#BlogBlitz! #Review – Coming Home to Maple Cottage by Holly Martin (@HollyMAuthor) @Bookouture


A late one this evening, sorry! Feel free to blame Strictly Come Dancing! Anyway, I am excited to be reviewing Holly Martin’s stunning new novel, ‘Coming Home to Maple Cottage’. Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:


Isla Rosewood is creating a new life for herself and her sweet nephew Elliot in their cosy, yellow-brick family cottage, brimming with special memories. Living in Sandcastle Bay was never part of Isla’s plan but, after her brother Matthew’s tragic accident, her whole world changed as she unexpectedly became a mother to the little boy she adores so much.

Leo Jackson was always known as Matthew’s fun-loving and wild best friend. But now Matthew is gone, it’s time to put his colourful past behind him. His role as Elliot’s godfather is the most important thing to him. And even though Leo and Isla are two very different people, they both want to give Elliot the childhood he deserves.

As the three of them enjoy time together watching fireworks, baking cakes and collecting conkers, Isla begins to see a softer side to charming Leo, with his twinkling eyes and mischievous sense of humour. And, despite herself, she begins to fall for him.

But does Leo feel the same way? Isla knows their situation is complicated but is it too complicated for true love… or will the year end with a happy new beginning for them all?

What does TWG think?

Oh Elliot, what a boy! My poor ovaries! That boy is my favourite character for sure – his personality is like sunshine on a rainy day. I just want to cuddle him!! If you’ve read any of the books in the series, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about! I have absolutely no idea how I managed to miss the second book, but I did. However, despite only having read the first book and then the third, I was able to slot back into Sandcastle Bay as though I had been there all along. In simple terms – you CAN read the books as a standalone with no problem at all. Although if you’re the type of reader who likes getting the background information on most of the characters, you might find it easier if you did read the books in order!

‘Coming Home to Maple Cottage’ focuses on Isla’s life with her little nephew, Elliot; a little boy who lost his dad at such a young age, and his mother even younger. But, with Isla having his back and loving him like he was her own child, little Elliot’s future is looking rosy. Well, as long as people stop sticking their noses into Isla and Leo’s business that is!

Be still my beating heart!!!! What a gorgeous, gorgeous book this is! Holly Martin never fails to capture my heart with her storylines and her well-rounded, colourful and beautifully written characters. Of course not all of the characters are lovely, as just like any place, there is always at least one person who is determined to stuff things up for other people. Why couldn’t people just leave Isla and Leo alone? What exactly would they benefit from watching the little family crumble before their eyes? It wasn’t fair and actually made me quite emotional as I just wanted Elliot to be settled and happy. Surely for a little boy of his age, that isn’t too much to ask?

The humour in this book was on point, as always, and I found myself holding my belly and crossing my legs whilst I laughed. I found that the giggles were just so natural and unforced, I couldn’t help but laugh with the characters. Hell, my face certainly got some exercise as my cheeks were aching from grinning so much! Not that I’m complaining obviously!

For me, ‘Coming Home to Maple Cottage’ is everything a romantic comedy/’chick lit’ should be and more, and that is down to Holly Martin engaging with her readers and making them believe that love is in the air. Like I have said many times, I’m not really a romantic person, yet I could feel the love between two of the characters and I believed it as though it was coming from my own heart and not theirs. I could feel the tenderness between the two characters, I don’t think that anyone would be able to miss it!

I adored every single word, every single joke, every single flutter of the heart, and every single line that Elliott came out with. I just loved this book from start to finish and I have everything crossed that the author doesn’t end the series with this book as I need to find out more. What happens to Isla and Leo afterwards?

‘Coming Home to Maple Cottage’ made my heart flutter, my belly laugh, my mind dream, and my cheeks ache – all the signs of an absolutely perfect, beautifully written, tender, and utterly divine read. I could read it over and over again and not get bored – more please!!

Buy now!

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#BlogTour! #Review – I Invited Her In by Adele Parks (@adeleparks) HQStories


Second tour of the day is for the incredible, Adele Parks, and ‘I Invited Her In’. Massive thank you to the HQStories team for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

I invited her in… and she took everything.’

When Mel hears from a long-lost friend in need of help, she doesn’t hesitate to invite her to stay. Mel and Abi were best friends back in the day, sharing the highs and lows of student life, until Mel’s unplanned pregnancy made her drop out of her studies.

Now, seventeen years later, Mel and Abi’s lives couldn’t be more different. Mel is happily married, having raised her son on her own before meeting her husband, Ben. Now they share gorgeous girls and have a chaotic but happy family home, with three children.

Abi, meanwhile, followed her lover to LA for a glamorous life of parties, celebrity and indulgence. Everything was perfect, until she discovered her partner had been cheating on her. Seventeen years wasted, and nothing to show for it. So what Abi needs now is a true friend to lean on, to share her grief over a glass of wine, and to have some time to heal. And what better place than Mel’s house, with her lovely kids, and supportive husband…

What does TWG think?

At the end of the day, we are all human; we see someone with a different life to our own with the chances of us turning a rather fetching shade of green is quite high. Of course we are the ones who hold the key to our destinies and such, but isn’t it only natural to feel slightly envious of different lifestyles? Notice the ‘slightly’ envious. Abi obviously didn’t get that memo!

I absolutely loved the drama that was rife in this book! I’m not usually one to plonk myself in the middle of other people’s dramas, yet I decided to sit amongst Mel and Abi’s with my legs crossed and a picnic! ‘I Invited Her In’ has friendship drama down to a fine art, whilst also encouraging readers to ponder about who they can trust in their own lives. Just because you were best friends with someone when you were the age of throwing worms at other children, does it mean that you’re automatically still their best friend years down the line? Could you still trust someone who dropped everything they knew to follow their dreams, yet come back to you with their tail between their legs and jealously stamped on their forehead?

Mel and Abi really are marmite characters; you either love them or you hate them. I won’t divulge where my opinion lie, but I have to say that these two made the storyline what it was. Yeah, maybe the whole putting women against each other was a bit too predictable, yet in a weird and roundabout way, it worked because of who they were and what their lives entailed.

I think Adele Parks has written her best book with ‘I Invited Her In’, as the suspense, twisty, rollercoaster ride of a storyline ticked a lot of my boxes and kept me holding onto the book for dear life.

A gripping, addictive, and incredibly realistic and relatable novel which will leave you questioning all of your friendships both past AND present!

Buy now!

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Birthday by Carol Wyer (@carolewyer) @Bookouture


Happy publication day to a woman who never fails to amaze me, the rather lovely Carol Wyer! Many congratulations!! I am absolutely delighted to be kicking off the blog blitz for Carol’s brand new novel, ‘The Birthday’. I started and finished this book last night (nothing like cutting it fine), and I have to say that you’re all in for a treat! Huge thanks, as always, to Bookouture for the blitz invite and the ARC. Here is my review:


One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home… 

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that still keeps her awake at night…

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

What does TWG think?

With a five year old daughter of my own, the theme of ‘The Birthday’ felt very close to home in terms of the children and their ages. But, without sounding too weird, it was also that theme which made me dig my nails into the book to ensure that my hands never let go. How did I end up finding myself gripped by a devastating situation? It wasn’t as though I found the fact that a little girl went missing, highly entertaining, it was more to do with wanting answers for the missing girl and staying right to the end to get those answers so that her family and loved ones (and I), could let the girl rest in peace without any question marks looming overhead.

‘The Birthday’ is the first book in a brand new series, with Detective Natalie Ward as the ‘go to’ person. I thought she was absolutely brilliant. She refused to take any rubbish from her team, nor did she allow her superior to ignore her gut instinct regarding the investigation. Maybe it was a mother’s intuition, but Natalie Ward knew that something wasn’t quite right when the first body was found, and she knew that things were about to blow when another little girl ends up being put onto the police radar. Either way, Natalie refused to give up.

The storyline switches between the present, the past involving the person behind the first disappearance, as well as the ‘voices’ if you will, of the girls involved in the situation. It isn’t confusing at all, in fact it adds another thrilling dimension to an already highly intense read.

I did end up working out who was involved before it was known and revealed by Natalie and her team, but due to the fast paced, twisty nature of the storyline, it didn’t frustrate me as much as it usually would. Put it this way, I was obviously highly invested in the storyline because when I reached the end of the book, I hadn’t prepared myself and felt like there should have been more. I wanted more!

‘The Birthday’ is an incredible, incredible start to a series I cannot wait to read more of. Carol Wyer has raised the bar once again with this book and, whilst I do have faith in her to raise it again with the next book, I have absolutely no idea how she is going to beat this book.

A jaw dropping, highly anticipated, thrilling, addictive, and incredibly dark novel which left my body covered in goosebumps – fantastic, fantastic read!

Buy now!

About the author.

Carol Wyer garnered a loyal following as an author of romantic comedies, and won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015). In 2017 she stepped from comedy to the “dark side” and embarked on a series of thrillers, featuring the popular DI Robyn Carter, which earned her recognition as a crime writer.

The Staffordshire-based writer now has more crime novels in the pipeline, although she can still sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

www.carolewyer.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolEWyer

#BlogTour! #Review – Friend of the Family by Tasmina Perry (@tasminaperry) @Headlinepg


Second blog tour for the day is for ‘Friend of the Family’ by Tasmina Perry. Many thanks to Headline for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

She thinks your life is perfect. She thinks you don’t deserve it.

Your job

Amy is more than happy to offer the daughter of an old friend work experience at her London magazine. Josie is young and ambitious. She just needs a foot in the door.

Your home

When Josie arrives, she swiftly makes herself indispensable at work and at home. And when childcare falls through before a long-awaited university reunion in Provence, it begins to look as if Josie may be staying longer than Amy had bargained for.

Your husband

In the heat of Provence, Josie’s presence starts to unsettle Amy, especially around her husband. As cracks begin to appear in Amy’s perfect life, she cannot shake the feeling that the family friend may not be a friend at all…

What does TWG think?

What I thoroughly enjoyed about this book, was how much of an ‘easy to read’ novel it was. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all, I mean that I was able to read the book without having to over think any parts of the storyline, especially as there are times where I just want to pick up a book and read it without my brain getting fried by the end of it. A major thumbs up from me in that sense, that’s for sure!

However, I did find this book to be a little predictable so whilst it was a care-free type of storyline, the surprise element wasn’t there.

I did enjoy the ‘how the other half live’ characters as I am a bit nosy and like to delve into other people’s lives. Don’t panic, I don’t stalk people! I have to say that ‘Friend of the Family’ reminded me a bit of ‘The Real Housewives of Cheshire’ meets ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’. Those programs are my guilty pleasure – I was thoroughly entertained by that element in the book.

I thought that the subject of ‘trust’ was a strong current in the book and certainly made me think about people who have come into my life and showed their true colours…eventually!!

All in all, ‘Friend of the Family’ was an entertaining, easy to read novel with characters you’re likely to dislike but can’t tear yourself away from.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #MiniReview – What Was Lost by Jean Levy (@JeanELevy) @EmilyGlenister @DomePress

I am delighted to be sharing a mini review of ‘What Was Lost’ by Jean Levy, for my stop on the blog tour organised by Dome Press. Many thanks to Emily and the publisher for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

How would you live if you had no memories? And what if you were suspected of a terrible crime?

Sarah has no memories. She just knows she was found, near death, on a beach miles from her London home. Now she is part of a medical experiment to see whether her past can be retrieved.

But bad things seemed to have happened before she disappeared. The police are interested in her hidden memories too. A nice man she meets in the supermarket appears to have her best interests at heart. He seems to understand her – almost as if he knows her…

As she fights to regain her memories and her sense of self, it is clear that people are hiding things from her. Who are they protecting? Does Sarah really want the truth?

What does TWG think?

Geeeez! Can you imagine what it must be like to wake up one day and have absolutely no recollection of your past, remembering only minute details from when you were a child? I can only guess just how scary that must be, especially if you come face to face with loved ones, they know you yet you have absolutely no idea who they are or how they came into your life. What if you were romantically involved with someone and had no idea? What if people around you were telling you lies about your past, or feeding you pieces of information which you would then take as gospel, purely because you can’t remember a thing? Just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine!

Sarah finds herself under the watchful eye of people ‘who know best’ in the medical field. They say that they have her best interests at heart, but is keeping items from her past away from her, really the best way to go about it? Or, are they right in saying that Sarah needs to remember things naturally? ‘What Was Lost’ is a slow burner of a read which sets the scene of Sarah’s current life with the author drip feeding readers with information regarding to her past, courtesy of someone who said that they are from her past. I couldn’t help but have so many questions relating to the medical team who were supposedly supporting her recovery as, obviously I am not a medically trained professional, but something didn’t sit quite right with the way they were approaching the whole memories and interrogation. Maybe that’s just me, I don’t know. I just felt a little bit ‘off’ towards the whole thing.

I really did feel sorry for Sarah as people were coming into her home and not giving her the full picture, coming across as though they were hiding things from her. Why wouldn’t they give her a chance? What on Earth were they trying to hide?

I thought that Jean Levy’s story was very cleverly executed as she was able to bring the main character to life without explaining the bigger picture. I may not have had the entire truth for a large proportion of the book, yet there was just something so gripping about the storyline which made me want to stay and search for that bigger picture. The final puzzle piece if you will. The psychological aspect of the book was bang on as even I struggled to keep my mind on the straight and narrow, despite not being directly involved in Sarah’s life!

‘What Was Lost’ is a highly gripping, intriguing and powerful read, which has been written with such intense detail that the storyline seemed to speak for itself without us knowing the full story. Very, very impressed!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Fake Date by Lynda Stacey (@LyndaStacey) @RaRaResources

Fake Date

The Fake Date

Nine hours and eleven minutes…

That’s how long it’s been since Ella Hope was beaten to within an inch of life and left for dead. She lies, unable to move and praying for somebody to find her, as she counts down the minutes and wonders who could have hated her so much to have hurt her so badly.

Was it the man she went on a date with the previous evening, the man linked to the deaths of two other women? Or somebody else, somebody who wants her out of the picture so much they’re willing to kill?

Whoever it is, they will pay … all she has to do first is survive..!

What does TWG think?

Errrrrrr, hello book; can I have my heart back please?!?

This is definitely one of those ‘dun dun DUNNNNNNNNNN’ type of novels! You know, the ones where you’re left rearranging your organs after your heart escaped into your mouth. Sound familiar?

Lynda Stacey set the scene brilliantly with the opening to her book, making her readers enter the mind of someone who thinks that they are being left to die. Would you feel scared? Hopeless? See your past flash before your very eyes? A very, very clever way to pull readers into the story – I fell head first into it and didn’t let up until I had reached the end. I could have sworn I had a house standing before…..(jokes).

Even though I did find some parts of the storyline to be a little predictable, it didn’t stop me from being gripped by the storyline as the characters seemed to have their own hidden agenda, regardless of who they were linked to. I mean, one moment I was sitting there gripped by Ella’s emotions, and then the next my head was getting funked over by the storyline (not that I’m complaining!). Please remember that I am being vague on purpose as I am trying my best to keep spoilers away, but it’s hard as there is just so much about ‘The Fake Date’ that I want to shout about.

‘The Fake Date’ is a psychological thriller with a difference – who’d have thought romantic notions went hand in hand with a head funk of a storyline?!

What a highly gripping, engaging, and fast paced novel – roll on the next book!

Buy now!

About the author.

Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire,
Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of psychological / romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.

Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secretswon the Choc Lit Search for a Starcompetition.

She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.

Social Media Links

Facebook // Twitter // Website

#BlogTour! #Review – The Little Orphan Girl by Sandy Taylor (@SandyTaylorAuth) @Bookouture

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Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and the ARC, here is my review of Sandy Taylor’s, ‘The Little Orphan Girl’.

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Ireland, 1901: The work house gates clanged shut behind us, as me and the mammy walked down the hill towards the town. I was six years old and leaving the only home I had ever known…

When Cissy Ryan’s real mother comes to claim her from the workhouse, it’s not how she imagined. Her family’s tumbledown cottage has ice on the inside of its windows and is in an isolated, poverty-stricken village in the muddy Irish countryside. But when Cissy is allowed to help neighbour Colm Doyle and his horse named Blue on their milk round one morning, Cissy starts to feel as though friendship could get her through anything.

It’s Colm who looks in on Cissy’s grandfather when she starts at the village school, and Colm who tells her to hold her chin high when she interviews for a position at the grand Bretton House. But in the vast mansion with its shining floors and sweeping staircase, it’s Master Peter Bretton who captures Cissy’s heart with his dark curls and easy laugh.

As Cissy blossoms from a skinny orphan into a confident young girl, Colm tells her she’s as good as anyone and she begins to believe anything is possible. But not everyone with a kind smile has a kind heart, and Cissy doesn’t know that further sorrow lies in store for her.

When Cissy finds herself desperate, alone, and faced with a devastating choice, can she find the strength to survive?

What does TWG think?

What a beautiful, emotional and poignant read this is! Set in the early 1900’s, at a time where children worked from a very young age. Not only that, the amount of orphaned children was very high. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like to be a child who had to grow up in those conditions, even if I am aware that they would have known no different. It’s a shame that they had to know it at all, in my opinion.

‘The Little Orphan Girl’ follows the life of Cissy, a young girl who has to work her fingers to the bone to live. With no ‘mammy’ fighting her corner, Cissy soon learns that she can only rely on herself, yet she can’t help but see the best in people.

My heart went out to Cissy on more than one occasion. It broke my heart that she had to live in those conditions, and it broke my heart that children actually DID live in those conditions back in the day. Like I said above, I know they know no different, but when innocent, young children are involved, it certainly makes you open your eyes and look at the bigger picture.

Sandy Taylor, whilst portraying an emotional scenario when Cissy is a young girl, has written a book which not only captivated my heart, it tugged on my heart strings as though someone was ringing a bell. I cannot fault this author for the delivery of such a touching , rollercoaster ride of a read which took me on an inspiring journey of self discovery, right until the very last page.

A heart-warming, poignant and captivating novel, written with the best intentions. Beautiful.

Buy now!

About the author.

Sandy Taylor grew up on a council estate near Brighton. There were no books in the house, so Sandy’s love of the written word was nurtured in the little local library.

Leaving school at fifteen, Sandy worked in a series of factories before landing a job at Butlins in Minehead. This career change led her to becoming a singer, a stand-up comic and eventually a playwright and novelist.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SandyTaylorAuthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SandyTaylorAuth

#BlogTour! #Review – The Man You Meet in Heaven by Debbie Viggiano (@DebbieViggiano) @Bookouture

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Happy publication day, Debbie! Here is my review of her brand new novel, The Man You Meet in Heaven’. Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and the ARC.

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When Hattie Green pops to the shop one afternoon, she never expects her life to flash before her eyes between the tins of baked beans and a special offer on sliced white. One minute she’s loading her trolley and thinking about what to give her son for dinner, and the next she’s speaking to a gorgeous man in a glowing white suit about what her life could have been…

If you had the chance to go back and relive it all, what would you do differently?

Go on that date, take that promotion… eat that second biscuit? Hattie is about to discover where she went wrong, but will her mystery second chance reveal some STONKING secrets in her past that probably should have stayed hidden?

What does TWG think?

I must say – I wasn’t expecting this!

Hattie has told herself that she would rather be single and with her son, than with a man. However, the people in the clouds didn’t seem to agree with what Hattie had decided, as one minute she was minding her own business in a supermarket, and then the next she was…..well, let’s just say that she was no longer in the supermarket!

At first I wasn’t not taken with the idea of a ‘man in heaven’ and the whole modern day ‘Ghosts of Christmas pasts’…except that it wasn’t Christmas, but I’m sure you catch my drift. I couldn’t help but find it overly bonkers…even for me. However (sorry, put your heart back in your chest), once I stopped thinking how bonkers it was and started to think about the message the author was trying to convey, the storyline and cloud walking started making a lot more sense and, you know what, I ended up having a massive lightbulb moment. I know, it doesn’t happen often (yes, I was as shocked as you!).

Hattie has the chance to look back on her life and view her reactions to situations she found herself in, whilst also trying to rid herself of the demons which have been stuck to her like glue ever since. Again, no spoilers, but several of Hattie’s situations were incredibly emotional to read, and very hard hitting. Be prepared, whilst Viggiano’s novel may be full of giggles, cloud discos and rainbows even Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony would be proud of, it does contain a lot of relatable and rather deep scenarios that hit home.

If, like Hattie, you had the chance to do things all over again, would you? What would you change? Would you change the way you reacted to things? Or would you end up forgiving yourself? Personally, I, like Hattie, would struggle to look back on my life as several of her situations mirrored mine. That said, would I change my reactions to things? Yes. But, seeing as I can’t do that, I am now even more aware that I hold the keys to how I react to situations.

‘The Man You Met in Heaven’ started off as ‘hmmm’ of a read, but by the end of the book I found myself taking on board Josh’s advice as it made perfect sense.

All in all, I thought the message the author conveyed in her storyline was very cleverly woven into her storyline, and very well thought out. It certainly gave me food for thought and I’m sure it will be the same for many others, too. A heartfelt, touching and inspirational read.

Buy now!

About the author.
Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her adult children return home bringing her much joy… apart from when they want to raid the fridge, or eat her secret stash of chocolate. Follow Debbie’s (intermittent!) blog: www.debbieviggiano.blogspot.com Tweet @DebbieViggiano or look her up on Facebook!

Author Social Media Links:

Website: www.debbieviggiano.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.viggiano.5

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DebbieViggiano

#BlogTour! #Review – The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper (@ItsEmmaCooper) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

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It’s my turn to host Emma Cooper and ‘The Songs of Us’ today! Thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and many thanks to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review:

The Songs of Us Cover

If Melody hadn’t run out of de-icer that day, she would never have slipped and banged her head. She wouldn’t be left with a condition that makes her sing when she’s nervous. And she definitely wouldn’t have belted out the Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ in assembly at her son’s school.

If Dev hadn’t taken the kids to the zoo that day, then the accident wouldn’t have happened. He wouldn’t have left Flynn and Rose without a dad. Or shattered the love of his life’s heart.

But if they hadn’t seen the missing person report that day, they might never have taken the trip to Cornwall. And, in the last place they expected, discovered what it really means to be ‘Us’.

What does TWG think?

Can someone please pass me more tissues?

I’m not even joking! Oh my god. I finished reading ‘The Songs of Us’ late Sunday night, and I STILL am trying to fight the urge to burst into tears when I think about this book!

Okay, okay, I’ll admit that there were a lot of moments where I couldn’t stop myself from laughing out loud at Melody’s actions, with one quote having me bent over double in hysterics; ‘swerve to the left, swerve to the right’. Obviously it will make sense for those who have already read the book, but if you haven’t read it yet, go…..go!!!!

Before anyone thinks that I am being a nasty moo moo by what I said above about laughing at Melody’s actions, just hear me out. I wasn’t laughing at the fact that Melody had a condition a bit similar to Tourette’s, where she ended up singing in public spaces anytime she became stressed. Not at all, because a health condition isn’t funny. However, it was the songs at the right (or wrong) moment which were cleverly written into the storyline, making Melody who she was. Of course I felt for her when she ended up doing the dance moves to a song when she was in a ‘serious’ situation. I can’t even begin to imagine how that must have made her felt, but I thought she handled it brilliantly with great humour, which in turn made me feel as though I was allowed to laugh along with her, even though I felt bad. Does that make sense?

Whilst there was a lot of humour in the storyline, there was also a lot of heartache and devastation. I shan’t go into detail as that wouldn’t be fair on the author or the readers, but please do trust me when I say that ‘The Songs of Us’ is a tearjerker. Melody’s situation does govern a lot of the book, however, her children, Flynn and Rose, also have their own fair share of turbulence as they try to combat their own teenage emotions. I love how the storyline is told from several of the characters points of view, as I felt as though I  was able connect with them on a much deeper level as it was more of a ‘one to one’.

‘The Songs of Us’ left me sobbing my heart out. I’m not going to lie, I was absolutely devastated by the concluding part of the storyline, and no I don’t mean that in a negative way. It was as though I could feel my heart shattering into millions of pieces, the tears were just falling from my eyes. Emma Cooper has written an outstanding, powerful, devastatingly beautiful, heart wrenching, emotional, humorous, and utterly, utterly brilliant novel which has given me the biggest book hangover I have ever had in my life. Yes, I am exhausted from the amount of tears I shed, but holy cannoli was it worth it!

Honestly, what a diamond in a rough of a book this is and, despite having read 282 books already this year, ‘The Songs of Us’ has swooped into the sought after top spot of my most favourite books of 2018, and I don’t think it will be leaving anytime soon! I’d even go one better and say that this book is now an all-time favourite read of mine, ever!

This book truly deserves to be turned into a movie for the big screen, and the songs covered in the book need to be brought out as a soundtrack to Melody’s life, so that everyone can #beabitMelody when they feel as though their life is knocking them down.

Grab your tissues, turn off your phone and prepare yourself to be swept away by Emma Cooper’s incredibly moving, beautifully written novel – this is absolutely perfection (and yes, my eyes are STILL incredibly puffy!)

Buy now!

About the author.

Emma Cooper is a former teaching assistant, who lives in
Shropshire, with her partner and four children. Her spare time consists of writing novels, drinking wine and watching box-sets with her partner of twenty-four years, who still makes her smile every day.

Emma has always wanted to be a writer – ever since her childhood, she’s been inventing
characters (her favourite being her imaginary friend ‘Boot’) and is thrilled that she now gets to use this imagination to bring to life all of her creations.

The Songs of Us was inspired by Emma’s love of music and her ability to almost always
embarrass herself, and her children, in the most mundane of situations. She was so fascinated by the idea of combining the two, that she began to write Melody’s story. Working full-time with a large family meant that Emma had to steal snippets of ‘spare’ time from her already chaotic and disorganised life; the majority of her novel was written during her lunchtime in a tiny school office.

She never expected to fall so deeply in love with the King family and is overwhelmed that others feel the same. 

#BlogTour! #Review – Love at the Northern Lights by Darcie Boleyn (@DarcieBoleyn) @canelo_co

Love at the Northern Lights blog tour
I am super excited to be taking part in the blog tour for ‘Love at the Northern Lights’ by Darcie Boleyn. Thank you, as always, to Canelo for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

Love at the Northern Lights Cover
 ‘Climbing out the window in her dress and tiara wasn’t exactly how
Frankie imagined her wedding day…’

Runaway bride Frankie Ashford hops a plane to Norway with one goal in mind – find her
estranged mother and make peace with the past. But when a slip on the ice in Oslo lands
her directly in Jonas Thorsen’s viking-strong arms, her single-minded focus drifts away in the winter winds.

When it comes to romance Jonas knows that anything he and Frankie share has an
expiration date – the British heiress has a life to return to in London that’s a world away from his own. But family is everything to Jonas and, as the one man who can help Frankie find the answers she’s seeking, he’ll do whatever it takes to help her reunite with her mother.

Now, as Christmas draws closer and the northern lights work their magic Frankie and Jonas will have to make a choice…play it safe or risk heartbreak to take a chance on love.

What does TWG think?

Oh my goodness me, where do I even start with my review of this book?!

Have you ever felt obligated to go through with something, just so that you don’t upset the apple cart, aka ‘family’? Haven’t we all?

How many of you have said ‘yes’ to doing something without even thinking of yourself in the process? Again, haven’t we all?

It’s Frankie’s wedding day and she isn’t exactly feeling, how can I put this….in the marital mood. Her friends and family are all around her, ready to support her on her wedding day, but unless Frankie is there to support herself, what chance does she have for a happy marriage and a happy life?

Without her mum there to give her last minute advice, Frankie’s dad steps in to do the honours. Will she listen to a man who is so governed by his own mothers opinion that he’s lost sight of his own identity? Or will she do what she feels is right for everyone else?

What a beautifully written, engaging, humorous and utterly perfect read! I wish I could sit here and discuss all of the bits of the book which made me go ‘OMGGGGG’ or ‘awwwww!!!’ or ‘oh wow!’. But I can’t. For someone who has a big mouth (me that is), it’s incredibly difficult being vague about this book – it is totally worth it though!!

Frankie is the sort of character who I warmed to instantly. Her personality was invigorating. Her outlook on life was relatable, and her flourishing, gut instinct was a joy to watch.

‘Love at the Northern Lights’ isn’t just a book about a wedding and the Northern Lights, it is so much more than that. Honestly, this storyline kept on giving every time I turned the page! Every single chapter made me feel as though it was my birthday due to the love, the joy, and the heartwarming moments which made me smile from ear to ear.

This book is everything I could have wished for in a book, and then some. Darcie Boleyn, in my humble opinion, has written her best book yet. Not only has the author incorporated a situation into the storyline which a lot of readers may find themselves relating to, she has also brought her characters alive with the power of her own heart. It’s very clear that Darcie Boleyn believes in her characters and what they signify, because if she didn’t, this storyline would not have come across as powerful and touching as it ended up being.

You’ve either got the that fire in your belly to create a storyline which evokes a reaction both heartwarming and emotional in one sentence, or you haven’t. Darcie Boleyn certainly has that fire, and she has that heart because I’ll tell you something for nothing, stories like ‘Love at the Northern Lights’ cannot be googled, as it takes an extremely special writer to produce a novel like this.

One of the best books I have read so far this year, ‘Love at the Northern Lights’ brightened up my night in a way I never knew was possible. A beautiful, beautiful portrayal of life, loss, forgiveness and love – I was absolutely devastated to say ‘goodbye’ to such a wonderful bunch of characters. Darcie Boleyn has outdone herself massively with her latest release – I urge you all to grab a copy as you will NOT regret it. Just….wow, wow, wow.

Buy now from Amazon UK

About the author.

Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at
books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an
overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to
become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far
away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate.

Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.