Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Book Review - The Lies She Told by M. A. Comley

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Amazon UK
Title: The Lies She Told
Author: M. A. Comley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited
Publication Date: 17th May 2020
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Abducted…why?

Laura Tyler’s life has recently come together in the past few months, now that she’s settled into a new home with her boyfriend, Andy.

So why would someone abduct her?

The more DI Sara Ramsey and her team dig into Laura’s past, the more shocked they become...

Can Sara overcome her prejudice towards the missing woman and track down her abductor?

Or will the sand of time run out for Laura?

This was a slightly different change of pace for this series, for a start it's not as dark as some of the authors recent books, but not only that, its a missing persons case at the heart of the book and not a murder.  

We get snippets of real time of what is happening to Laura, and it's not great.  Equally as the team investigate you realise we are looking into a person's disappearance where very few people have anything that great to say about her. 

Yet DI Sara Ramsey and her team are professionals although they seem to struggle a lot with this case, as there just seems to be no leads at all, and Laura is just coming across as really unlikable. 

I believe this book could be read as a standalone, and it was good we get to see a bit more of some of the other team members too not just Sara and Carla.  

It's another fabulous addition to the series, which I devoured really quickly and was hooked on, I read the majority in one sitting, and loved the race against time for Sara and her team, to see if they would be able to find Laura alive. 

I am already looking forward to the next book in the series, and can't wait to see what direction the author takes us in next. 

Thank you to the author for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Book Review - The Summer of Falling in Love by Liz Davies

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Amazon UK
Title: The Summer of Falling In Love
Author: Liz Davies
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author Supplied copy
Publisher: Self published
Publication Date: 7th May 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

A heartwarming romance for dog-lovers everywhere.

The thought of having a dog hasn’t crossed Theo Martin’s mind. It’s not that he doesn’t like dogs – he does – but the idea has simply never occurred to him.

It has occurred to his mother, though. When she decides to buy him a puppy because she thinks it will “liven him up a bit”, his life is turned completely upside down, and not for the better as far as he’s concerned. But when he discovers that having a cute dog on the end of a lead attracts a great deal of female attention, he soon changes his mind. All kinds of women stop to pet the pup and while they coo over Poppy, they talk to him. A lot. And for Theo, it looks like his love life is taking a very welcome turn for the better.

But what about Josie Wilde, his dog sitter?

Forced to employ someone to walk his dog when he’s in work, he finds himself increasingly attracted to her, but unfortunately Josie’s interest in him appears to be purely professional. As the summer unfolds and he falls head over heels in love with the sweet and vulnerable pup, he finds himself falling for Josie, too.

For Theo, it’s not so much ‘love me, love my dog’, but more like ‘love my dog, love me, too’. Please…

I think I'm in love...

...with Poppy..

...she is adorable, looks a bit like a teddy bear, and is just a bundle of fluff ...

...and I'm not the only one that feels like this, anyone that comes into contact with Poppy feels that way, apart from perhaps Theo initially. 

For his parents decide Theo is in a rut, and thus without warning buy him a dog, bring her over, along with food, toys, treats, and all the other doggy paraphernalia, put Poppy into Theo's arms and leave. 

Theo who is a teacher about to break up for the summer holidays, but still with one week of school, has never considered having a pet, and is determined to rehome Poppy but in the mean time,  he does want the little pup to be settled with him for the short term, and realises he needs a solution for when he's at work. 

Enter Josie, the dog carer, dog sitter, dog walker - all around big time canine lover, and suddenly Theo finds himself attracted to someone! 

What I adored seeing was Theo's feelings develop into love - whether for woman or dog I'll leave you to find out, but it was a joy to see. 

This for me was a really quick read, I read it one sitting in about around 4 and a half hours, a few email distractions in between, but I was continually eager to get my head back onto the kindle. I was hooked and just wanted to reach into my kindle, pick up Poppy and give her a great big cuddle.

Yet again Liz Davies has written a purely enjoyable book that I loved reading from cover to cover.  

...Now where can I find a Poppy for myself?

Thank you to the author for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Monday, 1 June 2020

Book Review - Just Another Silly Love Song by Rich Amooi

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Amazon UK
Title: Just Another Silly Love Song
Author: Rich Amooi
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self published
Publication Date: 19th April 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Two rival radio personalities. Lori Martin is a positive and upbeat DJ, known for playing love songs and dedications. Ben Baxter dishes out no-nonsense, in-your-face relationship advice. Total opposites. Never in a million years would they want to work together.

Fired for losing her cool after her boyfriend breaks up with her on the air, Lori surprisingly receives a job offer for the coveted morning show at the radio station across town where Ben works. She thinks she’s replacing him, but finds out they want to team up Lori with her archenemy to set the air waves on fire and boost ratings. Financially strapped, she can’t turn down the job.

While their on-air fireworks and explosive chemistry make for great listening, what in the world will happen after work hours?

The new feel-good romantic comedy everyone is talking about!

I couldn't stop smiling, smirking and giggling the whole way through this book.

If you are already a Rich Amooi fan, what are you doing here, this is him at his best, just buy and read it already. 

On the other hand if you have never read the author before, well here are some more thoughts....

The chemistry and banter between Ben and Lori is off the charts for two people who are doing their best to hate and antagonise each other.

The dialogue is fabulous and what catapults this book into the ideal way to forget your troubles for a bit and just lose yourself in Lori and Ben's story.

Written from both Male and Female perspectives it is scary how believable both characters come across. It is making me think Rich Amooi may now be my top male rom-com author amidst some stiff competition.

If you want to spend an incredibly amusing few hours with a couple who are bound to make you smile, some utterly ridiculous relationship problems for their call in show, some feisty octogenarians and a whole lot more besides, then this is definitely worth a read. 

Thank you to Rich Amooi for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Friday, 29 May 2020

Book Review - Love Songs For Sceptics by Christina Pishiris

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Amazon UK
Title: Love Songs For Sceptics
Author: Christina Pishiris
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 28th November 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

My brother’s getting married in a few weeks and asked for help picking a song for his first dance. I suggested Kiss’s ‘Love’s a Slap in the Face’.

It didn’t go down well.

When she was a teenager, Zoë Frixos fell in love with Simon Baxter, her best friend and the boy next door. But his family moved to America before she could tell him how she felt and, like a scratched record, she’s never quite moved on. Now, almost twenty years later, Simon is heading back to London, newly single and as charming as ever . . .

But as obstacles continue to get in her way – Simon’s perfect ex-girlfriend, her brother’s big(ish) fat(ish) Greek wedding, and an obnoxious publicist determined to ruin her career – Zoë begins to wonder whether, after all these years, she and Simon just aren’t meant to be.

What if, despite what all the songs and movies say, your first love isn't always all it's cracked up to be? What if, instead Zoë and Simon are forever destined to shuffle around their feelings for each other, never quite getting the steps right . . .

With a smart, relatable central character and razor-sharp wit, Love Songs for Sceptics is perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lucy Vine and Lindsey Kelk. 


Full of humour, loads of music references, two utterly gorgeous guys, and all manner of diva rock stars, this is one hell of a story. 

There is plenty going on at all times, various sub plots, and for me the biggest storylines are will Zoe get the interview with the reclusive star she idolises that will save the magazine she is the editor of.  And will Zoe decide that Simon or Nick is the actual love of her life - they both have their good points! 

I loved that Zoe was Greek, her brother is getting married and there are references all over the place to My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  I enjoyed Zoe getting to know her sister in-law better, and also the other key women of the wedding party, for a few really fun gatherings.  Who knew ukuleles could be so much fun, or easy to play. 

Zoe and Simon have known each other for ages, they are even both official members of the same fan club. I loved that element to the story, it kept cropping up and making me smile! 

There is a whole host of emotions experienced as you read this story, and there are few tougher issues touched on, delicately.  

A really enjoyable and impressive debut novel. 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily, 

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Book Review - The Accidental Life Swap by Jennifer Joyce

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Amazon UK
Title: The Accidental Life Swap
Author: Jennifer Joyce
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 1st September 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

Sometimes one moment can change your life forever…

Rebecca Riley has always been a bit of a pushover. When her glamorous boss, Vanessa, asks her to jump, she doesn’t just ask how high… she asks if her boss would like her to grab a coffee on the way back down!

So whilst overseeing the renovation of Vanessa’s beautiful countryside home, the last thing Rebecca ever expected was to be mistaken for her boss – or that she would even consider going along with it! Far away from the bustling city and her boss’s demanding ways, could she pretend to be Vanessa and swap lives, just for a little while?

Very enjoyable story about discovering what you are truly capable of, even if it takes partially impersonating your boss to do so. 

For Rebecca Riley has a massive confidence problem, she dreams big, but ultimately seems to be lacking a backbone to stand up to anyone. Hence why her boss Vanessa forces her to suddenly become the project manager for her new property in Little Heaton. 

Rebecca is normally Vanessa's PA at an events management company and dreams of stepping up to be an event manager, but first she needs to make sure the renovations are done in time for the house warming party, and standing up to a group of builder. 

Due to a slight misunderstanding on first meeting the builders they believe she is Vanessa, and suddenly Rebecca is channelling her inner Vanessa. 

What I really enjoyed the most about this book, is the animal sanctuary that is next door to Vanessa's property.  There are some really adorable animals in it, and Stacey and Oliver who run it are key people that I loved getting to know.  Any scenes involving the sanctuary are just a joy to read. 

My other favourite bits are the series of board games the Rebecca and Oliver play, being a board game fan myself.  I would have loved to have joined in with them, as I'm as competitive as them both!! 

On the whole this is a lot of fun, and the main hook of how long can Rebecca keep up the pretence and what will happen if the truth comes out, is very enjoyable and kept me reading on and on. 

A really entertaining novel from the always pleasing to read Jennifer Joyce. 

Thank you to HQ Digital and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily., 

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Book Review - The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn by Freya Kennedy

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Amazon UK
Title: The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn
Author: Freya Kennedy
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 5th May 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Libby Quinn is sick and tired of being sensible.

After years of slogging her guts out for nothing at a PR company, she finds herself redundant and about to plough every last penny of her savings into refurbishing a ramshackle shop and making her dream of owning her own bookshop become a reality.

She hopes opening 'Once Upon A Book' on Ivy Lane will be the perfect tribute to her beloved grandfather who instilled a love of reading and books in her from an early age.

When her love life and friendships become even more complicated – will Libby have the courage to follow her dreams? Or has she bitten off more than she can chew?

If you are looking a book to escape into at the moment, then look no further than The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn. 

It is such a calm and relaxing read, that I was very happy to sit back and just relax into the pages of the story.  I absolutely loved Libby's determination to open a bookshop as a tribute to her grandpa Ernie.  

Libby has bought the most run down place on Ivy Lane for this bookshop and it requires a very large amount of work on it.  Thankfully her family are supportive and so are the new friends she makes on Ivy Lane. 

It's a road that really is its own family and community as they look after each other.  Special mentions to Harry who runs the corner shop and is incredibly chatty and also very generous often giving Libby all manner of treats.  Also Noah from the pub opposite her shop who is gorgeous and once you get to know him an incredibly considerate and caring man. 

I loved how each chapter was subtitled with the name of a well known book, and it is clear how much of a bond Libby and her grandfather had, especially when it came to reading.  

This is just an incredibly sweet book taking a look at friendship, family, community and making dreams come true.  I really enjoyed reading it, and am very curious to see what Freya Kennedy will write next. 

Thank you to Boldwood Books and Netgalley for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Book Review - Dreaming of Italy by T. A. Williams

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Amazon UK
Title: Dreaming of Italy
Author: T. A. Williams
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Canelo
Publication Date: 4th May 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Up for a dream promotion, Emma won’t let anything get in her way – not even love.
Working for a major Hollywood film company isn’t all glitz and glam. But when Emma gets sent to tour around Italy to scout the perfect location for a new blockbuster movie, she’s not going to complain. Especially when it could make or break her career…

Historical adviser Mark is a distraction that Emma does not need. As they explore the beauty of Italy, though, Emma starts to fall for the mysterious historian, finding herself torn between her job and her heart.

From the wild, northern mountains of Piedmont, down the vibrant coast of Cinque Terre and through the rolling hills of Tuscany, Emma’s journey becomes one of self-discovery as she questions her priorities in life.

This heartwarming story of romance and redemption is the perfect read for fans of Tilly Tennant, Holly Martin and Daisy James.

Utter perfection, everything you could ever want for in a T. A. Williams book, or a book set in Italy is present in this story....

... well with the exception of an incredibly sexy Italian male hero... but Mark is a rather gorgeous historian, Rich is a good looking heir to a Hollywood fortune, and there is Ethan an actual movie star - so the book isn't missing male eye candy at all, just no genuine Italians amongst them!! 

But besides that minor quibble which literally only just occurred to me as I was writing this, the story is utter perfection. 

Emma works for a big Hollywood film company and has been tasked with finding off the beaten track, away from the major tourist hotspots, beauty spots across Italy for locations of what they are hoping will be their new blockbuster film - Dreaming of Italy.  

What I really enjoyed was seeing how aspects of the movie plot, seemed to mirror the situations that the group that Emma is leading,  in a trip taking in the entirety of Italy.

Some of the places I've heard of, possibly in passing when looking at cruise ship excursions, others were completely new to me, but all sounded stunning.  

T. A. Williams knows his Italy very well, and everything was incredibly well described and it felt as though I was on this trip with the characters.  I loved the new fledgling romances that were popping up, the eccentric film director is far to hard to describe to do him justice but keep an eye out for him. 

All fans of the author will be delighted to see there is his trademark chocolate Labrador, this one called Carmen fitted seamlessly into the story. Carmen is a delight and utterly loves swimming pools! 

There is just so so much to love in this book, I read it in a few hours straight on a hot sunny afternoon, and it was my most enjoyable afternoon in a long time. 

While international travel is at a standstill, dreaming of far away places and holidays that we may or may not be having this year, then Dreaming of Italy will certainly take you on a much needed break from reality and on a wonderful trip around Italy! 

Easily my favourite book from this author for a while, and I do tend to love them all!

Thank you to Canelo and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Monday, 25 May 2020

Book Review - Clover Cottage by Christie Barlow

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Amazon UK
Title: Clover Cottage
Author: Christie Barlow
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter 
Publication Date: 20th March 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what.

When Vet Rory Scott inherits ramshackle Clover Cottage in the quaint village of Heartcross, Allie MacDonald just knows this is their happy ever after. A place to call home with the man she loves – it’s her dream come true!

Until Rory drops a bombshell. He loves Allie but he has dreams of his own to follow – to live and work in Africa. Clover Cottage will have to wait just a little longer…

Allie can’t imagine life without Rory, but she loves him too much to hold him back. And as he embarks on his adventure, Allie begins to rethink her own plans. She loves Rory and knows she wants him in her life, but maybe she can follow her own dreams too?

And always there, nestled in the beautiful village of Heartcross, surrounded by the people she loves, will be the place that will always bring them back to each other. Their forever home, Clover Cottage.

I've just spent the most wonderful couple of hours in Heartcross, back amongst my friends from Love Heart Lane, and meeting whole new ones at the same time. 

And what a roller coaster of a book this was, what I can definitely say is Christie Barlow really is producing her best stories and writing with this series.  This was another super duper book! 

I was hooked from the first few pages, and although at times the conflict between Allie and Rory was getting a bit frustrating, I could see things from both their points of view, and had my everything crossed they would have a great ending. 

There is a story line involving Rory's mother that I sort of saw coming but didn't make it any less surprising and then there are revelations involving Rory's father's past that really did shock me.  Not to mention the incredibly sexy Netflix star who rocks up in Heartcross and  soon feels like part of the gang. 

He added a new dimension to the books, and he was in some ways a catalyst for some potentially huge changes in both Rory and Allie's lives. 

If you have read the other fantastic books in the series, then you will be as delighted as I am to see Felicity and Isla are Allie's best friends.   Oh and there is such an adorable scene involving Mop the llama, and the dog show.   I love Mop, he's so cute, and it was so amusing seeing him at the Summer fair. 

Clover Cottage itself is key to a lot of the story, but not quite in the way you may expect, but it certainly deserves the title role in this book. 

This is a warm and cosy story, if felt like I was wrapped up in a hug and I couldn't stop reading.  I love this series so much it's scary, and I'm counting down the days until the next book is out! 

Thank you to One More Chapter and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Friday, 22 May 2020

Book Review - The Last Act of Adam Campbell by Andy Jones

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Amazon UK
Title: The Last Act of Adam Campbell
Author: Andy Jones
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 28th May 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

A year can go quickly. Particularly when it's your last.

Adam had a good life: a job he enjoyed, a nice house, a loving partner and a bright six-year-old daughter. Then he cheated on his partner. Then she kicked him out of their home. And then he was given approximately twelve months to live.

Despite the devastating news, Adam is determined to turn his life around before it finally runs out. Help comes in the form of an ex-junky, a cantankerous train driver, a nun experiencing a crisis of faith, and a teenager intent on losing her virginity - all living on borrowed time, all desperate to feel alive before their time is up.

I'm really not sure what to say about this book.  Don't get me wrong its incredibly well written, and given the way it ends I'm feeling oddly uplifted (which based on the epilogue possibly shouldn't be the case),  but at the same time. I thought it was a book with its ups and downs. 

I loved the beginning third, and the last quarter or so, but the section in the middle of the book, honestly just dragged for me, coupled with the in depth details of all the various symptoms the characters have, of their side affects from the medication, and I felt ill in parts just reading it. 

For its a book that centres around a group of people who are facing their own impending mortality, all diagnosed with Cancer, and with limited amount of time left to live.   They first meet in a support group to deal with this, but it progresses from there into so much more. 

I loved seeing how the group came together and just what they were working on even if some of the Shakespeare quotes and references went over my head completely. 

As warped as this may sound I kept reading to see just how many of the group would be alive by the end of the book and just how things would turn out in all of their lives.    Such a varied group of people, and we get to also know their families too, it just shows that Cancer takes no prisoners, it's not selective and can affect anyone. 

I really did care for some of the main people, and there were moments of light relief, bits to make you smile, as well as potentially be quite emotional. 

Certainly a well written book that has crept under my skin more than I would have anticipated, even while reading it, and a change in direction from what I recall the authors previous books to be. 

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Book Review - I Made a Mistake by Jane Corry

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Amazon UK
Title: I Made A Mistake
Author: Jane Corry
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 22nd May 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

IT STARTED WITH A KISS

AND ENDED IN MURDER...

The darkly addictive new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of I Looked Away, Blood Sisters and My Husband's Wife.
In Poppy Page's mind, there are two types of women in this world: those who are faithful to their husbands, and those who are not. Until now, Poppy has never questioned which she was.

But when handsome, charming Matthew Gordon walks back into her life after almost two decades, that changes. Poppy makes a single mistake - and that mistake will be far more dangerous than she could imagine.

Someone is going to pay for it with their life . . .

Woah, I don't know Jane Corry keeps coming up with these fantabulous books, but I hope it never stops.  This one was brilliant, and it only took me a few chapters to become hooked. 

I think if this book was to have a message it's that all actions have consequences, far more reaching than you may first think. 

I mean Poppy knows pretty much instantly and cheating on her husband, with her first love when he reappears was in fact a mistake - but what isn't so apparent is just how huge an error of judgment that is, and the far reaching effects it can have on everyone she knows and loves. 

This is a very hard book to describe, as I would hate to give away any spoilers, but suffice to say it is a gripping story, told from three viewpoints - Poppy, her mother in law Betty and also snippets from a trial. 

Betty's story was without a doubt a highlight for me, from her time as a young girl, throughout her marriage and right up to the present day, what she had to go through, and put up with for the sake of family, is heart wrenching, but at the same time as she herself says, it was just the way things were in those days. 

Equally though I did really enjoy Poppy's story, I felt for her at times, at others wanted to know why she was making such bad decisions, while understanding her too. There is a whole lot of depth to this book and it was a pleasure to read each and every word, and to see just how things unfolded. 

You know from the prologue and blurb that someone dies, but just who, and why - well it's compulsive reading to find out. 

Thank you to Penguin and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily, 
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