Monday, 16 September 2019

Book Review - Date Night by Samantha Hayes - #HolidayReading Madeira

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Amazon UK
Title: Date Night
Author: Samantha Hayes
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 20th August 2019
Rating: 4 Stars


Returning early from a disastrous date night with my husband, I know something is wrong the moment the wheels crunch the gravel drive of our home. Inside, the TV is on and a half-eaten meal waits on the table. My heart stops when I find our little girl is alone in the house and our babysitter, Sasha, is missing…

Days later, when I’m arrested for Sasha’s murder and torn away from my perfect little family, I’ll wish I had told someone about the threatening note I received that morning.

I’ll hate myself for not finding out who the gift hidden inside my husband’s wardrobe was for.

I’ll scream from the rooftops that I’m innocent – but no one will listen.

I will realise I was completely wrong about everything that happened that night…

But will you believe me?

Twisted and absolutely unputdownable, Date Night exposes what goes on behind the closed doors of a happy home and the dangerous truths we ignore to protect the ones we love. Perfect reading for anyone totally gripped by The Wife Between Us, Friend Request or Gone Girl.

Well I definitely did not see that ending coming, I had some theories but they all had holes in them, and the actual ending is so much more wow, than anything I was thinking. 

Written in such a way that you start thinking you have an unreliable narrator, and also not being completely sure what was happening at any point. 

At all times it felt like there deliberate holes in what the reader was being told, leaving me to come up with many wrong theories, which is fun. 

I really enjoyed reading this, it kept me on my toes at all times, and at various points it was unputdownable. 

All I wanted to know is what happened to Sasha and why, as its not normally to return home after a date night, to find the baby sitter has disappeared, but the child is still in the house. 

A very gripping story, that held my attention throughout. 

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

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Book Review - Bonfires & Hot Chocolate at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green

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Amazon UK
Title: Bonfires & Hot Chocolate at the Little Duck Pond Cafe
Author: Rosie Green
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 2nd November 2019
Rating: 5 Stars


If you love all the colours of autumn, you're sure to warm to this uplifting story of love, loss and starting over.
Primrose Wilkins arrived in Sunnybrook with a burning desire to find the family she's never known. But after a heart-breaking false start, she's beginning to have second thoughts. Can she find the courage to battle on in her quest? And with her romantic life at an all-time low, will meeting the intriguing and attractive Callum Davy be just what she needs to renew her faith in love?
Meanwhile, Fen is also finding it hard to be brave. She's made it through to the final of TV show 'Battle of the Bakes' (thanks to Ellie entering on her behalf), but she's always shied away from being in the spotlight. How will Fen cope now that she's a famous 'celebrity', recognised in the street everywhere she goes?

What a delightfully autumnal addition to this series, complete with Halloween and Fireworks.  Plus Maisie Moo in fancy dress, and Maisy Moo just being an all around star. 

Ok I really want Maisie's puppy, she is so adorable and cuddly and Primrose seems to love walking her.  Primrose who moved to Sunnbrook in the previous book, and is now the central character, as we see if she can discover who her birth grandmother really is. 

This is a lovely and moving story, and I loved getting to know Primrose so well.  And of course catching up with all of the other wonderful women that this series has brought into our lives. We finally get to discover how Fen does in the Battle of the Bakes,  and Ellie is getting much closer to her wedding.  

There are two potential love interest in this edition for Primrose,  although I was reasonably sure who she would  be with quite early on, it was enjoyable to see the story develop. 

This is just another incredibly enjoyable addition to The Little Duck Pond Cafe series, and although it could be read as a standalone, its even better having read all the other wonderful books before it! 

Reading this felt like returning home to old friends, and I really am excited to hear there will be another book in this series, as I definitely want more. 

Thanks to the author for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily 


Friday, 13 September 2019

Book Review - The Windmill Cafe by Poppy Blake

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Amazon UK
Title: The Windmill Cafe
Author: Poppy Blake
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter 
Publication Date: 20th September 2018
Rating: 4 Stars


Seasons come and go, but the peppermint green sails of the Windmill Café will keep on turning.

Escaping the bustle and heartbreak of her old life in the city, Rosie Barnes can’t believe that her dream of setting up a café has come true. Whether it’s her chilled homemade lemonade, sticky chocolate brownies or warming mince pies, Rosie’s café draws guests in from far and wide, and the folk of Willerby can enjoy it come rain or shine.

But some mysterious events soon threaten the picturesque town she now calls home, and with the help of ruggedly handsome local Matt Wilson, she must find out what’s going on before the reputation of the town – and her beloved café – are ruined.

From the scorching summer sun through to the crisp winter frosts, Rosie is in for a year she’ll never forget…

The Windmill Cafe is the combined book of the first three books of this series, Summer Breeze, Autumn Leavea and Christmas Trees, and I must say that I thought they got better and better as the series progressed. 

I didn't predict the outcome of any of the three cosy mysteries, but it was the one in Christmas Trees that shocked met he most and had me utterly hooked while I tried to work out who the culprit was before the police and our amateur detectives Rosie and Matt.  

I have to admit to having a ridiculous strong feeling of deja vu throughout reading Summer Breeze,  it may just be because of the nature of the crime, but I had the strangest feeling I had read the book somewhere before and that feeling didn't leave me until I started on book 2 - Autumn Leaves.  

 I've never had that sensation for so long ever while reading, and its still bugging me that I can't put my finger on it, but I'm going to put it down to Poppy Blake having such lovely and familiar writing style, that just drew me in, that I felt instantly at home with the book. 

I loved getting to know Rosie, Mia, Matt and Freddie our four main characters, and the stars of The Windmill Cafe and the outdoor adventure centre in Willerby.   Willerby sounded like a lovely place to live, and I enjoyed getting to know it, even if it is a town that seems to attract mysteries!! 

All of the mysteries had really original ideas for the nature of how someone got hurt, ones that I have only rarely come across if ever before.   And the seasonal elements of each book were fabulous.  I especially loved the Christmas Tree decorating competition, such inventive designs. 

I really enjoyed my stay at the Windmill Cafe, and look forward to reading more from this author in the future. 

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

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Book Review - Four Weddings and a Festival by Annie Robertson

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Amazon UK
Title: Four Weddings and a Festival
Author: Annie Robertson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 11th July 2019 
Rating: 5 Stars


Four months. Four weddings. One happy ending...?
Lifelong friends and rom-com fans Bea, Lizzie, Hannah and Kat have curled up with Bridget Jones, sobbed at Love, Actually and memorised the script to Notting Hill. They always joked about getting married in one summer - their own Four Weddings - and it seems like this might just be the year . . .

That is, until Bea turns down her boyfriend's proposal. Is her own Hugh Grant waiting for her amid the champagne and confetti? Can real-life romance ever live up to a Richard Curtis movie?

As the wedding - and festival - season gets into its swing, can all four friends find their happy ever after...?

Raise a glass of champagne and get ready for this summer's most charming romantic comedy! Perfect for fans of Sophie Ranalds, Mandy Baggot and Sue Roberts

Loved every single second of this book. And if you are a massive Four Weddings and a funeral fan you will love the multitude of references to the film,  as the four friends see just how many of them will get married in the same summer.

The weddings like the brides could not have been more different nor utterly perfect for each of them. 

Although whether their other halves are ideal partners is for you to discover. 

As the summer wedding season is upon us,  this really is a fabulous summery book to set the mood. 

I loved the friends,  the dialogue,  the writing style,  and just hours I could picture it all so perfectly.

I would say it makes an excellent film, but that could be because that is at the base of the book but highly originally changed. 

A super summer story from an author I've enjoyed in the past and hope to read again in the future too.

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

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Book Review - My Sisters and Me by Lisa Dickenson

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Amazon UK
Title: My Sisters and Me
Author: Lisa Dickenson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 23rd August 2018
Rating: 4 Stars


They're fixing up their childhood home. It's going to get messy.

When Willow Lake asks her daughters for help renovating the family home, each has a reason to hesitate about returning to Maplewood . . .

For quiet and bookish Emmy going back to the town that ridiculed her fills her with dread.

The youngest Noelle is perfectly comfortable in herself now, but once wanted to fit in so badly that she walked away from her first love. A first love who still lives in Maplewood.

And outspoken Rae is painfully aware of how much the townspeople hurt her little sisters growing up. She didn't protect them then, but there's no way she'll let history repeat itself.

The sisters agree to go home and make the best of it. After all if they've changed over the years, it's possible the townspeople have too . . . isn't it?

The BRAND NEW feel-good, kick-ass novel about sisterhood and second chances. Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Lindsey Kelk, Mhairi McFarlane and Anna Bell.

I really enjoyed getting to know all 3 of the Lake sisters, Rae, Emmy and Noelle. 

Over the two months spent decorating their childhood home back in their home town of Maplewood they learn as adults how to deal with their awkward childhoods in the town. 

The Lake sisters always had a reputation for being creepy,  they were bullied, one was studious, one was gay and one may have been a bit of a rock chick,  and they lived on the outskirts of town in the woods.

None of them were particularly looking forward to these two months as they knew they may have to face up to all the old unpleasantness. 

Despite them now being successful women, just being back home had them regressing back to their younger selves. 

Filled with 90s nostalgia, this it's a story of righting old wrongs, reconnecting with the past and reforming stronger bonds as sisters.

I loved all three of them with their different personalities,  and all with their own personal goals besides making the house look great. 

This was a very enjoyable book and I look forward to seeing what the author writes next. 

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

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Book Review - The Bistro By Watersmeet Bridge by Julie Stock

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Title:  The Bistro By Watersmeet Bridge
Author: Julie Stock
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Clued Up Publishing
Publication Date: 6th August 2018
Rating: 4 Stars

When Olivia goes to manage Finn's failing bistro, will they end up sharing a table for two, or will it be a recipe for disaster?
Olivia Fuller longs to manage one of the restaurants in her father’s chain and to break free to live the independent life she’s wanted for so long. When her father finally puts his trust in her and sends her to a failing restaurant in Devon, she’s confident she can prove herself capable of doing the job.

Finn Anderson is about to lose his beloved seaside bistro, unless the bank can find a buyer to dig him out. When George Fuller offers Finn a deal, he has no choice but to accept if he wants any chance of getting his bistro back one day. And then the new manager arrives…

Even after meeting the prickly chef and discovering his complete lack of business skills, 

Olivia is confident she can turn the struggling business round. But as Olivia and Finn start working together, a mutual attraction develops between them, and soon, nothing is going according to Olivia’s plan. 

When there’s a real chance that the bistro might be sold off, Olivia and Finn determine to fight for it, united by their hard work and their growing feelings for each other.

But can they save the bistro and be together, or does destiny have a different path in mind?

A feel-good contemporary romance set in a bistro beside the sea in Devon.

What an absolutely charming story this was, I just wanted to dive in between the pages of the book and visit The Bistro By Watersmeet Bridge for myself.   I was utterly enchanted by it, and the Devonian setting.  

The narrative is split between Olivia and Finn's perspectives, so we really get to know both characters quite well.   Finn is the chef of what was a failing a bistro, until the company that Olivia's father runs, buys it and puts Olivia in charge. 

Olivia is delighted to finally have a chance to turn around a struggling restaurant but its clear that something isn't quite right with various decisions, that her father seems to make, or his logic, and it was fun finding out just what was behind them! 

I do love a book when you are rooting for the little guy against a bigger corporation, and you can't help but feel sorry for Finn for the reasons why the Bistro got into the mess it was in in the first place. 

With fabulous characters, some great food descriptions, a story that drew me in and was on my mind when I was't reading, and I just found it a really easy and gentle read. I was completely absorbed by it and wanted to know what happens next, and i would love to return to the setting in the future. 

This is the second book I've read by the author and thoroughly enjoyed them both, she just has a writing style that is a pleasure to follow, and clearly knows about food and drink. 

I loved this feel good story. 

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

Monday, 9 September 2019

Book Review - The Summer of Going Topless by Liz Davies

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Amazon UK
Title: The Summer of Going Topless
Author: Liz Davies
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 22nd August 2019
Rating: 5 Stars


Candice Summerville is fast approaching fifty-years-old and wonders if she might be invisible. No one seems to notice her - not really. Heck, she often doesn’t notice herself, except for her monthly scrutiny in the mirror to check on her body’s steady slide towards middle age.

But when her ancient, practical estate car is consigned to the scrap heap, Candice falls in love with a cute, purple convertible, and from that moment on her life begins to take on a whole new meaning. Strangers wave at her and people stop to talk, and suddenly she isn’t invisible any longer.
Life seems to be looking up, especially when she meets silver fox and handy-man, Paul. There’s just one fly in the ointment, one thing that has her second-guessing herself.
Is it the car that Paul sees - or is it her?

The second I heard the title of this book I knew I had to read it. Then I saw the gorgeous cover, and was even more convinced, but even after reading the blurb I still hadn't quite twigged how being topless came into it. 

Having now read this delightful book I completely understand the topless nature of it, and just how apt the cover image really is. 

I loved this book. Candice is almost 50 and is slowly coming to the realisation her life may be stuck in a bit of a rut. In fact the first page had me giggling with Candice's description of herself. 

It's a story of self discovery, of gaining confidence, and how one purchase can ultimately end up changing a  person's whole outlook on life. 

I really wasn't keen on how Candice's sons and ex-husband seemed to treat her, and it clearly affected the way she saw herself. 

I enjoyed seeing the changes in Candice, especially her confidence, and how it affected her in all walks of life. And her fledgling new friendship with Paul was just lovely. 

This was a fun to read book, that i read with a big grin on my face and just couldn't get enough of.  It also left me with a rather weird craving for purple Jelly beans!!  

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

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Book Review - The Day We Meet Again by Miranda Dickinson

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Amazon UK
Title: The Day We Meet Again
Author: Miranda Dickinson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 5th September 2019
Rating: 4 Stars


Their love story started with goodbye…
The brand-new novel from The Sunday Times bestselling author, Miranda Dickinson.

‘We’ll meet again at St Pancras station, a year from today. If we’re meant to be together, we’ll both be there. If we’re not, it was never meant to be . . .’

Phoebe and Sam meet by chance at St Pancras station. Heading in opposite directions, both seeking their own adventures, meeting the love of their lives wasn’t part of the plan. So they make a promise: to meet again in the same place in twelve months' time if they still want to be together.

But is life ever as simple as that?

This is a story of what-ifs and maybes – and how one decision can change your life forever…

I would love to go to the cinema and watch this on the big screen, it would make a perfect film. 

The original meeting between Phoebe and Sam is wonderful, and I couldn't get enough of their instant dynamic, and easy conversation.  If I could meet the love of my life in that sort of situation at St. Pancras Station I would be very happy.

However they are travelling in different directions and each having a year out of their life for various reasons.  Phoebe to travel around Europe and Sam to spend time on the island he was born on, and reconnect with old friends. 

Although I enjoyed seeing what they both got up to in the year they apart,  I just felt that the section was perhaps a bit too long, as it was the end of the trip and their anticipation and what happens a year later which is where I finally fully engaged my self back with the story. 

The last third or more was fabulous and I was continually surprised by the direction the book took. 

I adored the concept of the story and really enjoyed the story. I just wish I'd read it while I was on holiday, instead of the first book back when real life distractions meant I just couldn't read for as long as I would like each time.  

Sam and Phoebe's story is certainly memorable and will keep you on your tours. There is travelling which I always love in a book, a fab meet cute, some traditional Scottish music, painted pebbles, and some fabulous friendships, and other potential love interests too - as after all when did true love ever run smoothly?  I mean what more could you want from a book!  

Another treat of a book from the always talented Miranda Dickinson. 

Thank you to HQ on Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Book Review - The Secret To Happiness by Jessica Redland - #HolidayReading Madeira

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Amazon UK
Title:  The Secret to Happiness
Author: Jessica Redland
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 3rd September 2019
Rating: 5 Stars


Everyone deserves a chance at happiness...

Danniella is running from her past, so when she arrives at the beautiful seaside resort of Whitsborough Bay, the last thing on her mind is making friends. After all, they might find out her secrets…

Alison is fun, caring and doesn't take herself too seriously. But beneath the front, she is a lost soul, stuck in a terrible relationship, with body confidence issues and no family to support her. All she really needs is a friend.

Karen's romance has taken a back seat to her fitness business. But she doesn’t want to give up on love quite yet. If only those mysterious texts would stop coming through …

When the women meet at their local bootcamp, a deep friendship blossoms. And soon they realise that the secret to happiness is where they least expected to find it…

An uplifting story of friendship and finding the strength to come to terms with the past. Perfect for fans of Tilly Tennant and Cathy Bramley.

Easily Jessica Redland's best novel so far.  The amount of heart and depth that has gone into it is astounding.

For those who have read the author before there are some familiar places and people cropping up, but it is 100% a standalone novel featuring 3 brand new leading ladies. 

Karen, Alison and Danniella, what an inspirational group you are. They all start the book without knowing each other,  and all having problems in their lives. 

It is their combined new friendship that gives them the strength to overcome old demons. 

There are plenty of secrets to discover, emotional topics dealt with and so much more besides. 

It is clear a lot of research must have gone into this novel especially for Danniella's story line.  At times I was smiling and at others I had a lump in my throat. 

Beautiful writing and another amazing book from this incredibly talented author. 

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

Friday, 6 September 2019

Book Review - Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howad

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Amazon UK
Title: Rewind
Author: Catherine Ryan Howard
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Corvus
Publication Date:  5th September 2019
Rating: 4 Stars


PLAY
Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?

PAUSE
Natalie wishes she'd stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There's something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can't - not until she's found what she's looking for...

REWIND
Psycho meets Fatal Attraction in this explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You've already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking...

Well I had absolutely no idea who the murderer was until it was revealed.  I also spent a fair part of the book mildly confused about the time frame of everything. 

I got that the the time was jumping about as though you were watching a video, but with chapter headings that were in minutes... and then some of the earlier sections being years before everything else. while reading on kindle which admitted makes flicking back and forth a bit harder to try to understand - I was muddled on the time span, time frames. 

That being said once I focused on the words I was incredibly interested in the murder, and all of the motives which is what I couldn't work out. 

There was a focus on many unsavoury characters, and small snippets of info coming out at regular intervals to really keep you on your toes, and make you continually re-evaluate your own guesses. 

I've certainly not read anything like it which is both a big positive, its different, its unique, but equally as thi isn't the genre I read the  most of, perhaps I didn't fully appreciate just how it was present. 

The story though is great, the writing certainly had me gripped, and Catherine Ryan Howard has had me hooked in places,  and the premise behind the book was fabulous. 

Certainly a book that I feel works best if you are tempted by it, to read for yourself without too much known about the plot.  There are a large number of characters and to even try to describe them, I may give out hints that I would rather not, for fear of spoils 

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

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Book Review - The Two Lives of Louis and Louise by Julie Cohen - #HolidayReading Thailand

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Title: The Two Lives of Louis and Louise
Author: Julie Cohen
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 5th September 2019 
Rating: 5 Stars


ONE LIFE. LIVED TWICE.

Louis and Louise are the same person born in two different lives. They are separated only by the sex announced by the doctor and a final 'e'.

They have the same best friends, the same red hair, the same dream of being a writer, the same excellent whistle. They both suffer one catastrophic night, with life-changing consequences.

Thirteen years later, they are both coming home.

Fantastic and fascinating story about fate,  destiny and the role gender can play in life. 

How gender can produce certain preconceptions of what a person can or can't do.

It was the story of Lou Alder, who in one version was born Male and the other female.  We see snippets of their younger lives and what they are up to today. 

With both their stories there are certain similarities,  key happenings and the friendship over the years with Benny and Allie which is so interesting to view. 

This is without a doubt an incredibly well written,  well researched book that really will get you thinking.  

Arguably this is probably the author's best book and it was so unlike others that I have read before.  

I don't really want to say much more as its book that will have a greater impact the less preconceptions you have about it. But The Two Lives of Louis and Louise is certainly a story not to be missed. 

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

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Book Review - Sleep by C. L. Taylor - #HolidayReading Thailand

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Amazon UK
Title: Sleep
Author: C. L. Taylor
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 5th September 2019
Rating: 5 Stars


All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they're on the island. There's a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they've set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up…

The million-copy bestseller is back in her darkest, twistiest book to date. Read it if you dare!

Wow what an utterly compulsive read.  Yet again the amazing C. L. Taylor has written something both unputdownable and simply brilliant. 

I always tend to find I read this author's books in one sitting so had been bidding my time to start it when i could give it my full attention.  What better than on a 12 hours flight to Thailand. 

I think it took perhaps 2 and a half hours tops to devour Sleep. No whether I'll get any sleep myself after reading this is to be seen as it was slightly unsettling.

Most of the book is from Anna's viewpoint but what had baffled me initially was how some of the other threads would combine properly. 

Any book that starts with a letter to be read in case of death,  naming the most likely suspects was always going to attract my attention.

There is something rather claustrophobic about the majority of this story set in a cut off Scottish Isle.

Everybody named on that first page of the book could potentially be out to get Anna or have reason to be up to no good.  There are many secrets that will surprise over the course of the book. 

I thoroughly enjoyed and was hooked for the entirety of this story and can only commend the author on writing another superb book. 

If you love suspense,  intrigue, guessing,  or generally enjoy psychological dramas then this is completely worth reading.

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

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Book Review - After The End by Clare Mackintosh

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Amazon UK
Title: After The End
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 25th June 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. Only now they're facing the most important decision of their lives - and they don't agree.

As the consequences of an impossible choice threaten to devastate them both, nothing will ever be the same again.

But anything can happen after the end . . ..

Words are failing me in light if the utter brilliance that is this book.  My emotions have taken a complete pounding and you really are left with food for thought. 

After all who knows how you would react if it was your decision, your child, your impossible choice.

And this is a book that looks not just at the choices, but also how life may play out afterwards.

It is moving, compassionate and a completely immersive story, and it's one that I feel very privileged to have read.

Having read Clare Mackintosh's previous books and loved them, I had been concerned about this change of direction, until I started reading. At which point I came to the conclusion that she is just simply a brilliant writer and can grip a reader over assorted subjects. 

What a powerful book and certainly not one I'll forget in a hurry. One of the best books I've read this year. 

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

Monday, 2 September 2019

Book Review - Foxglove Farm by Christie Barlow

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Amazon UK
Title: Foxglove Farm
Author: Christie Barlow
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 28th June 2019
Rating: 5 Stars


Return to Love Heart Lane for friendship, romance and a community who will be be there for you no matter what…

Isla and Drew Allaway appear to have the perfect life – a strong marriage, two beautiful children and their picture-perfect home, Foxglove Farm.

But, new mum Isla is struggling.  She loves her little family but with Drew working all hours on the farm, Isla’s lonely.

When she discovers that Drew has been keeping secrets from her, Isla has to face losing the home they all love.

Can the Love Heart Lane community pull together once more to help save Foxglove Farm?  And can Isla save her home…and her marriage?

I didn't think anything was going to be able top Love Heart Lane in my Christie Barlow greatest hits list.. but it feels like Foxglove Farm has done exactly that. 

It was wonderful being back in Heartcross amongst familiar faces, and although Felicity and Fergus are present, this time the focus of the book is on Felicity's best friend Isla and Drew.  They live on Foxglove Farm and based on the arguments we are greeted with, things aren't going too well. 

However it takes a while for the reader and Isla to get to the root of Drew's bad mood with her, and all manner of circumstances and drama leads up to that point.  

This can easily be read as a standalone book although that would be depriving yourself of another fabulous book, 

From the first few pages I was utterly hooked, and given the majority of this book I read on tube journeys, the fact I managed to get off at the right stops is a mystery to me, as I have no recollection of even moving, I was that engrossed in the story. 

If you are looking for a book that features a lot of drama, a heartwarming and cosy feeling to it, with some big issues touched upon, all with fabulous writing, great location, small town community feeling and some humour, then without a doubt, give this book a try. 

This is a community of characters that has completely got under my skin and I'm already looking forward to Clover Cottage.   What I especially loved about this book was that it was about a married couple who needed to start trusting in each other more, and to not have secrets, rather than a brand new romance.  It just added a fresh vibe to the story. 

I'm not sure I can really explain just how much enjoyment and pleasure this book brought to me. I will admit I had suspicions about one character that proved completely correct, but even guessing part of one bit of plot couldn't detract from the sheer joy of reading more about Heartcross. 

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

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