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

Woman of a Certain Rage Georgie Hall 5*#Review @GeorgieHallUK @AriaFiction @HoZ_Books #WomanofaCertainRage #Women #Ageing #Menopause #humour #loss #repost #BookReview #paperback #publicationday

Eliza is angry. Very angry, and very, very hot.

Late for work and dodging traffic, Eliza’s still reeling from the latest row with her husband Paddy. Twenty-something years ago their eyes met over the class divide in oh-so-cool Britpop London, but these days their eyes only meet to bicker over the three-seat sofa.

Paddy seems content filling his downtime with canal boats and cricket, but Eliza craves the freedom and excitement of her youth. Being fifty feels far too close to pensionable, their three teenage children are growing up fast, and even the dog has upped and died. Something is going to have to change—menopause be damned!

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

This story captures the essence of what it’s like for most women growing older, with a wealth of experience and knowledge but not to be seen. Eliza’s story immerses the reader in a myriad of emotions, there are many hilarious moments, but these are tempered by the fear, poignancy and the sense of loss.

Eliza is menopausal and suffering. Her body is unrecognisable, life’s pleasures seem a distant memory, and everyone appears to be getting on with their lives without her. This is an entertaining read written in an engaging but relatable way. It explores many issues that women at this stage of their life face.

It’s an easy read and will appeal to many women of a certain age.

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

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

The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim Jules Wake 5* Review @Juleswake @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #BlogBlitz #BookReview #Women #friendship #romance #trust #family #romcom #YorkshireEscapes

She’s trying to figure out her future.

He’s trying to forget his past.

But with the help of some unlikely friends, young and old, and a scruffy dog who just can’t help getting into trouble, a new community is formed – just when they all need each other the most.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story admirably showcases this author’s skill in taking relatable characters in everyday circumstances and bringing out what is unique in each person and situation.

Ettie is still searching for a career that suits her. Initially, she appears to lack commitment and drive, but the reader soon appreciates this is not the case. I enjoyed getting to know Ettie and the friends she met whilst wild swimming. Each character has a unique story that emerges and adds to this read’s motivational and uplifting quality.

Dominic is driven and determined to make a success of his latest project, whether he enjoys it or not. His past tragedies define him, and meeting Ettie challenges him to think again. Their friendship and romance are lovely and full of humour, misunderstanding and passion. The many engaging elements in this story make it the perfect read to help you relax.

Jules Wake

Jules Wake is the internationally bestselling author of over ten books including The Saturday Morning Park Run. She also writes as Julie Caplin and her Romantic Escapes series has hit the bestseller charts around the world.

After reading English at the University of East Anglia, Jules Wake worked in PR where she honed her fiction writing skills on press releases.  She’s now a full-time author and what better job is there than making stuff up! It certainly beats housework.

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

The Spa Break Caroline James 4*#Review @CarolineJames12 @0neMoreChapter_ #Friendship #SecondChances #Heartwarming #age #women #selfdiscovery #humour #uplit #ContemporaryFiction #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #TheSpaBreak #giveaway

A weekend at the spa will leave four old friends with a whole lot more than they’d bargained for…

The glossy brochure promised a serene experience of total tranquillity and rejuvenation, but what best friends Bridgette, Emily, Serena and Marjory get is a weekend that upends their lives!

There for a girls’ weekend to celebrate Bridgette’s impending seventieth birthday, the spa soon has these spicy sexagenarians realising that there are unexpected benefits to age and experience and that over the hill certainly doesn’t mean out of the game…in any respect…

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I received a copy of this book from the author.

My Thoughts…

Four friends go on a weekend spa break to celebrate a birthday; all are older and feel their lives are not what they want them to be. The spa setting is full of colourful characters and new experiences, which help the four friends to find themselves again and move on positively.
The women are believable characters that the reader cares about, brought to life with detailed backstories and their spa experiences. The humour is plentiful, with pertinent, poignant moments that resonate. It’s escapist and uplifting.

CAROLINE JAMES

Best-selling author of women’s fiction, Caroline James, has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that often features in her novels. She is based in the UK but escapes whenever lockdown allows. A public speaker, which has included talks and lectures on cruise ships worldwide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer. Caroline writes articles and runs writing workshops, is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, the Society of Women’s Writer & Journalists and the Society of Authors. In her spare time, Caroline can be found walking with Fred, her Westie and in summer, wild water swimming. In winter, when not working, she relaxes with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

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Giveaway to Win a Fred the Westie soft toy and a personalised box of chocolates (UK Only)

Click on the giveaway link to enter.

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Motivational, Mystery, New Books, Travel

The Girls Bella Osborne 5*#Review @osborne_bella @AriaFiction @HoZ_Books @Amy_C_Watson #BookReview #BlogTour #PublicationDay #TheGirls #friendship #age #mystery #love #life

Four old friends. Thrown back together after forty years apart. What could possibly go wrong?

In the 1970s, The Girls were best friends sharing a house and good times: Zara the famous diva actor, Val the uptight solicitor, Jackie the wild child and Pauline the quirky introvert. Now they’re in their twilight years, and Zara suggests that they live with her to support each other through old age.

Initially, being housemates again is just as much fun as in their heyday. But then Zara reveals the real reason she asked them to move in with her, and suddenly things take a sinister turn.

As the women confront their demons they come under the spotlight of the press, the police and an angry parrot. With their lives spiralling out of control can they save their friendships and each other?

Amazon UK Kobo

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

I enjoy the current literary trend in fiction toward older women and their lives. The four characters in this story are so different but whatever drew them to live together when they were young intensifies when circumstances conspire to let them live together in their later years.

The story is told from three friends’ viewpoints, giving the reader an intimate insight into their past and present lives and motivations. The fourth friend Zara is the catalyst for their reconnection after nearly fifty years, and it’s her glamorous lifestyle allows them to be together again.

Friendship is an important theme in this story, exploring other contemporary issues like domestic abuse and mental health through the characters’ lives. I loved the story’s vibrant characters and the glamorous setting. The cosy mystery vibe that develops is facilitated by the setting and shows how deep the friendship between the women is.

The vivid characterisation and a believable blend of humour and poignancy make this an engaging and uplifting read.

Bella Osborne has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full-length novel. In 2016, her debut novel, It Started At Sunset Cottage was shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year and RNA Joan Hessayon New Writers Award. Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She likes to find humour in the darker moments of life and weaves these into her stories. Bella believes that writing your own story really is the best fun ever, closely followed by talking, eating chocolate, drinking fizz and planning holidays. She lives in the Midlands, UK with her lovely husband and wonderful daughter, who thankfully, both accept her as she is (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).

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

The Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest 5*#Review #AVeryVillageScandal @VirginiaHeath_ @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #Romance @rararesources #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #BlogBlitz #BookReview #TheEarlsInconvenientHouseguest

The earl she loved to hate…until she stayed in his mansion!

Sophie Gilbert has thwarted the standoffish new earl’s plans to sell his country estate and the quaint village which forms part of it. But when disaster strikes and he offers her refuge, she must reconsider everything about this vexing, determined man. After the heartbreak in her past, it’s a revelation to feel her pulse racing and her body yearning for his touch…

Books2Read

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

My Thoughts…

The first book in the ‘A Very Village Scandal’ series is the story of a reluctant earl and a determined villager. Rafe inherits an earldom after his cousin’s demise. He decides to sell so he can live the life he wants, but the villagers have other ideas. After being cast out by her father, Sophie lives at her aunt’s house. She is determined to help the village she loves and leads the opposition to the sale of the village.

Sophie and Rafe have cleverly crafted characters with past hurts that define their present selves and make them wary of love. The chemistry between intensifies with proximity and as they get to know each other. Their exchanges are often humorous, but their romantic road is conflicted.

The supporting characters are integral to the story and add vivacity.

Great characters, humour, poignancy and gentle romance make this an engaging read.

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace insomnia and start writing them down. Twenty books and two Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations later, and it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of The Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest

(Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the despatch or delivery of the prize.

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

The Lost Chapter Caroline Bishop 5*#Review @calbish @simonschusterUK @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #TheLostChapter #LiteraryFiction #Friendship #historicalfiction #1950s #Women #ComingofAge

1957, France. 

Florence and Lilli meet at finishing school in Lyon. Despite some differences, they forge a firm friendship that promises to last a lifetime. But a terrible betrayal prematurely tears them apart.

Years later in England, Florence has become the woman her friend knew she could be – creative, bold, and independent. The exact opposite of Alice, a young woman troubled by a recent trauma, whom Florence is determined to help bring out of her shell.  Just as Lilli once did for her. 

When Florence discovers that the novel she’s reading is written by Lilli and is based on their time at school, the two stories begin to unfold together. Past events illuminate the future, and it becomes clear that long-held secrets can't stay buried forever.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Simon & Schuster UK in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story of friendship and living your best life is an absorbing read. Florence and Lilli shared a brief, but life-changing friendship, in 1950s France. Lilli's publication of a book prompts Florence to try and reconnect. She is a vibrant woman and is determined to help her young friend Alice fulfil her life potential.
The story tells Florence and Lilli's stories in the 1950s and Florence's present-day quest to find Lilli. It captures societal expectations for women in the 1950s through Florence and Lilli's experiences. I like the characterisation and the emotion the story evokes.
Caroline Bishop
Caroline Bishop began her journalism career at a small arts magazine in London, after a brief spell in educational publishing. She soon moved to work for a leading London theatre website, for which she reviewed shows and interviewed major acting and directing stars. Caroline turned freelance in 2012 and a year later moved to Switzerland, where her writing veered towards travel and she has contributed to publications including the Guardian, the Independent, the Telegraph and BBC Travel, writing mainly about Switzerland, and co-wrote the 2019 edition of the DK Eyewitness Guide to Switzerland. For two years Caroline was editor of TheLocal.ch, an English-language Swiss news site and it was during this time that she became fascinated with aspects of Swiss history and culture, particularly the evolution of women's rights.
Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, New Books, Romance

Secrets Vegas Style Kira Sinclair 5*#Review @KiraSinclair @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsiders #Romance #Friendship #BookReview #LasVegas #Women #secrets #intrigue #TuesdayThoughts #SecretsVegasStyle

One woman sees who he really is…

Dominic Mercado deliberately cultivates his reputation as a rich womanising bad boy as a front for secretly helping women in need. But journalist Meredith Forrester’s pursuit of a story is about to blow his cover. As the pressure of explosive secrets and unleashed attraction build to their breaking point, will he reveal the truth and risk it all?

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

My Thoughts…

It’s a while since I’ve read a romance in this category, and now I’m wondering why, as it’s the perfect blend of friendship, intrigue, passion and romance. It starts with a dramatic altercation, and the chemistry intensifies from then on. With passionate interludes and moments of regret, this story takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster.

Dominic’s outward playboy persona masks his role in helping victims of domestic abuse and violence. Meredith, a successful investigative journalist, thinks Dominic’s nightclub is a front for trafficking. She doesn’t want to believe her best friend’s brother is involved, so she confronts him. His denials lack explanations, but she can’t resist the intense attraction between them. Her desire is evident, but she needs the truth, if she is to follow, her heart.

Set against a background of danger, intrigue and secrets, is an intense relationship. Their emotional commitment follows as Dominic’s secret life unfolds.

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

We Are Not Like Them Christine Pride and Jo Piazza 4* #Review @jopiazza #ChristinePride @HQStories #HQNewVoices #WANLT #Women #Race #Mothers #Love #Betrayal #Friendship #injustice #literaryfiction #prejudice #courage #forgiveness #WeAreNotLikeThem

Not every story is black and white.

Riley and Jen have been best friends since they were children, and they thought their bond was unbreakable. It never mattered to them that Riley is black and Jen is white. And then Jen’s husband, a Philadelphia police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager and everything changes in an instant.

This one act could destroy more than just Riley and Jen’s friendship. As their community takes sides, so must Jen and Riley, and for the first time in their lives the lifelong friends find themselves on opposing sides.

But can anyone win a fight like this?

We Are Not Like Them is about friendship and love. It’s about prejudice and betrayal. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, no matter the cost.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story explores injustice, prejudice and race in an insightful way from the perspective of an interracial friendship. The beginning is poignant and fills the reader with anger at the injustice of the indiscriminate shooting of a young black male. Immediately the question, would the victim be lying there dying if he was white, is at the forefront of the reader’s mind.

Then the two female protagonists are introduced, Jen is a homemaker, Riley, a successful broadcast journalist, Jen is white, Riley is black, and they have been friends since childhood. The repercussions of the shooting are delivered to them independently, but as Jen runs and leaves Riley questioning, both sense this the end of something.

Their friendship has survived the years by avoidance of potentially divisive issues which the shooting and its fallout bring to the fore. Inequalities exist in Jen and Riley’s relationship. Riley is the giver, Jen is the taker, and this is significant for what follows.

The story explores contemporary issues. It strives to present everyone’s viewpoints whether this is successful is open for debate. Well written, and eloquent it engages the reader and provokes thinking.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Gothic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Room in the Attic Louise Douglas 5* #Review @LouiseDouglas3 @BoldwoodBooks #Family #Drama #Secrets #grief #loss #Suspense #mystery #Gothic #SocialHistory #mothers #women #Psychological #BookReview #BlogTour #boldwoodbloggers #TheRoomintheAttic @rararesources

A child who does not know her name…

In 1903 fishermen find a wrecked boat containing a woman, who has been badly beaten, and a young girl. An ambulance is sent for, and the two survivors are taken to All Hallows, the imposing asylum, hidden deep on Dartmoor. The woman remains in a coma, but the little girl, Harriet, awakens and is taken to an attic room, far away from the noise of the asylum, and is put in the care of Nurse Emma Everdeen.

Two motherless boys banished to boarding school…

In 1993, All Hallows is now a boarding school. Following his mother’s death and his father’s hasty remarriage, Lewis Tyler is banished to Dartmoor, stripped of his fashionable clothes, shorn of his long hair, and left feeling more alone than ever. There he meets Isak, another lost soul, and whilst refurbishment of the dormitories is taking place, the boys are marooned up in the attic, in an old wing of the school.

Cries and calls from the past that can no longer be ignored…

All Hallows is a building full of memories, whispers, cries from the past. As Lewis and Isak learn more about the fate of Harriet, and Nurse Emma’s desperate fight to keep the little girl safe, it soon becomes clear there are ghosts who are still restless.

Are they ghosts the boys hear at night in the room above, are they the unquiet souls from the asylum still caught between the walls? And can Lewis and Isak bring peace to All Hallows before the past breaks them first…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Atmospheric and chilling, The Room in the Attic brings All Hallows to life in a disturbing and resonating way. The story is told predominantly in dual timelines. 1903, when All Hallows was an asylum and 1993 when it housed a draconian boarding school. Lewis returns in the present day as a grown man, but the past makes him want to run.

The character-led stories are emotional with elements of gothic fiction and psychological suspense. The characters are believably vibrant and immerse the reader into their world. The social history and social injustice explored in the 1903 story is disturbingly poignant. The plight of the two boys in 1993 is equally harrowing, and their grief makes them susceptible to paranormal occurrences.

The mysterious plot’s clever twists let the characters shine and enthral the reader. The author captures perfectly the sense of fear, hopelessness and sadness that pervades, All Hallows.

Louise Douglas

Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author of 6 novels including The Love of my Life and Missing You – a RNA award winner. The Secrets Between Us was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. She lives in the West Country. Louise’s first book for Boldwood, The House by the Sea was published in March 2020.

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