Saturday, 22 April 2017

Then. Now. Always by Isabelle Broom

Twenty-eight year old Hannah is ready for an adventure. She and her colleagues are in Spain for a month to film a documentary, and it's a dream come true. Not least because Hannah will get to spend long summer days with Theo, her boss (and gorgeous crush). It couldn't be a more perfect setting to fall in love...
If only Tom (Hannah's best friend and cameramen) and Claudette (the presenter) would stop getting in the way...
Then things become even more complicated when Nancy, Hannah's half-sister arrives. What on earth is she doing here?
For just once in her life, can't Hannah have one perfect summer, free of any drama?

I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Isabelle Broom’s new release Then.Now.Always after reading her previous two books that had me completely captivated by her idyllic settings. I was longing to see what breath-taking location she would whisk us away to in her new book.

Hannah spent her teen holiday with friend Rachel in the stunning Spanish village of Mojacar, it is a place that has always stayed with her so when she gets the chance to return for work with her Handsome boss Theo and best friend Tom and the diva French Claudette she jumps at the opportunity.
Finally Hannah is on Theo’s radar and she is keen to spend more time with her crush but Tom and Claudette doesn’t make this easy for her and with the added surprise arrival of her sister Nancy her chances of getting any closer to Theo are slim.

Mojacar was not somewhere I had ever heard of before reading this book but it is now a destination that has flown to the top of my wish list to visit now. Isabelle Broom has captured the true charm and beauty of this inviting paradise that had me googling holidays on Thomson straight away. There was no need to look up pictures of this stunning village as the authors attention to detail when writing about this place just brought it to life and I could vision it perfectly in my mind.

As well as the breath taking scenery Mojacar has to offer Isabelle Broom also educates us in an entertaining way on the various history and knowledge surrounding Mojacar too especially surrounding the Indalo man who is a frequent feature throughout the book.

Hannah is an easy character to love she is a friendly, loyal character even though there is a stubborn jealous side to her too. Her love for Mojacar is clear to see throughout the book just as much as her love for her her boss! She has a wonderful friendship with co-worker Tom and although his character had a messy situation caught in the middle at points through the book I still loved him. As for Nancy and Claudette I didn’t know who I wanted to slap more but one of these characters gradually redeemed herself later in the book.
As with Isabelle Broom’s previous books this is perfect holiday reading and if like me you won’t be getting a holiday this year then this book will whisk you away to a perfect location and will leave a lasting impression on you.


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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Spring at Blueberry Bay by Holly Martin

Bella has always had a sunny outlook and caring nature, despite recently falling on hard times. When she finds a handsome homeless man on her doorstep, her kind heart tells her she must help him. So, she invites Isaac into her cottage and into her life in ways she could never have imagined…

But Isaac is not what he seems. He’s keeping a huge secret from Bella, yet he never expected to fall for this open, generous and charming woman. 

Bella can’t ignore the chemistry between her and Isaac, but she’s had her trust badly broken in her past. Will she run when she learns the truth about Isaac, or will he be the one man who can help Bella believe in love again?





Spring at Blueberry Bay is the first book I have read by Holly Martin, the synopsis really called out to me so I wasted no time in downloading my copy and starting it immediately but I never expected to finish it the same day.

Bella Roussel has not had the best start in life and now she finds herself jobless and struggling financially with only enough porridge for the next day so she is pinning all her hopes on the job interview the following day. What she didn’t expect as she approached her house is to see a homeless guy laying outside her house, she does no more than to offer him a place to sleep that night out of the wind.

Isaac has never been offered a place to stay before, typically he would be ignored or at best given food or money but this kind woman has invited him in to her home. Now he really feels guilty at the secret he is keeping.

Bella Roussel is a genuine kind hearted and loveable character, yes she seemed very naïve and also has vulnerability about her too but this all adds to the charm of her character. She was still a very determined and strong woman too who wanted to stand on her own two feet but she also has trust issues and she had built up walls so high to protect herself from being hurt again.
I loved Isaac even if his actions were wrong at the beginning part of the book I could see his reasons behind what he done and I forgave him straight away. He was a very charming and ambitious character who I loved and hoped he would get his happy ever after.

The book is set on Hope Island and the author describes the setting beautifully making it easy to view the vibrant houses, the stunning views and the characteristics of the Island easily in my mind. The author has such a light and easy writing style that flows effortlessly making this the perfect read to take away with you on holiday this year. Full of romance and a few steamy scenes too this is the perfect read for hopeless romantics but what I also loved was the light humour too, I found myself at times chucking away along with the characters without even realising it which just shows how easy the characters were to connect too.


I really enjoyed this book and I would not hesitate to pick up another by this author, I will be sad to leave Hope Island and the characters behind I do hope the author revisits these characters in a future novel to see how they are doing.


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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Paper Hearts & Summer Kisses by Carole Matthews


Today it is my stop on the Paper Chain tour for one of my favourite authors new books Paper Hearts & Summer Kisses by the fabulous Carole Matthews.

REVIEW

Carole Matthews is back with another charming read in Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses. I only picked this book up to briefly read the first chapter but ended up completely hooked and finished the book in one sitting as I couldn’t bear to put this book down.

Single mum Christie Chapman has for years made the long commute into London for work each day to keep a roof over her sons head. What little time she has at home she spends her time crafting and watching the Creative Craft channel feeding her passion and uber talent for craft often with the reluctant help from her son. Recently son Finn has been increasingly missing time from school feeling poorly and Christie is struggling to juggle everything but can the handsome Max give her an offer she can’t refuse?

This book ticked every box for me, I found it uplifting and heart wrenching at the same time with a fabulous love triangle with that typical will they won’t they question keeping us guessing. I have to hold my hands up and say I have never really been into crafts in anyway but even I found myself excited by the topic in this book and I think that was helped by Christie’s passion for it that just pours through the pages.

I adored the relationship between Christie and son Finn it was so endearing to read as they had such a special bond, Christie has raised such a polite and loving son and it is clear that Finn appreciates everything his mum does for them.

I definitely found whilst reading this book that it got me thinking and really makes you put things into perspective and get your priorities right. We are all faced with opportunities throughout our life like Christie that could take our lives down a completely different path but it’s that point at the crossroads where we battle between playing it safe and actually taking a leap of faith and chasing that dream and watching Christie battle through those thoughts and weighing up the pro’s and con’s had me shouting to just take that leap!

This is definitely up there with one of my favourites of Carole Matthew’s books and fans will not be disappointed but just be warned this is not a book that you will be able to sneak a few chapters here and there as it will have you hooked from the opening chapter.





This is such a wonderful book that should be shared with friends. The wonderful publishers at Little Brown have given me a copy to give to someone and I want to give it away to one of my lovely followers because it is thanks to all of your support that my blog is still going strong nearly 6 years on!


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Sunday, 9 April 2017

This Love by Dani Atkins

Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a long time ago, but could this love change all of that?

Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon - she's a single, 31-year-old translator who works from home in her one-bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in dreams when she was a teenager and tragedy struck her family.

So, to be safe, she keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.

One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a passer-by, Ben, sees her and rescues her.

Suddenly her cocoon is shattered - what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?



One thing I have come to know and expect from Dani Atkins books is that they are packed full with emotion so I will always need a tissue to hand, so I was well prepared when I picked up This Love.

When Sophie Winters was fifteen her brother who she idolised tragically died. Sophie and her family have never properly dealt with their grief and so Sophie prefers to keep herself to herself and not let anyone in. One night when the downstairs neighbours party soon turns into devastation when it catches fire Sophie is trapped in her flat above with the fire threatening her life, there is only one way out… the window.

Ben catches sight of Sophie in the burning building and doesn’t hesitate in doing all he can to help this woman to safely escape.

The opening chapter of this book pulled me in right from the very first page. That first chapter was so fast paced and had me on edge already thanks to this eventful start as I felt Sophie’s desperation and fear flowing through the pages, a woman who was already broken now ready to shatter and I was willing her to make it through.

Ben is a chivalrous hero, he goes above and beyond to be able to help Sophie both during and after the accident, he was an easy character to love from the get go and I was hoping he would be able to help Sophie finally begin to let people in and for her to start truly living her life.

I had my theories as to what was to emerge through the storyline and although I guessed correctly at some it still shocked me when they were revealed and the great thing was there were also things that I never see coming either so there was still that element of devastating suspense. This book covers so much from romance and friendship to grief and self discovery there really is something for everyone in this book.


Each time I read a novel by this author I get completely choked up and I never expect that her next novel will ever be able to beat her previous but she continues to develop more heart-breaking plots and loveable vulnerable characters who capture my heart each time. I absolutely loved this book and know this will not disappoint those who have loved each of her previous books as it is truly a wonderful poignant read.

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Friday, 7 April 2017

The Stolen Child by Sanjida Kay


Zoe and Ollie Morley tried for years to have a baby and couldn't. They turned to adoption and their dreams came true when they were approved to adopt a little girl from birth. They named her Evie. 

Seven years later, the family has moved to Yorkshire and grown in number: a wonderful surprise in the form of baby Ben. As a working mum it's not easy for Zoe, but life is good. 

But then Evie begins to receive letters and gifts. 
The sender claims to be her birth father. He has been looking for his daughter. 

And now he is coming to take her back...



After reading Sanjida Kay's debut Bone by Bone last year I have been waiting patiently for the release of her second book and having now finished reading The Stolen Child it is safe to say that the curse of book two didn't hit this author as this book was even better than her debut.

After failing to conceive Zoe and Ollie take the next step and decide to adopt a beautiful baby girl who was born with the effects of having a drug addict as a mother.

Seven years later and with the addition of their little boy too their family is complete but not without its struggles of getting the work life balance right. When the family begin to see a change in little Evie they know something isn't right and when they find a card to Evie from her "real daddy" and gifts too they fear that their little girl will be taken.

This was such a cleverly written plot that pulled the wool right over my eyes and led me down so many different paths of suspicion, each one leading me further from the truth. The storyline really was rather disturbing and terrifying as we are well aware of grooming occurring in the real world so you can't help but feel sick in the pit of your stomach whilst watching Evie being sucked in by the gifts and the loving messages and seeing her begin to trust in them and see her begin to cover up to conceal the gifts to protect them from others knowledge.

The ending was a very realistic ending too which rounded this book off perfectly. This is one of those disturbing and thought provoking reads that will leave a mark on me and one I urge you to read if you are looking for a sinister and gripping read.



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Friday, 24 March 2017

The Escape by C.L Taylor

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn't.
The stranger knows Jo's name, she knows her husband Max and she's got a glove belonging to Jo's two year old daughter Elise.
What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo's own husband turn against her.
No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there's only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

I have been a huge fan of C.L Taylor her books have always kept me on edge and in complete suspense all the way through so I have been eagerly awaiting the release of The Escape to see what the author has lined up for us next.

When Jo Blackmore finishes work to go and collect her daughter Elise from nursery she is approached by a woman asking for a lift and as she gets into Jo’s car it soon becomes clear that this woman is about to shatter Jo’s world when she makes a threat to Elise’s safety unless Jo gets her husband to return what he has stolen from the woman. As the days go on it becomes apparent that it wasn’t an empty threat and she fears for her daughters safety but will anyone believe Jo or will it just be put down to her mental health issues.

The opening chapter pulled me in immediately and I felt that familiar sinister feel to the authors storylines that I have come to know and love. Interestingly I didn’t warm to Jo and I can’t quite put my finger on the reason why other than possibly because there was a little part of me that didn’t quite trust her. The storyline had me hooked the whole way through and I found myself picking the book up at every spare moment eager to see what was going to happen next.
The only reason I am giving this book a 4 star and not a 5 is that I worked out very early on who I could and could not trust so I didn’t have that constant suspicion that I usually have in this authors books but I still enjoyed watching events unfold but there was still that part of me hoping that my instincts were about to be proven wrong. 

This is another gripping fast paced read by C.L Taylor that will have readers hooked from the first page.

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

No one ever disappears completely...
You leave for work one morning.
Another day in your normal life.
Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone.
His belongings have disappeared.
He hasn't been at work for weeks.
It's as if he never existed.
But that's not possible, is it?
And there is worse still to come.
Because just as you are searching for him
someone is also watching you.


When Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen was recommended to me I was so intrigued by the premise of this book that I abandoned my current read and started this book immediately and I wasn’t disappointed.
When Hannah arrives home from work with exciting news she cannot wait to share with her partner Matt but as soon as she enters their home she knows something is amiss.
Matt has gone…..

Not only has Matt left but there is no trace that he was ever there, all his belongings have gone even the new TV and in its place sits her old tv from before they were together. It is clear he has erased himself from every part of her life even removing his number from her phone. Hannah has no idea where Matt has gone or why but she is determined to find out.

This book manages to grab your attention instantly from that first chapter. So many thoughts were going through my mind as to what could have happened to make Matt leave and the reason for his bizarre actions of putting everything back to the way it was before they met. I have read numerous amount of books where a partner leaves unexpectedly but it was the way that he went to the effort of completely removing himself without a trace that played on my mind and had me intrigued.

The storyline did dip a little in the middle part of the book and I did reach a point where I thought it was predictable and obvious who was involved but then the storyline dramatically changes and all though my suspicion was confirmed it was only a drop in the ocean to what was finally revealed. I couldn’t read the last few chapters fast enough, I was so eager to see what was going to happen next.
This was a fantastic, gripping and mind boggling storyline that I thoroughly enjoyed and would encourage you all to read.


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