Saturday, 22 September 2018

Where the Light Gets In by Lucy Dillon

It was Betty, defiant to the end, who sent Lorna back to Longhampton. If Lorna’s learned one thing from Betty it’s that courage is something you paint on like red lipstick, even when you’re panicking inside. And right now, with the keys to the town’s gallery in her hand, Lorna feels about as courageous as Betty’s anxious little dachshund, trembling beside her.
Lorna’s come home to Longhampton to fulfil a long-held dream, but she knows, deep down, there are ghosts she needs to lay to rest first. This is where her tight-knit family shattered into silent pieces. It’s where her unspoken fears about herself took root and where her own secret, complicated love began. It’s not exactly a fresh start.
But as Lorna – and the little dog – tentatively open their cracked hearts to old friends and new ones, facing hard truths and fresh promises, something surprisingly beautiful begins to grow around the gallery, something so inspirational even Lorna couldn’t have predicted the light it lets into her world . . .

I am always drawn to novels by Lucy Dillon as they always have such heart-warming storylines and a dog that will capture my heart too! Lucy’s most recent release Where the Light Gets In has the most stunning delicate cover and the synopsis sounded promising too.
Lorna has had her fair share of difficulties in the past and these have shaped the woman she is today but she has one last fight in her and her determination to succeed in the world of Art sees her buying the Art Gallery in the old town she grew up in. Lorna needs to drastically turn the local business around and the best way she can do that is to get the local artist Mrs Rothery on board but she has a reputation of being a rather prickly character so it will not be an easy task.
I really enjoyed Where the Light Gets In there are two very poignant chapters in this book that was crafted so tenderly that I soon found I had a lump in my throat. I have always enjoyed the arrivals of our furry friends in Lucy’s novels and we are treated to two little beauties in Rudy and Bernard who are loyal and loveable friends if somewhat troublesome at times.
Lorna is such a selfless and caring character who is instantly likeable, she is so quick to forget her own needs and wants and put others needs before her own. She opens her heart and her home to those in need whether that be for family and friends she has known for years or those dear little ladies who she has only known so briefly with no ulterior motive.
I really enjoyed getting to know Joyce, she was a very firm and wilful woman who I think inside was crying out to have someone close to her but found it so much easier to put up a prickly barrier.
I do love the romance that was weaved into this storyline but I am so pleased that is didn’t dictate the whole plot as I loved watching Lorna’s journey with her plans for her new business and her unlikely friendship with Joyce.
This really was a pleasant gentle read that tugged at the heart strings.

Kindle                      Paperback

Saturday, 8 September 2018

The House Across the Road by Lesley Pearse

Twenty-three year old Katy Speed is fascinated by the house across the street. The woman who lives there, Gloria, is the most glamorous neighbour on the avenue, owning a fashionable dress shop in Bexhill-on-Sea. But who is the woman who arrives in the black car most Saturdays while Gloria is at work? Sometimes she brings women to the house, other times they have children.
Hilda, Katy's mother, disapproves of Gloria. She wonders if these mysterious visitors have just been released from prison. Is Gloria secretly bringing criminals, or worse, into the heart of the community?
Then one night, the house burns down. In the wreckage, the bodies of Gloria and her daughter are found. Katy is sure the unexplained visitors must be responsible until her father is arrested and charged with murder. Have the police arrested the correct person? Are the rest of the street safe? Can Katy find the truth before it's too late?

Lesley Pearse has always delivered such incredibly realistic storylines with characters who feel so real and her new novel The House Across the Street is no exception.
When the house across the road from Katy Speeds family home is set alight she could never dream of the events that would occur afterwards when they learn that their neighbour who lived there died in the fire. Katy’s father Albert is arrested in relation to the fire and she is determined to do all she can to find the real culprit to be able to clear her fathers name but Katy uncovers a lifetime of desperation, sadness and courage which could all be in vain if the information she has gets into the wrong hands. What lengths will Katy go to, to protect her innocent father.

Once again we are introduced to such full bodied characters who feel so familiar and life like that we could be reading about our own neighbours. Katy in particular was such an ordinary and yet lovable and determined young lady who I was routing for from the start. Her mother was a very prickly character too even though we find out her reasons are quite justified in the end. There is a beautiful friendship between Katy and her friend Jilly, they obviously cared for each other deeply and almost form a sister like bond. There is also a whisper of romance weaved into what is a tender and troubled storyline so the hint of romance helped to soften the events.
The storyline does tackle a delicate and devastating subject matter which was written about with such care and attention to detail especially with regard to the way things were handled in the time period in which the storyline was set.
This was a great read, not up there with my favourites by this author but still a wonderful read that I couldn’t put down.

Kindle                     Hardback

Thursday, 6 September 2018

The Key by Kathryn Hughes

It's Ellen Crosby's first day as a student nurse at Ambergate Hospital. When she meets a young woman admitted by her father, little does Ellen know that a choice she will make is to change both their lives for ever...
Sarah is drawn to the now abandoned Ambergate. Whilst exploring the old corridors she discovers a suitcase belonging to a female patient who entered Ambergate fifty years earlier. The shocking contents, untouched for half a century, will lead Sarah to unravel a forgotten story of tragedy and lost love, and the chance to make an old wrong right . . .
I loved The Secret by Kathryn Hughes so I have been looking forward to reading another book by her. The Key tells the tragic story of Amy who back in 1956 is taken to Ambergate County Lunatic Asylum at only 19 years old. She is adamant that she doesn’t have mental health problems and shouldn’t be in there. 

The story is told from two time frames, the events of Amy’s stay at Ambergate back in the 1950’s and also 2006 when Sarah is intrigued in the history of Ambergate and on a visit there discovers a room with suitcases one which has a note that has propelled her to uncover the secrets held in the walls.

I would say that The Key trumps The Secret. Once again the author develops such realistic and flawed characters whose experiences are devastating. Amy was a troubled young lady but I felt that she just craved love, acceptance and the security of not being abandoned again. Her actions that lead her to become an impatient at the Asylum were appalling but the treatment she received in the Asylum was unforgivable. One of her nurses, Ellen, was my favourite character in this book. She was such a hardworking and caring woman who done the best she could in her role when having to work with colleagues with a different opinion on how the patients should be cared for.

There is a touch of romance flowing through the pages which brings a much needed lightness and positivity to an otherwise tragic heartbreaking storyline. This is the first book I have read that is set in an Asylum and I found it shocking the treatments used and the way mental health was handled.

This was a captivating and tragic read that felt all too real.

Kindle                       Paperback

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for this absolute corker of a read, You Let Me In.
Those of you who follow my reviews will know what a big fan of Lucy Clarke I am so you can imagine my delight when her latest release landed on my door mat.

I have brought every one of Lucy Clarke’s novel time and time again for friends because they deserved to be read far and wide and I fail to see how any one would not love them as they are always full of suspense. Lucy Clarke’s new release is You Let Me In has a different look to her previous novels, gone are the sea scenes that seem to have been her signature style and in place is a white and grey chilling cover.
Bestselling author Elle returns home from a writing retreat but as soon as she walks in she knows that something isn’t right. She had rented her home out for the first time on air bnb but she had locked her writing room wanting to keep her privacy but on return the room is unlocked.
As the days follow and the deadline for her next book is looming but the words won’t flow, numerous unexplainable and creepy things begin to happen to her as if there is a constant presence in the house.
Wow wow wow! How does Lucy Clarke do this to me every time? Some books you read and they have that warm cosy inviting feeling, well not Lucy’s books her books chill me to the bone and have me so tense, I am talking shoulders permanently up by my ears from start to finish!
This book was so cleverly plotted keeping me guessing and having me suspicious of each and every character me meet, including our main character Elle! When the revelation came I was in complete and utter shock I had not seen this coming.
I don’t usually like to use the typical page turner quote in my reviews but this book has to be an exception as each time I went to put the book down instantly picked it back up again flying through the pages intrigued to see what was going to happen in the house next, I was so relieved when my Saturday night plans fell through so I could continue on this creepy chilling discovery!
This is an absolute corker of a book and to make it even better our main character Elle is an author so it was great to have a little insight into the authors pressures when a deadline is due. What I have always loved about this authors writing is how beautifully she describes everything from the surroundings to the feeling and emotions she just makes everything feel so heightened which puts us on edge even more as she pulls us in ready to take us by complete surprise.
I will be recommending this book to every bookworm I talk to and any of you who have read Luc Clarke’s previous novels will be blown away by this, her best book yet.

If you are eager to get your hands on a copy then you will be thrilled to know that the generous
team at Harper Collins have kindly offered a copy that is up for grabs in a UK Only giveaway.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 2 September 2018

One Day In December by Josie Silver

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for One Day In December by Josie Silver and I will be sharing my review with you. Be sure to take a look at the other blogs on the tour to see what everyone is saying about this stunning romance. This book is also a part of Amazon Kindle Monthly deal so is currently only 99p so get in quick.

I seem to have a thing about gold embossed covers at the moment so One Day in December caught my eye straight away and after reading the blurb I knew this was going to be my kind of read.
When Laurie looks out of the bus window and her eyes find this handsome man at the bus stop engrossed in a book (every bookworm’s ideal man!) she believes she has fallen in love when their eyes meet and he unsuccessfully attempts to get on the bus to meet her.
With the help of her best friend Sarah, Laurie is determined to find Bus stop Boy but when she finds him her heart breaks.
What an addictive romantic storyline! It has that will they won’t they pull to it the whole way through. Laurie and Jack ( bus stop boy) are totally made for each other but the impossible situation they find themselves in really tests their character and loyalty to those around them. The unpredictability of the storyline meant I had to read this book in one sitting as I was desperate to see if there was any way of a happy ever after for them.
Laurie and her best friend Sarah have such a strong friendship which I do love to see in a book.
Laurie is an easy character to love even though she has her flaws and her actions at times I didn’t agree with but because we understand the situation she is in we can see how impossible and unfair the situation she finds herself in is.
I would definitely recommend this book especially at the current Kindle price it is a steal. There is so much covered in this book, sacrifice, friendship, grief, heartache and romance.
A beautiful romance about boy meets girl but right girl at the wrong time! 


Kindle                      Paperback

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

My Sisters and Me by Lisa Dickenson

When Willow Lake asks her daughters for help renovating the family home, each has a reason to hesitate about returning to Maplewood . . .
For quiet and bookish Emmy going back to the town that ridiculed her fills her with dread.
The youngest Noelle is perfectly comfortable in herself now, but once wanted to fit in so badly that she walked away from her first love. A first love who still lives in Maplewood.
And outspoken Rae is painfully aware of how much the townspeople hurt her little sisters growing up. She didn't protect them then, but there's no way she'll let history repeat itself.
The sisters agree to go home and make the best of it. After all if they've changed over the years, it's possible the townspeople have too . . . isn't it?

Having enjoyed Lisa Dickenson’s previous novels where I have enjoyed her easy flowing wit weaved through the storyline I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read her new release My Sister’s and Me.
The storyline follows three bad ass sisters Rae, Noelle and Emmy who have returned to their childhood home whilst their mother is away travelling to renovate the home. The women have mixed emotions about returning to the village that holds such awful memories for them from their school years where their family had a bad reputation but surely now they have grown up things would have changed and they can leave the past behind them?
Maybe not!
This was a very light storyline compared to the authors previous books which makes for a perfect holiday read. I could still find the authors witty elements sprinkled here and there throughout the storyline especially involving the unfortunate result a party had on the local Mayor!
The sisters have a strong bond and each have their own little traits so I loved getting to know the women. I could relate more to Emmy whereas Rae is the live wire I would have liked to have been more like!
As the girls tackle their past head on they learn more about themselves and see how they have carried their past with them for too long and it has shaped their lives despite their successful careers.
I enjoyed the storyline but not as much as the authors previous books as I didn’t feel this had the depth to the storyline like her previous books however I still found it an enjoyable witty light read with a lovely touch of romance, self-discovery and forgiveness.

Kindle                     Paperback

Saturday, 25 August 2018

One Thousand Stars and You by Isabelle Broom

Alice is settling down. It might not be the adventurous life she once imagined, but more than anything she wants to make everyone happy - her steady boyfriend, her over-protective mother - even if it means a little part of her will always feel stifled.
Max is shaking things up. After a devastating injury, he is determined to prove himself. To find the man beyond the disability, to escape his smothering family and go on an adventure.
A trip to Sri Lanka is Alice's last hurrah - her chance to throw herself into the heat, chaos and colour of a place thousands of miles from home.
It's also the moment she meets Max.
Alice doesn't know it yet, but her whole life is about to change.
Max doesn't know it yet, but he's the one who's going to change it.

Isabelle Broom is back and this time she is showing us the sites of Sri Lanka in One Thousand Stars and You.

As best friends Alice, Maureen and Steph have their Big 30 looming they decide to spend their birthdays together in an unforgettable trip to Sri Lanka which Alice’s over protective partner Richard and her mum are not pleased about. Alice craves adventure and can not wait to discover what Sri Lanka has hidden but she finds more than she set out to find.

This was the first book by Isabelle Broom where I wasn’t chomping at the bit to get on a plane to the destination but I think this is because I felt more invested in the storyline and characters this time. It was almost a forbidden fruit romance that should have felt so wrong and yet was so right.

My favourite character was actually Max he was an admirable guy and I found his situation and daily challenges insightful (I don’t want to give anymore away). Alice was also a great character and I enjoyed watching her finally unravel and begin to find who she really is inside rather than who she is expected to be.

This is a beautiful written romance that is set in a stunning location following a journey of self discovery. Another whopper from Isabelle Broom.

Paperback               Kindle