Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Book Review - Flawed Justice by M. A. Comley

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Amazon UK

Title: Flawed Justice
Author: M. A. Comley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited
Publication Date: 24th June 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

When hope is lost... anger surfaces.
DI Lorne Simpkins and her partner, DS Pete Childs, encounter one of their most evil criminals to date when a priest is found murdered in a church.
Why was a man of God killed. Was the killer sending a message?
The truth, when it's finally revealed, is flabbergasting. Lorne sets out to right the wrongs she uncovers.

I’m, always excited to see any new book featuring Lorne and Pete, so was definitely eager to sit and read this. 

 And well I devoured this novella in not much time at all, perhaps an hour or so. 

What I found unusual but made an interesting change was that they were already trying to solve this case before we had even met the opening chapter murder. So it sort of felt like we as a reader were thrown in at the deep end… for all of a few mins before with a case recap we are caught up to date as they don’t really know much. 

What I found fascinating was the ,motivation for this particular killing spree, I can’t say it’s justified but definitely could understand it which is a weird position to be in. 

I loved seeing Lorne and Pete banter, it always amuses me, as does her interactions with the pathologist.  And was really good to see AJ, been a while since I last recall seeing him do some police work. 

It’s a fast and fabulous novella that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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

Monday, 26 July 2021

Book Review - A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett

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Amazon UK

Title: A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife
Author: Jo Bartlett
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 1st July 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

The venue is booked, the dress is picked, and Senior Midwife Anna Jones only has to say ‘I Do!’ to the man she loves! Theirs might have been a whirlwind romance, but Brae Penrose is everything Anna dreamed her husband would be and she can’t wait to start a family with him.

But as the big day approaches, Anna still isn’t pregnant and when disaster strikes, their perfect day looks destined not to happen at all! Is it a sign to slow things down?

The other midwives won’t hear of Anna and Brae postponing their big day, and soon the whole community of Port Agnes comes together to make sure the Penrose wedding goes off without a hitch!

And Anna realises, baby or not, she already has her dream family with Brae and her friends by her side.

Meet The Cornish Midwives of Port Agnes- where community, friendship and love are always delivered.

An uplifting and escapist read, perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Jessica Redland and Holly Martin!

This book was previously published as Christmas with the Cornish Midwives.

I honestly thought that the previous book would have provided all the drama these midwives could ever need, but within the first chapter of this book I was clearly proved wrong. 

Nothing like a dramatic opening to a book to draw you in and keep you hooked, and it perfectly set up some fabulous storylines for this latest edition of the Cornish Midwife soap opera.  Well it feels as though it could easily translate to a soap on the small scheme, as we get to know so many of the midwives at the Port Agnes unit. 

And it is becoming more and more clear how well regarded these midwifes are within their local community. For this new standalone story, the focus is on Anna, and her desire to have her own child, as well as hopefully marrying Brae the man of her dreams. 

And for the last section of the book I was sitting open mouthed at the community spirit shown in Port Agnes, with a lump in my throat at the emotion of it all, as well as impressed at how much more drama could be included before ending the book incredibly happy and with a smile on my face. 

While also knowing I can't wait for the next book in the series as this is a series, that has definitely got under my skin and into my heart and I need more.   

Oh and what of the midwifery, there are some great moments with those, and seeing how Anna handled one expectant mother in particular really gave me the feels and I just loved her all the more for it. 

Oh and I'm completely and utterly in love with Brae, he is absolutely wonderful, wish I could have him all to myself! Was also really happy to catch up with Ella and Dan, as well as seeing more from Jess and Toni, one of which I'm sure will be the heroine next!! 

A charming and heartwarming read set in the gorgeous Port Agnes - I loved it! 

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

Friday, 23 July 2021

Book Review - Below The Big Blue Sky by Anna McPartlin

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Amazon UK

Title: Below The Big Blue Sky
Author: Anna McPartlin
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Zaffre
Publication Date: 23rd July 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

There's no family quite like the Hayes, and yet they're just like any other - they love each other, they look out for each other and they drive each other mad. When their youngest, Rabbit, dies tragically at just forty, the Hayes are almost torn apart by their grief.

Without her beloved mum, twelve-year-old Bunny is adrift; without Rabbit, there can be no Bunny. Her Granny is concerned when Bunny insists on being called by her real name, Juliet. Even surrounded by the noise and chaos of the Hayes, Juliet feels lost and alone.

Meanwhile, Rabbit's sister Grace has something else on her mind. She's got the gene that made her sister ill, and she hasn't told anyone yet. All she can think about are the things she's always wanted to do, like fly a plane or climb a mountain, or watch her four children grow up. She doesn't know how to share the news that may break her family, but she knows she needs their support, now more than ever.

Despite squabbling over what Rabbit will wear at the wake and their dad burying himself in the past with his diaries, the Hayes family know there's only one way they'll get through this: together.

This huge-hearted novel is about grief, family, the messiness of life and finding humour in the most unexpected of places. Below the Big Blue Sky will make you laugh, cry and fill you with joy.

Emotional… crying both at the start and end and bits in the middle too.  Takes a lot for real tears to fall when reading but Anna McPartlin managed that rather early in the book. 

It’s though uplifting, it feels like it comes full circle and if you haven’t read the first book, then it starts with a massive spoiler for the ending of that one! 

Split into various parts, and each part we alternate between the focus of various members of the Hayes family as they come to terms with life after Rabbit. It is really easy to follow with each chapter clearly headed and by the end I felt as though I was part of the bigger wider Hayes family. 

I have absolutely no words to describe this book, or how it made me feel. It was beautifully written, tugged my heart strings like nothing else and was a really special book to read. 

Realistically I can’t do justice to this book, it’s wonderful, it makes me feel glad to be alive and you will need to have tissues ready.  The author has written something so fantastic that all I can say Is read it for yourself, without much prior info and be gripped into this family’s highs and lows. You won’t be disappointed. 

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

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Book Review - Primrose Park by Christie Barlow

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Amazon UK

Title: Primrose Park
Author: Christie Barlow
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 30th April 
Rating: 5 Stars

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

Vet Molly has always been career driven and focussed on caring for her animals, but when she meets a gorgeous Mystery Man at a conference and their connection is off the charts, well, one night off work won’t hurt anyone…except the next morning he’s vanished and all Molly knows about him is his first name.

Three months later, back in Love Heart Lane, everyone loves the story of Molly's amazing one-night stand.  It's so unlike her! But when Mystery Man turns up walking his dog through Primrose Park and their night together seems to mean nothing to him, Molly needs her friends and neighbours more than ever. And especially when she’s left with the most unexpected of surprises…

I don't know how Christie Barlow does it but once again she was written a simply stunning book that I couldn't put down, and completely hooked on. 

From the initial meeting between Molly and Cam, which is rather memorable in its own right, and my only complaint is that it was a fade to black sort of a scene instead of heavy on the action once it looked like things were getting heated.  To the way three months later she is wondering why it was a one night stand, as she was convinced there was a connection - this book has it all. 

Then there is Darling, who is rather contrary to her name, but its through Darling that Molly is brought into the orbits of Dixie and Birdie. And now that is a storyline to watch out for.  Actually Darling I loved instantly, well she does have 4 legs, and just needs to learn to settle down a bit and listen to instructions. 

It is so good to be back in Heartcross and to catch up with all our favourite characters from the other books, especially Isla who is Molly's best friend.  I felt like I was back home almost as soon as the story moved into Heartcross and Glenshiel. 

And although this may be book 6 (how is it book 6 already!), in the Love Heart Lane series, it can easily be read as a standalone story, as we've not had these main focal characters take centre stage before. 

And what about the tile of the book, Primrose Park, well let's just say it plays a rather large part in the book itself, in a few of the storylines and sounds like a beautiful park that the whole community loves. 

Just another heartwarming and joyous read that left me smiling. I can't wait for my next visit to Love Heart Lane as soon as Christie Barlow writes it! 

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

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Book Review - Meet Me In Hawaii by Georgia Toffolo

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Amazon UK

Title: Meet Me In Hawaii
Author: Georgia Toffolo
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Mills and Boon
Publication Date: 18th March 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Where an ocean of love awaits
Malie Pukui doesn’t believe in happy ever after. After a tragedy caused her to flee her family and friends in Devon she found a fresh start in Hawaii. Here, working at a surf school, she can give back to those in need and try to overcome the greatest loss in her life.

Moved around foster homes throughout his childhood, Todd Masters has worked hard to be able to offer a brighter future to young disadvantaged children. Now he has his own charitable foundation working with a surf school in Hawaii, a job he loves, but he still can’t put his past behind him.

When Malie rescues Todd from the sea a spark ignites between them, and the two wounded souls find a common ground. But amidst the surf, sunsets and sizzling kisses, can Malie let go of her past and risk something she’d locked away forever… her heart?

How I wish I could get on a plane and transport myself to Hawaii, it is so wonderfully described that I felt as though I was there alongside Malie. 

And Malie's initial meet cute with Todd is really dramatic, and set it up to show what a powerful heroine we have.  She is one amazing surfer, and her patience teaching the disadvantaged children that are staying for a few weeks, is impressive.  Especially the way she bonds with Tara. 

In fact it was at the point Malie is drawing Tara out of herself for the first time, with the help of Nalu, that had me completely and utterly hooked into this book and realising it was far more impressive than the first book in this series. 

Starting  a week after Meet Me In London ends, the focus is on Malie this time although we still get to see a fair bit of the other friends, and I felt instantly at home in this book.  

And Todd.. let's just say swoon, and once Malie has finished deciding if she can risk her heart on him, can I have a go! Would love me a Todd!  As leading men go, he is definitely one of my favourite for a long while and there is so much more to him than maybe meets the eye initially. 

I have to say I'm now hooked on this series, these characters and really can't wait for September and the next release.  Definitely fabulous escapist fiction and perfect for some exotic armchair travel this summer. 

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Book Review - What Are We Doing About Zoya? by Anisha Bhatia

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Amazon UK

Title: What Are We Doing About Zoya?
Author: Anisha Bhatia
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Headline Accent
Publication Date: 13th July 2021
Rating: 5 Stars


In this hilarious comedy of manners set in Mumbai, where modernity jostles with tradition, Balli Kaur Jaswal's EROTIC STORIES FOR PUNJABI WIDOWS meets Kevin Kwan's CRAZY RICH ASIANS.

Zoya is not a perfect Indian daughter. She's overweight, independent and unmarried in a society that values slim, obedient women.

And at twenty-six, she is hurtling towards her expiration date in Mumbai's arranged marriage super-mart. But when her family's matchmaking finally works, everything seems to be on the up - all until she is offered a dream job in New York City.

Zoya must now make the choice of a lifetime, but not without a few cultural casualties and, of course, an accidental love story along the way . . ..


Even when I wasn't reading i found I was wondering what Zoya and her family were up to now,  as I was completely hooked on their story. 

I always find it refreshing when reading about a different culture so loved this Bombay set book,  with not your typical stereotypical heroine.

For Zoya isn't interested in an arrangement marriage and although she will bow to the aunties and family's will and see men, its not a good process for her.

She's the wrong shade of brown, overweight and already too close to 30. And she is doing very well in her career. This is all about her pull between wanting to be a modern Indian woman and the cultural traditions expected of her.  

And as we go further into the story we start seeing all sorts of hidden depths and secrets emerge, which I loved discovering. But will Zoya marry the man that asks her, or will the lure of a job a lifetime be too much? We'll I'm not telling you. 

I also loved the way some of the dialogue is written, mimicking the sort of speech patterns you may expect from people in India. I found if I read some out loud that it felt as though I was speaking with the correct accent which is rather clever! 

This is the first book I've read by the author and thought it was fantastic.  I loved every second of the big noisy family, and would be very happy if there was a sequel.  

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

Monday, 19 July 2021

Book Review - The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones

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Amazon UK

Title: The Guilt Trip
Author: Sandie Jones
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 31st May 2021
Rating: 4 Stars

A weekend get-away takes a terrible turn, ending with one dead body, five friends with guilty consciences, and one of them a killer . . .

The Guilt Trip is the twisty thriller from Sandie Jones, the author of The Other Woman, and perfect for fans of T. M. Logan's The Holiday.

A pool-side weekend in Portugal is the perfect way for five lifelong friends to celebrate the upcoming wedding of one of their group, Will, and a chance for the rest of them to get to know Will's fiancée, Ali, a little better. A newcomer to their group, Ali seems perfectly nice, and they are pleased to see Will finally happy after years of bad choices.

But Ali is hiding secrets and by the end of the holiday one of the group will be dead, with the rest returning home as suspects, wondering if they really know each other at all . . .

What an incredibly aptly named book this was. for all the characters could be considered guilty of something and well they are all on a trip. 

Set in sun drenched Portugal, three couples, 5 of which was known each other forever, have their lives turned upside down, as it turns out almost all of them are hiding things from each other. 

But the question is can you guess any of the truth before it's revealed for I couldn't. And this is a very twisty book that has you thinking in one direction and then another, all the while building to a dramatic conclusion. 

This may have been the first book I have read by this author but given how I was gaping open mouthed as the book reached its crescendo, it certainly won't be the last. 

This book has everything,  sun, lies, secrets, characters you can't help but be invested in although not overly likeable, a dead body, and over the course of a few days,  life changing actions and consequences for all. 

Simply put this was my sort of book and I really enjoyed reading it.

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

Friday, 16 July 2021

Book Review - Surprise Reunion With His Cinderella by Rachael Stewart

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Amazon UK

Title: Surprise Reunion With His Cinderella
Author: Rachael Stewart
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Mills and Boon
Publication Date: 8th July 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

One week in paradise…

In this Billion-Dollar Matches story, when Freddie Highgrove arrives in the Seychelles for a week-long ‘date’, via the elite ‘M’ dating agency, he’s stunned to find his match is Jasmine Walker—his first love and ex-fiancée! His high society family’s expectations once sent housekeeper’s daughter Jasmine running. Can one week in paradise bring them back together?

Well when I happen to notice the mention of The Seychelles in the blurb of a book by an author that has been on my radar for a while but still hadn't read, I just knew this would be my first dip into a Rachael Stewart book. 

After all I'm a sucker for an exotic setting, and also for a romance set in Paradise, and this really did deliver.  I loved the chemistry between Freddie and Jasmine, as well as the clear connection they had since they were once engaged when they were 18. 

But there was fear over how Freddie's family would take it as he is part of the Highgrove family, part of high society and Jasmine was their housekeeper's daughter - hence the Cinderella reference in the title! 

I loved the various activities the pair were being made to do in the Seychelles which gave a feel for the islands as well as giving them a variety of potentially romantic moments.   

Although neither were expecting to be on the island with each other, they had been matched at the "M" dating agency which specialises in matches between high fliers. They had never forgotten each each other over the previous 10 years but neither were they expecting to come face to face on a tropical paradise. 

This was a sheer pleasure to slip between the pages of, and i just wonder why I haven't read any of Rachael Stewarts books before now!  A wonderful way to spend an afternoon sitting in the garden! 

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

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Book Review - Once Upon A Puppy by Lizzie Shane

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Amazon UK

Title: Once Upon A Puppy
Author: Lizzie Shane
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Publication Date: 25th May 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

For fans of Holly Martin, Phillipa Ashley and Sarah Morgan, Lizzie Shane's Once Upon a Puppy is sure to capture your heart!


Opposites attract when a straitlaced lawyer and whimsical party planner must fake-date as co-parents of a rambunctious Irish wolfhound in the second book of this im-paw-ssibly charming small-town romance series.

Once upon a time, an unruly puppy was looking for a place to call home...

Connor Wyeth has a plan for everything. But when he adopts Maximus, an unruly Irish wolfhound mix, he gets more than he bargained for. The only person Max ever listens to is the volunteer who used to walk him at the shelter - a perpetually upbeat woman whose day job is planning princess parties for little kids. Connor can't believe she'll be able to tame such a beast as Max, but he's desperate enough to try anything.

Deenie Mitchell isn't looking forward to spending more time with uptight, rules-orientated Connor - no matter how attractive he is. But when her sister announces her engagement, Deenie realizes he's the perfect person to impress her type-A family. When she learns he needs a plus-one for his law firm's work events, an unlikely alliance is formed. But then playing the perfect couple unexpectedly begins to feel all too...real.

Opposites may attract, but can this rule-maker and rule-breaker find a way to each other's hearts?

I'd been eager to return to Pine Hollow from the moment I finished reading The Twelve Dogs of Christmas, so couldn't wait to start reading as soon as this arrived in the post. 

And I wasn't disappointed, this was just as good if not better than the first book.  Lizzie Shane certainly knows how to write dogs that you will fall in love with and it was great getting to know Maximus better. 

He is a gentle giant but has clearly never been trained, which is something Connor is intending to do but just keeps finding reasons not to attend the training sessions.  Although the first one in a while he does go to, he bumps into Deenie, his polar opposite. 

They appear to rub each other up the wrong way, he's a lawyer and wants to be partner at his firm, whereas Deenie organises Princess parties and appears to be a dog whisperer too. She also has great wanderlust and rarely stays in one place as long as she is going to be spending in Pine Hollow. 

I loved how the two of them banter and rub each other up the wrong way, especially when Connor hires her to become Maximus's personal dog trainer! And what a first training session it is, its hilarious!! 

I also loved seeing familiar faces from all over Pine Hollow and more of Ben and Ally's story from the previous book.  Also seeing Deenie's family dynamics made me just want to punch them and stick up for her. 

I found the story really went up a gear as it verged into one of the tropes I really enjoy and yet from not having read the blurb properly, due to just knowing I wanted to read this, took me by surprise and I'm glad it did as I was enjoying the book even more from that point. 

I've had a lovely couple of afternoons in the garden reading this book, From a great community setting, to gorgeous dogs and fabulous chemistry this book has it all.  And I even loved how the title fits in once I gave it a thought, and realised it was quite clever! 

I really hope this isn't the last we have seen of Pine Hollow I can't help but think there is at least one more resident's story that should be focused on and I hope that may be coming next! 

Thank you to Emily Patience at Headline for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily,. 

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Book Review - The House in the Clouds by Victoria Connelly

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Amazon UK

Title: The House in the Clouds
Author: Victoria Connelly
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 8th June 2021
Rating: 4 Stars

Two strangers, one house, and a secret to be revealed.

Artist Abigail Carey has always dreamed of a life in the country and, when Winfield Hall comes up at auction, she’s desperate to make the place her home. The only trouble is that businessman, Edward Townsend, has exactly the same idea.

With its position high on the Sussex Downs, Winfield is a stunning house, but it hasn’t been a home for a long time and there’s a lot of work to do to restore it to its former glory. It’s going to take a lot of time and money, so Edward and Abi decide to take a risk and share the house, each living in their own wing.

But can these two strangers agree on a vision that suits them both? And will free-spirited Abi ever get the rather reserved Edward to reveal the secret he’s been hiding for so long?

The House in the Clouds is the first novel in a brand new trilogy from the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and The Book Lovers series.

I felt right at home with the setting of Winfield Hall and the two people hoping to live there, Abigail and Edward.   One is artistic the other far more reserved and more of a numbers man.  And due to circumstances are now both owning half of the Hall. 

As we get to know Abigail and Edward a lot more, we discover just why it is neither has necessarily been entirely truthful to one another, not in bad ways, just more secrets they are hiding for good reasons, and they are subjects dealt with,  in a suitable way by our talented author. 

This is though the first book in a planned trilogy, so please don't go into it expecting all loose ends tied up by the end of this book, there is a conclusion, its a nice place to end a book, but also a lot of this story I feel it almost certainly paving the way for whatever will be coming next in this trilogy. 

Which I know for certain I wish to continue reading as I really enjoyed this first book.  I loved the descriptions of the massive Winfield Hall, its surrounding area, and really enjoyed seeing the world through Abigail's eyes.  

It takes a bit longer to completely warm to Edward and its obvious there is more he is hiding, and I'd love to discover the reason for certain aspects of his life,  but he is a good character, a good man from what I can tell, just not overly chatty, and a tad quieter, which suits him. 

This is a very good start to what promises to be an excellent trilogy.  I can't wait to see what will happen next, and due to the way the two are intending to use their halves of the hall once the building work is done, i anticipate some new dynamics in the next book which will I would be rather curious to see.

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

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Book Review - The Ticklemore Treasure Trove by Liz Davies

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Amazon UK

Title: The Ticklemore Treasure Trove
Author: Liz Davies
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 1st June 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Nell Chapman has always assumed that one of her twin sons would help run her antique shop once they finished university. The boys, however, have other plans, when they announce they're going backpacking for a year, leaving Nell feeling bereft and lonely.
Not only that, but with their father (her lying, cheating ex-husband) back on the scene and demanding half of the business, there might not be anything left for her boys to help manage when they return.

However, she hasn’t counted on the unexpected support of local landscape artist, Silas Long. And neither has she considered the possibility she might fall in love again – especially since Silas is so distant and moody, and has his own cross to bear.

Should Nell take a chance and risk her heart, or should she leave well alone? And why has Silas painted her portrait if he doesn’t feel anything for her?

It is always a treat to be back in Ticklemore, and this time we are focusing on unsurprisingly the Ticklemore Treasure Trove, Nell's antique shop.  And we also get to know Silas a whole lot better too. 

This may be the third book in a series but it can easily be read as a standalone,  Although Nell and Silas have been part of Hattie's task force and thus we are aware of them, this is the first time as a reader of the series that the really spend any time with these two incredibly lovely people. 

Silas is hiding something in his past and its affecting how he deals with life at the moment. However spending some time with Nell seems to unlock various feelings within him, and I'm not just talking about romance. 

And Nell, wow what a weasel her ex-husband is, and I thoroughly enjoyed hating Riley whenever he reared his ugly head in this story. 

I loved the whole storyline involving one rather specific painting in Nell's shop, and also learning about Silas' past. 

And Hattie has a new mission this book, that woman is impossible to say no to and she's decided that everyone in Ticklemore needs an apprentice, although neither Nell nor Silas are particularly keen on the idea. She's also decided that those two will become a couple.... but I'll leave it you to discover whether Hattie  gets everything she sets her mind to or not. 

I completely enjoyed this story, the characters, the village, and the plot.  Not to mention some rather funny conversations between our leading pair.  It's just an all around good book, and another excellent addition to this series. 

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

Monday, 12 July 2021

Book Review - The Summer Island Festival by Rachel Burton

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Amazon UK

Title: The Summer Island Festival
Author: Rachel Burton
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Aria
Publication Date: 4th March 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

When Willow walks out on her own wedding, there's only one place she can go: Seaview village, on the island she once called home. But she's not the only islander back for the summer...

Twelve years ago, Willow ran away to the mainland after her childhood sweetheart, Luc, betrayed her. Luc has since become a heartthrob musician, touring sold-out stadiums around the world, but he's finally come home to headline the island's annual music festival – and to win Willow back.

As Willow untangles her messy past, she stumbles on a secret that could destroy the island's fragile community – and her second chance at love...

Oh I loved this book, bringing together a gorgeous setting on The Isle of Wight, with lost love, music, various secrets to be unravelled and bonds to be formed with friends and family. 

I can't decide whose story I loved the most, Willow or Luc's present day stories which we get chapters from both of their points of view, or the chapters detailing Cathy's fascinating past, that still don't quite give away any of the key reveals until the present day characters are ready to finally reveal the truth! 

I was hooked on all of them, and loved how everything fitted together. There are loads of secrets to be uncovered, and Willow needs to work out what she is doing next with her life after walking out on her wedding. 

I don't think I've ever heard so much about Mandolins and playing them ever, It's one of those musical instruments that I'm aware exists but apart from that never given much more thought to, so think this book has done great things for Mandolin awareness. 

I loved the fight to see if the music festival would go ahead, the search to see if they could tempt a big name to headline, and just how that person fits into the personal history of various of the islanders.   I loved Willow reconnecting with herself, and her old friends. 

I just loved it all to be honest, it was just my sort of book, and its a gentle and engaging read, that afterwards had me googling "Gamble Gold" once I discovered it was real, just to see what all the fuss was about as its a song that plays a huge part in the book.  Very thankful it's not as catchy as the song I looked up after reading this authors previous book though! 

A really entertaining story that I spent a lovely time reading. 

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

Friday, 9 July 2021

Book Review - Always and Forever at Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters

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Amazon UK

Title: Always and Forever at Glendale Hall
Author: Victoria Walters
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Hera Books
Publication Date: 2nd June
Rating: 5 Stars

What if we’re all just searching for something?

Anna Stewart is lost. After barely surviving a car accident as a teenager, Anna is scared of settling. Flitting between jobs, boyfriends and homes whenever she gets bored, she has no idea what the future holds. Then her brother Brodie, minister of Glendale, suggests she moves to the beautiful Scottish village, lining up a housekeeper job for her at Glendale Hall.

Out of options, Anna agrees to take the job just for the summer. Once at the hall, her culinary skills impress everyone, and she agrees to give Hilltop Farm’s new manager, Cameron, cooking lessons. Sparks fly between Anna and the handsome Scot, but Cameron keeps pushing Anna away, and Anna definitely isn't looking for love. But it's wedding season at Glendale Hall, and Anna is about to discover that her new home has a way of working its magic on even the coldest of hearts.

Will she really be able to just walk away at the end of summer, or could Anna have finally found a place to belong?

It’s summertime so pack your bags and escape to beautiful Highlands village of Glendale with this gorgeously uplifting, romantic read. Fans of Milly Johnson, Heidi Swain and Holly Martin will love this charming romance.

From the moment that Anna arrives in Glendale, I felt as though I had returned home. A piece of my heart is certainly in Glendale with the rather lovely characters, and has been since the first book in the series. 

So it was wonderful to catch up with the Glendale Hall gang, and as Anna is a newcomer to the Hall, she is introduced to everyone with a bit of background, which helps anyone who hasn't read the others in the series to get a good grounding too, in addition to a helpful reminder to people like me, 

It is also good to get to know Brodie a bit better, Glendale's minister, and Anna's brother, and to learn more about their family dynamics. 

Anna herself at times really got on my nerves, just with her indecision and lake of confidence, while at the same time was impressed to see how good she was cooking, and how her mindset was trying to change gradually throughout the story. 

She's always been rather flighty in the past, has a habit of moving jobs and locations rather often, and has never really put down roots at all, which is understandable based on the initial introduction to her in a rather dramatic opening to the book. 

I couldn't get enough of this latest book in the series and Victoria Walters really did come up trumps when she concocted Glendale and its various characters.  Such a warm hug of a book that takes you through the wringer a bit, has me almost in tears at one point towards the end, and left me smiling and satisfied. 

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

Thursday, 8 July 2021

Book Review - Home by Penny Parkes - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: Home
Author: Penny Parkes
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 8th July 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

A gripping and heartfelt story about overcoming the past and finding where you belong.
 
Anna Wilson travels the world as a professional housesitter – stepping into other people’s lives - caring for their homes, pets and sometimes even neighbours. Living vicariously.
 
But all Anna has ever really wanted is a home of her own – a proper one, filled with family and love and happy memories. If only she knew where to start.
 
Growing up in foster care, she always envied her friends their secure and carefree lives, their certainty and confidence. And, while those same friends may have become her family of choice, Anna is still stuck in that nomadic cycle, looking for answers, trying to find the courage to put down roots and find a place to call home.
 
Compelling, rich and evocative, Home is Anna’s journey to discovering that it isn’t where you settle down that matters, but the people you have around you when you do. 

What a journey Anna is on, and I absolutely loved being there every step of the way. 

From the first time we get a glimpse into her childhood, I was gripped by the book, both the present day and the past, as we get to see just why Anna is the way she is. 

Anna is a professional house sitter and has been for 10 years, she is clearly looking for something, but not quite sure what, so has in the meantime spent years travelling around the world looking after some fabulous properties and also a lot of pet sitting. She also in each place attempts to fit in like a local, and makes fleeting connections to people. 

She has one constant in her life, best friend Kate who is straight talking and absolutely wonderful.  

The past sections show us the various placements Anna had as a child, growing up in foster care with no hope of adoption as both her parents were still alive, they just weren't able to care for her at all.  I suspect there was great research gone into what children at all the various ages would feel like care , as it made for realistic and compelling reading. 

We are also treated to some of Anna's most recent house sitting jobs in the present, and it's fascinating to see how different people treat her, and just what she has to deal with.  At times I started thinking that it would be a wonderful job to do for myself, especially if I was able to get any of the plum positions abroad that Anna loves. 

At the heart of it all Anna wants is a home to call her home but she is terrified of making any decisions, but will some of the people she meets at her latest placements start to get her thinking differently. 

It's a heartwarming story about finding your place in the world. I really loved it. 

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 this blog tour



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