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Thursday, 23 June 2022

Retreat to the Spanish Sun by Jo Thomas



Eliza has a full house! When her three children grew up and moved out, she downsized to a smaller property... but now they're all back. Every room in the house is taken and Eliza finds herself sharing her bed with her eldest daughter and her daughter's pug. Combined with the online course she's trying to finish, plus her job to fit in, there just isn't the peace and quiet that Eliza needs.

So when an ad pops up on her laptop saying 'house-sitters wanted', Eliza can't resist the chance to escape. She ends up moving to a rural finca in southern Spain, looking after the owner's Iberico pigs, learning about secret gastronomic societies... and finding a new zest for life and love along the way.

 


A light Summer read was definitely what I was in need of and Jo Thomas has certainly provided this in her new release Retreat to the Spanish Sun where she introduces us to Eliza a mum of three adults who are like boomerangs that keep coming back home to her small flat. Eliza is desperate for some space and peace and quiet to be able to complete her coursework so when an opportunity arises to house sit over in sunny Spain she snaps up the opportunity but never did she think that this was going to set her on her own little adventure.

This book does need to come with a warning for those on a diet because the mouth-watering, tongue tingling delights that are plentiful in this novel bring out so many cravings for the little tapas temptations that are on offer. Jo Thomas has such an incredible skill when it comes to descriptive writing not only for her edible delights but also for the idyllic settings that she whisks us off to in each and every one of her books, it is a pure tonic for those of us on staycations not being able to jet off to these glorious settings because once you have read a book by Jo it sure feels like you have escaped to some kind of paradise.

There is a gentle sprinkling of romance in this novel but this doesn’t overshadow the main storyline where Eliza is beginning to find herself and open up to new friends and take on new tasks and it was wonderful to see her blossom. I loved learning about how the pigs are raised along with Eliza  to produce the very best Iberico ham and I could see how important it was for Josep to keep his line of well established produce going after so much hard work and determination. The importance of traditions and for traditions to be shared amongst all certainly shines through in this novel and brings so many people together to maintain strong and loyal friendships and connections.

This book is certainly one I will be recommending everyone take with them on their holibobs or staycations this year.


Kindle                      Paperback 

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday by Cressida McLaughlin

 



Thea Rushwood was looking forward to exploring the beautiful Cornish tourist spot of Port Karadow, but when her friend drops out at the last minute, she is forced to go solo. Arriving at her cosy holiday cottage to discover a building site next door, Thea and the annoyingly attractive, but grumpy builder, Ben, don’t get off to the best start.

Thea starts to wonder if her perfect escape wasn’t meant to be. That’s before she realizes there is more to Ben – and to the community – than she first thought. As a magical Cornish summer stretches out in front of her, Thea discovers this is one holiday that she never wants to end…




Cressida McLaughlin’s Cornish Cream Tea series is definitely up there with my favourite series and each time I finish one I am already sitting there wishing the months by eager for the next one to be released.

 

The Cornish Cream Tea Holiday is book number 6 in the series but to be completely honest if you haven’t read the previous books it is not a problem at all as this can easily be read as a standalone but you will be desperate to go back an read the others straight after.

 

I am sure every reader will love our new main character Thea because she has a dream I am sure most of us keen readers have had at some point through our lives! When her holiday to Cornwall with her best friend Esme faces a hiccup because Esme is unable to come Thea goes anyway armed with a list of things to do sites to see and a secret mission to see if she can possibly make her dream come true.  What was not on her list was finding an irresistible builder named Ben living next door to her rental who soon becomes a consistent distraction!

We are reunited with some of much-loved characters from previous books, Meredith and Finn are weaved in around the storyline and it is great to see how well they are doing. We also have a very brief appearance from Charlie and Daniel but I really wish we could have more of them and Gertie in the novels but I need to stop being needy and just appreciate that a little bit of a good thing is probably what makes you want and love something even more.

Watching Thea building her confidence and pushing forward to try and make her dream a reality and a new life for herself was both exciting and inspiring, I was cheering her on all the way.

Ben was an intriguing character who I grew to love. His past shadowed his pure heart of gold but as his barriers began to come down we could see he was a pure gentleman with a whole lot of love to give, he had just lost his way.

I would have loved to have seen more of the renovation process in the book to go on Thea’s journey from start to end but that is just me being greedy and wanting to live a little of my dream through her! I definitely feel like there is still so much to come from both Thea and Ben so I am hoping that they make a strong reappearance in a future novel.

This was up there as my second favourite in the series and I highly recommend this for those looking for an uplifting romance with Cornish charm to take away on your holibobs or to enjoy on your staycation this year.


Kindle         Paperback

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Summer Fever by Kate Riordan

 



Nick and Laura are the hosts: pretending their marriage isn't on the rocks.

Madison and Bastian are the guests: neither is remotely who they claim to be.

Under the scorching Mediterranean sun, no secret is safe.

No betrayal goes unnoticed.

Two couples. But will either survive the summer . . .


Summer Fever is the new release by Kate Riordan and if you are looking for a sexy summer suspense then look no further because this one ticks all the boxes.

Set in Italy we are already off to the perfect start for a summer read and add to that the beautiful descriptive writing style that this author has and you are off on a vivid journey what seems to appear before your eyes. Not only does the author manage to set the scene perfectly but she really has such skilled writing that brings the characters to life too.

Where parts of the novel are predictable there are equal amount of parts that keep us in suspense and this is what makes this book such a thrilling and captivating read. There is sex and scandal flowing through the storyline which is all well written rather than just being smutty reading. I can’t say I loved any of the characters in this novel but I don’t feel like I needed too, they were all flawed and self-centred characters but this worked for this novel, my heart was never going to go out to any of them.

This was an addictive scandalous read that I would definitely recommend and great for fans of not only Kate Riordan but also Rebecca Chance.

Kindle            Paperback

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Reasons to go Outside by Esme King

 


Today I am joining the book tour for Reasons To Go Outside which is the debut by Esme King and is out today!

Pearl Winter hasn't been outside in forty-three years.

Since she arrived on Dartmoor as a girl, an isolated family cottage has been her whole world. A place of safety. But now fifty-nine-year-old Pearl is utterly alone - except for the postman, the local crows, and memories of the summer of 1976.

Teenager Connor Matthews feels like a stranger in his own home.

Since his mother's death he's been adrift from his remaining family, troubled by the reality of moving on, and unable to see a future ahead. But when Connor begins a summer job as Pearl's gardener, an unexpected friendship opens the door to a fresh start for them both. If only Pearl and Connor can take the first steps . . .



I came across Reasons To Go Outside by Esme King quite by chance on an Instagram story and the cover and title caught my attention, then after reading the synopsis on Amazon I knew I had to read this one.

Esme King has such a beautiful descriptive writing style that pulls you in from the first chapter and as she gradually brings her characters to life you soon start to feel the pull on the heartstrings as you feel a bond building as we learn about both Pearl and Connor’s pasts and their present struggles and worries.

The novel does explore delicate themes including agoraphobia and grief but Esme weaves each topic so carefully into the storyline and it brings a tender heart-warming feel the storyline. I love how the author has taken two characters from different eras and shown that age is truly only a number as they form an unlikely bond as a result of both of their loneliness and I found it was so uplifting to read. Loneliness is something that is not talked about enough and yet effects so many so it brings great awareness and it really moved me to see their friendship, trust and support for each other grow along with the storyline.

The authors writing style flowed so smoothly and felt effortless and I couldn’t put the book down, I was intrigued to find out what it was that caused Pearls agoraphobia but at the same time she was such a sweetheart I couldn’t bare to hear of anything bad happening to her.

Reasons To Go Outside is an outstanding debut and I am excited to see what this author creates next because after reading this books I have extremely high hopes, Esme King is certainly an author who I will be keeping on my radar.



Kindle           Hardback

Friday, 13 May 2022

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

 



It's every parent's nightmare.

Your happy, funny, innocent son commits a terrible crime: murdering a complete stranger.

You don't know who. You don't know why. You only know your teenage boy is in custody and his future lost.

That night you fall asleep in despair. Until you wake . . .

. . . and it is yesterday.

Every morning you wake up a day earlier, another day before the murder. Another chance to stop it.


I have been eagerly anticipating the next release by Gillian McAllister as she always delivers a shocking and gripping storyline that gets the mind boggled. Her new book, Wrong Place, Wrong Time and the opening chapter pulls you straight in and captures your attention with the sudden dramatic life altering event that takes place.

I will be honest and say I was a little wary about this storyline when it became apparent that there was going to be a strong time travel element to the storyline as I have never been a fan of time travel in novels (Bring it on if it was in real life!) but I can’t tell you how relieved I am that I persevered because I would have missed an astounding read. I soon got used to the time hopping further back and I actually looked forward to each new day and unearthing more clues as Jen finds out the life she has been living when looked at through a fresh pair of eyes has a lot of hidden secrets. It certainly got me thinking how I would love the ability to relive my life backwards to see it from a different angle and see what I had missed, The author has a great imagination to come up with the concept for this novel.

 

It was an utterly thrilling and unpredictable read full of multiple shocking twists and turns which made this book simply impossible to put down. Gillian McAllister has an incredible skill at creating cryptic storylines that keep you in the dark and on your toes from start to finish and this novel is no exception, I highly recommend this book so go grab your copy now!


Kindle              Hardback

Thursday, 12 May 2022

The Summer Fair by Heidi Swain

 




Beth loves her job working in a care home, looking after its elderly residents, but she doesn’t love the cramped and dirty house-share she currently lives in. So, when she gets the opportunity to move to Nightingale Square, sharing a house with the lovely Eli, she jumps at the chance.
 
The community at Nightingale Square welcomes Beth with open arms, and when she needs help to organise a fundraiser for the care home they rally round. Then she discovers The Arches, a local creative arts centre, has closed and the venture to replace it needs their help too – but this opens old wounds and past secrets for Beth.
 
Music was always an important part of her life, but now she has closed the door on all that. Will her friends at the care home and the people of Nightingale Square help her find a way to learn to love it once more…?



Time to start a new book and I was desperate for something uplifting, a hug through the pages and one author I know I can always rely on to deliver this is Heidi Swain so The Summer Fair was an easy choice to make.

We are welcomed back to Nightingale Square with open arms by the friendly and supportive community and what a treat it was to see how our much loved characters are doing and that they are still working tirelessly to bring more help and opportunities for everyone.

We have a few new faces this time around not least with our main character Beth who is clear to see early on that with a pure heart of gold and her natural longing to be able to help others that she was going to fit right into the heart of the community but she also has her own troubles that she has struggled so hard to bury but as she moves into her new home with a gorgeous live in tenant and starts her new job role her troubles begin to bubble to the surface.

Pete and Elijah are both loveable gentlemen, Pete was like a big friendly bear who everyone needs as a friend he hasn’t been treated well by those he held dear and yet he was so forgiving. The inclusion of that care home residents brought an unexpected cheeky humour to the book which I loved and I hope these folk will pop up in future Nightingale Square books.

There is an exceptionally quick developing romance that wasn’t without its bumps along the way and although this relationship was really predictable , the hopeless romantic in me still enjoyed watching their relationship blossom.

The storyline explores the effects that grief and heartbreak has on our paths and passions often sending us on a different path to the one we wanted and it also shows that sometimes wrongs are really worth trying to make right.

This book certainly didn’t disappoint and I got everything I was hoping for and more. Heidi Swain has pulled another beauty out of the bag and I am still not ready to leave Nightingale Square and its residents behind.


Kindle              Paperback

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Little Sister by Gytha Lodge

 




A teenage girl wanders out of the woods.

She's striking, with flame-red hair and a pale complexion. She's also covered in blood.

Detective Jonah Sheens quickly discovers that Keely and her sister, Nina, disappeared from a children's home a week ago. Now, Keely is here - but Nina's still missing.

Keely knows where her sister is - but before she tells, she wants Jonah's full attention . . .

Is she killer, witness, or victim?

And will Jonah find out what Keely's hiding, in time to save Nina?


Grytha Lodge is a new author to me and when I read the synopsis for her novel Little Sister it sounded gripping and sinister so I jumped at the chance to read this book to see if I could unravel the clues along the way.

This was certainly a novel that kept me on my toes and then knocked me right off of them! Following the trail of clues that would eventually piece together the disturbing picture of what sisters Nina and Keely have endured through all their time in the care system I was both eager for them to find justice but at times also sceptical of the innocence of the girls. There were cleverly written unexpected twists and revelations that had me turning back the page to see if I had missed something and this only kept me engrossed even more.

There was a dark and sinister feel at times and at others I felt my thoughts and emotions swaying as we see what effects the way people are treated can alter their personalities even for short bursts of times and make them see a side to them that they don’t like.

The race against time aspect of the storyline definitely helped to give this a pacey flow to the storyline making it hard to put down as I was desperate to unearth another clue.

One thing I did struggle with a little bit was keeping up with each of the detectives as they were mainly referred to in their surname and I had to keep turning back to piece together who was who and it just felt like I should already know who they were. Now I have to hold my hands up and say that about half way through this novel I found out online that this was actually the 4th book in the series which I should have looked into before reading this book because although I read this book and followed the storyline as a stand-alone I did feel like I was missing some back stories of the detectives and also I feel if I had read the previous ones I would be easy to distinguish between each character as I would be familiar with them.

I thought this was an addictive twisted read that I thoroughly enjoyed and I will definitely be picking up the previous books in this series now because this author has a very skilful writing style and I am intrigued by the detectives back stories now and need to know more.


Kindle                Hardback

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