Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, New Adult Romance, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

Homecoming Luan Golding 4*#Review @HQStories @LuanGoldie #FamilyDrama #LiteraryFiction #Friendship #Relationships #Love #BookReview #Homecoming

For years Yvonne has tried to keep her demons buried and focus on moving forward. But her guilt is always with her and weighs heavily on her heart.

Kiama has had to grow up without a mother, and while there is so much he remembers about her, there is still plenty he doesn’t know. And there’s only one person who can fill in the gaps.

Lewis wants nothing more than to keep Kiama, his son, safe, but the thought of Kiama dredging up the past worries Lewis deeply. And Lewis doesn’t know if he’s ready to let the only woman he’s ever loved back into his life.

When Kiama seeks Yvonne out and asks her to come with him to Kenya, the place that holds the answers to his questions, she knows she can’t refuse. And this one act sets in motion an unravelling of the past that no one is ready for.

Moving between London and Kenya, and spanning almost two decades, Homecoming is a profound story of love, family and friendship. It’s about coming to terms with your past, and about what happens when we finally share our truths.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a poignant story about culture, family, friendships and love. Yvonne and Emma became friends at university, their cultures and family lives differed, but their friendship was strong until Lewis. There is a love triangle at the centre of this story, but only two people are aware they are in it. Yvonne’s life, marred by her guilt over Emma and her loss of the two people she loved most in life, agrees to a journey to Kenya with Kiama Emma’s son.

The story moves between the early days of their friendship to the present day. A tragic event alters everyone’s lives. Believable characters, relatable relationships and well-described setting make this an absorbing read. Parenting, culture, race and social class underpin the narrative in a way that resonates. There are many poignant moments in this story, but ultimately it is positive and uplifting.

Read my review of Nightingale Point

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Domestic Suspense, Family Drama, New Books, Psychological Suspense

The Perfect Nanny Karen Clarke, Amanda Brittany 4*#Review @HQStories @karenclarke123 @amandajbrittany @ThePSAA #psychsuspense #ThePerfectNanny #Revenge #BlogTour #BookReview

You trust her with your home, your husband, your baby… but she is about to destroy it all.

Sophy Pemberton is struggling to cope with the pressures of becoming a new mother. Her new-born son never settles in her arms and the unrelenting tiredness from late night feeds is all consuming.

So, when Liv Granger from the mother and baby group offers her services as a nanny, Sophy is overcome with relief. Now she can finally get some sleep… She can stop failing at being a mother.

But Liv has a secret. She is convinced that Sophy was accountable for her brother’s tragic death and she has been searching for her for years. And now that Liv’s found her, she’s outraged Sophy seems oblivious to the pain she has caused her family.

Sophy’s perfect house, perfect husband and perfect baby are too much for Liv to bear… and she’s going to make her pay.

THE PERFECT NANNY is an utterly gripping and suspenseful novel that will have you turning the pages long into the night!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is psychological suspense with a domestic setting that is told from two viewpoints Liv and Sophy.

Liv is targeting Sophy as she seeks revenge for the death of her brother. Sophy is struggling with motherhood, not helped by an over-enthusiastic mother-in-law and a constant state of exhaustion.

This is a multi-layered story, and whilst the revenge sub-plot is predictable, there is menace simmering elsewhere. Liv and Sophy are unreliable protagonists, but they are both victims, and the story has many poignant moments. Steady suspense building leads to a climactic ending with shocking twists and unlikely alliances. The story has a final terrible twist that resonates.

KAREN CLARKE writes romantic comedy novels and psychological suspense. When she’s not writing, she reads a lot, enjoys walking – which is good for plot-wrangling and ideas, watching Netflix, baking and eating cakes. And then more walking to work off the cakes.

AMANDA BRITTANY is the bestselling author of Her Last Lie and Tell the Truth, and her third psychological thriller, Traces of Her, was published in October 2019. Her debut, Her Last Lie, has raised almost £8,000 so far for Cancer Research UK from her eBook royalties, in memory of her sister. When she’s not writing, Amanda loves reading, walking, travelling and going to the theatre.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Friendship, Murder Mystery, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Invitation A.M.Castle 4*#Review @AliceMCastle @HQStories @ThePSAA #MurderMystery #psychological #suspense #BlogTour #BookReview #TheInvitation

Thirteen guests. One killer. No escape.

On an island on the coast of Cornwall, cut off from the mainland by the tides for most of the day, thirteen old friends meet at Tregowan Castle for a weekend of revelry.

By the next evening only twelve are still alive.

Amongst them is a killer – but who? As a storm traps them on the island and past betrayals and grievances are revealed, nerves fray and friendships begin to fracture.

But with no escape and no way of calling for help it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again. And when everyone is keeping secrets, anybody could be the next victim…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Atmospheric and claustrophobic, this murder mystery and psychological suspense set in Cornwall is perfect for those who like armchair sleuthing. Four women who spent their university years together are reunited. Rachel, the host, has married well and shares a private island with her new husband. She has a plan, and from the outset, it’s apparent there are secrets to reveal and scores to settle, but when someone dies, the stakes are off the scale and the characters true natures revealed.

Flawed and unsympathetic characters define this mystery, and even though most are difficult to like, you want to know their stories and what happens to them. The story flows well, and the pace modulates with the action and suspense. There is a noir quality to this but within the framework of a classic murder mystery.

The setting works well, and the characters are relatable with enough surprises and twists to keep the reader guessing until the end.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Romance

The Secrets of Meadow Farmhouse 5*#Review @KatieGAuthor @HQStories @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #Family #Romance #Community #SecondChances #Mystery #Secrets #TheSecretsofMeadowFarmHouse

Escape to the countryside with a heart-warming new novel from Katie Ginger, author of Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage.

Amelia loves her life in Paris. But with the surprise inheritance of her childhood home, Meadow Farmhouse, she has no choice but to return to the small village of Meadowbank to restore her great-aunt’s old farmhouse. However returning to Meadowbank means she has to confront her past, including old flame Adam.

When Amelia discovers a locket hidden in the farmhouse, containing the picture of a mysterious World War Two soldier, she starts to uncover the secrets of her great-aunt’s past and is drawn further into village life. Shocked by the warm welcome from the villagers and her own surprising feelings for first love Adam, Amelia is suddenly confused as to where she truly belongs.

Can Amelia finally confront her own past and find where her heart truly calls home?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

All old houses have secrets, and Meadow Farmhouse is no different. When Amelia returns to her childhood home to sort out her unexpected inheritance, she finds a clue to her great-aunt’s past. Her childhood was not a happy one, but back at the place where she grew up, she is determined to evaluate her life and finding out why Vera seemed incapable of love is a part of this. Solving the mystery of Vera’s past adds depth to this story.

Amelia’s journey of self-discovery catalysed by returning home to Meadow Farm is an emotional one. Adam, her first love, is still in the village. The rekindling of their friendship, and the sparks of something more, add a believable touch of romance.

The villagers are an interesting mix of characters that populate a quintessential English village. They add gossip, humour and vibrancy to the story and make it authentic. Gentle pacing reflects village life.

This is an engaging story that immerses you in the details of village life and life choices, perfect escapist reading.

Katie Ginger

KATIE GINGER lives by the sea in the south-east of England, and apart from holidays to very hot places where you can sit by a pool and drink cocktails as big as your head, she wouldn’t really want to be anywhere else. The Secrets of Meadow Farmhouse  is her seventh novel. She is also the author of theSwallowtail Bayseries – Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay, Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay and Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay, Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage and the Seafront series – The Little Theatre on the Seafront, shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award, and Summer Season on the Seafront.

When she’s not writing, Katie spends her time with her husband and two kids, and their dogs: Wotsit, the King Charles spaniel, and Skips, the three-legged rescue dog. (And yes, they are both named after crisps!)

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Romance

The Girl with the Silver Bangle Linda Finlay 4*#Review @HQStories #BlogTour #1910 #Lamorna #Cornwall #ArtsandCrafts #BookReview #HistFic #HistoricalFiction

London, 1910. A cruel twist of fate means Daisy must give up the job she loves painting for a theatre company and move to Devon. Only the silver bangle she wears on her wrist brings comfort, reminding her of a young man who once promised her his heart.  

In Devon, life is very different. Lodging with her uncle at his busy tavern, Daisy must scrub and serve for her keep. And when her uncle catches her sketching, he is furious and forbids her to draw.  

But a chance meeting with two travelling artists offers Daisy a different path, and steeling her courage, Daisy runs away with them to Lamorna, Cornwall, home to a famous group of bohemian artists…  

This heart-warming tale of love and triumph.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Daisy is artistic and enjoys working painting theatrical scenery, but when tragedy strikes, she forced to relocate to Devon and work for her uncle, who doesn’t pay her and forbids her sketching. Determined to escape from her life of drudgery, she risks all, running away with some travelling artists to Lamorna Cornwall.

Historically correct, vividly described settings form the backdrop for vibrant characters and a story that reflects the artist lifestyle in the Arts and Crafts era. The storytelling is lovely, and it’s easy to become immersed in the character’s lives and empathise with their problems.

This is an enjoyable and escapist read for those who like historical fiction.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship

The Last Goodbye Fiona Lucas 4*#Review @FionaLucasBooks @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #TheLastGoodbye

Anna’s world was shattered three years ago when her husband Spencer was killed in a tragic accident. Her friends and family think it’s time she moved on, but how can she when she’s lost her soulmate?  

On New Year’s Eve, Anna calls Spencer’s old phone just to hear his voicemail greeting. But to her surprise someone picks up. Brody answers and is the first person who truly understands what Anna is going through. As they begin to speak regularly, Anna finds herself opening up and slowly she discovers how to smile again, how to laugh, even how to hope.  

But Brody hasn’t been entirely honest with Anna. Will his secret threaten everything, just as it seems she might find the courage to love again? 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A bereaved young woman is the main focus of this insightful and sensitively written story. It shows that grief and finding the positivity to move on with your life is unique. Original plot twists and relatable characters make this an engaging story. The friendship that builds between the bereaved woman and the man who answers her husband’s old phone is realistically paced. You believe in the characters and the many heartbreaking moments in this story resonate. Ultimately, its a story of loss, love and most of all, hope.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Inspiration, Motivational

Growing Season Seni Glaister 5*#Review @SeniGlaister @HQStories Narrator Kristin Atherton #HarperCollinsAudioUK #Audiobook #BlogTour #Review #loss #selfrealisation #uplit #nature #life #love #GrowingSeason

Danny is riddled with anxiety. But he wants to be strong for his wife Sam. She’s been through so much already. If only he had someone to talk to.

Sam is facing a very different future to the one she expected. She’s ready to move on, yet other people won’t let her. If only she had someone to talk to.

Their new neighbour Diana is hiding from her past. She wanted a new life. Now she’s got it she feels angry and alone. If only she had someone to talk to.

Each of them is hiding their pain. Each of them needs to heal. But only when they learn to let each other in will they finally be able to grow.

I received an audiobook from HQ (Harper Collins Audio UK) via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This character-driven story features a multi-generational friendship. Told from three viewpoints Diana, Sam and Danny, it is a detailed emotional story that explores finding your true self, fitting in, honesty and loss.

It’s introspective and works well as an audiobook. The narrator is clear and engaging, voicing the characters believably and distinctly. The gentle pace enables the listener to know each character well, and the humour, insight and poignancy, make it an emotional read.

The parallels with nature that affects the characters’ lives are well crafted and make this an engaging, thought-provoking story.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Crime, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Two Wrongs Mel McGrath 4*#Review @HQStories #Psychological #suspense #Revenge #TwoWrongs #BlogTour #BookReview #urban #fiction

One girl jumped. And then another followed… 

In the city of Bristol, young women are dying in mysterious circumstances. The deaths look like suicides – but are they something more sinister? Honor is terrified that her daughter might be next.  

But as she looks for clues as to what really happened to the girls, she stumbles upon a link to a dark secret in her own past – one that she’s kept from her daughter.  

Now Honor has the chance to avenge her child for the terrible events of years ago. But how far will she go to protect her daughter and right the wrongs done to her family? 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is slow-building psychological suspense that explores important contemporary themes through the three different character viewpoints. It begins dramatically, but it’s what lies beneath that makes this addictive reading. The mother-daughter dynamic is well written and counterbalances the abuse, betrayal and deceit revealed.

The three main characters are carefully and realistically crafted, and they drive this story forward.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Noir, Scandinavian Crime

Where Ravens Roost Karin Nordin 4*#Review @KNordinAuthor @HQStories #Detective #ScandiCrime #Noir #Sweden #Domestic #suspense #CrimeFiction #BlogTour #BookReview #WhereRavensRoost

The raven cawed at him, craning its neck unnaturally. As it dug its hooked beak into the mess of dried grass and twigs that made up its nest, a shiny glimmer reflected off a low-hanging bulb. Kjeld edged closer to get a better look. It was a human tooth. With a silver filling.

Detective Kjeld Nygaard wants nothing more than to forget his family and Varsund, the small mining town he once called home, even exist. But while on suspension after his last case went disastrously wrong, his estranged father Stenar leaves a message on Kjeld’s phone claiming he’s seen a murder.

But with no evidence and Stenar suffering from Alzheimer’s, the local police think he must have imagined it. Kjeld can’t stop himself from investigating what actually happened, and soon discovers a body. But when the police start to suspect Stenar, it’s a race against time to discover the truth before it’s lost forever.

But will uncovering the truth expose family secrets that are best left buried?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Atmospheric, claustrophobic and noir, this story set in Northern Sweden brings Detective Kjeld Nygaard home after more than a decade. Finding his father, in the later stages of Alzheimer’s, and his sister furious is not what he wants with his career is imploding, estranged from his family, and his relationship in tatters.

This is an intense story with some noir elements, both in terms of crime and relationships. The Ravens provide excellent visual imagery that gives the story an eerie ethos. The plot is pure Scandi noir with complex characters, dysfunctional relationships and a forbidding and oppressive setting that immerses the reader into Nygaard’s world.

The plot unfolds with several twists and poignant moments. Backstories, weaved into the text, illuminate the main protagonists’ motivations and keep the reader interested.

This is a story that fulfils its potential.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Murder Mystery, Mystery

The Jigsaw Man Nadine Matheson 4*#Review @NadineMatheson @HQStories #CrimeFiction #Detective #BlogTour #BookReview #TheJigsawMan #MondayBlogs

There’s a serial killer on the loose. When bodies start washing up along the banks of the River Thames, DI Henley fears it is the work of Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer. But it can’t be him; Olivier is already behind bars, and Henley was the one who put him there.  

The race is on before more bodies are found. She’d hoped she’d never have to see his face again, but Henley knows Olivier might be the best chance they have at stopping the copycat killer. But when Olivier learns of the new murders, helping Henley is the last thing on his mind… 

 Will it take a killer to catch the killer? Now all bets are off, and the race is on to catch the killer before the body count rises. But who will get there first – Henley, or the Jigsaw Killer? 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a compelling crime novel with a driven detective, and a menacing, unpredictable serial killer. The violent crimes are impactful, but there is more to this story. This is the first book featuring DI Henley, but she’s a woman with a violent past. Being assigned to this crime brings back shattering memories and puts her in the auspices of her nemesis, a convicted serial killer.

There is an enticing balance of action and introspection, which makes this addictive reading. The shock of violent crime and the methodical nature of police investigations are well portrayed. Detailed backstories slow the pace but are essential to understand the main characters’ motivations.

The detectives are likeable and relatable, the plot twisty and the crimes definitely noir.