business.

When Oliver meets Victoria, he offers a proposition: pretend to be his girlfriend at the opening of his store and he will provide an opportunity for Victoria to showcase her designs. But what starts as a business arrangement soon becomes something more tempting, as the fake relationship starts to feel very real. But when secrets in Victoria’s past are exposed will Oliver walk away, or will they both follow their hearts and find what neither knew they were looking for…

#Preorder Audiobook Kindle out 15 October

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

My Thoughts…

An audiobook read by the author is always good for the reader because the author’s interpretation of the characters has inherent authenticity. This engaging narration brings the characters to life, especially Victoria and immerses the reader in her life and romance.

This is a love story set in Chelsea, London. The book’s setting and characters are realistic and give the story a unique sense of place.

Victoria is recovering, from a relationship break up that damaged both career aspirations and her heart. Oliver is troubleshooting the opening of a flagship department store, for his family’s business but he’s doing it more out of loyalty than a vocation. Victoria is likeable and relatable. Oliver, although emotionally remote, has a kind heart. When they meet, in the bar the chemistry is quick to ignite although they keep their feelings hidden until fate brings them, together again.

This is a gentle romance catalysed by a fake engagement. It is passionate but conflicted as the couple keep secrets that threaten their future. The realisation that a fake engagement is not what the couple want, leads to internal conflict and sadness, but thankfully all the angst is rewarded with a happy ending.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Crime, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

House of Correction Nicci French 5*#Review @FrenchNicci #narrator @WhelanGemma @WFHowes #audiobook #Review #CrimeFiction #HouseofCorrection #MondayBlogs

She’s a murderer.Everyone knows she killed Stuart Rees – why else would his dead body be found in her shed?

So now Tabitha is in prison, awaiting trial.

Coming back to the remote coastal village where she grew up was a mistake. She didn’t fit in then, and she doesn’t fit in now.

That day is such a blur, she can’t remember clearly what happened. There is something she is missing, something important…

She only knows one thing. She is not capable of murder.

And the only one she can trust to help her out of this situation is herself.

So she must fight. Against the odds.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This isn’t a traditional prison drama. It conveys the claustrophobia and menace of life behind bars but doesn’t rely on overt abuse, or violence to make this point. It ensures you concentrate on Tabitha’s desperate situation.

Tabitha is an unreliable protagonist she has mental health issues which may impair her memory recall and perception of events on that day. The supporting characters seen through Tabitha’s eyes are relatable and demonstrate how villages are often prone to gossip and sidelining individuals who don’t fit in. Tabitha engenders empathy. She is alone and initially confused, not knowing who to trust in a dangerous environment.

The story explores Tabitha’s momentous journey towards her trial and its outcome, believably whilst parts may seem unlikely the reader wants her to find justice. The courtroom parts of the story are enthralling, and Tabitha’s character development is most apparent here.

The outcome is a satisfying end to a suspenseful, often poignant story.

Listening to this story as an audiobook makes it easy to absorb and get to know the characters. The narration is clear, engaging, and the portrayal of the numerous characters excellent. This is an enjoyable, listening experience.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Novella, Romance

Jesse’s Girl Tara September 4*#Review @TaraSeptember #Narrator @verla_bond #Audiobook #Review #Romance #Friendship @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #JessesGirl

🎶 “I wish that I had Jesse’s Girl”*

Successful Texas lawyer, Reade Walker, curses that damn song every time it plays, all too aware of the irony of its lyrics. After all, he has been secretly and painfully enamored with Jesse’s girl, Gwen, for nearly a decade. It was love at first sight for him, but sadly she’s not his girl. She belongs to the one man who betrayed him and knows Reade’s hidden family secret. Yet Reade can’t seem to love anyone except the one woman he can’t have. Or can he make her mine? When Gwen Clark’s senator husband runs off with his intern and all their money, the ensuing scandal turns her life upside down. Deserted, penniless and desperate to provide for her six-year-old daughter, Gwen has no one to turn to but Reade Walker. The one man her heart desperately wants, but her pride dreads having to ask for help. Despite welcoming them into his home, it seems like Reade can barely stand being in the same room with her anymore, let alone under the same roof—in the same bedroom. But Gwen is determined to get her life back on track. It is past time to rediscover her own dreams…if only she can keep her aching heart from breaking all over again.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a friend to lover romantic novella with relatable characters and sensual romance. I listened to this story in audiobook form, and it was enjoyable. The narration is professional, and her interpretation of the characters and the plot immerses the reader in the story making it an authentic experience.

The plot is easy to follow with great sensual tension between Gwen and Reade. There is also a charming family element to this story, which makes the happy ever after more rewarding. This easy to listen to audiobook is perfect for lovers of sensual romance and happy endings.

Tara September

Blogger and former PR executive for The Walt Disney Company, Tara holds a Master’s degree in journalism & communications from New York University. She also spent a semester abroad during her undergrad at Queen Mary University in London. For over a decade before publishing, Tara has penned a popular lifestyle, travel and parenting blog at TaraMetBlog.com

Always an avid romance reader, she has been daydreaming about being an author since school. Dozens of bad dates, four cities and adventures later, she still finds it impossible that she met her husband on a New York City subway. They now live in sunny Florida with identical twin boys and four cats underfoot/on her laptop/everywhere. Fueled by an IV of green tea and sometimes Champagne, she’s finally writing the happily ever after tales she’s been dreaming about.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Psychological Thriller

One Perfect Morning Pamela Crane 4*#Review @MentalMommyPam @AvonBooksUK #BookReview #AudioBook #Friendship #Secrets #HarperCollinsAudio #domestic #noir #PsychologicalThriller #OnePerfectMorning

She’s made her bed, and now he’s lying dead in it…

Mackenzie, Robin and Lily have been inseparable since college. Twenty years on, they all live in the same neighbourhood with their perfect homes, perfect families, perfect lives.

But in their idyllic suburban town, no one truly knows what goes on behind closed doors. For each of these women is crumbling under the weight of a secret, a betrayal, a lie.

And when the worst happens, will the unbreakable bond of their friendship survive, though it’s started to fray at the edges?

One dead husband. Three women with motives. And they’re all best friends who have each other’s backs – or do they…?

A sharp, twisty and utterly addictive suspense novel.

Amazon UK Audible UK

I received a an audiobook from Avon Books UK – Harper Collins Audio UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I listened to an audiobook copy of this story, which is absorbing and enjoyable.

The narrator is professional and brings each of the characters to life through her different voices. It’s easy to feel part of the dialogue with her narration.

The story begins on the precipice of something awful and then goes back in time to discover what events lead to this moment. Predominately told from three points of view it explores the women’s longstanding friendship and the secrets they hide with each other and alone.

The characters are diverse and relatable you are invested in their lives. You empathise with them because of their flaws and mistakes. The logical plot has many twists and features domestic abuse, rape, and murder. The crimes are heinous, but not overly graphic, but the emotional and physical damage is believable.

The conclusion ties up any loose ends and gives hope, and possible future dilemmas for Lily, Mackenzie and Robin.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

My Darling Amanda Robson 4* #Review @AmandaRauthor #Audiobook #Narrators Laura Costello Matt Addis @themattaddis #Psychological #suspense #domestic #noir AudibleUK #BookReview #HarperCollinsAudio @AvonBooksUK #MyDarling

A new couple moves in next door.

And nothing will ever be the same again…

I watched you move in and thought we might be friends.

I saw you watching from the window – and knew I’d have to keep you away from my husband.

I started to trust you. Confide in you.

I started to mistrust you. Suspect you.

I was confused when I blacked out after an evening at your place. Was I really that drunk?

I came up with a plan. A plan to make you both pay . . .

Sexy and sinister – this book will keep you up all night . . .

Amazon UK Audible UK

I received an audiobook copy of this book from Harper Collins Audio – Avon in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is compelling domestic suspense that is well suited to the audiobook media. The narration is professional, and it’s easy to differentiate the characters. It’s helpful to have a male narrator for Alastair as he appears so frequently. Told from Jade, Emma and Alastair’s points of view this is a twisted story of abuse, betrayal, relationships, and revenge.

Although the adult characters are hard to empathise, they are believable and fascinating., Jade has mental health issues, and it’s her actions that precipitate the events that follow. Emma is also emotionally fragile. Alastair has severe anger issues which make him prone to violence. Thomas is the least well defined of the characters.

Detailed and intricate the plot’s many twists make it difficult to visualise the ending. The conclusion is probably as just as it can be, but the last one standing is not necessarily a good person.

This is an addictive book to listen to, even though the characters are few and the settings domestic, the sometimes shocking plot twists and suspenseful ethos make this a story that you have to finish.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Humour, Romance

The Terraced House Diaries Samantha Henthorn 5*#Review @SamanthaHfinds #Narrator Lindsay McKinnon @LindzMcKinnon @RandomTTours #Audiobook #Review #BlogTour #CurmudgeonAvenueSeries #satire #TheTerracedHouseDiaries #humour #Romance #Family#Drama

When Curmudgeon Avenue introduces sisters Edna and Edith Payne, their presence is not welcomed by the proud, yet grouchy Victorian terrace. 

Widowed Edith is looking for love and dates one of Edna’s ex-boyfriends, Maurice. 

This does not end well, especially for the cat. 

Edna is heartbroken after her long term partner moved to France and is now unhappily cohabiting with her idiot sister. 

Edith’s son Ricky Ricketts permanently hangs around Curmudgeon Avenue with his on/off girlfriend Wantha, her sister Toonan and all the tomfoolery they bring.

The sisters decide to advertise for a lodger, and the notable Harold Goatshed moves in. 

He is yet another of Edna’s exes. 

Still vulnerable from the Maurice incident, Edith falls for his charms. 

This delightful social satire tells of the quarrels, romances and dramas of the intertwined lives of Curmudgeon Avenue’s residents.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a quirky story about a house and its occupants in the North West of England. The house at number one Curmudgeon Avenue is gossipy, opinionated and snobby. Drawn into a strange world of family drama, romance and secrets, the reader is treated to a unique insight into life within the walls of Curmudgeon Avenue.

The story has lots of characters brought to life by the narrator. Sensual imagery makes listening to this story an inclusive experience, though there are some scenes you wish were described less well.

The humour is plentiful and quintessentially English, I loved it. Irreverence and satire lift the story out of the everyday into something special.

The narration is professional and makes the story an addictive listening experience.

The next book in the series previews at the end of the audiobook and that sounds just as good.

Samantha Henthorn

Samantha Henthorn was born in 1970something in Bury, England. She has had short stories and poetry published in magazines. Her books include the Curmudgeon Avenue series (The Terraced House Diaries and The Harold and Edith adventures). ‘1962’, ‘Quirky Tales to Make Your Day’ and ‘Piccalilly’ 

She has two cats, one dog, one gorgeous grown up daughter and one husband. When not reading or writing, she is listening to heavy metal and would be thrilled to bits if someone read her books. 

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Psychological Thriller

Three D. A. Mishani 4*#Review #Audiobook #PsychologicalThriller #Israel #Translator Jessica Cohen #Narrator LucyPaterson @HachetteAudioUK #DAMishani @riverrunbooks @QuercusBooks

Three tells the stories of three women: Orna, a divorced single-mother looking for a new relationship; Emilia, a Latvian immigrant on a spiritual search; and Ella, married and mother of three, returning to University to write her thesis. All of them will meet the same man. His name is Gil. He won’t tell them the whole truth about himself – but they don’t tell him everything either.

Tense, twisted and surprising, Three is a daring new form of psychological thriller. It is a declaration of war against the normalisation of death and violence. Slowly but surely, you see the danger each woman walks into. What you won’t see is the trap being laid – until it snaps shut.

Audible UK Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story works well, as an audiobook, the writing style is very descriptive and detailed. Told from the viewpoints of three women all with secrets and less than perfect lives it develops into an addictive thriller and you empathise with the victims.

The reader gets to know the three women intimately, but little is known about the antagonist, only what he chooses to share. The conclusion of the first part is shocking. The second part begins and appears to have little connection to what precedes it. When the common link emerges, the reader knows what will happen next, but not how or when increasing the intensity and suspensefulness.

The narrator voices the characters well, although some of the accents are confusing. The setting in Israel gives the story its uniqueness, and the translation captures the story’s essence. The plot twists are well-written, and there is a satisfying end to the story.

The vulnerability of the victims and the underlying menace of the seemingly ordinary antagonist make this a chilling and compulsive audiobook.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, New Adult Romance, Romance

The Last Charm Ella Allbright 5*#Review @0neMoreChapter_ @NikkiMoore_Auth #newadult #romance #Love #Family #BookReview #AudiobookReview #Audiobook #TheLastCharm #HarperCollinsAudio

Leila’s charm bracelet tells a story of love, a story of loss, a story of hope.

This is the story of her… and the story of Jake.

When Leila Jones loses her precious charm bracelet and a stranger finds it, she has to tell the story of how she got the charms to prove she’s the owner. Each and every one is a precious memory of her life with Jake.

So Leila starts at the beginning, recounting the charms and experiences that have led her to the present. A present she never could have expected when she met Jake nearly twenty years ago…

Amazon UK Audible UK Waterstones Google Play

I received a copy of this audiobook from Harper Collins Audio via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story is a slow burn, to begin with, I wasn’t sure it would hold my interest, It’s a new adult romance, and that was many years ago for me. The characters are engaging, and they soon draw you into their world. You care what happens to them, and then you’re hooked and have to keep listening.

From the beginning, you have a feeling that this story will break your heart, and it does. There’s also laughter, love and so much growing up for Leila and Jake in this story. You want them to get the happy ending they deserve.

I enjoyed listening to this love story. The narrator is professional and brings the characters to life. You forget she’s there and it’s just you and the characters telling their story.

This is a beautiful story, believable, emotional and raw, something that leaves echoes in your mind.

Nikki Moore (Ella Allbright)

A self-confessed reading addict, Ella Allbright writes commercial women’s fiction set in her beautiful home county of Dorset. Her first novel in this genre – The Last Charm – will publish in August 2020 (ebook) and November 2020 (paperback) with One More Chapter, a division of HarperCollins. She’s currently hard at work on her next book, and is represented by agent Hattie Grünewald at The Blair Partnership.

Ella also writes as Nikki Moore, the author of the popular #LoveLondon romance series. A number of the novellas featured in the Top 100 short story charts on Kobo and the Top 20 in the Amazon UK bestsellers Holiday chart, and in 2018 the collection was released in Italy. Her first published work was the short story A Night to Remember in the best selling Mills & Boon / RNA anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply. Her debut romance Crazy, Undercover, Love was shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award 2015.

When not writing or reading, she can usually be found working in her HR day job, walking the family’s cute beagle puppy or watching a Netflix series!

Facebook Twitter Amazon Author page Website

Vlog -How to get published as ‘Author By The Sea’ on her YouTube channel

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Suspense

Imperfect Women Araminta Hall 4*#Review @AramintaHall #Narrator Helen Keeley @orionbooks @HachetteAudioUK #ImperfectWomen #Psychological #Suspense #Family #drama #Women #Friendship #lies #secrets #Audiobook #Review

From the author of Our Kind of Cruelty comes an enthralling, irresistible novel of psychological suspense about three women and the destructive power of buried secrets.

When Nancy Hennessy is murdered, she leaves behind two best friends, an adoring husband and daughter, and a secret lover whose identity she took to the grave. Nancy was gorgeous, wealthy, and cherished by those who knew her—from the outside, her life was perfect. But as the investigation into her death flounders and her friends Eleanor and Mary wrestle with their grief, dark details surface that reveal how little they knew their friend, each other, and maybe even themselves.

A gripping, immersive novel about impossible expectations and secrets that fester and become lethal, Imperfect Women unfolds through the perspectives of three fascinating women. Their enduring, complex friendship is the knot the listener must untangle to answer the question Who killed Nancy?

Imperfect Women explores guilt and retribution, love and betrayal, and the compromises we make that alter our lives irrevocably.

Amazon UK Audible UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from Orion Publishing UK and Hachette Audio UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a story about three women who met at college and have kept in contact. Eleanor, Mary and Nancy are different personalities, but their bond is strong. When Nancy dies the guilt, lies and secrets emerge, as Eleanor and Mary try to find out who killed Nancy.

Told from the women’s viewpoints in differing timelines, it is introspective, and audio is the perfect media for this. The mystery of who killed Nancy is the underlying theme, but the emphasis is on the lies and secrets the women keep and how these affect them.

The narration is professional and brings the characters and stories to life. Initially, some of the voices irritate, but as the story progresses, you get used to them.

The story is dark and poignant, but the women are believable and relatable and easy to empathise. The slow pacing intensifies the emotion and suspense in this contemporary insight into relationships.