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

The Forgotten House on the Moor Jane Lovering 5*#Review @janelovering @BoldwoodBooks #friendship #romance #relationships #secrets #selfbelief #psychology #NorthYorkshireMoors #gothic #mystery #ghosts #supernatural @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #TheForgottenHouseOnTheMoor

Mystery, mayhem, a manor house and a generous serving of romance… 

When the police knock on Alice Donaldson’s door at 4am, she knows the news won’t be good. There’s been an accident involving her ex-husband Grant, and as his existing next of kin, they need her help.

Grant is missing up on the North York moors, but the Grant Alice knew could barely be persuaded out on a walk around the block. What on earth possessed him to go on a hike in the middle of the night?

Alice soon finds herself working with Grant’s girlfriend Jenna and Jenna’s gorgeous ‘Lord of the family Manor’ brother Max, to find out what has happened, and what caused Grant’s accident at The Fortune House – the spooky house out on the moors.

The locals tell all manner of ghoulish stories about The Fortune House, which Alice is not minded to listen to. But before long, things take a turn for the strange and Max and Alice have a new mystery to solve. While all the while Alice can’t help hoping she might meet the requirements to be Max’s ‘Lady of the Manor’ at his country pile, Hatherleigh Hall.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The Forgotten House on the Moor delivers the mystery and gothic elements it promises. The original plot also has gentle romance, self-realisation for the main characters and lots of humorous moments that this author writes so well. Alice is not unhappy but unfulfilled when she receives an unexpected visit from the police with some surprising news it provokes her into action. The story that follows is full of humour, mystery and romance.

Complex characters that develop as the story progresses make this an engaging read. The well-written ghostly element adds depth to the story, and I liked the final twist.

Jane Lovering is the bestselling and award-winning romantic comedy writer who won the RNA Novel of the Year Award in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. She lives in Yorkshire and has a cat and a bonkers terrier, as well as five children who have now left home. 

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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Serial, Short stories

A Wedding at Sandy Cove: Gown But Not Out Bella Osborne 5*#Review @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #family #novella #serial #part3 #gownbutnotout #preorder #AWeddingatSandyCove

This is the third part in a brand new four-part serial from Bella Osborne.

Ella’s dreams lie in tatters…

Ella has always held onto her faith in romance. Being in the business of weddings, how could she not? But her belief in true love has been well and truly shattered, by the people she trusted most.

To make matters worse, the successful launch of her bridal business has been sabotaged by the spread of false and nasty rumours about her. But who could have done such a terrible thing?

With her best friend’s wedding now only days away, it seems the worst has happened when a last-minute beauty treatment turns the bride’s skin a bright shade of frog green.

Then something much bigger puts the whole wedding in jeopardy.

Will Brittany finally get to say ‘I do’? And how will Ella react when an unexpected guest arrives to turn everything on its head: the ex who broke her heart…

Amazon UK Amazon Kobo

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The third part of A Wedding at Sandy Cove begins with a family drama at Ella’s launch party. The reveal is surprising and leaves Ella saddened and shocked. Her relationship with Kit develops, but love never runs smoothly. Ellas’ fledgling business suffers a setback to add to her woes. Lucy has a surprise visitor and Brittany’s wedding day is eventful.

I love the romance in this part of the story that takes Ella, Kit and the reader on an emotional journey. The humour lightens the poignant moments, and Ella’s character development is evident. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full-length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

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Read my review of Always a Bridesmaid (part1)

Read my review of Stitched Up (part2)

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 Book Review, Crime, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Travel

More Than You’ll Ever Know Katie Gutierrez 4* #Review @katie_gutz @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks #MoreThanYoullEverKnow #literarythriller #mystery #familydrama #relationships #truecrime #suspense #marriage #parenting #bookreview

Lore Rivera was married to two men at once, until on a baking hot day in 1986, one of them found out and shot the other. A secret double life, a tragic murder.

That’s the story the world knows.

It’s not the story that fascinates Cassie Bowman.

Carrying the weight of her own family tragedy, true-crime writer Cassie wants to know more about the mysterious woman at the heart of it all: Lore.

And to her surprise, Lore is willing to talk – about how a dance became an affair; how marriage became a murder.

As the two women grow closer, Cassie finds she can’t help but confess her own darkest secrets.

But when it becomes clear that there might be more to the night of the murder than anyone realised, can either woman face up to the thing they’ve been hiding from . . . the truth?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

More Than You’ll Ever Know has a true crime vibe, an excellent sense of place and time and complex, flawed characters that immerse the reader in their lives. It’s an emotional exploration of marriage, parenthood and relationships and is gripping. The true crime aspect gives it a contemporary slant, but it tells the story from multi viewpoints and timelines.

Lore is an interesting character; she provokes Cassie to evaluate her life and past and face her truth. The crime aspect develops slowly and is more powerful because the reader is invested in the characters’ lives when secrets emerge. The final twists I did work out are poignant and resonate and deliver a fitting conclusion to this detailed and engaging story.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Serial, Short stories

A Wedding at Sandy Cove: Stitched Up Bella Osborne 5*#Review @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #family #novella #serial #part2 #stitchedup #AWeddingatSandyCove

This is the second part in a brand new four-part serial from Bella Osborne.

Wedding dress whisperer Ella is striking out on her own. After years of taking orders from the owner of the bridal shop where she worked, she will answer to no one.

Except for the brides, that is.

Helping to make the dream of running her own business reality is handsome builder Kit, the man she mistook for her blind date. But is it strictly professional between them or is there more behind Kit’s passion for this project than meets the eye?

But Ella doesn’t have too much time to dwell on matters of her own heart.
Because the hen weekend for her best friend Brittany has arrived.

Two full days of bridesmaids gone wild, coupled with juggling her demanding new set of Bridezilla clients may just push Ella to her limits…

Amazon UK Amazon Kobo

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The second part of the engaging A Wedding at Sandy Cove series picks up where part one left the reader gasping. Ella is starting her own business, but her horrible ex-boss Wanda isn’t making it easy.

Kit, whom she met under stressful circumstances, is helping her convert her garage. The attraction between them is simmering nicely; the mystery concerning their parents makes anything more than friendship unlikely. Brittany’s hen night is full of hilarity.

I love the characters, the dynamics between Elle and her friends, the hint of romance with Kit and the intrigue surrounding their parents. The mix of humour and poignancy continues with Lucy’s viewpoint focusing on darker issues.

Finishing part two makes you excited to read what happens next.

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full-length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

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Read my review of Always a Bridesmaid (part1)

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

The Murder List Jackie Kabler 5*#Review @JackieKabler @0neMoreChapter_ #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #CrimeFiction #Psychological #suspense #TheMurderList #Mystery #MurderMystery

When Mary receives a blank diary as a present, she thinks nothing of it. Until she opens the diary and sees it’s not blank after all…

  • 1st January MURDER LISA, OXFORD
  • 1st February MURDER JANE, BIRMINGHAM
  • 1st March MURDER DAVID, CARDIFF
  • 1st April MURDER MARY, CHELTENHAM

Is this some kind of sick joke? But…it’s the end of January now. And a woman named Lisa was murdered in Oxford on 1st January.

Does that mean there really is a killer out there, planning to commit a new murder on the first of each month? And is the Mary due to be killed on 1st April, her?

The clock is ticking for Mary to uncover the truth before she becomes the next victim on the killer’s list…

Amazon UK Amazon

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

While announcing a forthcoming murder is not a new concept in a murder mystery, this story gives it a twenty-first-century makeover with powerful psychological suspense interwoven with the police procedural. Mary is a convincing and likeable character, especially in the early stages of the story. As it progresses and her secrets reveal themselves, she is more of an unreliable narrator.

There are many motives and suspects explored in this pacy novel. The characters are believably flawed with good characterisation. Mary’s first-person viewpoint and the contrasting third-person police procedural element give the reader an omnipotent view of events.

I liked the original aspects of the story, the multilayered characters and the clever plot twist. It’s the perfect read for all amateur sleuths.

Jackie Kabler

Jackie Kabler is an internationally bestselling author of psychological thrillers including The Perfect Couple, Am I Guilty? and The Happy Family. She worked as a newspaper reporter and then in television news for twenty years, including nearly a decade on GMTV. She later appeared on BBC and ITV news, presented a property show for Sky, hosted sports shows on Setanta Sports News and worked as a media trainer for the Armed Forces. She now combines her crime writing with her job as a presenter on the shopping channel QVC. Jackie lives in Gloucestershire with her husband.



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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance, Travel

Retreat to the Spanish Sun Jo Thomas 5*#Review @jo_thomas01 @TransworldBooks #RetreatottheSpanishSun #food #sun #friendship #mystery #intrigue #romance #family #selfrealisation #women #community #holidayfiction #humour

Will a summer escape be the answer she’s looking for?
Eliza has a full house! When her three children grew up and moved out, she
downsized to a smaller property… but now they’re all back.

Every room in the house is taken, and Eliza finds herself sharing her bed with her eldest daughter and her daughter’s pug. Combined with the online course she’s trying to finish, plus her job to fit in, there just isn’t the peace and quiet that Eliza needs.

So when an ad pops up on her laptop saying ‘house-sitters wanted’, Eliza can’t resist the chance to escape. She ends up moving to a rural Finca in southern Spain, looking after the owner’s Iberico pigs, learning about secret gastronomic societies… and finding a new zest for life and love along the way.

From the bestselling author of Escape to the French Farmhouse comes a deliciously feel-good new story…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The humour and warmth are evident from the start of this heartwarming story full of friendship, mystery and romance. Eliza is a single mother whose children are now adults, and although they have all left home, they have now returned, and it’s crowded and full of angst. She is struggling with who she is apart from a mother of young adults and is studying for a new career but is not sure what it is yet. The chance to work as a homesitter in Southern Spain is scary but maybe just what she needs.

Josep is attractive but distant, but his house is lovely, and his dogs are adorable, so she looks forward to her new experience. There is humour when Eliza meets the pigs, and she soon finds skills she didn’t know she possessed. The Spanish Conversation Group is lovely and welcoming, but the problems begin when her employer returns unexpectedly.

I love the Spanish culture and food explored through the characters and the friendships between the women. The romance is gentle and believable, and the writing is full of sensory imagery, immersing the reader in the story.

The author has written a lovely, romantic story with an excellent sense of place and people and an emotional journey of self-realisation for Eliza.

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4’4’soWoman’sour and Radio 2’2’she Steve Wright Show.

Jo’s debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller and won both the RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award.

Her recent book Escape to the French Farmhouse was a #1 bestselling eBook, and in every one of her novels, Jo loves to explore new countries and discover the food produced there, both of which she thoroughly enjoys researching.

Jo lives in Pembrokeshire with her husband and three children, where cooking and gathering around the kitchen table are a hugely important and fun part of their family life.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Noir

Wake Shelley Burr 3*#Review @ByssheShelley @HodderBooks #Wake #crimefiction #noir #Australian #outback

EVERYBODY THINKS THEY KNOW MINA McCREERY.
EVERYONE HAS A THEORY ON WHAT HAPPENED TO HER SISTER.
NOW IT’S TIME TO FIND OUT THE TRUTH…

Mina McCreery’s sister Evelyn disappeared nineteen years ago. Her life has been defined by the intense public interest in the case. Now an anxious and reclusive adult, she lives alone on her family’s destocked sheep farm.

When Lane, a private investigator, approaches her with an offer to reinvestigate the case, she rejects him. The attention has had nothing but negative consequences for her and her family, and never brought them closer to an answer.

Lane wins her trust when his unconventional methods show promise, but he has his own motivations for wanting to solve the case, and his obsession with the answer will ultimately risk both their lives.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The author creates an atmospheric story with a distinct sense of place full of sadness and secrets. It explores what happens to a family when a child goes missing without a trace and how social media keeps it in the public focus, never allowing the pain of loss to fade. The character-driven story has noir elements and is slow paced and detailed. Fractured relationships and dark secrets make this a poignant read, but the quality of the characters and the setting are notable and resonate.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Friendship, Mystery, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

Keep You Close Mary Burton 4*#Review @HQStories #MaryBurton #BlogTour #thriller #familydrama #BookReview #suspense #secrets #romance #romanticsuspense #mystery #KeepYouClose

Old secrets are hard to keep buried in this gritty and gripping novel of suspense.

Kelsey Warren may now be a high-flying journalist, but she’s never forgiven her reckless mother Donna for abandoning her as a teenager.

Yet when Kelsey returns to her hometown and discovers her mother’s body at the bottom of a flooded quarry with a gunshot wound in her chest, Kelsey’s world is flipped upside down. Her mother didn’t desert her; she was killed.

Despite Sheriff Mitch Garrett’s pleas to leave the case alone, Kelsey is determined to uncover the truth about her mother. But small towns hide big secrets, and someone has their eye on Kelsey and is set on silencing her for good.

Previously published as Dark Waters

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Kelsey returns to her hometown for a relative’s funeral, not expecting to stay. When she offers to help a friend with a dive, she finds the body of her mother, who she thought had abandoned her years before. Determined to find the culprit, she needs the help of Mitch, the Sheriff, but they have history, and proximity brings it to the fore. A suspenseful, short romantic suspense with a second chance romance and a dangerous antagonist. I like the small town setting, the menacing ethos created, and the conflicted but ultimately happy romance.

Posted in Book Review, Espionage - Spy - Thriller, Historical Fiction, New Books, Political Thriller

Yesterday’s Spy Tom Bradby 5*#Review @tombradby @TransworldBooks #spy #1950s #1930s #espionage #politicalthriller #secrets #YesterdaysSpy #bookreview #publicationday

Nothing good ever comes from a midnight phone call, especially from Downing Street. For washed-up spy Harry Tower, it is the worst news at the worst possible time. His son, Sean, has gone missing in troubled Iran after writing an exposé about government corruption.

Their relationship has never recovered since Harry’s wife’s suicide, for which Sean holds his father responsible. And Harry, with his career on the verge of disintegration, needs to find him and put things right.

When Harry arrives in Tehran, he finds a city on the cusp of revolution. Foreign powers are jockeying for influence, money and, most importantly, oil. The CIA are conspiring to undermine the government with an impending coup, and there are dark mutterings about opium smuggling. But the reasons for Sean’s disappearance may be even more sinister than Harry first suspected.

Before long, he is on the run – not only from a faceless enemy but from his own past. Which will catch up with him first?

Yesterday’s Spy is Tom Bradby at his very best, delivering a cunning espionage novel rich in intrigue and history that will keep you guessing until the final pages.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Set in 1950s Iran, this is a complex political thriller. Retired spy Harry is searching for his journalist son at a time of political unrest. The plot is multilayered, and the historical details are fascinating, making this an original and intriguing story. As Harry considers his life, the story visits the 1930s, and the reader gets to know him, his wife and his previous role.

It immerses the reader in the characters and the story with a tangible sense of danger and a plot full of action, emotion, and intriguing mystery.