Monday, 31 May 2021

Book Review - The House Share by Kate Helm

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Amazon UK

Title: The House Share
Author: Kate Helm
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Zaffre
Publication Date: 14th May 2020 
Rating: 5 Stars

When you're sharing a house with seven murder suspects, you can't lock the danger out . . .

Immi think she has found the perfect new home in central London: a shared warehouse with luxury accommodation, a rooftop terrace and daily yoga, all with a surprisingly affordable price tag. The Dye Factory is a 'co-living' community, designed to combat the loneliness of big city life.

But soon after she moves into her new haven, Immi realises that it's not quite as idyllic as it appears. No one seems to know who is behind this multi-million pound urban experiment. And her housemates may be hiding a dangerous secret.

Then, as a series of pranks escalates into something much darker, Immi is left questioning whether, in this group of strangers, she can ever really be safe . . .

Woah! That was something else... definitely creepy, unsettling, and unpredictable and I couldn't get enough of it. 

What I do know from reading this is, is that I'm never moving to a converted old factory in Bermondsey to share with strangers in a scheme that really does sound too good to be true! 

It is clear that none of the residents are necessarily as they seem and that something more sinister may be at work, but trying to work out what precisely was giving the feeling, well I couldn't put my finger on it. 

The narrative is split between Immi and to a lesser extent Dex, the two newbies to The Dye Factory, which is meant to be a community living experience, where you all have your own en-suite studios but huge communal areas with a massively subsidised rent especially given its zone 1 location. 

At first it seems like a safe haven for both Immi and Dex who are both trying to shut out things from their past, but then just slightly odd things happen, before it all gets ramped up. 

The Dye Factory is a hard place to describe to an outsider, and they try to keep you as a close knit community, but wow I was not expecting what unfolded. 

It's a wonderfully addictive story that I couldn't get enough of, as you realise you have no idea who you can trust at all.  I did have one half theory and it part of my guess was correct but the rest of it completely took me by surprise, which I love in a book. 

I am loving Kate Helm's psychological thrillers and can't wait to see what dark twisted plot she will come up with next. 

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

Saturday, 29 May 2021

Book Review - The Cornish Cream Tea Wedding by Cressida McLaughlin - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: The Cornish Cream Tea Wedding 
Author: Cresside McLaughlin
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 27th May 2021
Rating: 5 Stars 


Love is in the Cornish summer air…

Wedding planner Ellie Moon is dreaming up the most beautiful bespoke wedding for Charlie and Daniel, owners of Cornwall’s favourite cream tea bus. Even though her own life has been turned upside down and she’s had to rent out her charming Cornish cottage with its climbing roses and lavender beds, Ellie is determined to give them a day to remember.

Her new tenant, handsome mechanic Jago, keeps popping up around the picture-postcard seaside village of Porthgolow. When they’re thrown together in the effort to help his elderly father get a spring back in his step, she discovers that he is full of surprises. Can romance bloom and give Ellie the fresh start she’s been wishing for?

I've just finished reading this incredibly lovely book and I have a massive smile on my face.  

This was just what I needed to read, it's comforting as its part of a series that I'm loving while at the same time feeling fresh and new due to Ellie being a brand new character. 

And I loved Ellie, who has been hired as Charlie and Daniel's wedding planner - yes Charlie and Daniel from book 1 are finally tying knot (so long as nothing goes wrong), and its great to see more of their storyline even from an outsider's perspective. 

In fact all the previous main characters from the other books are present and it was wonderful to be back amongst familiar faces, and to see all the wedding preparations for the big day. 

And it's not smooth sailing at all, and there are numerous challenges that Ellie has to overcome in order to put together the perfect day. While at the same time she keeps seeming to end up in the orbit of Jago, her new tenant,  as she can't seem to abandon her garden, and he is hoping to re-connect with his father. 

I was going to say that this is a fabulous way to end a series if that was indeed the case, but I've just had a look and so excited to see a book 5 available on pre-order already that I know I can't wait to get my hands on that.  There is though a lovely conclusion to this part of Charlie and Daniel's lives, and I'm focusing on them as they stole my heart all the way back in the first book of the series. 

This can be read as a standalone but why deny yourself the pleasure of reading three other equally fabulous books featuring Cream Teas, Porthgolow, Gertie, and just incredibly enjoyable writing that will transport you into all of these characters lives. 

I absolutely adored this book, I loved the wedding planning, but also the gardening aspects which were calming, the story between Jago and his father, and how central the father is much of the book, who is in fact another character who has stolen my heart!  And there are a couple of four legged friends to keep you on your toes too!   Cressida McLauughlin at her very best and I'm so glad I've been able to devour this book. 

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

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

Friday, 28 May 2021

Book Review - Indefensible by M. A. Comley

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Amazon UK

Title: Indefensible
Author: M. A. Comley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited
Publication Date: 20th May 2021
Rating: 4 Stars

Murder comes at a painful price…

A heartless attack ends with a pensioner dying in her own home. DI Sara Ramsey and her team are tasked with solving this puzzling crime.

Within a few hours, another murder drops onto Sara’s desk, but the MO is totally different. Could the crimes be inextricably linked?

If so, why has the killer changed his methods?

With a surprising amount of DNA evidence and clues to work on, it’s not long before Sara arrests a suspect. However, with the suspect behind bars, the murders continue.

Does this mean the murderer has an accomplice or is Sara dealing with an unthinkable scenario? Is there a copycat killer at large?

Before Sara has a chance to figure out more, the stakes are raised when a member of Sara’s team is lured into a dangerous trap.

Brought bang up to date in a post pandemic world (there are multiple references to a pandemic and its affects on various industries) DI Sara Ramsey has one of her most challenging cases yet.

The crimes are brutal and described in enough detail to be potentially upsetting, by a villain who in chapters from their point of view seems increasingly dangerous and reckless. 

Definitely the sort Sara needs off the streets. But is following the chain of evidence going to get the right person lock-up? Or is there clearly more going on than us first apparent.

And Sara is coming increasingly under pressure at work to make a truly horrible decision about her team. I admire her loyalty to them, whilst intrigued by how she was talking to her boss.

And it's not all smooth sailing for Carla either, and I enjoyed seeing a bit more of the storyline involving her that started in previous books. 

Another excellent addition to this rather addictive series,  which certainly hooked me in and kept me on my toes.

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

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Book Review - Saving The Day by Katie Fforde - #QuickReads

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Amazon UK

Title: Saving The Day
Author: Katie Fforde
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Midas PR
Publisher: Arrow / The Reading Agency
Publication Date: 
Rating: 5 Stars

She has only one chance to turn her life around...

Allie is bored with her job and starting to wonder whether she even likes her boyfriend, Ryan.

The high point in her day is passing a café on her walk home from work. It is the sort of place where she'd really like to work.

Then one day she sees as advert on the door: assistant wanted. But before she can land her dream job, Allie knows she must achieve two things:

1. Learn to cook
2. End her relationship with Ryan, especially as through the window of the café, she spies a waiter who looks much more like her type of man.

And when she learns that the café is in danger of closing, Allie knows she must do her very best to save the day ...

I’ve always been a huge fan of Katie Fforde, so when I saw she was one of the 15th Anniversary of Quick Reads authors this years, and was offered the chance to review Saving The Day, I jumped very fast. 

In a novella spanning just over 80 pages, we a treated to a snapshot of Ally's life, as she hopes to learn to cook enough to be able to leave her supermarket job and start working at a local cafe. 

It may be short but there is still plenty of time to grow a strong hatred towards Ryan, Ally's boyfriend who she intends to dump if at all possible.  Then there is Cherry her neighbour who really takes Ally under her wing and teaches her how to cook. 

I feel that that the circumstances the characters found themselves in, are incredibly relatable to, especially I would suspect to those who are the target demographic from the Quick Reads programme. 

It takes a really skilled author to pull off telling a full story that shows growth and development over a relatively short amount of pages. And to make it accessible to reluctant readers too, is impressive. 

As is suggested this really was for me a quick read and I zoomed through it in perhaps an hour, and I enjoyed getting to know Allie and her life. 

There are even some recipes at the end, which by mentioning them, should give you idea that the book does contain food and could make you crave well in my case the fluffy American pancakes that were mentioned. 

I loved this story a lot and look forward to Katie Fforde's next full length novels. 

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



Book Review - The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan

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Amazon UK

Title: The Summer Seekers
Author: Sarah Morgan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 27th May 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Kathleen is eighty years old. After a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move into a residential home. She’s not having any of it. What she craves – needs – is adventure.

Liza is drowning under the daily stress of family life. The last thing she needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza dream of a solo break of her own.

Martha is having a quarter-life crisis. Unemployed, unloved and uninspired, she just can’t get her life together. But she knows something has to change.

When Martha sees Kathleen’s advert for a driver and companion to take an epic road trip across America, she decides this job might be the answer to her prayers. Travelling with a stranger? No problem. She's not the world's best driver, but it couldn’t be worse than living with her parents again. And anyway, how much trouble can one eighty-year-old woman be?

As these women embark on the journey of a lifetime, they all discover it’s never too late for adventure…

Sarah Morgan's books never fail to cheer me up, and transport me away from the reality of my life and this was it turns out the perfect book for me to read while I was battling with Covid vaccination side affects. 

I was able to lose myself within the pages and didn't feel as ill as I was generally feeling while I was reading the story, 

And it's such a feel good book about three generations of women, and one epic road trip along Route 66. 

We have Kathleen who is 80 and is used to a life of travel and adventure and has decided she wants what could be her last big adventure, one she has been putting off but always wanted to do, which is to travel along Route 66, in a mustang. 

However she no longer drives so advertises for someone who is willing to do the driving and settles on Martha who is 25 and very happy to leave her life behind for the summer to take this trip, even if she isn't entirely honest about her driving ability.  Martha is though a tonic and she is so bright and chatty, that you know she will add colour to the trip. 

And then there is Liza, Kathleen's daughter, who is going through a bit of a marriage crisis, while also worrying a lot about her mother who she isn't particularly close to and isn't to thrilled at the thought of her going off on a road trip with a stranger. 

I loved the alternating focuses on the three characters, for Kathleen has a big secret from her past which we will get to see be uncovered,  Martha really need to gain some confidence in her life choices, after years of feeling second best to her sister, and Liza needs to re-discover herself in a role that isn't a wife and mother. 

And I loved the road trip itself, and got a feel for the various places along the route, and kind of wish I had been in the car with them.  In part because it would mean I was travelling again, and also because it really is a once in a life time trip. 

There was just such a great dynamic between Kathleen and Martha, and I loved the way that Liza was able to develop over the course of the book too. 

The Summer Seekers is another in a very long line of simply impressively enjoyable and fabulous books from Sarah Morgan.  Although Kathleen would probably tell me off for too much hyperbole for that last sentence! However I don't care as it's completely true, it's another wonderful book from one of of my favourite auto read authors! 

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

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Book Review - The Man I Didn't Marry by Anna Bell

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Amazon UK

Title: The Man I Didn't Marry
Author: Anna Bell
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ 
Publication Date: 4th February 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

What happens when the man she married can’t remember her?

Ellie has the perfect life: a happy marriage, a gorgeous daughter and a baby on the way. But when her husband Max develops amnesia, he forgets everything about the last five years . . . including their relationship.

Now the man she said ‘I do’ to has become a stranger, and she has no idea why. Yet Ellie is determined to reconnect and find her Max again – he has to be in there somewhere, right?

As they get to know one another afresh, Ellie finds herself seeing Max clearly for the first time. But then she discovers that before his memory loss, Max was keeping a huge secret from her. Will their new beginning prove to be a false start, just as it seemed they might fall in love all over again?

Well I was always going to be hooked on a book that starts with a mention of Comic Con, as it just appeals to my inner geek, and well Ellie is a bit of a geeky girl at heart! And the first time she re-meets her long time crush while dressed as Wonder Woman is just fabulous. 

And that is just a bit of the prologue, fast forward a few years and Ellie and Max now have a daughter, and a couple of months away from being parents again, when Max suddenly develops amnesia and forgets everything about the previous 5 years about his life. 

He doesn't remember being married, having a child, that his parent's have divorced, but on the other hand he did forget about Donal Trump's presidency and Brexit! And although apparently the memory could return at any time, Ellie decides she needs to get Max to fall in love with her all over again. 

We also get  to know her new group of friends from the antenatal class, and the situation with Max's parents and the farce of what is going on with them culminates in an absolutely hilarious scene that I was laughing out loud at. 

In fact there are a lot of laughs to be had, as well as the mystery as to what on earth Max was really doing the day he lost his memory.  I loved how the couple try to reconnect and there are some humorously disastrous dates, and all manner of brand new memorable moments being created! 

There are many side storylines too, which were also engaging and I loved pretty much all the characters, and they all felt quite real.  I was really caught up in their lives during the afternoon I spent devouring this book. 

It was Anna Bell at her very best, a humorous but memorable story about making your husband fall in love with you all over again, and more..

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

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Book Review - The Italian Escape by Catherine Mangan

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Amazon UK

Title: The Italian Escape
Author: Catherine Mangan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 29th April 2021
Rating: 4 Stars

Sparkling sea, sun, delicious food and Aperol Spritz - escape to Italy with the perfect summer romance . . .

Niamh Kelly's life hasn't turned out quite as she'd expected. She's thirty-three, still living at home and was recently dumped . . . by her boss. So when her sister invites her to tag along on a work trip to the sun-drenched Italian coast, Niamh jumps at the chance, eager to escape into a world of sparkling prosecco, delicious food, and breath-taking beaches.

Upon her arrival, Niamh immediately falls in love with the beautiful Italian town they're staying in and realises she never wants to leave, deciding instead to stay and open up a quaint coffee shop nestled in charming old town streets - even if she has no idea what she's doing. But when a family tragedy and a tricky tourist season threaten her new business, Niamh isn't so sure she can stick it out.

With help from her new-found Italian friends - and the possibility of romance on the horizon - can she make her new life in the sun a success?

A glorious and uplifting escapist novel set against the stunning backdrop of the Italian coast. The perfect holiday read for fans of Rosanna Ley, Rachel Hore and Karen Swan

A really encouraging and solid debut that transported me to the Liguria region of Italy, via Ireland.  

Oh I do love Irish Womens Fiction authors, and I think Catherine Mangan could be one to watch as she develops. 

I found myself wondering after the first few chapters whether I was going to be able to get on with Niamb as a main character, as she seemed so miserable, and wasn't really displaying much personality at all, but once her sister Grace offers her the chance to go to Italy with her, and we get to Italy the book picks up. 

From then I was really rooting for Niamh, and really enjoying the person that she starts to become.  I loved seeing places like Portofino through her eyes, and it was all really well described. 

And then Niamh makes a brave rather out of character decision at which point I was hooked and couldn't get enough of the book, and all the first bit of the book, really made sense, as without it the contrast just would be there. 

There are elements of life in a small Italian town that were so interesting and I loved all the new friends Niamb made, her attempts at communicating, and I honestly at one point wasn't completely positive who the love interest was going to be, although I'm very happy with the ending! 

This I feel would make great garden reading while wanting be transported away from your own life for a while, and I'm very curious as to what the author will write next. 

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

Monday, 24 May 2021

Book Review - The Single Mum's Book Club by Victoria Cooke

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Amazon UK

Title: The Single Mum's Book Club
Author: Victoria Cooke
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 30th April 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Three friends, three single mums, one quest to find love…
It’s 8:30am and I’m already utterly exhausted. My son has lost his football boots, my daughter is ready for school dressed only in her vest and knickers, and of course, my 1-year-old has filled his nappy for what feels like the tenth time this morning.

As for my husband? He’s decided marriage doesn’t suit him, and well… buggered off.

All hope of ‘me time’ has but dwindled to sipping half a glass of wine whilst shouting after the kids. But everything is about to change.

I’m taking control of my life! I’ve joined… a book club.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Wow… live a little.’ But my fellow book clubbers, Amanda and Janey, are my lifelines. They understand the daily struggle because they’re mothers too.

And in between the prosecco, Doritos and googling everything about Mr Darcy on SparkNotes, they’ve convinced me to go on a date with my boss.

A single mum of three looking for romance… what could possibly go wrong?

A gloriously funny and relatable read for anyone who just needs a little more ‘me time’. Fans of Why Mummy Drinks and Has Anyone Seen my Sex Life? will snort with laughter at this utterly hilarious and heart-warming read.

Hilarious from the first few pages and it hooked me in instantly. 

Stephanie is a single mum to three children, her ex husband is being unreasonable at times, and she continually is struggling to do everything and has money woes. 

She's been out of work for many years looking after the kids, and now suddenly is trying to get a job, and succeeds at a vet in the next town over, to do their books, and meets Edward. 

Edward must be one of the most adorable men I've come across for a long while. He has such a great awkwardness about him, but also has a heart of gold. And frankly any man that seems to love animals and children is ok by me! 

Stephanie is though at a low point when Janey finds her in the supermarket, and although they have been neighbours for a while, they had never really spoken and soon a firm friendship forms, in addition to a book club of sorts. 

I loved Stephanie's children and dog, and actually almost all of the characters featured.   This is a light hearted fun escapist read, that was just really entertaining.  

And I can't help but think that if you are a mother, or single mum, then you will get even more recognition from some of the situations and feelings, than I could.   

There is also a slightly more serious storyline regarding Stephanie's mother, her passing (when she was a child, and not in the way you may expect) and the impact that has had on her life, which added another dimension to this book and made if even more well rounded. 

Full of Victoria Cooke's trademark humour, not the most obvious of love interests, an engaging writing style and believable and relatable to storylines and characters, this was a joy to read.  Perfect for an afternoon in the garden, and to take you away from real life for a few hours. 

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

Friday, 21 May 2021

Book Review - The Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett

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Amazon UK

Title: The Cornish Midwife
Author: Jo Bartlett
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 15th April
Rating: 4 Stars

Welcome to the beautiful seaside town of Port Agnes.

A fresh start…

Midwife Ella Mehenick left the small Cornish town of Port Agnes for London and never looked back. But when her seemingly perfect life crashes down around her, there’s only one place she can heal her battered heart - the place she once called home.

A new arrival…

Ella is quickly welcomed into the small community midwife team and loves her new job caring for mums and their precious babies – it’s what she does best! But being back also means facing ex-flame Dan Ferguson…the first man to break her heart.

A second chance at love?

Dan is still as gorgeous as ever, but he’s never forgiven Ella for leaving. And now she’s back it’s clear that there is unfinished business between them. As Ella settles into her new/old life, she can’t stop the memories of how she once loved Dan so completely – and maybe never stopped.

Maybe coming home to Cornwall is Ella's chance to love again…

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!

It has been a good few years since I last read a Jo Bartlett book but I seemed to recall enjoying my previous experiences of her writing, so to see she had a new release and signed with one of my favourite publishers, well I was hardly going to ignore it. 

And I'm so glad I did decide to read it, from the first chapter I felt rather comforted by the writing style. I can't put my finger on what it was, but  it felt familiar and warm, and almost like I was coming home.  The fact the first chapter was full of drama possibly helped too. 

In fact just due to Ella being a midwife, there is a fair bit of drama involved in this book as let's face it babies have a mind of their own when it comes to when they want to enter the world, and giving birth never sounds like the simplest of things either. 

And Port Agnes the Cornish setting for this gorgeous book, was just perfect.  I loved the sense of community there, even if Ella isn't as keen on it, given the circumstances of her own homecoming. She perhaps would have preferred a bit more anonymity than she has. 

I really loved getting to know the other midwifes in the unit where Ella is working temporarily, as well her her catching up with old friends and loves.  

I get the feeling that this may be the first of a series, in which case I can't wait to see which of the midwifes we get to know better next, as well as more of Port Agnes. 

And any book that gives me a brand new book boyfriend to fall in love with, is a winner in my eyes, and there is definitely one rather stunning candidate in this novel for that role! I'll miss him! 

This is a fabulous book to read on a bright and sunny day in a garden, or well anywhere! Thoroughly enjoyed it. 

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

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Book Review - Chasing The Sun by Judy Leigh

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Amazon UK

Title: Chasing The Sun
Author: Judy Leigh
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 8th April 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Sun, Sangria and new starts, from the author of the bestselling Five French Hens.
Molly’s seventieth birthday comes as something of a shock. The woman in the mirror certainly looks every day of those seventy years, but inside Molly feels she still has so much more living left to do. Widowed and living alone with her cat Crumper, Molly fears she is slipping into a cliché of old age.

When Molly’s sister Nell appears on her doorstep, distraught that her husband of more than forty years, Phil, has left her for a younger lover, the women decide to seize the day. By the morning, flights are booked, bags are packed, and off they go for an adventure in Spain.

The sun, the sea, the new friends and the freedom are just the tonic for broken hearts and flagging souls. But even Spain isn’t enough to revive Molly’s spirit. A solo journey to Mexico is booked as Molly continues to chase the sun and to chase happiness. Will she find what she’s looking for in Mexico, or will she discover that true contentment can’t be found on a map, but it might just be found in a new flame. 

Judy Leigh is back, with her trademark spirit of joie de vivre, fun, warmth and timeless lessons in how to live.

Oh I do love a Judy Leigh book, and this was no exception. I especially love a book featuring foreign countries, and this delivered by the bucket load. 

And I also love a book which has plenty of things to giggle at, and well grown women dressed as fish, horse riding in the sea, an ill advised skinny dip are just some of the highlights courtesy of Molly.  Oh I did enjoy Molly, she has a keen diary writing habit, has just turned 70, is widowed and has wanderlust.,... and I didn't even mention her "self portrait" . 

Then her half sister's marriage breaks down and Molly's solution to all of this is to to take them off to Spain for a few months.  And Nell, flourishes in Spain, she makes friends with their neighbours and even has a bit of a romance. 

However Molly just can't seem to settle, and thus she ends up in Mexico, and as much as I enjoyed the Spanish portion of the book, things hot up and become even more entertaining in Mexico! 

It seemed the Molly really came into her own in Mexico, making her own new friends, with a potential man too, and having all sorts of fun and adventures.  There are so many highlights but I wouldn't want to give the game away. 

I spent a fair bit of the book just hoping my health is still good when I'm 70, so i can still go on good holidays, or longer than the average holiday and get up to all sorts and have the time of my life. 

Once again Judy Leigh has written a book, celebrating the simple fact that life doesn't end at 70, and can if you are fortunate enough can just be embarking on the the next phase of your life, and in fact can begin again at 70! 

Which is a rather joyous message to be able to take from a purely enjoyable book. 

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


Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Book Review - The Love Island Bookshop by Kate Frost

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Amazon UK

Title: The Love Island Bookshop
Author: Kate Frost
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Lemon Tree Press
Publication Date: 8th April 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

A dream job, two handsome men, one destructive act. Will Freya's opportunity of a lifetime end in tears? 

When Freya leaves her publishing job in London to be a barefoot bookseller in the Maldives, it's the push she needs to move on from her sadness and reignite her passion for life.

While resort owner Zander is charming, it's handsome dive instructor Aaron who befriends her when she needs it most. But all is not what it seems and there's trouble brewing in paradise.

Taking a chance on happiness is harder than she imagined. Can Freya let go of her heartache and allow herself to fall in love again? 

Over the past couple of years I have seen an advert on Facebook for a one year's position at a bookshop in the Maldives and thought it would be a wonderful opportunity, if only I had the relevant experience.  

So the second I saw this book, read the blurb and realised it was based on a real life premise I was even more excited to read it. 

For the Maldives is like a dream idyllic destination, but completely out of my price range, so being able to transport myself there via The Love Island Bookshop was amazing. 

All the descriptions of life on the island, and of the various Maldives islands that have been mentioned match up to the many pictures I've see of the destination and I could picture it all so vibrantly in my mind. 

And the job itself that Freya lands is perfect for her, and I loved seeing everything through her eyes.  But she has her own reasons for wanting to leave her life in the UK behind for at least 9 months, and once it was revealed, there were some scenes that were incredibly emotional. 

I really felt for Freya, and really connected with her character. And wow there are some gorgeous men in this island paradise, and although I had an inkling very early on as to who Freya may end up with, I was second guessing myself for at least half the book that I may have backed the wrong horse, so to speak! 

This is escapist, arm chair travel and romance at its very best, and I really can't fault anything about the book other than I reached the end.  I was loving this sun drenched paradise that almost never appears in the books I read, the various characters and their storylines, and well it features booklovers, a book shop, golden sands, bright blue oceans, some drama, some emotion and just well it's perfect. 

It was a wonderful way to transport my mind away from the pandemic back to happier times, as I was thinking of my own holiday to Mauritius while I was reading as that is another Indian Ocean island so closest I've come to this sort of location.  And this was exactly what I needed,  just brilliant! 

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

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Book Review - Janey Trelawney's Year of Surprising Triumphs by Georgia Hill

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Title: Janey Trelawney's Year of Surprising Triumphs
Author: Georgia Hill
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 23rd February 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Janey’s life becomes more disaster movie than romcom when the ruthless Becca steams in to manage Cheney House. Her job as head gardener in peril and her self-confidence in tatters, Janey must fight back. Finding an ally in Will, who’s more Clark Kent than Superman, it’s up to them to save the day while owner Clare is away having her Shirley Valentine moment. It doesn’t help that everyone is in love with the wrong people!

Why can’t people love the one who loves them back?

Will Cheney House survive - and will Janey ever get her When Harry Met Sally happy ending?

Find out in this warm-hearted romance from the author of the best-selling Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Café, full of Gregory Peck look-a-likes, snowdrops, cake, and a cocker spaniel called Camilla.

What a loveable but quirky sort of a character Janey is.  She's not your typical woman thankfully, as I found myself identifying with some aspects of her personality a lot, and I'm certainly not a girly girl either. 

Rather refreshing to have someone like Janey as the lead of a book, and she is one fabulous gardener, and is pretty entertaining in her monthly blog posts for the Cheney House Garden Centre website, where her clear knowledge of all things gardening shine through. 

There are some moments of high drama in this book, including early on a daring rescue of Camilla who is an adorable but rather daft cocker spaniel! And then later on momentum starts to build after all the groundwork is placed, and the book becomes simply unputdownable. 

When I wasn't reading, I was mentally plotting how to do my work faster so I could return to the book and continue on.  As I needed to know how things would turn out.  

There is unrequited love the by the shedload in this, as well as a massive personality clash. There is also new romance too, some chapters in Italy with Claire, and all manner of interesting plot lines. 

And its set in Berecombe so for fans of Georgia Hill's previous books, expect to see a few familiar faces pop up which I was very excited about. 

I felt I really knew everyone that worked at Cheney House really well by the end of the story, and was really rooting for Janey at all times.  There is some character development for her and I loved seeing her find her voice with Becca, and there is a rather unlikely friendship that develops too. 

This is a book that like the title suggests, kept on surprising my throughout and it was a very entertaining read. 

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