Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Romance

The Secrets of Hawthorn Place Jenni Keer 5*#Review @JenniKeer @AccentPress #Love #Secrets #DualTime #HistFic #contemporaryFiction #Romance @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview

Love will always find a way… Discover the intriguing secrets of Hawthorn Place in this heartfelt dual-time novel, filled with warmth and charm, perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Cecelia Ahern.

Two houses, hundreds of miles apart…yet connected always. When life throws Molly Butterfield a curveball, she decides to spend some time with her recently widowed granddad, Wally, at Hawthorn Place, his quirky Victorian house on the Dorset coast. But cosseted Molly struggles to look after herself, never mind her grieving granddad, until the accidental discovery of an identical Art and Crafts house on the Norfolk coast offers her an unexpected purpose, as well as revealing a bewildering mystery. Discovering that both Hawthorn Place and Acacia House were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, Molly uncovers the secret of a love which linked them, so powerful it defied reason. What follows is a summer which will change Molly for ever…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This multi-layered story with love at its centre and a myriad of everyday and magical occurrences draws the reader into two believably created worlds. In the present day, Molly returns to her family when her relationship fails, she is difficult to warm to initially, but her character development is satisfying as the story progresses. Taken to a late Victorian world, the reader sees the constraints of society and the pain of true love evident for Percy, an architect and his true love.

Two houses in Dorset and Norfolk are the setting for this dual timeline story. There’s intrigue, magic and self-realisation as Molly uncovers family secrets and finds herself in the process. Cleverly crafted relatable characters, vividly described settings rich in contemporary and historical detail make this lovely story a resonating reading experience.

Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of the Secrets of Hawthorn Place, plus chocolate and a sparkly pen. (UK Only)

Click on this link to enter

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Jenni Keer

Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing commercial women’s fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere, with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.

Jenni is also the author of The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker and The Unexpected Life of Maisie Meadows.

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

Love on Location Lynne Shelby 5*#Review @LynneB1 @AccentPress #Romance #Movies #Greece #Kyros#SummerRead #Scriptwriter #LoveonLocation #Relationships #Friendships @rararesources #BookReview #BlogTour

Can movie magic lead to a real-life romance?

When Laurel Martin is hired to rewrite the script for a new timeslip blockbuster, she expects the historical advisor hired by the studio to be an elderly academic who won’t interfere too much with her writing. But when she meets Professor Jason Harding, a young and unexpectedly handsome archaeologist who has some ideas of his own about the script, she realises the job isn’t going to be as simple as she first thought.

As their work takes them from arguing over historical details in a cramped London office to discovering the hidden beauties of a Greek island, Laurel and Jason’s relationship starts to echo the romance of their script.

But with Laurel’s actor ex-boyfriend making trouble at home, and constant issues with the volatile director, will Laurel and Jason ever be able to write the happy ending for their own story?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Set against the background of the filmmaking industry, this story immerses the reader in the world of scriptwriting, glamorous locations and exacting directors.

Laurel is asked to revise a script with the help of Jason, a historical advisor. She hopes this is her chance to write movie scripts full-time. Life is more complex than the script she writes in her mind. Jason is an academic and an archaeologist. The couple clash over the script but gradually realise together they are a talented team.

Vivid descriptions of the locations, and the glamour and unpredictability of the film industry, make this an informative read. The perfect Summer escape is completed with believably flawed vibrant characters and realistically crafted romance.

Lynne Shelby

Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, ‘French Kissing’ won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition. She has done a variety of jobs from stable girl to child actor’s chaperone to legal administrator, but now writes full time. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.

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

Death Comes to Bishop Well: The Shires Mysteries Anna Legat 5*#Review @LegatWriter @AccentPress # #CrimeFiction #Wiltshire #DeathComestoBishopWell #TheShiresMysteries #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources

When Sam Dee moves to the beautiful Wiltshire village of Bishops Well, he expects a quiet life of country walks and pub lunches. OK, so his new neighbour, Maggie Kaye, is a little peculiar, but she’s very nice – and his old pal Richard Ruta lives just down the road.

But when Richard throws one of his famous parties, things take a sinister turn. Sam, Maggie and the rest of the guests are dumbfounded when Richard falls down dead. A horrible tragedy – or a cunningly planned murder?

With a village full of suspects – and plenty of dark secrets – just who exactly would want to bump off their host? Is there a connection to another mysterious death, nearly twenty years before?

Armed with her local knowledge, Maggie – with Sam’s reluctant but indispensable help – is soon on the case. But when the body count starts to rise, will sleepy Bishops Well ever be the same again?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This book, the first in The Shires Mysteries’series is a fusion of cosy and murder mystery with a twenty-first-century twist. Set in a small Wiltshire town, the inhabitants are ordinary but beneath the respectable exterior are the secrets that lead to murder.

Sam, a retired barrister, relocates to the town to escape the memories of his dead wife, which haunt him. Maggie is his neighbour with an unusual talent for seeing the dead. The unlikely couple, drawn together as amateur sleuths when one of the town’s celebrities dies in suspicious circumstances.

Intricate world-building slows the novel’s pace, but it’s essential to create a believable setting for this type of story. Excellent characterisation, so vital for this genre, draws the reader into the story. The suspects are numerous and the motives plentiful, and it’s fun to work out the perpetrator and motive. Authentically flawed characters, many with less than politically correct views, make this relatable. The older protagonists will appeal to many cosy mystery fans, but the story has a contemporary edge that widens its reader appeal.

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, Family Drama, Literary Humour, New Books

The Black Dress Deborah Moggach 4*#Review #DeborahMoggach @TinderPress @headlinepg #Age #Women #Relationships #Humour @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Reading the blurb for this story evoked a whole series of images in my mind, which compelled me to read the book. The reader is introduced into Pru’s life when she buys the black dress, and then the reasons for her purchase are revealed intimately and insightfully from the main protagonist.

The writing style is full of sensory imagery, which makes it an easy read. Pru is a conflicted but fascinating character. She appears transparent in her revelations but is really an unreliable narrator. What comes across strongly in this story is her loneliness and how it defines her. Whilst she enjoys a series of adventures, many of which end badly, her need for companionship and identity motivates her.

Sophisticated humour and wit make this an engaging read, but it’s the underlying sadness that resonates.

Deborah Moggach
Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

Love Me Tender Lorraine Mace 5* #Review @lomace @AccentPress @rararesources #CrimeFiction #Detective #DIStirling #suspsense #psychologicalsuspense #BlogTour #BookReview #LoveMeTender

IF HE WANTS YOU . . . THERE’S NO ESCAPE.

A brutal murder . . .
Responding to a tip-off, newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Paolo Sterling arrives at an apartment block to find the dismembered body of a young woman. And with no indication of a break-in, all signs suggest the killer was known to her.


An abduction in plain sight . . .
Then the victim’s friend is snatched with no witnesses and the unanswered questions mount up.


At the same time, Sterling’s team are leading the surveillance of a local club, thought to be involved in a drug operation. But when one of his colleagues ends up in hospital close to death, Paolo begins to lose his grip.

A detective on the edge . . .
With the odds stacked against him, and time running out, can DCI Sterling uncover the truth before it’s too late? Or will this case finally tip him over the edge?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is my first read from the Detective Inspector Sterling series. Despite this being book five, I quickly connected with the detective and his team. Sterling is newly promoted to DCI. He is grieving the death of a colleague, and friend which affects his rapport with one team member. Overall the investigative team has a good dynamic, but they are overstretched with high profile cases that may have a connection.

The investigation is easy to follow several twists keep the reader guessing. The reader also has insight into the antagonist’s viewpoint, which is chilling and suspenseful. There is a good balance of personal and professional insights into Sterling’s life which makes him believable.

The story flows well, and the ending ties up all the leads nicely. It poses a question to be answered in the next book in the series.

Lorraine Mace

Born and raised in South East London, Lorraine lived and worked in South Africa, on the Island of Gozo and in France before settling on the Costa del Sol in Spain. She lives with her partner in a traditional Spanish village inland from the coast and enjoys sampling the regional dishes and ever-changing tapas in the local bars. Her knowledge of Spanish is expanding. To stop her waistline from doing the same, she runs five times a week.

Author of the D.I. Sterling series of novels, Lorraine has been engaged in many writing-related activities. A columnist for Writing Magazine, she has recently stepped down from writing two columns for Writers’ Forum and also her role as head judge of the magazine’s monthly fiction competitions in order to concentrate on her own writing. She is currently writing two standalone psychological thrillers for Headline Accent.

She also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Giveaway, Suspense

A Conspiracy of Silence Anna Legat 5*#Review @LegatWriter @AccentPress #DIGillianMarsh #CrimeFiction #Detective #Wiltshire #PublicationDay #AConspiracyofSilence #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #Giveaway

When a body is found in the grounds of a prestigious Wiltshire private school, DI Gillian Marsh takes on the case. The young groundsman, Bradley Watson, has been shot dead, pierced through the heart with an arrow.

As the investigation gathers pace, DI Marsh is frustrated to find the Whalehurst staff and students united in silence. This scandal must not taint their reputation. But when Gillian discovers pictures of missing Whalehurst pupil, fifteen-year-old Rachel Snyder, on Bradley’s dead body – photos taken on the night she disappeared, and he was murdered – the link between the two is undeniable.

But what is Whalehurst refusing to reveal? And does Gillian have what it takes to bring about justice?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Two different points of view draw the reader into the characters’ lives from the first page. There are hints of what is to come for both characters, and the reader is aware of a tenuous connection but nothing more. The story’s development stems from these characters and their motivations.

Two investigations demand the attention of DI Gillian Marsh, the missing person case overseen by her detective sergeant, and the murder which is hers to solve. DI Gillian Marsh is a believable character with flaws and insight, which make her a realistic investigator. There is a good balance of the detective’s personal life and the police procedural. The characters are authentic, but many are unlikeable.

Solving the cases means breaking the wall of silence surrounding them, and DI Marsh and her team are ultimately successful in this.

Anna Legat

Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. 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 read law at the University of South Africa and Warsaw University, then gained teaching qualifications in New Zealand. 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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Giveaway

to Win a DI Marsh Series Mug, and the first four books in the Series

(UK Only)

DI Marsh Series  First four books – Swimming with Sharks, Nothing to Lose, Thicker than Blood and Sandman.

Click on this Giveaway Link to Enter

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Motivational, Travel

The Women Who Ran Away Sheila O’ Flanagan 5*#Review @sheilaoflanagan @headlinepg @RandomTTours #Women #Secrets #TheWomenWhoRanAway #weekendreads #SaturdayMorning

Deira isn’t the kind of woman to steal a car. 

Or drive to France alone with no plan. But then, Deira didn’t expect to be single. Or to suddenly realise that the only way she can get the one thing she wants most is to start breaking every rule she lives by.

Grace has been sent on a journey by her late husband, Ken.

She doesn’t really want to be on it but she’s following his instructions, as always. She can only hope that the trip will help her to forgive him. And then – finally – she’ll be able to let him go.

Brought together by unexpected circumstances, Grace and Deira find that it’s easier to share secrets with a stranger, especially in the shimmering sunny countryside of Spain and France. But they soon find that there’s no escaping the truth, whether you’re running away from it or racing towards it . . .

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is an addictive mix of relationships, serendipity and travel. Deira and Grace are running away, but more from themselves than anything they leave behind. Deira’s relationship is ruined, left for a younger, more malleable model. Grace is bereaved. Even in death, her husband still expects her to follow his wishes.

The women meet serendipitously and end up travelling and solving the treasure hunt together. The women are strangers and diverse in age and personality, but that proves to be fortuitous. The age difference allows a new perspective on the other’s life and a wealth of experience in Grace’s case.

The locations are brought to life through eloquent descriptions and give the story a vivid setting. This is a journey of self-belief and realisation, which makes this a heartwarming and motivational read.

Shelia O’Flanagan

Sheila O’Flanagan is the author of bestselling charttoppers, including Her Husband’s Mistake, The Hideaway, What Happened That Night, The Missing Wife, My Mother’s Secret and All For You (winner ofthe Irish Independent Popular Fiction Book of the Year Award).

After working in banking and finance for a number of years, Sheila’s love for writing blossomed into curating stories about relationships in all their many forms.

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: A Place For Us -Part 3 – Harriet Evans

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The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside.

The hall is cool after the hot summer’s day. The welcome is kind, and always warm.

Yet something makes you suspect life here can’t be as perfect as it seems.
After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret.

But wouldn’t you pay any price to have a glorious place like this?

Welcome to Winterfold.
Martha Winter’s family is finally coming home 

Buy Links -2Amazon UK

My Review
A Place For Us Part 3I wondered if part 3 of ‘A Place For Us’ would be an anti-climax after the drama of part 2 but it isn’t.
After Martha’s terrible revelation, life returns to fractured normality for those who remain. Another traumatic event for Martha leaves her doubting the validity of her life work, creating a safe haven for her family.
Flash backs to David’s teenage are harrowing and solve the mystery surrounding Florence and why he avoids contact with his earlier life. This part of David’s story is poignant and appalling. Be prepared for tears, such is the reader’s empathy with David at this point in his life. It also illuminates his later behaviour and why Martha condones it.
Florence discovers her own shocking revelation, which estranges her from Martha and Bill. Only Lucy provides the impetus for the family to survive the tsunami of grief that engulfs it. The ethos of this part of the story is dark but at the end thanks to Lucy, Martha sees a more positive way forward.
Part 3 reveals deep secrets with sensitivity and sets the scene for the last act, which I can’t wait to read.
I received a copy of this book from Headline via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My review of A Place for Us Part 1

My review of a Place for Us Part 2

A Place For Us Part 3 by Harriet Evans

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A Place For Us Part 3 by Harriet Evans

Harriet Evans

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

4* Review: A Place For Us – Harriet Evans

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The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day.

The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside.

The hall is cool after the hot summer’s day. The welcome is kind, and always warm.

Yet something makes you suspect life here can’t be as perfect as it seems.

After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret.

But wouldn’t you pay any price to have a glorious place like this?

Welcome to ‘Winterfold’.

Martha Winter’s family is finally coming home.

My Review

A Place For Us  Part 1Although series are very popular, I’m not sure the format is ideal for this story. Women’s fiction serials are not a new concept. They were popular in women’s magazines in the late sixties and seventies. Magazine serials had a week’s gap between instalments. These stories have approximately a month. Many readers will struggle to remember where they are in the story with any clarity especially since it ends before any notable action takes place.

Martha sends her widely scattered family a cryptic invitation to her eightieth birthday party. The multi points of view give the reader important insight into each character’s conflicts and emotions. The disparity between the family’s public persona and the reality of lies and secrets makes interesting reading. Not only do they hide the truth from outsiders they also keep secrets from each other.

The characters are well written; full of flaws, which make them memorable. In most cases the characters have at least one or two redeeming features. The ethos of this story is essentially sad. Most of the characters regret their major life choices and wish they’d chosen differently. Martha wonders if the decision to buy ‘Winterfold’ and all that it entailed was worth the sacrifices.

Slow paced and lacking in action; part 1 introduces the characters, the reason for their reunion and its possible consequences. I am interested to see what happens next.

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

A Place For Us Part 1 by Harriet Evans

A Place For Us  Part 1 by Harriet Evans

Harriet Evans

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