Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Folk Tales, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Parenting and Famlies

The White Hare Jane Johnson 4*#Review @JaneJohnsonBakr @HoZ_Books @AriaFiction #HistFic #LiteraryFiction #Family #love #loss #folklore #BookReview #Mystery #Romance #Secrets #forgiveness #TheWhiteHare #nature #supernatural #preorder

In a valley steeped in legend lies an abandoned house where Edens may be lost, found and remade…

The White Valley in the far west of Cornwall cuts deeply through bluebell woods down to the sea. The house above the beach has lain neglected since the war. It comes with a reputation, which is why Mila and her mother Magda acquire it so cheaply in the fateful summer of 1954.

Magda plans to restore the house to its former glory: the venue for glittering parties, where the rich and celebrated gathered for bracing walks by day and sumptuous cocktails by night. Mila’s ambitions, meanwhile, are much less grand; she dreams of creating a safe haven for herself, and happy home for her little girl, Janey.

The White Valley comes with a long, eventful history, laced with tall tales. Locals say that a white hare may be seen running through the woods there; to some, she’s an ill omen, to others a blessing. Feeling fragile and broken-hearted, Mila is in need of as many blessings as she can get. But will this place provide the fresh start she so desperately needs?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

A historical, mystical tale set in Cornwall in 1954 explores Cornish folklore, the natural world and human relationships. The author creates an atmospheric ethos that is a primary motivator in the story. After a scandalous relationship implodes, Mila moves to a gothic-style house with her mother and young daughter. The locals are wary of incomers, and the house has a dark history. Mila wonders if she has made a mistake.

I love the mystical quality of the tale and how Mila gradual realises her worth through meeting some of the valley’s unusual inhabitants. The gentle pacing allows the reader to appreciate the sensory imagery and secrets within the lyrical writing.

It’s a story of acceptance, renewal and love.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Giveaway, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

Daisy’s French Farmhouse Lorraine Wilson 5*#Review @Romanceminx @0neMoreChapter_ #RomCom #blogblitz #AFrenchEscape @rararesources #France #psychic #Dogs #pets #BookReview #loss #secondchances #DaisysFrenchFarmhouse #giveaway

Fly to France for the perfect summer getaway –without leaving your house! This a heartwarming, feel-good read.

Escape to heaven…
Daisy has never been lucky in love, and when her love life implodes—again—she flees to France. A summer in the sun helping out at her friend Poppy’s guesthouse is the perfect way to put unsuitable men behind her!
When Daisy finds herself dog sitting for two loveable rescues they quickly wind their way into Daisy’s heart. The trouble is, so does their owner – enigmatic widower and bookseller Anton! But she didn’t come to France to fall for another unattainable man…
Can they honour the past and take a chance on the future?

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Lorraine and her dogs

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher.

My Thoughts…

Daisy’s french escape as a result of misjudged love affair lets us meet up again with Poppy, JoJo and their lovely dogs. Daisy has psychometric abilities that have left her open to bullying and judgement from others, even her parents. Only her grandmother, who shares her gift, is supportive, and she is on a spiritual retreat. Poppy and JoJo welcome Daisy, who settles into life at the guesthouse complex. Dreaming of a new life in France, Daisy starts a dog-walking and pet sitting service and meets Anton.

Daisy and Anton become friends, but the attraction between them is undeniable. Any possible romance is conflicted as Anton is bereaved, and Daisy is determined to guard her heart this time. The sensual romance is lyrically written and interwoven with emotion. It endears the couple to the reader and makes this an engaging read.

I also enjoyed the folklore and historical details that enrich the story, the vibrant setting, and the delightful antics of the many dogs—a romantic tale woven with emotion, history, magic and humour.

Lorraine Wilson

Lorraine Wilson writes flirty, feel-good fiction for One More Chapter – a Harper Collins imprint – and is unashamedly fond of happy endings. She loves hearing from readers and feels incredibly grateful to be doing the job she always dreamt of.

She splits her time between the South of France and Cambridgeshire and is usually either writing or reading while being sat on, walked over or barked at by one of her growing band of rescue dogs.

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Read my reviews of the other books in the French Escape series

Giveaway to Win a L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Collection travel set (Open UK)

L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Collection travel set containing:

• 50ml Herbae par L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Shower Gel

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• 100g Herbae par L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Scented Soap

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Click on the 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 the despatch or delivery of the prize.

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

The Secrets of Summer House Rachel Burton 5*Review @RachelBWriter @AriaFiction #TheSecretsofSummerHouse @HoZ_Books #family #secrets #relationships #loss #mothersanddaughters #mentalhealth #Romance #BlogTour #BookReview

The secrets of Summer House are about to come out at last…

1976. Rushing out of the University Library, undergraduate Alice Kenzie bumps straight into PhD student Tristan Somers. There begins a whirlwind romance, and Alice falls pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl. Then Tristan is killed in a car accident. Unable to cope, Alice takes her baby to Summer House, Tristan’s family home in Suffolk, leaves her there and disappears.

2018. Olivia Somers has always been told that her mother died in the same accident as her father. But when she finds a bundle of old letters in Summer House, everything she ever believed about her mother is called into question. Can she find her – and even more importantly, forgive her?

Amazon UK Waterstones Kobo

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus- Aria via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

Atmospheric, emotional and full of well-crafted characters, this dual timeline novel grips the reader from the first page and immerses them in the two hot summers of 1976 and 2018. Both stories are intriguing, and they give the reader insight into both women’s emotions and lives. There is an underlying mystery that weaves itself around the house, an immersive setting in both timelines.

Character-driven this story explores familial relationships and mental health issues and the differences in acceptance, attitudes and expectations in 1976 and 2018. There are many poignant scenes in both Alice’s and Olivia’s lives. Olivia’s quandary over whether to look for her mother and her feelings towards her are particularly emotional.

The passion and romance shine through in each woman’s life, as do the tragic events. I enjoyed the characters’ authenticity and the details and sensory imagery that bring this story to life.

Rachel Burton

Rachel Burton has been making up stories for as long as she can remember and always dreamed of being a writer until life somehow got in the way. After reading for a degree in Classics and another in English Literature she accidentally fell into a career in law, but eventually managed to write her first book on her lunch breaks. Now she writes from a small bedroom looking out over hydrangeas, lavender bushes and rambling roses, in a little house in Yorkshire that she shares with her husband and their three cats. She loves words, Shakespeare, tea, The Beatles, dresses with pockets and very tall romantic heroes (not necessarily in that order).

Find her on Instagram as @RachelBWriter or follow her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com.

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

Six Days Dani Atkins 5#Review @AtkinsDani @AriaFiction @HoZ_Books #BlogTour #BookReview #Romance #Wedding #Friendship #loss #love #Family #mystery #SixDays

Two people. One love story. Six days.

Gemma knows that she and Finn are destined to be together. They are soulmates. But then, on their wedding day, he never arrives at the church.

Gemma is convinced Finn wouldn’t abandon her like this, even though he has disappeared once before. But back then he had a reason. She feels sure something terrible has happened, but no one else is convinced. Even the police aren’t concerned, telling Gemma most people who disappear usually turn up in a week… assuming they want to be found, that is.

For the next six days, Gemma frantically searches for Finn, even though every shocking revelation is telling her to give up on him. Before long, even she begins to doubt her own memories of their love.

How long can she hold on to her faith in Finn if everyone is telling her to let him go?

Waterstones Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus – Aria.

My Thoughts…

Gemma and Finn are soulmates, at least that’s what she believes even when he fails to turn up for their wedding—told in a dual timeline from their first meeting to the days after the wedding that never was. It’s a tumultuous journey that encompasses many emotions that immerse the reader in Gemma and Finn’s story.

Gemma is a lovely character, driven, loyal and loving of everything she cares about, and Finn is at the top of her list. Her relationships with her father and best friend are strong, but her heart belongs to Finn, and this is clear with every page turned in this engaging read.

The plot is intricate, and the mystery of what happened to Finn remains until the final chapters. The author creates believable characters, and original scenarios capture the reader’s interest. I enjoyed the element of mystery, the strong friendship and familial connection, and especially the love that binds Gemma and Finn, making this an epic romance.


Dani Atkins is an award-winning novelist. Her 2013 debut Fractured (published as Then and Always in North America) has been translated into 18 languages and has sold more than half a million copies since its first publication in the UK. Dani is the author of four other bestselling novels, two of which, This Love and A Sky Full of Stars, won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, in 2018 and 2022 respectively. Dani lives in a small village in Hertfordshire with her husband, one Siamese cat and a very soppy Border Collie. Follow Dani on Twitter @AtkinsDani

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

To Love and Be Loved Amanda Prowse 5*#Review @MrsAmandaProwse @AmazonPub #LakeUnionPress #Love #forgivness #secrets #loss #grief #comingofage @KellyALacey @igbooktours #LoveBooksTours @lovebookstours #ToLoveandBeLoved #BlogTour #BookReview

In this life-affirming tale from bestselling author Amanda Prowse, one woman built a new life to escape her humiliation. Now, can she put the shame behind her and finally find happiness?

Young and desperately in love, Merrin had the whole world ahead of her. But just as her new life was about to start, the ground beneath her feet was cruelly swept away. Devastated by the humiliation, she ran far away from the beloved fishing village she had always called home to lick her wounds and escape her gossiping friends and neighbours.

It hasn’t been easy, but six years later Merrin has forged a new life for herself far from the sea, burying the impulsive girl she once was. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to return to the village she swore she’d never set foot in again.

Reluctantly back in the arms of her community, Merrin begins to realise what she’s been missing out on all these years. As she begins to remember the person she used to be, she is forced to make choices about her future, and to question the past. What does she want from her life? Who is important to her? Who is to blame for everything that went wrong? And can she forgive them, let old wounds heal and finally be her true self again?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is an emotional insight into family life, friendships, loss, and love in a Cornish fishing village. Merrin is in love, but she runs away from her family, friends, and the fishing village she loves when it goes wrong. The story charts her gradual healing. Merrin returns home after a tragic loss that makes her examine who she is, as she comes to terms with the past and defines the life she wants.

The sense of community and family is strong, the characters vibrant, and the conflicts believable. The lyrical writing is immersive, and the vivid characterisation invests the reader in Merrin and the excellent supporting characters’ lives. It’s an addictive read about ordinary people.

Amanda Prowse

Amanda Prowse is an international bestselling author of twenty-eight novels published in dozens of languages. Her chart-topping titles What Have I Done? Perfect Daughter, My Husband’s Wife, The Coordinates of Loss, The Girl in the Corner and The Things I Know have sold millions of copies around the world. Other novels by Amanda Prowse include A Mother’s Story, which won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the Year Award. Perfect Daughter was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016.

She has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘the queen of family drama’. Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today. Her titles consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres. A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine show, as well as featuring on numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on national and independent radio stations, including LBC and talkRADIO, where she is well known for her insightful observations and infectious humour.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning off the bedside lamp at night, that ensure you walk every step with her great characters and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

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Posted in Book Review, Friendship, New Books, Romance

The Life You Left Behind Debbie Howells 4* #Review @debbie__howells @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #TheLifeYouLeftBehind #MentalHealth #love #life #relationships #loss #grief #BookReview #MondayBlogs @rararesources

Two strangers.

One missed flight.

It only takes a moment to change a life.

One year ago Casey Cassidy was happy. She had great friends, a wonderful teaching job and a busy life – until with one missed flight, everything changes.

One year later Casey knows what it means to find that once-in-a-lifetime love people dream of. But when Ben leaves, her heart is shattered.

Left facing a year of firsts without him, piecing her life back together seems impossible. But then a friend offers her a home in rural France.

In the solitude and emptiness, Casey needs to come to terms with what’s happened and find a way to move forward. She has no idea where that will take her one year later…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story explores a spectrum of human emotions and experiences. It begins with a serendipitous meeting and ends with positivity, but it is the journey that keeps the reader turning the pages. Casey meets Ben by chance, and their physical attraction quickly followed by emotional commitment seems like the perfect relationship. Told in dual timelines of past(before) and present(after), we experience a beautiful love affair and a tragedy. Mental health issues are at the root of this story, and at times it is heartbreaking to read.

Not an escapist uplit read, the author sensitively highlights how mental health issues are devastating as a severe physical illness to the sufferer and those who care for them. It is an emotional and resonating read.

While working as long-haul cabin crew in her twenties, Debbie trained as a pilot and qualified as a flying instructor. But as the mother of two small children, she wanted a career she could fit around them and started a wedding flower business, Country Flowers. For thirteen years, Debbie created the natural, seasonal designs she became known for to venues throughout the South East.


It was towards the end of this time she started writing, in a notebook in the shade of her garden on her days off, self-publishing three women’s fiction novels, the third of which, Wildflowers, almost but not quite found her a literary agent.

Pursuing her dream of a traditional publishing deal, she went on to write her first psychological thriller, the Sunday Times bestseller, The Bones of You. Four more have followed including the e-book bestseller The Vow, but it’s another long-awaited dream come true that her women’s fiction novels have now found a home with Boldwood.

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

A Secret Gift Amanda James 4*Review @amandajames61 @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #Romance #Secrets #Magic #Cornwall #uplit #FridayReads #ASecretGift

Three years ago, Joy Pentire lost her firefighter husband and she still hasn’t returned to the woman she once was. But then she meets Hope, one of the residents at the nursing home where she’s a carer.

Hope has a secret gift that she wants to pass on.
And Joy’s life is forever changed.

Surrounded by the community in her Cornish hometown, Joy’s unexpected inheritance soon leads to new opportunities, new friends, new love, and the part of herself she’d thought forever lost … her joy.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter via NetGalley ijn return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is an uplifting story about friendship, loss and second chances. Joy works in a care home and is grieving for her husband. When she receives an unexpected gift, her life begins to change. This heartwarming story explores themes of friendship, hope, healing and helping others. The characters are relatable, and there is a touch of magic running through it. The reader is immersed in Joy’s world as she realises that her life has a purpose despite her loss.

A lovely story.

Amanda James

Amanda James has written since she was a child, and as an eight-year-old, she asked her parents for a typewriter for Christmas. She never imagined her words would ever be published, however. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true when she had her first short story published for a Born Free anthology. She left teaching in 2013 to pursue her dream full-time.

Originally from Sheffield, Amanda now lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the wild and beautiful coastline near her home. She has many suspense novels set there, but her last few books have been uplifting in nature with a twist of magic. She loves writing feel-good reads and has decided the world needs more joy in it right now, and her plan is to write many more novels in that genre. Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

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

The Story of Our Secrets Shari Low 5*#Review @sharilow @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #TheStoryOfOurSecrets #secrets #Romance #Friendship #Relationships #BlogTour #loss #BookReview #romcom @bookandtonic

Colm O’Flynn was loved by his close circle of family and friends, however, his death came too soon for everyone to make peace with their past.

Shauna, his second wife, adored him. But one night she broke their marriage vows and didn’t get time to ask Colm’s forgiveness.

Jess was the first Mrs O’Flynn. Her heart is set on someone new, but will the last one night stand she shared with Colm come back to haunt her?

Colm’s best friend, Dan, is recently divorced. Can he take a second shot at happiness if it means betraying the one person who always had his back?

What no one knows is that somewhere out there Colm left messages that could set them free to start over again.

Can divine intervention help them find Colm’s last wishes before it’s too late to love again?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Told in the past, and present The Story of Our Secrets unfolds emotionally and insightfully. Colm, a reticent man, reveals his true feelings to his extended family through a series of messages made in his final days. It’s both confessional and motivational. Shauna, his wife, shares her life experiences five years after his death. The reader learns the characters’ deepest motivations and thoughts and the family/friendship dynamics that define their lives.

The complex relationships and flawed characters bring the story to vibrant life and make it relatable. Sensitively explored, death and loss are central themes, as are family and friendship. There are touches of humour to balance the poignancy, and it’s an engaging read.

Shari Low

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 25 novels, including One Day In Summer and My One Month Marriage and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.

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Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance, Travel

The Single Dad’s Christmas Proposal Ella Hayes 5* Review @EllaHayesAuthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsiders #Romance #festive #parenting #relationships #Chamonix #Paris #Christmas #MillsandBoonTrueLove #HarlequinRomance #TheSingleDadsChristmasProposal

A life-changing winter escape!

Extreme snowboarder Dax is no stranger to a challenge. Still, nothing could have prepared him for his greatest challenge yet: fatherhood! Six-year-old Yann was kept a secret by his late mother. Now Dax is determined to make up for lost time. But with a work commitment in Chamonix, he needs a step-in nanny…Will Simone say yes to Dax—and a Christmas to remember?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Dax is an extreme snowboarder with a tragic past and a six-year-old son he has just met. Single mother Simone has an understanding of what Dax is experiencing. Their children are friends. Dax needs someone to take care of his son at Christmas in Chamonix. Is Simone willing to be that person?

The Parisian setting for the couple’s first meeting is atmospheric and magical, drawing the reader into the story’s festive ambience. Their first meeting sparks an attraction even though they don’t initially realise the significance of it. Simone and Dax are lovely characters who have to overcome their emotional barriers to find happiness. The romance is gentle, and the conflicts, to their being together, authentic.

This story has everything you want in a festive romance, characters you believe in, heartwarming emotion and a happy conclusion.

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.