Monday, 24 January 2022

Book Review - The Moment I Met You by Debbie Johnson - #HolidayReading UK Cruise

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Amazon UK

Title: The Moment I Met You
Author: Debbie Johnson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 24th June 2021 
Rating: 5 Stars

It only takes a second...

For life to change forever.

Elena Godwin could never have known that her dream holiday to Mexico would change her life forever. She thought that she was in charge of her own destiny. But on a gorgeous summer evening, her whole world is ripped from her feet in a single moment.

Ten years later, she still can't forget the face of the stranger who held her whilst everything she knew was destroyed. Thrown back together again, Elena starts to uncover the truth around that fateful night - and questions whether she made the right decision all those years ago.

She only met him for a moment, but maybe it's not too late...

Such an impressively compelling story.

I could hardly put it down during the big thing that specifically connects Elena, Harry and Alex together in a multitude of ways.

I have never read such a detailed description of that specific occurrence and the best I can liken it to is a a scene in Neighbours that came to me while I was reading.

It's heart-breaking, heartwarming, incredibly addictive and just a phenomenal read. 

I really couldn't guess what would happen next at any point, and it's told so sensitively and gives just a unique basis for this story. 

Truly wonderful and another hit surely for the always impressive Debbie Johnson.

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

Friday, 21 January 2022

Book Review - The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan - #HolidayReading UK Holiday

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Amazon UK

Title: The Hidden Beach
Author: Karen Swan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 9th July 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Secrets, betrayal and shocking revelations await in Sweden’s stunning holiday islands . . . The Hidden Beach is the addictive page-turner by the internationally bestselling author, Karen Swan.

Two’s a love story. Three’s a crowd.

In Stockholm’s oldest quarter, Bell Everhurst loves her job working as a nanny for the rich and charming Hanna and Max Mogert, caring for their three children.

But one morning, everything changes. A woman from a clinic Bell has never heard of asks her to pass on the message that Hanna’s husband is awake. But the man isn’t Max.

As the truth about Hanna’s past is revealed, the consequences are devastating. As the family heads off to spend their summer on Sweden’s idyllic islands, will Bell be caught in the crossfire?

Karen Swan never ceases to amaze me with her creativity and truly spectacular storylines. 

And she has done so once more with The Hidden Beach which is set in Stockholm and on the archipelago of islands too.

It is a stunning backdrop to a story that kept me on the edge of my seat unsure which directions it could possibly turn in next and being continually surprised. 

I was completely drawn into the lives of all these characters, and had a real soft spot for Linus especially, for the incredibly tricky position he is now in. 

And Emil is a rather complicated character and he felt well researched with regards his medial needs.

An very enjoyable and entertaining book from Karen Swan who has recently been surpassing her already excellent standards with each new release she puts out.

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

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Book Review - The Woman Inside by Anna-Lou Weatherley

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Amazon UK

Title: The Woman Inside
Author: Anna-Lou Weatherley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 13th January 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Daisey Garrett wakes up in a hospital bed. She remembers her boyfriend has left her for another woman, but she doesn’t remember what happened to her the night she was attacked in her own home.

Daisey shouldn’t be alive but against all odds, she’s survived an ordeal most would never recover from.

But Daisey’s mind is broken. She’s on edge, drinking too much and, despite the painful breakup, finds herself in bed with her ex, Luke. And while she desperately tries to keep herself together, she can’t shake the feeling that she is being watched.

Yet the missing pieces of that fateful summer night are beginning to surface…

The lies she told the police.

The lies Luke told her.

Daisey’s memory is flickering like a faulty light bulb, flashing with images just out of reach.

She can’t remember. She mustn’t.

An absolutely gripping, addictive page-turner, The Woman Inside takes you within the tangled mess of people’s lives and the dark secrets they hold close. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Before I Go to Sleep and The Wife Between Us.

Wowser! This is one seriously good book, ok replace good with whatever your preferred superlative is that means omg wow and you may get to where I am currently. 

I didn't see it coming, it was set up though incredibly well, and is rather clever and completely unexpected. 

I kind of had suspicions but as to which characters felt a bit off to me, but not anywhere near to the extent that events were revealed. 

And what a rather apt title, so incredibly clever, especially if you think about it after reading the whole book.  So well done to whoever came up with the title! 

And the story drew me in from the start and had me rather hooked. There are so many elements, multiple viewpoints, including sections that are designed to just slightly unsettle you, and have you wondering how they all fit in. 

And then there is Daisy, the one who lived, but now has a form of amnesia so can't recall the day of the attack, but does know what she ends up agreeing to lie for her ex-fiancee which adds doubts to her credibility. 

It has been what feels like a long while since I read the other books in this series, so I can safely say this works well as a standalone, as I had forgotten the recurring character details completely but didn't feel lost at all when focusing on the detective. 

This is one incredibly impressive psychological thriller! 

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

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Book Review - The House on Firefly Beach by Jenny Hale

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Amazon UK

Title: The House on Firefly Beach
Author: Jenny Hale
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 5th June 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

Nothing beats falling in love under the sun, with the sand beneath your feet. This gorgeous, feel-good, and heartwarming summer escape from the bestselling author of The Summer House is perfect for fans of Mary Alice Monroe, Susan Mallery and Nancy Thayer.

For Sydney Flynn, her treasured family home, Starlight Cottage, is her sanctuary. The house on the white sands of Firefly Beach, surrounded by glittering turquoise waters, is the perfect place for her fresh start. That’s until her knees almost buckle at the sight of Nate Henderson.

As teenagers, Sydney and Nate whispered sweet nothings and promised “forever” to each other. Sydney thought they were perfect. She never imagined that her childhood sweetheart was going to end things out of the blue and with no explanation, ruthlessly driving away from her and never looking back. She has spent the last decade piecing herself back together, and trying to figure out exactly what went wrong.

And now the man who ripped apart her heart is back. The down-to-earth son of a fisherman she used to know, forever in beach t-shirts and flip flops, is well and truly gone – in his place is a successful songwriter in a swanky designer suit who’s totally out of place in the small town she calls home.

All of a sudden, Nate wants to make it up to Sydney, yet how can she find it in her heart to forgive him? But when a new development threatens her beloved Starlight Cottage, Sydney needs all the help she can get, and her plan of avoiding Nate is suddenly impossible. Can they overcome their past to save Firefly Beach and the house that holds so many memories for them? Or will the town they adore, and the love they had for one another, be lost forever?

This has left me with a giant smile on my face and a feeling that I would love to visit Firefly Beach for myself, and meet it's wonderful community. 

I really fell for the location almost instantly, Jenny Hale writes such fabulous small town USA romances that I couldn't help but be enchanted by Firefly Beach and Starlight Cottage. 

However the will they - won't they get back together between Sydney and Nate seemed to take forever to be resolved, and although I could tell they had chemistry when they were younger, I wasn't fully invested in whether they had a HEA or not. 

But I was incredibly curious and what kept me reading was discovering the real reason Nate, not only broke Sydney's heart all those years ago, but also why he is back in his hometown now.  

I was interested in Juliana's story as there is far more to her than you may imagine, and I also enjoyed getting to know the rest of Sydney's family and discovering whether or not they would have to sell Starlight Cottage. 

A really enjoyable book from an author that I love reading. 

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

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Book Review - Should I Tell You? by Jill Mansell - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: Should I Tell You?
Author: Jill Mansell
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 20th January 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

Amber, Lachlan and Raffaele met as teenagers in the Cornish seaside home of kind-hearted foster parents. Years on, the bond between them is unbreakable

But Amber has a secret. She's in love with Lachlan. She can't tell him, because that would never work - he's definitely not the settling-down type. Surely it's better to keep him as a friend than to risk losing him for good?

Raffaele has his own dilemma. He had the dream girlfriend in Vee, until it all went horribly wrong . . . and he still can't understand why. Is Vee hiding something from him?

Now their widowed foster dad Teddy has found new love. Younger, charming and beautiful, Olga seems perfect. But is she? Or will she break Teddy's fragile heart?

Against a backdrop of sparkling seas and sunny skies, the unexpected is always just around the corner. Welcome to Lanrock!

Jill Mansell has always been one of my favourite authors, since being a teen and first discovering her works. I always look forward to her new releases and once again she hasn't let me down and has written another truly marvellous book. 

I loved the setting of Lanrock, and all the various main characters. 

From discovering Lachlan, Amber and Raffaele's pasts in foster care to the wonderful Teddy and May, to how they are in the present, I loved our trio of friends.  All of which clearly still care for Teddy and want what's best for him, although question marks over whether Olga is right for him is another matter. 

Must say Olga has hidden depths and I loved seeing how she is presented and how we get to know her over the course of the book.  And then there is Lachlan who is a fabulous chef, known womaniser but has a heart of gold, Amber who makes amazing stained glass installations and Raffaele, a hairdresser who is having and up and down time with his ex. 

We also get the story of Benjie which I was engrossed in, and was a lovely addition to the book, and his mother Peggy is fabulous in a whole other way !

So with memorable and relatable characters, a a great setting, and so many assorted storylines to enjoy, this is a fabulous book to start the year with, and one I whole heartedly loved. 

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

Please follow along with the rest of the blog tour 

Monday, 17 January 2022

Book Review - You Again? by Nick Spalding

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Amazon UK

Title: You Again?
Author: Nick Spalding
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: 17th August 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Amy and Joel’s honeymoon in the Maldives was the perfect week of love, sun, sex and a free minibar…but unfortunately, it was also the high point of a marriage that quickly descended into an absolute disaster zone.

Eight years on, they’re back in paradise, trying to recreate the magic with new partners. What a crying shame they’ve picked the same week to do it…

Trapped together on an island small enough to spit across with the wind behind you, Amy and Joel pick up right where they left off: at total loggerheads. And so begins a hideous week of rivalry, one-upmanship and score-settling—as each tries to prove they’ve now comprehensively won at life.

The thing is, hurt and pain are strongest where there was once love. And what if being back in this island paradise, with all its wonderful memories, sets sparks flying in more ways than one?

Once again Nick Spalding has had me in hysterics with this simply amazing book. 

In a set of coincidences ex husband and wife Joel and Amy are both going back to the Maldives to where they honeymooned together, but with their new partners on the same week.

And naturally once they are aware of this fates conspire to keep bringing them together,  

Cue a game of one-upmanship and jokes as they try to get to grips with this holiday and how they cab live alongside each other in paradise. 

And there are so many moments that had me laughing out loud in public places as this caught my imagination in so many ways and greatly amused me. 

It was light hearted pure escapism at is best and just an all around fabulous book, and a great holiday read.

Nick Spalding really is my king of hilarious comedy novels! 

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Sunday, 16 January 2022

Book Review - The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures by Holly Hepburn - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures
Author: Holly Hepburn
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 6th January 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

When Hope loses her husband, she fears her happiest days are behind her. With her only connection to London broken, she moves home to York to be near her family and to begin to build a new life.  
Taking a job at the antique shop she has always admired, she finds herself crossing paths with two very different men. Will, who has recently become the guardian to his niece after the tragic death of her parents. And Ciaran, who she enlists to help solve the mystery of an Egyptian antique. Two men who represent two different happy endings.
But can she trust herself to choose the right man? And will that bring her everything she really needs?

The brand new novel from Holly Hepburn, author of Coming Home to Brightwater Bay. 

What a wonderful way to have spent the first bank holiday Monday of the year, in between the pages of this marvellous new novel from Holly Hepburn. 

Originally published in four parts, I've read the complete version and given one of the cliff hangers between the parts, I'd definitely recommend reading it all in one go!  

There are some big storylines that have an arc over all the parts, one of which is the discovering just what is inside a secret box, and finding out all about the discovery, which both fascinated and also hooked me in completely. 

There's also two potential men for Hope, one of which was always my forerunner, and one of them is guardian to his niece, who is rather adorable. 

There's light relief with Hope's new hobby of Belly Dance classes, and I loved her new friend of Iris who is incredibly lively. 

But it's the emporium that I fell in love with, a treasure trove of antiques which has always called to Hope, and she manages to get a part time job there.  Seeing Hope grow in confidence and skill with this job is inspiring to see, just shows with a little luck and some hard work you can really make a go of anything, and Mr Young is a great employer. 

The descriptions of the emporium, and what's inside really captured my imagination, and despite not being a huge fan of history, I definitely felt at home in this shop, and in addition to being rather keen to discover more about the secrets to be uncovered. 

This is yet another fabulous book from Holly Hepburn that I devoured over a few hours, thoroughly enjoying each and every word. Another must read book from an author I happen to love. 

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

Please do follow along with the rest of the blog tour - 

Friday, 14 January 2022

Book Review - The Movie Star and Me by Kirsty Greenwood - #HolidayReading UK Cruise

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Amazon UK

Title: The Movie Star and Me
Author: Kirsty Greenwood
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 10th November 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Nora Tucker is an ordinary woman from a tiny English village. Gary Montgomery is America's hottest new movie star. Nora's got absolutely ZERO chance with him.

After seeing him on the movie screen, Nora believes that Gary is her soulmate, her one true love, the man she's supposed to grow old and wrinkly with. She knows it sounds bonkers, she knows it’s completely crazy. But sometimes love is crazy!

So... how on earth is this nerdy introverted Plain Jane supposed to get to Los Angeles, infiltrate Gary’s inner circle AND convince him that they’re meant to be?

With the help of a sunny Californian weather girl, a super hot but super grumpy script writer, and a very passionate Adam Levine tribute act, Nora is about to try the impossible and let fate decide her future…

This is utterly bonkers and full of sheer brilliance. 

It is like a breathe of fresh air, a purely joyous romcom that could only ever happen in the movies and really would make a great film. 

Ok it may never happen in real life, but this is fictional and while lost in Nora's world, I was able to believe everything that has happening and enjoy it too. 

For Nora believes in true love and is utterly convinced after watching Gary Montgomery for a minute in his first blockbuster film, that he is her soul mate.

Her sister Imogen in order to prove Nora is delusional encourages her onto a plane to LA to try to meet him and prove it is madness.

And the bright bubbly Kennedy who Nora is staying with is eager to help too. 

It's a riotous, incredibly fun story that I was never completely sure how it would end, but just knew I was enjoying the journey to find out. 

Once more Kirsty Greenwood has written a fabulous book that I couldn't get enough of.  What a joy to read.

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

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Book Review - That Jewish Thing by Amber Crewe - #HolidayReading Tenerife

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Amazon UK

Title: That Jewish Thing
Author: Amber Crewe
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 13th January 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

Tamsyn Rutman is at yet another wedding, for yet another cousin. She wouldn't mind - the food's pretty good, the location is fabulous and there's a moderately famous singer crooning away - but what is a Jewish wedding if not the perfect opportunity for the bride to do a bit of matchmaking on behalf of her single, workaholic cousin? Tamsyn's not at the table with her parents and her family, she's sitting next to Ari Marshall.

Ari is everything Tamsyn doesn't want for herself, and everything her family want for her. Stubbornly determined not to fall into the trap of someone else's happily ever after, Tamsyn decides to focus on work, and while interviewing London's hottest new chef, finds herself being swept off her feet . . . by someone her family definitely wouldn't approve of.

But somehow, Ari and Tamsyn keep crossing paths, and she's about to find out that in love, and in life, it's not always easy to run away from who you really are...

This book really resonated with me, as it was full of situations, locations and even the odd bid of Yiddish that were so familiar to me. 

Even Tamsyn's thoughts on Judaism are similar to mine, add in her parents live in same town I used to live in and know well, and I recognise so much from my own experiences and well this was certainly a great book for me to read. 

I loved the various romances in this book, as well as all the family dynamics.  

The writing engaged me, and I just thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it, from the big Jewish Wedding, to the incredibly lavish and OTT Bar Mitzvah, from the various Friday night meals, be they full Shabbat or not, to even just mentions of Tour (which I never did but know plenty that went).  This was fabulous! 

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

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Book Review - Ready or Not by Alex Lake

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Amazon UK

Title: Ready or Not
Author: Alex Lake
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 14th October 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

A happy family…
Alice and Tom Sark seem to have it all – a wonderful marriage, a gorgeous baby, a beautiful home. And now Alice, a journalist, starts investigating a story which could make her career – a serial killer in their town.

A murderer lurking in the shadows… 
Very quickly though, the murder case takes its toll. Alice and Tom begin fighting all the time. Their baby daughter just won’t stop crying. And sometimes it feels almost as if they’re being followed…

Not everyone will live to tell the tale… 
The killer has found a new family to target. And the clock is ticking for Alice and Tom to stop their worlds being destroyed forever.

Woah, how did I not see that coming, I had some half inklings but my brain couldn't connect the dots, whereas what was actually written was fantastic. 

Once again Alex Lake has written a truly addictive and chilling story, that had me jumpy when a phone rang while reading it, as I had totally forgotten I was due a supermarket delivery, I was that addicted to the pages and finding out just what happened. 

And well this is definitely one of those books where if I say anything at all about the plot or characters there is a chance of me accidentally giving spoilers. 

What I think its safe to say it that someone really doesn't like babies, you aren't sure who but there are right from the start occasional chapters with thoughts about babies.  And there is other rather key baby in the story which I spent the whole book fearing for. 

Loads of short chapters make this rather easy to read, but do remember to notice which character is heading the chapter, and also the time line, just to avoid confusion, as there is a lot going on, and it all fits together so so well. 

Another enthralling book from one of my favourite psychological crime authors that kept me guessing and on tenterhooks right up until the last few pages. 

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