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

Other Parents Sarah Stovell 4*#Review @sarahlovescrime @HQStories #otherparents #relationships #community #secrets #rurallife #friendship #political #humour #noir #parenting

Rachel Saunders knows gossip is the price you pay for a rural lifestyle and outstanding schools. The latest town scandal is her divorce – and the fact that her new girlfriend has moved into the family home.

Laura Spence lives in a poky bedsit on the wrong side of town. She and her son Max don’t really belong, and his violent tantrums are threatening to expose the very thing she’s trying to hide.

When the local school introduces a new inclusive curriculum, Rachel and Laura find themselves on opposite sides of a fearsome debate.

But the problem with having your nose in everyone else’s business is that you often miss what is happening in your own home.

Waterstones Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Immersive, insightful and inquisitive are three adjectives that reading this novel conjures in the reader’s mind. It is an intriguing study of small-town/rural life from the viewpoint of five women. It explores disturbing contemporary issues, astutely exposing them to the reader. The narrators have an unreliable quality that makes it difficult to know who to believe and whose opinion to trust. It is addictive reading.

Believably flawed characters all have secrets, and there are relatable dynamics in the acquaintance, family and friendship groups. The writing has a lyrical quality, but the characters and situations are easily recognisable. Vivid settings and vibrant characters bring the story to life in an engaging way.

Sarah Stovell is a lecturer in creative writing at Lincoln University and a crime fiction author. She has published four novels, including the critically-acclaimed psychological thrillers Exquisite and The House. Her latest novel Other Parents, published in January 2022will delve into small-town British life through a series of scandals.

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

Making Waves At Penvennan Cove Linn B Halton 4*#Review @LinnBHalton @Aria_Fiction #BookReview #MakingWavesAtPenvennanCove

For once, things are going well for thirty-year-old Kerra Shaw. She has a fulfilling job helping small businesses in the local community, she is within a few minutes walk of all the people she loves best, and most importantly, she has finally got together with her childhood sweetheart, Ross.

It’s not all plain sailing, though, because they have to keep their relationship a secret. The feud between their families still rages on, and Kerra doesn’t want to pour fuel on its flame and risk losing everything.

But Kerra should know better than anyone that secrets don’t stay hidden for long in a community like Penvennan Cove…

AmazonUK

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus Books – Aria Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

My second visit to Penvennan cove is heartwarming. Kerra and Ross continue their romance in secret, but are there ever secrets in a small-town setting? Read the first book in the series, if you can, as you learn a lot about the main characters and the community. This story of family, friendships, secrets and small-town communities has relatably flawed characters and a believable relationship dynamic. The ethos is contemporary and realistic and explores all aspects of living in a small coastal town. The setting is vibrant and complements this engaging story.

Read my review of Coming Home to Penvennan Cove

Linn B. Halton

From interior designer to author, when Linn B. Halton’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic. Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. Linn writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

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

At Death’s Door: The Shires Mysteries Anna Legat  5*#Review @LegatWriter @AccentPress #CrimeFiction #Wiltshire  #AtDeathsDoor  #TheShiresMysteries #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #cozymystery #cosycrime #family #drama #MondayBlogs

When Maggie Kaye and Sam Dee join the Bishops Well archaeological dig, they are as surprised as everyone else to unearth a body that was buried there less than fifty years ago. It can’t possibly be the remains of an ancient Celt.

Maggie, with her usual flair – and psychic intuition – is convinced that there is more to this discovery than meets the eye. And some Bishops residents seem to know a lot more about the case than they are willing to let on.

But nobody is as shocked as Maggie when a face from the past – a face she thought she’d never see again – appears in the village, and long-hidden secrets begin to surface.

With danger at her door, and Sam by her side, can Maggie uncover the truth before it’s too late?

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

My Thoughts…

The Shire Mysteries blend cosy crime with family drama. Maggie sees the dead, an invaluable gift in her role as amateur sleuth and often enlivens her neighbour Sam’s life with ghostly sightings and provoking thoughts.

An archaeological dig unearths an unexpected find that revisits the past. Tragedy in Maggie’s personal life leads to an unexpected visitor.

Believable characters, a well-written mystery and touches of humour make this a lovely escapist read.

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.

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

A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow Jessica Redland 5* #Review @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks #BlogTour @rararesources#Friendship #UpLit #Secrets #FamilyDrama #Wedding #Relationships #BookReview #boldwoodbloggers #AWeddingatHedgehogHollow

It’s time for the wedding we’ve all been waiting for…

Life at Hedgehog Hollow is never dull, although Samantha hopes that the new year ahead will be a little less chaotic as she prepares to marry the love of her life, Josh. But disaster strikes when she checks the rescue centre’s bank account after the festive season and discovers it has been emptied. Who would do such a thing, and why? With the future of Hedgehog Hollow now in jeopardy, planning a wedding has lost its shine.

Phoebe is desperate to escape the shadow of her family, infamously known for their attacks on Samantha’s beloved rescue centre. Could the kindness of the Hedgehog Hollow team be the chance she needs for a fresh start, or will her family’s secrets continue to drag her back?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This warm, uplifting read sensitively explores themes of abuse and violence. It takes you on an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows. Told from dual viewpoints, we learn what’s happening in Samantha’s life and Phoebe’s heartbreaking secrets. There are lots of heartwarming hedgehog stories that define this story. Family life for Samantha and Joshua is never dull. There are more developments of past themes in this book.

This believable, emotional story is full of humour, poignancy and romance with characters that immerse you in their lives.

Jessica Redland

Jessica Redland is the top 10 bestselling author of over thirteen novels, including The Secret to Happiness. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Murder Mystery, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

Hide Nell Pattison 4*#Review #Narrator David Thorpe, Sherry Baines , Alex Wingfield, Nick Biadon, Clare-Louise English, Billy Ashcroft, Beth Eyre @Writer_Nell @AvonBooksUK #HarperCollinsUKAudio #Hide #Suspense #Thriller #Mystery #Audiobook #Review

Seven friends. One killer. You can run, but you can’t hide…

The winter hike is meant to bring their nature group together.
Emily, the sister who never lets her hearing loss hold her back.
Lauren, the sister who always feels a step behind.
Morna, who doesn’t get on with Lauren.
Ben, whose feelings for Emily border on obsession.
Dan, the quiet newcomer to the group.
Kai, who isn’t just on the hike to enjoy the wildlife.
And Alec, the one who knows all their secrets.

As the sun sets, a gunshot rings out on the nature reserve.
One of the seven is dead. And one of their number killed them…

Amazon Audible Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from Harper Collins UK Audio (Avon ) via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This a character driven, claustrophobic, complex thriller set on a remote nature reserve in Winter. There are seven main characters who meet as a nature group. They appear diverse and unconnected except for the group but as the story progresses their connections emerge.

The characters are hard to empathise with and all have secrets from each other. The suspense is cleverly created using the characters’ interactions, the setting and the weather. It takes a while to get into the story but once each character speaks and the tension between them grows, it’s addictive listening.

The actors portraying the characters bring the story to life and this book works well in an audio format.

Posted in Blog Tour, Crime, Murder Mystery, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller

Remember My Name Sam Blake 5*#Review @samblakebooks @CorvusBooks @RandomTTours #BlogTour #RememberMyName #BookReview #BookBlogger

If she’d turned off her phone, instead of listening in, perhaps no one would have died…
When Cressida Howard catches her entrepreneur husband playing away from home, she hires security expert Brioni O’Brien to get the evidence she needs for a speedy and financially rewarding divorce.
But what Brioni uncovers goes beyond simple infidelity. Because Laurence Howard is also in bed with some very dangerous people. Bribery and blackmail are the least of his worries as someone comes after the women in his life – someone who is out to destroy Laurence and his empire, whatever the cost.
And Cressida and her teenage daughter could soon be collateral damage, if she and Brioni don’t act fast.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Immersive from the first chapter this fast-paced mix of murder mystery and psychological suspense is addictive reading. Cressidia hears something she shouldn’t and it leads to series of events that threaten everything she loves.

Set the story has believable, vibrant characters and a twisty plot. Deceit,depravity and dubious business dealings are at the core of this suspenseful story. The multilayered story draws its sub-plots together in a readable way and the impactful ending ensures the story delivers everything it promises.

The perfect read if you like your thrillers packed with adrenaline-fuelled action, edge of your seat suspense and vengeance.

Sam Blake
Posted in Book Review, Crime, Detective, Domestic Suspense, Family Drama, New Books, Psychological Suspense

The Secret Debbie Howells 5* #Review @debbie__howells @AvonBooksUK #TheSecret #psychsuspense #Detective #domesticsuspense #BookReview #MondayBlogs #BankHoliday

Two can keep a secret – if one of them is dead.

As the only two teenagers in a small village, Hollie and Niamh tell each other everything. Behind Abingworth’s closed doors, every family has its secrets – and theirs might hide the worst ones of all.

One day Hollie tells Niamh about a devastating discovery, swears her to secrecy … then vanishes. All the villagers claim to know nothing. Until Hollie’s body is found, and the police know one of their number isn’t just a liar, but a killer…

What did Hollie tell Niamh before she died? And who would kill to keep the secret?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an intense psychological suspense. The multilayered plot and relatable characters make this a book you have to finish.

The themes are noir-crime but they are sensitively written. Told from two unreliable protagonist viewpoints this is a poignant story with immersive suspense.

The third viewpoint from the detective on the case adds a police procedural element. The detective is complex and insightful.
The final twists resonate.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Domestic Suspense, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller

The Couple on Maple Drive Sam Carrington 5*#Review @sam_carrington1 @AvonBooksUK #psychologicalthriller #secrets #crimefiction #podcast #Torquay #Devon #BookReview #domesticsuspense #TheCoupleonMapleDrive

Isla barely leaves the house after her brutal mugging.

Her boyfriend Zach moved in with her after the attack. To look after her.

But something else has happened now. Right on their doorstep.

I don’t want to say that someone’s out to get her…

I just hope they find out the truth before it’s too late.

Or at least before the secrets, they’re hiding from each other surface.

Because those could be even deadlier

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This book’s quiet beginning means that it’s a little while before you realise that the story is full of danger and deceit. Isla’s unreliability shows her vulnerability, and the reader empathises with her. Dual timeframes give the reader insights into the characters’ past as Isla’s memories gradually return.

The suspense is multilayered; Isla’s internal battle with her anxiety, the domestic tension between Isla and Zach and the overall suspenseful nature of the plot as the story plays out. The ending is impactful and satisfying.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Snow Falls Over Sunnybrook, Little Duck Pond Café Rosie Green 5*#Review @Rosie_Green88 @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #romcom #Festive #cosymystery #LittleDuckPondCafe #ThursdayThoughts #SnowFallsOverSunnybrook

The chance to spend a night ghost-hunting alone with Hudson Holmes at Brambleberry Manor seems like a dream come true for Ruby Watkiss. Maybe, she thinks, this is their chance to get closer? But when mysterious goings-on start happening which have nothing to do with the spirit world, the pair are catapulted off on another sleuthing adventure. And as the snow starts to fall and emotions are rising at the Little Duck Pond Cafe, Ruby is faced with a double challenge. Can she be braver than she’s ever been, in order to rescue something very close to her heart? And can she convince Hudson that Christmas really can be the most wonderful time of the year?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The third cosy mystery featuring Ruby and Hudson starts at Halloween and leads to the intrepid pair of amateur sleuths spending the night in a supposed haunted room. Ruby is hoping for romance, but Hudson seems intent on avoiding the passion simmering between them. A mystery van leads to a real-life investigation that puts Ruby in danger and has the reader on tenterhooks.

There are appearances from other familiar characters in the Little Duck Pond Cafe to please regular readers as Ruby and Hudson’s potential romance experiences conflict and misunderstandings. The reader is absorbed in both cosy mystery and romantic comedy elements with a delightful festive ending.

Another perfect slice of life at the Little Duck Pond Cafe.

Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘The Wedding Cake Wish’, is out now. Look out for more Little Duck Pond Café tales in 2022, including ‘Chocolate Cake for Breakfast’ and ‘Christmas in June’.

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

The Lost Girl in Paris Jina Bacarr 5*#Review @JinaBacarr @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #BlogTour #HistFic #WW2 #BookReview #Romance #Drama #secrets #perfume #France #Paris #TheLostGirlinParis

Brand new from the bestselling author of The Resistance Girl.

1940, Nazi-occupied Paris. A powerful story of love, tragedy and incredible courage, about one woman whose life is ripped apart by war and who risks everything to seek justice.

As Nazis patrol the streets of the French capital, Tiena is alone, desperate and on the run. After defending herself against the force of an officer, she must find a new identity in order to survive.

An accidental meeting with members of the Resistance gives her a lifeline, as she is offered the chance to reinvent herself as perfumer Angéline de Cadieux.

However, Angéline will never forget what happened to her and will do everything she can to seek revenge. But vengeance can be a dangerous game, and Angeline can only hide her true identity for so long before her past catches up with her, with some devastating consequences…

Paris, 2003. When the opportunity arises for aspiring journalist Emma Keane to interview world-renowned perfumer Madame De Cadieux about her life during World War Two, she is determined to take it. There are secrets from her own family history that she hopes Angéline may be able to help unlock.

But nothing can prepare Emma for Angéline’s story, and one thing is for certain – it will change her own life forever…

An absolutely heartbreaking, unforgettable historical novel of war, sacrifice and survival.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Believably crafted characters and vivid historical details bring this story to life for the reader. This story explores occupied France from the viewpoint of a young girl. The author captures the sense of danger and menacing ethos brilliantly. The vibrant descriptions and violent emotions are immersive.

The woman she becomes is a famous perfumer, and again the details give the character authenticity and depth. Her story is retold years later to a young journalist seeking answers about her ancestry. The secrets are devastating, the tragedy of war, and the evil of the occupying regime resonates.

This story balances action and introspection in an addictive way making this an absorbing and heartbreaking read but so worth the angst.

JinaBacarr

Jina Bacarr is a US-based historical romance author of over 10 previous books. She has been a screenwriter, journalist and news reporter, but now writes full-time and lives in LA. Jina’s novels have been sold in 9 territories.

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