Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Travel

The Secret of the Chateau Kathleen McGurl 5*#Review @KathMcGurl @HQDigitalUK @rararesources #RachelsRandomResources #Timeslip #HistFic #ContemporaryFiction #TuesdayThoughts #Mystery

Everything is about to change…

1789. Pierre and Catherine Aubert, the Comte and Comtesse de Verais, have fled the palace of Versailles for their château, deep in the French Alps. But as revolution spreads through the country, even hidden away the Auberts will not be safe forever. Soon they must make a terrible decision in order to protect themselves, and their children, from harm.

​Present day. When Lu’s mother dies leaving her heartbroken, the chance to move to a château in the south of France with her husband and best friends seems an opportunity for a new beginning. But Lu can’t resist digging into their new home’s history, and when she stumbles across the unexplained disappearance of Catherine Aubert, the château begins to reveal its secrets – and a mystery unsolved for centuries is uncovered…

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

My Thoughts…

Exciting historical fiction fuses with a making a new start contemporary story in an absorbing page-turning read.

The contemporary story seen from Lu ‘s point of view follows the adventures of five friends in their late fifties who decide to sell up and move to France. Believably crafted easy to like characters and a vividly described setting make this contemporary French adventure full of humour and poignancy.

Full of vivid imagery and colourful characters the historical story set in the late eighteenth century has a menacing atmosphere. The dangers faced by the count and his family realistic.

The past and present merge when Lu investigates what happened to the Chateau’s previous aristocratic inhabitants.

Both stories are engaging and their connections easy to follow in this historical timeslip mystery.

Kathleen McGurl

Kathleen McGurl lives in Bournemouth with her husband. She has two sons who have both now left home. She always wanted to write, and for many years was waiting until she had the time. Eventually she came to the bitter realisation that no one would pay her for a year off work to write a book, so she sat down and started to write one anyway. Since then she has published several novels with HQ and self-published another. She has also sold dozens of short stories to women’s magazines, and written three How To books for writers. After a long career in the IT industry she became a full time writer in 2019. When she’s not writing, she’s often out running, slowly.

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

Barefoot on the Beach Katylyn Duncan 4*#Review @katlyn_duncan @HQDigitalUK #Romance #Beach #Wedding #Summer #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #RachelsRandomResources #SecondChance #Marriage #contemporaryfiction #Relationships #BarefootontheBeach @Harper360 @Harper360UK @HQStories #NewEngland

Renee Clarke is perfectly happy just the way she is…​

Renee may be thrilled to be planning her sister’s wedding, but after witnessing her mother’s two failed marriages, she has always vowed that she is better off on her own.​

But when Renee discovers that Luc Hardy has moved next door, her world is knocked off kilter. Luc was her whirlwind summer romance as a teen and, more importantly, her first love. Now he’s back in West Cove, looking more handsome than ever.

​There is no escaping the romance in the air this summer. With the wedding planning in full swing, Renee begins to believe that she might be able to put her childhood reservations about marriage aside.

​Yet when her mother arrives, she stirs a torrent of emotions in Renee’s heart.  She’s up to her old tricks again–boasting about her latest conquests–reaffirming Renee’s lack of faith in love.

As Renee’s happily-ever-after hangs in the balance, will Luc be able to convince her that true love can last forever?

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

My Thoughts…

Barefoot on the Beach is a second chance romance with family drama. The multilayered plot delves into dysfunctional family dynamics. It explores how children may be affected by the success or failure of their parent’s relationship. Renee is anti-marriage because of her mother’s influence, even when she meets Luc again, she is wary of falling in love.

As she plans her sister’s wedding, she reacquaints with Luc. Their chances of happy ever are remote in the face of their internal conflicts and past nurturing. The setting is well described and immersive, the perfect wedding location.

A gently paced story because of Renee’s internal analysis of her family relationships and her view of marriage, but the romance is lovely and eventually finds a way to win. Believable, strong characters and simple but effective plotting tell an engaging story of family relationships and love in an iconic New England setting.

Katlyn Duncan

Coming from a small town in Western Massachusetts, Katlyn Duncan always had her head in the clouds. Working as a scientist for most of her adult life, she enjoyed breaking down the hows and whys of life. This translated into her love of stories and getting into the minds of her characters.

Currently, she’s a full-time author and freelance writer. When she’s not writing, she’s obsessing over many (many) television series’.

She currently resides in Southern New England with her family. Check out more about her writing and current TV addiction in her newsletter, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

That Night in Paris SandyBarker 5*#Review @0neMoreChapter_ @sandybarker @rararesources #TheHolidayRomance #Travel #Romance #friendship #BookReview #BlogTour #Humour #Paris #Italy #ThatNightinParis #PublicationDay #RachelsRandomResources

Note to self: don’t sleep with your flatmate after a curry and two bottles of wine… especially if he’s secretly in love with you and wants you to meet his mum.

​Cat Parsons is on the run. She doesn’t do relationships. After ten years of singlehood even the hint of the ‘L’ word is enough to get Cat packing her bags and booking herself onto a two-week holiday. ​

A European bus tour feels like a stroke of genius to dodge awkward conversations at home. But little does Cat realise that the first stop will be Paris, the city of love itself.

Joined by new friends, Cat has got two weeks, eight countries and a hell of a lot of wine ahead of her. As they discover hidden treasures and the camaraderie of life on the road, will Cat find a new way of looking at love?  

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I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter and the Author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This book is what everyone needs to read right now. An enticing mix of friendship, humour, romance and sightseeing is the perfect escape when you can’t go anywhere. The second in the holiday romance series, this follows Cat’s travelling adventures around France, Italy and many other European countries in a few weeks. She books the trip on a whim, running from an awkward situation with her London flatmate. A perfect complete story, but the previous book in the series, One Summer in Santorini, is worth reading too, to find out what happens to Cat’s sister Sarah.

Cat’s impromptu travelling buddies are great characters they add authenticity, humour and poignancy to the story. The sightseeing is fabulous and gives the book depth, vivid imagery and provides atmospheric settings for this story of love and life. The romance is conflicted, gentle and engaging.

Sandy Barker

I’m a writer and traveller with a lengthy bucket list and cheeky sense of humour, and many of my travel adventures have found their way into my books. I’m also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover, and a coffee snob, though my writing is mostly fuelled by copious mugs of strong, milky tea (no sugar).

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

The Forbidden Promise Lorna Cook 5*#Review @AvonBooksUK @LornaCookAuthor #BlogTour #BookReview #HistoricalFiction #WW2 #Scotland #Saga #timeslip #Contemporary #fiction #romance #drama #secrets

Scotland, 1940:
War rages across Europe, but Invermoray House is at peace. Until the night of Constance’s twenty-first birthday, when she’s the only person to see a Spitfire crash into the loch. Constance has been longing for adventure – but when she promises to keep the pilot hidden, what will it cost her?

2020:
Kate arrives in the Highlands to turn Invermoray into a luxury bed-and-breakfast, only to find that the estate is more troubled than she’d imagined. But when Kate discovers the house has a murky history, with Constance McLay’s name struck from its records, she knows she can’t leave until the mystery is solved…

How will one promise change the fate of two women, decades apart?

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My Thoughts…

Not having read the author’s debut novel, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I needn’t have worried.

This is engaging and easy to read. Full of drama, poignancy, risk and romance. Drawn into both stories from their first chapters, this timeslip novel has believable, easy to like characters, authentic historical detail, a beautiful setting, in a timeless story of forbidden love and desperate times.

There are secrets in both timelines and plots twist. I did work out the tragic historical twist but knowing, just increased the dramatic irony and suspense.

If you’re looking for a story to sweep you away to a different place and time, this is it.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Literary Humour

Distorted Days Louise Worthington 4*Review @louiseworthing9 @rararesources #Friendship #urbanfiction #literaryhumour #ContemporaryFiction #BookReview #BlogTours #FridayReads #FridayThoughts

If she could speak to them, she would say they have exploded her heart, released firecrackers through her senses. She wishes she could call the police, the ambulance, the fire brigade, to arrest and anaesthetise and waterboard the bastards.

So what happens when your husband runs off with your best friend? When you discover the dead body of an old man halfway through your delivery round? When your house is burgled and you get beaten up? Doris, Andy and Colleen are about to find out. They’re also about to discover that you can find friendship and support in the oddest of places…

Heart-rending, humorous and above all authentic, Distorted Days is an exquisitely written account of the ways in which life can knock you off our feet – and how you can pick yourself up again. If you’ve experienced the fickleness of fortune, this is a book that you’ll never forget.

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

My Thoughts…

The book cover depicts the darkness, and tragic events in the story, perfectly. Original and poignant, the story reflects on the darker side of human life. How bad things happen to good people, without any apparent reason. Individual characters’ eccentricities, give them an authentic relatable voice. Depressing events fail to dominate, the book’s positive ethos. Friends are found in unlikely places. Courage emerges to move forward, even though every forward step is accompanied by several backward ones, in the beginning.

Good, evil, and everything in between is explored through the characters’ misfortunes. Human resilience and tenacity are celebrated. Multilayered, realistic characters draw you into their lives. You want them to find happiness. Claustrophobic feelings are balanced with often satirical humour.

An observant, poignant and witty story, full of complex characters, realistic events and believable responses.

Louise Worthington

Louise is the author of ‘Distorted Days’ and ‘Rachel’s Garden of Rooms.’ ‘The Entrepreneur’ will be available later in 2020. ‘The Thief’, a short story published by Park Publications, is available to download Louise Worthington’s website. 

Before writing full time, Louise worked mainly as an English teacher after getting a degree in Literature and later, studying business and psychology at Masters level.

​Louise grew up in Cheshire and now resides in Shropshire.

“Louise’s characters, without exception, are skillfully wrought which make the reader genuinely care for them.”

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Posted in Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Guest post

The Widow’s Mite Allie Cresswell #GuestPost @Alliescribbler @rararesources #ContemporaryFiction #FamilyDrama #Widows #TheWidowsMite #BlogTour

Minnie Price married late in life. Now she is widowed. And starving.
No one suspects this respectable church-goer can barely keep body and soul together. Why would they, while she resides in the magnificent home she shared with Peter?
Her friends and neighbours are oblivious to her plight and her adult stepchildren have their own reasons to make things worse rather than better. But she is thrown a lifeline when an associate of her late husband arrives with news of an investment about which her step-children know nothing.
Can she release the funds before she finds herself homeless and destitute?

Fans of ‘The Hoarder’s Widow’ will enjoy this sequel, but it reads equally well as a standalone.

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Guest Post – Allie Cresswell – The Widow’s Mite

I recently read Helen Ryan’s book A Contagion of Loss. It is an excellent book and I heartily recommend it but it wasn’t an easy book to read. It’s about how what you do affects me, and how far, then, I should be responsible for you. It’s about how one person’s tragedy seeps out, like a stain, tainting others.

It got me thinking about fiction and its purpose. Of course, we read to escape. We love adventure and romance, travel to different universes and times. We enjoy being intrigued by mysteries. Personally, I don’t read horror or graphic crime novels but I can understand the adrenalin rush for those who do, and, I suppose, after the gore and carnage, doesn’t everyday life feel a whole lot better? Historical novels and science fiction increase our understanding of what has been in the past or could be in the future. We read to be informed, to have our horizons broadened.

Through books, we experience so much more than we ever could in real life. We can live hundreds of lives. But I think that most of all, we read to understand ourselves and each other, and the world we live in. So it’s entirely right that fiction should sometimes deal with the harsher things in life, the uncomfortable truths.

My Widows series is about women whose husbands have died and so, not unreasonably, they include death and grief. They deal with the difficult aftermath of bereavement; loneliness, financial difficulties, anger and the terrible vulnerability that swamps in. In The Hoarder’s Widow Maisie is left to deal with her late husband’s hoard of broken furniture, moth-eaten rugs and horrible pictures. For the first third of the novel she is immured in her home, sorting through dross. It was hard to write but hoarding is a very real issue for some people and how could I understand it myself, or explain it to others, if I didn’t explore it fully? Maisie’s marriage was difficult and Clifford’s addiction impacted his children. These matters, too, are legitimate subjects for fiction, but not easy ones.

In The Widow’s Mite, Minnie’s happy marriage to her husband Peter is cut tragically short after only six years. Unlike Maisie, who is left with a legacy which is unwieldy and burdensome, Minnie is left with literally nothing. The wording of Peter’s Will means that she is destitute. My researches tell me that this is not uncommon.

These are hard things; sad, uncomfortable truths. You might think they are bleak and depressing. I’d say they are thought-provoking and sobering. But I’d argue that they are appropriate subjects for fiction. Why? For several reasons. Firstly, as I mentioned above, exploring them through the safe medium of fiction gives us the opportunity to experience them without actually suffering from them. And, like the readers of horror, we have the privilege of being able to look away of it gets too much. We gain new understanding. Personally, I have much more sympathy for those hoarders we see on TV, not to mention their families. I know, now, that it’s an illness. After writing The Widow’s Mite I am more awake to just how prevalent poverty is in this so-called civilised, modern, first-world I live in. Thank goodness, I have never been widowed, but I believe I understand, just a little, what that feels like.

Last, of all, these are stories, not documentaries, and so they have hopeful endings. There is light, there is resolution. Maisie and Minnie both find solace in a group of women friends. Their banter, their sozzled nights out and antics during their trips away bring balance and relief. Maisie does manage to disassemble Clifford’s hoard. Her family, though affected by the shadow of their father’s addiction, moves forward to brighter times. Minnie is not left to starve and she finds in herself a deep well of compassion for those who, like her, have hit hard times. Both women find that with the help of friends, the support of family and with their own innate emotional strength and natural resilience, their grief gradually fades. For Maisie, there is even the possibility of new love, which I hope to develop in the future.

I write the kind of books I like to read. My hope is that I’m also writing the books you like to read. Please let me know by commenting on Jane’s blog site, or by reaching out to me via email. You can do this via my website.

Thank you to Jane for hosting me today.

Allie Cresswell

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil. She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

The Widow’s Mite is her tenth novel.

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Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Cover Reveal, Friendship, Historical Fiction

The Walls We Build Jules Hayes #CoverReveal @JulesHayes6 @rararesources #WW2 #HistoricalFiction #ContemporaryFiction #Timeslip #Secrets # Lies #Friendship #Preorder #23March20

Three friends … 

Growing up together around Winston Churchill’s estate in Westerham, Kent, Frank, Florence and Hilda are inseparable. But as WW2 casts its menacing shadow, friendships between the three grow complex, and Frank – now employed as Churchill’s bricklayer – makes choices that will haunt him beyond the grave, impacting his grandson’s life too.

Two Secrets …

Shortly after Frank’s death in 2002 Florence writes to Richard, Frank’s grandson, hinting at the darkness hidden within his family. On investigation, disturbing secrets come to light, including a pivotal encounter between Frank and Churchill during the war and the existence of a mysterious relative in a psychiatric hospital.

One Hidden Life … 

How much more does Florence dare reveal about Frank – and herself – and is Richard ready to hear?

Set against the stunning backdrop of Chartwell, Churchill’s country home, comes a tragic story of misguided honour, thwarted love and redemption, reverberating through three generations and nine decades.

For readers of Kate Morton, Rachel Hore, Katherine Webb, Lucinda Riley and Juliet West.

“Passion, intrigue and family secrets drive this complex wartime relationship drama. A page turner. I loved it.”  #1 bestselling author, Nicola May

Publication Date: 23rd March

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Jules Hayes

Jules Hayes lives in Berkshire with her husband, daughter and a dog. She has a degree in modern history and holds a particular interest in events and characters from the early 20th century. As a former physiotherapist and trainer – old habits die hard – when not writing Jules likes to run. She also loves to watch films, read good novels and is a voracious consumer of non-fiction too, particularly biographies.

Jules is currently working on her second historical novel, another dual timeline story.

Jules also writes contemporary thriller and speculative fiction as JA Corrigan.

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Writing as J.A.. Corrigan

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, New Adult Romance, Romance, Travel, Young Adult

Fateful Coincidence Lasairiona E. McMaster 4*#Review @QueenofFireLas #LisaMillar #BlogTour #Romance #Friendship #NewAdult #Relationships @rararesources #RachelsRandomTours #BookReview

Five thousand miles from her ex, Lisa is living with her decision to call it quits and leave both AJ and Alabama behind. She believes she’s finally ready to put her broken heart back together and move forward with her life as a single woman. But when she meets a seemingly too-good-to-be-true doctor, she feels both unsure of herself and guilty for moving on so quickly from her engagement to AJ. Lisa finds herself at a crossroads, does she give up all hope of ever reconciling with AJ and take a chance on love again with someone new? Or is her heart destined to be forever entwined with the married man she met on the internet?

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

My Thoughts…

The third book in ‘The Lisa Millar series’ keeps the faith, it is emotional, fast-paced, and full of life’s lows and highs. Lisa is tired of being the ‘other woman’, after her loss, she is broken, and compromise is not on her agenda. At this point, knowing she loves AJ, and he loves her, is not enough, she needs them to be together. without obstacles, mental or physical.

Like all the books in this series, this is a page-turner, it seems Lisa is moving on, but aren’t soulmates meant to be together? Even though I am not in the intended audience group for this story, I appreciate its portrayal of what it’s like to be young and in love. The possibilities, the seemingly insurmountable lows, and the feeling that on some level, you are invincible, whatever life throws at you.

There is lots of interactive dialogue, which is part of this author’s style, drama and love. The conclusion leaves you feeling that whatever went before, this was always how it was supposed to end.

Lasairiona E McMaster

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

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Read my reviews of the first two books in the series by clicking on the links

Intimate Strangers

The Good In Goodbye

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

The Cottage in a Cornish Cove Cass Grafton 5* #Review @CassGrafton #Romance #Cornwall #RuralLife #FamilyDrama #RomCom #Mystery #Secrets #PublicationDay @rararesources #TabbyCowPress #Giveaway #Paperback #International

A heart-warming tale of discovering all you never wanted is exactly what you needed.

Orphaned as a baby and raised by indifferent relatives, much of Anna Redding’s happiness as a child came from the long summer holidays spent with an elderly family friend, Aunt Meg, in the quaint village of Polkerran.

With Aunt Meg’s passing, Anna is drawn back to the West Country, relocating to the Cornish cove where she was once so happy. Filled with memories, she hopes to perhaps open a B&B—and perhaps cross paths with Alex Tremayne again, a local boy she used to have a major crush on and who only had to walk past Anna to make her heart flutter.

Settling into her new life, and enjoying her work for the older, reclusive and—to be honest—often exasperating Oliver Seymour, Anna is delighted when Alex reappears in Polkerran and sweeps her off her feet.

The stars are finally aligned, but just as Anna thinks all she’s ever wished for is within reach, a shock discovery brings everything under threat, and she finds herself living a dream that isn’t hers.

Can Anna rescue the new life she has made for herself and, when the testing moment comes, who will be there to hold her hand?

The Cottage in a Cornish Cove is the first in an uplifting series of romances from Cass Grafton. Get to know the locals, wallow in the quaintness of Polkerran and fall in love with romance all over again.

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

My Thoughts…

Anna is a character who is easy to like. Her less than idyllic childhood made bearable by the summers she spent in Cornwall, with her surrogate aunt. Careerwise she’s successful, but her romantic relationships don’t live up to the romantic novels she loved to escape into. An unexpected bequest has her leaving her old life behind, including her career, friends and mercenary boyfriend. She hopes to recapture the happiness she knew during the Summer’s in the Cornish cove.

This story is like a warm hug, it makes you sigh, as you snuggle down and get swept away, into a world full of coasts, comfort and community. As the story progresses, you realise that not all the unscrupulous individuals live in the big cities, and Anna’s naivety in judging people, risks her new life almost before it has begun.

The characters and the plot draw you in, I found myself, offering Anna advice on who to trust, so the story is certainly authentic and engaging. The pacing is gentle, and the historical inferences and parallels, add depth to the story.

There is a mystery to solve, as Anna finds out who she is, and who her friends are. Her character development is good, and in the end, she realises that even though she has people to rely on, she is strong enough to succeed alone.

The romance is sweet but powerful, and you are left with a lovely warmth, even though you regret saying goodbye to Anna and her friends.

Cass Grafton

An avid bookworm since childhood, Cass Grafton writes the sort of stories she loves to read – heart-warming, character-driven and strong on location. Having moved around extensively and lived in three countries, she finds places inspiring and the setting of her novels often becomes as much a part of the story as her characters.

She leans heavily towards the upbeat and insists on a happy ever after. As one of her favourite authors, Jane Austen, once wrote, ‘Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery’.

Cass loves travelling, words, cats and wine but never in the same glass. She has two grown-up children and currently splits her time between Switzerland, where she lives with her husband and imaginary cats, and England, where she lives with her characters.

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Giveaway to Win 3 x Paperback Copies of The Cottage in a Cornish Cove (Open INT)

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

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Murder Mystery

A Messy Affair Elizabeth Mundy 4* #Review @ElizabethEMundy @LittleBrownUK The Lena Szarka Mysteries #murdermystery #realitytv #contemporary #Islington #TheOnlyWayIsMurder @rararesources #BookReview #BlogTour

The only way is murder…

Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner working in London, is forced to brush up on her detective skills for a third time when her cousin Sarika is plunged into danger.

Sarika and her reality TV star boyfriend Terry both receive threatening notes.  When Terry stops calling, Lena assumes he’s lost interest. Until he turns up. Dead. Lena knows she must act fast to keep her cousin from the same fate.

Scrubbing her way through the grubby world of reality television, online dating and betrayed lovers, Lena finds it harder than she thought to discern what’s real – and what’s just for the cameras.

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

My Thoughts…

‘A Messy affair’, is the third book in ‘The Lena Szarka Mysteries’, but reads well as a standalone. It is an enjoyable read, and now, I want to read the first two in the series.

Lena, an enterprising Hungarian woman living in Islington, London, has a talent for business, unwavering loyalty to family and friends and undoubted skill as an amateur sleuth. She has a sharp wit, and an intelligent mind, and reading the story through her eyes is a joy. All of the characters are believable, and fulfil their roles in the story well.

The plot follows a murder mystery style and has elements of a cozy mystery. The urban setting and contemporary themes, give it an edginess, which is original and will appeal to a younger audience.

Lena is not a reality TV fan but finds herself embroiled within it. Her thinking is astute, and I like how she theorised, in her bid to find the antagonist. There are numerous suspects and many twists, I did work it out but coupled with the drama, humour and final suspense, this was a satisfying experience, and I look forward to Lena’s next adventure.

Elizabeth Mundy’s grandmother was a Hungarian immigrant to America who raised five children on a chicken farm in Indiana. Elizabeth is a marketing director for an investment firm and lives in London with her messy husband and two young children. She writes the Lena Szarka Mysteries, featuring a Hungarian cleaner as a detective. 

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