Monday, 16 July 2018

The Backpacking Housewife by Janice Horton

Lorraine Anderson was meant to be making a Sunday roast, not swanning off to Thailand, backpack in hand! But when she finds her husband and her best friend in bed together there’s only one thing to do – grab her passport and never look back!
Now, with each mile travelled Lori sheds the woman she once was and finds the woman she was always meant to be. A woman of passion and spirit who deserves to explore the great unknown…and to indulge in the temptation she encounters along the way!

I have enjoyed previous novels by Janice Horton before and having seen pictures of the locations the author is travelling around I was looking forward to reading her new novel The Backpacking Housewife.
The book opens when Lorraine has discovered her Husband is having an affair with her bestfriend. Lorraine decides the best way for her to cope is to get as far away from everything as she can so she embarks on a backpacking adventure around Thailand.
The author has clearly visited some breath-taking places that has given her memories to treasure forever and her beautiful writing style made each of the places Lorraine visits so vivid I felt like I was with her soaking up the sights.
My favourite part of the book was when Lorraine headed to Koh Phi Tao to help on the Turtle conservation. This part of the book was not only an eye opener and very informative but it is also where the storyline really began for me. This novel was completely different from the authors previous novels. At the beginning of the book when we were introduced to Lorraine and we find out the devastating situation she was in I was instantly drawn to her story but the storyline then slipped and felt more like a travelogue than a fictional storyline but as she arrives at the turtle conservation the storyline picked up again.
I love how I learned so many things throughout this book especially to my husbands surprise when I told him about the f**k me Geko!
Lorraine was such a strong and courageous character who threw everything aside to go on the best adventure of her life. The romance that blossoms in the book was honest and beautiful to see develop. I really hope that we do see a sequel to this book as I think there is so much more to come for Lorraine.
If you are unable to jet off this year to sun, sea and sights then pick up this book as this will whisk you away to the most exotic location you can imagine.

Kindle                       Paperback

Thursday, 28 June 2018

The Cosy Seaside Chocolate Shop by Caroline Roberts

When Emma opened her gorgeous little chocolate shop in the harbour village of Warkton-by-the-Sea, she realised a lifelong dream. Love is also blossoming with her hunky beau, Max, who’s slowly healing her fragile heart.
Summer is here and life has never felt so sweet. Until the rainclouds start to gather…
A rival sweet shop and killjoy landlord give Emma a headache, and when a face from the past turns up unannounced, Emma finds herself spiralling down memory lane. With Max’s crazy work schedule driving him to distraction, Emma’s in danger of making some choices she might regret . . .
With close friends, spaniel Alfie, and the whole village behind her, can Emma get the chocolate shop and her love life back on track?

At Christmas I read The Cosy Christmas Chocolate shop by Caroline Roberts and let me tell you that quaint little shop and its loveable owner Emma has stayed in my mind so when I saw that there was a sequel being released I couldn’t wait.
In A Cosy Seaside Chocolate Shop we are reunited with all of our friends from the previous book and once again the community spirit is shining through. Emma and her friends Holly and Bev who work at the chocolate shop are as busy as ever and are keen to push the business even further with another new idea that was set to get the tastebuds flowing. Mr Eel is up to his nasty tricks again and for a while I did worry that the storyline was going to be a bit to alike the first book but gradually other events unfold to set a fresh feel to the storyline.
What I love about both of these books is how ambitious and passionate Emma is about her business and all of her hard work looks to be paying off but poor Emma always seems to face continual hurdles whilst all we wish to see for her is a fairytale happy ending. We see more of her relationship with Max in this book and also see how the relationship between Holly and Adam is blossoming too.
The detail that the author goes into with regards to the delights made and sold in the chocolate shop is amazing, nobody will be able to read this book without drooling from time to time. I wish that this little shop really did exist then I would be there in a heartbeat.
This book has everything you could possibly want from a perfect Summer holiday read and I am just keeping my fingers crossed that we will get a third book in this series as I do not feel like I am ready to say goodbye to these characters yet.

Kindle                     Paperback

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

A Cornish Secret by Emma Burstall

Today it is my stop on the Blog Tour for A Cornish Secret and I will be sharing with you my review for this wonderful book set in the idyllic village of Tremarnock.

I loved Tremarnock and The Cornish Guest House by Emma Burstall I can’t believe I have missed out Tremarnock Summer I will definitely be on the look out for it on my next bookshop visit. I was a little worried to start reading Emma Burstall’s latest release A Cornish Secret having not read book 3 as I was worried that I may have missed something that would then put me off the storyline of this one but I am pleased to say that this book was easy to read and I didn’t feel at any point that I had missed anything.
Esme and her childhood friend Caroline have always kept in contact but with Caroline living in Paris they haven’t seen each other. They decide to embark on a walking holiday but poor Caroline has an accident so Esme tempts Caroline to stay in the idyllic village of Tremarnock so she can look after her. A secret from their past soon can’t be contained any more.
Rosie finds a bottle washed up by the sea with an old note inside from back in the war. With Liz’s help they try to track down the person who wrote the letter but should somethings be left in the past.
This book can easily be read as a standalone but having read two out of the previous three books it was great to see so many of the characters I loved from those books returning especially my favourite little Rosie and Liz. I wanted to shake Robert so hard in this book though, what is he playing at!
I loved how both Esme and Caroline’s story is weaved around the search for Liz and Rosie’s lost Prisoner of War. I was interested in both storylines and found so much uncertainty for all the characters who are facing troubles. I was shocked by my little Rosie’s actions in this book she is normally the apple of my eye in these books and although I can see her actions were sort of justified I still was disappointed by the way she handled things.
Once again the community support is flowing through the pages of this book which is why I love Tremarnock so much.
I do hope we are treated to another book set in Tremarnock so that Robert has a chance to redeem himself again!

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Mad by Chloe Esposito Blog Tour

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for what is possibly the most Summery cover sent my way so far this year but don't be taken in by this alluring picture there is a sinister storyline hiding inside that will give you a chill on these hot evenings!
Mad by Chloe Esposito is out NOW!

Chapter Seventeen

I look at the hand as though it were a stranger’s; I don’t seem to recognize it. I can’t remember who it belongs to. I don’t know the back of my own fucking hand. It’s shaking, shak- ing so hard I can’t steady it. I try to reach the handle and open the door that leads out to the patio, leads out to my sister, but I can’t quite grasp it. My fingers tremble, my palm slips away and I can’t – can’t even open the fucking door. 
Ambrogio’s on the phone again, speaking to his ‘friends’. Who are these guys who owe him a favour? Who dispose of dead bodies in the middle of the night? I don’t care as long as they get rid of her. I never want to see her again. I don’t know how long I stand here trembling with my hands flap-flap- flapping like a bird’s broken wings, but – eventually – the handle snaps down and I step through the door. 
It’s dark. It’s quiet. I expect to see a policeman leap out from the shadows: ‘You’re under arrest!’ – or hear Salvo sprint- ing up the driveway: ‘Ma che cazzo hai fatto?’ But it’s silent; there’s no one. The cold night air is making me shiver. The tempera- ture seems to have dropped by twenty degrees. Beyond the pool, the garden stretches out into nothing, nothing but black- ness. The light from the villa illuminates the pool and the long, monstrous figure of my sister’s corpse, lying along the edge of the water.
 The stars look down at me, judging me, blaming me, like trillions of tiny eyeballs, the eyes of God. The moon is begin- ning to set behind Etna. Soon, the sun will rise and reveal the bloodshed. The postman will come. Salvatore. Emilia. I need to hurry up.
I concentrate on moving my legs. And I’m walking, one silent foot after the other, soft slippers padding. Dreamlike, I’m float- ing, walking on air. I look down to steady myself, focus on the ground to stop myself drifting up, up and away. I’m weightless, lunar, walking on the moon. I stop a few inches from my sister’s head. A pool of blood spreads out from her skull: a slick black lake. And now that I’m here, I don’t know what to do. I just stare. Once again, I am staring at Elizabeth, silent and speech- less. Elizabeth’s body. Elizabeth’s face. Elizabeth’s hair. A shiver runs down my spine. She’s dead and I killed her. So effortless. So quick. It’s like nothing has happened. The stars are still shining. I’m in the same garden. The volcano’s still there. It doesn’t seem real.
 I can’t believe it. 
I need more proof.
 I reach my hand towards the blood, extend a finger, dip it in. The blood feels warm in the cool night air. It feels slippery, thick and wet. I study my fingertip: shiny, red-black. It’s some- thing instinctive, primitive, primal. I have to do it. To check that it’s real. I lick my finger: warm, wet iron. Unmistakable. Blood.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Somewhere Beyond the Sea by Miranda Dickinson

Today on the blog it is my stop on the blog tour for Somewhere Beyond the Sea which is the new release by a favourite author of mine, Miranda Dickinson.

Somewhere Beyond the Sea is the latest release by Miranda Dickinson and I can say the storyline is just as beautiful as the alluring cover. I have loved every book Miranda has ever written but this book is completely different to her previous novels and is by far my favourite.
Seren has lost her father and she now has the weight of his previous commitments on her shoulder from his failing business to his ambition to protect the heritage of a local known astronomer from becoming a new housing complex. Taken so much on has left Seren questioning who she is or what she wants from life but she can not let her father down.
Jack Dixon is a newly single parent to the adorable Nessie but the struggles of a single parent have already reared their ugly head. Desperate to be able to secure a job so he can provide stability for his daughter may mean that he misses his chance for true love.
This was such a beautiful storyline weaved around two much loved characters Seren and Jack. I found Seren such a relatable character she has lost her way and is always putting others needs and wants first not wanting to disappoint those around her and not wanting to fail on the last thing she is able to do for her father. She needs to have more confidence and belief in herself and to start put herself first as she is so selfless but this is what makes her such a warm and genuine character. Jack is a very hard working and determined character who is also very honest especially when taking about the loss of his partner. His love for his daughter shines through and the bond they have is very special. Jack’s daughter Nessie is full of energy and has a wonderful imagination as well as a strong head on her shoulders.
The descriptive writing is beautiful especially surrounding the sea glass stars and the setting of St Ives. Sea glass is a big feature in this book and I can’t believe I have never come across it before, I was soon scrolling through google pictures and articles looking at the treasure and I am desperate to find my own sea glass. I have only briefly stopped off in St Ives once but Miranda Dickinson has touched my heart and piqued my interest with this idyllic location and I am desperate to return to St Ives and soak in the sights and feel all the feels she pours into this book.
I found this such an honest and emotional read with a touch of magic. It touches on grief as well as romance and the journey of finding oneself as well as parental struggles. I found myself putting this book down not wanting it to end only to then minutes later be drawn back to it desperate to see what happens next.
This is the prefect book to take away with you on your travels this year to enjoy reading whilst soaking up the sun.

Kindle                       Paperback

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Daisy's Vintage Cornish Camper Van by ALi McNamara

When Ana inherits a broken-down camper van from her best friend, she takes the chance for a quick trip to Cornwall - some sea air and fish and chips on the beach is just the tonic she needs.
But St Felix has bigger plans for Ana. She discovers a series of unsent postcards, dating back to the 1950s, hidden in the upholstery of the van. Ana knows that it's a sign: she'll make sure that the messages reach the person that they were meant for. And as the broken-down van is restored to gleaming health, so Ana begins to find her way back to happiness.

I don’t seem to be able to get enough of books that are set in Cornwall so I was looking forward to reading this new release by Ali McNamara who is an author whose books I have previously enjoyed.

When Ana loses her best friend Daisy to breast cancer she is left a camper van that is in desperate need of repair. As Ana travels to Cornwall where the camper van is currently situated she enlists the help of Malachi to carry out the repairs but she soon finds out that this is no small job and will have to spend longer than planned in Cornwall. It is when she comes across a selection of old postcards from the previous owner of the camper van that her journey to reunite them with their owner really begins.

The storyline is one that kept me entertained from start to finish and I loved the touch of magic that she sprinkles into the storyline. I found this an easy read perfect for holiday reading with romance at the heart along with watching Ana on a journey to find herself after such a big part of her life has now gone. Although a lot of the storyline was predictable we are treated to a little surprise when it comes to the origin of the postcards which was a touching moment in the book. This is a perfect light Summer read.

Kindle                      Paperback

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Random Acts of Kindness Part 4 by Victoria Walters

Summer is drawing to a close as Huntley Manor is due to have its grand re-opening. Abbie is determined to save the hotel from closure but she has to remember her own career too… As she and Thomas grow ever closer, will she end up making Littlewood her home for good? Or will she set up her own PR company back in London…?
Eszter has to decide whether it is time to go back to Hungary... But what has she got to return to? She has no career to speak of, and their home is filled with painful memories of her beloved husband. But can a new job, a new home and a surprise new dog convince Eszter and Zoe to stay?
Louise wants to tell Alex how she feels but decides she needs to show him after pushing him away for so long. Will a grand gesture be enough to show him she won't run away this time?
As the town of Littlewood comes together to help Huntley Manor, we’ll find out if kindness really does have the power to save the day…

I have mixed feelings about part 4 of Random Acts of Kindness, I was so eager to read this after waiting 2 months for the release but on the other hand I know I am going to be leaving these much loved characters behind.
This final part of the 4 part book ties everything up beautifully for our three protagonists. Eszter has a big decision to make about her and Zoe’s future, Abbie is praying her event for Huntley Manor is successful for Thomas and Louise is still trying to let the barriers down that are shielding her heart.
I won’t say any more then this about the details of the storyline as it is always difficult not to give too much away when a book is released in parts. The great thing is with each part we are given a brief recap as to what has happened in the previous part to refresh our minds and keep us up to speed.
I have come to really care about our characters in this book, they are three strong determined ladies who with the support of each other have taken some big steps to change the paths of their lives. The author has managed to create such realistic likeable characters who soon feel like friends to us.
The Kindness board features again in part 4 and this is something I love, the idea of sharing everyone’s acts of kindness to remind us that through all the negative press we hear there is still a lot of good in the world and the kindness board brings an uplifting and positive part to the storyline.
As I have mentioned in my review for part 1 I am not a fan of books broken down and released in parts, however, I have absolutely loved Random Acts of Kindness and I was eagerly waiting for the release of each part to catch up with the women again to see what they are upto next.
I can not recommend this book enough, the authors writing style is so captivating and she builds such rounded characters who will stay with me for a long time. I really hope this isn’t the end to these characters and that we see a sequel or at least their heads popping up in another book to see how they are all getting on.