Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Literary Humour, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Political Thriller, Romance

These Streets Luan Golding 5*#Review @HQStories @LuanGoldie #FamilyDrama #LiteraryFiction #Friendship #Relationships #Romance #Homelessness #Love #Hope #BookReview #TheseStreets

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Powerfully insightful, this contemporary story explores life in twenty-first century Britain through authentically created characters and their relationships. It is poignantly raw as it documents how easy it is for familial relationships to fail with the threat of homelessness. Hope, humour and humanity lighten the darkness and deliver a believable story that resonates.

Read my review of Nightingale Point

Read My Review of Home Coming

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

Note to Self Anna Bell 5*Review @AnnaBell_writes @HQStories #romcom #contemporaryfiction #life #love #friendship #relationships #romance #humour #secondchance #blogtour #bookreview

It’s never too late to follow your heart.

One summer’s day seventeen years ago Edie and Joel meet.
Their connection is instant and a friendship is born, although Edie can’t help but wish for more. But just as she builds up the courage to lay her heart on the line, one night changes everything…

Edie’s moved on from the heartbreak of years ago. So the last thing she expects to receive on her thirty-fifth birthday is an email… from her eighteen-year-old self. As more emails arrive, she starts to remember what – or rather who – she left behind.

Following her own advice, Edie heads back to the place where it all began and finds her path unexpectedly crossing with Joel’s once more. Could this finally be their chance at love? Or are some things better left in the past?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Edie runs a successful family business, owns her flat and has a boyfriend who suits her lifestyle, a perfect life looking in, but when she receives an email from her teenage self, it forces her to question her choices and find the life she wants.

I enjoyed this poignant mix of coming of age, romantic comedy and self-realisation that draws the reader in and keeps them engaged. The believable characters are easy to visualise, and Edie’s emotional journey is full of heartbreak and heartwarming moments. The ending is breathtakingly romantic and the perfect conclusion to this lovely story.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Serial, Short stories

A Wedding at Sandy Cove: Gown But Not Out Bella Osborne 5*#Review @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #family #novella #serial #part3 #gownbutnotout #preorder #AWeddingatSandyCove

This is the third part in a brand new four-part serial from Bella Osborne.

Ella’s dreams lie in tatters…

Ella has always held onto her faith in romance. Being in the business of weddings, how could she not? But her belief in true love has been well and truly shattered, by the people she trusted most.

To make matters worse, the successful launch of her bridal business has been sabotaged by the spread of false and nasty rumours about her. But who could have done such a terrible thing?

With her best friend’s wedding now only days away, it seems the worst has happened when a last-minute beauty treatment turns the bride’s skin a bright shade of frog green.

Then something much bigger puts the whole wedding in jeopardy.

Will Brittany finally get to say ‘I do’? And how will Ella react when an unexpected guest arrives to turn everything on its head: the ex who broke her heart…

Amazon UK Amazon Kobo

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The third part of A Wedding at Sandy Cove begins with a family drama at Ella’s launch party. The reveal is surprising and leaves Ella saddened and shocked. Her relationship with Kit develops, but love never runs smoothly. Ellas’ fledgling business suffers a setback to add to her woes. Lucy has a surprise visitor and Brittany’s wedding day is eventful.

I love the romance in this part of the story that takes Ella, Kit and the reader on an emotional journey. The humour lightens the poignant moments, and Ella’s character development is evident. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full-length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

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Read my review of Always a Bridesmaid (part1)

Read my review of Stitched Up (part2)

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Folk Tales, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Parenting and Famlies

The White Hare Jane Johnson 4*#Review @JaneJohnsonBakr @HoZ_Books @AriaFiction #HistFic #LiteraryFiction #Family #love #loss #folklore #BookReview #Mystery #Romance #Secrets #forgiveness #TheWhiteHare #nature #supernatural #preorder

In a valley steeped in legend lies an abandoned house where Edens may be lost, found and remade…

The White Valley in the far west of Cornwall cuts deeply through bluebell woods down to the sea. The house above the beach has lain neglected since the war. It comes with a reputation, which is why Mila and her mother Magda acquire it so cheaply in the fateful summer of 1954.

Magda plans to restore the house to its former glory: the venue for glittering parties, where the rich and celebrated gathered for bracing walks by day and sumptuous cocktails by night. Mila’s ambitions, meanwhile, are much less grand; she dreams of creating a safe haven for herself, and happy home for her little girl, Janey.

The White Valley comes with a long, eventful history, laced with tall tales. Locals say that a white hare may be seen running through the woods there; to some, she’s an ill omen, to others a blessing. Feeling fragile and broken-hearted, Mila is in need of as many blessings as she can get. But will this place provide the fresh start she so desperately needs?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

A historical, mystical tale set in Cornwall in 1954 explores Cornish folklore, the natural world and human relationships. The author creates an atmospheric ethos that is a primary motivator in the story. After a scandalous relationship implodes, Mila moves to a gothic-style house with her mother and young daughter. The locals are wary of incomers, and the house has a dark history. Mila wonders if she has made a mistake.

I love the mystical quality of the tale and how Mila gradual realises her worth through meeting some of the valley’s unusual inhabitants. The gentle pacing allows the reader to appreciate the sensory imagery and secrets within the lyrical writing.

It’s a story of acceptance, renewal and love.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance, Suspense

We All Have Our Secrets Jane Corry 5*#Review @JaneCorryAuthor @VikingBooksUK @PenguinUKBooks #WeAllHaveOurSecrets #BookReview #FamilyDrama #secrets #lies #PsychologicalThriller #domesticthriller #Suspense #preorder

YOU KNOW SHE’S LYING . . . BUT SO ARE YOU

Two women are staying in Willowmead House.

One of them is running.
One of them is hiding.
Both of them are lying.


Emily made one bad decision, and now her career could be over. Her family home on the Cornish coast is the only place where she feels safe. But when she arrives, there’s a stranger living with her father. Emily doesn’t trust the beautiful young woman, convinced that she’s telling one lie after another.

Soon, Emily becomes obsessed with finding out the truth . . . But should some secrets stay buried forever?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Emily is a midwife, dedicated but overworked, and when she makes a mistake, she runs to her Cornish childhood home. Her elderly father has dementia; she has avoided going home in the past, but now she has nowhere else. Francoise is her father’s carer. Her presence undermines Emily. Told from Emily and Francoise’s viewpoints, the reader is immersed in their emotions and motivation but are their perceptions of the situation reliable? Harold’s viewpoint from 1945 gives the reader insight into his younger self and the events that shaped his character.

The author builds a domestic world full of mistrust and simmering anger. All the characters are hard to empathise with at some point in the story. I enjoyed the detailed characterisation, the plot’s originality and the emotion woven into the story. The quality of the characters and clever plot twists make this an addictive domestic suspense.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Travel

More Than You’ll Ever Know Katie Gutierrez 4* #Review @katie_gutz @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks #MoreThanYoullEverKnow #literarythriller #mystery #familydrama #relationships #truecrime #suspense #marriage #parenting #bookreview

Lore Rivera was married to two men at once, until on a baking hot day in 1986, one of them found out and shot the other. A secret double life, a tragic murder.

That’s the story the world knows.

It’s not the story that fascinates Cassie Bowman.

Carrying the weight of her own family tragedy, true-crime writer Cassie wants to know more about the mysterious woman at the heart of it all: Lore.

And to her surprise, Lore is willing to talk – about how a dance became an affair; how marriage became a murder.

As the two women grow closer, Cassie finds she can’t help but confess her own darkest secrets.

But when it becomes clear that there might be more to the night of the murder than anyone realised, can either woman face up to the thing they’ve been hiding from . . . the truth?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

More Than You’ll Ever Know has a true crime vibe, an excellent sense of place and time and complex, flawed characters that immerse the reader in their lives. It’s an emotional exploration of marriage, parenthood and relationships and is gripping. The true crime aspect gives it a contemporary slant, but it tells the story from multi viewpoints and timelines.

Lore is an interesting character; she provokes Cassie to evaluate her life and past and face her truth. The crime aspect develops slowly and is more powerful because the reader is invested in the characters’ lives when secrets emerge. The final twists I did work out are poignant and resonate and deliver a fitting conclusion to this detailed and engaging story.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Motivational, New Books, Parenting and Famlies

The Gin Sisters’ Promise Faith Hogan 5* #Review @GerHogan @AriaFiction @Hoz_Books #BlogTour #BookReview #secrets #lies #familydrama #SecondChance #Friendship #Life #siblings #Motivational #uplit #IrishFiction #TheGinSistersPromise #MondayBlogs

Three estranged sisters. Six months to come back together.
When Georgie, Iris and Nola’s mother died and their father disappeared into his grief, the sisters made a pact: they would always be there for one another, no matter what.
Now, decades later, they haven’t spoken for years and can barely stand to be in the same room. As his health declines, their father comes up with a plan to bring them back to one another. In his will, he states that before they can claim their inheritance, they must spend six months living together in their childhood home in the village of Ballycove, Ireland, and try to repair their broken relationships.
As the months’ progress, old resentments boil over, new secrets threaten to come out and each sister must decide what matters more: their pride, or their family. Can they overcome their past and find a way to love each other once more?

Amazon Kobo Google Play Apple 1Bookshop.org Waterstones

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Three estranged sisters reunited at their father’s funeral; he wanted them to rekindle their childhood closeness, so he made their inheritance conditional on their living and working together where they grew up. The three sisters, Georgie, Iris and Nola, all have secrets in their lives they don’t want to reveal, and the tension of their first meeting and initial time together is palpable.

The character-driven storytelling is excellent. It has believably flawed characters who grow with self-realisation and renewal of sisterly bonds. The gradual revealing of past hurts lets the reader understand why the sisters behave as they do. The setting on the west coast of Ireland is crucial to the story. It weaves its reflective magic in the sisters’ lives and helps them, and their relationships heal.

The Gin Sisters’ Promise is the perfect story to escape with, a medley of heartbreak and heartwarming moments.

Faith Hogan

Faith lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and two very fussy cats. She has an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology, Faith has worked as a fashion model and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

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Read my review of The Ladies Midnight Swimming Club

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Serial, Short stories

A Wedding at Sandy Cove: Stitched Up Bella Osborne 5*#Review @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #family #novella #serial #part2 #stitchedup #AWeddingatSandyCove

This is the second part in a brand new four-part serial from Bella Osborne.

Wedding dress whisperer Ella is striking out on her own. After years of taking orders from the owner of the bridal shop where she worked, she will answer to no one.

Except for the brides, that is.

Helping to make the dream of running her own business reality is handsome builder Kit, the man she mistook for her blind date. But is it strictly professional between them or is there more behind Kit’s passion for this project than meets the eye?

But Ella doesn’t have too much time to dwell on matters of her own heart.
Because the hen weekend for her best friend Brittany has arrived.

Two full days of bridesmaids gone wild, coupled with juggling her demanding new set of Bridezilla clients may just push Ella to her limits…

Amazon UK Amazon Kobo

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The second part of the engaging A Wedding at Sandy Cove series picks up where part one left the reader gasping. Ella is starting her own business, but her horrible ex-boss Wanda isn’t making it easy.

Kit, whom she met under stressful circumstances, is helping her convert her garage. The attraction between them is simmering nicely; the mystery concerning their parents makes anything more than friendship unlikely. Brittany’s hen night is full of hilarity.

I love the characters, the dynamics between Elle and her friends, the hint of romance with Kit and the intrigue surrounding their parents. The mix of humour and poignancy continues with Lucy’s viewpoint focusing on darker issues.

Finishing part two makes you excited to read what happens next.

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full-length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

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Read my review of Always a Bridesmaid (part1)

Posted in Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, International Thriller, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Science Fiction

Aurora David Koepp 4*#Review #DavidKoepp @HQStories #SCFI #Dystopian #SolarFlare #CarringtonEffect #relationships #FamilyDrama #Siblings #community #adventurefiction #technothriller #internationalthriller #blogtour #bookreview #Aurora

When the lights go out no one is safe…

A planet without power.
When a solar storm hits the earth, the lights go out across the planet. But this time the blackout won’t be over soon – it could last for years. Aubrey and her stepson now face the biggest challenge of their lives.

 
A society without rules.
Soon they hear rumours of riots, the struggle for food becomes real, and even within their small communities, the rule of law is collapsing. Aubrey’s estranged brother Thom, a self-made billionaire who abandoned her years ago, retreats to a gilded desert bunker where he can ride out the crisis in perfect luxury.

 
A race to build a better world…
But the complicated history between the siblings is far from over, and what feels like the end of the world is just the beginning of a personal reckoning long overdue…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The author creates an atmospheric ethos, excellent characterisation and vivid sensory imagery in this dystopian styled adventure with a scientific edge. There is intricate world-building, setting the scene for the catastrophic event and the subsequent fallout. The characters are complex and believably flawed, and the story unfolds through their experiences and motivations. The scientific details create a believably menacing world that demands a lot from the characters, and the engaging quality is in finding out whether they will excel or fail in the new dark world.

Aurora is an exciting and thought-provoking read.

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

Wake Shelley Burr 3*#Review @ByssheShelley @HodderBooks #Wake #crimefiction #noir #Australian #outback

EVERYBODY THINKS THEY KNOW MINA McCREERY.
EVERYONE HAS A THEORY ON WHAT HAPPENED TO HER SISTER.
NOW IT’S TIME TO FIND OUT THE TRUTH…

Mina McCreery’s sister Evelyn disappeared nineteen years ago. Her life has been defined by the intense public interest in the case. Now an anxious and reclusive adult, she lives alone on her family’s destocked sheep farm.

When Lane, a private investigator, approaches her with an offer to reinvestigate the case, she rejects him. The attention has had nothing but negative consequences for her and her family, and never brought them closer to an answer.

Lane wins her trust when his unconventional methods show promise, but he has his own motivations for wanting to solve the case, and his obsession with the answer will ultimately risk both their lives.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The author creates an atmospheric story with a distinct sense of place full of sadness and secrets. It explores what happens to a family when a child goes missing without a trace and how social media keeps it in the public focus, never allowing the pain of loss to fade. The character-driven story has noir elements and is slow paced and detailed. Fractured relationships and dark secrets make this a poignant read, but the quality of the characters and the setting are notable and resonate.