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

Who’s Lying Now? Susan Lewis 5*#Review @susanlewisbooks @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #Lies #Secrets #Love #Relationships #Forgiveness #FamilyDrama #Marriage #Friendship #detective #BookReview #WhosLyingNow @RandomTTours

You think you’re safe.

You think you know your neighbours.

But can you ever really know who’s telling the truth?

Jeannie Symonds is a force to be reckoned with – an eccentric, award-winning publisher, spending lockdown with her husband in a house near Kesterly-on-Sea. She seems to have it all: a high-flying career, a happy marriage, a niece she adores.

And then one day, she vanishes.

Cara Jakes is a new trainee investigator – young, intelligent and eager to prove herself. When she teams up with detective Andee Lawrence to look into the disappearance, she is determined to find out what has really happened to Jeannie. Cara begins to question the residents of this close-knit community, sure that someone has a secret to hide.

But how can she separate the truth from the lies?

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Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Fiction.

My Thoughts…

Who’s Lying Now? is compelling contemporary fiction set against the backdrop of lockdown in the UK. Told from varying viewpoints with timelines before and after Jeannie’s disappearance, this keeps you guessing with multiple suspects and a fast-paced, twisty plot.

The lockdown setting familiar to most is instantly relatable and immerses the reader in the story. The tangle of interrelationships surrounding the missing women intensifies the suspense and adds layers of deception to the plot, especially as many viewpoints are unreliable.

The balance of the detectives’ investigation and the elements of psychological suspense are intriguing and make this an absorbing read.

Susan Lewis

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including One Minute Later and Home Truths and My Lies, Your Lies. Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s. Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France but now resides in Gloucestershire with her husband James, two stepsons and dog, Mimi.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books, Regency Romance, Romance

The People’s Princess Flora Harding 5*#Review #Audiobook #Review #Narrator Julie Teal #ThePeoplesPrincess #HistFic #HistoricalFiction

Step behind the palace doors in this gripping historical novel that is a must read for fans of The Crown and Princess Diana!

Buckingham Palace, 1981

Her engagement to Prince Charles is a dream come true for Lady Diana Spencer but marrying the heir to the throne is not all that it seems. Alone and bored in the palace, she resents the stuffy courtiers who are intent on instructing her about her new role as Princess of Wales…

But when she discovers a diary written in the 1800s by Princess Charlotte of Wales, a young woman born into a gilded cage so like herself, Diana is drawn into the story of Charlotte’s reckless love affairs and fraught relationship with her father, the Prince Regent.

As she reads the diary, Diana can see many parallels with her own life and future as Princess of Wales.

The story allows a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in the palace, the tensions in Diana’s relationship with the royal family during the engagement, and the wedding itself.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

The People’s Princess is a dual timeline historical fiction audiobook inspired by Diana and Charlotte, Princesses of Wales. The narrator makes the characters authentic and easy to visualise. The listener quickly develops empathy with Charlotte and Diana.

Charlotte’s viewpoint stems from a personal journal found by a historian and given to the fictional Diana character before her wedding. The book portrays the Regency period as severe rather than romantic for Princess Charlotte. Diana’s story reflects the public perception of the time before her marriage that later emerged through the media. Her story is one of coming of age, disillusionment and poignancy. Parallels between the two teased out in this historical fiction make it compelling listening.

I enjoyed the creative sensory imagery that brought Regency England and London in 1981 vividly to life, immersing the listener in the two different worlds. It is an emotional story with believably flawed characters and pertinent historical details that make this is an engaging audiobook.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense

The Paris Apartment Lucy Foley 4*#Review @LucyFoleyTweets @HarperFiction #HarperCollinsUK #TheParisApartment #BookReview #MurderMystery #mystery #PsychologicalSuspense #Suspense #Paris #Family #noircrime

Welcome to No.12 rue des Amants

A beautiful old apartment block, far from the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower and the bustling banks of the Seine.

Where nothing goes unseen, and everyone has a story to unlock.

The watchful concierge
The scorned lover
The prying journalist
The naïve student
The unwanted guest

There was a murder here last night.
A mystery lies behind the door of apartment three.

Who holds the key? 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

The Paris Apartment is a building with a timeless faded glory, but it also has secrets that Jess has to unravel to find her brother Ben. Atmospheric and intense, this is a compelling mystery with a cast of unlikeable characters and an unreliable protagonist. This story has a noir flavour, and the plot is twisty. It keeps the reader engaged and guessing.

I like the setting, which is powerful and an essential part of the mystery. The characterisation is intricate, and the multi viewpoints with before and after timelines are compelling. The plot is multi-layered and concludes in a dramatic yet believable way.

Posted in Adventure Fiction, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Psychological Suspense

The Castaways Lucy Clarke 5*#Review @lucyclarkebooks @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #TheCastaways #psychological #suspense #sisters #Fiji #BookReview #weekendreads

It should be like any other holiday.

Beautiful beaches.

Golden sunsets.

Nothing for miles.

You’ll never want to leave.

Until you can’t…

Gripping, twisty and full of sun-soaked atmosphere, THE CASTAWAYS will whisk you far away to the island – and never let you go.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Sisters Erin and Lori have a close bond. When Lori’s long term relationship breaks down, Erin is there for her, so it’s natural Lori wants them to be together on her trip to a remote Fijian island. It’s written from the sisters’ viewpoints, Erin in the present, and Lori, in the past. Immersed in their story from the beginning, it’s an intensely poignant read.

Vivid sensory imagery makes it easy to imagine the action and settings. An addictive balance of action and introspection has believable twists. The realistic ending retains a pleasing element of unpredictability.

Read my review of Let Me In

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Detective, Historical Crime Fiction, New Books, Noir, Thriller

The Heretic Liam McIlvanney 5* #Review @LiamMcIlvanney @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #BookReview #TheHeretic #DuncanMcCormack #CrimeFiction #ScottishCrime #1975 #HistoricalFiction

Glasgow 1975

A deadly fire
An arson attack on a Glasgow warehouse causes the deaths of a young mother and child. 
Police suspect it’s the latest act in a brutal gang warfare that’s tearing the city apart – one that DI Duncan McCormack has been tasked with stopping.

A brutal murder
Five years ago he was walking on water as the cop who tracked down a notorious serial killer.  But he made powerful enemies and when a mutilated body is found in a Tradeston slum,
McCormack is assigned a case that no one wants. The dead man is wearing a masonic ring, though, and Duncan realizes the victim is not the down-and-out his boss had first assumed.

A catastrophic explosion
As McCormack looks into both crimes, the investigations are disrupted by a shocking event. 
A bomb rips through a pub packed with people – and a cop is killed in the blast.  The cases are stacking up and with one of his own unit now dead, McCormack is in the firing line.

But he’s starting to see a thread – one that connects all three attacks…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an atmospheric, disturbing crime thriller. I like the menacing ethos created by the author, where anything could happen. Vibrant characters draw the reader into their world through excellent characterisations, and it’s a frightening place to be. The setting is vividly described and intrinsic to the plot. The sense of forbidding and hopelessness keeps the reader engaged throughout.

Read my review of The Quaker

Posted in Book Review, Book Spotlight, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Literary Fiction, Romance

When the Music Stops Joe Heap 5*#Review @Joe_Heap_ @harperfiction @HarperCollinsUK #literaryfiction #music #love #life #loss #uplit #serendipity #BookReview #WhentheMusicStops @RandomTTours @fictionpubteam #Paperback #28October2021

Out in paperback today.

This is the story of Ella.
And Robert.
And of all the things they should have said, but never did.

‘What have you been up to?’
I shrug, ‘Just existing, I guess.’
‘Looks like more than just existing.’
Robert gestures at the baby, the lifeboat, the ocean.
‘All right, not existing. Surviving.’
He laughs, not unkindly. ‘Sounds grim.’
‘It wasn’t so bad, really. But I wish you’d been there.’

Ella has known Robert all her life.

Through seven key moments and seven key people, their journey intertwines.
 
From the streets of Glasgow during WW2 to the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll of London in the 60s and beyond, this is a story of love and near misses.

Of those who come into our lives and leave it too soon.

And of those who stay with you forever…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a beautifully written story of life, love, loss and serendipity. Music and the number seven define the parameters of this story which explores Ella’s life and her lifelong love of Robert. The writing is lyrical, as Ella revisits her past at seven pivotal times and introduces seven characters who left their emotional mark on her life.

The flashbacks are vivid and written with historical details and insight. They immerse the reader into the story and make it believable. Throughout, Ella is authentic and flawed. Her mistakes are a reflection of her humanity, and they make you consider your life and choices. The love story is gentle and tragic, but this is real love, and its ending is worthy of angst.

I read this in a day and enjoyed it for its originality, realism and supernatural twist.

Joe Heap

Joe Heap was born in 1986 and grew up in Bradford, the son of two teachers.

His debut novel The Rules of Seeing won Best Debut at the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards in 2019 and was shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Reader Awards.

Joe lives in London with his girlfriend, their two sons and a cat who wishes they would get out of the house more often.

A note from Joe:
At a summer season in Ramsgate, 1959, two ice skaters held a party. My grandfather, a Glaswegian saxophonist who would rather have gone to the pub, was convinced by a comedian on the same bill to come along. My grandmother, another one of the ice skaters, sat down next to him and spilt her drink in his lap. Though she has since denied it, her first words of note to him were ‘Oh no, not another Scot.’

Nobody could have guessed how much would spin off that moment, myself and this book included.

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

The Promise Emma Heatherington 5*#Review @emmalou13 @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #Family #Romance #IrishFiction #Friendship #Love #relationships #loss #life #serendipity #BookReview #BlogTour #ThePromise

Some bonds can never be broken

One terrible moment changes everything for teenagers Kate and David. Brought together during the darkest of times, a spark of hope is ignited between them – a hand held in the darkness, a promise whispered. Neither of them will ever forget those moments.

It’s another ten years before they meet once more, and their lives are now so different. The promise they made to each other on that fateful day still binds them, but now they have so much more to lose.

Have they missed their one chance at happiness?

The only way they will ever know is to risk everything to be together. Is that too high a price to pay for love…?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins UK- Harper Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This author writes about emotion and heartbreak in such an engaging way. The reader is immersed in the characters’ troubled lives, hoping they find the happiness they deserve. This story has these qualities the plot deepens with historical detail and experience of Ireland in the late 1990s. The story is relatable and thought-provoking. It explores Kate and David’s developing relationship from devastation and loss in an insightful and uplifting way. A believable and vividly brought to life setting makes the story memorable.

Emma Heatherington

Emma Heatherington has penned more than thirty educational short films, plays and musicals as well as eleven novels, two of which were written under the pseudonym Emma Louise Jordan.

Emma’s novel, The Legacy of Lucy Harte, was an eBook bestseller in both the UK and US.

She lives in her native Donaghmore, Co Tyrone, with her partner Jim McKee and their children Jordyn, Jade, Dualta, Adam and Sonny James.

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Motivational, New Books

Freckles Cecelia Ahern 5*#Review @HarperFiction #Freckles @HarperCollinsUK @Cecelia_Ahern @fictionpubteam #BookReview

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
 
When a stranger utters these words to Allegra Bird, nicknamed Freckles, it turns her highly ordered life upside down. In her current life as a parking warden, she has left her eccentric father and unconventional childhood behind for a bold new life in the city.
 
But a single encounter leads her to ask the question she’s been avoiding for so long:  who are the people who made her the way she is?  And who are the five people who can shape and determine her future? Just as she once joined the freckles on her skin to mirror the constellations in the night sky, she must once again look for connections.

Told in Allegra’s vivid, original voice, moving from Dublin to the fierce Atlantic coast, this is an unforgettable story of human connection, of friendship, and growing into your own skin. 

Five people. Five stars. Freckle to freckle. Star to star.


Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Allegra or Freckles is a young woman finding her place in the world. She doesn’t relate well to others but enjoys her role as parking warden in Dublin. It is whilst doing her job she meets someone who tells her something she cannot forget. Her quest is to find the five people who define her. Told from Allegra’s viewpoint, the reader has intimate knowledge of Allegra’s often confusing world. The story has many layers and believable characters. Allegra draws the reader’s empathy, and you want her to succeed and be happy. Allegra develops as a character, learning from each encounter, and by the story’s conclusion, she knows herself.

The ending is poignant and uplifting and gives the reader hope that Allegra’s future is hopeful.

Posted in Book Review, Historical Fiction, New Books

Daughters of War Dinah Jefferies 5*#Review @DinahJefferies @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #France #Sisters #WW2 #DaughterofWar #MondayBlogs

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The first book in this historical fiction trilogy set in WW2 is an emotional and sensory delight. Cleverly created characters draw the reader into their tumultuous lives in occupied France. The story focuses on three sisters living in an idyllic setting in Dordogne, France, which is blighted by enemy occupation and the ravages of war. Hélène, the eldest, a nurse and surrogate mother to the younger women. Elise, the rebel whose courage leads to impulsive acts that may have far-reaching repercussions and Florence, the youngest, a dichotomy of practicality and dreamer.

The beautifully described setting is evocative of the place and time. Intricate world-building and historical details bring the characters and setting to authentic and vibrant life. The plot reflects the dangers and deprivations of war in an immersive way. Empathy is the reader’s paramount emotion, as the sisters and the community try to maintain hope and humanity in dire circumstances. Emotive and thought-provoking, it resonates.

Dinah Jefferies
Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Domestic Suspense, Family Drama, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Suspense, Travel

The Chateau Catherine Cooper 4*#Review @catherinecooper @HarperFiction @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam #TheChateau #France #CrimeFiction #domestic #noir #psychological #suspense #MurderMystery #Relationships #Secrets #BookReview

They thought it was perfect. They were wrong…

A glamorous chateau

Aura and Nick don’t talk about what happened in England. They’ve bought a chateau in France to make a fresh start, and their kids need them to stay together – whatever it costs.

A couple on the brink

The expat community is welcoming, but when a neighbour is murdered at a lavish party, Aura and Nick don’t know who to trust.

A secret that is bound to come out…

Someone knows exactly why they really came to the chateau. And someone is going to give them what they deserve.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Set in a glamorous region of France renowned for its Chateaux, this is a twisty and menacing fusion of murder mystery and psychological suspense. Aura and Nick are living the French dream but can their relationship survive their past? The ex-pat community are welcoming, but not everyone wishes them well. The book begins with a party that ends tragically. The reader is taken back to the time preceding the party and Aura and Nick’s first few weeks. The main protagonists’ Aura and Nick, both give their viewpoints at different times. Neither are easy to like, and both are unreliable.

The chateau is a work in progress with a menacing ethos that the children pick up on. Pertinent additional points of view are injected into the story to add intrigue. Well-plotted twists and timely reveals are balanced with misdirections, multiple suspects and unreliable narrators, making the ending climactic.

Catherine Cooper

Catherine Cooper is a journalist specialising in travel, hotels, and skiing who writes regularly for the Telegraph and the Guardian among others. She lives near the Pyrenees in the South of France with her husband and two teenage children, and is a keen skier.

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