Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Literary Humour, Motivational, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

Stepping Up Sarah Turner 5*#Review @TheUnmumsyMum @TransworldBooks #SteppingUp #LiteraryHumour #LiteraryFiction #FamilyDrama #sisters #romance #friendship #motivational #uplit #BookReview #parenting

Beth has never stuck at anything.

She’s quit more jobs and relationships than she can remember and she still sleeps in her childhood bedroom. It’s not that she hasn’t tried to grow up, it’s just that so far, the only commitment she’s held down is Friday drinks at the village pub.

Then, in the space of a morning, her world changes.

An unspeakable tragedy turns Beth’s life upside down, and she finds herself guardian to her teenage niece and toddler nephew, catapulted into an unfamiliar world of bedtime stories, parents’ evenings and cuddly elephants. Having never been responsible for anyone – or anything – it’s not long before she feels seriously out of her depth.

What if she’s simply not up to the job?

With a little help from her best friend Jory (purely platonic, of course …) and her lovely, lonely next-door neighbour, Albert, Beth is determined that this time she’s not giving up. It’s time to step up.

This is a story about digging deep for strength you never knew you had and finding magic in things that were there all along.

Amazon UK Waterstones

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

My Thoughts…

I like this book because of its engaging blend of heartbreaking sadness and heartwarming humour. Beth is relatably flawed and easy to empathise with, and I care what happens to her. Sensory imagery brings the characters and events to vibrant life. Beth’s viewpoint captures the emotional clarity of their daily lives in a poignant way that keeps you immersed in their story.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Domestic Thriller, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

I Will Find You Amanda Rigby 4*#Review @AmandaRigbyNZ @BoldwoodBooks IG: @bookandtonic #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #IWillFindYou #psychologicalthriller #sisters #secrets #family #suspense

Three sisters…One terrible secret

Ashleigh: A creative, free spirit and loyal. But Ash is tormented by her demons and a past that refuses to be laid to rest.

Jessica: Perfect wife and loving mother. But although Jessica might seem to have it all, she lives a secret life built on lies.

Grace: An outsider, always looking in, Grace has never known the love of her sisters and her resentment can make her do bad things.

When Ashleigh goes missing, Jessica and Grace do all they can to find their eldest sister. But the longer Ashleigh is missing, the more secrets and lies these women are hiding threaten to tear this family apart.

Can they find Ashleigh before it’s too late or is it sometimes safer to stay hidden?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

‘I Will Find you’ is a disturbingly poignant psychological suspense with solid family and sibling dramas. Believably flawed characters are multifaceted, drawing the reader into their lives. There are many secrets and noir elements in this story. The suspense intensifies with revelations from the sisters’ pasts and how it affects the people they are. This multi-viewpoint story is a compelling read that is swiftly paced and full of surprises.

Amanda Ashby & Sally Rigby

Amanda Rigby is the nom de plume of the writing partnership between Amanda Ashby and Sally Rigby. Both authors live in New Zealand, have been friends for eighteen years, and agree about everything (except musicals). They decided to collaborate on a psychological thriller which they then entered into a competition, run by Boldwood, which they won!

Facebook Twitter Instagram Newsletter sign up Bookbub

Posted in Adventure Fiction, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Psychological Suspense

The Castaways Lucy Clarke 5*#Review @lucyclarkebooks @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #TheCastaways #psychological #suspense #sisters #Fiji #BookReview #weekendreads

It should be like any other holiday.

Beautiful beaches.

Golden sunsets.

Nothing for miles.

You’ll never want to leave.

Until you can’t…

Gripping, twisty and full of sun-soaked atmosphere, THE CASTAWAYS will whisk you far away to the island – and never let you go.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Sisters Erin and Lori have a close bond. When Lori’s long term relationship breaks down, Erin is there for her, so it’s natural Lori wants them to be together on her trip to a remote Fijian island. It’s written from the sisters’ viewpoints, Erin in the present, and Lori, in the past. Immersed in their story from the beginning, it’s an intensely poignant read.

Vivid sensory imagery makes it easy to imagine the action and settings. An addictive balance of action and introspection has believable twists. The realistic ending retains a pleasing element of unpredictability.

Read my review of Let Me In

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Romance, Victorian Romance

Farringdon’s Fate Linda Finlay 4*#Review @HQStories #BlogTour #Victorian #corsetière #RomanticSaga #EastDevon #Devon #BookReview #HistFic #HistoricalFiction #FarringdonsFate #LindaFinlay

A house. A dynasty. A gipsy’s curse.

One noble family. Five eligible daughters. A sealed fate.

Nettlecombe Manor, nestled in the rolling hills of Devon, is home to Lord Farringdon and his second wife, Lady Charlotte. As if running the vast estate wasn’t enough, Lord Farringdon has five daughters to keep him busy. Lady Charlotte is determined that the betrothal of the eldest, Louisa, should be celebrated with a ball which is the envy of Devon society and summons a corsetière from Exeter to measure them up for new corsets.  

Apprentice Jane Haydon arrives at Nettlecombe to do the fittings. Having never set foot in such a grand home, Jane is disturbed to hear tell of a gipsy’s curse which has haunted the family for generations, and a local wise woman’s vision that there will never be a wedding at Nettlecombe… 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Full of historical details, vivid descriptions and vibrant characters, this story is a must for fans of romantic sagas. Set in the late nineteenth century, it encompasses all the societal expectations. The story has drama, friendship, romance and tragedy. The Farringdon’s are under a curse, and it seems that it may well come true,

The story is very detailed and includes the craft of a corsetière, in keeping with this author’s style. Believable characters lyrical story writing make this an engaging read.

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

A Little Piece of Paradise T.A.Williams 5*#Review @TAWilliamsBooks @canelo_co #Family #Relationships #Sisters #Secrets #Romance #Friendship #PublicationDay #BookReview #Labrador #LoveFromItaly #ALittlePieceofParadise @rararesources

The inheritance of a lifetime… with a catch

When Sophie’s uncle leaves her a castle in the Italian Riviera in his will, she can’t believe her luck. The catch? She and her estranged sister, Rachel, must live there together for three months in order to inherit it.  

Having worked in Rome for four years, Sophie’s excited to revisit to Italy, even if it reignites memories of a cheating ex who soon learns of her return and wants to rekindle their spark. Sophie realises that distance does indeed make the heart grow fonder – but for her friend back home, Chris, who she discovers is more to her than just a friend.

With the clock ticking, can Sophie and Rachel stick it out and heal old wounds, or are the sisters destined to go their own way at the end of the three months? And does Chris feel the same way about Sophie as she does for him?

A beautiful story of romance and sisterhood.

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Familial relationships and secrets make this an engaging read from an author best known for his romantic comedies. Sophie and Rachel are estranged sisters brought together by an unexpected inheritance. The Italian castle is theirs if they live there together for three months. The bond between the sisters and their conflicts are well described. Their gradual understanding is heartwarming.
Romance, rivalry, and family secrets make this an engaging read. The vividly described setting and the Italian ethos draws the reader into the sunshine.

T.A.Williams

I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.

The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.

Website Twitter Facebook

Posted in Book Review, Historical Fiction, New Books

Daughters of War Dinah Jefferies 5*#Review @DinahJefferies @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #France #Sisters #WW2 #DaughterofWar #MondayBlogs

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The first book in this historical fiction trilogy set in WW2 is an emotional and sensory delight. Cleverly created characters draw the reader into their tumultuous lives in occupied France. The story focuses on three sisters living in an idyllic setting in Dordogne, France, which is blighted by enemy occupation and the ravages of war. Hélène, the eldest, a nurse and surrogate mother to the younger women. Elise, the rebel whose courage leads to impulsive acts that may have far-reaching repercussions and Florence, the youngest, a dichotomy of practicality and dreamer.

The beautifully described setting is evocative of the place and time. Intricate world-building and historical details bring the characters and setting to authentic and vibrant life. The plot reflects the dangers and deprivations of war in an immersive way. Empathy is the reader’s paramount emotion, as the sisters and the community try to maintain hope and humanity in dire circumstances. Emotive and thought-provoking, it resonates.

Dinah Jefferies
Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Fiction, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Political Thriller, Romance, Saga, Travel

Soul Sisters Lesley Lokko 4* #Review @panmacmillan #LesleyLokko @RandomTTours #SoulSisters #HistoricalFiction #ContemporaryFiction #Sisters #Politics #SouthAfrica #Family #Friendship #Secrets #BlogTour #BookReview

Two women raised as sisters. Bound by a secret that could tear them apart . . .

Since childhood, Jen and South African-born Kemi have lived like sisters in the McFadden family home in Edinburgh, brought together by a shared family history which stretches back generations. The ties that bind them are strong and complicated.

Solam Rhoyi is from South Africa’s black political elite. Handsome and charismatic, he meets both Kemi and Jen on a trip to London and sweeps them off their feet. Kemi, captivated by Solam and wanting to discover more about her past, travels to South Africa for the first time. Jen, seeking an escape from her father’s overbearing presence, decides to go with her.

In Johannesburg, it becomes clear that Solam is looking for the perfect wife to facilitate his soaring political ambitions. And as the real story behind Jen and Kemi’s connection threatens to emerge, Solam’s choice will have devastating consequences for them both…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a compelling and complex, mainly historical saga that spans continents and cultures. At its core is the sisterly bond between two women who grew up together despite having different birthplaces, cultural identities and families. The story begins in Southern Rhodesia in 1921 and concludes in 2010 in Cape Town. Short chapters and parts propel the reader through family history and political change until we reach the time when the sisterly bond is tested and family secrets revealed.

Well researched historical details and realistically crafted characters make this an absorbing read. It does move through time quickly, but the story’s focus is on the sisters and how their bond is tested. Solam is a pivotal character who represents South Africa’s changing political climate. His political ambition makes him manipulative and ruthless, especially in his interactions with the soul sisters.

This book takes the reader on an emotional journey filled with betrayal, love and secrets. It explores culture, family, identity and political change with rich sensory imagery and believable characters that bring the story to vibrant life.

Lesley Lokko

Lesley Lokko is a Ghanaian-Scottish architect, academic and novelist, formerly Dean of Architecture at City College of New York, who has lived and worked on four continents. Lesley’s bestselling novels include Soul Sisters, Sundowners, Rich Girl, Poor Girl and A Private Affair. Her novels have been translated into sixteen languages and are captivating stories about powerful people, exploring themes of racial and cultural identity.

Posted in Biography, Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Non Fiction, New Books, Non-Fiction

Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters Andrew Morton 4*#Review @OMaraBooks @andrewmortonUK @LoveBooksGroup @Lovebookstours #lovebookstours #ElizabethandMargaret

The first in-depth dual-biography of Elizabeth & Margaret, written by the bestselling royal biographer, Andrew Morton.

They were the closest of sisters and the best of friends.

But when, in a quixotic twist of fate, their uncle Edward VIII decided to abdicate the throne, the dynamic between Elizabeth and Margaret was dramatically altered. Forever more, Margaret would have to curtsey to the sister she called ‘Lillibet’. And bow to her wishes.

Elizabeth would always look upon her younger sister’s antics with a kind of stoical amusement but Margaret’s struggle to find a place and position inside the royal system – and her fraught relationship with its expectations – was often a source of tension. Famously, the Queen had to inform Margaret that the Church and government would not countenance her marrying a divorcee, Group Captain Peter Townsend, forcing Margaret to choose between keeping her title and royal allowances or her divorcee lover.

From the idyll of their cloistered early life, through their hidden wartime lives, into the divergent paths they took following their father’s death and Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne, this book explores their relationship over the years. Andrew Morton, renowned bestselling author of Diana: Her True Story, offers unique insight into these two drastically different sisters – one resigned to duty and responsibility, the other resistant to it – and the lasting impact they have had on the Crown, the royal family and the way it has adapted to the changing mores of the twentieth century.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a fascinating insight into the Windsor sisters life and relationships.

It is extensively researched and peppered with anecdotal and historical details. The sense of duty expected from the royal princesses is evident throughout this biography. The writing style is intimate, and immersive drawing the reader into the Royal world at a time of constitutional crisis and change.

The book is both entertaining and informative. There are scandalous elements, although these are quite sedate when compared with twenty-first-century scandals. The enormity of becoming Queen at such a young age comes across well in this book.

This is an enjoyable, insightful read with some lovely images to illustrate the text.

ANDREW MORTON is one of the world’s best-known biographers and a leading authority on modern celebrity. His groundbreaking 1992 biography revealed the secret world of Princess Diana, prompting Tina Brown to declare in The Diana Chronicles, “The journalist Morton most reminds me of is Bob Woodward.” Diana: Her True Story became a #1 New York Times bestseller, as did Monica’s Story, Morton’s portrait of the young woman behind the blue dress in the Clinton White House.

The winner of numerous awards, including Author of the Year by the British Book Awards and Scoop of the Year by the London Press Club, he lives in London and has travelled extensively in the U.S., Canada, and Europe in his research for this biography.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, New Books, Noir, Parenting and Famlies, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The House Guest Charlotte Northedge 4*#Review @charnorth @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @HarperCollinsUK #TheHouseGuest #psychsuspense #relationships #publicationday

The perfect family. The perfect chance. The perfect lie.

A stunning novel about motherhood and betrayal

When Kate moves to London after the disappearance of her sister, she’s in need of a friend. A chance meeting leads Kate to Della, a life coach who runs support groups for young women, dubbed by Kate as ‘the Janes.’

Della takes a special interest in Kate, and Kate soon finds herself entangled in Della’s life – her house, her family, and her husband. It’s only when she realises that she’s in too deep that Della’s veneer begins to crumble, and the warnings from ‘the Janes’ begin to come true.

Why is Della so keen to keep Kate by her side? What does Kate have that Della might want? And what really lies beneath the surface of their friendship?

Kate trusts Della, and Della trusts Kate.
Their downfall is each other.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Relatable characters and a well thought out plot make this psychological suspense an absorbing, chilling and sometimes poignant story.

Kate’s sister left home when she was ten, and she never saw her again. She spent her subsequent years making up for her sister’s disappearance whilst never recovering emotionally from her loss. As an adult, Kate is in London pursuing a lead about her missing sister. She is vulnerable when she meets life coach Della, who draws her into her life like a spider capturing prey into their web.

The story takes many unexpected twists seen from Kate’s viewpoints but remains believable because of unreliable protagonist Kate’s sense of abandonment and susceptibility to manipulation. Themes of societal expectation of women, social class, family relationships, obsession and loss are recurrent. As the story progresses, the noir elements dominate, making it both addictive and disturbing to read.

The ending is impactful and offers hope and a sense of closure for both Kate and Della.

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

You Let Me Go Eliza Graham 4*#Review @eliza_graham @AmazonPub #HistFic #contemporary #family #saga #WW2 #France #Legacy #LakeUnionPublishing #BlogBlitz #BookReview @rararesources #MondayBlogs

After her beloved grandmother Rozenn’s death, Morane is heartbroken to learn that her sister is the sole inheritor of the family home in Cornwall—while she herself has been written out of the will. With both her business and her relationship with her sister on the rocks, Morane becomes consumed by one question: what made Rozenn turn her back on her?

When she finds an old letter linking her grandmother to Brittany under German occupation, Morane escapes on the trail of her family’s past. In the coastal village where Rozenn lived in 1941, she uncovers a web of shameful secrets that haunted Rozenn to the end of her days. Was it to protect those she loved that a desperate Rozenn made a heartbreaking decision and changed the course of all their lives forever?

Morane goes in search of the truth but the truth can be painful. Can she make her peace with the past and repair her relationship with her sister?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This is a poignant dual timeline story, a family saga from occupied France in the 1940s to the present day. The prologue gives clues about the story’s secrets and the heartbreaking discoveries to follow.

Two sisters Morane and Gwen, find their relationship strained when their beloved grandmother Rozenn bequeaths her house to Gwen. Morane has already suffered, and now she feels rejected by her grandmother. A chance discovery leads Morane on a quest to find out about Rozenn’s life in occupied France, which has surprising consequences.

The dual storylines are well written, both full of vivid characters and emotion. The historical timeline is particularly engaging, as it conveys the horrors and stark choices of life in occupied France. The familial relationships are relatable, and the plot twists keep the reader engaged.

This is a family saga of betrayal, forgiveness, love and sacrifice with a satisfying conclusion.

Eliza Graham

Eliza Graham’s novels have been long-listed for the UK’s Richard & Judy Summer Book Club in the UK, and short-listed for World Book Day’s ‘Hidden Gem’ competition. She has also been nominated for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.

Her books have been bestsellers both in Europe and the US.

She is fascinated by the world of the 1930s and 1940s: the Second World War and its immediate aftermath and the trickle-down effect on future generations. Consequently she’s made trips to visit bunkers in Brittany, decoy harbours in Cornwall, wartime radio studios in Bedfordshire and cemeteries in Szczecin, Poland. And those are the less obscure research trips.

It was probably inevitable that Eliza would pursue a life of writing. She spent biology lessons reading Jean Plaidy novels behind the textbooks, sitting at the back of the classroom. In English and history lessons she sat right at the front, hanging on to every word. At home she read books while getting dressed and cleaning her teeth. During school holidays she visited the public library multiple times a day.

Eliza lives in an ancient village in the Oxfordshire countryside with her family. Not far from her house there is a large perforated sarsen stone that can apparently summon King Alfred if you blow into it correctly. Eliza has never managed to summon him. Her interests still mainly revolve around reading, but she also enjoys walking in the downland country around her home and travelling around the world to research her novels.

Website Facebook