Friday 28 April 2023

Book Review - The Little Venice Bookshop by Rebecca Raisin

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Amazon UK

Title: The Little Venice Bookshop
Author: Rebecca Raisin
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 30th March 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

A bundle of mysterious letters. A trip to Venice. A journey she’ll never forget.

When Luna loses her beloved mother, she’s bereft: her mother was her only family, and without her Luna feels rootless. Then the chance discovery of a collection of letters in her mother’s belongings sends her on an unexpected journey.

Following a clue in the letters, Luna packs her bags and heads to Venice, to a gorgeous but faded bookshop overlooking the canals, hoping to uncover the truth about her mother’s mysterious past.

Will Luna find the answers she’s looking for – and finally find the place she belongs?

How I loved this book.  Firstly I love Luna's life especially the travelling lifestyle that has, but also was fascinated by the alternative childhood that she had, and kind of wish we had a whole book just dedicated to that. 

And then there is her friendship with Gigi that is so strong, and I loved how they travel together to the extent that Gigi accompanies her to Venice, even though they really aren't sure what they are going to find. 

For Luna's mum Ruby passed away at the start of the book, and it's in sorting through some of her belongings that she finds a whole bunch of letters that lead her to suspect there is a mystery regarding a trip to Venice many years ago and a whole lot more. 

And the Little Venice Bookshop and it's owner are just at the centre of it all. And Luna's ideas for this bookshop are wonderful and I would have loved to see all the bookshop cats too. 

There is just so much to love with this story, including getting a sense of Venice, and some very well rounded, real characters who I would love to have in my life. 

For the last quarter of this book, I was oblivious to the world around me as I just had to read it all in one go and see if any of my inklings were right, and of course to find out just what would happen. 

Just a simply wonderful story that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

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

Thursday 27 April 2023

Book Review - Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paige Toon - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK

Title: Only Love Can Hurt Like This
Author: Paige Toon
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 27th April 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

Neither of them expected to fall in love. But sometimes life has other plans.

When Wren realises her fiancé is in love with someone else, she thinks her heart will never recover.

On the other side of the world, Anders lost his wife four years ago and is still struggling to move on.

Wren hopes that spending the summer with her dad and step-family on their farm in Indiana will help her to heal. There, amid the cornfields and fireflies, she and Anders cross paths and their worlds are turned upside-down again.

But Wren doesn't know that Anders is harbouring a secret, and if he acts on any feelings he has for Wren it will have serious fall-out for everyone.

Walking away would hurt Wren more than she can imagine. But, knowing the truth, how can she possibly stay?

It has been a long wait for a new Paige Toon novel, but I can say with all certainty that is was definitely worth it for this wonderful book. 

I loved Wren's story, and it is all about love but I wouldn't necessarily call it a romance. For it is about all kinds of love. 

And Anders backstory once we get to the heart of it,  really emphasises that point. He is a wonderful man and I felt privileged to be able to read all about him. 

And the setting of Indiana was great to see as I don't think I've ever read a book set in that part of the USA before.  I also adored Anders job, even though it isn't a big part of the story. 

I also enjoyed getting to know Jonas, and seeing him come into his own as the story progresses. And  I enjoyed getting to know Wren's step sister and that side of her family along with her. 

Just everything about this book spoke to me, and I couldn't put it down. It's another triumph from one of my favourite authors, that kept me on my toes and had me completely unsure about just how it would end. 

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

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Book Review - Son of the Dead by M A Comley

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Amazon UK

Title: Son of the Dead
Author: M A Comley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited
Publication Date: 17th April 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

A killer with a gruesome agenda.
A detective on a mission to prevent the killer from taking more lives.
A member of the team in danger whose life is left hanging in the balance.

When Hugh Blake is involved in a fatal accident outside his home, DI Sara Ramsey is left scratching her head, wondering if the incident was a simple accident or a senseless murder.

With no clues or evidence found at the crime scene, Sara and her team’s frustration mounts, that is…
Until the killer strikes again, this time closer to home.

Sara is forced to put her own life on the line as she tries to flush out the person committing these heinous random crimes before time runs out for a member of her team.

What can I say about M A Comley and her latest D I Sara Ramsay book, that I haven't already said in the previous 18 reviews? Literally everything I have already said about this series is still completely and utterly relevant... but possibly needs a multiplier of at least 10 on it, as this book was fantabulous. 

From the prologue which really set things up so well, and gives us the reader an insight that it takes the police a long while to work out, to the despicable nature of the murderer, and the action packed finale this is a  book that took over my life today, as I was reading it. 

I couldn't turn the pages fast enough, I needed to constantly know what has happening and whether Sara and Carla had come up with anything for any of the rapidly rising case count. 

It's certainly a tough one for them to solve with very little evidence.  

Underlying the action is what is clearly a relevant commentary on the state of various aspects of the UK at the moment including the shocking wait times for ambulances, and also the cost of living crisis, which makes it rather relevant too. 

I just couldn't get enough of this fan-dabby-dozie of a book! Brilliant as always, and I'm already looking forward to book 20, and it's not often I will stick with a series for that many books 

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

Book Review - Summer on the French Riviera by Jennifer Bohnet

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Amazon UK

Title: Summer on the French Riviera
Author: Jennifer Bohnet
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 29th March 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

A family reunited after a twenty-year estrangement, will discover secrets that change their lives forever…

Gabriella Jacques, is happy to be back in her childhood home, Villa Espoir in the South of France ready to embrace fresh experiences with friends new and old and to heal some deep family scars.

Recently widowed Harriet Rogers, hopes to rebuild her family life and reconnect with Elodie, the daughter she abandoned into her mother Gabby’s care to follow her heart. But when an acquaintance from the past seeks her out, Harriet fears a secret
from her past will ruin her plans.

Elodie Jacques, adores her new life in her Grandmothers old home as a freelance journalist. Her relationship with her mother is tense as she struggles to understand why her mother won’t talk to her about the past, as until their past is resolved, there
can be no future.

Will these three women, all living under the same roof after two decades adrift be able to put aside the past and find harmony in the present together?

It was so good to be back in the French Riviera, and in Juan Les Pins to be precise with this sequel to Christmas on the Riviera. 

I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Gabriella, Harriet and Elodie as they navigate moving to France, repairing fractured relationships and discovering if we will ever find out who Elodie's father might have been. 

Add in some rather special love interests, a furry friend, and various blasts from the past, and you have a perfect combination for this rather charming story that I had to keep reading. 

I loved these three generations of women, all living their best lives, and having a blast with this new life of theirs.  

This was very well written and made me feel as though I was in the South of France alongside these ladies. Although this is a sequel it could easily be read as a standalone as plenty of background is supplied.  But as a fan of the first book, I felt right at home within the first few pages of this book, and was eager to see how everything turned out. 

I do wonder if this is the last we have seen of these characters, or whether Jennifer Bohnet may have another treat in store for us. 

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

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Book Review - Summer at the Ice Cream Cafe by Jo Thomas - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: Summer at the Ice Cream Cafe
Author: Jo Thomas
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Publication Date: 27th April 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

A dream home
Beca Valentino is ready to escape the city. When she sees the perfect house for sale in her hometown, it seems like fate. Is this her chance to build the foster family she dreams of, on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast?

A big mistake?
Returning home isn't as easy as she thought, however. Her family's beloved ice cream café is gone - turned into a soulless wine bar by her hateful ex-boyfriend. Reconnecting with her oldest friend, fisherman Griff, isn't straightforward either. And when, instead of the children she expected to take in, two wary teenage boys appear on her doorstep, Beca fears she's made a terrible mistake.

A recipe for change
But an old family recipe book is just the inspiration she needs. Soon, with a little help from friends old and new, Beca is selling mouth-watering homemade gelato from a pop-up café on the beach.

Then disaster strikes. Will the Valentino family legacy be lost forever? Or can Beca create a new recipe for happiness?

I'm craving an ice-cream, sorry Beca, I definitely mean a gelato! I'm rather envious of all the delicious sounding gelatos that were present in this story. 

For the queen of the foodie romance is back with another hit book, that I devoured in about a day. I was finding any excuse to pick up my kindle to keep reading this story. I was hooked. 

And what a fabulous book this is and I especially loved getting to know the two children Beca is respite fostering, Blake and Joe.  As their placement went on, seeing them come into their own, was just a lovely thing to experience and be able to watch. 

This is a gorgeous summery read, that had me longing for days by the sea, and walking along the beach with an ice-cream.  The town just sounded so idyllic, give or take the fact that Beca is struggling to find her place in her hometown, as she is no longer regarded as a local, she's not a second homer, or a tourist, but is back for good, with intentions that it takes a while to win others over with. 

And she of course has run ins with her old boyfriend, but also reconnects with her best friend.  What is clear from the story is that things never stay the same, as is evidenced by what became of Valentino's which was her family gelateria. 

There is just so much to love with this book, and Jo Thomas was come up trumps with this novel. It's deliciously fantastic, and it even made me want to visit Wales, which given I tend to prefer a foreign holiday, is a feat in itself. 

Just brilliant. 

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

Monday 24 April 2023

Book Review - The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK

Title: The Disappearing Act
Author: Catherine Steadman
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 24th June 2021
Rating: 4 Stars

Mia Eliot has travelled from London to LA for pilot season. This is her big chance to make it as an actor in Hollywood, and she is ready to do whatever it takes. At an audition she meets Emily, and what starts as a simple favour takes a dark turn when Emily goes missing and Mia is the last person to see her.
Then a woman turns up, claiming to be Emily, but she is nothing like Mia remembers. Why would someone pretend to be Emily? Starting to question her own sanity, she goes on a desperate and dangerous search for answers, knowing something is very, very wrong.
In an industry where everything is about creating illusions, how do you know what is real? And how much would you risk to find out?

Well this had me guessing right until the last pages, as I had absolutely no idea what on earth happened to Emily. 

For the just seemingly disappears and Mia seems to be the only one who cares, or even remembers seeing her. 

It's wonderful look at the seedy underbelly of Hollywood, amidst a backdrop of pilot season. 

I adored all the behind the scenes info and was able to create a good picture of what L.A. and the industry is like from this book. 

And the mystery kept me hooked, especially once it becomes apparently you can't quite be sure who to trust. 

A highly enjoyable psychological thriller that that had me hooked. 

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

Friday 21 April 2023

Book Review - Cornish Clouds and Silver Lining Skies by Ali McNamara - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK

Title: Cornish Clouds and Silver Lining Skies
Author: Ali McNamara
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 18th August 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

Meteorologist Sky Matthews does not like surprises.

Sky monitors her life like she does the weather, carefully and with a scientific eye. So, when she misses out on her dream job abroad and finds herself with no choice but to take a position on a tidal island off the Cornish harbour town of St Felix instead, she feels completely at sea. Worse still, she has to work alongside TV weatherman Sonny Samuels, who barely knows his storms from his tsunamis.

It doesn't take long for Sky to become enchanted by the strange weather patterns over St Felix. Sonny is convinced they link to local folklore, but Sky knows her science too well to fall for that. Until she meets Walter, a local weather watcher with no qualifications beyond a lifetime of experience and Sky is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the weather, herself... and Sonny.

It is always a joy to be able to set foot back in St Felix, Ali McNamara's slightly magical Cornish town, where strange occurrences happen that just can't be explained. 

But yet that is what Sky, Sonny and Talia are in town to do, for there has been unusual weather patterns reported and it is down to these three to try to explain what is going on.

Although there is a lot about the weather in this book, the main theme was actually about living with hidden disabilities, and in fact its where this book really shines. 

For the author has clearly put her own experiences into Sky's character which makes the writing feel so raw and authentic, but equally powerful and allows the reader to get a greater understanding of the condition. 

Sonny and Sky are also living on a tidal island which makes things rather interesting, especially when they get caught up in a secondary mystery too. 

There are even some cameos from familiar faces from some of the authors other books set in this town, which really made me smile. 

A story with many hidden depths, some Cornish folklore too, and some incredibly likeable characters. I just loved every moment of this story. 

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

Thursday 20 April 2023

Book Review - Somewhere in the Crowd by Katrina Logan

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Amazon UK

Title: Somewhere in the Crowd
Author: Katrina Logan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton 
Publication Date: 20th April 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

Four friends. Twelve years. One Eurovision . . .

Eurovision is always the highlight of Millie's year. So when she and her best friend James get the chance to see the final live in Oslo, it's a dream come true - until they get swept up the excitement and try to break backstage, along with carefree German singer Ingrid and charismatic Australian backpacker, Noah.

Getting thrown out of the stadium wasn't exactly the plan, but it might just spark the friendship - and the pact - of a lifetime. The four of them are going to reunite for every final, every year, every Eurovision.

Over the years, the unlikely four celebrate iconic Eurovision moments all across Europe - and, most importantly, are there for each other during all their highs and lows, heartaches and triumphs. But real life takes them down increasingly different paths, their promise becomes harder and harder to keep. Can the magic of Eurovision bring them together one last time...?

A joyous and uplifting novel inspired by the iconic song contest, about friendship, love and finding where you belong

I'm a massive Eurovision fan, so when this book came onto my radar, I knew I would have to read it. And wow, I couldn't get enough of it.

Set to the backdrop of over 10 years of song contests, we get snapshots into the lives of our four main characters, and what they are up to now, as well as enjoying the vibe of each city. 

All the Eurovision acts, host countries, winners etc... that are mentioned are all real, which makes a lovely change from books that do fictionalised versions of these sorts of things. 

From the prologue of Millie's grandparents meeting at the Brighton Eurovision, the year Abba won, to then moving to 2010, Oslo, where we meet Millie and James who are best friends, and then they have chance encounters with Noah and Ingrid. From which a pact is formed that the four will meet up at Eurovision every year going forward. 

I absolutely adored all of these characters, and seeing how their lives changed over the span of the story, and in fact each time we meet up with them.  They are in and out of relationships and their careers take various turns. 

I'm incredibly envious of everything that both James and Ingrid end up doing with their lives.  

And then there are romances, many unsuitable partners, after all how on earth could I diehard Eurovision fan, really envisage a long term relationship with someone who clearly doesn't get the contest at all. 

Oh and the descriptions of the costumes, and how other fans were looking and what they were wearing, it just adds so much to the atmosphere of the book. 

I just loved every single second of this story, and couldn't get enough of it.  Pure escapist fun. 

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

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Book Review - Hopeful Hearts at the Cornish Cove by Kim Nash

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Amazon UK

Title: Hopeful Hearts at the Cornish Cove
Author: Kim Nash
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 30th March 2023
Rating: 4 Stars

A perfect new start in Cornwall…

Meredith's life is at a standstill. She's stuck in a dead-end job, approaching fifty, and her dating life is a string of disasters. But one evening, while browsing the internet, she sees an ad for a lighthouse, and in a moment of impulsiveness, she makes a ridiculous bid for it.

With the help of local handyman Clem, she sets about renovating. And as they work together, a bond begins to form. But when Meredith finds out that Clem is keeping a secret from her, it changes everything. Will they find a way to build something more meaningful together?

A delightful story about community, friendship and having the courage to start over, perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Milly Johnson and Lucy Dillon

How often do you get drunk and make an impulse purchase as a result? Ok how many of you have accidentally bought a lighthouse, at the other end of the country to where you live, having never seen it before in real life?

I would be utterly shocked if you have done, I can't say the thought has ever crossed my mind, but yet that is exactly what Meredith does, and as an opening to a book it's rather memorable. 

And what a wonderful community Meredith ends up being part of, well at least her initial circle of new friends, although that can't be said of everyone in the town. 

I totally fell for Clem, it was obvious he might be hiding things, one of which I guessed, but from his initial meetings with Meredith, I was sure he was going to be important.  And so he was, in so many ways. 

I also loved getting to know Violet and Gladys and enjoyed the way that Meredith despite having met Violet initially was happy to come up with a way for her to keep her beloved pet.  And thus walking on the beach with Gladys was a regular occurence, and included some scenes that made me laugh. 

And then there is the estate agent that sold the lighthouse to Meredith and is initially then uncontactable.  Despite some of his banter, I never warmed to him and as a reader I always need to trust my instincts about characters! 

And what of this lighthouse I mentioned? It was so incredibly well described at all times, that I could see the renovations come to life so very clearly. 

With family issues to be resolved, and a brave main character starting over in a new place, and trying to be adventurous, we are treated to a lovely novel.

This was highly enjoyable and I was really entertained by the story.  After having waited so long since my last Kim Nash novel, I really hope the wait for my next is a lot shorter. 

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

Tuesday 18 April 2023

Book Review - Vacation Wars by Meghan Quinn - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK

Title: Vacation Wars
Author: Meghan Quinn
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Montlake
Publication Date: 18th April 2023 
Rating: 5 Stars

Prepared for a good time, Tessa is thrilled to spend the weeks before her sister’s wedding at their family’s favorite vacation spot: Santorini. Sandy beaches, stonewashed houses, attractive men—it’s heaven.

But Tessa’s idea of a girls’ trip comes to a screaming halt when her sister thinks it’s high time Tessa finds some love herself. Unfortunately, Tessa forgot about the deal she made back in high school: she has to find her soulmate before her sister’s wedding. Or else.

As she dodges suitors and her sister’s pranks, Tessa finds an ally in the oh-so-dreamy Myles, her childhood crush who just so happens to work at the resort. But Myles is dealing with some family conflict of his own. He’s elated at being reunited with Tessa, but his father’s refusal to acknowledge his interest in the family business and relegating him to only grunt work casts a dark cloud.

As Tessa and Myles help navigate their way through their families’ antics, they begin to realize that their past feelings may have a future—if only they can turn their island fantasies into something real.

Utterly hilarious, I loved every word of it. 

I loved how over the course of the story Tessa became more and more feisty and unrecognisable almost to her best friends and twin sister. 

All of which she has declared war on as they are hoping to take over Tessa's love life for her, which leads to all manner of embarrassing moments. 

And she is finally brave enough to talk to her life long crush Myles, and I loved the way their story developed. 

This book is a lot of fun, and would be a wonderful holiday read, as I know I adored reading it poolside.  

This was my first book from the author but I'd certainly be interested in reading more in the future. 

Very entertaining. 

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

Monday 17 April 2023

Book Review - Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Farm by Jessica Redland - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK

Title: Healing Hearts at Bumblebee Farm
Author: Jessica Redland
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 24th January 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

Welcome to Bumblebee Barn, home to wonderful animals, stunning views and spectacular sunsets - and resident young farmer, Barney.

While Barney loves his life at Bumblebee Barn - a farm that has been in his family for generations - he's struggling to find someone to share it with. The early mornings quad biking through muddy fields and the long hours looking after the crops and animals are proving to be a deterrent to finding love.

So when his sister, Fizz - desperate for Barney to find his soulmate - sees an advert for Love on the Farm, a new reality TV show to help farmers find love, he has nothing to lose by applying. After all, he isn't meeting anyone suitable down the traditional route and surely he won't be picked anyway...?

Thrown into the chaos of reality TV, Barney could never have expected that his whole life would be turned upside down, with buried secrets to be uncovered and his heart on the line. With his family and friends rooting for him, could the magic of Bumblebee Barn heal his broken heart and help him find love on the farm?

Join top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for a brand new standalone novel of love, family and second chances.

Jessica Redland has done it again, another simply superb story, that had me hooked. 

I adored getting to know Barney a lot better, and also thoroughly enjoyed Amber's point of view and her backstory. 

It certainly is a bit of a twist on the typical story involving a reality dating show and I really admired Amber's principals. 

And for all of us Hedgehog Hollow fans out there, you will be glad to know that Fizz and Sam both appear, as does the rescue centre, in enough proportions to give us our hedgehog fix! And if you have never read that series from this author then no need to worry as this really is a standalone book, it's just got a couple of characters overlap, and not in a major way. 

I adored all elements of this story, and enjoyed the uniqueness of Barney's potential matches on the show! 

Some wonderful characters, compelling backstories and a whole lot of heart, everything you would expect from this author and a whole lot more.  Wonderful. 

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

Friday 14 April 2023

Book Review - Murder in the Chianti by T. A. Williams - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK

Title: Murder in the Chianti
Author: T. A. Williams
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 27th January 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

Murder in broad daylight…

When millionaire magnate, Rex Hunter is found with his head bashed in on the eighth hole of his prestigious golf and country club in beautiful Chianti, it’s a clear case of murder. Hunter was rich and successful and the envy of many, so retired DCI Dan Armstrong thinks the case will be a hole in one to solve….

A despised victim…

But as Dan and his trusty sidekick Oscar begin to dig deeper into Hunter’s lifestyle, they discover a man despised by many. A renowned womaniser, ruthless boss and heartless family man, it seems no one is particularly sorry to see Hunter dead. And the list of possible suspects is endless…

A murderer covering their tracks.

Dan is determined to catch this clever killer, but it seems every new lead brings another dead end. Will this be one case Dan and his canine companion won’t solve?

A gripping new murder mystery series by bestselling author T.A. Williams, perfect for fans of Lee Strauss and Beth Byers.

T. A. Williams, you wily author you.. you have completely outfoxed me in this latest book. 

I had absolutely no idea who the murder might be and never would have predicted the way things would turn out. 

What is clear is that Rex Hunter, the victim was an unpleasant man, and many people had a reason to dislike him a lot. 

It was great to catch up with Dan and Oscar, a year on from the previous book, where Dan is now helping the local police on a regular basis, despite being retired. 

I loved the way he and the Italian detectives think, and was fascinated to see how they would solve this mystery. 

Full of red herrings, untrustworthy suspects and with a real flavour of Chianti, this is a marvellous second book in this series, proving the author really is fabulous at whichever genre they are writing. 

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

Thursday 13 April 2023

Book Review - Thirty Days in Paris by Veronica Henry

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Amazon UK

Title: Thirty Days in Paris
Author: Veronica Henry
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 13th April 2023
Rating: 4 Stars

Because Paris is always a good idea...

Years ago, Juliet left a little piece of her heart in Paris - and now, separated from her husband and with her children flying the nest, it's time to get it back!

So she puts on her best red lipstick, books a cosy attic apartment near Notre-Dame and takes the next train out of London.

Arriving at the Gare du Nord, the memories come flooding back: bustling street cafés, cheap wine in candlelit bars and a handsome boy with glittering eyes.

But Juliet has also been keeping a secret for over two decades - and she begins to realise it's impossible to move forwards without first looking back.

Something tells her that the next thirty days might just change everything...

I felt completely transported to Paris throughout this enjoyable story.  I could see the sights, smell the food and with the the odd bits of French peppered throughout, felt as though I could hear Paris too. 

It is very clear that Juliet, and most likely the author loves the City of Romance, and it comes across so well on the page.   And I was intrigued by Juliet's first trip to Paris when she was only 20.  

I enjoyed reading the chapters which were written as Juliet writing her own book about that first trip, and I though I had guessed what happened, but was definitely not quite correct.  And seeing current Juliet reconnect with people she knew first time around while rediscovering herself and meeting new people is wonderful to see. 

I just was really entertained by everything in this story, it was perhaps missing the magic ingredient that made me want to read it non stop but I think that was me not the book, but other than that is is an incredibly good book, and a pleasure to read and discover. 

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

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Book Review - P. S. Come To Italy by Nicky Pellegrino

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Amazon UK

Title: P. S. Come To Italy
Author: Nicky Pellegrino
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 14th March 2023 
Rating: 4 Stars

Wish you were here?

When Belle's quiet, idyllic life on the coast starts to crumble, it's a stranger - thousands of miles away in Italy - who provides a shoulder to cry on. And so, when Enrico sends her a beautiful gift with a note signed off 'P.S. Come to Italy!' she decides to follow her heart.

Arriving at Enrico's palazzo in beautiful Puglia, it's clear that his life couldn't be more different than the one Belle's left behind. Yet despite his flashy cars and his glamorous, warring family, she starts to realise that perhaps Enrico needs her just as much as she needed him.

Belle's holiday of a lifetime was never about falling in love - but under the sun-kissed olive trees, anything can happen...

It took me a while to fully get into this story.  We are treated to an opening chapter of Belle arriving in Italy, and meeting Enrico and his whole family for the first time.  So we get to know their connections and how everyone is related.  But then we get quite a few chapters which is the how and why Belle came to be in Italy, and how she met Enrico. 

I loved these chapters, and it really set the scene but I found that once the action moved to the present again, it took me ages to work out how everyone was related as I had forgotten the info and character dump as such from that first chapter. 

However once got past that, I was absorbed in the story, in the Palazzo that Belle is staying in and the life of all of Enrico's family.  I loved the various characters, and the interesting family dynamics at play. 

I loved both setting of Italy but also the chapters set in New Zealand, which was a nice contrast. And I really did enjoy both character's back stories, and the sensitive way their common bond was dealt with. 

It was a really enjoyable story, and as I have come to expect from this authors books I had a real taste of Italy from the story. 

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