Friday 30 April 2021

Book Review - The Wild Girls by Phoebe Morgan

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Amazon UK

Title: The Wild Girls
Author: Phoebe Morgan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 15th April 2021
Rating: 5 Stars


In a luxury lodge on Botswana’s sun-soaked plains, four friends reunite for a birthday celebration…

Has it all, but chose love over her friends…

Feels the walls of her flat and classroom closing in…

Loves her baby, but desperately needs a break…

Yearns for adventure after suffering for too long…

Arriving at the safari lodge, a feeling of unease settles over them. There’s no sign of the party that was promised. There’s no phone signal. They’re alone, in the wild.

What a wonderful setting for a psychological thriller.  What could be better than a remote luxurious safari lodge in Botswana, far from civilisation but potentially rather close to all manner of dangerous and magnificent animals. 

And what a lodge it is, it sounds magnificent, well apart from the fact that Hannah, Alice and Grace appear to be the only guests, even Felicity their host hasn't come to meet them, and there are some rather potentially sinister notes about the place that allude to their joint past. 

Not that we initially know exactly what happened two years ago to make all four former best friends, become estranged, just that something bad happened, and that almost certainly none of our three main women whose viewpoints we are seeing, are telling the complete truth. 

This has a rather creepy vibe to it, as things start to go let's say slightly awry at first and the lack of even staff at the lodge is rather unsettling too. That and their individual lodge doors don't have keys which is rather unusual. 

I'm not convinced this book will be loved by the Botswana tourist board, although it paints the country in glorious technicolour and does really make me want to visit and perhaps go on safari, I would definitely stay clear of any luxury lodges with names such as Deception Lodge - which is such a clever piece of naming from the author. 

I was completely hooked by the plot of this book, and really wasn't quite sure who was to blame, and was enthralled to see how it all unfolded. 

It's my favourite sort of psychological thriller, a great location, an unsettled feeling while reading and absolutely no idea what will happen next, but dying to find out! 

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

Thursday 29 April 2021

Book Review - The Little Swiss Ski Chalet by Julie Caplin

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Amazon UK

Title: The Little Swiss Ski Chalet
Author: Julie Caplin
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 30th January 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

It’s time to pack your bags and head to the breathtaking, snow-covered peaks of the Swiss Alps for velvety hot chocolates, delicious cheeses and a gorgeous love story…
Food technician Mina has always believed that chocolate will solve everything – and it’s just what she needs when her latest relationship mishap goes viral!

So with her bags packed and a new determination to sort her life out, Minna decides to drown her sorrows with the best hot chocolate in the world at her godmother’s cosy Swiss chalet. Chocolate: yes. Romance: no. Until she has a run in on an Alpine train with a mysterious but oh-so-gorgeous stranger…

Chocolate... check! 
Cheese... check! 
Snow... check! 
Skiing and Snowboarding... check! 
A real feel that you have been in Switzerland while reading... check! 
Made to feel hungry while reading... check! 
Wonderful attention to detail and enchanting storyline.... check! 

I mean what more do you want, or need me to to tell you have the latest standalone Romantic Escapes book! It's wonderful, I feel as though I've spent some time in the Swiss Alps, and met some truly wonderful people. 

I would love to stay at Amelie's Swiss Chalet. She has such a way of mixing her guess, and bringing them out of themselves.  I found I felt as though I was there alongside all of her regulars. And it was just so cozy, and even featured a daily cake each afternoon. 

And the Swiss food and cooking, especially their cakes had me continually hungry as I was reading this.  Then again so did the whole of the Cheese and Chocolate train journey and I was fascinated by Minna's love of improving recipes, and the science behind the food. 

Actually I just loved all of Minna's personality and wish i was as impulsive as she is, then again if I was able to swap lives with her, I'd also have multiple serendipitous meetings with the luscious Luke! And I wouldn't say no to him! 

There is just so so much to love about this book  but I don't want to spoil any of of it for you. It is just so wonderful and another excellent addition to this amazing series.  Although Switzerland in winter is certainly a lot colder than the countries I tend to favour, I loved its picturesque charms and really wish I was able to visit a real live ski resort at some point. 

I just really really loved this book, and it was perfect to curl up with while at the time of reading, rueing the real life travel restrictions in place.   What an incredibly lovely book that I couldn't get enough of. 

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

Wednesday 28 April 2021

I'm taking over......

....well I always fancied world domination, oh wait, that's not today's announcement oops. But read on to see just what I am taking over! 

One of the joys I've had since I started blogging, is paying far more attention to who publishers which book,  and if it wasn't for my blog... or possibly their weekly twitter giveaways, I may never have discovered the joys of Headline Eternal. 

An imprint of the mega Headline Books, they have a focus on romance books, which is obviously as anyone who has ever read my blog will know a keen staple of my reading! And I have to say they often have some of the hottest scenes I've read anywhere!   And great stories too! 

So imagine my delight when they asked if I fancied taking over their newsletter this week!!! Yes I'm the featured blogger on the Headline Eternal newsletter, what an honour! Never thought I'd be featured on a publisher email when I set up this blog 6 years ago!!

However they asked the always impossible question, for me to share my thoughts on my favourite Headline Eternal books. I mean how on earth am I meant to pick?  I can never pick a favourite, their books are always just so good. 

But if you want to find out what I chosen, then please do sign up to their newsletter -  - just scroll down slightly past their image of some of their recent releases and you'll see the sign up link!  I believe it will be revealed tomorrow, so not long to wait! 

And not only that they also put great deals on their newsletter, upcoming releases, occasionally cover reveals and of course blogger takeovers, so you may even find in upcoming emails bloggers that you love more than me! 

But you may be thinking, that you don't necessarily pay that much attention to who published which books, so here is a look back at all the Headline Eternal books that I have featured on my blog so far! 

All of these are by Jo Watson

All by Lyssa Kay Adams

So all of those I have read, loved and zoomed through reading as I do find Headline Eternal books seem to just be really quick reads for me. 

If you want to see which of the above I've named as my favourite Headline Eternal titles then please do sign up to their newsletter and all will be revealed later this week. 

And if you are still reading this far, what I'd love to know from you, is which of their books I should read next.  (If you have been following me since the beginning you may remember my old Rachel Reads Randomly vote feature, so this may feel familiar). 

I have these Eternal books waiting for me to read, and I do intend to read and review them all but what I'd like to know is which should I read next? What would you like to hear about very soon?  Let me know in the comments and the one with the most votes, I will make my next read and post at some point in the next week.   I'll count up at the point I've finished my current book! 

So which should I read next from Headline Eternal...?

Ten Rules for Faking It by Sophie Sullivan
Once Upon a Puppy by Lizzie Shane decide and let me know! 

And of course don't forget to sign up to the Headline Eternal newsletter to find out my favourite of their books so far! 

Book Review - Her Last Holiday by C. L. Taylor

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Amazon UK

Title: Her Last Holiday
Author: C. L. Taylor
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 29th April 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

You come to Soul Shrink to be healed. You don’t expect to die.

Two years ago, Fran’s sister Jenna disappeared on a wellness retreat in Gozo that went terribly wrong.

Tom Wade, the now infamous man behind Soul Shrink Retreats, has just been released from prison after serving his sentence for the deaths of two people. But he has never let on what happened to the third victim: Jenna.

Determined to find out the truth, Fran books herself onto his upcoming retreat – the first since his release – and finds herself face to face with the man who might hold the key to her sister’s disappearance. The only question is, will she escape the retreat alive? Or does someone out there want Jenna’s secrets to stay hidden?

The master of suspense is back. Prepare yourself for the latest heart-in-mouth rollercoaster ride from the Sunday Times bestseller.

Wow I have no clue how C. L. Taylor does this time and time again and comes up with books that leave you unable to put them down, and leaving you opened mouths in awe and shock by the end! 

But it's one hell of a skill to have, and this is another triumphant book that had me scratching my head.  Ok I had a tiny inkling about one part of the resolution, but I wasn't ever completely sure, nor could I work out the hows, whys etc... 

We are treated to three ladies perspectives, Jenna from her time at the wellness retreat in Gozo, Fran and Kate in the present day, where ultimately we are on a retreat run by the same man responsible for deaths at his previous one in Gozo, and that has just been released from prison. 

Fran is on the quest for truth as to just what happened to Jenna, two years ago, as her family are refusing to believe the verdict of suicide.  However the sheer act of asking questions could be rather dangerous it appears. 

And in the chapters from Jenna's points of view, I was utterly gripped into what went on, and how so many people believed in Tom  - the soul shrink.  Tom suffers from a condition that is actually quite fascinating and his welcome talk on the new retreat sounded really impressive, but how much of that was really true I'm not sure! 

I read this book in two sittings, with the need for sleep the only thing stopping me from reading it in one go.  It was addictive, unpredictable, gripping and just C. L. Taylor at her very best.  It keeps you guessing, keeps you thinking and is just a fabulous reading experience. 

I've said it before, and I'll happily say it again, that C. L. Taylor writes absolute masterpieces, always so different but with  the most amazing of storylines and twists that come out of nowhere.   Just wow! 

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

Tuesday 27 April 2021

Book Review - Adult Virgins Anonymous by Amber Crewe

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Amazon UK

Title: Adult Virgins Anonymous
Author: Amber Crewe
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Coronet
Publication Date: 6th August 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

Are you still a virgin? Want to talk about it in a safe space?
Meetings every other Tuesday.
You're not alone.

Kate Mundy's life is not going to plan. Nearing thirty, she's been made redundant from her job, her oldest friends have quietly left her behind, and she can barely admit her biggest secret: she's never even been on a date, let alone taken her underwear off with a member of the opposite sex.

Freddie Weir has spent most of his twenties struggling severe OCD and anxiety, and now his only social interactions consist of comic book signings and fending off intrusive questions from his weird flatmate Damien. There's no way Freddie could ever ask a girl out and now he's wondering if this is the way it might be forever.

When Freddie and Kate meet at a self-help group for adult virgins, they think they might just be able to help each other out so they can both get on with finding their real romantic destinies.

But might these two have more in common than just their lack of experience?

What a delightfully awkward romance this is. Not in the way it's written as it felt so authentic to how adult virgins must feel. 

But more due to the lack of experience from both Freddie and Kate when it comes to anything to do with relationships, sex, and the emotions that are involved in such situations. 

I did really enjoy meeting our leads and seeing the story from both perspectives.  I kept wanting to reach out and give Freddie a great big hug. 

I really felt for both Freddie who has a bit of a nightmarish family and Kate who seems to have not the nicest of friends. They are both going through tough times in their lives and yet there is just something about them both that I found so endearing. 

And the group of Adult Virgins I really enjoyed the discussions that came out of it. Some eye opening threads of thought. 

It's an amusing story that I really enjoyed reading. 

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

Monday 26 April 2021

Book Review - The Memory Keeper by Jenny Hale

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Amazon UK

Title: The Memory Keeper
Author: Jenny Hale
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Harpeth Road Press
Publication Date: 26th January 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Hannah Townsend’s life is just as she’s always wanted it to be. She has the perfect job at a New York magazine, a small but elegant apartment in the upper west side, and an incredibly successful beau named Miles Monahan. This year, for her thirty-fifth birthday, she’s leaving the icy city sludge for sunshine! She’s got tickets for two to Barbados, and she’s all packed and meeting Miles at the airport for a week of cocktails, sandy beaches, and the music of steel drums.

But her life is turned upside down in the span of that one morning. Hannah is rocked by the news that her beloved grandmother is very sick, and Hannah needs to come home to her small Tennessee town right away to be with her family and help run her gran’s dilapidated flower shop. It also means she has to face Ethan Wright, the best friend she’d left behind so many years ago. If that isn’t enough to deal with, she discovers her boyfriend is seeing someone else.

With flights grounded and rental cars in great demand due to the winter snowstorm, she’s stranded at the airport. On her birthday, instead of waking up in a stylish beachfront hotel in Miles’s arms like she thought, she finds herself packed like sardines into a car, with two passengers, on a ride-share from LaGuardia Airport to her hometown of Franklin, Tennessee.

When everything seems to be going wrong, it’s the kindness of a handsome businessman from Hannah’s past named Liam McGuire that might just save her. But a new development that threatens Gran’s shop and secrets surrounding Liam could alter both their lives forever.

A heartwarming, sweet romance that will have you laughing, crying, and best of all, hugging those around you a little tighter. If you loved the Christmas movies based on Jenny’s books and are looking for more feel-good, small town romance, look no further!

Heartwarming story that has brought a song to my heart. 

This was such a lovely story that was able to take my mind of my vaccine side effects, and I was able to read this in one afternoon, enjoying every word. 

I loved seeing how Hannah started to come into her own, and her new friendships with Georgia and Liam, who she meets at LaGuardia and ends up driving back to Franklin, Tennessee with.  She sort of knew Liam from when she was a teenager, and I enjoyed seeing the connection between Liam and Hannah grow.  And Georgia's reasons for travelling to Franklin, are more complex and I enjoyed seeing how her story developed too. 

And The Memory Keeper is initially a wreck of a flower shop but its very dear to Hannah's gran and provides a focal point for the story, and I enjoyed seeing the transformation as they attempt to see if the shop can be saved. 

I surprisingly also enjoyed Hannah's gran's journal which was written during WW2, given I don't tend to enjoy anything remotely historical, but kept wanting Hannah to read the journal faster to see how certain aspects would turn out. 

I love a Jenny Hale small town romance, and find US based small town romances to be such cosy and comforting sorts of read, and this really did hit all the spots on a day where I wasn't feeling myself. 

Thank you to Harpeth Road Press for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Friday 23 April 2021

Book Review - Lessons by Jenny Colgan

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Amazon UK

Title: Lessons 
Author: Jenny Colgan
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 3rd September 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Lessons is the third novel in Jenny Colgan's beloved Maggie Adair series.

As the summer holidays start, scandal hits Downey House. The attraction between Maggie Adair, the fiery, committed English teacher at Downey House and David McDonald, a teacher at the local boys' school, has escalated - and now both are facing an uncertain future.

The girls of Downey House - mercurial Fliss, glamorous Alice and shy, dependable Simone - are facing long summers at home. But the new term is not far away - and it will bring new pupils and lots of fresh new challenges . . .

It feels like forever since I read Class and Rules the first two books in the Maggie Adair series, thus is took me a small while to get back into the swing of things. 

Before long though the halls of Downey House were as familiar as ever, the girls in the third form felt familiar and I was thoroughly enjoying all the antics that went on in this school year. 

With it starting just shortly after book 2's cliff hanger ending, we are catapulted back into Maggie's personal dilemma, and with the old fashioned values at both Downey House and Downey Boys for David, it soon became apparent nothing would ever be simple. 

While mentioning cliff hangers, come on Jenny Colgan give us the fourth form already, I NEED to know what happens after the last page of this one! 

This really does have the Malory Towers for adults vibe to it, it felt reading it just how I did, when I read Malory Towers as a child, as I've always love a boarding school story.  This is just such a fabulous book and I loved everything about it. 

Of course it is bang up to date and it does tackle issues that are likely to common in schools everywhere nowadays.  I also enjoyed seeing what was doing on with David and just how he is getting on after the rather shaky incident at the start of the book. 

Originally published in 3 parts, I read this lovely combined paperback which meant I could just devour the whole of the school year in pretty much one sitting.  I love a Jenny Colgan book and this was another excellent addition to the series and I look forward to hopefully seeing a full set of 6 books just like Malory Towers one day for this series. 

Thursday 22 April 2021

Book Review - A Patchwork Family by Cathy Bramley

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Amazon UK

Title: A Patchwork Family
Author: Cathy Bramley
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 19th March 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Gina Moss is single and proud. She's focused on her thriving childminding business, which she runs from her cottage at the edge of The Evergreens: a charming Victorian home to three elderly residents who adore playing with the kids Gina minds. To Gina, they all feel like family.

Then a run-in (literally) with a tall, handsome American stranger gives her the tummy-flutters... Before a tragedy puts her older friends at risk of eviction - and Gina in charge of the battle to save them. The house sale brings her closer to Dexter, one of the owners - and the stranger who set her heart alight.

As the sparks fly between them, Gina carries on fighting for her friends, her home and her business. But can she fight for her chance at love - and win it all, too?

A Patchwork Family was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.

There were happy tears in my eyes by the end of this fabulous book. 

But before you get to that point, you are treated to such a wonderful story, which has so many threads to it, and quite a few surprises too. 

Gina is just a really lovely main character and she is determined to not let anyone evict her, or her elderly friends for their homes, much less the impact it has on her childminding business. 

I'm not sure if I should be telling how wonderful the pensioners that live at Evergreens are, especially Bing who I really do have a soft spot for.  Or how adorable the children are in Gina's friends for you get to know so many of them. 

Including the new family Cat with her twins Lily and Isobel, who with Gina's care seem to come on leaps and bounds. 

There are new friendships being formed all over the book, and I loved the various activities Gina did with her charges, Paige who is Gina's friend and also a childminder providing some contrast. 

I always love it authors include characters from their previous books, and specifically it was fabulous to catch up with the Lemon Tree Cafe gang, and seeing what they are up to nowadays. This is 100% a standalone book, but fans of the author will potentially recognise and enjoy catching up with old friends. 

Originally this was published in 4 parts and  I love the way each part ends with just enough of a hook for me to be turning the pages frantically to start the next part. For I had to know what would happen next. 

My mind has gone to mush trying to thinks of more words than just fabulous, but that is what this book truly is.  I always love a Cathy Bramley and this was no exception. another gem by this always talented author. 

Wednesday 21 April 2021

Book Review - Taste of Fury by M. A. Comley

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Amazon UK

Title: Taste of Fury
Author: M. A. Comley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited
Publication Date: 21st March 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Does time ever truly heal an aching heart?

DI Katy Foster and her partner, DS Charlie Simpkins arrive at a crime scene where the victim has been torched in his own vehicle.

But who is the killer and what is their motive?

Over the course of a week, several more men are murdered and Katy is put under severe stress to find the culprit when clues are sparse and the crimes are happening frequently.

Until finally, a suspect emerges with a heartbreaking motive and a truly wicked agenda.

Giving up their weekend off to try to locate the suspect, leaves Katy and Charlie reeling when a child goes missing in connection with the investigation.

With a child’s fate in their hands, Katy and Charlie are thrust into a dangerous race against the clock.

Another really engaging case for Katy and Charlie to work on. 

In fact it take a while for the police to work out what was made obvious to the reader, and this time we also got to know the killer's name, motives, family life and glimpses into their mind too.  Which is rather fascinating if not just slightly disturbing,. 

What interests me most about this series is the dynamics between Katy and Charlie and seeing how they evolve, and after years of Katy being in Lorne's shadow it is still a few books in so weird to see her as the more experienced, dominant detective of the partnership.  

And the insights into Katy and AJ's relationship, are startling to someone who has been rooting for them for well I lose track of how many books by now! 

This is a book well and truly set in 2021 and has a few references to last year, and also impressively mentioning President Biden, so always nice to see its up to date. Apparently this has proven that I can cope with references to the pandemic in crime books, but not in the other genres I tend to read, probably due to expectation, which is a bit of a relief for me. 

I always enjoying seeing just what dastardly crimes M. A. Comley will come up with next for her villains and I really did enjoy seeing Katy and Charlie trying to solve this one.   

Another good addition to this series. 

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

Tuesday 20 April 2021

Book Review - The Littlest Library by Poppy Alexander

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Amazon UK

Title: The Littlest Library
Author: Poppy Alexander
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 18th March 2021 
Rating: 4 Stars

It's only the beginning of her story...

Jess Metcalf is perfectly happy with her quiet, predictable life - it's just the way she likes it. But when her beloved grandmother passes away and she loses her job at the local library, her life is turned upside-down.

Packing up her grandmother's books, she moves to a tiny cottage in a charming country village. To her surprise, Jess finds herself the owner of an old red telephone box, too - and she soon turns it into the littlest library around!

It's not long before the books are borrowed and begin to work their magic - somehow, they seem to be bringing the villagers together once more...

Maybe it's finally time for Jess to follow her heart and find a place to call home?

A lovely gentle book, about finding yourself, and bringing a community together.  

Jess is a rather unassuming character, she is lacking in confidence, and is rather set in her ways and has what to others at least would be described as a rather small life, very few friends, doesn't do that much.  Then she loses her job and her grandmother Mimi dies and she ends up taking a long drive, and finds a house in a small village she can't resist purchasing. 

Which is the catalyst for everything in her life changing and I loved seeing Jess evolve over the course of the book. Her character development is gradual but perhaps all the more realistic for it.  She unintentionally ends up as the hub of her new community, after setting up a small library in the telephone box outside her new home. 

From that she starts to make friends, has a crush on someone although isn't sure whether she is brave enough to pursue romance, and starts to really feel quite happy.   It's not plain sailing at all, but I absolutely loved how she and the books get into the community, and the way she is pivotal to loads of positive changes in the villagers. 

I really enjoyed the writing and the sentiments of the story.  It's just an all around pleasurable book to enjoy. and I found myself wishing I could be part of the community there myself. 

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

Monday 19 April 2021

Book Review - The Ticklemore Tattler by Liz Davies

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Amazon UK

Title: The Ticklemore Tattler
Author: Liz Davies
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied Copy
Publisher: Self published
Publication Date: 31st March 2021
Rating: 4 Stars

Sometimes you have to write your own future…
The life of former journalist Juliette Seymour has been quiet and unassuming. Up until now, she’s been concentrating on running the local newspaper and raising her daughter.

But all that is about to change when Juliette is informed that the Ticklemore Tattler is to fold and that she’ll be out of a job. She begins to wonder whether she can buy the newspaper and try to make a go of it herself.

Aware that she needs some advice she contacts Oliver Pascoe, little knowing that when her old colleague re-enters her life, his help isn’t the only thing she wants him for!

As she begins to fall in love, however, what she doesn’t realise is that Oliver has something he’s keeping from her.

A gorgeously uplifting story, perfect for fans of Holly Hepburn, Heidi Swain, and Isabelle Broom.

Well I just loved this book, was so great to be back in Ticklemore, amongst some familiar characters but from a new perspective. 

For this time Juliette is our heroine,  and she is dealt a blow when she is told the Ticklemore Tattler is going to be closed.  She is the Tattler, well everything for the paper other than the owner, but it also as the the catalyst for all manner of changes in her life. 

I was kept on my toes a bit during this, and there was at least one moment where I gasped out loud as I hadn't seen something coming, not that I can tell you more or it would kind of spoil the surprise. 

This can easily be read as a standalone book as it features new main characters, but we do get to catch up the always impressive Hattie, who is a force to be reckoned with once again.  She is still a fabulous character, so if well worth reading the first book in this series just to see Hattie at her best! 

Ah yes back to Juliette's plans to see if she can buy the newspaper. I enjoyed seeing the community support, and just what ideas they were coming up with to try to save a local newspaper, given newspapers are a losing popularity continually. 

And Oliver, a blast from Juliette's past, but there is an instant connection there, and I loved the chapters from his focus, as they show all the best qualities of his character. 

This was such an enjoyable story that I was very happy to lose myself within the pages of.  I always tend to enjoy Liz Davies' books and this was no exception.  And based on the backmatter it sounds as though this won't be the last time we visit Ticklemore which has me very excited for what may be coming in the future! 

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

Sunday 18 April 2021

Book Review - A Postcard From Paris by Alex Brown - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: A Postcard From Paris
Author: Alex Brown
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 15th April 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Annie Lovell is keen to put the spark back into her life and when her elderly neighbour inherits an abandoned Parisian apartment she goes to Paris to discover more. Her curiosity takes an unexpected turn on discovering a bundle of secret diaries hidden within the walls, detailing the life of a young English woman, Beatrice Crawford, who volunteered in 1916 to nurse the soldiers in the fields of France.
Captivated by the romantic City of Light, Annie realises first appearances are not always as they seem. Following Beatrice’s journey from the Great War, through the Roaring Twenties and to a very different life in Nazi-occupied Paris, Annie must piece together the events from the past, if she is to fulfil the legacy that Beatrice left for her to find…

Given I'm not a fan of history, based on the blurb I was to be honest reluctantly intending to pass this book by, despite being by one of my favourite authors, as I really wasn't sure I would enjoy it. but then I was invited onto the blog tour and the publicist must have caught me in a daring mood, as skipping an Alex Brown book never fully sat right with me, and so I agreed to read and review. 

What I can say instantly is that I am so thankful Jen Harlow gave me the opportunity to be a part of this tour, as the book is totally amazing, and there was plenty to keep my interest and have me hooked. 

Although initially the first chapter I would have perhaps been set in the present day, it did give us a wonderful introduction to Beatrice Crawford, who the more we get to know her throughout the book, the more impressive this lady becomes. 

She was living in France, and then more importantly Paris itself during both World Wars, and we get glimpses of her life from 1916, through the roaring twenties, and into mid 40s,  where well I can't tell you, but just wow.  

Beatrice though has left her apartment to Joanie, who is Annie's neighbour and friend, but no one knows why, so Annie goes to Paris to find out about this inheritance for Joanie, and in doing so alters the course of her own life too. 

Annie's daughter Phoebe initially was against the trip and a few of their early exchanges had me rolling my eyes and laughing out loud at just how Phoebe was trying to portray her mother.  Annie also on her first night in Paris, makes 2 new friends and they become a fabulous trio who are all invested in trying to discover the truth about this apartment. 

A lot of Beatrice's story is told within various diary entries, drip fed to the reader as and when needed, and what was evident to me is just how much research Alex Brown must have done to make these diary entries as authentic as they seemed. Even though I'm clearly more of a fan of present day plots, I was fascinated by the life Beatrice was living in wartime France, and found myself with great admiration for the woman. 

Oh and I was also happy to see how Tindledale fitted into the story, the village from some of the authors previous books, that I've always enjoyed! 

I didn't guess the outcomes on any of the mysteries, and I feel as though I definitely learnt things too. 

What this has said to me, is don't judge a book by its blurb, always trust a favourite author will have your back and tell you a story that you want to hear, and that this is one seriously impressive book.  I should never have had doubts in the first place, but I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read this book, its so well written and really did capture my attention from early on, and found it was compelling to read as normal. 

Thank you to Jennifer Harlow at Harper Collins for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily,. 

Please do follow along with the rest of the blogs on this tour, for more about this fabulous book

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