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

The Storm Girl Kathleen McGurl 5*#Review @KathMcGurl @HQStories @rararesources #Timeslip #HistFic #ContemporaryFiction #Adventure #Mystery #Family #Secrets #Betrayal #Loss #friendship #romance #BlogTour #BookReview #TheStormGirl #Mudeford

A heartbreaking choice. A secret kept for centuries.

1784. When Esther Harris’s father hurts his back, she takes over his role of helping smugglers hide contraband in the secret cellar in their pub. But when the free traders’ ships are trapped in the harbour, a battle between the smugglers and the revenue officers leads to murder and betrayal – and Esther is forced to choose between the love of her life and protecting her family…

Present day. Fresh from her divorce, Millie Galton moves into a former inn overlooking the harbour in Mudeford and plans to create her dream home. When a chance discovery behind an old fireplace reveals the house’s secret history as a haven for smugglers and the devastating story of its former residents, could the mystery of disappearance from centuries ago finally be solved?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

In a dual timeline story set in Mudeford near Christchurch in Dorset, divorced, Millie moves into an old historic former Inn needing renovation; as the work progresses, the house begins to give up its secrets. In 1784 Ester lives and works in the Inn at Mudeford. She and many townsfolk are involved in smuggling. The sense of betrayal and danger immerses the reader in the historical part of this story. Historical details vibrantly bring 1784 Mudeford to life. The Inn is the link between the past and present, and the two interwoven timelines create an engaging story full of adventure, mystery and romance.

I love the clever plotting that links the two time periods, the believable characters and the mystery to be solved.

Kathleen McGurl

Kathleen McGurl lives near the coast in Christchurch, England. She writes dual timeline novels in which a historical mystery is uncovered and resolved in the present day. She is married to an Irishman and has two adult sons. She enjoys travelling, especially in her motorhome around Europe but her home is Mudeford, where this novel is set.

Twitter Facebook Website Instagram

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

Summer at the French Café Sue Moorcroft 5* #Review @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK #Romance #Family #Secrets #BlogTour #Summer #relationships #Alsace #France #BookCafé #Bookshop #Café @rararesources #Friendship #BookReview #SummerattheFrenchCafé

Sparkling sun, strolls in the gorgeous French countryside, that first sip of cool, crisp wine – Summer is Kat’s favourite season. And this year should be no exception…

As soon as Kat Jenson set foot in the idyllic French village of Kirchhoffen, she knew she’d found her home. Now she has a dreamy boyfriend, a delightful dog and the perfect job managing a bustling book café in the vibrant Parc Lemmel.

But when she learns her boyfriend isn’t all he seems, it’s the start of a difficult summer for Kat. Vindictive troublemakers, work woes and family heartache follow, and the clear blue sky that was her life suddenly seems full of clouds.

Then she gets to know the mysterious Noah, and her sun begins to shine brighter than ever. But Noah has problems of his own – ones that could scupper their new-found happiness. Together, can they overcome their many obstacles, and find love again?

Amazon UK Kobo Apple WHSmith Bookshop.org Amazon

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

In the Alsace region of France, summer is not without its emotional complications for Kat, the manager of a bustling book café. Looking forward to a lovely summer in a job she loves, her relationship implodes with subsequent difficulties at work that threaten her career. Having her brother Solly and meeting the enigmatic Noah are the positive influences in her life, but they are not without problems, and Kat is reluctant to risk taking a chance on love again.

Romance is a theme of this story, but it’s conflicted with Kat and Noah’s emotional past and his current family drama. Blended families are another predominant theme explored through Kat and Noah’s experiences. Lies and secrets complicate their lives, and they have to work hard to be together.

Despite the angst and the drama, there are many lighthearted moments in this realistically plotted story, and I particularly enjoyed those with Kat’s cute dog Angelique. I also enjoyed the believably flawed characters, the storytelling, and the vibrant setting.

Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author and has reached the #1 spot on Kindle UK and Top 100 on Kindle US. She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary. Her novels, short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared around the world.

Website Blog Facebook profile Facebook author page Twitter  Instagram LinkedIn Newsletter Sign Up Street Team

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Friendship, Suspense

Guilty Women Melanie Blake 5*#Review @MelanieBlakeUK @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours#BlogTour #BookReview #SoapOpera #Thriller #Guilt #Relationships #Friendship #Revenge #suspense #GuiltyWomen

Can they get away with MURDER? On a beautiful island off the English coast, four TV actresses gather. Their fifth member is missing – and only they know why she was killed. As the secret between them threatens to come out, tensions on set run high. The women are determined that the show must go on – whatever the cost. But one of them is on the edge of telling the truth – and no soap opera in the world could survive this scandal… All of the women have something to hide – but the question is, are they ALL GUILTY?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Continuing from book one, Ruthless Women, Guilty Women has the eighties ‘blockbuster’ vibes with a contemporary twist. The female characters are ruthless, but you can see why they must be when you meet the men. The strong friendship bond between the main protagonists makes this so readable. The plot is full of action, shocks and surprises and keeps you turning the pages. The characters are vibrant and flawed, but they make you care about them, and you are intrigued to know what next? Are they guilty?

Melanie Blake

MELANIE BLAKE is the bestselling author of Ruthless Women, which became a Number 4 Sunday Times hardback bestseller and an ebook bestseller in 2021, selling over 150,000 copies. Guilty Women is her second novel about the cast of Falcon Bay, and her first with HarperFiction. Growing up in a working-class household with severe dyslexia, Melanie has her own Rags to Riches story, just like that of her characters – at 15 she was told by her school career advisors that her decision to work at a record shop was ‘a clear example that she wouldn’t go far in her career’. They were wrong. By 19 she was working at the BBC’s iconic Top of the Pops show and by 26 she had built a reputation as one of the UK’s leading music and entertainment managers. She also created her own acting agency from scratch which became the most successful independent boutique agency in the UK. Melanie still represents a high-profile stable of actresses, but is also now enjoying success in her own right as a author, playwright and producer. #GuiltyWomen | @MelanieBlakeUK

r
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.

Facebook Instagram Website

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

What Next? Shari Low 5*#Review @sharilow @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #WhatNext #selfdiscovery #Romance #Friendship #secrets #bucketlist #Marriage #Relationships #BlogTour #BookReview #romcom #boldwoodbloggers

Two weeks, four friends and one big bucket list of secrets to unravel…

Val Murray and her best friend, Josie had been planning a ‘Thelma and Louise’ bucket list style holiday.
Now Josie is gone, and Val needs to make the trip before it’s too late.
But Val doesn’t want to do it alone, so she enlists the help of her nieces, Carly and Carole, and their best pal, Jess, who jump at the chance to join Val on a trip of a lifetime.
What Val doesn’t realise is that Carly, Carole and Jess are all at turning points in their own lives, nursing crushing secrets, lies and betrayals.
Somewhere between Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York they all hit a crossroads and have to decide if they want to return to the lives they left behind or let Josie’s last wishes take them on a brand new adventure.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley. i

My Thoughts…

It’s clear from the heartwarming nature of this story that these characters are special to the author. I love the beautifully flawed quality of the characters that make them so relatable. Carly and her friends are off on a road trip with Aunty Val. This bucket list adventure has many surprises, but the strength of the friendship and familial connections are at its heart.

I love the characters, the often hilarious things that happen to them and the poignant moments that make it authentic. I enjoyed every moment, and I hope it won’t be their last adventure together.

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.

Twitter Facebook Website Instagram BookBub Newsletter Sign Up

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

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

You think you’re safe.

You think you know your neighbours.

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

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

And then one day, she vanishes.

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

But how can she separate the truth from the lies?

btr

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Fiction.

My Thoughts…

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

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

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

Susan Lewis

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

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

Villa of Second Chances Jennifer Bohnet 5*#Review @jenniewriter @BoldwoodBooks #Friendship #Life #Family #SecondChances #Wedding #Love #FrenchRivera #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #VillaofSecondChances

Everyone deserves a second chance…right?

Escape to the Villa in the South of France with Top 10 international bestseller Jennifer Bohnet, for an uplifting story of family, love and second chances.

Run by sisters Rebecca and Delphine, Villa Sesame is a popular venue for small intimate weddings on the sparkling French Riviera. Beautiful terraces and a horizon pool all over look the Mediterranean setting the scene to make memorable days and dreams come true.
When recently widowed Delphine unexpectedly announces her desire to retire and live a different life, Rebecca feels her own life could be slipping into free fall.
How can she possibly carry on with the business without her sister at her side? Could this be the beginning of the end for Villa Sésame and Rebecca’s life as she knows it?
As the guests gather for the June wedding of Freya and Marcus, Freya’s two childhood friends bring their own problems to the villa and cousin Verity has her own agenda.
But it’s the arrival of a certain guest who throws Rebecca’s whole world into turmoil and she finds herself asking the question, where do I go from here?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The Villa of Second Chances is a heartwarming tale of new beginnings. I like that the female protagonists are older with a life full of experiences. Freya and Marcus hold their second marriage at the Villa, owned and run by two sisters, Rebecca and Delphine. It is a time of change for the sisters. Freya’s two childhood friends from Dartmouth are attending the wedding, one newly bereaved.

Long-held grudges and secrets and the renewal of old acquaintances make this an absorbing story full of poignant moments. Believable characters have unexpected connections that reveal themselves as the story progresses, making it a satisfying read.

The settings are vibrant and add to the story’s uplifting quality.

Jennifer Bohnet is the bestselling author of 16 novels, including Villa of Sun and Secrets and A Riviera Retreat. She is originally from the West Country but now lives in the wilds of rural Brittany, France.

Twitter Facebook Instagram Website 

Profile Publisher Website Newsletter Sign Up BookBub

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…

Twitter Facebook Instagram Amazon Author Page Website

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

Brown Eyes Frances Ive 4*#Review @healthysouluk @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #family #friendship #marriage #dog #BrownEyes

A watchful eye as a marriage falls apart. The phone call, the rows, and the split are all observed by the family Labrador. He knows the habits and senses the moods of his beloved family members. Seeing them unhappy and hurting each other is unbearable. Where did his perfect life go?

With her marriage to Phil in crisis, two children at the challenging teenage stage, and a close friend in peril, Meriel’s world is falling apart. She finds solace in the arms of another man, but is this the answer for her? It is her stubbornness that threatens the family’s future together until a major loss has a life-changing effect on her. A sliver of hope returns.

Like a fly on the wall, Benji the dog sees it all.

Narrated by both the dog and Meriel, Brown Eyes is a novella (a short read) written by the author of Finding Jo and Give and Take with a Capital G & T.

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Family life and relationships seen through the eyes of the family dog, Benji the Labrador, is a unique and insightful view of discord, friendship and marriage. Dual viewpoints from the dog and the woman whose marriage breaks down give the reader an emotional and intense idea of life within the family setting.

The dog’s viewpoint is an engaging mix of humour and poignancy, and anyone who has lived with a dog will recognise the behaviour. There is lots of detail in this story, but you empathise with the characters, especially Benji, and want them to work out their problems.

I liked the dog’s perspective best, but all the characters resonate.

A career as a journalist/PR led to health writing for UK nationals newspapers and consumer mags. Out of the blue I was inspired to write my first novel, Finding Jo, which I self-published in January 2021. Brown Eyes is my 2nd novel, written a few years ago. It was inspired by our black Labrador Benji. Before Finding Jo, I previously had only non-fiction books published, including One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis (2019), a positive approach to staying mobile.

Website Twitter Facebook Instagram

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

A Cottage Full of Secrets Jane Lovering 5*#Review @janelovering @BoldwoodBooks #friendship #romance #relationships #healing #secrets #selfbelief #Cottage #NorthYorkshire @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #ACottageFullofSecrets

Cottage Two, Bracken Ridge Farm sits at the end of a pitted track, with the glorious Yorkshire moors stretching behind it. 

Just a simple two up, two down, the cottage holds the promise of a new start for two very different women, but it is also full of secrets. 

Fifty years ago, newly-wed Stella is relishing making the little cottage a happy home. But for all the lovingly handmade curtains, and the hot dinners ready on the table for her husband, Stella’s dreams of married life jar painfully with the truth.

Fifty years later, the cottage is a new beginning for Tamzin. Determined to get away from her previous life, she makes the move to the wild and vast Yorkshire countryside. 

When Tamzin finds a sepia photo of a woman, Stella, standing in the cottage’s garden, there’s a sadness in her eyes that Tamzin recognises.  As the cottage reveals more of its secrets, Tamzin is desperate to find out whether Stella got her happy ending.  And as she gradually makes new friends, and starts to win over her mysterious neighbour Euan, Tamzin dares to dream about her own happy ending too… 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Stella, in 1973 is packing the leave the cottage she loves. Nearly fifty years later, Tamzin arrives at the same place to start a new life. Two women generations apart but with more in common than is immediately apparent.

The story is set in North Yorkshire and filled with descriptions of picturesque scenery and vibrant wildlife. It’s the characters that make this story so engaging. Tamzin running from her former life, is wary of others and is determined to live her life as she wants to. Euan lives in the neighbouring cottage. His unfriendliness masks a host of secrets that the story reveals. Jill is the person who helps Tamzin construct a run for her orphaned fox, but she is more critical as emotional support for both Euan and Tamzin and is a lovely character.

The developing friendships, healing and humour keep you turning the pages. The mystery surrounding Stella is heartbreaking, but thankfully Tamzin and Euan’s stories conclude in a hopeful way. I love the growing friendships, gentle romance and Euan and Tamzin’s emotional recovery facilitated by the cottage and the natural way of life. There are many sad moments, but ultimately it is uplifting.

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. 

Facebook Twitter Newsletter Sign Up Bookbub