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

I have something to tell you Susan Lewis 5*#Review @susanlewisbooks @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #Lies #Secrets #Crime #Love #Relationships #Forgiveness #FamilyDrama #Marriage #Friendship #Legal #BookReview #Ihavesomethingtotellyou

High-flying lawyer Jay Wells has it all. A successful career, loving husband Tom and a family she adores. But one case – and one client – will put all that at risk.

Edward Blake. An ordinary life turned upside down – or a man who quietly watched television while his wife was murdered upstairs? With more questions than answers and a case too knotted to unravel, Jay suspects he’s protecting someone.

Then she comes home one day and her husband utters the words no-one ever wants to hear. Sit down, because I have something to tell you….

Now Jay must fight not only for the man she defends, but for the man she thought she trusted with her life – her husband.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

You are always guaranteed an immersive reading experience with this author. The characters are complex, flawed and relatable. The situations they encounter are believably created and explore moral dilemmas and relationship dynamics. The pacing is perfect, and you are addicted after the first few pages.

Jay is a successful criminal lawyer who takes on a case as the duty solicitor. She has a good balance of personal and professional life and enjoys her work. Edward is a successful architect and property developer. When he discovers his wife’s body upstairs in his home, he finds himself the prime suspect in her killing.

This is a multilayered story with a strong,well-researched legal element. Interwoven with the criminal case is a myriad of emotional relationships, as perceived by Jay, the lawyer. Her marriage seemingly perfect comes under pressure, and as she delves deeper into her client Edward’s life, she finds herself compromised, emotional and professionally.

This is an engaging and fascinating story that resonates.

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 husband James, two stepsons and dogs.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Suspense, Family Drama, Gothic Fiction, New Books, Noir, Thriller

Whisper Cottage  Anne Wyn Clark 4* #Review @EAClarkAuthor  @AvonBooksUK #gothic #thriller #domestic #noir #suspense #WhisperCottage @rararesources #HearTheWhispers

When Stina and Jack move to an old rural cottage, they’re hoping for a fresh start.

Their new home is run-down compared to their neighbour’s, but generous Mrs Barley quickly becomes a friend.   Until Stina sees a mysterious figure in the widow’s garden, and her happy new life begins to unravel. And when she hears strange noises in the night, she is forced to question if Mrs Barley is what she seems.  

Why do the other villagers whisper about her? Why is she so eager to help the couple? And what is she hiding in her picture-perfect home? 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The opening chapter of this story takes the reader back to 1964 and a domestic scene, relatable yet with sinister implications. Time moves forward to 2012 when Stina and her partner move into Whisper Cottage. Stina’s unplanned pregnancy, the catalyst for the country move. Immediately there are echoes with the book’s beginning, and you wonder if they too will feel the pressures of raising a young child.

This is an atmospheric story with hints of supernatural events and the possibility of mental health issues for the young expectant mother. Stina is an unreliable protagonist. The reader is never sure if she sees what she thinks she does. The villagers’ archaic reaction to Stina’s neighbour is complex, disturbing and believable.

The intricate world-building slows the pace but is integral to the story’s authenticity. The plot twists are impactful. This is an intriguing gothic style mystery with hints of domestic noir and psychological suspense.

Anne Wyn Clark lives in the UK, in the Midlands, with her husband, son and a feisty chinchilla. She has three (now grown-up) children and five grandchildren. She is particularly partial to Italian food, decent red wine (or any coloured wine come to that…) and cake – and has been known to over-indulge in each on occasions. She is passionate about animals and their welfare. Whilst she has enjoyed writing for many years, a love of all things gothic inspired her to try her hand at producing something dark and twisty, culminating in the haunting Whisper Cottage.

Twitter

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

#TheTherapist B.A.Paris #Audio #BlogTour 5*#Review @BAParisAuthor @HQStories #psychological #Suspense #domestic #relationships #secrets #lies #friendships #BookReview #PsychSuspense #audiogram #AudioQandA

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating, grisly secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it.

Her neighbours are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…

Amazon UK

B.A. Paris Q&A 4

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

My Thoughts…

The Therapist is an addictive blend of cleverly crafted characters, nail-biting psychological suspense and a puzzling plot. Alice and Leo move into the exclusive gated development in London to begin their lives together. Alice is unsure if London life will suit her, but Leo wants to live in London, and she wants to see more of him.

Told exclusively from Alice’s perspective, she soon reveals herself as an unreliable protagonist. A past family tragedy still defines her life, and she sees the change of lifestyle as a way of living again. Alice dislikes The Circle’s sinister ethos. A series of unexpected revelations intensify her emotional vulnerability to breaking point. Everyone has secrets, and Alice isn’t sure who she can trust. The house’s tragic history immerses Alice until her life starts to unravel, pushing her relentlessly towards danger.

Short passages from the past with undefinable characters intensify the sense of menace and suspense towards the climactic, twisted conclusion. The final shocking twist is well disguised. This is a book you won’t want to put down. It will have you checking you’ve locked the doors.

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

Next of Kin Kia Abdullah 5*#Review @HQStories @KiaAbdullah #CrimeFiction #LegalThriller #CourtroomDrama #NextofKin #BlogTour #BookReview #FamilyDrama #women #Secrets #Lies #psychsuspense

ON AN ORDINARY WORKING DAY…

Leila Syed receives a call that cleaves her life in two. Her brother-in-law’s voice is filled with panic. His son’s nursery has called to ask where little Max is.

YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE…

Leila was supposed to drop Max off that morning. But she forgot.

Racing to the carpark, she grasps the horror of what she has done.

IS ABOUT TO COME TRUE…

What follows is an explosive, high-profile trial that will tear the family apart. But as the case progresses it becomes clear there’s more to this incident than meets the eye…

A gripping, brave and tense courtroom drama, Next of Kin will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final, heart-stopping page.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is a fusion of family drama, moral dilemma, legal thriller and psychological suspense. All the elements are believably woven into an addictive, poignant human drama with unexpected twists and unreliable protagonists.

The characters are flawed and relatable, but the two sisters draw the reader’s empathy as they face an unparalleled tragedy. Divided into three parts, the tragedy and aftermath, the courtroom drama and the unexpected twists. The story deals with an emotive subject sensitively. It focuses on the two sisters and their husbands and the police officer investigating the case.

It is an impactful and well-paced story that immerses the reader in an unthinkable situation and lets them draw their conclusions. The unreliable protagonist element adds doubt.

The final twists are shattering in a story that shocks throughout.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

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

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

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

Anna Legat

Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. Murder isn’t the only thing on her mind. She dabbles in a wide variety of genres, ranging from dark humorous comedy, through magic realism to dystopian. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

Website Twitter Facebook

Anna’s News, Rumours and Scandalous Revelations Newsletter Sign Up

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance, Travel

A Christmas Wedding in the Cotswolds Lucy Coleman 5*#Review @LucyColemanauth @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #AChristmasWeddingintheCotswolds #boldwoodbloggers #BookReview #BlogTour #Romance #Friendship # #uplit #wedding #festive

What could be more festive than a winter wedding in the picturesque English countryside? Join us for Christmas in the Cotswolds with the bestselling Lucy Coleman

Imogen Tolliman and Gray Adams can’t wait to get married after getting engaged the previous year, when they were stranded by snow in a blizzard. Now they are busy planning their wedding, but when the date slips six months because Gray is working on a huge film project, it seems like fate that after their snowy start, they will end up getting married at Christmas.

The couple are living in Immi’s grandfather’s picturesque lock-keeper’s cottage at the Aysbury
marina in the Cotswolds, which they are renovating to become their forever family home. As well as building work, full-time jobs and wedding planning, Immi is in charge of raising money to build a children’s playground, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Santa Ahoy Cruises – her grandfather Tollie’s life work
.

When Gray is suddenly forced to travel abroad, Immi is left to cope with everything alone, and
before long, even the best-laid plans start to wobble. When a terrible betrayal is uncovered, the whole community of Aysbury is left reeling, and Immi is left wondering if there will be a wedding after all…

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to an unforgettable Cotswolds Christmas full of romance and laughter, friendship and family and much-loved festive traditions.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts

With characters we first met in Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage, this is a lovely heartwarming story of community, friendship, love and secrets. Planning her wedding keeps getting further down Immi’s to-do list. She needs help but doesn’t like to ask. Events conspire until compromises and accepting she can’t do everything alone is inevitable. This story reads well as a standalone as salient details of their lives so far are integrated into this story.

The characters are believably flawed, and the sense of community is uplifting. The conflicts Immi faces are relatable, and this is a journey of self-belief and self-discovery for her. The sense of place and season is vividly described.

A lovely rural story with engaging characters and a picture postcard setting.

Lucy Coleman

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

Twitter Facebook Instagram Website Bookbub Newsletter Sign Up

Read my review of Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage

Posted in Audiobook Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books

The Appeal Janice Hallett 5*#Review @JaniceHallett @ViperBooks #audiobook @HachetteAudioUK #CrimeFiction #murdermystery #legal #psychological #suspense #BookReview #TheAppeal

In a town full of secrets…. 

Someone was murdered. 

Someone went to prison. 

And everyone’s a suspect. 

Can you uncover the truth?

Dear Listener – enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death. 

Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What’s more, we believe far darker secrets have yet to be revealed. 

Throughout the Fairway Players’ staging of All My Sons and the charity appeal for little Poppy Reswick’s life-saving medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. Yet we believe they gave themselves away. In writing. The evidence is all here, between the lines, waiting to be discovered. 

Will you accept the challenge? Can you uncover the truth? 

The standout debut thriller of 2021 that delivers multiple brilliant twists, and will change the way you think about the modern crime novel.

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

This book has a contemporary and original format well suited to audiobook media. The author’s insightful exploration of community, social hierarchy and relationships are intrinsic to the story.

A respected barrister is prepping for an appeal. On his instruction, two pupil lawyers investigate the case through emails, messages and crime documents. The ordinariness of the email and other electronic communications belie the information they contain. The reader is invited to get to know the characters and their relationship dynamics. Being part of the investigative team immerses the reader in the story, which is addictive.

The narrators are excellent, bringing each character to vibrant life. Whilst, there are no physical descriptions of the characters, sensory imagery makes them and the events that unfold easily visualised.

Additional information and a list of characters are divulged to the pupil lawyers. This allows them to focus on the case’s pertinent areas and produce a legal analysis of the information to make a viable appeal case. The final revelations reveal the truth with just a hint of mystery to ponder.

This is an engaging and enjoyable audiobook.

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

The Affair Hilary Boyd 4*#Review @HilaryBoyd @PenguinUKBooks @MichaelJBooks #FamilyDrama #Relationships #psychologicalsuspense #BookReview #TheAffair

A SUMMER SHE WILL REMEMBER FOREVER. BECAUSE HE WON’T LET HER FORGET . . .

Escape to the sun-drenched shores of Lake Como in the irresistible and gripping new novel from the million-copy bestselling author of Thursdays in the Park, The Anniversary and The Lie

Connie McCabe longs for the summer where she spends the days leading tours across Europe.

But it’s on the glamorous shores of Lake Como where she is truly swept away, when Jared, a much younger man, falls for her.

Despite resisting his advances Connie finds that he’s got under her skin.

And so begins a long, hot, intoxicating summer where Connie succumbs and breaks her marriage vows.

At the end of the season Connie returns home to her husband, wanting to put this affair behind her.

But Jared has other ideas . . .

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Penguin Books UK- Michael Joseph via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The emotion and intensity of this immersive family drama draw the reader into Connie’s world. She is believably flawed and easy to empathise with. The affair is brief and easy for Connie to compartmentalize from her daily life. Her crumbling marriage and lack of response from her husband make her vulnerable to flirtation. The inevitable consequences are devastating for her and her family. Her friendships are strong, which help her come to terms with her imploding life. The twist is cleverly woven into the story and allows for an impactful, poignant conclusion.

This is an absorbing read with relatable characters and scenarios.

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

The Seaside Cocktail Campervan Caroline Roberts 5*#Review @_caroroberts @0neMoreChapter_ @fictionpubteam #BookReview #Northumberland #Romance #family #Weddings #campervan #cocktails #Friendship #secrets #TheSeasideCocktailCampervan

Bringing love, laughter and friendship from coast to coast…

*The new heatwarming and cosy romance from Caroline Roberts – the only seaside escape you need this summer!*

Next stop: seaside, sunshine and romance!

When Lucy isn’t in her cosy cottage by the sea, she’s winding through the Northumberland coast with her loveable Dachsund Daisy, cooking up a storm at the local village celebrations. Inspired by her Italian Poppa, Lucy’s chasing a new dream with her pizza van business. And at one particular party she meets Jack, the brooding but gorgeous owner of the Cocktail Campervan.

Wary of repeating mistakes of the past, Lucy and Jack keep it strictly business. But as the summer drifts by in a swirl of garden parties, fun and fizz, laughs and celebrations, and as the cocktail campervan creates the community they so desperately need, romance starts to blossom – one stop at a time…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter – Harper Collins UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story has all the qualities I’ve come to expect from this author’s books. Romance full of conflict and emotional connection, friendship, family drama and a lovely mix of humour, poignancy and recipes to complete the collection.

Contemporary and relevant, we follow Jack (the cocktail campervan man) and Lucy(the All Fired Up pizza woman) as they travel Northumberland’s coastal and rural regions at various celebratory events. Both are in an emotional wasteland from failed relationships and family tragedy. Despite their growing attraction, they fear loss more than they crave love.

This book explores the couple’s emotional journey. It’s highlighted by interesting events that add authenticity and depth to this lovely story. The descriptions immerse the reader in this mobile catering world with picturesque settings and mouthwatering recipes.

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

A MidwinterMatch Jane Lovering 4*#Review @janelovering @BoldwoodBooks #love #life #friendship #romance #rivals #secrets #self-belief @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #AMidwinterMatch

Ruby Oldbridge needs to learn to take her own advice.

A brilliant counsellor at work in York, she is however floundering in her own life. Her romantic track record is woeful, her finances are in a pickle, and she’s back in a house-share after splitting up with her useless ex.

But one thing Ruby is brilliant at, is helping other people find a way through their problems, and she excels at the job she loves, doing just that.

Happy-go-lucky, Mr Positivity, Zac Drewe also loves his job – the trouble is, it’s the same as Ruby’s, and the management have decided to ‘rationalise’ their department. There’s only room for one of them.

As the snow and winter close in on York, Ruby and Zac have everything to lose, and Ruby starts to wonder if the happy face Zac shows the world, might be disguising a sadder secret.

Set against one another, they are unlikely friends. But perhaps, if they could take the time to understand each other, they might discover that rather than rivals, they could be the best thing that ever happened to one another…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is my first winter-themed book of the year and gives the reader so much more than a cosy winter read. Ruby and Zac are counsellors who find they both have to compete for the same job after a company merger. Told from Ruby’s viewpoint, we realise she is recovering from a bad break-up, being in debt and losing her home. Zac is outwardly positive and self-assured, but as the two are drawn into forced proximity, they begin to see the true person behind the facade and become friends.

The setting in a wintry York is wonderfully described and immerses the reader in this festive setting. The characters are flawed and relatable, all with stories to relate that add to the book’s authenticity. The story has a strong focus on mental health and its triggers which make it contemporary and relevant. There is a balance of humour and poignancy. The reader wants the characters to have what they deserve in life in this engaging story.

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