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

Other Parents Sarah Stovell 4*#Review @sarahlovescrime @HQStories #otherparents #relationships #community #secrets #rurallife #friendship #political #humour #noir #parenting

Rachel Saunders knows gossip is the price you pay for a rural lifestyle and outstanding schools. The latest town scandal is her divorce – and the fact that her new girlfriend has moved into the family home.

Laura Spence lives in a poky bedsit on the wrong side of town. She and her son Max don’t really belong, and his violent tantrums are threatening to expose the very thing she’s trying to hide.

When the local school introduces a new inclusive curriculum, Rachel and Laura find themselves on opposite sides of a fearsome debate.

But the problem with having your nose in everyone else’s business is that you often miss what is happening in your own home.

Waterstones Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Immersive, insightful and inquisitive are three adjectives that reading this novel conjures in the reader’s mind. It is an intriguing study of small-town/rural life from the viewpoint of five women. It explores disturbing contemporary issues, astutely exposing them to the reader. The narrators have an unreliable quality that makes it difficult to know who to believe and whose opinion to trust. It is addictive reading.

Believably flawed characters all have secrets, and there are relatable dynamics in the acquaintance, family and friendship groups. The writing has a lyrical quality, but the characters and situations are easily recognisable. Vivid settings and vibrant characters bring the story to life in an engaging way.

Sarah Stovell is a lecturer in creative writing at Lincoln University and a crime fiction author. She has published four novels, including the critically-acclaimed psychological thrillers Exquisite and The House. Her latest novel Other Parents, published in January 2022will delve into small-town British life through a series of scandals.

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

Making Waves At Penvennan Cove Linn B Halton #Review @LinnBHalton @Aria_Fiction #BookReview #MakingWavesAtPenvennanCove

For once, things are going well for thirty-year-old Kerra Shaw. She has a fulfilling job helping small businesses in the local community, she is within a few minutes walk of all the people she loves best, and most importantly, she has finally got together with her childhood sweetheart, Ross.

It’s not all plain sailing, though, because they have to keep their relationship a secret. The feud between their families still rages on, and Kerra doesn’t want to pour fuel on its flame and risk losing everything.

But Kerra should know better than anyone that secrets don’t stay hidden for long in a community like Penvennan Cove…

AmazonUK

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus Books – Aria Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

My second visit to Penvennan cove is heartwarming. Kerra and Ross continue their romance in secret, but are there ever secrets in a small-town setting? Read the first book in the series, if you can, as you learn a lot about the main characters and the community. This story of family, friendships, secrets and small-town communities has relatably flawed characters and a believable relationship dynamic. The ethos is contemporary and realistic and explores all aspects of living in a small coastal town. The setting is vibrant and complements this engaging story.

Read my review of Coming Home to Penvennan Cove

Linn B. Halton

From interior designer to author, when Linn B. Halton’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic. Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. Linn writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Friendship, Murder Mystery, New Books, Suspense

At Death’s Door: The Shires Mysteries Anna Legat  5*#Review @LegatWriter @AccentPress #CrimeFiction #Wiltshire  #AtDeathsDoor  #TheShiresMysteries #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #cozymystery #cosycrime #family #drama #MondayBlogs

When Maggie Kaye and Sam Dee join the Bishops Well archaeological dig, they are as surprised as everyone else to unearth a body that was buried there less than fifty years ago. It can’t possibly be the remains of an ancient Celt.

Maggie, with her usual flair – and psychic intuition – is convinced that there is more to this discovery than meets the eye. And some Bishops residents seem to know a lot more about the case than they are willing to let on.

But nobody is as shocked as Maggie when a face from the past – a face she thought she’d never see again – appears in the village, and long-hidden secrets begin to surface.

With danger at her door, and Sam by her side, can Maggie uncover the truth before it’s too late?

Amazon UK Waterstones Kobo Hive

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

My Thoughts…

The Shire Mysteries blend cosy crime with family drama. Maggie sees the dead, an invaluable gift in her role as amateur sleuth and often enlivens her neighbour Sam’s life with ghostly sightings and provoking thoughts.

An archaeological dig unearths an unexpected find that revisits the past. Tragedy in Maggie’s personal life leads to an unexpected visitor.

Believable characters, a well-written mystery and touches of humour make this a lovely escapist read.

Anna Legat

Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. Murder isn’t the only thing on her mind. She dabbles in a wide variety of genres, ranging from dark humorous comedy, through magic realism to dystopian. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

Wishing Under a Starlit Skye Lisa Hobman 5*#Review @LisaJHobmanAuth @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #Skye #parenting #Dating #Love #Romance #Friendship #MondayBlogs @bookandtonic

Glentorrin bakery owner, and lone parent, Caitlin Fraser, is single and finally ready to mingle.
With her daughter, Grace, about to become a teenager, and her friends all settling down, Caitlin decides she deserves a shot at happiness too.
Resisting the pull of dating apps, Caitlin embarks upon a series of disastrous singles events where she bumps into fellow villager, and astronomy buff, Archie Sutherland, who is nursing his own past secrets.
When Grace’s best friend’s father, handsome Lyle Budge, asks Caitlin to dinner, things progress quickly and she has a taste of what their future as a family could be, much to both their daughters’ delight! But when Archie makes a shocking discovery, and he turns to Caitlin for help, she soon discovers Lyle isn’t the sharing type, meaning prickly ultimatums loom for everyone.
Will wishing upon the stars over Glentorrin help Caitlin to figure out her way forward? Or is her hunt for romance like a once in a lifetime comet, easily missed in the blink of an eye?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is another emotional story set in Skye. The story focuses on Caitlin, a single mother who has invested her life in Grace, her daughter. Deciding she would like to start dating now her daughter is almost a teenager leads to many humorous and poignant moments in this engaging story.

Believably flawed characters and realistic friendship dynamics draw the reader into Glentorrin’s community and become invested in their lives. The location is vividly described and integral to the story.

The ending is romantic and heartwarming.

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. Her first title for Boldwood Dreaming Under an Island Skye was published in February 2021.

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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Motivational, New Books

The Library Bella Osborne 5*#Review @osborne_bella @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books @Amy_C_Watson #BookReview #Paperback #PublicationDay #TheLibrary

Unboxing of #TheLibrary

Tom is invisible. He happily blends into the background of life. But Farah Shah changes everything. Farah makes Tom want to stand up and be seen – at least by her. So Tom quickly decides the best way to learn about women is to delve into romance novels, and he finds himself at the village library where he befriends seventy-two-year-old, Maggie.

Maggie has been happily alone for ten years, at least this is what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue after a library meeting, never did she imagine a friendship that could change her life. As Maggie helps Tom navigate the best way to ask out Farrah, Tom helps Maggie realise the mistakes of her past won’t define her future.

But when the library comes under threat of closure, it’s up to Tom and Maggie to rally the community and save the library!

Will these two unlikely friends be able to bring everyone together and save their library?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a heartwarming, insightful exploration of friendship and its importance. Tom’s life isn’t easy. He copes by withdrawing into his introverted world. The library’s attraction for Tom is for something more than its books. There he meets Maggie. She’s not the teenage girl he seeks but an older lady who tries to keep busy and loves the community feel of the library. Maggie is an extrovert, hit hard by the inherent loneliness of old age. Both are needy, and both have something to give to each other and the community too.
This contemporary story told from both character viewpoints is humorous and poignant. The characters are believably created and relatable. The community spirit is uplifting, and the character development and self-realisation satisfying.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Travel

The Arctic Curry Club Dani Redd 4* #Review @dani_redd @AvonBooksUK #TheArcticCurryClub #BookReview #HappyNewYear

Soon after upending her life to accompany her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic, Maya realises it’s not all Northern Lights and husky sleigh rides. Instead, she’s facing sub-zero temperatures, 24-hour darkness, crippling anxiety – and a distant boyfriend as a result.

In her loneliest moment, Maya opens her late mother’s recipe book and cooks Indian food for the first time. Through this, her confidence unexpectedly grows – she makes friends, secures a job as a chef, and life in the Arctic no longer freezes her with fear.

But there’s a cost: the aromatic cuisine rekindles memories of her enigmatic mother and her childhood in Bangalore. Can Maya face the past and forge a future for herself in this new town? After all, there’s now high demand for a Curry Club in the Arctic, and just one person with the know-how to run it…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK in return for an honest review,

My Thoughts…

This story is heartwarming, but it’s also poignant and realistic. It’s and a journey of self-realisation. Ultimately uplifting, but it took me a while to get into it. Maya is a complex character who endears empathy and frustration in equal measures. Peppered with deceit, humour and sadness, it engages the reader.

The research and personal experience resonate. Coupled with the original locations, and plot it’s worth reading.

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

Christmas Surprises at Mermaids Point Sarah Bennett 5*#Review @BoldwoodBooks @Sarahlou_writes @rararesources #friendship #romance #family #coastal #community @bookandtonic #festive #novella #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview #ChristmasSurprisesatMermaidsPoint

Christmas is a time for love, laughter, families and friends, and in Mermaids Point, everyone is getting ready for the festive season.

For Nerissa and Tom, this will be their first Christmas as a couple, but making sure they have time for each other, whilst blending their families, will take some careful planning. What festive traditions will they make their own?

Laurie and Jake are flat out running Laurie’s seafront café, packaging up orders of mince pies, sausage rolls and other delectable Christmas goodies, as well as finding time for Jake’s journalism.  But when Jake’s mum offers them an unexpected gift, their plans are turned upside down.

Alex can’t help but be charmed by beautiful and talented Ivy, but he’s still recovering from his ex-wife’s betrayal and has a secret life he’s not ready to share with anyone yet. But as the Christmas spirit starts weaving its magic, Alex may find himself ready for love sooner than he imagines.

For Andrew, nothing is more important than family. As friends and family gather beneath his roof it’s a time for reflection about what the future might hold.

As far as Nick is concerned, pop sensation Aurora Storm is the one that got away. After they shared a brief holiday fling, he has been thinking about her ever since. Is Christmas the perfect time to finally reach out to her, or is love at first sight just in fairy tales?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

As well as Christmas surprises, this story connects the two excellent stories that I’ve already read. Whilst giving the reader a taste of the angst and romance to come in this series. There are updates on the two couples featured in the two previous novels and the introduction of new but connected characters. The community spirit and uplifting ethos that define this series are evident, with a lovely festive twist.

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.

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Read my review of Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point

Read my review of Autumn Dreams at Mermaid’s Point

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Snow Falls Over Sunnybrook, Little Duck Pond Café Rosie Green 5*#Review @Rosie_Green88 @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #romcom #Festive #cosymystery #LittleDuckPondCafe #ThursdayThoughts #SnowFallsOverSunnybrook

The chance to spend a night ghost-hunting alone with Hudson Holmes at Brambleberry Manor seems like a dream come true for Ruby Watkiss. Maybe, she thinks, this is their chance to get closer? But when mysterious goings-on start happening which have nothing to do with the spirit world, the pair are catapulted off on another sleuthing adventure. And as the snow starts to fall and emotions are rising at the Little Duck Pond Cafe, Ruby is faced with a double challenge. Can she be braver than she’s ever been, in order to rescue something very close to her heart? And can she convince Hudson that Christmas really can be the most wonderful time of the year?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The third cosy mystery featuring Ruby and Hudson starts at Halloween and leads to the intrepid pair of amateur sleuths spending the night in a supposed haunted room. Ruby is hoping for romance, but Hudson seems intent on avoiding the passion simmering between them. A mystery van leads to a real-life investigation that puts Ruby in danger and has the reader on tenterhooks.

There are appearances from other familiar characters in the Little Duck Pond Cafe to please regular readers as Ruby and Hudson’s potential romance experiences conflict and misunderstandings. The reader is absorbed in both cosy mystery and romantic comedy elements with a delightful festive ending.

Another perfect slice of life at the Little Duck Pond Cafe.

Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘The Wedding Cake Wish’, is out now. Look out for more Little Duck Pond Café tales in 2022, including ‘Chocolate Cake for Breakfast’ and ‘Christmas in June’.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books, Romance, Travel

The Lost Girl in Paris Jina Bacarr 5*#Review @JinaBacarr @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #BlogTour #HistFic #WW2 #BookReview #Romance #Drama #secrets #perfume #France #Paris #TheLostGirlinParis

Brand new from the bestselling author of The Resistance Girl.

1940, Nazi-occupied Paris. A powerful story of love, tragedy and incredible courage, about one woman whose life is ripped apart by war and who risks everything to seek justice.

As Nazis patrol the streets of the French capital, Tiena is alone, desperate and on the run. After defending herself against the force of an officer, she must find a new identity in order to survive.

An accidental meeting with members of the Resistance gives her a lifeline, as she is offered the chance to reinvent herself as perfumer Angéline de Cadieux.

However, Angéline will never forget what happened to her and will do everything she can to seek revenge. But vengeance can be a dangerous game, and Angeline can only hide her true identity for so long before her past catches up with her, with some devastating consequences…

Paris, 2003. When the opportunity arises for aspiring journalist Emma Keane to interview world-renowned perfumer Madame De Cadieux about her life during World War Two, she is determined to take it. There are secrets from her own family history that she hopes Angéline may be able to help unlock.

But nothing can prepare Emma for Angéline’s story, and one thing is for certain – it will change her own life forever…

An absolutely heartbreaking, unforgettable historical novel of war, sacrifice and survival.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Believably crafted characters and vivid historical details bring this story to life for the reader. This story explores occupied France from the viewpoint of a young girl. The author captures the sense of danger and menacing ethos brilliantly. The vibrant descriptions and violent emotions are immersive.

The woman she becomes is a famous perfumer, and again the details give the character authenticity and depth. Her story is retold years later to a young journalist seeking answers about her ancestry. The secrets are devastating, the tragedy of war, and the evil of the occupying regime resonates.

This story balances action and introspection in an addictive way making this an absorbing and heartbreaking read but so worth the angst.

JinaBacarr

Jina Bacarr is a US-based historical romance author of over 10 previous books. She has been a screenwriter, journalist and news reporter, but now writes full-time and lives in LA. Jina’s novels have been sold in 9 territories.

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

Strictly Christmas Spirit Helen Buckley 4*#Review @HelenCBuckley @ChocLituk #spotlight #Festive @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs #StrictlyChristmasSpirit


From disco balls to Christmas baubles …
Ex-dancer Emily Williams turned her back on the sparkle of popular dancing show Strictly Dancing with Celebs to help those in need. Now the only dancing she does is teaching lonely pensioners to waltz, and the closest she gets to disco balls is making baubles with the homeless people in her Christmas crafts class.
She’s certainly not star-struck when Hollywood heart-throb Blake Harris is sent to her at short notice for community service, and has no desire to babysit the arrogant actor with his bad boy antics and selfish ways. Christmas might be a time for miracles, but Blake seems to be a lost cause.
But Emily’s reasons for abandoning her dancing passion means she understands the Hollywood wild child more than she’d like to admit. Could their time together, coupled with a dash of Christmas spirit, lead to a miracle change of heart for them both?
Book 3 in Helen’s Spotlight series but they can all be read as standalone stories.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

If you enjoy your festive reading with gentle romance and examples of the true meaning of this time of year, this heartwarming story is for you. The reader meets Emily in the spotlight, where things are not going to plan. Then Blake is introduced as he hits a low point in his life. The setting for the story isn’t glamorous, but it’s a place of hope.

The story has seasonal predictability but does explore contemporary issues in a meaningful way. The romance between Emily and Blake is inevitable, but there are many conflicts and misunderstandings.

The cast of characters add authenticity and the romance grows believably. It’s an easy and uplifting read that makes you think.

Helen Buckley

Ever since I was little I wanted to be a writer, to turn daydreams into books. I’m fascinated by fame, in love with Happy Ever Afters, and enthralled by slow-burn romances. I squeeze in time to write around looking after my two sons. 

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