Thursday, 28 December 2017

The Place We Met by Isabelle Broom

Lucy may have suffered her fair share of bad men, but now she has Pete. Finally, a man worth sharing her favourite place with, Lake Como. That's if she can put mysterious phone calls and glamorous ex-girlfriends out of her mind.
Taggie is rushed off her feet, but distraction is exactly what she needs to forget why she fled England and the sadness she left behind. She certainly doesn't have time for infuriating stranger Marco. A man is the last thing she needs right now.
Lucy and Taggie might not know it, but their lives are about to collide. The New Year might begin with fireworks - but how will it end?

I was given a copy of The Place We Met by Isabelle Broom by my Husband for Christmas this year and he couldn't have picked a better book for me. I have adored each of this authors previous books even if they have resulted in a pure determination for me to visit each location that her books have been set in and now having finished this book I have Lake Como to add to my list too!

The storyline is told by alternating chapters focusing on our two main characters Tiggie and Lucy. Both ladies are very vulnerable characters who are carrying emotional baggage but it isn't until the storyline progresses that we begin to see what has caused such emotional turmoil for them.

Tiggie has upsticks and moved to Lake Como a place of comfort to her where she hoped to rebuild herself away from all who know her. 

Lucy is heading off on holiday with her boyfriend Pete but after seeing a phone call from a name she doesn't know come through on his phone her insecurities come to the surface but she hopes the time together on holiday will bring them closer.

One thing I come to expect now from a book written by Isabelle Broom is that she will whisk me away to an idyllic location that will have me mesmerised by its natural beauty and hidden gems found off of the tourist track and once again this is what I found in this book so I was not disappointed other than that my bank balance will not let me venture their currently! Isabelle Broom has such a wonderful atmospheric writing style that brings everything to life so vividly that it is impossible not to get swept away in her books.

I liked how I was kept in the dark for the first half of the book as to what was going to join the two ladies together and when it all was revealed I then began to connect the pieces as to what was going to happen next but I still enjoyed reading the events unfold.

I loved the handsome Marco, whenever he seemed to be around there soon followed some unintentional humour too. I read the book at the perfect time with it being set between Christmas and New Year which was great but don't let this put you off reading it throughout the year as it isn't heavily festive so can still easily be enjoyed on the beach too.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it doesn't quite beat her previous books but I still enjoyed each and every chapter.

Kindle                      Paperback

Friday, 22 December 2017

Artemis by Andy Weir

WELCOME TO ARTEMIS. The first city on the moon.
Population 2,000. Mostly tourists.
Some criminals.
Jazz Bashara is a criminal. She lives in a poor area of Artemis and subsidises her work as a porter with smuggling contraband onto the moon. But it’s not enough.

So when she’s offered the chance to make a lot of money she jumps at it. But though planning a crime in 1/6th gravity may be more fun, it’s a lot more dangerous…

I was blown away by The Martian so I have been eagerly awaiting the next release by Andy Weir. Artemis is his latest release and having just finished reading this book I am going to start this review with a warning do not buy this book ready to compare to The Martian as you will be disappointed if you are expecting to experience the same adventure that book took you on having said that I was so captivated by Artemis but in a completely different way than I was with The Martian.

Artemis is the first city on the moon and even with a small population there is those who are intent on breaking the law. Jazz Bashara is a criminal who is involved with smuggling and she is determined to get rich and so when an offer that promises an obscene amount of money arises she accepts without realising that her life is about to be put in jeopardy.
This just HAS to be made into a film, even just a few chapters in I found I could visualise the whole setting and this is just going to be a visually noteworthy film. It was such an action packed fast paced read that had me hooked from the start to the finish. We see a determination in the main character Jazz Bashera, her character is unlike one I had read before and do you know what I loved her! She is such a flawed character who is so pig headed and has made extremely bad decisions in the past but you can’t fault her determination. She is fowl mouthed and rough around the edges but is also a very intelligent individual underneath it all.
I am not sure who this book is aimed at because I absolutely loved it and found it so entertaining and addictive but it also had a YA feel to it so I think a broad range of readers will enjoy this book. There is a lot of scientific references which I thought would just go straight over my head but I actually found quite interesting. The author describes everything in such great detail that you don't need to use your imagination as he brings everything to life even the disgusting gunk! 
This book isn't the type of book that I usually read but I haven't read a book in so long that has had me so excited and entertained I was captivated from start to finish and was actually disappointed to have finished and I haven't manage to settle into another book since.
I would definitely recommend this book and it is one of those books that I wish I could go back and read again for the first time. This is one of my top 5 books of 2017.

Kindle                     Hardback

Sunday, 17 December 2017

The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop by Caroline Roberts

Emma is the proud owner of The Chocolate Shop by the Sea, nestled in the heart of the cosy seaside village that’s become her home. With Christmas right around the corner, she and her assistant Holly are busy cooking up the locals’ festive favourites.
From cinnamon hot chocolates to reindeer lollipops, Christmas wouldn’t taste the same without a little cocoa magic. And for Emma it’s the perfect distraction from her romantic pains of the past. So when the shop’s miserly landlord threatens to hike up the rent, Emma’s Christmas and New Year suddenly look a lot less cheerful.
With the whole village rallying behind her – and loyal spaniel Alfie by her side – Emma’s determined to hold onto her chocolate-box dream.
The chocolate calendar countdown is on. Can Emma rescue her business and her broken heart?

I was looking for a light festive read and with a title that not only involves Christmas but also chocolate too, The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop by Caroline Roberts caught my eye.

Our main character is the lovely Emma and she will warm your heart from the get go. When Emma is left heartbroken she decides to make a new start in a new town and pour her heart into a new business venture by opening up her own chocolate shop. With the help from her assistant Holly her business is beginning to thrive. With things looking up for Emma is there a chance that she could let another man in to repair her broken heart?

This was such an addictive read. The characters were all so likeable in this book, I loved the relationship between Emma and her assistant Holly. Emma was very passionate about her trade and I enjoyed finding out which concoctions she was going to come up with next I was drooling at each new flavour she created.

I love how the storyline weaves a slow burning romance around an ambitious business venture. I enjoyed watching Emma transform her business and work so hard to make her own way. It touches on how small businesses need local support to survive and that there are always hefty financial worries around every corner. The author also shows how heartbreak can come in more ways than one and that this can effect everyone differently some taking years to repair that broken heart. Emma was such a hard working and caring character that I was just so desperate for her to put herself first and not worry about everyone else, I just wanted her to find her happy ending. 

My only slight negative was I found the storyline was slightly drawn out and could have been around 50 pages shorter as I was beginning to find my interest wavering in the last few chapters compared to how desperate I was to turn the page throughout the rest of the book.

I found this such a light and uplifting read that will make a perfect addition in someone's Christmas stocking this year. I look forward to discovering more cosy books by this author.

Kindle                      Paperback

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at The Christmas Fair by Heidi Swain

When Anna takes on the role of companion to the owner of Wynthorpe Hall, on the outskirts of Wynbridge, she has no idea that her life is set to change beyond all recognition.

A confirmed ‘bah humbug’ when it comes to Christmas, Anna is amazed to find herself quickly immersed in the eccentric household, and when youngest son Jamie unexpectedly arrives home it soon becomes obvious that her personal feelings are going all out to compromise her professional persona.

Jamie, struggling to come to terms with life back in the Fens, makes a pact with Anna – she has to teach him to fall back in love with Wynthorpe Hall, while he helps her fall back in love with Christmas. But will it all prove too much for Anna, or can the family of Wynthorpe Hall warm her heart once and for all...?

I love this time of year when all my favourite authors start releasing their festive novels and one that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this year was Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair by Heidi Swain (wow that was a mouthful! ).
I have fallen in love with the characters in Wynbridge so I look forward to catching up with them in each book that Heidi Swain produces just to get a snippet of how their lives are changing so I was thrilled to be returning in this latest festive read.
We are introduced to a new character Anna who is making her way to Wynbridge for her first time, desperate to escape Christmas she has taken a job at the grand Wynthorpe Hall looking after Catherine over the season.
Angus and Catherine who are owners of Wynthorpe soon take Anna under their wing and she is welcomed by all the other helpers at the Hall too but before long things turn upside down with the arrival of their son Jamie who is none too pleased to find another mouth to feed when money is tight.
Unexpectedly Jamie and Anna soon strike up a bond and set on a mission to try and help each other but can they succeed?
This is yet another marvellous read by Heid Swain and she really captures the magic of Christmas too. She has created such a warm bunch of welcoming characters and a cosy grand home I just wanted to be a part of this close-knit family. Angus was such a joyful character who had a heart of gold and brought a great sense of humour too.
In some ways the storyline was a little predictable but this didn’t matter at all as I was looking forward to watching the characters on their journey to the conclusion I had already guessed! There is an emotional undertone to the storyline because of the reason for Anna’s dislike of Christmas but this just brought a little bit of depth to the storyline.
I would definitely recommend this book and you don’t need to have read Heidi Swain’s previous books to read this one but they are all such wonderful reads you would be missing out if you didn’t read her back list. I really hope that Heidi Swain carries on setting her books in the wonderful idyllic town of Wynebridge. There is a sprinkling of romance, a dash of festivity and twinkling of friendship so all in all this was a perfect read.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Christmas Cakes & Mistletoe Nights by Carole Matthews

Fay and Danny are madly in love and it's all Fay's ever dreamed of. But she left everything - including the delightful cake shop she used to run - to be with Danny on his cosy canal boat The Dreamcatcher. And as she soon finds out, making delicious cakes on the water isn't always smooth sailing!
Then Fay gets a call from her friends, a call that sends her back to her friends and the Cake Shop in the Garden. It will be hard being away from Danny but their relationship is strong enough to survive . . . isn't it?
Fay soon falls happily back in love with her passion for baking - especially now she's on dry land again! - and starts to wonder if she ever should have left. With Christmas around the corner, Fay is determined that her friends will have a very merry time, but does that mean even more time away from Danny?

What could be more exciting than a new Carole Matthews book?
How about a new Carole Matthews Christmas book?
Even better………..
A new Carole Matthews Christmas book that reunites us with our much loved characters from one of favourite books of hers The Cakes Shop in the Garden!
Fay and Danny have been living the dream onboard The Dreamcatcher but Fay is starting to miss the cake shop and her friends but she doesn’t want to leave Danny whilst he is enjoying his new life on the canal living a spontaneous life.
The decision is made for her when she gets a desperate call from Lija that means Fay has to return and it isn’t long before she feels content back in the life she knows so well but can her relationship still survive?
I wholeheartedly enjoyed this book and I couldn’t wait to return home from work to steal another chapter to see what lay ahead for Fay. It was wonderful to be reunited with the fowl mouth Lija and the loveable “ Stinky Stan “ even if they were facing some difficult times and clearly missed Fay. We have a new character, Rainbow, who I was a little struck by when she first appears in the book and thought she was going to grate on me but her kind, positive and upbeat manor soon won me around.
This book could easily be read at any time of year as it only brushes on Christmas and isn’t overly festive which was a slight disappointment as I always get my hopes up for a real magical read when picking up a Christmas themed novel but luckily the storyline still kept me hooked all the way through so it didn’t put me off reading.
Although this could be read as a standalone I would urge you to read The Cake Shop in the Garden first as the connection you build with the characters in the first book then transfers in to this book and you know the background of each characters.
Carole Matthews fans will not be disappointed with this book she has brought back much loved characters and thrown an extra spoonful of romance and friendship in to make this I wonderful enjoyable light read that will hooked.

The wonderful team over at Sphere have provided a signed copy for one of you lucky followers to 
win as part of my spot on the blog tour.
This giveaway is open to the UK and Ireland only ( publishers request )

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 9 October 2017

The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst

When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous.
Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen is convinced she's just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss.
But Ellie's foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger...

The Foster Child is the first book I have come across by author Jenny Blackhurst but after reading the synopsis for this book I couldn't wait to get stuck in and see what havoc this dangerous little girl was going to create in this book.

Imogen has clearly has something bad happen in her career recently which has resulted to her moving back to her childhood town on Gaunt but her past is kept hidden from us throughout the majority of the book which adds to the suspense. When she starts her new job she meets 11 year old Ellie who is having a tough time adjusting at her new school and her new foster home, branded a little witch Imogen is horrified at the way both children and adults have been treating her and is shocked at the things they are accusing her of doing.

As more events unfold including a murder, Imogen can't help but begin to question is there any truth in the accusations or is she just as bad as the rest of them?

This really is one of those books that keeps you guessing the whole way through. At times I found the storyline absolutely ridiculous only to then start questioning myself, it really did play mind tricks on me right up until the last page. I loved the eerie and mysterious feel that the author managed to create I hold my hands up and say I didn't predict at all what the outcome would be I only began to get suspicious of one character around three quarters of the way through the book so I was in suspense throughout the majority of the book.

Ellie really was a peculiar child and she is certainly not a character that you would warm too even after finding out about her devastating background. I also found that I couldn't warm to Imogen but again I think this was because there was constant speculation about her background and how it may be impacting her dealings with Ellie I just didn't feel like I could trust her and was almost waiting for something to be revealed.

With Halloween around the corner I think this is the perfect eerie read with a creepy little character who you never quite know what will happen around her next. Full of suspense and keeping you on your guard you can't go wrong with this book.

Available NOW on kindle and pre-order available for paperback. ( Release date 17th November )

Monday, 28 August 2017

The Woman at 72 Derry Lane by Carmel Harrington

On a leafy suburban street in Dublin, beautiful, poised Stella Greene lives with her successful husband, Matt. The perfect couple in every way, Stella appears to have it all. Next door, at number 72 however, lives Rea Brady. Gruff, bad-tempered and rarely seen besides the twitching of her net curtains, rumour has it she’s lost it all…including her marbles if you believe the neighbourhood gossip.
But appearances can be deceiving and when Stella and Rea’s worlds collide they realise they have much in common. Both are trapped in a prison of their own making.
Has help been next door without them realising it?

I get very little time to read now and so I am very careful when picking a book to read, I need something that is going to pull me in from the first page and make me switch off from the hustle and bustle of every day life. When one of my favourite authors sent me a copy of her latest release The Woman at 72 Derry Lane along with a pack of tissues because this Queen of emotional writing always leaves me sitting like a blubbering wreck, I knew that I could trust in this authors writing to pick me up and lose me whole heartedly through each of the pages.

We are introduced to two women Stella and Rea who are neighbours who strike up an unlikely friendship when they gradually realise they are more alike than they would like to admit. Both women are trapped, Stella in a brutal and unforgiving marriage to a fowl excuse for a human being Matt and Rea in her own personal prison who has lost everything and everyone and can not step out of her comfort zone to her freedom. When Stella reaches breaking point she reaches out to Rea for help and the pair form a strong bond and both want to see each other live the happy lives they both deserve.

I always come to expect a devastating topic weaved through the pages of a Carmel Harrington novel and she addresses both domestic abuse and agoraphobia in this one which in itself was enough to get emotions and my temper running high. I drew hope from seeing both Rea and Stella drawing strength and support from each other and I was very much enjoying their storyline and then there was a new storyline weaved in a little way through the book that threw me off. At first I was a little put out that this other storyline was interrupting my time with Stella and Rea and I really couldn't see any connection this had to the ladies but the more snippets we were given of this other storyline the more my interest was piqued and I found myself coming full circle and wanting to know more about this than Rea and Stella’s story! 

This part of the book was breath-taking, the utter horror and desperation grew with each chapter and it was so compelling and what added to the tragic storyline is it was loosely based on a real life event that shook the nation. I really don’t want to say anymore on this part of the book as for me it was this that made the book such an exceptional, emotional and thought provoking read that will stay in your head and heart for a long time to come.

Strangely enough this book didn't have me flooding with tears, it actually had me feeling bereft and numb and continually thinking about all those that were involved with the devastation and wondering how those who survived are coping in life today.

Once again Carmel Harrington has delivered a remarkable, thought provoking and emotional storyline that will capture the heart of every reader and shatter it in two

Kindle                      Paperback

Friday, 18 August 2017

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The girls of the Roanoke family - beautiful, rich, mysterious - seem to have it all. But there's a dark truth about them that's never spoken.
Lane is one of the lucky ones. When she was fifteen, over one long, hot summer at her grandparents' estate in rural Kansas, she found out what it really means to be a Roanoke girl. Lane ran, far and fast. Until eleven years later, when her cousin Allegra goes missing - and Lane has no choice but to go back.
She is a Roanoke girl.
Is she strong enough to escape a second time?

This is going to be a hard review for me to write as my thoughts on this book are so mixed. I don’t want to give too much away but the main plot focuses on a form of sexual abuse that has never sat comfortable with me and as soon as it was revealed in this book I was unsure whether to carry on with the book but on the other hand the authors writing style flows so effortlessly and she gets straight to the point without drawing the storyline out unnecessarily which made this a fast-paced gripping read.
The Roanoke girls are like any other family, these girls are “special” Everyone is envious of the beautiful girls, men are instantly attracted to them, girls are bitterly jealous of them but if they knew what really made these girls special they would feel relieved that they are not a Roanoke girl.
Secrets that have been covered up by this family for years are threatened to be revealed when Allegra goes missing and Lane has no option but to return back to the terrible home desperate to find her.
The only way I can describe this book is like going past a car crash and knowing you shouldn’t look but curiosity always wins! 
The storyline was predictable but I wanted to carry on reading to see how things reached the conclusion I was expecting to lay ahead. It was impossible for me to warm to any of the characters because they were not the type of people I would ever be able to relate to but I was still intrigued to see what would become of this family.
The author delivers the disturbing psychological issues that the characters has in great detail so I can assume that she has done a lot of research when it comes to this part of the book. I also found it easy to visualise the settings of the book especially the random carvings that Allegra often left.
This is a really twisted and disturbing read that I am sure will divide many readers in their opinions, it certainly has something as I sped through this book so quickly but I think this is more in thanks to the authors writing style rather than the storyline as it is not a book that I would pick up again and because of the subject matter I don’t feel this would be a book that I would comfortably recommend.

Paperback                Kindle

Friday, 11 August 2017

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

Verity Love – Jane Austen fangirl and an introvert in a world of extroverts – is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and her fictional boyfriend Peter is very useful for getting her out of unwanted social events. But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated.

Johnny could also use a fictional girlfriend. Against Verity’s better judgement, he persuades her to partner up for a summer season of weddings, big number birthdays and garden parties, with just one promise - not to fall in love with each other…

The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts was one of my top reads of 2016 and I have found it impossible to let Posy and her quaint little Bookshop go so I was over the moon when I found out that Annie Darling was bringing us a sequel, True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop.

This time our main character is Verity, who you may remember from the first book even though she had a smaller roll. Verity is perfectly happy living the single life but her friends and family have other ideas and so to keep them off of her back and to stop them constantly trying to set her up she invents a boyfriend but when she is followed by her nosey friends who are keen to meet her mysterious man she has to think quick and enlists the help of an unexpected guy to help her cover her tracks.

Johnny never expected that evening to be that eventful but he sees a great opportunity for Verity and himself to help each other out over the next few weeks and so they agree to pretend date so they can get a break from blind dates and matchmaking.

The dangerous thing when you adore a book so much and long for a sequel is that you have incredibly high expectations and you expect to have all the feels from the first book flowing through the pages of the second book. This sequel is an enjoyable read that I found myself eagerly turning the pages wanting to see how Verity’s love life was progressing but I really felt like the book was missing that special spark that was found in the first book. I am sure if you were to read this book as a standalone you would thoroughly enjoy it but those reading this after reading book one will not be able to help but compare to the two. It didn’t have that warm cosy and community vibe going on that was so inviting in the first book but it does have a great sense of wit which I loved.

I loved seeing glimpses of the previous characters from the first book, I must admit that I was hoping that Posy was going to have a bigger role in this book but that is just because of how much I loved and related to her character. Verity herself is a difficult character to warm to as she has high barriers up and comes across as a prickly character at times but when she spends time with Johnny gradually I felt her guard coming down at times and I began to really care for her character and long for her to find the happiness she deserved. Johnny was also a character who had me on a rollercoaster as some times I loved him and thought he was just what Verity needed but then at other times he would say something that would throw my opinion of him in the complete opposite direction.

I did enjoy this book and I would recommend anyone who is looking for a light hearted romance to take away with them this Summer but I would just give anyone who fell in love with the first book a heads up that this although an enjoyable read, it doesn’t leave you with that longing for a follow on this time around.

Kindle                            Paperback

Thursday, 27 July 2017

This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh

What happens when you get the second chance you never expected?

Abi is living her happy ending. She's in remission and is ready to make the most of her second chance at life. But during Abi's illness her family has fallen apart. Her husband John has made decisions that are about to come back to haunt him, while her teenage son Seb is battling with a secret of his own.
Set to the songs on Abi's survival playlist, this is the story of what happens next as Abi tries to rebuild her family. Can she bring the people she loves most in the world back together again... before it's too late?

This Beautiful Life is the first book I have read by Katie Marsh and having now finished this powerful and emotive read I know it on't be my last as this book is sure to leave a lasting impression on me.

The storyline introduces us to a family who have been through a desperate time with mum Abi fighting cancer and now she is in remission it shows the effects that the fight has had on the whole family and how as a sufferer it completely changes your outlook on life in the immediate aftermath. We also hear from her son Seb and how he has coped but he is hiding his own challenges which he is determined to hide from his parents. Husband John who was a rock all the way through now sees his marriage falling apart and he can't put it right.
This was such a raw emotional read that will touch each and every reader it was so honest and realistic and was delivered with such sensitivity and detail. I have read a number of books now with cancer patients as our main characters but this storyline was unlike any I had read not being afraid to show that Abi still has her flaws and makes mistakes just like anyone else. Seb is also hiding something he is trying to come to terms with which again was very insightful and dealt with so tenderly.
I love how we hear from both Abi and Seb's points of views which gives even more depth to their characters and makes their stories even more poignant hearing from both of their thoughts. Another wonderful touch was the playlist that compliments this book, at the beginning of each chapter we are treated to another new song which Abi dedicates to her loved ones.
The ending is one of those that has you shouting at the pages " YOU CAN'T FINISH THERE" but in hindsight having now taken a day or two to complete this review it is actually a perfect realistic ending to an honest plot.
This was an insightful and heartfelt read that will stay on my mind for a long time to come. This author has really touched my heart with her beautiful writing style I can not wait to delve into another of her novels even if it is to have my heart broken all over again!

Kindle                       Paperback

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage by Heidi Swain

When Lottie Foster’s grandmother’s best friend Gwen dies, she leaves Lottie her lovely home, Cuckoo Cottage.

Lottie loves the cottage but Matt, a charming local builder, points out that beneath its charm it is falling apart. Luckily he is always on hand to help with the problems that somehow seem to keep cropping up. But is he just a bit too good to be true? Certainly Will, Lottie’s closest neighbour, seems to think so.

Lottie plans to set up her own business renovating vintage caravans. She hasn’t told anyone about the project she has cooked up with Jemma from The Cherry Tree CafĂ© to repurpose Gwen’s old caravan and turn it into a gorgeous tearoom.

But before she can finally enjoy living with her legacy she must uncover who she can trust, and who to avoid. And with two men vying for her attention, will she also find love?

Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage is the latest release by Heidi Swain and sees us returning to the idyllic village of Wynbridge with the introduction of a new main character the lovely Lottie Foster. When Lottie’s grandmothers best friend passed away she left Lottie her home, Cuckoo Cottage, hoping that this would give Lottie the chance to make a real life for herself. As Lottie begins to put down her roots and starts playing with ideas on how to utilise the land which comes with her new home it soon becomes clear not everyone wants to see her settle at Cuckoo Cottage.

I have read all of Heidi’s books and I love that so many of the previous characters are all weaved into this storyline and that we re-visit Skylark Farm and the delightful Cherry Tree Cafe. This book can easily be read as a stand alone but having read the previous books this one just felt like reuniting with friends.

You can expect witty moments from early on in this book and a typical love triangle between Lottie her helpful builder Matt and delightful neighbour, it was a little predictable but never the less a joy to read as we watch events unfold and testosterone flow! The community spirit comes across strongly in this book, no one can keep a secret as everyone knows everyone business and yet they all rally round and help each other.

I don't want to give away any spoilers so I am not going to say too much but I rather hoped we would see the development of Lottie’s idea come to light as Heidi has great descriptive writing and I was eager to watch Lottie develop her vision.

I thought this was a wonderful light read and fans of Heidi Swains previous books will not be disappointed as her character and charm from her previous books are all found in this new release.

Kindle                    Paperback

Monday, 3 July 2017

Last Seen by Lucy Clarke

I am kicking off the blog tour for this fabulous read by a much loved author of mine Lucy Clarke.
I have been desperate to share my review for Last Seen for weeks so I am thrilled that I can finally now shout about it from the roof tops!

Seven years ago, two boys went missing at sea – and only one was brought to shore. The Sandbank, a remote stretch of coast dotted with beach huts, was scarred forever.
Sarah’s son survived, but on the anniversary of the accident, he disappears without trace. As new secrets begin to surface, The Sandbank hums with tension and unanswered questions. Sarah’s search grows more desperate and she starts to mistrust everyone she knows – and she’s right to.
Someone saw everything on that fateful day seven years ago. And they’ll do anything to keep the truth buried
My Review

The Queen of the sea is back with her new novel Last Seen which is just as gripping and twisty as her previous books but has a slightly darker feel to the storyline.

Seven years ago two little boys Jacob and Marley swam out to sea but only one is brought back, the events of that day has had a big impact on the friendship between the boys mothers Sarah and Isla.
On the 7th anniversary of the accident, Jacob disappears and Sarah is desperate to find her son but trying to find him will mean many secrets will need to be revealed.

I was captivated the whole way through this book. The characters were all so well developed but strangely for me I didn't warm to any of them because this storyline has you questioning each and every character and their motives so because you are too suspicious of everyone you don't allow yourself to trust and warm to any of them. Usually if there is not a character I love it really puts me off a book but I didn't feel this way with this novel and I think that is because the plot was so strong with so much uncertainty and mystery that I was desperate to get to the bottom of the events all those years ago as well as the present day.

I can honestly say at no point could I have predicted what was revealed in this twisty book, I had my suspicions that a certain character definitely had a lot to hide but then I suspected everyone! If you love an unpredictable storyline that constantly leads you down the wrong path then you will love this book.

What I have always loved about Lucy Clarke's writing is her connection and descriptive writing she has when writing about the sea, this woman must have been a mermaid in a previous life! This book again is set around the sea with a tragic accident occurring in the waters and the author brings out the mystery of the sea which holds many secrets never to be told.

At different points in the book I found I was shocked, disturbed, angry, suspicious and I also questioned how far I would go to protect a love one so this book will take you on a real journey of emotions.

This is another must read by Lucy Clarke so be sure to grab a copy next time your in town.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Amber Green Takes Manhattan Blog Tour

I am thrilled to be on the blog tour today for Amber Green Takes Manhattan which is the latest release by Rosie Nixon. Those of you who follow my blog will remember I read the first Amber Green book last year, The Stylist, and absolutely loved it so I was over the moon to find out our beloved Amber was making a return.

Joining me on the blog today is author Rosie Nixon who is kindly going to answer some questions about the new book and about her writing.

Amber Green Takes Manhattan is your sequel to your debut The Stylist which was a fabulous hit last year, tell us a little bit about what we can expect in this book and can it be read as a standalone?
Yes, I’d like to think that the book can definitely be read as a standalone – that was important to me because I know that not everyone will have read The Stylist. It’s set in New York and it sees my central character Amber Green relocate from London for a few months with her boyfriend. It involves fashion shows, photo shoots and a host of escapades as Amber tries to make her name as a stylist in the Big Apple. I found it interesting to bring social media into the second book, Amber is encouraged by her agent to up her social media following and has a baptism of fire on Instagram with a fashion faux pas that goes viral – your worst nightmare! There are lots of funny moments. The book is also about navigating her first serious relationship. After I finished writing The Stylist I couldn’t get Amber out of my head and wanted to know what was going to happen next in her life. It was so much fun to write.

I loved Amber Green from the moment I met her in The Stylist, is she or any of your characters based on people you know and have your friends questioned you as to whether a character is based on them?
Of course, you can’t help but be influenced by situations you’ve been in and people you’ve met when you’re writing a book. I certainly was influenced by a number of experience I’ve had in New York, LA and London. My husband found it quite amusing reading about Amber Green because her relationship is an important part of it and he would say ‘isn’t he a bit like me?’ or ‘that situation sounds a bit familiar?’ and I would say ‘No darling, of course not, it’s complete fiction!’  There are definitely elements of me in Amber, I can’t help that, I very much see the funny side in situations and she’s got a great sense of humour, accidentally ending up in hot water but her heart is in the right place and she’s not a walk-over. I also have a very close friend called Chrissie and we've shared lots of travelling adventures – there’s probably a bit of her in Vicky which I think she’d be quite happy to hear because Amber and Vicky have a really special friendship and lots of fun together.

What was the last book that you read, do you find much time to read?
I have to say I read so much for work in my capacity as Editor-in-chief at HELLO!, I’m constantly reading other magazines, websites, social feeds and newspapers to keep on top of everything that reading a book is a real luxury and something I don’t get to do as often as I’d like. I just finished The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo, and it’s brilliant, I really enjoyed it. It was one of those books that you don’t want to end. I have two very young children so I love reading bedtime stories to them and when I go to bed myself I’m asleep immediately – I try and read half a paragraph and then I’m out!

You are a very busy woman, what tips can you give for writing a novel around a demanding job and where is your favourite place to write?
I think if you want to do something badly enough, when it’s a real passion of yours, you somehow manage to find the time. Writing is something that I love doing, it’s real escapism for me. so even though time is short it’s something that I can’t wait to do. I wrote a lot of Amber Green Takes Manhattan on my maternity leave with my second son and it was quite nice to have an excuse to pop to a coffee shop on my own when somebody was around to look after the baby. I’ve always enjoyed having a busy life and I think it’s important to find that balance. Luckily I write quickly when I’m in the zone and Amber’s voice came very naturally to me. It’s not easy and I don’t claim to be Super Woman, because I have weeks when I feel like it’s all too much and others where everything seems to be working well and I get lots done. It’s all a juggling act.

Do you plan on revisiting Amber Green in future books or do you feel like her journey will come to a natural end in this book?
I don’t like the thought of saying goodbye to Amber just yet. I have got an idea in mind for a third Amber Green book, and I’ve sketched out a rough plot. I can see it being a trilogy and then it will probably be time to say goodbye.

Thank you for taking the time to come and talk to us Rosie.

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