Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Faithful Couple Blog Tour

Today it is my stop on The Faithful Couple blog tour, be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour.

Neil and Adam, two young men on the cusp of adulthood, meet one golden summer in California and, despite their different backgrounds, soon become best friends.
 Buton a camping trip in Yosemite they lead each other into wrongdoing that, years later, both will desperately regret. 
 Their connection holds through love affairs, fatherhood, the wild successes and unforeseen failures of booming London, as power and guilt ebb between them. 
 Then the truth of that long-ago night emerges. 
 What happens when you discover that the friendship you can't live without was always built on a lie?

The lovely team at Abacus have offered a copy of The Faithful Couple for a giveaway. 
This giveaway is open to Europe only ( publishers wishes)
Good Luck!

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Sunday, 7 February 2016

A Home in Sunset Bay by Rebecca Pugh

There’s no place like home… 
Enough is enough! The always perfect Laurie Chapman had jumped in her car and raced as fast as she could from London heading to Sunset Bay and (she hopes!) the open arms of her estranged sister… 

Mia Chapman loves running Dolly’s Diner in the picture-perfect coastal Cornish town of Sunset Bay. Now that her and Grandma Dolly’s dream is finally a reality Mia has never been prouder! Until Laurie suddenly turns up on her doorstep… How can she forgive the sister who walked away?

Once upon a time Mia and Laurie were best friends. Back together after so long, the time has come for the sisters to figure out what went so wrong all those years ago – and whether they can ever put it right!

A Home in Sunset Bay is Rebecca Pugh’s second novel, I brought her first novel Return to Bluebell Hill last year but typically my review books have got in the way so it is still nestled on my kindle but after now finishing A Home in Sunset Bay I am eager to make time to read her debut.

The storyline is set in the idyllic summery setting of Sunset Bay which Rebecca brings to life with her beautiful, skilled descriptive writing. Mia runs the buzzing Doly’s Diner which she inherited from her Grandma and it seems like all work no play for Mia as she throws herself into work each day. 

Laurie has reached a point in her life where she doesn’t know where to turn as everything begins to crumble around her, she just needs time away to clear her head and where better to go than the comfort of Sunset Bay to see her sister Mia. But will Mia be there with open arms to comfort her?

For those who are unaware Rebecca Pugh is also a book blogger, I have followed her reviews for some time now and reading her reviews themselves sometimes feel like reading a book as she has such skill in descriptive writing and bringing things to life and that is exactly what she has perfected in this book. The author not only brings alive the perfect surroundings and the delicious food and milkshakes that are on offer but she also brings the characters alive by showing the emotion and characteristics of both Mia and Laurie. The storyline doesn’t get lost in the descriptions which can often happen, the author managed to get the balance just right.

We have a lovely splash of blossoming romance in this book which brought an uplifting feel to the storyline but we also see the difficulties that families face and also the love and strong bond between sisters. My one little niggle and frustration ( and I have to be careful here as I do not want to give a spoiler away) was that Laurie for the majority of the second half of the book really didn’t want to return to her old life and I was getting frustrated and just wanted to rattle her and say “ don’t blooming well go then there is nothing there for you”!

I really did enjoy my trip to Sunset Bay and I think fans of Heidi Swain and Fiona Valpy would love this authors writing style. I am excited to see how Rebecca Pugh’s storytelling develops in her next book.


Friday, 29 January 2016

You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell

I am thrilled to be a part of the Jill Mansell blog tour today, You and Me, Always is Jill's new release and I am so pleased to share my review of this book with you today and to top it off I also have a Giveaway for you too!

On the morning of Lily's twenty-fifth birthday, it's time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight.

Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum's life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie's attentions.

Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily's friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again...

I am a big Jill Mansell fan she always gets it spot on, delivering a book which you find impossible to put down and yet at the same time a book you never want to end which was exactly what I found again with her new release You and Me,Always.

Lily has been raised by the village of Stanton Langley since the death of her mum at a young age, everyone is very protective of Lily and as she reaches her 25th birthday there are big changes in her life, she receives the last letter her mum left her where she finds out more about the man who her mum left her heart with and Lily is determined to track him down. Romance finds Lily too in the shape of a hidden celeb, Eddie Tessler but Lily's best friend Dan is less than pleased with the new romance, but for what reason?

I read this book in one greedy siting, every time I put this book down to do something I found myself gravitating back to the book for another cheeky chapter much to the amusement of my husband who declared I must have my reading mojo back!

Right from the first chapter I was hooked, I was laughing away at Lily's friend Patsy and her awful date. From that first chapter alone which is only 5 pages long I had already warmed to our group of characters and I couldn't wait to see what other antics would occur in this group. 

There are a lot of characters in this book but each and everyone of them were so well developed and were so endearing, the bond between the characters surrounding Lily could easily be felt and you could see how well loved and protected she was.

Jill Mansell always sets the scene perfectly with the cosy and quaint little villages in her storylines and Stanton Langley has to be my favourite. The romance has little twists and turns not only for Lily but her friends too all of which had a predictable outcome and yet this didn't matter because I couldn't work out how events would unfold to reach the outcome so this kept me entertained and intrigued.

There was a poignant part of the book which struck a cord with me which was the letters which Lily received from her mum each year on her birthday, I lost a dear friend of mine in 2015 who has done the same thing for her little girl and I hope her daughter gets as much joy and comfort out of the letters  as Lily did.

This is a wonderful cosy, romantic and witty read by Jill Mansell that didn't disappoint and it came very close to knocking my favourite, Three Amazing Things About You off the top spot.

Hardback                Kindle

Thanks to the lovely team at Headline we have a copy of You and Me, Always up for grabs! This giveaway is open to the UK only.
Good Luck!

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Our Song by Dani Atkins

This is the story of Ally and Charlotte, whose paths have intersected over the years though they've never really been close friends. Charlotte married Ally's ex and first true love, David. Fate is about to bring them together one last, dramatic time and change their lives forever. Full of Dani's signature warmth and emotion, this is a gripping and emotional family drama. With breath-taking plot twists, Dani explores themes of serendipity, friendship and love. She fully engages the reader in the dilemmas faced by her characters. What would you do if your husband was the love of somebody else's life? And when faced with an agonising decision, could you put the past behind you and do the right thing?

Our Song is the first book I have read by Dani Atkins but it sure will not be the last as this book has just taken my heart and broken it in two, I haven't felt so emotional and overwhelmed whilst reading a book since I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. 

At the beginning of Our Song we see the events which lead to Joe and David fighting for their lives in Intensive care, and as Joe's wife Ally is waiting in the relatives room for news on her husbands condition David's wife Charlotte arrives and with it Ally's past comes back with a bang.

I had been struggling to settle into a new book but as soon as I opened this book I was absorbed into the storyline right from the first page and before long I had finished all 500 pages and sat emotionally drained as though I had been waiting in those daunting four walls with Ally and Charlotte waiting with bated breathe to see what was going to happen to both of these gentle loving and caring brave young men. 

This book needs the big old Kleenex warning on the front, I'm not talking a lump in your throat I am talking about big loud sobbing and streaming tears as this storyline really is going to break your heart. The writing style was so easy to follow and pulls you in quickly and holds your attention all the way through as I sat on the edge of my seat eager for news. The raw emotion that this author has poured into this storyline is so believable and could be felt through the pages. I was a little unsure of how coincidental the situation was in the book but this was soon over shadowed thanks to the wonderfully engaging characters and the heartbreaking storyline.

There were a few hidden surprises along the way and having the suspense factor on top of the emotional feelings just heightened the emotional journey. 

I can not believe we are only just stepping into 2016 and yet I feel like I have already found one of the top 10 books of 2016. I can not wait to delve into this authors previous books now.

Paperback              Kindle

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

Two girls go missing. Only one will return.

The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.  

Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour… 

Last year I found myself really getting into psychological crime thrillers which was never a genre I felt comfortable reading but when I read Silent Scream by Angela Marsons I was hooked and couldn't wait to read the next book in the Kim Stone series Evil Games which turned out to hold just the same amount of suspense and grit as the first book. I was a little worried as well as eager to read the latest

book in the series Lost Girls for the pure reason that I typically find by book three of a series I am starting to lose interest and begin to see flaws in the storyline.

Kim is back on another gruelling and tense case, this time two little girls have been kidnapped from families who are extremely close but how strong is a friendship when it is your child's life against theirs?
With a press black out, the game begins but will this be one crime Kim can't crack?

I had no reason to worry about this book as I actually enjoyed this one more than Evil Games and would say it is just as good as Silent Scream ( maybe even a smidge better shhhh). What this author has managed to do is create such a complex main character in Kim who is a cold hard workaholic but after having a little insight into her past we accept this in her character and know that deep down there is still a soft spot hidden away.

The writing style this author has has such a skilled way of absorbing the reader into the storyline and holding their attention by chilling them to the bone and making their minds work over time as you are constantly looking for a little trail of clues to help solve the case. I was so tense reading this book and I was suspicious of everyone but I was still shocked when the identity was revealed as this was not a person I had framed for the crime!

I love how Kim is such a realistic character she doesn't ever go into battle and then come out with fairy wings and glitter dust she takes the punches like a true hero that she is in my eyes.
I still don't feel like Kim has ran her course yet and I really hope we have many more books in this series to come as they are all such gripping compelling reads I just do not understand how on earth these books have not been snapped up for a to series yet as they really would be such a hit so I am keeping my fingers crossed that one day they will grace our screens.

Kindle                    Paperback

Friday, 15 January 2016

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

On 24 November Yasmin and her ten-year-old daughter Ruby set off on a journey across Northern Alaska. They're searching for Ruby's father, missing in the arctic wilderness.

More isolated with each frozen mile they cover, they travel deeper into an endless night. And Ruby, deaf since birth, must brave the darkness where sight cannot guide her. She won't abandon her father. 

But winter has tightened its grip, and there is somebody out there who wants to stop them. Somebody tracking them through the dark.

The Quality of Silence is the first book I have read by Rosamund Lupton and having heard so many great things about this book I decided to give this one a try even though it wouldn’t be the typical kind of book I would usually pick up. What I never expected was to be taken on a journey that would literally chill me to the bone as we watch our main characters Yasmin and her daughter Ruby on a treacherous journey through Alaska on a mission to find their husband/dad who is presumed dead but they refuse to believe this news and pure determination helps them on the journey which could see more than one life in danger.

This was such a beautifully crafted, atmospheric novel that had me captivated the whole way through. This was a creative and original storyline that was unpredictable, even though there were points which were a little farfetched these were easy to brush aside thanks to the strength in the storyline, descriptions and characters.

Ruby was what made this book such a pleasant and insightful read for me. Ruby is Yasmin and Matt’s daughter, she is death and this is what kept me immersed in the storyline because the way in which the author writes about Ruby’s hearing problem was so detailed and handled beautifully and gave real insight into living life without your hearing and also how others around deal with living with someone who is death. I have always felt strongly that we should all be taught sign language from an early age and reading this book has awakened my longing to learn to sign myself. What really hit a nerve with me was the way Ruby only felt like she could be herself online it is hard to show your character to people who you can’t communicate with. It was quite clear from early on in this book that Ruby had a stronger bond with her father and he seemed to understand her feelings about wanting to sign. Her relationship with her mum seemed to improve during their trip, spending time with Ruby and actually taking the time to try and understand from her daughters point of view seemed to bring them closer together.

I am thrilled that I gave this book a try as I loved this authors skilled writing style so I am going to go and pick up Sister next.

Paperback                Kindle

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The Widow by Fiona Barton

We've all seen him: the man - the monster - staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.

But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him?

Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming. 

Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.

But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.

Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

When I read the synopsis for The Widow I loved the idea behind it as it was something new for me reading about a child abduction but from the view of the suspected abductors wife.

She only left her for minutes but that was long enough for Dawn to have her world turn upside down when little Bella was taken from her front garden. As the search begins to find Bella little leads are found and various people are under suspicion but the main focus soon falls to Glen Taylor but will all the leads tie up and point solely to him?

 As soon as I started this book I was hooked, it was such a pacey read and the short sharp chapters alternated between the various characters in this book which allowed me to see a bigger picture from different points of view. It did take me a while to get used to the structure of the book because not only does the chapters alternate between characters it also goes back and forward in time but before long I settled into the flow of the book.

Jeanie was a complex character for me at times I could see a weakness and vulnerability to her, seeming like a typical woman next door but there was also a side to her that had me suspicious. She isn’t a character to warm to but I found her to be a very intriguing character. The author has developed the characters in this book extremely well, she has obviously taken time and research into the actions of people who stand on the side lines and has put these fine points into Jeanie.

There are other various sinister issues covered in this book alongside abduction which all help make this book a gritty and disturbing read at times. The authors writing style is descriptive and easy to follow.

This would have easily been a 4 star read for me but there was something that let this book down for me the fact that the whole way through I was waiting for a sudden twist as it constantly felt like it was building up to a shock revelation but this never happened so I was left a little flat and now having finished the book I can say that the first half of this book was much better than the second half as it felt a little drawn out.

I look forward to reading another book by this author as she does show great promise in her writing and she has tackled a great concept in this book I just want to see how her writing progresses in her next book.

Kindle                     Hardback
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