Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Romance

Sea of Dreams Susan Sallis 3*#Review @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #1999 #2000

As one millennium ends, can they look forward to a new and better world?

Somerset, Christmas 1999. Holly and Mark Jepson find themselves again looking after an assortment of guests at Mark’s uncle’s holiday chalets.

Each guest is fascinating in their own way – from the eccentric artist and his young daughter to the young married couple expecting their first baby and the wife escaping from a violent past.

Each will have a part to play in the events – unexpected and shattering – which take place before the new millennium dawns…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Random House UK – Transworld Publishers via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Set at the end of the twentieth century at a holiday village in Somerset it has lots of characters all facing life issues. The characterisation is good, the characters are diverse and relatable, but not everything is as it first appears.

The characters are believably flawed, and some unlikeable, but this adds to the story’s realism. The setting is quintessential British seaside out of season and has a retro quality which many will recognise.

The timing at the end of the twentieth century adds depth to the story.

This is an easy book to read character-driven and gently paced.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Romance, saga

No Man’s Island Susan Sallis 3*#Review #SusanSallis @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #Secrets #BookReview #BlogTour

ON A WILD AND WINDSWEPT ISLAND, THE SECRETS OF THE PAST UNRAVEL…

When she hears the news of the death of her ex-husband, Binnie feels like her tranquil life in the West Country is over.

To her surprise, she discovers that he has left her the island in the beautiful archipelago off the coast of Cornwall and the dilapidated house where he spent his childhood, and Binnie has to take her family to the island – revisiting it for the first time in years – and work out what to do.

As she becomes involved in the life of the island, and its inhabitants, she has to embark upon a whole new life and discovers many things about her husband – and her own past – that will change everything forever…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Random House UK, Transworld Publishers- via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story’s setting and ethos are slightly dated. If you accept its retro quality, the characters are delightfully eccentric, and the setting is a dramatic backdrop for this story of life, love and secrets. The pacing is gentle, and you get to know the characters well. It is an engaging blend of drama, friendship, mystery and romance.

If you are looking for an insight into a time and way of life gone by, this book will take you there.

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

The Boat Girls Margaret Mayhew 4*#Review @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #TheBoatGirls #WW2 #HistFic #England #BookReview #BlogTour #MondayBlogs

THREE GIRLS GO THE EXTRA MILE TO DO THEIR BIT FOR THE WAR EFFORT.

1943: three very different girls are longing to do their bit for the war effort.

Frances – her life of seeming privilege has been a lonely one. Brave and strong, stifled by her traditional upbringing, she falls for a most unsuitable man. Prudence – timid and conventional, her horizons have never strayed beyond her job as a bank clerk in Croydon until the war brings her new experiences.

Rosalind – a beautiful, flame-haired actress who catches the eye of Frances’s stuffy elder brother, the heir to an ancestral mansion.

The three become friends when they join the band of women working the canal boats, delivering goods and doing a man’s job while the men are away fighting. A tough, unglamorous task – but one which brings them all unexpected rewards…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Told from three young women’s points of view The Boat Girls highlights the largely unsung contribution this female workforce made to the second world war effort. The three women are from diverse backgrounds in terms of social class and life experience. They form strong friendships as they train and work on the inland waterway ferrying essential supplies from the docks to the factories in the Midlands.

The characters are relatable and easy to empathise, their experiences are interesting as they try to gain acceptance from the traditional boating communities. There’s friendship, laughter, poignancy and romance for the three women who mature and emerge independent and stronger than before.

There are some interesting historical details, in this character driven historical saga which add depth to an enjoyable story.

Margaret Mayhew

Margaret Mayhew was born in London and her earliest childhood memories were of the London Blitz. She began writing in her mid-thirties and had her first novel published in 1976. She is married to American aviation author, Philip Kaplan, and lives in Gloucestershire.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Romance, Saga

Our Yanks Margaret Mayhew 4*#Review @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #OurYanks #WW2 #Northampton #Airforce #HistFic #England #BookReview #BlogTour #MondayBlogs

August 1943. A fighter group of US airmen descends upon the quiet and sleepy village of King’s Thorpe in Northamptonshire. The village has never seen the like of them before: they are glamorous, rich, exciting and full of bravado.

While some of the older residents are dismayed, many of the younger ones cannot help but be won over by their charms.

And for many – including young Sally Barnet from the bakery, Agnes Dawe – the Rector’s daughter, and newly-widowed Lady Beauchamp, they will have a long lasting impact.

It will be a summer many will never forget…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a gently paced WW2 historical saga novel set in 1943 in Northamptonshire England. This story captures the ethos of an English village during the second world war. The rationing, the loss of loved ones, the loneliness and the realistic mix of community spirit and village gossip.

The American airmen’s impact on the cosy villagers is perfectly pitched in this novel. The villagers are worried about their daughters and how they airmen will alter the village’s ambience. The American airmen are lonely, scared of war and dismayed with the lack of facilities and the villagers’ reluctant acceptance of them.

There’s animosity, friendship and romance in this historical saga with poignancy, humour and some happy endings.

Margaret Mayhew

Margaret Mayhew was born in London and her earliest childhood memories were of the London Blitz. She began writing in her mid-thirties and had her first novel published in 1976. She is married to American aviation author, Philip Kaplan, and lives in Gloucestershire.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

That Perfect Someone Johanna Lindsey 5*#Review @TransworldBooks #JohannaLindsey #RegencyRomance #HistoricalRomance @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview

LOVE, REVENGE, PASSIONS RUNNING HIGH…

Nine years ago, when Richard Allen’s greedy, ambitious father, the Earl of Manford, betrothed him to Julia Miller, the daughter of London’s wealthiest merchant, he was distraught. The pair can’t stand each other and Richard takes to the sea, determined to live his own life.

In the Caribbean, he joins a band of pirates and adopts the persona of a Frenchman named Jean-Paul. But when he returns to England on an errand for his captain, he finds himself completely smitten with a married woman, Georgina Mallory. She is indifferent to him, yet he persists in seeking her affections.

But when he attempts to woo her at a ball, the last thing he expects is to come face to face with Julia Miller, to whom he is still engaged.

But when Julia tries to wreak her revenge, not all goes quite according to plan…

Amazon UK Waterstones

I received a copy of this book from Random House UK – Transworld Publishing via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

It’s a few years since I’ve read a book by this author who is a favourite of mine for this genre. This story is part of the Mallory Family series. Familiar characters feature, but they are not a big part of this story. Privateer John-Paul (Richard Allen) and businesswoman Julia are the main characters destined for marriage from her birth.

This archaic contract is the crux of this story and the main point of contention between Richard and Julia. When they meet as adults, their antagonism, falls into a simmering passion and the fun begins. The story is about forgiveness, love, and revenge. The chemistry between Julia and Richard makes this a page-turner. Their conversation makes this novel so entertaining, and their strength of character draws the reader’s empathy, for their situation.

The story explores abuse, lack of choice, social class and the position of women in society in a sensitive way, with a love story that makes it memorable.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Noir, Political Thriller, Psychological Thriller

Lost Leona Deakin 5*#Review Dr Bloom @LeonaDeakin1 @TransworldBooks #Psychological #Suspense #Military #thriller #Conspiracy #Political #BookReview #Lost #weekendread #SaturdayThoughts

There is an explosion at a military ball. The casualties are rushed to hospital in eight ambulances, but only seven vehicles arrive. Captain Harry Peterson is missing.

His girlfriend calls upon her old friend Dr Augusta Bloom to support the investigation. But no one can work out if there is a connection between the bomb and the disappearance.

When Harry is eventually discovered three days later, they hope he holds the answers to their questions. But he can’t remember a single thing.

Without any clues, will Dr Bloom find herself lost in this puzzle too?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Random House UK – Transworld via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The second in the Dr Bloom series has a military theme but remains psychological suspense. Bloom’s help is requested by Karene when her partner a Captain in the Navy goes missing after an explosion at a military ball. The reader gains an omnipotent view of the story as it unfolds but who can be trusted and are all the players in plain sight?

The dynamic between Bloom and Marcus remains troubled after Seraphine, but can they still be an effective investigation team? There are noir elements in this fast-paced story and the insidious menace of Seraphine and her sinister game plan. Flawed, intelligent character gives his story its addictive quality. The plot has many players and twists that leave you gasping at times.

The best kind of psychological suspense with a strong conspiracy and political theme that one imagines will develop in the books to come.

Read my review of Gone book 1 in the Dr Bloom series