Friday 31 March 2023

Book Review - Single in the Snow by Helen Whitaker - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK

Title: Single In The Snow
Author: Helen Whitaker
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netaglley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 17th November 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

Jen is turning thirty and has spent her entire life jumping from man to man. So, when her latest relationship ends in disaster, she decides she needs to stop pleasing others and focus on herself. And where better to start afresh than the beautiful Canadian ski resort of Whistler?

Okay, she's broke, unemployed, and has never so much as strapped on a pair of skis - but Jen is determined to make it on her own. She just has one rule: to stay single for the entire ski season.

When a new job forces Jen into contact with snowboarding instructor Art, the two of them are set on keeping their distance. It shouldn't be hard, since they hate one another on sight - and Art knows better than anyone how to keep other people at arm's length.

The problem is, the more time they are forced to spend together, the clearer it seems that Jen's promise to stay single might not be quite so simple . . .

I loved every second of this book and felt as though i had been transported to a snowboarding season in Whistler, Canada,

I adored learning how to snowboard with Art and Jen.  And seeing Whistler through Jen's eyes was just awesome especially the hardworking, painful life of a seasonaire. 

She ends up working the platinum floor for a top hotel, and well her boss is a complete and utter nightmare, but it was an interesting look at how the other half holiday. 

And Art has his own demons to overcome, and his backstory really got to me, and I felt bad for him. 

Thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this book. 

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

Thursday 30 March 2023

Book Review - The Girls by Bella Osborne

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Amazon UK

Title: The Girls
Author: Bella Osborne
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Aria
Publication Date: 14th April 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

Four old friends. Thrown back together after forty years apart. What could possibly go wrong?
In the 1970s, The Girls were best friends sharing a house and good times: Zara the famous diva actor, Val the uptight solicitor, Jackie the wild child and Pauline the quirky introvert. Now they're in their twilight years, and Zara suggests that they live with her to support each other through old age.

Initially, being housemates again is just as much fun as in their heyday. But then Zara reveals the real reason she asked them to move in with her, and suddenly things take a sinister turn.

As the women confront their demons they come under the spotlight of the press, the police and an angry parrot. With their lives spiralling out of control can they save their friendships and each other?

Well I wasn't expecting that.... ok I was expecting a fabulous book as I know that is what this author tends to write, and it was indeed a fabulous book. But what I wasn't expecting is the direction this story took, and just how it would all be resolved.  It was fabulous. 

It has deeper themes and darker topics throughout, in addition to plenty of light relief, and it does leave you feeling good. 

Even the opening chapter was thought provoking, but was also attention grabbing and from then on I knew I had to keep reading, just to see what would happen to Pauline. And then we are introduced to Jackie and Val, and through them the filmstar Zara.  They were all friends in the 70s but have since grown apart, and lost contact. 

Until a surprise party invite for Zara's 80th drops through their letterboxes and brings The Girls back together again. And in the aftermath of the party, Zara makes a suggestion that they should relive their youth by living together again. 

Zara and Jackie are both big personalities, one needs to be the centre of everything and is very concerned about the world perceives her.  The other drinks like a fish, and is on the look out for a wealthy man and has a habit of being drunk or inappropriate. 

I loved the dynamics between the four women, was drawn into the story to such an extent that I was ignoring the outside world while I devoured more of it.  It's a very cleverly crafted story, and I didn't guess anything key (ok one smaller reveal I had an inkling towards but that is about it). 

It's completely unpredictable, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single second I spent with these ladies.  Getting to know all their strengths and fully understanding their back stories.  And for light relief we had Toby, who had excellent comic timing. 

It's another cracking read from Bella Osborne, and I think it would be an excellent book club sort of a book too. 

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

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Book Review - Freya's French Farmhouse by Daisy James

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Amazon UK

Title: Freya's French Farmhouse
Author: Daisy James
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 28th February 2023
Rating: 4 Stars

Welcome to Freya's French Farmhouse, the second book in a brand new series from the author of the Hummingbird Hotel series and the Cornish Confetti Agency series.

Escape to the French Riviera!

After losing her aromatherapy studio in the Blossomwood Bay fire, Freya Farnham finds herself at a loose end, especially when her trusty Renault decides that it’s time to head to the scrapyard in the sky. Now she has no excuse not to agree to her parents’ request to head to the pretty village of Saint-Julien to find out why her late Uncle Toby’s gorgeous French farmhouse isn’t selling, even when the real estate agent, Xavier Deschamps, advertises himself as "the best in the whole of Provence".

As soon as she arrives, Freya realises what the problem is, and so, with the help of handsome local car mechanic Jacques Jordan, she invests her last euro in a kaleidoscope of cleaning products and sets about transforming the drab and dusty dwelling into a chic and shiny château. Little did she know that in the process she would discover more about her family’s history than she bargained for.

Can she come to terms with her past? Or will the demons that have been snapping at her heels since childhood prevent her from seizing the chance to achieve a much-longed-for sense of belonging in the friendly community where she’s treated as one of their own?

Why not join Freya as she explores the lavender-infused Provençal countryside, and enjoy a trip filled with fun, fragrance, and delicious foodie treats with a dash of heart-warming romance thrown in for good measure!

Perfect for fans of Sandy Barker, Sue Roberts and Mandy Baggot.

I devoured this gorgeous story in just a few hours.  I love Daisy James' writing especially when there is a stunning setting to be had, and this little French village near Provence is gorgeous. 

I loved the descriptions of the farmhouse, and could picture it really clearly, and could smell the scents, as Freya mixes up aromatherapy oils and perfumes. 

This is the second book in the Blossomwood Bay series, and it can easily be read as a standalone as each book follows a different Blossomwood Bay beach hut business owner as they try to get back on their feet after a fire destroys all the beach huts.

I enjoyed getting to know Freya's backstory, as well as that of the french farmhouse.  I also enjoyed seeing how she started to get to know everyone in St Julien, and the new friends she was making.  There may even be a man that possibly attracts her interest despite being determined to stay clear of men. 

Where what she should have been staying clear of was Esme's baking skills, which shall we say are adventurous, and reminded me just slightly of Mrs Cropley from The Vicar of Dibley. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story, it was full of French summery warmth, new friendships and some interesting sub plots. Another great addition to this series. Bring on the next book. 

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

Tuesday 28 March 2023

Book Review - Kind Hearts and Carrot Cake by Rosie Green

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Amazon UK

Title: Kind Hearts and Carrot Cake
Author: Rosie Green
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 18th February 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

When you suddenly find yourself loveless and penniless, how on earth do you make it through? An emotional but ultimately uplifting story of one woman's struggles to get by, and the special someone who brings hope and happiness to light up her world...

Rosie Green blows my mind on a fairly regular basis, and this was no exception.  What a powerful story and something, worryingly a growing number of people are likely to be able to relate to first hand. 

For it's about Jen who is a single mother and is struggling with her finances, and some of her decisions are so heartbreaking to read.  But she is also an inspiration and I couldn't get enough of this book, as learning her story. 

I also was happy to realise that Jen of course is Clara's best friend, Clara who was the star of her own mini trilogy in the previous three books, so we had some familiarity generally already. 

I was completely hooked on Jen's story, and once again completely amazed at just how fresh Rosie Green can make book 26 of a series feel.  It's familiar in setting and with some familiar faces but at the same time it's a whole new story, new characters to really get to know and all I really wanted to do was give Jen a great big hug. 

Just another masterpiece from this author, from this always enjoyable series.  I loved Jen, Luke and her determination to get them both back on their feet.  It's relevant, relatable and gripping. 

Already can't wait to see what this author has up her sleeve for the next book. 

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

Monday 27 March 2023

Book Review - One Down by Diana Wilkinson - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK

Title: One Down
Author: Diana Wilkinson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 16th January 2023
Rating: 4 Stars

I’m not being paranoid. It’s all there in the crossword clues…in black and white. There’s no doubt the threat is real. Today, the answers spell out my murder.
May Third. Amanda. Silver Birch. Noontime. Assassination.

Is Nathan, my estranged crossword-setter husband, really planning to kill me? Or is it someone closer to home?

I check the door is bolted, slither to the ground, and count down the seconds to noon. There’s nothing left to do, and no one I can call. Who’d believe me anyway? The lady on the ground floor has already left the building, and my new boyfriend is on holiday. Or is he?

A tread of footsteps. A rap at the door, and I close my eyes, hold my breath...

A smart and unsettling psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Shari Lapena and Claire Douglas

I was attracted to this book from it's rather intriguing blurb, plus the fact that I also love puzzles. 

What I wasn't expecting was that is was written by a true cryptic crossword puzzle fan, and even explains how to solve all manner of clues (most of which went a bit over my head, until the clue was explained). 

It is completely fascinating, and having a crossword puzzle creator as one of the main characters jobs was rather interesting. 

Amanda is completely convinced that the local puzzles are targeting her, and once you see the evidence it's hard not to believe that too.

Beyond the puzzle there is a theme of addiction, and recovering from addiction, and it is a lot deeper than I would have expected - not a bad thing, just pleasantly surprising. 

And wow I didn't see the finale coming at all, my mind is just a bit blown, and I found myself addicted to having to continue to the end of the book, just to see how things might turn out. 

This was the first book I've read by this author and I suspect I will be on the look out to see what she writes next.

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

Friday 24 March 2023

Book Review - One Italian Summer by Catherine Mangan - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK

Title: One Italian Summer
Author: Catherine Mangan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 12th May 2022
Rating: 4 Stars

Escape to Italy this summer and fall in love with the perfect holiday romance!

When Lily's long-term relationship ends, she flees her life in New York to travel to her best friend's wedding on the sun-drenched Italian island of Ischia - but could there be more to the secluded island than she ever imagined?

Ten days with nothing but sparkling seas, breath-taking beaches and delicious food sounds like the perfect cure for a broken heart. And Lily can hardly believe she'd never heard of Ischia before now. But Lily's blissful break is short-lived as she discovers not only has she lost her boyfriend, she's also lost her job.

As Lily searches for inspiration, she connects with local Matt, who shows her the magic the beautiful Italian island has to offer, and quickly inspiration strikes: Ischia needs more tourists and Lily knows just how to help.

As Ischia slowly heals Lily's heart, will she in turn inject new life into the island? And will local Matt offer the possibility of a future she'd never dreamed of?

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

I was completely and utterly transported to the Italian island of Ischia in this slow burn romantic novel. 

Like Lily I wasn't overly aware of Ischia's existence, but I am now definitely keen to visit. The author has done a wonderful job of promoting the island and I felt as though I was there alongside the characters. 

Lily is just one of the wedding party spending 9 days on the island, and I really enjoyed getting to know all of her friends, while also hoping that the time away will help her get over the most recent break up.

I loved all the friends, especially the brides and their rather different approaches to a wedding. 

It was the travel aspects that appealed to me most and they were all incredibly well done.  I thoroughly enjoyed spending time on the island from my sunbed in Mexico, and found myself considering Ischia for my next holiday. 

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

Thursday 23 March 2023

Book Review - Something New at the Borrow A Bookshop by Kiley Dunbar

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Amazon UK

Title: Something New at the Borrow A Bookshop
Author: Kiley Dunbar
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hera Books
Publication Date: 23rd March 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

A fairytale ending isn’t just for fiction…

The Borrow-a-Bookshop is recovering, seven months on from the winter flood that destroyed all its stock, and the latest temporary bookseller, Joy Foley, arrives in Clove Lore with her daughter, five-year-old Radia Pearl. As a tech expert, she’ll be working on dragging the Bookshop into the twenty-first century.

But what no one knows is that Joy is running from Radia Pearl’s father. She can’t settle down here or anywhere … moving on is how she stays safe. So when Radia befriends Monty Bickleigh, ex-fisherman and the new cook at The Siren’s Tail pub, despite herself, Joy finds herself growing closer to him, and the quirky community of Clove Lore.

While Joy settles in to the bookshop, Araminta Clove-Congreve, local lady of the Manor, is finding running her new wedding business harder than anticipated. She needs to hire a chief wedding planner, and fast - and Joy’s family may have the answer.

As Joy finds her heart softening by the magic of Clove Lore, can her new friends – and Monty – be enough to convince Joy to stop running and find a new life?

An uplifting, gorgeously romantic read that will warm your heart; fans of Jenny Colgan and Trisha Ashley won't be able to put this down. Bookworms everywhere, escape to the magic of Clove Lore today...

Have I mentioned recently how much I absolutely adore this series, and this is yet another wonderful addition to it. 

I can't get enough of my time in Clove Lore and I'm already hoping this won't be the last time we get to visit this rather special little town, that seems steeped in romance, books and some wonderfully quirky characters. 

And the latest borrowers are a bit different, as it's Joy with her 5 year old daughter Radia who are staying this time, but in theory not to sell books or open the cafe, but to do all the tech upgrades ahead of the bookshops re-opening. 

Joy is a digital nomad and travels all over the world with Radia, and is determined not to stay in any one place for long, let alone get to feel like part of a community, but yet the magic of Clove Lore seems to seep into her heart, whether she wants it to or not. And soon she is doing things she wouldn't have thought she would, with Radia's encouragement. 

Rads seems so much older than her 5 years, in some respects but in others she is clearly a young child still, and it's joyous to see how she thinks from time to time. 

I loved which familiar characters were present, and fact the whole town is getting ready for an epic wedding, although whether having Minty organise it, is a good or bad thing is another matter! 

This could most likely be read as a standalone, however I think for maximum enjoyment why not read the series so far, as they are all such enjoyable books it would be a shame to miss out on them. 

I couldn't get enough of this story and was reading it every second I had over the course of a day. Just simply fabulous. 

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

Book Review - Never Too Late by T. A. Williams

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Amazon UK

Title: Never Too Late
Author: T. A. Williams
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Canelo
Publication Date: 2nd March 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

A second chance to realise her dreams…
A classically trained pianist, Steph works as a recording engineer for a small studio when she’s offered the job of a lifetime – travel to the Italian Riviera to help world-famous band, Royalty, record their reunion album after a decades-long hiatus.

Steph could definitely do with the distraction. Her boyfriend – who also happens to be her boss – is increasingly unreliable and erratic, and she’s awaiting news from her doctor after a recent biopsy. So an all-expenses-paid trip to Italy is the perfect escape.

What she doesn’t expect is an instant connection with Rob, the son of Royalty’s lead singer. With her career – and her heart – at a crossroads, what path will Steph follow?

A wonderfully escapist romance for fans of Sue Moorcoft, Rosanna Ley and Erica James.

Despite my slight misgivings going into this book based on the cover and title making me feel as though this could be a heavily emotional story, I needn't have worried, as it was definitely T. A. Williams normal style for  his romances. 

And it was a fantastic story set in the world of music  and predominately in Italy.  I would love to know why Waldorf wasn't anywhere on the cover, was he played such a lovely role in the book, and he is just one more chocolate labrador of the author's that has stolen my heart. 

I loved the idea of a band of aging rockers descending on an Italian villa to see if they can reform, ten years after tragedy struck and they lost a member.  And for Steph it is a dream come true to be able to meet the band and work on producing their album. 

Over the course of their time in Italy, we get to know the band their families really well, including one rather gorgeous musician who against Steph's better judgment seems to have seeped under her skin. 

I just loved everything about this book, it really hooked me in and I read a good amount of it in one sitting, oblivious to the world around me.   I loved all the various characters, and the delicious sounding food that was being served for every meal had my mouth watering. 

This is another truly fabulous story from this always talented author. 

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

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Book Review - A Change of Heart for the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett

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Amazon UK

Title: A Change of Heart for the Cornish Midwife
Author: Jo Bartlett
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 27th February 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

A forever love...or a future dashed?

Midwife Ella Mehenick can’t wait to marry the love of her life, Dan Ferguson. They have both waited so long for their perfect day, and they know their future together will be everything they’ve ever dreamed of. But when Ella suddenly and unexpectedly collapses – all plans are put on hold.

Dan just wants Ella to get better, but Ella, so used to caring for others, struggles to accept she needs care herself. She doesn’t want Dan to give up everything for her and suddenly the life they dreamed of seems to be slipping through their fingers…

Once rock solid, Ella and Dan suddenly seem further apart than ever before. Can they find a path back to their happy ever after or will Ella’s change of heart risk everything they love?

How dare you Jo Bartlett!!! You have completely and utterly put my heart through the wringer today as I have devoured this latest book, while being not being remotely sure that the overall outcome would be what I wanted it to be. 

This is without a doubt the best book in the series, but not sure I'll forgive the author for Ella's diagnosis, as it's one that was a little too close to home for my liking, and had me continually thinking about my dad, whenever it was mentioned.   What did a great character like Ella do to deserve that!?

Well that is kind of the point and there is a very strong theme throughout the book about disabilities, living with them and the effect they have on your partner.  It is incredibly eye opening, and I have to say if I was Ella, I'd probably be reacting in the same way. 

I loved catching up with all of the midwives, and Gwen as always had me laughing out loud, despite my despair at what was happening to my favourite characters.   I felt so at home with this story within the first couple of pages, perhaps because Ella has been a main character before and ever present in all the other books. 

This is an incredible addition to the series, and I devoured this in about a day, especially once I knew what Ella was dealing with I had to keep reading to see how things would pan out.  Wonderful writing, and well more please, I need the next book already!! 

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

Tuesday 21 March 2023

Book Review - Quilling Me Softly by Nigel May

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Amazon UK

Title: Quilling Me Softly
Author: Nigel May
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author Supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 24th February 2023
Rating: 4 Stars

Meet the craft group swapping decoupage for deception and glues for clues…

Violet Brewer is the owner of Rooney-at-Burrow’s charming wool shop, Brewer’s Loop, and the organiser of its weekly crafting group. Nothing much usually happens in the sleepy little English village. Until now.

But when Sir Buster Burniston, much-loved owner of nearby Burrow Hall, is found dead, a cloud of mystery lingers in the village air. Or at least it does for Violet and her fellow craft mates in Team C.R.A.B – the Crafters of Rooney-at-Burrow. They are certain that the old man’s death might not be as cut and dried as Violet’s police officer nephew, Samuel, seems to think. Violet has lived in the village for over sixty years, and something tells her and her creative pals that there is more behind Sir Buster’s sad demise. Violet and her friends are determined to turn detective, despite what her nephew says. And soon murder is on the cards at their meet and make sessions as they discover a mystery that needs to be unpicked stitch by stitch...

It is so good to see Nigel May back writing books, and although this is a very good cozy mystery that grew on me a lot as it reached its rather fabulous climax, there is a part of me that is very sad that he isn't still writing his glam blockbusters that I used to be able to devour. 

I am though really hoping this is the first book in a series, as it got off to a fairly slow start, and it took me a while to get all the characters straight in my head, and I think a second book with them would be great, as I really need more of this village and these people in my life. 

There is definitely a suspicious death, not that the police believe foul play is involved initially and in fact I really wasn't that impressed with the local village police in this story, whereas the craft group's amateur detecting was sublime. 

Violet is a wonder, she is determined and a force to be reckoned with.  And with so many friends happy to go along with her thoughts, and help her, the crafters in town, discover all sorts of interesting tidbits.  And watching them interact with the despicable grown up children of the deceased and well loved Sir Buster was eye opening. 

The writing draws you completely into village life and I loved the cosy feeling of Violet's craft shop. I also thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all of the very many characters, too many to mention. 

I was completely surprised by who the murderer turned out to be and found the last quarter of the book incredibly hard to put down. 

An excellent change of direction for thus author, proving he can write enjoyable books no matter the subject.  

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

Monday 20 March 2023

Book Review - Saying Goodbye to Tuesday by Chrissie Manby - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK

Title: Saying Goodbye to Tuesday
Author: Chrissie Manby
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 9th September 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Stupendo the dog has died. But that's just the beginning of his story.

To love and protect. The code of the good dog is clear. When single mother Tuesday took on mongrel pup Stupendo, she made a friend for life. Through the best and the worst of times, Stupendo has been there for her. Ever faithful, ever loyal, ever true. Nothing could break their bond. Until last week.

Stupendo doesn't know why Tuesday is suddenly ignoring him or why his doggy antics no longer seem to soothe Baby William. It takes his worst enemy - the cat next door - to break the news that Stupendo has become a ghost.

Somehow left behind on Earth, Stupendo knows he has unfinished business. Enlisting the help of the community of animals in the neighbourhood, Stupendo must get to the bottom of the very human sadness that hangs over his old home and keeps him from saying goodbye to Tuesday.

Wow, that had me shedding tears in a hotel lobby by the time the story reached its conclusion.

But at the same time it is the most perfect ending and is because I cared so much with Chris Manby's wonderful writing that I was in this position. 

This is told from Stupendo's point of view, as we learn about his life with Tuesday and in there are all manner of unexpected developments.

I love reading things from a dog's perspective and I think the author really nailed it. 

This is compelling, heartwarming, emotional and just completely addictive reading. I couldn't get enough of it and even an hour after finishing, the characters are still on my mind (both human and animal). 

Utterly brilliant, a completely different sort of book than I am used to from this author but no less wonderful than normal. Just fabulous. 

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

Friday 17 March 2023

Book Review - Third Wheel by Nick Spalding - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK

Title: Third Wheel
Author: Nick Spalding
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: 30th August 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

In this madcap tale from the bestselling author of Dumped, Actually, two’s company for Jake and his bestie Sy. But three? A disaster!

Jake Carlisle is living his best life, thanks to the crazily successful influencer channel he created with his best friend Sy. Reviewing whacky hobbies and adrenaline-fuelled adventures, Sy has pushed Jake into doing more exciting stuff than either ever thought possible. Then disaster strikes.

When newbie Helena joins the team, Sy quickly falls head over heels for her…All of a sudden, with romance blossoming and the business dynamic shifting, Jake is horrified to find himself becoming the dreaded third wheel.

Being the odd one out was not what he signed up for. And he’ll do anything to get his best friend back—even if that involves a little light sabotage, an unhealthy amount of jealousy…and one very unfortunate pair of tartan Speedos.

Will Jake be relegated to the background from now on? Or will he finally learn to stand on his own two feet and succeed at getting his life—along with his friendship—back on track?

I'm a massive fan of Nick Spalding's books and once again he knocks it out of the park with this novel. 

It's funny, it's zany, it's real and I loved the whole concept of Jake and Sy being experience day reviewers and influencers. 

It meant they get to regularly experience things that most people would probably never dream of doing, from the exhilarating to the much more sedate, each carrying so it seems a risk of injury or embarrassment (both of which are good for viewer counts!). 

I loved reading about all the various experiences, and would be highly curious to know just how many the author took part in himself in the name of research, or if it was just good old fashioned looking things up, as the accounts especially when things don't quite go according to plan are highly detailed and amusing. 

From hot air ballooning, escape rooms, cuddle therapy, supercar driving day and a whole lot more, there are plenty of wacky events going on in this book. 

Which are technically he backdrop to a new person entering Jake and Sy's world and Helena making Jake into a third wheel in all senses. 

It's a look at male friendship and whether it can overcome a woman entering into it.  

I just loved every second of it (give or take a couple of vividly disgusting descriptions that made me feel a bit ill), and once again this author has had me greatly amused and entertained from cover to cover. 

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

Wednesday 15 March 2023

Book Review - See No Evil by M. A. Comley

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Amazon UK

Title: See No Evil
Author: M A Comley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited
Publication Date: 15th March 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

Evil thoughts often lead to tragic consequences…

DI Katy Foster is called to a crime scene that has the local pathologist baffled and concerned. The victim, a female student, with everything to live for, appears to have inconceivably ended her life by leaping from a campus building. Katy has to decide whether Paula Lowe committed suicide or if something far more sinister is on the cards.

Within hours, Katy returns to the university, to assess yet another puzzling tragic loss of life.

An inexplicable and frustrating case unfolds, in which Katy struggles to determine why several talented, hard-working students appear to be taking their own lives or are they?

Woah, what a book! Once again another thrilling story from the ultra talented M. A. Comley. 

I couldn't put this down, and read it over the course of one day, completely hooked on trying to solve these crimes.  Initially Katy and her team can't even be sure if its suicide or a murder, but as there is more loss of life it soon becomes apparent that there is killer on the lose. 

I had half an inkling as to who the murderer was but I was definitely wrong but equally it somehow didn't shock me as to who it was, but the motive eluded me completely. 

I was gripped by this story, I just couldn't get enough of it and I always loving catching up with Katy and Charlie and seeing how their partnership is developing.  And the few references to the original Justice series were well received by this fan at least! 

Another fantastic book from my favourite criminal mastermind! 

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

Monday 13 March 2023

Book Review - The Summer Fair by Heidi Swain - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Title: The Summer Fair
Author: Heidi Swain
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 12th May 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

Beth loves her job working in a care home, looking after its elderly residents, but she doesn’t love the cramped and dirty house-share she currently lives in. So, when she gets the opportunity to move to Nightingale Square, sharing a house with the lovely Eli, she jumps at the chance.
The community at Nightingale Square welcomes Beth with open arms, and when she needs help to organise a fundraiser for the care home they rally round. Then she discovers The Arches, a local creative arts centre, has closed and the venture to replace it needs their help too – but this opens old wounds and past secrets for Beth.
Music was always an important part of her life, but now she has closed the door on all that. Will her friends at the care home and the people of Nightingale Square help her find a way to learn to love it once more…?

How lovely to be back in Nightingale Square amongst some familiar faces and some brand new characters.

I adored getting to know Beth and all the wonderful characters of the residents of the care home she works at. 

I also really enjoyed seeing what activities she was coming up with in her new role, and gotta say I think I would have enjoyed them myself. 

And her new housemate Eli, ooh I loved him too! 

Beth had banished music from her life despite at one point it being the most important thing to her, and now with Eli being someone who plays music the whole time and a new care home resident who used to be a performer, well music is back in her life regardless, but will she cope? 

There are so many varied threads to enjoy in this book, and it was Beth's backstory that really got to me,, actually Eli's did too and the way certain elements interlinked was fabulous. 

And the Summer Fair, well you'll just have to read Heidi Swains heartwarming words to find out more about the fair itself. 

It's another truly wonderful book from this exceptionally talented storyteller. 

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