Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Couple Upstairs Shalini Boland 5*#Review @ShaliniBoland @bookouture #Relationships #Secrets #Lies #Friendship #BookReview #psychsuspense #TheCoupleUpstairs

Our new home was supposed to be a chance to leave our past behind. But was moving here the worst mistake of our lives?

All our friends and family were gathered, glasses raised to toast our fresh start. It should have been a night for happiness and celebration. Zac and I had worked so hard for this: our first home together, just minutes from the sea. But the dream quickly turned into a nightmare…

We’d invited our neighbours too. I wanted to make a good impression – to show them we’re exactly the sort of people they want living on their street.

I hadn’t thought about who they might be, the strangers I was letting in.

It was going so well. There was laughter in the air and the wine was flowing. But then I noticed the narrowed eyes, the whispers.

And then the lights went out.

As my heart thumped in my chest, all the little things that had been going wrong since we moved here flashed through my mind: the food poisoning, the arguments, the flood of nasty reviews shaking my business.

Am I going crazy? Or is someone trying to destroy us?

From the USA Today bestselling author Shalini Boland comes an absolutely heart-thumping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Supremely confident psychological suspense with an unreliable protagonist, a supposedly idyllic community setting that is not quite what it seems and a manipulative and twisted antagonist. I love this author’s books because there is always an unexpected twist. For regular readers, the fun is trying to guess who isn’t what they seem.

Classic, domestic suspense with the expected underlying edge of menace. What seems obvious is twisted until it is unrecognisable and the threat real. The perfect book if you like your psychological suspense atmospheric and well-written.

Posted in Book Review, Espionage - Spy - Thriller, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Fiction, New Books, Romance

Her Secret War Pam Lecky 4*#Review @pamlecky @AvonBooksUK #BookReview #HistoricalFiction #WW2 #espionage #IrishFiction #PublicationDay #WomeninWar #secrets #HerSecretWar

A moment that ruins her life

On 31st May 1941, Germany drops bombs on neutral Dublin and Sarah Gillespie loses her family and home that fateful night. Days later, the man she loves leaves Ireland to enlist in the RAF.

A decision that changes her life

With nothing to keep her in Ireland and a burning desire to help the war effort, Sarah seeks refuge with relatives in Hampshire, England. But before long, Sarah’s family history catches up with her.

A mission that could cost her life

Sarah is asked to prove her loyalty to Britain through uncovering a spy at Vickers Supermarine, the manufacturers of the legendary Spitfire fighter plane. But to progress with her mission, she must become involved with a fifth columnist. And so the most dangerous game she’s ever played ensues…
  

A gripping story that explores a deadly tangle of love and espionage in war-torn Britain.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is told from an Irish woman’s perspective bringing refreshing originality to its WW2 setting. Sarah seeks solace with her Uncle and his family in England after the devastating loss of her family in Dublin. Embracing an English way of life, she does her bit for the war effort.

Sarah’s nationality and skills embroil her in a dangerous espionage mission that threatens everyone she values. This story has friendship, family drama and romance alongside the intriguing world of wartime espionage. There are intricate historical details and believable character development in an ethos of courage and danger, and it’s an engaging read.

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

We Are Not Like Them Christine Pride and Jo Piazza 4* #Review @jopiazza #ChristinePride @HQStories #HQNewVoices #WANLT #Women #Race #Mothers #Love #Betrayal #Friendship #injustice #literaryfiction #prejudice #courage #forgiveness #WeAreNotLikeThem

Not every story is black and white.

Riley and Jen have been best friends since they were children, and they thought their bond was unbreakable. It never mattered to them that Riley is black and Jen is white. And then Jen’s husband, a Philadelphia police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager and everything changes in an instant.

This one act could destroy more than just Riley and Jen’s friendship. As their community takes sides, so must Jen and Riley, and for the first time in their lives the lifelong friends find themselves on opposing sides.

But can anyone win a fight like this?

We Are Not Like Them is about friendship and love. It’s about prejudice and betrayal. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, no matter the cost.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story explores injustice, prejudice and race in an insightful way from the perspective of an interracial friendship. The beginning is poignant and fills the reader with anger at the injustice of the indiscriminate shooting of a young black male. Immediately the question, would the victim be lying there dying if he was white, is at the forefront of the reader’s mind.

Then the two female protagonists are introduced, Jen is a homemaker, Riley, a successful broadcast journalist, Jen is white, Riley is black, and they have been friends since childhood. The repercussions of the shooting are delivered to them independently, but as Jen runs and leaves Riley questioning, both sense this the end of something.

Their friendship has survived the years by avoidance of potentially divisive issues which the shooting and its fallout bring to the fore. Inequalities exist in Jen and Riley’s relationship. Riley is the giver, Jen is the taker, and this is significant for what follows.

The story explores contemporary issues. It strives to present everyone’s viewpoints whether this is successful is open for debate. Well written, and eloquent it engages the reader and provokes thinking.

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

A Winter Wish for the Cornish Midwife Jo Bartlett 4*#Review @J_B_Writer @BoldwoodBooks #BlogTour @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #Cornwall #Coastal #BookReview #relationships #secrets #loss #grief #SecondChances #Love #uplit #Dreams #AWinterWishfortheCornishMidwife

A secret love…

As winter descends on the coastal town of Port Agnes, midwife Toni Samuels’ mood is as dark as the winter clouds that roll in. Toni loves her job as a midwife, but her private life is falling apart. Because Toni is keeping a secret– a relationship with fellow male midwife Bobby that no one can ever know about.

A damaged hope…

Kind and gorgeous, Bobby is a huge hit at the midwifery centre, but he’s tired of keeping his feelings for Toni a secret – of always coming second best. He knows that Toni’s past is painful, but unless she can be open with her feelings for him, he’s prepared to walk away from their love.

Can love find a way?

Toni loves Bobby and wishes things could be different between them. But torn between her past and a future with him, everything seems hopeless. Until fate hands Toni one last chance…

Now Toni’s secret wish is in her hands…if only she can be brave enough to take a chance and make her dreams come true.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The third book in the Cornish Midwife series is full of angst, emotion and loss. It focuses on Toni and Bobby and the story behind their secret affair. The prologue sets the scene in a customary dramatic way and what follows is a story full of guilt, sacrifice and forgotten wishes.

This story is both frustrating and heartwarming, as the reader urges Toni to consider her happiness first and think of the future that is hers if she is brave enough to let go and move on. This story immerses the reader in Toni and Bobby’s lives and the contrast in them. It is less dramatic but more emotionally intense than the previous two stories.

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 is published the first title in The Cornish Midwife Series – part of a twelve-book deal – in April 2021. 

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

The Cosy Cottage in Ireland Julie Caplin 5*#Review @JulieCaplin @0neMoreChapter_ #RomanticEscapes @rararesources #Ireland #CookerySchool #CelebrityChef #lawyer #Romance #Travel #HolidayRomance #TheCosyCottageinIreland #BlogTour #BookReview @Juleswake

Snuggle up in your favourite armchair and take a trip across the Irish sea for comfort food, cosy cottage nights and a heartwarming romance…

Talented lawyer Hannah Campbell is after a change in her workaholic Manchester life – so on an uncharacteristic whim she books herself a place at the world-renowned Killorgally Cookery School in Country Kerry. But on her first night in Ireland, sampling the delights of Dublin, Hannah can’t resist falling for the charms of handsome stranger Conor. It’s only when Hannah arrives at her postcard-pretty home at Killorgally for the next six weeks that she discovers what happens in Dublin doesn’t quite stay in Dublin …

Nestled amongst rolling green hills and breath-taking countryside, the cookery school throws Hannah and Conor together – for better or worse.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins UK – One More Chapter via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Dublin is brought to life in an atmospheric and visual way in the first few pages of this story. Hannah and Conor’s first meeting is full of humour and simmering passion. When this becomes something more, it seems like a natural progression even though it is out of character for Hannah.

There’s a well-described rural setting for the cookery school, with an eclectic mix of course attendees reminiscent of Bake-Off. that add variety with their believable dynamic. The romance has obvious chemistry but is conflicted as Conor has secrets, Hannah is so attracted to him, but she doesn’t want to be just another conquest. The story even has an intriguing mystery.

Gentle romance, humour and vibrant characters make this an engaging, romantic escape.

Julie Caplin

Julie Caplin, formerly a PR director, swanned around Europe for many years taking top food and drink writers on press trips (junkets) sampling the gastronomic delights of various cities in Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Copenhagen and Switzerland. It was a tough job but someone had to do it. 

These trips have provided the inspiration and settings for her Romantic Escapes series which have been translated into fifteen different languages.

The first book in the eight strong series, The Little Café in Copenhagen, was shortlisted for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

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

Mistletoe at Moonstone Lake Holly Martin 5*#Review @HollyMAuthor #BlogTour #BookReview #RomCom #festive #Winter #MistletoeatMoonstoneLake

Escape to the breathtaking Cornish Coast this winter, where the ocean sparkles in the moonlight and romance crackles like an open fire. This gorgeous new love story by Holly Martin, bestselling author of Sunlight Over Crystal Sands, is the perfect treat to warm your heart this Christmas.

Artist Zoey Flynn hadn’t planned to spend her favourite holiday on the shores of Jewel Island, but when her fiancé breaks off their engagement before their Christmas Eve wedding, this Cornish paradise is just the distraction she needs.

With a cosy cottage to call home for a month and a stall at the island’s famous Christmas market to sell her paintings, Zoey quickly puts her heartbreak behind her. Love is the last thing on her mind. That is until the handsome Kit Lewis crosses her path…

Their connection is instant, but Zoey has a secret. And the deeper she and Kit fall for one another, the harder it is to hide. Kit knows Zoey is holding something back and if she won’t tell him the truth she could lose him forever.

Is keeping a promise from the past worth sacrificing a future with the man she loves? Or might Kit be the one person she can trust?

Love, laughter and long-hidden secrets are waiting for you on stunning Jewel Island.

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

My Thoughts…

Like all books in the Jewel island series, this one is full of engaging characters. There is emotion, laughter, mystery and romance, with the addition of a Christmas market and other relatable festive touches. Christmas time on Jewel Island is lovely and vivid imagery draws the reader into the festivities. Zoey and Kit’s cute meet is memorable. It leads to an instant connection and hilarity. The visual images the author conjures up resonate.

There’s definite chemistry, but past heartbreaks make them cautious. Christmas has its complications, but like all good Christmas stories, this one has a lovely ending.

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

Sunrise Over Pebble Bay Della Galton 5*#Review @DellaGalton @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #Family #Romance #Friendship #BlogTour #BookReview #boldwoodbloggers #SunriseOverPebbleBay

All NEW – Escape to Dorset and the beautiful Chesil Beach with bestselling author Della Galton.

Talented, yet relatively unknown actress and celebration cake baker extraordinaire Olivia Lambert is running out of time.

Approaching forty, she’s yet to land the role that will launch her television career and she’s desperate to be a mum.

Her new man, Phil Grimshaw from the Bluebell Cliff Hotel, seems the perfect match, but seems to be in no rush to settle down.

Having ditched her childhood sweetheart and fiancé, Tom Boyd, when he backtracked about being a dad, Olivia dreads making the same mistake again.

Rocked by confessions from both her sister Ruby and Tom, Olivia knows it’s time to make some life changing decisions.

Then a terrifying incident off Chesil Beach changes the course of her future and brings Olivia to question everything she values and loves.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is book four in this series set in Dorset, and it feels like the last one?

It focuses on Olivia, an actress on the brink of her best role, and Phil the maitre d’ at the Bluebell Cliff hotel. Phil is a recurring character, so it’s good to see him get his story too. Olivia pays the bills by making celebration cakes and excels at this, despite a few humorous mishaps on the way.

Olivia’s is not close to her family in the traditional sense, but there is a lot of love, especially between Olivia and her aunt Dawn. Olivia’s relationship with her sister develops positively. Olivia wants children, and this overriding need is explored insightfully in this story.

It’s a medley of family drama, relationships and romance against a Dorset backdrop which adds vivacity. There is humour to balance the poignant moments, which makes this an uplifting read.

The epilogue suggests this may be the last one as it draws the series together well.

Della Galton

Della Galton is the author of many books, including Ice and a Slice.  She writes short stories, teaches writing groups and is Agony Aunt for Writers Forum Magazine.  She lives in Dorset. Della’s new fiction series launched with Sunshine Over Bluebell Cliff in May 2020.

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Read my review of Sunshine Over Bluebell Cliff

Read my review of Moonlight Over Studland Bay

Read my review of Shooting Stars Over Bluebell Cliff

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

The Village Inn of Secret Dreams Alison Sherlock 5*#Review @AlisonSherlock @BoldwoodBooks #RiversideLane #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #Romance #Rural #Community #SecondChances #Village #Friendship #Cotswolds #Dreams @bookandtonic #TheVillageInnofSecretDreams

Brand NEW from the bestselling author of The Village Shop For Lonely Hearts.

After escaping her parents’ unhappy marriage to sleepy Cranbridge a long time ago, Belle Clarke dreams of staying at The Black Swan Inn forever.

But with the rundown Inn threatened with closure, Belle may be forced to leave, unless a buyer can be found … quickly.

So, when her oldest friend Pete Kennedy returns from working abroad with a plan to save the Inn, Belle should be overjoyed. The trouble is, Pete has some rather radical ideas for the renovation which Belle disagrees with.

But when a snow storm hits, Belle and Pete are forced to put aside their differences and work together to help the village.

Can Belle realise her dreams to stay in Cranbridge and can Pete ever stop running from his past?

As they try to save The Black Swan Inn, secrets are revealed and just maybe they’ll finally find out how they really feel about each other.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Belle and Pete are the main focus of book three in the Riverside Lane series. Belle is in danger of losing her home, and Pete returns to the village after years away and becomes the unlikely saviour of the pub and Belle, but his offer seems to lead to more conflict. Pete is Belle’s friend, but their relationship dynamic suggests they are more than this. They don’t see themselves as a couple, but their family, friends and the wider community do.

This is a romantic story with realistic conflict and humour. Likeably flawed main protagonists and the supporting characters give the village authenticity. Like the other books in the series, it explores contemporary issues through the characters in an insightful way.

This uplifting story weaves community spirit, friendship and romance into its idyllic but lifelike village setting.

Alison Sherlock

Alison Sherlock is the author of the bestselling Willow Tree Hall books. Alison enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age and gave up office life to follow her dream. Her new series for Boldwood is set in a fictional Cotswold Village and book one The Village Shop for Lonely Hearts was published in July 2020 and book two The Village of Lost and Found in March 2021.

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

A Little Piece of Paradise T.A.Williams 5*#Review @TAWilliamsBooks @canelo_co #Family #Relationships #Sisters #Secrets #Romance #Friendship #PublicationDay #BookReview #Labrador #LoveFromItaly #ALittlePieceofParadise @rararesources

The inheritance of a lifetime… with a catch

When Sophie’s uncle leaves her a castle in the Italian Riviera in his will, she can’t believe her luck. The catch? She and her estranged sister, Rachel, must live there together for three months in order to inherit it.  

Having worked in Rome for four years, Sophie’s excited to revisit to Italy, even if it reignites memories of a cheating ex who soon learns of her return and wants to rekindle their spark. Sophie realises that distance does indeed make the heart grow fonder – but for her friend back home, Chris, who she discovers is more to her than just a friend.

With the clock ticking, can Sophie and Rachel stick it out and heal old wounds, or are the sisters destined to go their own way at the end of the three months? And does Chris feel the same way about Sophie as she does for him?

A beautiful story of romance and sisterhood.

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Familial relationships and secrets make this an engaging read from an author best known for his romantic comedies. Sophie and Rachel are estranged sisters brought together by an unexpected inheritance. The Italian castle is theirs if they live there together for three months. The bond between the sisters and their conflicts are well described. Their gradual understanding is heartwarming.
Romance, rivalry, and family secrets make this an engaging read. The vividly described setting and the Italian ethos draws the reader into the sunshine.

T.A.Williams

I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.

The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.

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

Falling in Louvre Fiona Leitch 5*#Review @fkleitch #romcom #mystery #domestic #supense #uplit #Paris #Louvre #FallinginLouvre #BookReview @rararesources #BlogTour

A heartfelt, funny and romantic caper – a mashup masterpiece!’

Sandy Barker, author of ‘That Night in Paris’.

Bertrand is King of the Pigeons…

Unofficially. From his perch atop a gargoyle on Notre Dame cathedral, he surveys his kingdom. He sees Sylvie Cloutier, art lover and ex-antiques dealer, making dinner for her bullying husband Henri, trapped in their loveless marriage like a bird in a gilded cage. He sees security guard, hopeless romantic and bookworm Philippe Moreau cycling through the streets of Paris in his crumpled uniform, late (again) for his night shift at the museum.

When Sylvie begs her husband to let her go to work, he gets her a job as an evening cleaner at the Louvre. He thinks such a menial position will dispel any ideas about independence she might have, but his plan backfires when she falls in love with kind, gentle Philippe. They decide to run away together, but there’s a major problem: neither of them has any money.

One stormy night in the Louvre, the answer to their prayers falls into their lap… But is it really the solution, or just another, even bigger problem?

What follows is a romantic, wistful but madcap adventure through (and under) the city of lights, involving a stolen painting, an art heist in reverse, and Eric Cantona. Will love find a way?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a charming romantic Parisian escapade. In 2016, Paris, the city of lovers was also, the city of flooding and football. The reader meets Sylvie, trapped in a controlling marriage, a shadow of her former vibrant self and Phillipe, a gentle individual through the eyes of Bertrand, a Parisian pigeon. Sylvie and Phillipe meet at the Louvre, not as romantic as it sounds, but they are drawn to each other and enjoy an epic, escapist adventure but will they find happiness?

Believable characters and the Parisian setting come to vibrant life through vivid imagery. Humour and poignancy ebb and flow into a plot full of adventure, mystery and romance with a magical twist.

Fiona Leitch

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. Her debut novel and first in the Bella Tyson series, ‘Dead in Venice’, was published by Audible as one of their Crime Grant finalists, and her bestselling cosy mystery series, The Nosey Parker Mysteries, is published by One More Chapter/HarperCollins.

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Read my review of Murder Ahoy

Read my review of Murder on the Menu (Book1)

Read my review of A Brush with Death (Book2)

Read my Review of A Sprinkle of Sabotage(Book3)