Wednesday 31 May 2023

Book Review - The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh

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Amazon UK

Title: The Last Party
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 4th August 2022
Rating: 4 Stars


On New Year's Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests.

He's celebrating the success of his lakeside holiday homes, and has generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbours.

By midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.

On New Year's Day, DC Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects.

She grew up in the tiny community, so the murder suspects are her neighbours, friends and family - and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.

With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn't who wanted Rhys dead . . . but who finally killed him.

I'll admit it took me a long while to fully get into this, but I think that was while the groundwork was being set, and I was trying to get my head around the rather large cast of characters and potential murderers. 

For it seems like almost everyone had a reason to want Rhys dead, to the extent that t was almost a surprise it had taken as long as it had for someone to kill him.   

But there was one particular moment right at the end of part 1 which had me gasping out loud and from that point on the book became incredibly moreish and unputdownable.  There are so many secrets to be unravelled. 

The story is told both in the present day investigation and also in chapters in reverse chronological order of events leading up to the New Years Eve party. At no point can you truly believe anything you are seeing. 

There is a lot going on in this book, and its a promising first book in a new series that I know I'm keen to read more of. 

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

Tuesday 30 May 2023

Book Review - The Love Experiment by Kitty Wilson

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Amazon UK

Title: The Love Experiment
Author: Kitty Wilson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 15th July 2022
Rating: 4 Stars

He can’t date, she doesn’t date…but what happens when they fall in love?
A heartfelt romance that isn’t afraid to tackle serious issues for fans of Ali Hazelwood, Colleen Hoover and all the best ‘Tiktok made me buy it books’!

Dr Lily Galbraith solves her city’s love problems with wisdom and wit every week on her widely popular Love Doctor podcast, but her own approach to romance centres on one goal: staying single. So when a meet-cute in the sauna brings gorgeous Jay Hooper into her life she knows she needs to run the other way.

Having just agreed to a bet with his sister that he’ll stop dating and searching for ‘Mrs Right’ for at least six months, Jay tries to ignore the attraction he feels for Lily, which is only intensified when they find themselves working together.

He can’t date, and she doesn’t date…but then again, rules are made to be broken, aren’t they?

T/w: mention of past violence and abuse, PCOS

Well this had an unexpected level of appeal for me which I discovered within the first few chapters, as Dr Lily Galbraith's best friend is a drag queen, and I do love anything set in the world of drag. 

And there is certainly a lot of that storyline, and multiple trips to the local drag club in Bristol.  Ok it wasn't the main focus of the book, but as supplementary storylines, it really made me smile. 

And the initial chemistry between Lily and Jay is rather off the charts, even if for their own stubborn reasons they are determined not to do anything about it.  

It's a will they, won't they romance that keeps you guessing throughout, with a very entertaining journey.  There is good character development, and I also enjoyed getting to know Jay's sister Cassie, as well as both Lily and Jay's jobs. 

The book alternates between the two characters point of views, so we really were able to get to know the characters very well. 

I loved the two different view points of dating / love / relationships, of the two leads, and just how they could clash but also have fantastic off the charts chemistry. 

This was a really enjoyable story to read, which I loved. 

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

Monday 29 May 2023

Book Review - The Start of Something by Miranda Dickinson

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Amazon UK

Title: The Start of Something
Author: Miranda Dickinson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 3rd February 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

Two lonely people.
One note in the window.
And what happens when they reach out…

Lachlan Wallace is stuck at home after a car accident stalled his army career. With months of physiotherapy still to endure and only his rescue dog and cat for company, he’s taken to gazing out of the window, watching the world spin on without him. And then he notices a vase of flowers on the windowsill of the apartment opposite his. Drawn to their hope and colour, he decides to reach out and sticks a message in his window…

Bethan Gwynne is a stranger in a new town. Bringing up her son Noah by herself, she is slowly rebuilding her life, but loneliness is one obstacle she has yet to overcome. She’s intrigued by a glimpse of her neighbour in the apartment across from hers – and then, one evening, she sees a message in his window just for her:


And so begins a love story of two people reaching out, daring to trust a stranger…

How utterly compelling this story is, especially given how little time the two main characters spend together. 

Told in alternating chapters between Lachlan and Bethan's stories, we are treated to a rather engaging story, of two interesting characters, who both are drawn to each other. But both have certain things in common, a demon of sorts to overcome, especially with how they are perceived and how others view them. 

And the majority of their interaction are through notes written and put in their windows,  as they live in apartments opposite each other. Both unexpectedly finding a friend when they are at their lowest ebbs. 

I was invested in both characters stories, as different as they were, and I really enjoyed getting to know them both.

The individual journeys they both go on, over the course of the book were fascinating, and I really wasn't sure how things would turn out. It is one of those that could have gone either way, and I wasn't completely sure I'd get the ending I wanted, until perhaps a couple of chapters before the end.   And wow Miranda puts her characters through the wringer a bit in this. Nothing is straightforward at all. 

I also loved who was living in Lachlan and Bethan's apartments with them.  On Lachlans side we have Bert and Ernie, a gorgeous cat and dog duo, who are a great double act just like their namesake.  And on Bethan's we have her 3 year old son Noah, who is dragon mad and comes out with some great and amusing lines. 

Just an all around fabulous story, that my only regret was having it on my kindle for over a year before I finally sat down to read it,  as its brilliant. 

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

Friday 26 May 2023

Book Review - Murder in Florence by T. A. Williams

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Amazon UK

Title: Murder in Florence
Author: T. A. Williams
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 7th April 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

A glamourous film star…

Life as a private investigator in the suburbs of Florence isn’t always as glamourous as Dan Armstrong imagined it to be, until he is asked to investigate a recent spate of violent attacks on a Hollywood movie set in Florence. The star of the show, movie-star royalty Selena Gardner, fears her life is in imminent danger…

Foul play on set…

As Dan investigates, he discovers secrets and scandals are rife within the cast and crew. But with no actual murder, Dan believes these attacks could simply be warnings to someone…until the first body is found.

A dangerous killer on the loose.

Now Dan and his trusty sidekick Oscar are in a race against time to catch the murderer. But the more Dan uncovers, the more the killer strikes and Dan finds himself caught in the line of fire too! Is this one case Dan and Oscar will regret?

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

This is a series that is going from strength to strength with each book, as T. A. Williams really gets to grips with this new genre of his. 

For this is simply sublime, I had absolutely no idea who to suspect, and it turns out just about everything is relevant even when you think it may not be.  It's incredibly well plotted, and I couldn't get enough of this mystery. 

I loved the film set as a location in Florence, and although there was perhaps a bit more history in this for my tastes, it all fitted in well, as the film being shot has historical elements around the Medici family.  And as the film is being shot in various locales around the Florence area, Dan with Oscar are on hand to see if he can work out just who has been shooting arrows and threats at the film set. 

There is aa great cast of characters, and this easily works as a standalone, with only a handful of characters that have been in the series before, those being the police that Dan, who is now a private investigator has been working with before. 

I loved getting to know the various people making the film, and trying to figure out if they are suspects. 

It's such a fabulous cosy mystery from an author that can do no wrong in my eyes.  Utterly fantastic. 

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

Thursday 25 May 2023

Book Review - Deadly Fate by Angela Marsons - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: Deadly Fate
Author: Angela Marsons
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 25th May 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

The woman’s bright blonde hair floats in the breeze. She almost looks like she could be resting on the soft green grass. But her brown eyes stare unblinking up at the sky, and the final cut across her mouth is dark with blood. Her words silenced forever…

Late one evening, as the final church bell rings out, Sandra Deakin’s cold and lifeless body is found in the overgrown graveyard with multiple stab wounds. When Detective Kim Stone rushes to the scene, the violence of the attack convinces her that this murder was deeply personal. What could have caused such hate?

As the team dig into Sandra’s life, they discover she believed she could communicate with the dead. Was that why she was targeted? The last people to see her alive were a group of women who had a session with her the night before she was killed, and as Kim and her team pay them a visit, they soon learn each of the women is lying about why they wanted Sandra’s help…

Kim realises she must dig deep and open her mind to every avenue if she’s going to stand a chance at solving this case. And when she learns that Sandra was banned from the church grounds and had been receiving death threats too, she’s ever more certain that Sandra’s gifts are at the heart of everything.

But just when she thinks she’s found a lead, the broken body of a nineteen-year-old boy is found outside a call centre – a single slash across his mouth just like Sandra’s. Kim knows they are now racing against time to understand what triggered these attacks, and to stop a twisted killer.

But they might be too late. Just as Kim sits down at a local psychic show she discovers something that makes her blood run cold. Both Sandra and the call centre were named in an article about frauds. And this show stars the next name on the list. She looks around the audience with a feeling of utter dread, certain the killer is among them…

Totally addictive with a final twist that will leave you shouting out loud, you’ll want to inhale Deadly Fate in one sitting. Fans of Karin Slaughter, Val McDermid and Robert Dugoni will love the new crime thriller from the number one multi-million-copy bestselling author Angela Marsons.

How dare this book finish like it did. I completely despite cliffhangers even of the gentle sort, after reading 18 books of the series i'm blatantly going to want to read the next one regardless, but now I want it immediately which is a slight problem as well it's not available yet! 

But with that ending, I need to know what happens next! 

Oh don't worry the main storyline in this book was wrapped up, and I completely didn't predict it in the slightest and it was completely and utterly brilliant as I have come to expect, but I need to know what happens next in a sub plot that clearly wasn't concluded neatly, and given the story ended at 90% I honestly thought there was going to be more! 

Besides triggering two of my pet hates, cliffhangers and books that finish before at least 95% on the kindle...  I can't actually fault this story at all. 

It was an absolute joy to be back with Kim Stone and her team, and I was completely hooked from the first few pages on their latest case. 

And it was an absolutely fascinating one, as the first victim believed she was a psychic and so Kim is determined to try to understand more about how psychics work, what techniques are at play, while not all of her team seem as skeptical as she is.  The experts she talks to, I was hooked on what they were saying, especially about the simple but skilled ways a psychic may work. 

Equally she speaks to some people in the course of the investigation that almost had me believing in them, but at least I was able to understand despite my own skepticism just why people enjoy a psychic. 

But if that case isn't enough, over the course of the book, she also has Penn looking into trying to identify a John Doe, which triggered it's own line of investigation for various reasons, and then there is another case that Kim is determined should be looked at in case the team can somehow solve it. 

I love how Kim has developed over the course of the series so far, she seems to have softened slightly and her compassion for some people has definitely improved, and her sense of justice is as strong as ever. 

It's another completely brilliant addition to this cracking series, I am though starting to wish I could chain Angela Marsons to her computer and not let her do anything else until she gives us the next book, as one book at a time is never enough.  I am a Kim Stone addict! 

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

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Book Review - Summer Wedding by Sarah Morgan

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Amazon UK

Title: Summer Wedding
Author: Sarah Morgan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 25th May 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

A family wedding
Catherine Swift is a bestselling romance author, but her personal story hasn’t been quite so successful; three failed marriages have left her relationship with her daughters strained. Engaged once again, Catherine is counting on this wedding, at her villa in Corfu, to finally bring the family together.

A summer of secrets
Adeline can’t believe her mother is getting married for a fourth time, or that she’s expected to attend. It brings back the pain of her mother’s infidelity and the baby who was the result. Not that she blames her half-sister Cassie, but then she's never tried to know her, either. Cassie, on the other hand, is thrilled by her mother’s news – she’s always admired Catherine’s resilience, and is excited to meet the mystery groom. Cassie also has a secret of her own, and a summer in Corfu will give her the time she needs to process everything.

A chance to start over again
As the guests arrive on the island, and the big day approaches, Catherine begins to reveal secrets from her past, and suddenly both Cassie and Adeline realise that they don’t know their mother at all . . .

What a wonderful look at family dynamics in this compelling story. 

From the prologue which seemed like it could have belonged quiet easily in another genre of book, but it did make sense I promise, to the myriad of secrets in this story, this is just wonderful. 

It's pure escapism, set on Corfu, with Catherine and her two daughters Adeline and Cassie, who all have differing levels of closeness with each other. The half sisters barely know each other, Adeline struggles generally with her mother, and Cassie is quite like her mother, seeing the world through a creative lens. 

I devoured this story in no time at all, and loved swapping between the three ladies viewpoints, giving a great insight into their various relationships.  There is an incredibly tricky family dynamic to navigate and it did take me a short while to work out the relevant parts of the family tree. 

The biggest secret of the book I guessed fairly early on, but that didn't remotely spoil my enjoyment of the journey of seeing if I was right, as well as seeing immense character development, especially from Adeline. 

And this is a great look at the highs and lows of being an author.  

 I loved the setting, the dynamics, the writing, and I just devoured this novel in no time at all. Was just brilliant and another winner from one of my auto read authors, Sarah Morgan. 

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

Tuesday 23 May 2023

Book Review - The Summer Wedding in Santorini by Samantha Parks

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Amazon UK

Title: The Summer Wedding in Santorini
Author: Samantha Parks
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 2nd March 2023
Rating: 4 Star

Escape to the beautiful Greek island of Santorini for the wedding of the year…
Anna has the perfect life on the island of Santorini with her gorgeous vineyard-owning boyfriend Nikos, and she travels the world for work. So why does she feel that something is missing?

When Anna’s best friend Elena gets engaged, she should be celebrating with her, but instead it seems to cause cracks in her own relationship that she never saw coming.

Nikos is thrilled that Anna's career is going from strength to strength, but being without her so much has left him feeling disconnected in ways that could have devastating consequences for their future.

As celebrations get underway for the wedding of the summer, secrets will be revealed, and ultimatums will be given. In the end, Anna and Nikos must decide whether their love story can have the happy ever after they both desperately want…

How lovely to be back on Santorini with Anna and Nikos.  Set 4 years after the first book and although they are clearly still in love, it is certainly not smooth sailing. 

At points during the book I honestly wasn't sure what the outcome would be, despite knowing the likely possible ending purely due to the genre. But wow the journey they took me on, so many highs and lows. 

I really felt for Anna at times, she's ambitious and as much as I like Nikos, I was starting to resent him myself! While at the same time they are attempting not to let their cracks, be too obvious, when Elena gets engaged and the wedding is 3 weeks later. 

There is a lot of wedding prep for them both and so many secrets, and revelations to be uncovered, this is a story that kept me on my toes throughout.  And the last 12% which I had reluctantly stopped before, as it was getting late the night before, that I devoured in no time, just utterly perfect.  Totally worth everything the author put the characters through. 

A really great sequel that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Well worth the wait for it too! 

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

Monday 22 May 2023

Book Review - The Cruise by Caroline James

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Amazon UK

Title: The Cruise
Author: Caroline James
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 20th April 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

Three women.
One widowed.
One unmarried.
One almost divorced.
All aged 63, but not ready to give up on life!

Leaving behind the heartache, guilt and disappointment of their real lives, three friends decide that now they’re in their sixties, it’s time they finally did something for themselves!

Swapping Christmas turkeys and BBC reruns for crystal waters, white sandy beaches and smooth golden rum, Anne, Jane and Kath throw caution (and tradition) to the wind as they set sail on a luxury two-week Christmas cruise around the Caribbean.

Will the three friends find the comfort and joy they seek aboard the Diamond Star?

I love Christmas! 
I love Cruises! 
I love the Caribbean! 
I love Caroline James!

Yes I love all the C's and completely and utterly adored The Cruise. I couldn't get enough of it and devoured it as fast as my time to read would allow. 

Can I just say I loved literally everything and leave it there?!

I absolutely adored the cruise ship the ladies were on, it was smaller than I'm used to but I really got to know every aspect of this ship, and I loved their itinerary too.   The various ports of call were described so well, I thought as though I was in the Caribbean myself. 

I'm also a huge fan of having Christmas in the sun who was ready to applaud the three friends for deciding to take the plunge and have a holiday of a lifetime. They are in their sixties and this cruise proves to be pivotal in all of their lives. 

I especially loved Jane and how she developed and gained confidence over the course of the cruise. I could identify a bit with her, also being a larger lady, but unlike her I've never let my size put me off anything. I felt for her, and her growing friendship, which is reluctant at first with Selwyn is beautiful to see. 

I enjoyed getting to know Selwyn, and we had chapters focusing on him too, which was good to see, as well as on Dickie, the rather stale, cheesy comedian who really is a slippery sort of a character.  His jokes and his outlook on life really needed a lick of paint, but he certainly fit the bill as a ship entertainer. 

And then there are the other guests on board, what a great assortment of characters the author came up with, and I especially loved The Captain.  

I was so deeply involved with this story that I had tears pricking my eyes and a lump in my throat a few times towards the end of the book, for a whole variety of reasons.  

I just wish I could have been on the ship with our three heroines, but as it is I loved seeing how their stories developed, over the course of a fortnight in the Caribbean.  

Simply superb, totally amazing, please can we have more cruise based books! 

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

Friday 19 May 2023

Book Review - The Funny Thing about Norman Forman by Juliette Henderson - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK

Title: The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman
Author: Juliette Henderson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Publication Date: 1st April 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

It was a journey they would always remember . . . for a friend they'd never forget.

Norman and Jax are a legendary comedic duo in waiting, with a five-year plan to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe by the time they're fifteen. But when Jax dies before they turn twelve, Norman decides a tribute act for his best friend just can't wait, so he rewrites their plan:

1. Look after Mum | 2. Find Dad | 3. Get to the Edinburgh Fringe

Sadie knows she won't win Mother of the Year and she's not proud she doesn't know who her son's father is. But when she finds Norman's list, all she wants is to see her son smile again. So, enlisting the help of eccentric friend Leonard - an 84-year-old veteran with superior planning skills and a thirst for adventure! - they set off on a pilgrimage to Edinburgh, making a few stops to find Norman's dad along the way.

I have had this book waiting for me to read for a couple of years, and kept putting off reading it, for no real reason. However having finally read it, gotta say it was worth the wait, it was fabulous. 

I absolutely loved Norman, who is 12, has dreams of performing comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with his best friend Jax, despite his awful comic timing, and is also dealing with a skin condition too.  He's a bit awkward but once you get to know him he really is wonderful.  But his life is turned upside down when Jax dies suddenly, and he has to rethink his 5 year plan. 

This is the story of Norman, coming to terms with the loss of his best friend and in doing so is trying to take care of his mum, make it to Edinburgh, come up with his own comedy routine, and potentially discovering who his father is.  We have chapters from both Norman and Sadie's point of views, but it is Norman that will definitely stick with me for a long while. 

He's just wonderful, brave, and has a great sense of humour. I also loved getting to know Jax through Norman and Sadie's memories of him.  And Leonard a new friend of Sadie's is alongside them on a road trip that is heartwarming but also hilarious. 

I really enjoyed the author's writing style and felt I really got to know these characters. It is such a charming story that really got under my skin. Definitely a book I would heartily recommend.

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

Thursday 18 May 2023

Book Review - Better Off Wed by Portia MacIntosh

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Amazon UK

Title: Better Off Wed
Author: Portia MacIntosh
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 10th April 2023
Rating: 4 Stars

Save the date...!

Olivia can’t believe it when her boyfriend, Teddy, proposes out of the blue. She loves him (of course she does!) BUT it does seem sudden, especially when they don’t even live together yet…

There is only one place that Olivia has ever wanted to get married - a gorgeous venue on the Cornish coast, built by her grandfather. The problem is they only have one date available - and it's only a few weeks away! Olivia isn't so sure about rushing but Teddy jumps at the chance to be married within the month.

Thrown into a whirlwind of wedding planning, alarm bells start to ring for Olivia. Are they doing this for the right reasons? Why is Teddy in such a rush? And when he fails to help with any part of the preparations, Olivia must find help elsewhere, with unexpected results...

As the countdown begins, will the wedding go ahead? Or will Olivia find that her future happiness lies elsewhere...?

Don't miss bestseller Portia MacIntosh's

I always know I'm in for a good time with a Portia MacIntosh novel and this was no exception.  When you learn very early on that Olivia is a comedian, you know there are going to be jokes galore in this, with various levels of funny. 

I found though this story took a while to properly get into, and its only at the point where the action moves to Cornwall, for the wedding prep to start happening properly that I was fully engrossed in the action. 

However given all my favourite bits are far enough into the story that I wouldn't want to give spoilers for, this is going to be very tricky for me to review, as there are various things I'd love to comment on but given they aren't covered by the blurb, I daren't. 

Rest assured this isn't just the regular bride planning a wedding that may have doubts sort of a story, there is plenty of this author's trademark zaniness and hilarity, and extra things going on, to keep you thoroughly entertained. 

My favourite character is Hugo who is trying to help Olivia win a wedding photographer, and I loved all of their interactions, especially during the contest. 

I also enjoyed getting to know Olivia's family, and to a lesser extent her fiancée, Teddy, who I really didn't take to.  Some of her mum's comments are fabulous! 

This is one incredibly enjoyable story that had me smiling and another great example of this authors ability and comedy skills too. 

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

Wednesday 17 May 2023

Book Review - Under A Greek Sun by Mandy Baggot

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Amazon UK

Title: Under A Greek Sun
Author: Mandy Baggot
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 18th April 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

Eve Collins is looking forward to the holidays.

Her job as a counsellor has been as taxing as it has been rewarding, and she can’t wait for some downtime on the Greek island of Corfu with best-friend, Gabby. But between Eve’s brother, Ben, unexpectedly joining and Gabby’s job at the animal rescue centre keeping her busy, Eve might have to start mucking in…
When Gianni arrives in the village of Episkepsi, it’s like a model has stepped straight off the pages of Vogue Italia… with an uptight personality to match. He may be super-sexy but there are obvious chips on those broad shoulders.
As Eve and Gianni get to know each other and both start to lean into the Greek customs and avrio mentality, an initial attraction starts to turn into something more. But with so much family drama in both their lives, neither of them were looking for a holiday romance...

Escape with this sizzling summer romance, from the bestselling author of A Taste of Greek Summer

Ah the queen of the Greek summer romance is back, and this is another utterly fabulous book, from one of my auto must read authors. 

I absolutely adored this book, it has some many great storylines running through it, not just Eve and Gianni's who we see up close, but also Ben, Pan and Gabby.  Add in also a mix of animals at the rescue centre and some totally adorable moments and you have a cracking story. 

The Corfiot small village setting was just perfect, and I was especially amused by the trio that hang out at one of the local tavernas, including Aleka who is convinced she can predict things, and the gentleman who can only seemingly speak one phrase of English, and it's certainly one I've heard in various countries before, normally at market stalls. 

Gianni and Eve both have to come to terms with things in their families, as life as they know it gets shaken up considerably.  And Eve's brother Ben who has been brought to Corfu with Eve, so she can keep an eye on him, really seems to come into his own at the animal sanctuary. 

With excellent coffee, a real coffee connoisseur, delicious Greek food, and a story that spans three countries, this really is a feast for all the senses. 

Especially sight, given how fit Gianni is!  Both Gianni and Eve need to leave past hurts behind and try to trust in this fledgling connection between them. 

A complete joy to read, I had a ball reading this book. 

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

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Book Review - Summer Nights at the Starfish Cafe by Jessica Redland

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Amazon UK

Title: Summer Nights at the Starfish Cafe
Author: Jessica Redland
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 6th April 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

Welcome back to The Starfish Café for a glorious summer, but with a few dark clouds on the horizon...

A new beginning...

As her summer wedding to Jake approaches, Hollie is excited for their new beginning as a family. But when some unexpected news threatens the future she and Jake had hoped for, Hollie will need to find the strength to overcome heartache once more.

A fragile heart….

Single mum, Kerry, loves her job at The Starfish Café, but behind the brave smiles and laughter with customers there is a sadness deep within. So when someone from her past re-appears in her life, Kerry can either hide away or face her demons and try to finally move on from her heartbreak.

A summer to remember…

For Hollie and Kerry it promises to be an emotional rollercoaster of a summer, but the community at The Starfish Café will always be there to help them through - after all, with courage nothing is impossible…

Join top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for a wonderful summer at the seaside, full of love, friendship and community spirit.

Wow, what a way to end the Starfish Cafe trilogy, with a book filled with action, drama, emotions at all ends of the spectrum, blasts from the past, and new love too.  The blurb says emotional rollercoaster and that is 10000000% what this book is. 

I was on the verge of tears multiple times in the story, not necessarily at the big things, but just little touches written so beautifully, combined with my feelings towards the characters, adding up to emotion just causing me to have a lump in my throat.

At times throughout this story, I wanted to reach between the pages, and just give a great big squish hug to Hollie, Jake, Pickle, Kerry (and her 4 children), Angie and Artie.  Actually let's be honest I'd love to have been at the Starfish Cafe myself to be able to not only give the hugs in person, but also to see the artwork in Driftwood Dell, and to devour an ice-cream sundae too.  Plus I'd love to see the Seals too. 

It was great to see cameos of some of the Castle Street characters, no need to have read those books but for fans of the author, like me that devours every single word Jessica Redland writes as soon as it is available, then seeing familiar faces from elsewhere in her world is always a nice bonus. 

I believe you can probably read this as a standalone novel, but the whole trilogy is so fabulous, why deny yourself some great other books.  And just while I'm thinking it, can I just say kudos to the cover designer, that is simply stunning and really does give a great feeling for the book inside. 

I have to say that if Jessica Redland ever wanted to turn her hand to the dark side, she would be a success at that too, as her villainous characters both in this series and also Hedgehog Hollow are truly disturbing and despicable. She clearly is able to write fabulous people that we want to hate and despise, so so well. 

This is another completely amazing bit of storytelling from the author, which I just couldn't put down. I was hooked from the first chapter and didn't want it to end.  I'm incredibly excited and curious to see what the author will be writing next.  I can't wait, and know I'll be first in line to read it! 

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