Saturday 31 March 2018

Would You Rather? - Interview with P.S. Bridge - #SpringReads

I am delighted to welcome P.S. Bridge to my blog today, and she has answer a series of fun questions all entitled - Would You Rather?

1) Would you rather live under the sea or in space?

Under the sea!  I have always been fascinated by what lies in the depths of our seas and oceans. Besides, before we start exploring space, I believe it’s much better to explore our own planet. Marine life is fascinating, almost hypnotic. 

2) Would you rather only read your genres you write in, or all other genres for the rest of your life? 

I like to be able to change the genre I read. Much as my heart will always lie in thrillers, as a writer and a reader, the best experiences are those which are varied. 

3) Would you rather ride a camel or an elephant?

It has to be an Elephant! They are a lot more comfortable and there is something majestic about these beautiful creatures. 

4) Would you rather eat sweet or savoury food? 

This is a tough one! Sweet would have to be my choice. I love my chocolate far too much, especially Bourbons and Custard Creams! 

5) Would you rather pick all future books to read by their covers only, or their blurbs?

However much we like to believe otherwise, our eyes are always drawn to vivid images. I have fond the majority of my book collection was chosen as a result of their striking front covers. 

6) Would you rather go skiing or sit by a beach on holiday?

I adore the beach. The sounds of the waves lapping on the shore, the warm summer breeze and the feeling of warm sand beneath my feet, and always a great book to read. I cannot imagine anything else more relaxing and inspiring. 

7) Would you rather go to the cinema or the theatre?

Having spent a large amount of time working on stage, the theatre would be preferred. Live action, right in front of your eyes, cannot be beaten. 

8) Would you rather read ebooks, audiobooks or physical books?

Physical books for definite! Nothing replaces a physical copy. It’s the smell of the pages, that first moment of excitement when you thumb through the pages and hold it in your hand before opening it. You cannot beat a physical book!

9) Would you rather be rich but unhappy or poor and happy?

Poor and happy.  I have been there before, and, when everything is said and done, it’s not about what you could have; it’s about what you have already got and how you make the best of it.  

10) Would you rather play or watch sports? 

I used to be very sporty, but these days I prefer to watch rather than participate. We are currently massive fans of winter sports and having been glued to the TV watching the Winter Olympics. 

11) Would you rather always have to tell the truth, or always have to lie?

For me, the truth is always the best option. I have always been an advocate of the truth and I think that’s why I chose the legal profession to work in. Everyone deserves to know the truth despite how difficult it can be to handle. 

12) Would you rather only be able to whisper the whole time, or shout the whole time?

I would rather be able to whisper. If you have to whisper, people have to work harder to listen. And also that means when shouting is required, people take notice! 

13) Would you rather always be late or always be unprepared?

I would never go into anything unprepared. I am obsessed with being on time though and I really begin to panic if I’m late for anything. Victory loves preparation! 

14) Would you rather have your own luxury car, or private plane?

I’d rather have a private plane. It opens up the possibilities for further travel and to get to places cars cannot. Although I wouldn’t turn down a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500! 

15) Would you rather be aged 10 or 30 forever?

With age comes wisdom and I think 30 would be my preferred age. 

16) Would you rather look like a fish or smell like a fish?

Look like a fish! Smelling like one means no one’s going to come near you. At least if it’s only looks, it’s easier to live with! 

17) Would you rather be an only child or have siblings?

I have 2 older sisters, and much as it’s nice to have them, I always wondered what it would be like to be an only child. 

18) Would you rather lose your keys or forget your mobile phone?

I’d rather lose my mobile phone. When I was younger, mobile phones were not so readily available and I managed fine without one! 

19) Would you rather have free books for life or free food for life?

Free books! No one can have too many books! 

20) Would you rather give up social media or alcohol?

I would give up social media. It’s not that I don’t like it, but it somehow doesn’t have the same appeal as a nice 12 year old Scottish Malt! 

A terrorist threat, a sinister organisation, and a threat to the security of the free world.

Renowned British lawyer and Sandhurst military academy dropout, Mark Lucas King is assigned the case of his career: to prosecute known terrorist Mohammed Al-Azidi.

All King wants is justice and to do his job successfully. But his peaceful life is shattered when a team of merciless hitmen targets him and his family and the court case collapses. Framed for assault and suspected of his wife's murder, King must leave his legal career behind and go back to his old career as a British Army sniper in order to catch those responsible and hold them to account. Mark King's brand of justice doesn’t involve a court room.

Forced to battle against highly trained hitmen to clear his name, King discovers that a sinister organisation known as Invictus Advoca is operating behind the scenes. What is their connection to him and the Al-Azidid case?

As the hunt for those responsible takes him far across Europe, can Mark unravel the mysteries that shroud this secretive organisation and peel back the layers to discover why he and his family have found themselves the target of professional hitmen?

Time is not on Mark King's side as he races to prevent a global terror threat, discover who killed his wife, and find out who wants him dead, and why.

Purchase from Amazon UK  or Barnes & Noble

About the author: 

Living in Hampshire, right on the edge of Southampton Water, P.S Bridge has spent over a decade working in the private financial and legal sector. Away from his professional life, he embraces his creative side and is often found writing stories whilst listening to music. An avid reader from a young age he counts author Scott Mariani as one of the many influences that finally encouraged him to put the finishing touches to the first in his Mark King thriller series.


Friday 30 March 2018

Book Review - One Last Wish by Ella Harper - #HolidayReading Book 24

Book 24 of 30 that I read on my holiday to Fuerteventura in December 2017

Amazon UK
Title: One Last Wish
Author: Ella Harper
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Canelo
Publication Date: 27th February 2017
Rating: 4 Stars

How would you cope if your child became terminally ill?

Rosie and Nate had the perfect relationship. But they struggled to cope with the devastating news their daughter Emmie has incurable cancer. It feels like their world – and their relationship – has come crashing down.

They must do everything to support their little girl, but can they stop their marriage falling apart?

Unbeknownst to her parents, Emmie is on a mission. She is determined to make them see what brought them together in the first place – and make them fall in love all over again.

I knew this was going to be an emotional book, just from having read previous from the author, but even still establishing that a child has terminal cancer in the first few pages is still a bit of a shock. 

And despite a few odd moments during the book where I would feel overwhelmed with emotion, at the situation, the rest really didn't affect me at all. 

Surprisingly so, but what i took from this book was that is was a girls determination to get her parents back on good terms before the inevitable happen, that has comes up with a the most wonderful way of achieving it. 

The story is told from mother, father and  child perspectives, and we also get to meet Aunty Lily and Emme's counselor who is rather cool too. 

The writing is beautiful and very clear, and the descriptions especially of the cancer treatments and hospital visits must have been very well researched. 

If you are going through anything remotely similar yourself I would suggest you buy shares in Kleenex, then buy a few boxes before you start,  and even if you are just more soft hearted than me, you may need a good few tissues. 

Deep, heavy, emotional with superb writing this is fabulous for if you love those sorts of books, or are in the mood for something a bit more serious. 

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

Thursday 29 March 2018

Would You Rather? - Q&A with Sue Shepherd - Blog Tour

I am delighted to welcome back Sue Shepherd to my blog today, and she has answered a series of fun questions all entitled - Would You Rather?

Hi Rachel, Thank you for joining my blog tour and thank you for these questions. These ‘would you rather?’ questions remind me of my youngest son – he often asks me, out of the blue, ‘Mum, would you rather have toes for fingers or fingers for toes?’ How am I supposed to answer that? He does make me laugh.

Would you rather live under the sea or in space?

Well now, I am rather claustrophobic. I tried scuba diving once, and my brain simply couldn’t accept the fact that I was able to breathe under water. So, I definitely wouldn’t choose to live under the sea. However, if I’m honest, I’m not keen on the idea of living in space either. For pretty much the same reason. It’s fresh oxygen only for me! I know this is only the first question, but, can I be cheeky and just live here on Earth, please? Funnily enough this ties in nicely with my latest book, ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head.’ In the book, one of my characters is also claustrophobic, and she fears being under the water too. I think she’d choose to remain on solid ground with me.

Would you rather go skiing or sit by a beach on holiday?

I can answer this in a heartbeat. Beach! I tried skiing once, a very long time ago. I found it thoroughly exhausting. Of course, I was in the beginners group. On the first day, the instructor said, ‘Pick up your skis – we walk.’ And we all lugged these great heavy sticks on to our shoulders and attempted to follow him through extremely thick snow, in weighted boots. Within seconds, I was left behind. The rest of the group reached a rest point and dropped their skis. Sitting in the snow, they waited for a while. (For me to catch up!) No sooner had I joined the group than the instructor (who was very easy on the eye, but an utter tyrant) shouted, ‘And we go again!’ The rest of the group picked up their skis and set off. As you can imagine, this happened repeatedly - and I never got to join them for a flippin’ rest! What was that all about? Why were we walking? Weren’t we supposed to be skiing?

Would you rather go to the cinema or the theatre?

I’d choose the theatre. We have a small theatre locally and I’ve seen a few comedians and plays there. It’s like going into a time warp. Usherettes sell ice creams from a little tray which hangs around their necks! Or, if you prefer, you can pre-order a nice G&T and collect it in the interval. How civilized. If I had the choice I’d love to see a murder mystery. Maybe a good old Agatha Christie. Perfect.

Would you rather read eBooks, audiobooks or physical books?

I would choose audiobooks. I like having the story read to me whilst I potter about in the kitchen, or even better, through my headphones at night, to drown out my husband’s snoring.

Would you rather play or watch sport?

This one is so easy. I would rather watch. I am NOT sporty in any way, shape or form, and I never have been. Hence my skiing failure. I put on a pair of trainers the other day and my husband said I looked as if I was about to go for a jog. Oh, how we laughed!

Would you rather have your own luxury car, or private plane?

I do like the idea of a luxury car. But I think I’d have to choose the plane. My reason being, I live on the Isle of Wight, but I have friends and family on the mainland. A little private plane would come in very handy to pop over and see everyone. Do I get a free pilot too? Is he handsome?

Would you rather be aged 10 or 30 forever?

Thirty. I met my husband just before my 30th birthday. So, at 30, we were young and newly in love, with every possibility ahead of us. But I wouldn’t want to be that age forever. If we hadn’t moved on, we wouldn’t have our two amazing sons. So, I would eventually have to leave those heady days of being 30 behind and allow myself to age. Every wrinkle and aching bone is worth it for my boys.

Would you rather eat sweet or savoury food?

Savoury please. Given the choice between a starter or a pudding, I would always choose the starter. I’m not a huge fan of cake or overly sweet foods, apart from the odd slice of lemon drizzle cake.

Would you rather give up social media or alcohol?

Oh blimey, that is tough. My instinct is to say I’ll give up social media, because I can’t imagine never again enjoying a nice cold glass of Prosecco. But, even as I type that, my phone is alerting me to the fact that I have a notification, and my fingers are twitching to pick it up and check it out. I think I’ll choose to give up social media, but I can’t promise how long I’ll last!

Would you rather be an only child or have siblings?

Another question that links into my new book. ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ is the story of twin sisters, Beth and Lisa. There are many times in the book when they both ponder how much better life would be if they were an only child. I can answer this very easily – I would choose to have siblings. Well, to be precise – one sibling. I have an older sister, whom I love very much. We’re very close in age. We’ve been through a fair bit together, the loss of both our parents being the toughest parts. As with all siblings, she drives me nuts from time to time, but I cannot imagine life without her.

Thank you for having me, Rachel. Some of your questions were quite tricky and required some serious consideration, but I enjoyed answering them all.

You are very welcome Sue, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your answers and can only apologise I haven't had the time to fit in reading your book yet, but I am eager to read it when I get a chance. 

A moving and funny story about sisters, secrets and second chances.

Twin sisters Beth and Lisa do everything together, so what will happen now they both want a life of their own?
Beth has a secret she's kept from everyone except her sister. But it's time to get on with her life. Could a seductive Italian, a smooth-talking charmer or backpacking around Australia be the answer?
Lisa feels she's always lived in her sister's shadow. Maybe now it's her turn for some fun, whatever the consequences. But will her drunken antics land Beth in trouble?
And when it comes to the crunch, will one sister have to give up what she wants so the other can have what she needs?
Another entertaining page-turner from the No.1 bestselling author of Doesn't Everyone Have a Secret? – where things, and people, are not always as they first appear!

Purchase from Amazon UK 

Sue's Bio:

Born in Harrow, Sue went on to spend several years living in Hertfordshire before selling up and taking a leap of faith across The Solent. She now resides on the picturesque Isle of Wight with her husband, two sons and a standard poodle. Her passions in life are: her family, writing, the seaside and all the beautiful purple things her sons have bought her over the years. Happiest when hunched over her laptop with a cup of tea on the go, Sue loves to create stories with plenty of heart and laughs, but she makes sure to include a bit of naughtiness too. Ask Sue to plan too far in advance and you'll give her the heebie-jeebies and she'd prefer you not to mention Christmas until at least November!

Sue's links:

Please follow along with the rest of this tour, with all these fabulous book bloggers taking part. 

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Book Review - Abi's Neighbour by Jenny Kane - #HolidayReading Book 23

Book 23 of 30 that I read on my holiday to Fuerteventura in December 2017

Amazon UK
Title: Abi's Neighbour
Author: Jenny Kane
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Accent Press
Publication Date: 4th May 2017
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Abi Carter has finally found happiness. Living in her perfect tin miner’s cottage, she has good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, Max. Life is good. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door.

Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. Obnoxious and stuck-up, Cassandra hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, it looks like she has her sights set on Max.

But Cassandra has problems of her own. Not only is her wealthy married lawyer putting off joining her in their Cornish love nest, but now someone seems intent on sabotaging her business.

Will Cassandra mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are they destined never to get along?

Excellent sequel to Abi's House and I really hope this isn't the last we have seen of Abi and her friends. 

Absolutely loved seeing Stan again, and this time with his new love interest Dora. What a lively pair of octogenarians they are, and Dora is by far one of the best characters in this book 

Abi's new neighbour takes some getting used to, but I ended up really liking her. she is a Londoner, not a fan of the seaside and ends up in Cornwall under false pretences. As everything becomes unravelled I couldn't help but have a lot of sympathy but also respect for her. 

Abi, Max, Beth and Jacob...well it was fabulous to see more from this foursome, I wish they were my own best friends. I felt instantly back at home with them, as though it hadn't been months since I read the first book. 

Abi's Neighbour could be read as a standalone, and all the needed plot prompts are there so you aren't lost. However this works fabulously as the sequel it is meant to be, and its a very enjoyable story, that greatly entertained me. 

Thank you to Accent Press for this copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Book Review - Checking Out by Nick Spalding

Amazon UK
Title: Checking Out
Author: Nick Spalding
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: 22nd March 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

What do you do when the doctor says you could die at any moment? Well…after you’ve made a cup of tea, of course.

Nathan James is young, successful and has the world at his feet. Unfortunately, he’s also about to die—which ruins things somewhat. And now he’s staring imminent death in the face, Nathan is having to rethink some of his life choices very hard.

This means embarking on a hectic journey of self-discovery that includes, amongst other things, losing his dignity to an inescapable bean bag, suffering screaming nightmares about a monstrous potato, and getting up close and very personal with a bipolar donkey.

All of which is fine, but then Nathan falls in love with a charming girl called Alison, which is a really stupid thing to do. Because how can you give your heart to someone when it might be about to stop?

From Nick Spalding, the bestselling author of Fat Chance, Bricking It and Mad Love, comes a comedy about dying—which is easy—and living, which is most certainly not.

Very unexpected story, all of Nick Spalding's normal humour is there and on the whole this is an incredibly fun book, but at the heart of it is a more serious medical condition, and a character, Nathan who has no idea how to deal with this life changing news. 

For  Nathan has been told he has a condition that means his death could he imminent, or he may be fine for ages. There is nothing the doctors can do, for him and he just has to try to get on with his life. 

However this is not a deep emotional story, there is plenty to keep you smiling and laughing. He is the creator of a children's music sensation The Foodies who play their part, and we get to see some of their songs too.

The majority of the most memorable scenes involve sex, and not in a hot and steamy way, ina pure I can't believe Nathan is getting himself into these situations sort of way.   

There are some fabulous characters, Alison who is a lovely girl and potential girlfriend, Eliza, his cousin and Calum her kid, who were really heartwarming,  there is Alison's grandfather who although only a small part is easily very memorable. 

However my absolute favourite character and scene that had me a laughing my head off is Pipsqueak, and that is all I am saying on that, if you want to know read the book yourself. 

I absolutely love this author and Checking Out is no exception. It may have had deeper elements to it than I was expecting but still with Nick Spalding's excellence for comic timing, lightening the mood and generally fun storytelling.   

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

Monday 26 March 2018

Book Review - Best Practice by Penny Parkes

Amazon UK
Title: Best Practice
Author: Penny Parkes
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 22nd February 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Love and laughter with the residents of Larkford is exactly what the doctor ordered!

Dr Alice Walker has become accomplished at presenting a fa├žade to the world – to anyone watching, she is the epitome of style, composure and professionalism. But perhaps it was to be expected that the cracks might begin to show at some point. Thankfully Grace is on hand to offer both friendship and support when it’s needed most.

Meanwhile, Dr Holly Graham has her hands full both professionally and personally. Planning a wedding with Taffy Jones is challenging enough, even before some surprising news changes everything. At least beloved Larkford resident, Elsie, still has a few tricks left up her sleeve!

Dr Dan Carter, on the other hand, has decided to throw himself into his career – the best antidote he’s found to unrequited love. When tragedy strikes in the heart of Larkford, Dan makes it his mission to help the community.

From the moment I started Best Practice I felt as though I was amongst old friends, as I returned to Larkford and the wonderful array of characters there.  This is an incredibly well paced book and you are thrown into the action almost from the start, and there is plenty going on with every chapter. 

Due to the large number of characters, most of who since it is the third book, now feel like I know them well, there are many many storylines thread amongst this book, while at the heart of it is a campaign to save some services from being completely shut down amongst rural medical facilities. 

I am delighted that we got to see a lot more of Dr. Alice Walker who made her debut in Practice Makes Perfect, as she starts to become a vital member of The Practice, and we learn far more about what makes her tick as a person. 

Elsie is as always one of my favourite characters, and even I was surprised at the new depths of friendship and kindness she was able to display in this story.  Then there are doctors Holly and Taffy, who are a fabulous couple and there were instances involving them that had me welling up with tears, I as was absorbed with their story. 

There are a whole range of medical conditions and issues mentioned and discussed in this book, as well as themes of friendship, community spirit, love and just generally its a book that gives off a feel good vibe. 

I was so enthralled to be back within the door of The Practice that, I honestly can't comment either way as to whether it works as a standalone book.  I will say that the whole series so far has been fabulous, and that I found this one the fastest of the three to read so far, presumably as I am getting used to the writing style and characters. 

I am already thoroughly looking forward to and hoping for more books set around this fabulous cast of characters,  especially after having just read that ending, and I want to see how they all move forwards from there. 

If you are looking for an action packed book filled with both laughs and tears, then look no further than Best Practice. 

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

Thank you to everyone that told me I should read this, I completely agree. Looking forward to seeing your next pick for me this week. 

Rachel Reads Randomly - Vote #92

Thank you everyone for your input last time. The results of the last vote were:

1 Votes -  All The Stars in the Sky by Paul Curtis
6 Votes - A House to Mend A Broken Heart by Alison Sherlock
6 Votes  - Best Practice by Penny Parkes

Well thanks so much for making that a tie this week! How was I supposed to pick between two authors I enjoy and both of them sounding really good. Literally the only reason I picked Best Practice was because i knew I had a couple of tube journeys and restaurant eating time, thus reading away from a computer, and thought I would delve into the longer book.  

Very happy to say that I loved Best Practice and think I made the right pick from your choices, as it may have been a while before I voluntarily went for one of the longer books on my review stack. 
For the next few weeks we will be randomising from my review back log - until each book in the back log has been up for a vote I keep falling further behind this may take a while,   Also hoping it means there are books more of you have heard of and thus will be more engaged with the vote!  

Below is my initial theory for this feature, and then a bit further, what you are all waiting for... This weeks's vote! Enjoy!

I am also awful at deciding what book to read next, as I often have about 10 titles or authors jumping into my brain at any time, shouting at me to read them, and I tend to worry I have made the wrong decision while reading a perfectly good book. I am hoping this will save me having to make at least 1 choice a week, while possibly providing a review to the site of a book you all either love or are curious about yourselves. 

So what I am proposing, is my lovely loyal readers of Rachel's Random Reads, select one book for me to read a week, and I will post the review the following week. 

This week's random numbers are...

And the books these numbers correspond to are...

So the 3 choices with my gut feeling responses are:

7 - All The Colours In Between by Eva Jordan - I've met Eva Jordan a couple of times and she is lovely, but still haven't read any of her books. I know this one sounds good though. 
8 - A Year at Meadowbrook Manor by Faith Bleasdale - Have I really not read this one yet, even though it lost a vote the other month? I still really want to and have seen some positive reviews for it. 
12 - The Little Wedding Island by Jaimie Admans - Loved this authors debut book, and loving the title cover for this one, just not quite got as far as starting the book. 

Three books that all sound great and that I would like to read and probably should have done by now. Please don't make this be another tie as I have no idea how I am meant to pick, for if I knew how to pick them, I would have read them already!! Over to you....! 

And authors, if its your book up on this feature, feel free to take part, vote for yourself, or stir up excitement amongst your fans! 

Pick your favourite or the one you most want me to review, or just the one you are curious about, and leave me a comment below, before midnight on Wednesday. 

I look forward to seeing what I will be reading over the weekend, courtesy of you all. 

The explanation if you haven't seen the feature before. 

How is this going to work?

Every Monday, I am going to have a post like this, which is going to have some choices on it. I am planning on using to select 7 random numbers, to coincide with my spreadsheet of unread books.  

I will from that produce a list of hopefully 5 books, I reserve the right to veto any books, and will give reasons for them, if it occurs.

I will take screenshots and post them, of the chosen books, and also give you my instinctive reactions to the choices (without checking blurbs or any other info about them, which could be interesting as there are probably many forgotten about books on my spreadsheet!). 

Your task is to post a comment on this post, with the book you would like me to read this week. At midnight on Wednesday I will take a tally of the votes and the book with the most, I will read and review for the following Monday, where you will also get a new choice post. 

In the event of a tie, I will chose which one appeals most, for the Monday review, and possibly try and read and review the other to appear when I can. 

I am hoping this will provide some variety to the books appearing, and will let me potentially read or discover some great authors that I have wanted to read but not got around to yet.

Sunday 25 March 2018

Book Review - Cruise with an Adorable Fat Girl by Bernice Bloom

Amazon UK
Title: Cruise with an Adorable Fat Girl
Author: Bernice Bloom
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 4th December 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

Mary Brown - our full-figured heroine - is off on a cruise. It's the trip of a lifetime...featuring eat-all-you-can buffets and a trek through Europe with a 96-year-old widower called Frank and a flamboyant Spanish dancer called Juan Pedro in attendance. Then there's the desperately handsome captain, the appearance of an ex-boyfriend on the ship, the time she's mistaken for a Hollywood film star in Lisbon and tonnes of clothes shopping all over Europe.

Madcap, wacky, with a surprising story within a story, this is a piece of pure escapism that is absolutely wonderful.   As a massive cruise fan, as well as a rather full figured lady, I just knew I had to read this. 

Ok, so I clearly differ from Mary Brown in one way, I don't eat everything in sight at a buffet, but I've also never had the series of adventures she had had from just one cruise. 

The cast of characters in this are great and I especially loved the Spanish dancer Juan Pedro who adds an extra level of energy to the book.  

However it is Frank's story that will stay with me,  who is on the cruise purely to lay some wartime ghosts to rest, and Mary hears all about the story over a series of evenings, but I will leave you to find that out for yourselves. 

This is the fourth of the books in this series that I have read and I am very eager to buy the rest and start reading them as its pure genius.  This was a standalone story, and really is an enjoyable way to get a snapshot of a cruise holiday with someone who gets herself into some rather unusual situations.   Highly recommend this. 

Thanks to Bernice Bloom for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Saturday 24 March 2018

Book Review - Hetty's Farmhouse Bakery by Cathy Bramley

Amazon UK
Title: Hetty's Farmhouse Bakery
Author: Cathy Bramley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Transworld Digital 
Publication Date: 22nd March 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Thirty-two-year-old Hetty Greengrass is the star around which the rest of her family orbits. Marriage, motherhood and helping Dan run Sunnybank Farm have certainlykept her hands full for the last twelve years. But when her daughter Poppy has to choose her inspiration for a school project and picks her aunt, not her mum, Hetty is left full of self-doubt.

Hetty’s always been generous with her time and until now, her biggest talent – baking deliciously moreish shortcrust pastry pies – has been limited to charity work and the village fete. But taking part in a competition run by Cumbria’s Finest to find the very best produce from the region might be just the thing to make her daughter proud . . . and reclaim something for herself.

Except that life isn’t as simple as producing the perfect pie. Changing the status quo isn’t easy – and with cracks appearing in her marriage and shocking secrets coming to light, Hetty must decide where her priorities really lie . . .

I felt instantly at home reading this delightful new book by Cathy Bramley, it is a warm comforting sort of a book while at the same time inspirational that you can do more with your life, even in a small way that may make your loved ones immensely proud of you. 

Which is exactly what Hetty is trying to do, as her daughter Poppy looks up to her aunty Naomi but not her mum, so Hetty is determined to change that.  And it all comes down to pies, as that is what Hetty is good at, and the intention to try to start up a new farm to fork business. 

However not all of the family are in agreement and it does cause tensions with husband Dan, who relies on Hetty far too much for farmwork.   

There are some unexpected directions that this book goes in, which add to the readability and grippiness of the story. I loved the setting of Sunnybank Farm, and I was even happier to see spot one of Cathy Bramley's previous characters and her family making short cameos throughout the book which is a lovely gift for her fans, and if you haven't read the other book in question then it doesn't matter, as you may not even notice. 

If you like pies then you will definitely love this book, if you love strong women trying to change their life then this is the book for you, if you want a well written, thoroughly enjoyable story that features plenty of food, family and friendship then look no further - Hetty's Farmhouse Bakery has all of that and more. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Transworld for this coy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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