Friday, 30 October 2020

Book Review - Together By Christmas by Karen Swan

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Amazon UK


Title: Together By Christmas
Author: Karen Swan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 29th October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars 

Together by Christmas is a moving read of twists, turns and heart-wrenching dilemmas by international bestseller Karen Swan, author of The Christmas Secret and The Christmas Party. As the snow falls, an unstoppable love story unfolds . . .

When Lee first came to Amsterdam, it was with a newborn baby and a secret. Five years later, her life is approaching normal: her career as a celebrity photographer is flourishing, her son Jasper is growing up, and they are enjoying the run-up to Christmas with their tight circle of close friends.

But all this changes one morning when Lee finds a book in the basket of her bicycle – and scrawled inside it, a desperate message. Who left it for her, and why? Lee feels compelled to help and tracks down the book’s author, Sam. With an instant, undeniable connection it seems they might have a shot at a real future together.

Until her past comes calling. As the snow falls and ice thickens on the city’s canals, the secret Lee has never told resurfaces. Suddenly everything she holds dear hangs in the balance. Christmas is a time for being together – but what if the truth means she ends up alone?

It is not often when I pause for a lunch break, with a book, decide that I'll read just one more chapter, and then just one more chapter and eventually I conceded that I was clearly not being budged from the pages of this book, and 3 hours later, I'm sitting here in wonder at just how amazing Karen Swan is. 

I mean she's always been a must read author for me, and I love her books, but this has to be her best yet without a doubt. And definitely my new favourite amongst her Christmas books, with the possibly exception of Christmas Under the Stars which was also totally amazing. 

There is just so much to this book, and I'm not even sure the blurb does it complete justice to the amount of threads, and tricky subjects that are covered.  There is just such a depth to this book that I wouldn't be able to explain even if I tried. 

The prologue was completely unexpected, in that it transports us to a situation I have never really seen before in the books I read, and for that alone it made me sit up and realise that this was no ordinary book. 

The amount of research Karen Swan must have done is astounding, and everything came across as what I believe must be realistic, if not believable at least. Everything to do with Lee's past and her connection to Harry Cunningham intrigued me beyond belief, and some of the key info is drip fed to us, keeping me needing to turn to the pages to see what would happen next. 

And this book is set in Amsterdam over Christmas, so we get to learn about Dutch Christmas traditions too, which was really interesting, and I always love seeing who Christmas is celebrated in other countries. 

I'm reluctant to say much more, I went into this blind, just really having noticed a location on the blurb, and knowing it was by Karen Swan, and absolutely loved and it worked so well, I was continually intrigued and needing to find out what would happen next.  There are moments of real adrenaline and I was very much invested in all the characters lives. 

This was just the book I needed to read when I did, to remind me that when a story is written so well, it can completely grip me, even when my concentration levels have been iffy recently.   Just wow, this is not just a book for the Christmas reading season, but could easily be read year round, and is just amazing. 

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

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Book Review - Christmas Wishes by Sue Moorcroft

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Amazon UK

Title: Christmas Wishes
Author: Sue Moorcroft
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 29th October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Hannah and Nico are meant to be together.

But fate is keeping them apart…

As soon as Hannah bumps into her brother Rob’s best friend Nico in Stockholm, the two rekindle a fast friendship. But Hannah has a boyfriend – and Nico has two children to look after.

When Hannah loses her beloved shop in Stockholm, though, she is forced to move back to the little village of Middledip – only to find Nico has just moved in too. Under the same snowy sky, can the childhood friends make a romance work – or are there too many obstacles standing in their way?

A heartwarming story of love, friendship, and Christmas magic, perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley and Jill Mansell.

Set between the familiar setting of Middledip and the less familiar of Stockholm, this is one really enjoyable story. 

All the sections in Sweden really appealed to me, as we discover some of the traditions in Sweden of the festive season,  and we are even treated to occasional phrases in Swedish, and their translations.  It really added a wonderful foreign feeling to the book, and made me feel as though I was in Sweden. 

And then there is the part of the book set in Middledip, Sue Moorcroft's regularly featuring village, so fans of hers were able to get glances of some familiar characters, while also getting to know the leads of this book. 

We have Hannah, who has a ratbag of a boyfriend, and well I really enjoyed despising and hating Albin, as he really did screw Hannah over (and not in the fun sense).  Hannah woman but I was really only interested in her, in relation to Nico, as Nico's story is far stronger. 

In fact Nico's story is what drew me in, and had me unable to tear myself away from the book at times.  He is having a tricky time with an ex-wife, and his children are adorable. In fact Maria and Josie are arguably the stars of the story and always able to bring a smile to my face. 

This is a really fabulous Sue Moorcroft story, filled with her usual warmth, festive feeling in places, great sense of family, and great locations. I love this author so much and this was a sheer pleasure to read.  I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas Wishes and was sorry to see it end. 

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

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Book Review - The Six Tales of Christmas by Anne Marie Ryan

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Amazon UK

Title: The Six Tales of Christmas
Author: Anne Marie Ryan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Trapeze
Publication Date:  29th October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Can a Christmas miracle save the bookshop on the green?

It's almost Christmas and the snow is falling in the Cotswolds. Simon and Nora, the owners of the bookshop on the green, are gearing up for the festive season - but the shop is in trouble. Nora is delighted when a customer comes in and buys a book that's been on the shelves for years - but is it enough to keep the bailiffs from the door?

Full of mulled wine and mince pies, Nora and Simon come up with a plan to rouse the community spirit, sending out six books to lonely members of their village. One by one, the villagers come to the shop, all of them touched by the gesture and feeling already a little less alone. The books fly off the shelves, but will it be enough to save the shop? Or do Nora and Simon need a Christmas miracle...?

A gorgeous, feel-good read about the power of community, perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson.

Well this is a Christmas story that would be right at home on the Hallmark Channel.  I could pretty much see it playing as movie in my minds eye at all times, and just had that really lovely and special feel to it. 

There is something just so lovely,  heart-warming, and gentle about this story, that it seeped under my skin without my realising, and I ended up with just a massive smile on my face, and towards the end a tear pricking at my eyes too. 

I know it was the cover, and the fact that there is a bookshop and Christmas involved that drew me to this book, but it was the superb storytelling inside that kept my attention as I whizzed through the pages. 

We get alternating chapters focusing on Nora and Simon as they attempt to come up with ways of saving their bookstore, their love of all things book and we get a feel for their customers and local community. 

From a start that just gets up warmed up, at the point that Simon launches the competition to send 6 books out at random to people that have been nominated that may be feeling a bit lonely, this story really gets going, as we also get chapters in the lives of the recipients, getting to know them a bit better, and seeing just how perfect each one's received book was. 

I knew nothing about this book going into starting it, and feel going in blind worked out really well for me, so I'm not going to say much more, other than you are in for a treat.  I loved all the incredibly real feeling characters and there are some important themes touched on within the pages. 

Although this didn't automatically make me in a Christmas mood, it did re-affirm my belief in Christmas miracles! It has all the ingredients for a fabulous story set at Christmas that you could easily read at any point in the lead up to the big day itself.  

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

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Book Review - The Country Village Christmas Show by Cathy Lake

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Amazon UK

Title: The Country Village Christmas Show
Author: Cathy Lake
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Zaffre
Publication Date: 29th October 2020 
Rating: 4 Stars

Recently divorced, the family home sold and her son all grown-up, Clare is at a crossroads. She's dedicated her whole adult life to her family, and now it's time she did something for herself.

In the lead up to Christmas, Clare decides that a bit of time in the countryside might be just what she needs, so she moves back to Little Bramble, the village she grew up in. But living with her mum for the first time in years - and not to mention Goliath the Great Dane - can be challenging.

When Clare finds herself running the village Christmas show, it feels like she has purpose in her life again. Bringing together people from all sides of the community, and all walks of life, will Clare manage to pull off a festive feat like no other? And will she find the new start in life - and possibly love - that she's been looking for?

The Country Village Christmas Show is the perfect romantic read to get cosy with this winter.

I'll admit it did take me a while to get into this book, but once I worked out who the characters were, and got used to the, I really did find it to be a very enjoyable story. 

It's all about family, and finding yourself, and rebuilding yourself after a divorce.  

I really loved Kyle, Claire's grown up son, who seems just a lovely young man (I can't be old enough to be saying things like that surely?).  Then there is Claire's mother Elaine who is interesting character, and I did enjoy the eventual reveal as to why she is the way she is, even if it did come almost too late into the book. 

And I loved the sections focusing on Sam, the local vet, and his relationship with his sister Alyssa. 

Easily my favourite character though was Goliath, the Great Dane, from his battles with the postman, to the situations he gets into, including dragging Clare through a hedge - he is also instrumental in a hilarious incident in the vet surgery between Clare and Sam! 

In fact I think most of the comic moments probably feature Goliath in some way shape or form, he is just one big lovely doggy. Although coming up quick second is the first few meetings between Clare and Sam which are awkward and amusing, 

A slow but lovely story that I found really got going once plans for the Village Christmas Show start, and I loved everything relating to the show. It left me with a sense of community and Christmas spirit. 

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

Monday, 26 October 2020

Book Review - It's Raining Men by Rich Amooi

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Amazon UK

Title: It's Raining Men
Author: Rich Amooi
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author Supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 25th October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

On a dare, Faith Daniels tosses a coin into the infamous “Fountain of Love” and wishes for the perfect man, laughing it off as the dumbest thing she’s ever done. Like magic, her quiet life turns upside-down when men begin to appear out of nowhere, like zombies, but drop-dead gorgeous and without the odd limp. There’s a doctor, a lawyer, a firefighter, and a swimwear model, for starters. All of them are kind, generous, and successful. All of them are interested in Faith. But who is Mr. Right?

A feel good romance novel and a beach read about love, friendship, and living life to the fullest! If you love sweet romance books, seasoned romance, or heartwarming romances with humor, It's Raining Men is for you! Happy Reading.

A Rich Amooi book is always guaranteed to put a smile on your face and this was no exception. 

And wow it really was raining men for Faith, and all of them utterly gorgeous, sexy hunks that seemed to have caring sides, but dodgy food preferences! 

So would you prefer a firefighter, doctor, lawyer, pro surfer or mechanic, from the main ones that we get to see? I mean literally take your pick as I could fall for all of them, but especially the one that Faith realises she may just have feelings for. 

But she only put a coin in the "fountain of love" as a joke and because her friends were offering to help her out organising a bachelor auction, if she started dating again, as it has been 5 years since the love of her life, Ryan died. 

The entire time I was thinking I want to move to Faith's town, as I want not only to put a coin in the fountain but I want the quality of hot guys interested afterwards!! Please can someone transport me there! 

This is a hugely enjoyable story of friendship, new love, and just a really lovely slow burn romance with both parties denying their increasingly obvious feelings! It is the perfect way to escape the real world for a few hours, while you absorb a really feel good story. 

Another joyous story from Rich Amooi. 

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

Friday, 23 October 2020

Book Review - Ultimate Dilemma by M. A. Comley

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Amazon UK

Title: Ultimate Dilemma
Author: M. A. Comley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited
Publication Date: 22nd October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

A despicable murder covered up for twenty-five years...

A family ripped apart by an atrocious crime...

Who is responsible for this cruel deception, a brutal loss of life? And why?

DI Katy Foster has the ultimate dilemma when a young woman discovers her father attacked and left for dead.

Countless clues lead to one suspect in particular, but with all the time that has passed and the lack of potential evidence needed for a conviction, Katy's team are left feeling exasperated.

Will the team be able to unravel this complex case with dozens of untruths to sift through, to capture a killer who has been roaming free for a quarter of a century?

Wow, wow, wow. Sitting here open mouthed in complete shock and wonder.  There is no way I would have ever seen that ending coming.  I'm not even sure how the author came up with it, but it works so well, and has completely taken my breath away. 

Oh and the lead up to that point was fabulous too,  it is another fabulous book in this promising new series.  In some ways I was happy to hear less direct mentions of Lorne in this one, as Katy and Charlie are starting to become more respected detectives in their own right. 

I was though delighted to see a rather familiar face, from The Justice series make an appearance.  Glad to see she is still about and happy to help the police when asked. 

As this series is starting to hit its stride (well as much stride as you get for a second book, but for fans of the Justice series then we have known these characters for many years), it is clear that it seems to be Katy that is key at the moment, her personal life we are getting to know. 

I feel I don't really know the person behind adult Charlie the police detective that well yet, but I'm sure it will come, and ultimately Katy is the senior detective in this partnership so it makes sense at the moment. 

It was a really baffling case at least initially and I'll admit around half way I had an epiphany, utterly convinced I knew both murder and motive - which may be why I'm so amazed at the real outcome - I was kind of close for both but the reality I'd have never come up with in a million years. 

I do love it when an author can take you completely by surprise like that. 

If you have read my reviews in the past you will know just how much I love M. A. Comley's writing, I ran out of superlatives about a year ago, but imagine all the positive superlatives you would like to use about a thriller and I'm pretty sure they would be apt for this one too! 

Bring on Book 3, I can't wait! 

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

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Book Review - The Winter We Met by Samantha Tonge - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: The Winter We Met
Author: Samantha Tonge
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Aria
Publication Date: 8th October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

When charming, mysterious Nik sits next to Jess on a plane home from a Christmas toy trade fair, she never could have imagined the impact he'd have on her life. As they touch down in London, Jess is hesitant to let Nik walk away, and before she knows it, she's invited him to visit.

As the two take in the delights of the toy store where she works, Jess gets an upsetting phone call. Willow Court, her grandmother's care home, is to close before Christmas. Jess is determined to find the perfect new home for her Gran – and throw the best Christmas party Willow Court has ever seen!

But time is running out with the closure looming and Jess becomes increasingly drawn to enigmatic Nik who joins forces with her and best friend Oliver to realise those plans.

Will a chance encounter on an aeroplane bring love to Jess's life or is this Christmas miracle too good to be true?

I have felt like a bit of a big kid reading this, as within the main characters we have a toy maker and a toy shop manager. And I loved hearing about various toys especially with the focus more on the traditional sorts. 

And although the toys are a focus, the main story is about Willow Court, which is the care home where Jess's gran, Alice is currently living, until they are given barely any notice of its upcoming closure. 

This close to Christmas it throws their plans for a Christmas party into disarray, as well as having to look for new homes.   It is down to Jess, flat mate and best friend Oliver and new handsome stranger Nik to save the day and put on a fabulous party. 

We get to know all the residents of Willow Court really well, and they really are a lovely group of people.    

Jess and Nik first meet when Jess sits in the wrong seat on a plane, and they get chatting and hit it off big time.  Nik is a gorgeous Aussie hunk, who seems to good to be true.  During the book, Oliver has his own theories about Nik, but Alf, one of the Willow Court residents with a penchant for conspiracy theories, also has a theory.   And let's just say I really really Alf's theory to be true, it gave me such a stupidly big grin, it made sense, left me feeling so good for the remainder of the story. 

I really enjoyed seeing the plans for the party come together, and just learning more about all the characters in this.  I could really imagine Willow Court, and given my  mum is currently in such a home, gives me some sort of comfort that there are places out there that will treat their residents well. 

I loved everything about this book, from Buddy, to the dessert shop, everything about Nik, the craft activities, the new shop window designs Jess was coming up with and the real sense of well being and friendship amongst everyone at Willow Court. 

So heart-warming, this is a book that really embodies the spirit of Christmas.  

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

Please do go back and take a look at the other posts on this tour for more The Winter We Met goodness! 



Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Book Review - The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

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Amazon UK

Title: The Thursday Murder Club
Author: Richard Osman
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 3rd September 2020
Rating: 3 Stars

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it's too late?

From the moment the deal had been announced for this book I was very curious, I'm a huge fan of Richard Osman on Pointless, House of Games, and any other programmes he crops up in, so was very interested to see how good this writing endeavours would be. 

And well, I'm still largely undecided having read The Thursday Murder Club.  And I think the reason I didn't fully love the book, was I initially had big formatting issues with the advance copy from Netgalley, which kept taking me away from the story, but at around 60% when I was on the verge of wondering if I could read more with the issues my copy had, I thought I'd try re-downloading in case a newer version had been uploaded. 

That fixed things, and I wish I had thought of it earlier as it felt at that point I was reading a much more polished book that I believe to be closer to the final version that is available, and I was able to lose myself within the pages a lot more. 

I have many questions unanswered from finishing this but I know its the first book in the series, so the odds are I do want o read the next book, now that I'm used to the writing style and the characters.

I may be sounding negative, but its awkward to write a review when all the best bits happen far too far in for me to comment on, and that possibly due to the issues I had initially I may not have quite taken in all the background supplied for the characters - which is on me, and nothing to do with the book itself. 

I loved the concept of these four members of a retirement village being completely delighted when a real live murder falls into their laps as they are determined to solve it ahead of the police. 

Elizabeth is an intriguing character, who seemed to be able to get everyone around to her way of thinking, Then there is Joyce who we get to know through her diary, but I'm nor really sure why she was writing a diary.   

There is a huge cast of characters and I think I would have followed it a lot better had it been a film, which may just mean I wasn't quite in the right frame of mind to read this when I did, as normally I don't struggle with that. 

It's a book and series that shows promise, it improved for me as I continued reading, but at the same time, I couldn't really tell what it was trying to be. Not really a murder mystery, not really cosy crime, not really general fiction, not really enough character development for me, or background to the characters.   

At times I was really enjoying it and other points I was wondering how I had been reading for a while but felt like I'd made no progress with the book. 

I'm just so conflicted but I'm glad I was able to read it, and I am curious about book 2, especially if I get a properly formatted copy to start with as I suspect a lot of my issues were caused by that. 

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

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Book Review - Log Fires & Toffee Apple Cake at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green

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Amazon UK

Title: Log Fires & Toffee Apple Cake at the Little Duck Pond Cafe
Author: Rosie Green
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self published
Publication Date: 31st August 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Get set for a wonderful celebration of autumn with all your favourite characters at the Little Duck Pond Cafe!
An autumn fair is coming to Sunnybrook, much to the delight of the villagers. But for Madison, whose personal life seems to be spinning out of control, a roller-coaster is the last thing she needs – especially when it’s her emotions at stake.
Can she convince the delectable Jack that their relationship is worth another shot? Or has their romance ground to a permanent halt like a faulty big wheel? Will she solve the mystery of the missing name on her birth certificate? Or will her discoveries take her on a journey even bumpier than the dodgem cars? One thing’s for sure. Madison is going to need more than a fairground fortune teller to find the answers to her questions, if she’s going to ‘waltz-er’ into the happiest of sunsets…

How on earth are we on book 12 of this fabulous series already, and each book continually feels different and fresh, which must take a real skill from Rosie Green. 

This time we have Madison as the main character, and it's about time we get to know her better.  At the centre of this we have her wondering if she will ever get back together with Jack, having finally realised she needs to treat him better.  And there is also the discovery of just who her dad is.

Which leads to amongst other things are rather amusing radio jingle and what Madison believes to be dog snorkelling (she was a letter out, but the real sort of snorkelling is just as entertaining). 

Madison needs to learn how to be a better friend and family member in this story, and I loved seeing her journey of self discovery. 

Even though this is the 12th book in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone, we get a few chapters which are great for new readers, and possibly useful reminders for existing fans, of her story in Stonybrook so far, which covers her key moments from the previous books, so should be easy enough to dip into from here. 

We do naturally get to catch up with the other Little Duck Pond Cafe girls, which includes a bit of drama, and continuations of all of their lives. 

It's just another fabulous instalment in this incredibly pleasing series, I'm already looking forward to the festive additions for this year, and hope that Rosie Green can keep going with the Duck Pond Cafe girls for many years. 

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

Monday, 19 October 2020

Book Review - No Regrets by Tabitha Webb - #HolidayReading Malta

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Amazon UK

Title: No Regrets
Author: Tabitha Webb
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 25th June 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Best friends Stella, Ana and Dixie have always lived life to the full. But now they’re approaching their forties, reality is starting to kill the mood…

Stella loves her children, but misses her glittering career. Plus she can’t even remember the last time she had sex.

Ana is trying for a baby with her partner Rex. So why can’t she stop thinking about the one that got away?

Dixie is the wildest of them all. A Tinder addict who’ll never settle down. But has she accidentally found Mr Right…?

It’s time for the friends to shake things up and start having some fun. Because you only regret the things you don’t do, right?

How on earth is this a debut novel, its is far too good to be a debut, I love it that much .

It to me is just what I want from a holiday read so very glad I was by the pool in Malta when I read it in one afternoon. 

I was hooked almost instantly on these three friends, Stella, Ana and Dixie. 

Stella is married with kids but feels like her life is stagnating a bit, and becomes friends with a young nanny, and I loved seeing just what influence Coco has on Stella!

Ana is desperate to have a child with Rex, but then discovers an ex has become mega successful and in the spotlight and starts to wonder!

While Dixie is without a doubt my favourite of the three ladies, for she clearly loves sex, is quite happy to continually alter her age on tinder, and not to mention the incredibly hot guy she sits next to on a transatlantic flight, who she has instant chemistry with. 

They are three women who are determined to live life to its fullest, and to have absolutely no regrets when it comes to anything. 

This was such a refreshing read, and feels like it could empower women to take control of their lives, and especially their sex lives. 

I whizzed through this in an afternoon and afterwards wondered why on earth it had been sitting on my kindle for so long, as I had known from the second I read the blurb that it would be my sort of book!

Absolutely loved every filthy moment of this entertaining, escapist book. 

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

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Book Review - Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten - Blog Tour - #HolidayReading Malta

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Amazon UK

Title: Dead Perfect
Author: Noelle Holten
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 16th October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars 

A murdered woman…

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer.  The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else.  Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger.  Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls? 

Can Maggie find the depraved killer?  Or will Kate become his next living doll?

From the second the previous book ended, I knew I had to read Dead Perfect to se what would happen next. 

And I was certainly not disappointed, as Maggie Jamieson's new case is unlike anything I've read before. 

I had an inkling as to who the murderer may be, but would never have guessed the motivations in a million years 

I loved getting to know Maggie and her team just that bit more, as familiar faces from the previous books keep popping up. 

I would not have had a clue where to start solving this, so very glad Maggie is a far better detective than I am. 

I was drawn into the story, and was gutted when I had to put the book down, and even forgo a bit of time in the sun to finish the last quarter in one go over breakfast!!

This is a superb addition to this simply marvellous series. 

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

Please follow along with the rest of the tour. 



Friday, 16 October 2020

Book Review - A Forget-Me-Not Summer by Sophie Claire

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Amazon UK

Title: A Forget-Me-Not Summer
Author: Sophie Clare
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 11th June 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

It's taken years, but Natasha Brown's life is finally on track. Running a florists in the quaint village of Willowbrook, she's put her short-lived marriage to Luc Duval far behind her. That is, until he unexpectedly walks through her shop door, three years after their divorce.

Luc reveals that he never told his family about their split, and now his father is desperately ill and demanding to meet Natasha. Luc needs her to come to France and pretend they're still happily married. Natasha is horrified, but when Luc makes her an offer she can't refuse, reluctantly packs her bags.

The deal is two weeks on a vineyard with his family, but will Luc and Natasha be able to play the perfect couple after years apart? And in the glorious Provence sun, will the old spark between them be impossible to ignore?

A gentle, lovely and warm romance, set predominately on a Provencal vineyard. 

Natasha hadn't looked back after leaving her ex-husband Luc, so was rather shocked when he appeared in her florist shop, 3 years after the divorce. Not only that he was after a favour, that would involve her lying to his entire family, who she has never met before for two weeks. 

She is cajoled (well very much enticed), to agree to Luc's mad proposition even though they can barely be civil to each other, they agree to pretend they are still married, as it will help Jean Pierre, Luc's father while he is in hospital and has requested her presence. 

As the book went on I found myself warming to Luc, more and more, he initially is really hard to like, especially as we see just why their brief marriage broke down in the first place.  But more than Luc, I absolutely adored his family. 

They were just all really rounded people who clearly were keen to get to know Natasha, and in the case of Caroline's children, teach her French too. 

I just really enjoyed this incredibly pleasant read, it was a fabulous break from the Christmas books I've been reading, although I am looking forward to reading Sophie Clare's new book A Winter's Dream as soon as I can.   This was my second book by the author and I really like her writing style and storytelling ability. 

A good and enjoyable book, and one I'm glad I was able to sit and read in a day, which doesn't happen that often at the moment. 

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

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Book Review - Secrets in the Snow by Emma Heatherington - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: Secrets in the Snow
Author: Emma Heatherington
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 15th October 2020 
Rating: 5 Stars

As the winter snow falls on the small Irish village of Ballybray, Roisin O’Connor and her young son, Ben, are saying goodbye to their beloved neighbour Mabel Murphy.  Mabel lived a bold and colourful life, but the arrival of her brooding nephew, ‘blow-in’ Aidan Murphy, just makes life more complicated for Roisin.

However, in one final act of love, a message arrives from Mabel that changes everything.  And as winter turns to spring and the cold snow melts, the secrets both Roisin and Aidan are hiding must be revealed at last…

Beautiful, at times I had a lump in my throat both through sadness and happiness. 

It's just a wonderful story, that I really wasn't sure how it would turn out, and there are a few shocks during the story including at least one that made me gasp out loud! 

Although Mabel is dead for the duration of the book she is also present in every chapter, every thought and action and her memory is really kept alive.  She sounded like a truly remarkable woman, and we see how her neighbours and best friends Roisin and son Ben, cope with life without her - and also her nephew Aidan who has come over from New York to pay his respects. 

What neither were anticipating was the way that Mabel would be able to still influence their lives beyond the grave, with a series of messages. 

I loved watching how the relationship between Roisin and Aiden develops from their first rather frosty meetings into something that could be amazing. 

There is a multitude of emotions, there are demons to overcome from Roisin, Ben is a lovely child that was a joy to see how he reacted to things.  There is sledding, a trip to New York,  arguments, grief, new relationships, and a whole lot more in between. 

Don't think that just because there is snow in the title, that this is a purely winter or Christmas book, it in fact takes place over a whole year, so we get all the seasons, and it makes this a fabulous book to read year around. 

So curl up, block out a few hours as you won't want to put this down and lose yourself in Emma Heatherington's words, you'll be glad that you did. 

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

Please follow along with the rest of the fabulous bloggers on this blog tour 



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