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

Summer in Andalucia Lucy Coleman 5*#Review @LucyColemanauth @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #SummerinAndalucia #boldwoodbloggers #BookReview #BookTour #Romance #Friendship #Andalucia #Spain #uplit #Food #journalist #history #chef

Lainey Summers feels blessed to have her dream job writing for a renowned foodie magazine. And the day she goes to interview chef Rick Oliver at his new restaurant—Aleatory—in London’s popular Piccadilly, is the start of an unexpected journey.

When Rick is offered the opportunity to jet off to a monastery in Andalucía, to film a cookery competition for Spanish TV, Lainey goes too, to cover the story.

Spending a month filming in the stunning Spanish countryside, soaking up the sights, sounds, smells and of course the cuisine, Lainey and Rick start to enjoy each other’s company. But their time together flies by too quickly, and before they know it, Rick and Lainey have to face going their separate ways.

With both their worlds shifting beneath them, the call of Andalucia and the call of happiness grows ever stronger. But with everything at stake, will they be able to take the chance of a happy-ever-after…

Let Lucy Coleman whisk you off on a sun-baked, life-affirming, total escape to beautiful Andalucia.  

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts

A chance to eat fantastic food and travel to lovely locations Lainey’s job as a food writer is idyllic. Meeting celebrity chef Rick at his fashionable restaurant is a memorable experience and not just for the food. The chance to work with Rick in Andalucia is a dream job she can’t resist even if she risks getting her heartbroken again.

This story is full of vivid sensory imagery that immerses the reader in the Andalucian culture and history. The characters are relatable, and Lainey is easy to like. Instilled with emotion and romance, Lainey and Rick are the perfect forbidden couple.

There are many thought-provoking ideas woven into the narrative. Such as standing up for your beliefs, living your best life and the importance of family and friends.

This is an enjoyable and heartwarming read.

Lucy Coleman

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Summer in Provence and Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

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

Summer Kisses at Mermaid Point Sarah Bennett 5*#Review @BoldwoodBooks @Sarahlou_writes @rararesources #mystery #romance #family #coastal #community #boldwoodbloggers #MondayBlogs #BlogTour #BookReview #Extract

Laurie Morgan runs a café in the small seaside community of Mermaids Point, named after the beauties rumoured to live in the waters a few miles off the top of the point. When a hazy image is posted online of what appears to be a mermaid, the café and the village are soon full to bursting with curious sightseers. 

The most eye-catching of the new arrivals is handsome author, Jake Smith, who has rented a cottage for the summer while he works on his new book. Or so he says. In fact, he is a journalist, burned out and disillusioned with life, whose editor has sent him on a crack-pot hunt for mermaids…

Jake quickly finds himself drawn to village life, and to the gorgeous woman who runs the local café. But he soon suspects there’s trouble lurking beneath the idyllic façade, and when it looks like Laurie’s family might be involved, Jake faces a difficult choice. Pursue the truth, or protect the woman he’s beginning to fall in love with…

Warm, escapist, feel-good and altogether brilliant story-telling from bestselling author Sarah Bennett.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This first book in the Mermaid Point trilogy focuses on Laurie and Jake. It explores family, community and the power of social media. The romance is gentle but conflicted, both have emotional issues, and Jake is not what he seems.

The family drama element is pivotal, and it’s interesting to meet Laurie’s family. There is humour, much of it self-deprecating but also poignancy. The problems faced by the coastal town are pertinent and add to the story’s authenticity.

Believable characters, humour, mystery, and romance make this an enjoyable read.

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. The first book in her new Mermaids Point trilogy for Boldwood will be published in Spring 2021.

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Extract from Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point – Sarah Bennett.

Laurie Morgan surveyed the mostly empty tables on the opposite side of the counter. Barbara Mitchell and her best friend, Kitty Duke, were at their usual spot in the corner, knitting tiny hats for a charity which donated them to premature baby units around the country, but other than them she’d had nobody in since the breakfast rush. Turning her gaze to the raindrops streaking the plate-glass window of her café, Laurie squinted through the rivulets of water. She could just about make out the view beyond the window. With the clouds so thick and low, it was all but impossible to distinguish where the sky met the sea turning everything into a wall of miserable grey. What a difference a day makes

This time yesterday she’d barely been able to hear herself think over the hubbub of conversation, teacups rattling on saucers and forks scraping on plates, thanks to a visiting WI coach trip. They’d all but eaten her out of that day’s baking, and she’d had to hastily defrost a couple of emergency Victoria sponges to make sure her lunchtime regulars had something to go with their sandwiches. It wasn’t only her cake stock which had taken a beating; one look at the queue snaking halfway around the café from the visitors’ bathroom had her scrambling for her phone to send an SOS text to her brother, Nick, begging him to do an emergency run to the corner shop to replenish her dwindling supply of toilet paper. Of course, he’d found the whole thing hilarious and insisted on making a big entrance through the front door like some white knight come to save the day, rather than sneaking in through the back entrance and leaving them in the stock room, which also served the gift shop their parents ran next door. 

A ripple of laughter from the corner table drew Laurie’s attention from the gloomy weather. She watched Barbara and Kitty for a few minutes, full of admiration for the way their needles flashed back and forth without hesitation. Neither woman spared much more than the odd glance to their knitting as they chatted. Her nan had tried to teach Laurie to knit as a child but, as with all the other crafty type activities she’d tried over the years, she’d found it impossible to get to grips with. Being the only left-hander in the family hadn’t helped as everything they tried to show her felt awkward and clumsy. Even now, at just shy of twenty-three, she had to concentrate when using her knife and fork or she would find herself pulling things apart with the fork in her naturally dominant left hand. Thankfully, when it came to cooking and baking it didn’t matter which hand she held a knife with and she’d spent many happy hours at her nan’s knee learning the basics and discovering a true passion. It had been a gamble on her parents’ part when she’d come to them with the idea of converting one end of their sprawling seafront shop into a café, but they’d decided it was one worth taking. If they hadn’t, it would’ve left Laurie facing the prospect of leaving Mermaids Point to seek employment in one of the bigger towns and cities. Having grown up a stone’s throw from the ever-changing tides of the Atlantic Ocean, the prospect of moving in land had filled her with dread. 

She’d always been drawn to the sea. Whatever the season, there was beauty to be found. From the balmy summer days when the shiny white triangles of pleasure boat sails dotted the gentle waves, to the roiling majesty of a winter storm in full tumult when even the hardiest of the local fishermen kept their boats secured in the sheltered bay. Even on a filthy day like today she’d rather be out than in. Her eyes roamed the café once more. If business didn’t pick up after lunch, maybe she’d flick the closed sign over, tug on a hat, turn up her collar and snatch a few moments of peace on the wet sands of the beach. 

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Thriller, Extract, Family Drama, Friendship, Noir, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Who Do You Trust? Kirsty Ferguson 4*#Review @kfergusonauthor @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #boldwoodbloggers #domestic #noir PsychologicalThriller #suspense #Trust #grief #love

A perfect sunny day, a family celebration, a heart-stopping hour that changes everything…

Dana has all she ever wanted – a husband she loves, her four-year-old daughter Kelsey who is the apple of her eye, and another baby on the way to complete her perfect family.


But then the worst fear that Dana has, comes true, and everything she thought she knew, she now starts to doubt. As her world comes crashing around her, who can Dana trust?  


Her husband Logan who seems to be getting worryingly close to Dana’s best friend Pippa?
Her new friend Melanie who has a sinister habit of turning up in the strangest places?


Her parents and her sister, who Dana knows are keeping a terrible secret from her?


Matt, who says he’s Dana’s friend, but sometimes she’s not so sure?
Or will Dana discover that it’s a dangerous mistake to trust anyone…

Join Kirsty Ferguson on this heart-stopping, plot-twisting, roller coaster read.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A twisty domestic noir where a tragic event leaves the main protagonist (Dana) vulnerable. Devastated, she doesn’t feel supported by her family and friends. This story explores the darker side of human nature when faced with unexpected tragedy. Most of the characters are unsympathetic, and it’s hard to empathise with them.

Dana is portrayed as an unreliable protagonist, but is she? Her grief and lack of emotional support push her to seek solace from people who have suffered similarly. This introduces new characters, increasing the story’s intensity and builds suspense. The writing is immersive told from Dana’s viewpoint and other characters’ perspectives. Many of the unlikeable characters appear superficial.

The final twists are chilling and dramatic.

Who Do You Trust? – Kirsty Ferguson – Extract

The dark-haired woman sat in the passenger seat of the old station wagon drumming her fingers along the arm rest. Dana was slightly annoyed with her husband, Logan, for making them late. She glanced in the back seat at their four-year-old daughter, Kelsey, who had fallen asleep, mouth open, summer sunlight streaming in on her pretty face. They were driving out to Dana’s parents’ property on the other side of town and they were running behind schedule. Looking out of the window at the bush bordering either side of the road, the sun glinting off the barbed-wire fences, Dana was reminded of her idyllic childhood. The rolled-down window allowed the sounds of the bush, trees groaning together, birds cawing overhead, the scent of the earth, to permeate the car. 

Logan drove down the rutted driveway towards the house, pulling up in a cloud of dust. Dana followed him as he took a still-sleeping Kelsey from the back seat and carried her into the spare bedroom. She watched as her husband laid her on the bed gently. Dana then kissed Kelsey’s forehead softly and left the door ajar so she could hear if she called out. 

Logan considered his job done and didn’t help Dana unpack the car, leaving her to carry in the camp chair, the salads and Kelsey’s bag. All Logan cared about was getting his cooler full of beer into the back yard where his brother-in-law, James, was already setting up his chair. He had positioned himself downwind of the BBQ where Dana’s father, Robert, was grilling hamburgers, sausages and onions for lunch, while her mother, Mischa, cut and buttered rolls, putting them in a colourful bowl on the wooden table that sat under the shade of the veranda. 

‘Hi, Mum, Dad,’ Dana said as she hurried through the front door, giving them a kiss in turn, then hugging her mum awkwardly with one arm, a potato salad wedged under her other arm. 

‘Let me take that for you before you drop it,’ her mum said, grasping the purple container and putting it on the table. Things were still strained between Dana and her mother, but Dana viewed the BBQ as a chance to repair, to heal the wounds she carried. Logan was supposed to be an emotional support to her today, but it looked as if he was going to be no help as he was already getting drunk with James. 

‘You’re late, love. Lunch is nearly ready. Thought you’d gotten lost,’ her mum said, pointedly looking at the table already covered with food. 

‘Sorry, Mum, someone just had to finish watching the game.’ She threw her husband an exasperated look. They’d argued for half an hour before they’d even left the house. She knew Logan loved her, Dana had never doubted his love, not one bit, and he was a great father, but sometimes she wanted to wring his neck. Dana had wanted to leave on time to arrive before her mum and dad sat down to eat. 

‘It’s OK, you’re here now and that’s all that matters. Have you said hello to your sister yet?’ her mum asked, striving for casual and failing. She looked at Dana through her lowered lashes, not able to meet her daughter’s penetrating gaze. Dana knew how hard this was for her mum, knowing the part she had played in their bitter argument, but Dana was ready to try and work through it with her. 

Kirsty Ferguson

Kirsty Ferguson is an Australian crime writer whose domestic noir stories centre around strong women and dark topical themes. Kirsty enjoys photography, visiting haunted buildings and spending time with her son. Her first book for Boldwood was Never Ever Tell published in June 2020.

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

All You Need Is Love Jessica Redland 5* #Review #Extract @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks #BlogTour @rararesources #Romance #Friendship #Heartwarming #UpLit #Family #Relationships #Loss #Love #BookReview #boldwoodbloggers #WhitsboroughBay #AllYouNeedIsLove

When you’ve loved and lost, how do you find the strength to let love in again?


Jemma thinks she’s found the love of her life. Scott is everything she ever dreamed of and she can’t wait to begin the next stage of their life together. But just as she is heading for her happy ever after, a shock revelation shatters Jemma’s life as she knows it. Left to pick up the pieces, Jemma’s friends and family rally round to help her find the courage to move on.

Sam think he has his future all worked out. A thriving career, lovely home and an amazing fiancée. But when tragedy strikes, he finds himself alone, far from everyone he cares about. Did he do the right thing by running away and trying to rebuild the tatters of his life alone?

This is the story of Jemma and Sam. Two lost souls, desperately trying to find closure and happiness. When a chance meeting brings them together a friendship is formed, but the guards are up. 

Will it finally be their turn for a happy ever after? Or will the secrets from their pasts prevent them from moving on?

Escape to Whitsborough Bay for an emotional, uplifting story of love and friendship from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland. 

This book was previously published as Bear With Me.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an emotional story full of angst and loss but mitigated by the strong community ties and friendship at times of need. Jemma and Sam are the main protagonists, and the story unfolds from their perspectives. Initially, separate their stories intertwine as their lives implode.

The character-driven, insightful and immersive writing draws the reader into the characters’ lives. The world-building creates an authentic setting that is easy to imagine from the sensory imagery used.

Relatable characters and contemporary issues are interwoven into a story of friendship, loss and starting over.

Jessica Redland

Jessica Redland is the author of ten novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

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Extract from All You Need Is Love – Jessica Redland

Jemma 

Three years ago – 21st May 

‘Mum!’ I called up the stairs. ‘Mum! The hearse is here.’ I cocked my head to one side, listening for her reply. Nothing. What was she doing up there? She’d told me forty minutes ago that she was ‘almost ready’ and, as she isn’t one of those women who spends hours teasing one strand of hair into place, there was no reason to disbelieve her. Of all the mornings to take forever, why choose today? Shaking my head, I opened the front door to Mum’s cottage, Bear’s Pad, before Mr Golding, the funeral director, had a chance to lift the grizzly-bear knocker. 

‘Good morning, Ms Browne.’ He gave a reverential bow of his head. ‘We’re ready when you are.’ 

‘Thank you. We’ll be out in five minutes.’ I glanced back towards the stairs. ‘Actually, it could be ten. Do we have time?’ 

‘Ten minutes is no problem.’ 

My throat tightened as I glanced past him to the black limousine parked on the sloped driveway and the hearse parked on the road. It was still hard to take in. This wasn’t a day I’d expected to experience for several decades. 

I tried not to curl my lip up at the orange and yellow floral lettering arrangement resting against the side of the coffin. I hated it but Logan, my seven-year-old brother, had requested it because his best friend Billy Thomas had apparently told him that people who didn’t have one were mean and that the dead would come back to haunt them. I could have throttled Billy Thomas. Logan also wanted a floral teddy bear to thoroughly protect him against any risk of ghosts but Mum and I had managed to talk him out of that. The deceased would not have been impressed with a bear. He probably would have haunted us for that. 

‘Mum!’ I called again after I’d closed the door. Still no answer. Just a lot of clattering and banging. 

‘What’s Mum doing?’ Logan looked up from where he was playing with his Lego on the lounge rug. ‘She’s being very noisy.’ 

‘I’ve no idea, but I’m about to find out. Have you been to the toilet?’ 

‘Not yet.’ 

‘Can you do that while I check on Mum? And make sure you wash your hands.’ 

He put down his Lego and pouted. ‘I always do.’ 

‘Logan! What have we discussed about telling fibs?’ 

‘Okay. I promise I’ll wash them. You can smell them if you want.’ 

I smiled at him. ‘Tempting, but I might pass on that.’ 

Logan headed past me and through the kitchen, giggling as he made a big show of sniffing at his hands. Happy that he was doing as asked, I kicked off my stilettos and ran up the stairs. I paused for a moment outside Mum’s bedroom listening to the racket, punctuated with the occasional expletive, then pushed open the door and gasped. 

‘Oh my God! What’s going on? Mum! Why aren’t you ready?’ 

Wrapped in a fluffy cream towel, Mum turned to face me and blew a wisp of dark hair out of her face. 

‘I only bought them on Saturday,’ she said, as if that explained why half the contents of her drawers were strewn all over the floor. 

‘Bought what on Saturday?’ 

‘Black knickers. An M&S three-pack. But I can’t find them, Jemma.’ 

‘Where did you last have them?’ 

She planted her hands on her hips and rolled her eyes at me. ‘Why do people always say that? If I knew the answer, then this wouldn’t have happened, would it?’ She waved her arm across the carnage. 

‘The hearse is here,’ I said, equally unhelpfully. 

Mum frowned. ‘I thought they weren’t due till 10.15.’ 

‘It is 10.15. Well, near enough.’ 

She twisted round to look at her bedside clock. ‘Crap! Why didn’t you call me sooner?’ 

‘Because you told me you were nearly ready forty minutes ago and because I was busy with Logan.’ 

‘Logan? Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry, Jemma. Is he ready?’ 

‘Yes. He’s downstairs waiting. We need to go in about seven minutes. Can you manage without the knickers?’ 

Her eyes widened. ‘Jemma-bear! Are you suggesting that I go commando to your father’s funeral? I’m not sure that’s appropriate.’ 

I laughed loudly – also not appropriate for a funeral. ‘I didn’t mean go without any knickers. I just meant without the new black ones.’ 

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

The Village of Lost and Found Alison Sherlock 5*#Review @AlisonSherlock @BoldwoodBooks #RiversideLane #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #Romance #Rural #Community #Media #SecondChances #Village #Friendship #Cotswolds #SelfRealisation #TheVillageofLostandFound

Scandal hit party girl Lucy Conway needs to leave London fast, so she packs her bags and escapes to the sleepy village of Cranbridge to take care of her beloved Uncle Frank.

But the country village isn’t quite as idyllic as she remembers. To make matters worse, her Uncle’s pride and joy, The Cranbridge Times, is close to going out of business.

Editor-at-Large Tom Addison is having a crisis of confidence and needs help if the newspaper is going to survive. 

With time on her hands, can Lucy work some magic and together save the family newspaper?
Over a long, hot summer, friendships are made and hearts begin to heal. And, with the help of a stray dog, perhaps Lucy and Tom can find their very own new beginning…

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 an engaging setting with realistically flawed characters. The protagonists are at a low point in their life but want to find happiness again. The Riverside Lane series focuses on female protagonists who need positive change in their lives and hope to find it in Cranbridge. The village needs rejuvenation, but there is an intrinsic community spirit that is attractive to newcomers. Lucy is the latest incomer someone who wants a quiet life and is happy to look after her uncle who she loves to find it.

Village life is under threat, and the newspaper is failing. Lucy has the skills to help, but she is low on self-esteem. This is a story of self-realisation, helping others and finding your true life path. The story is gently paced and is character-led. The simple plot satisfyingly showcases character development.

This is a heartwarming and uplifting read with humour, poignancy and romance.

Alison Sherlock

Alison Sherlock is the author of the bestselling Willow Tree Hall books. Alison enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age and gave up office life to follow her dream. Her new series for Boldwood is set in a fictional Cotswold Village and the first title will be published in July 2020.

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Extract from The Village of Lost and Found – Alison Sherlock

‘What on earth were you thinking?’ 

Lucy Conway glanced around the hospital ward and was not surprised to see the other male patients staring across at them after the shouting they had just heard. 

She looked back at Uncle Frank, who was sitting up in bed looking extremely agitated. ‘Could you please stop yelling and take it easy,’ she whispered to him. ‘Otherwise you’re going to have another episode or whatever it was.’ 

Frank Conway slumped back against the pillows, his face paling once more as his anger faded. ‘I’m fine,’ he told her with a wave of his hand. ‘And it wasn’t an episode. The tests will confirm that. I just tripped over my own feet and I’ll be back home tomorrow hopefully. So it’s nothing for you to worry about.’ 

‘Great,’ drawled Lucy, rolling her eyes. ‘Maybe we can go out for a ten-mile run later if you’re not too busy.’ 

He gave a grunt of humour in reply before following her gaze to where his heavily swollen foot was resting on top of the covers, covered in bruises. He had fallen badly earlier that day. ‘It’s only a small bone fracture,’ he said. But his sixty-seven-year-old face was etched with pain. 

Lucy glanced at the drip which was attached to his arm and felt a pang of fear. She didn’t know what she’d do if she ever lost Uncle Frank. He was her rock and the only member of the family that seemed to genuinely care about her these days. 

Lucy sat down on the edge of the bed and sighed. ‘I shouldn’t have said anything,’ she said, feeling cross with herself that she had upset him when he was already in hospital. 

Frank looked at her, his hazel eyes softening. ‘You’re my favourite niece. We talk nearly every day. You tell me everything, so why should today be any different?’ 

‘Because you’re in hospital today,’ she said, reaching out to take his hand and hold it tightly in hers. ‘By the way, I’m your only niece.’ 

He smiled at her. ‘You’re still my favourite though.’ 

They were both silent for a moment as Lucy relished the strength she drew from the hand squeezing hers. Her fingers touched the gold band on his third finger. Uncle Frank still wore his wedding ring, five years after losing his beloved wife. The loss of her Aunt Jane still weighed heavily on both of them. What they would have given to have her calming, comforting nature with them that afternoon. Lucy missed her more than ever in that moment. 

‘Jamie Watkins,’ murmured Frank, with a small shake of his head. 

‘Don’t upset yourself,’ said Lucy with a grimace. ‘He’s not worth it.’ 

‘He’s awful,’ said Frank, looking dismayed. ‘What were you even doing going out with someone like that?’ 

Lucy rolled her eyes. ‘Trying and failing to please my parents, as per usual.’ She had spent all of her thirty years attempting to achieve something that might be a kind of accomplishment in her parents’ eyes. Unfortunately being headline news in the tabloids wasn’t quite what they had in mind. 

Uncle Frank squeezed her hand again. ‘I guess they were hoping that your days of being in the news were long over.’ 

‘So was I,’ said Lucy, grabbing the newspaper which had been lying on Uncle Frank’s lap. 

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Extract, Noir, Suspense

The Ex Diane Saxon 5*#Review @Diane_Saxon @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #Extract #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview #CrimeFiction #suspense #DSJennaMorgan #TheEx #psychological #Family

Sometimes your past just won’t let go…
As a heat wave grips the country, DS Jenna Morgan is called to a domestic incident at the home of a young family in Ironbridge.

Pregnant Imelda Cheetham-Epstein has been found unconscious by her husband, Zak with serious head injuries. 

When Jenna arrives on the scene, she discovers something even more disturbing – the couple’s eleven-month-old son, Joshua, is missing and the race against time begins to find him.

Is this an accident or something more sinister?

Are the two incidents linked?

Or has something in the Cheetham-Epstein’s past caught up with them?

Diane Saxon is back with a gripping new psychological crime novel.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I’ve read all the books in this series so far, and it’s an addictive mix of police procedural and psychological suspense. The multi-layered plot encompasses a police investigation into an injured woman and a missing child. The second perspective is the antagonist’s gaining insight into their state of mind, and motivation which is chilling and compelling.

The story’s pacing reflects the steadiness and unpredictability of the police investigation and the intensity of the antagonist’s actions and moods. The police team dynamic is authentic, and the believably written personal interactions balance the noir crime themes.

The suspense builds to an unexpected twist.

Diane Saxon

Diane Saxon previously wrote romantic fiction for the US market but has now turned to writing psychological crime. Find Her Alive was her first novel in this genre and introduced series character DS Jenna Morgan. She is married to a retired policeman and lives in Shropshire.

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Extract from The Ex – Diane Saxon

Emily Shenton punched open the door to the deserted ladies’ room with the heel of her hand and stormed inside before it rebounded off the wall and slammed shut behind her. 

The emptiness inside still failed to block out the rhythmic thud of music and only dimmed the laughter and conversation of over eighty people at the company’s summer ball. 

She hated them. Every single one of them. The gossipmongers who couldn’t wait to spread their vileness under the guise of good wishes and happy vibes. When they knew. They all knew. 

Temper spilled from her. A foetid pus spreading from the core of her in a boiling, seething mass. 

She tipped her head back and drank straight from the full bottle of rosé she’d swiped from a deserted table on her way past. No one would notice, no one would care. She’d no idea why the company insisted on paying for so much wine – red, white and rosé – when most of the men wanted beer, for God’s sake. The women preferred red or Prosecco and the rosé was left for the waiters to sweep away at the end of the night. Lucky bloody waiters. 

She stepped into the oversized disabled cubicle and balled up the skirt of her black gown with one hand as she slapped her back against the chill of the wall and slid down until her backside met the floor. Sweat slicked the back of her knees as she pressed them flat to the floor tiles to absorb every bit of coolness. Heat pulsed through her chest and up her neck as she tore into the fine organza material of the overskirt, ripping weak nails until they were jagged. Tears burnt the back of her eyes as she ground her teeth and took another slug of wine. 

She wished she’d never come. Wished she’d never overheard it. That’s why she avoided these functions like the plague. She hated the gossip, preferred to keep to herself and block out the voices. But she’d felt good. Strong. 

So strong, she’d decided not to take her medication. 

Again. 

Tears filled her eyes and washed over her vision. 

It wasn’t lack of medication that had her temper surging. It was the damned infernal gossip. 

Bastards! 

Why couldn’t they keep their mouths shut? 

They had to know she’d been stood on the edge of the circle when Chris Whittington raised his glass and hee-hawed like the ass he was as he brayed his drunken words. ‘Here’s to Zak Cheetham-Epstein and his new wife, Imelda.’ 

Nausea clawed the back of her throat. 

How was it so many of them knew Zak, had evidently kept in contact? 

Zak. The love of her life. The only man she’d truly loved. 

There’d been others before him, of course there had, but they’d faded into insignificance in the heat of her adoration for Zak. 

The bottle clinked as she placed it on the tiled floor at her side. She covered her face with her hands, a helpless moan slipped from her lips as the familiar hissing sound swirled around her head. ‘For God’s sake!’ She tried to push it back, but it was insistent. The sound of a seashell shushing, filling her mind so she could no longer concentrate. She rolled her head from side to side, her hot, florid face couched in the palms of her sweaty hands. 

She’d never forgive him for leaving. Leaving the company. 

Leaving her. 

But she knew. Knew he still loved her. He had to. 

Posted in Blog Tour, Extract, Historical Fiction, Saga

The Hat Girl From Silver Street Lindsey Hutchinson #Extract @LHutchAuthor @BoldwoodBooks #TheHatGirlFromSilverStreet #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #Saga #historicalfiction #HistFic #BlogTour

Let bestselling author Lindsey Hutchinson take you back in time to the Victorian Black Country, for a tale of love, hardship and fighting against the odds to succeed.

Life is tough for Ella Bancroft. After her father, Thomas, is wheelchair-bound by an accident at the tube works, the responsibility for keeping a roof over their head falls to Ella. Ella’s mother died when she was ten, and her sister Sally lives with her no-good, work-shy husband Eddy, so is no help at all.  If she and her father are to keep the bailiffs from the door, then Ella must earn a living.

But Ella is resourceful as well as creative, and soon discovers she has a gift for millinery. Setting up shop in the front room of their two-up, two-down home in Silver Street, Walsall, Ella and Thomas work hard to establish a thriving business. Before long, the fashionable ladies of the Black Country are lining up to wear one of Ella’s beautiful creations, and finally Ella dares to hope for a life with love, friendship and family.

Meeting the man she longs to marry should be a turning point for Ella, but life’s twists and turns can be cruel. As the winter grows colder, events seem to conspire to test Ella’s spirit. And by the time spring is approaching, will the hat girl of Silver Street triumph, or will Ella have to admit defeat as all her dreams are tested.

The Queen of the Black Country sagas is back with a heart-breaking, unforgettable, page-turning story of love, life and battling against the odds.  

Amazon UK

Extract from The Hat Girl From Silver Street Lindsey Hutchinson

Ella Bancroft looked down at the tangled mess in her fingers and stifled a sob. She pulled at the ruined hat in an effort to rectify her error, but the steaming process had set the blunder in place. 

A tear slipped from her eye and rolled down her cheek. This was her second mistake in a week. Her first was sticking her finger with a pin and leaving a blood spot on a piece of white tulle. Ivy had ranted and raved as she had snipped off the offending piece of material to rescue the hat. 

Now Ella had spoilt the crown of a felt winter hat, having steamed it into the wrong shape entirely. Thinking quickly, she wondered whether, if she held it over the steamer again, she could re-form it. 

About to try, Ella caught her breath as she heard footsteps on the bare wooden staircase. It was too late, Ivy was on her way up. 

Ella had been employed at Ivy Gladwin’s shop for two years and yet suddenly she had begun making errors. Why? Was it because she was unhappy in her work? 

‘How are you getting on with that order?’ Ivy called as she entered the bedroom, which had been converted to a work room. 

‘Erm… I…’ Ella mumbled as she looked again at the floppy felt monstrosity. 

‘What the…?’ Ivy gasped. Snatching the article from Ella, she held it up between thumb and forefinger. ‘How on earth…? Good grief, girl, can’t you do anything right?’ 

The sob Ella was holding back escaped her lips. ‘I’m sorry, Miss Gladwin, I don’t know what happened.’ 

‘Neither do I!’ Ivy snapped, throwing the felt onto the table. ‘It’s completely ruined! An expensive piece of material at the outset and now it’s a – oh, do stop snivelling!’ 

The sharp slap to her cheek caused Ella to catch her breath and she raised a hand to cover the stinging skin. 

Ella sniffed and tried hard to halt the sobs racking her body. 

‘I… I’m really sorry,’ she managed at last. 

‘Well, you will have to pay for it out of your wages. Now, start again and for God’s sake mind what you’re doing!’ With that, Ivy strode from the room, her long bombazine skirt swishing against her side-button boots. 

Ella stared at the hat on the table and thought about the last two years of her life. She had seen the advert in the local newspaper for an apprentice hat-maker. Having applied and been interrogated by Miss Gladwin for over an hour, she was given the post on a month’s trial. The pay, she was told, would be one pound and ten shillings a week but she must work a week in hand first. Any damages would be taken out of her money before she received it. 

Now she was halfway through this week and already there would be two stoppages from her salary. Ella sighed as she worked out just how much she would have in her hand come Friday. 

The gold flecks in her hazel eyes were accentuated as more tears brimmed before falling. Pushing a stray dark curl from her forehead, Ella moved to the workbench. With a sniff and a sigh, she began her work again, this time selecting the correct block to steam the material over. 

Ella thought once more about her earnings – would there be enough to feed herself and her father? The food in the larder was running desperately low, and she knew if there was only enough for one of them to eat she would make sure it was her dad. 

Lindsey Hutchinson

Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Noir, Suspense, Thriller

Jailbird Caro Savage 4*# Review #Audiobook @CaroSavageStory @BoldwoodBooks Narrator Genevieve Swallow #CrimeFiction #PrisonDrama #Undercover # AudiobookTour #noir #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #Jailbird

Mature Adult Listen

When you’re working undercover the smallest mistake can cost you your life.

Detective Constable Bailey Morgan has been out of the undercover game since her last job went horribly wrong, leaving her with scars inside and out.
When her colleague Alice is found dead whilst working deep cover in a women’s prison, Bailey steps in to replace her.
Working alone, Bailey embarks on a dangerous journey through the murky underbelly of the prison and soon discovers that Alice’s death was part of a spate of brutal murders.

Surrounded by prison officers, criminals and lowlifes, the slightest mistake could cost Bailey her life.
Illicit drug trafficking, prison gangs and corruption are just some of the things she’s up against… and behind it all lurks a sinister and terrifying secret that will truly test her survival instincts.
Heart-stopping and gripping.

Audible UK

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

My Thoughts…

If you enjoy prison drama, suspense and menace, Jailbird is an exciting story to explore.

I first reviewed this as an eBook. The opportunity to review the audiobook gave the story another dimension, bringing the characters to life with professional narration. The narrator draws the reader into the setting and the mind of the main protagonist. It’s easy to visualise what is happening with the author’s use of sensory imagery and the narrator’s differing cadence and voices.

Everything you would expect in a novel of this type is there. Bailey is a courageous, challenged protagonist, there to finish a job, her friend’s violent death cut short. A corrupt prison ethos, where it is debatable who is in charge, and a culture of abuse, drugs and violence.

Well-written but graphic descriptions of the violence make this suitable for a mature adult audience. There is a varied cast of complex and realistically flawed characters. The prison setting demands, exceptional characters and most are. The plot twists keep you guessing, and there is good suspense building.

This is a gritty, graphic, and powerful story that makes you think.

Caro Savage knows all about bestselling thrillers having worked as a Waterstones bookseller for 12 years in a previous life.  Now taking up the challenge personally and turning to hard-hitting crime thriller writing.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Romance

Dreaming Under An Island Skye Lisa Hobman 5*#Review @LisaJHobmanAuth @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #Skye #MondayBlogs #SecondChances #Loss #Love #Romance #Friendship #DreamingUnderAnIslandSkye

Is there really such a thing as a second shot at true love?


After three wonderful years of marriage, librarian Juliette Fairhurst’s heart is shattered when her husband, Laurie, is taken from her much too soon.
Devasted, Juliette decides to take a sabbatical and reconnect with her mother’s birthplace, the village of Glentorrin on the picturesque Isle of Skye.

Welcomed by most of the villagers, Juliette throws herself into an idyllic community life, taking on the role of temporary summer guardian at The Lifeboat House Museum; a role that offers her the perfect escape from the tragedy of her real life.

During her time on the island, Juliette clashes with brooding single dad and artist, Reid Mackinnon and is befriended by his son Evin and dog Chewie. It’s clear that divorced Reid is struggling and scarred by his own painful experiences.

Can these two lost souls find a lifeline to rescue each other?
Or will their pasts scupper their second chance at real happiness?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I’ve read most of this author’s recent books and always enjoyed the characters, the poignant real-life situations and the wonderful descriptions. This story has all of these and is an emotional, insightful story.

Widowed Juliette is still grieving the loss of her husband, but everywhere holds memories and she knows moving away is the only way to move forward with her life. She chooses Skye because of familial connections and hopes her healing can begin.

Skye brought to vibrant life, by the author’s descriptions, draws the reader into island life. The sense of community and reliance on each other is explored well in this story. The characters are flawed and recognisable. Juliette enjoys the anonymity she seeks then welcomes the friendship offered as she heals. Her relationship with Reid is difficult, but she sees his pain despite the emotional barrier he hides behind.

This is a gentle story, realistic and full of hope.

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, Crime, Extract, Family Drama, Suspense

The Scarlet Dress Louise Douglas 5* #Review @LouiseDouglas3 @BoldwoodBooks #Extract #FamilyDrama #Secrets #grief #loss #Crime #Suspense #BlogTour #BookReview #Missing #ColdCase #boldwoodbloggers #Psychological #TheScarletDress @rararesources

Alice Lang was wearing her favourite scarlet dress when she disappeared twenty-five years ago, and her memory still casts a long shadow.

The past was like water. Once the tide turned, you couldn’t hold it back.’

In the long, hot summer of 1995, twenty-two-year-old Alice Lang rents a caravan on a holiday park on the outskirts of the lively holiday resort of Severn Sands. She befriends Marnie, a shy, damaged little girl whose father is the park’s caretaker and whose mother died a few months earlier. Will, whose mother runs the bar, falls in love with Alice, and is unbearably jealous of anyone else she sees. Tensions rise until one evening Alice disappears from her caravan. She’s never seen again, and only her scarlet dress is found washed up on the shore.

A quarter of a century later, the town is run down and nobody comes there anymore. Mr and Mrs deVillars, former owners of the holiday park, have passed the failing business onto their son Guy, who promptly sells the land for development. Builders clearing the land to create an expanse of executive homes uncover human bones. It has to be Alice.

Will and Marnie’s lives were entirely shaped by what happened that summer, and now Alice has been found, they must struggle to pin down their memories, to escape the secrets of the past, the lies they told and the unbearable guilt they’re both carrying.

They need to find out what happened to Alice. Who killed her? And why?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is wonderfully complex. Character-driven, it draws the reader into a world of decay, deceit and death. The discovery of human bones years after a young woman disappeared reopens old hurts in a town that is a shadow of its former self. Marnie, a child at the time of the disappearance, still bears the emotional scars. Will, obsessed with the missing girl Alice, is drawn back to the dying town of his birth, feeling there is unfinished business.

The story gives up its secrets as it unfolds and undulates between the present day and 1995. There are unexpected twists, emotional moments and relentless tension that builds to the story’s end. The setting is well created and complements the plot perfectly. This is a compelling story with many emotionally damaged characters, of which Marnie is my favourite.

This is an immersive story about ordinary people and extraordinary tragedy. It reads, like a Nordic noir set in the English seaside, an engaging balance of introspection and action it’s a page-turner.

Louise Douglas

Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author of novels including The House By The Sea 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.

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Extract from The Scarlet Dress – Louise Douglas

A lively wind danced across the estuary flatlands, shimmying the feathered heads of the reeds that lined the rhynes. Marnie Morahan headed back down the track with the dogs: her own beloved Tessy and the foster dog, a monstrous-looking animal that Jenna at the rescue centre had named Mister. He had short legs and a chest so barrelled that he waddled rather than walked. His head and neck were covered in scars and old wounds from his days as a bait dog, one ear almost completely gone, the other with chunks missing like a leaf got at by snails. His grizzled snout was encased inside a Silence of the Lambs-style muzzle designed to protect him from himself. If another dog came too close, Mister might try to kill it and he was already on his final warning. His next aggressive bite would be his last. 

Marnie loved all animals, even difficult-to-love ones like Mister; especially ones like him. It was people she struggled with. It was a two-way street. Marnie didn’t trust people and most people thought she was weird with her old black clothes and boots, her piercings and tattoos, her hair shaved close to her skull, her sullen expression and downcast eyes; her reluctance to be involved with anyone except for her immediate family, Jenna and her dog-training clients. Her muteness. Marnie knew people called her a misfit, and worse. It didn’t hurt because she was used to it; she’d been the odd one out all her life. Sometimes she worried that her oddness would become an embarrassment to her daughter, Lucy, or worse, that bullies might target Lucy because of her, but fortunately Lucy was a sunny, friendly girl, popular at school. She accepted Marnie as she was and expected others to accept her too. Lucy understood that Marnie could no more change than the sun could rise in the west: she didn’t need to be close to people and people didn’t need to be close to her. 

The track was stony. Gritty puddles had formed in the potholes. The grass that grew in shabby green strips was submerged in the wet. The hedgerows on either side had lost their leaves months earlier and were black and twiggy, and the branches of the wind-worn trees above were jagged, mistletoe growing like ragged hair in the pits of their joints. Deep ruts made by ploughs in undulating stripes across the fields were full of water that reflected the light. 

Clouds raced across a high, wintry sky that morning; a flock of lapwings banked steeply into the air, flashing white then black. Tessy stopped to sniff at a pile of dung and Mister looked up at Marnie with bloodshot, prize-fighter eyes, confused because he did not understand the joys of sniffing. 

Marnie put her hand in the pocket of her ancient coat and pulled out a handful of dried pilchards. She offered one to Mister through the muzzle, but the dog backed away, believing it to be a trick, expecting to be punished. Marnie dropped the treat on the ground. Mister stared at it, but made no move to eat it.