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

The Halfways Nilopar Uddin 4*#Review @NiloparUddin @HQStories #literaryfiction #familydrama #culture #belief #identity #love #relationships #friendship #secrets #blogtour #BookReview #TheHalfways #preorder

Nasrin and Sabrina are two sisters, who on the face of things live successful and enviable lives in London and New York. When their father, Shamsur suddenly dies, they rush to be with their mother at the family home and restaurant in Wales and reluctantly step back into the stifling world of their childhood.

When Shamsur’s will is read, a devastating secret is revealed that challenges all that people thought and loved about him. It also profoundly changes the lives and identities of the sisters, and creates an irreparable family rift…

Moving between London, Wales, New York and Bangladesh, this is an epic family drama that spans over four decades. A story of mothers and daughters, of fathers and daughters, of sisterhood, it is a tale that explores belonging, family and what makes forgiveness and redemption possible.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Intricate and poignant, this literary novel explores belief, culture, family, identity and love. The character-driven, emotional and gently paced tale immerses the reader in the lives of Nasrin and Sabrina. Their father’s death brings them back to the family home and business in Wales and changes everything. The language and sensory imagery produce a lyrical story full of conflict, secrets and love. Moving between the various characters and time frames, the reader learns their history and why they behave as they do.

I enjoyed the originality, believably flawed characters and the emotional journey through the women and their relatives’ lives.

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

A Leap of Faith for the Cornish Midwife Jo Bartlett 5*#Review @J_B_Writer @BoldwoodBooks #BlogTour @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #Cornwall #Coastal #BookReview #relationships #secrets #loss #faith # #Love #uplit #family #friendship #romance #ALeapofFaithfortheCornishMidwife

Midwife Izzy is devastated to learn that her beloved grandmother is dying. Abandoned as a baby by her own mother, her grandparents have been the only family Izzy has ever known and she wants to spend every last precious moment with them.

The new locum vicar, Noah, is wonderful support – kind, considerate and always there for Izzy whenever she needs a shoulder to cry on. But secretly Noah is battling his own doubts about his faith – how can he offer Izzy comfort if he doesn’t truly believe his own words?

When Izzy and Noah are brought together to support grieving parents, Noah reaches his breaking point. He can’t stay in Port Agnes and live a lie. But Izzy is adamant it’s the only place she can be….


Will love find a way or will Izzy’s hopes of a future be dashed?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Life’s beginnings and endings define this emotional and heartwarming story. Izzy experiences an emotional journey of loss and love. Her grandparents are lovely people who have brought Izzy up, and her grandmother’s illness makes her vulnerable. Gradually she realises the value of good friendships and understanding from the other midwives and the new vicar, Noah. Full of poignancy and gentle humour, this is a page-turner that touches your heart. Authentic characters, a coastal setting, and an engagingly emotional plot make this one of my favourite books I’ve read this year.

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

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

A Wedding at Sandy Cove: A Perfect Fit Bella Osborne 5*#Review @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella #romance #mystery #humour #drama #friendship #romcom #family #novella #serial #part4 #aperfectfit #preorder #AWeddingatSandyCove

This is the final part of a four part serial.

True love is never one-size-fits-all…

Against the odds, Ella got her best friend successfully down the aisle. As she waves Brittany off on her romantic honeymoon with her new husband, the moment feels bittersweet. Her own happy ending feels further away than ever.

While the other wedding guests are nursing their sore heads after too much champagne, Ella contemplates the bridal bouquet she caught the night before. Is it a sign? And does she even know what she wants it to be a sign of, anymore?

The heat between her and Kit is still undeniable, but there are barriers between them that feel too big to overcome.

And now with the unplanned return of her ex into her life, things feel more complicated than ever.

As summer draws to a close, Ella plans a birthday party on the beach to celebrate with friends and family. But as she turns another year older, will she be any wiser in life or in love?

The final instalment of this totally addictive summer read, full of laugh-out-loud moments, romance and friendship.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

So much has happened in the first three parts of this story that I wondered if everything would be resolved in this final part, but thankfully it is. Lucy is loved up, and you hope maybe she can find what she wants from this relationship. The divorce case she can’t forget has startling revelations and gives the story a dramatic subplot. Ella and Kit’s friendship is in doubt with the incident at the wedding, but on the positive side, Ella’s new business is succeeding.

Full of confusion, humour and romance, this delivers the perfect ending for all the friends. I love the drama and the wit; finally, Ella’s sense of self-worth is where it should be. Do Ella and Kit have their happy-ever-after? You’ll have to read this and find out, but I loved the ending too.

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year 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)

Read my review of Gown But Not Out (part3)

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Gothic Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Paranormal, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Forgotten House on the Moor Jane Lovering 5*#Review @janelovering @BoldwoodBooks #friendship #romance #relationships #secrets #selfbelief #psychology #NorthYorkshireMoors #gothic #mystery #ghosts #supernatural @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #TheForgottenHouseOnTheMoor

Mystery, mayhem, a manor house and a generous serving of romance… 

When the police knock on Alice Donaldson’s door at 4am, she knows the news won’t be good. There’s been an accident involving her ex-husband Grant, and as his existing next of kin, they need her help.

Grant is missing up on the North York moors, but the Grant Alice knew could barely be persuaded out on a walk around the block. What on earth possessed him to go on a hike in the middle of the night?

Alice soon finds herself working with Grant’s girlfriend Jenna and Jenna’s gorgeous ‘Lord of the family Manor’ brother Max, to find out what has happened, and what caused Grant’s accident at The Fortune House – the spooky house out on the moors.

The locals tell all manner of ghoulish stories about The Fortune House, which Alice is not minded to listen to. But before long, things take a turn for the strange and Max and Alice have a new mystery to solve. While all the while Alice can’t help hoping she might meet the requirements to be Max’s ‘Lady of the Manor’ at his country pile, Hatherleigh Hall.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The Forgotten House on the Moor delivers the mystery and gothic elements it promises. The original plot also has gentle romance, self-realisation for the main characters and lots of humorous moments that this author writes so well. Alice is not unhappy but unfulfilled when she receives an unexpected visit from the police with some surprising news it provokes her into action. The story that follows is full of humour, mystery and romance.

Complex characters that develop as the story progresses make this an engaging read. The well-written ghostly element adds depth to the story, and I liked the final twist.

Jane Lovering is the bestselling and award-winning romantic comedy writer who won the RNA Novel of the Year Award in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. She lives in Yorkshire and has a cat and a bonkers terrier, as well as five children who have now left home. 

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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 Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Travel

Rome for the Summer Lynne Shelby 5*#Review @LynneB1 @AccentPress #Romance #writers #artists #histfic #arthistory #Italy #Rome #SummerRead #RomefortheSummer #love #secrets #lies #trust #Relationships #travel #Friendships @rararesources #BookReview #BlogTour

Kate Harper has always loved the painting that has hung in her parents’ dining room for years, never suspecting that it is worth a fortune. When her art dealer boyfriend cheats her family out of the proceeds of the painting’s sale, she is left devastated and alone.

Kate discovers that two hundred years ago, the girl in the painting, Charlotte Browne, ran off to Rome with the artist who painted her portrait, but her eventual fate is unknown.

Hoping to uncover the mystery of what happened to Charlotte, Kate seizes the chance of a summer job in Rome, where she strikes up a friendship with artist Jamie Taylor.

As they explore the city and start to piece together the surprising secrets of Charlotte’s life, Kate finds herself wondering if summer in Rome can mend a broken heart…

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

If you enjoy your romance with an art historical twist, this lovely story set mainly in Rome provides the perfect escape. Kate decides to take a summer job in Rome when her boyfriend proves untrustworthy. Working at a historical house previously home to nineteenth-century English artists and writers is an excellent way to heal and try to solve a mystery.

I enjoyed the gentle romance between Kate and Jamie and the incredible sense of place this story has. The historical mystery revealed through journal entries adds authenticity and interest to the contemporary novel. The author brings Rome in the summer to vibrant life, and the art history and historical detail make this an engaging read.

I loved the romantic conclusion too.

Lynne Shelby

Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction and romance. Her debut novel, French Kissing (re-released in e-book as Meet Me In Paris), won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition, and her fifth novel, Love On Location, was shortlisted for a Romantic Novelists’Association Award – the Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy.

When not writing or reading, Lynne can usually be found at the theatre or exploring a foreign city with her writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband and has three adult children who live nearby.

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

A Golden Cornish Summer Phillipa Ashley 5* #Review @PhillipaAshley @AvonBooksUK #BookReview #Cornwall #Romance #friendship #coastal #summer #UpLit #secondchance #secrets #family #AGoldenCornishSummer

Under the golden Cornish sun, buried treasure and family secrets will change Emma’s life forever…

Emma loved her life in the seaside village of Silver Cove. But when the discovery of the sunken treasure ignited a feud between her family and that of Luke, her first love, everything fell apart. Heartbroken and betrayed, she fled.

Now, as she wades into the sparkling surf for the first time in fifteen years, she remembers everything she loved about this beautiful place. Then a huge wave knocks her off her feet. Wet and dripping, Emma is rescued by none other than Luke – who is, to her dismay, even more, handsome than ever.

Emma starts to wonder if returning home was a huge mistake. Or could the real treasure have been waiting here for her all along?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Emma returns to the cornish coastal village where she grew up with trepidation. It’s work that draws her home, but when she meets her first love, she wonders if she has made a mistake coming home. The rekindling of Emma and Lukes’s friendship is emotional and a bit of a rollercoaster. Both have trust issues and find it hard to let go of the past.

I enjoyed the Cornish setting and the beachcombing theme. There is a good mix of drama, romance and self-realisation in this story Complex characters draw the reader into their lives with longheld secrets.

It’s an ideal beach read full of emotion, friendship and a happy conclusion.

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…

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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 Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

A Wedding in Tuscany Sandy Barker 5*#Review @sandybarker @0neMoreChapter_ #humour #romcom #Friendship #selfrealisation #sisters #Romance #Tuscany #Italy @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #AWeddinginTuscany #TheHolidayRomance

The Parsons sisters are all loved up.

Sarah is living in Sydney with Josh and their cat, Domino, but is anxious about her fast-approaching fortieth birthday.

And Cat is still living in London with her flatmate, Jane, but is in a long-distance relationship with Jean-Luc, her childhood sweetheart and recently rediscovered love.

One of the sisters receives a surprise wedding proposal – it’s a yes! – and everyone heads off to Tuscany for a destination wedding.

Reunite with favourite characters from the Holiday Romance series in one of the most beautiful locations yet for love, laughter, wedding vows, and just a smidge of sisterly mayhem

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

It’s the final book in The Holiday Romance series, and it’s a fabulous finale for sisters Sarah and Cat and their friends. Set in Tuscany, the wedding of Cat and Jean-Luc has angst, humour, romance and poignancy and more than lives up to its dramatic setting. I love the sisterly dynamic between Cat and Sarah, the vividly described location and the authentically written characters and relationships. The story has a good mix of laughter and reflective moments, and the ending is lovely.

Sandy Barker

Sandy is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob. She lives in Melbourne Australia with her partner, Ben, who she met while travelling in Greece. Their real-life love story inspired Sandy’s debut novel One Summer in Santorini, the first in the Holiday Romance series with One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins.The series continues in That Night in Paris and A Sunset in Sydney followed by A Sunrise in Bali and A Wedding in Tuscany in 2022. Her standalone novel The Christmas Swap celebrates her favourite time of the year, and The Dating Game, a laugh-out-loud rom-com is set in the world of Reality TV.

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The Holiday Romance Series – Read my reviews.

One Summer in Santorini

That Night in Paris

A Sunset in Sydney

A Sunrise in Bali

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.