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#BlogTour! #Review – The Little Guesthouse of New Beginnings by Donna Ashcroft (@donnashc) @Bookouture

Another Bookouture blog tour for TWG this afternoon! Thank you to the publisher for inviting me to take part in the tour for Donna Ashcroft’s new book, ‘The Little Guesthouse of New Beginnings’, and for the ARC. Here is my review:

The Sunshine Hideaway, with its big bay windows and stunning view of Sunflower Island’s golden beaches, is the only place Madison Skylar has ever truly thought of as home. Could returning to the island be the second chance she needs?

When twenty-three-year-old Madison arrives at The Sunshine Hideaway, she discovers the beautiful little guesthouse is falling into disrepair. With the help of old friends Amy and Connor, Madison throws herself into creating a gorgeous wellness retreat, introducing yoga sessions, adventure walks and ice-cream sundaes with a delicious twist. But will it be enough to save her childhood home?
Handsome and mysterious Connor has lived on Sunflower Island his whole life. He works hard as a builder, with his faithful dog Jaws by his side, but something is missing and he dreams of bigger things. As Connor helps to revamp The Sunshine Hideaway, this could be his opportunity to tell the woman he’s secretly been in love with for years how he really feels…
As spontaneous and fun-loving Madison settles into life on the close-knit island, sparks fly between her and shy Connor as they clash on the reinvention of the guesthouse. Are the they too different to make things work or will Madison and Connor finally find true love this year?

What does TWG think?

Despite having such a calming front cover, Donna Ashcroft’s novel, in my opinion, has quite a few characters that I would put in the ‘marmite’ folder. Madison, one of the main characters, has had the travel bug for years, but now she feels that it’s the right time to put down roots with her family on Sunflower Island. When the going gets tough, Madison is very quick to spread her wings and take flight, so, when she manages to stay in one place for more than a few days, her old friends just can’t hide their surprise.

I couldn’t blame the other main character, Connor, for thinking the worst in Madison if that’s all he has ever known her to do, however I did think he was a little hard on her at times. His reservations were totally justified, I get that, but Madison was trying to make an effort and sniping at her wasn’t going to make her want to stay. That said, that girl could certainly hold her own and I repeat what I said above, the characters are definitely marmite because one moment I felt defensive of Madison, then the next she was annoying me with her throwing the teddy out of the pram because something didn’t go how she wanted it to. Her heart is in the right place, please don’t think that I didn’t like her, because I did most of the time. She just really needed to grow up and, for someone who has had so much independence travelling the world, it surprised me just how low her maturity was.

‘The Little Guesthouse of New Beginnings’ has such a heartwarming and romantic vibe to it, you’ll need to be made of stone not to be touched by the true friendships, evolving relationships, and delightful community spirit. I adored how the entire island came together to help one of their own, and I couldn’t help but be moved by the lengths they all went to to support one another. Why can’t everyone be like that!

The premise of the book gave me food for thought in terms of living your dreams, not settling for second best, and finding a place you can call home, and I thought that Donna Ashcroft wrote those elements from the heart as though it was her own little gift to her readers.

Even though I did enjoy the storyline and had a good giggle at the name of Connor’s dog, it wasn’t my favourite book the author has written. Nonetheless, the easy to read, calming nature of the book was very welcoming during a time I needed it the most.

A touching, light hearted read to put a smile on your face.

Buy now!

About the author.
Donna Ashcroft was born in London and grew up in Buckinghamshire. She went to university in Lancashire and, among other things, worked as a copywriter, buyer, waitress, secretary and marketing manager.
Donna wrote novels for over ten years before being published. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and was a joint winner of the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017.

Donna loves a happy ending and is never happier than when she’s escaping into a romance novel or movie. When she’s not reading or writing she’ll probably be found hoovering … or negotiating with her teenagers about who is doing the washing up.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller · netgalley

#BlogTour! #Review – The Bones she Buried by Lisa Regan (@Lisalregan) @Bookouture

It’s finally TWG’s turn on the blog tour for Lisa Regan’s new novel, ‘The Bones she Buried’. I adore this series and I cannot wait to share my review with you all today. Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC.

Josie works until her arms ache, until the paramedics arrive and pull her gently away from the woman’s cold, fragile body. Noah’s voice cracks beside her as he calls the time of death for his own, beloved mother.

Arriving with her partner Noah for dinner at his family’s immaculate countryside home, Detective Josie Quinn is devastated to find Noah’s mother, Colette, lying lifeless in the back garden, her mouth clogged with soil.
Searching the house for answers, Josie’s team don’t know what to make of the rosary beads buried in the dirt near the body, or the hidden file labelled “Drew Pratt”, the small town of Denton’s most famous missing person.
As she delves deeper into Pratt’s case, Josie quickly discovers he had a brother whose body mysteriously washed up on the banks of a river. There’s also a diary entry suggesting that Colette may have met him on the last day he was seen alive. Can Josie believe the unthinkable, that a kind old soul like Colette might have been involved in their murders? And, will Josie’s new relationship with Noah survive the accusation?
Josie’s only hope lies in tracking down Pratt’s daughter. But when she arrives at her home to find she’s been murdered just minutes before, Josie knows the real killer is one step ahead and won’t stop until Colette’s secret is buried forever. With many more innocent lives on the line, how deep is Josie prepared dig to reach the truth?

What does TWG think?

What….on…EARTH!!!!! I was NOT expecting that, AT ALL!! Again, this is where I am so glad that I don’t read blurbs because if I had, I probably wouldn’t have been as shocked by the storyline, personally.

But I was, so right now that’s neither here nor there. Seriously. ‘The Bones she Buried’ may be book number five in the series, but it is an absolute blinder of a book. I swear this series gets better and better each time!!

Josie and Noah are debating over baked goods or, in Josie’s case’ BURNT goods. Let’s just say that baking isn’t her forte but because the couple were about to go for lunch with Noah’s mum, I think that Josie felt as though she had a point to prove.

Unfortunately lunch was no longer on the menu after they discover Noah’s mum deceased in the garden. Did she have an accident, or did someone kill her?

Trying to be Noah’s girlfriend and do her job, really took a toll on Josie and that was evident very early on. Her personality is one which is so used to hiding her emotions under lock and key in favour of being practical first. If you have read the other books in the series, you’ll be well aware that that hasn’t exactly done Josie many favours in the past. With a background like hers though, can you blame her?

As I said above, ‘The Bones she Buried’ is book five in the series abd whilst it does work well as a standalone, I personally think that reading the other four books would be advantageous so that you have more of an understanding to the way Josie works, as well as why she is the way she is. It isn’t a necessity, but as I think the books are brilliant, it’s a win win situation either way.

There is a lot of to-ing and fro-ing in the storyline as Josie’s team try to make sense of the new cases that keep appearing, whilst also keeping up to date with any developments in the cases that are ongoing. Personally, I loved watching all of the puzzle pieces come together over the course of the book, and I thought the delivery in reaching the truth was so intense and a bit like the party game, ‘pass the parcel’. I knew that the truth would be revealed, but the excitement of peeling the layers to reach something which could have shown up at any time, had me on the edge of my seat with such thrill and anticipation.

This is a book which will raise your heartbeat slowly, teasing your mind with little snippets of information which you can’t help but think is important. It is brilliant, twisted, and so very clever, I did not see the outcome coming at all. I had my opinions on who I felt would be in the firing line, yet Lisa Regan completely blew that out of the water and left me thinking, ‘what the f……!!!!!’, and boy I LOVED it!!!!

‘The Bones she Buried’ blew me away. I genuinely don’t think that I would ever get bored of this series or Lisa Regan’s highly addictive, persuasive and mind blowing story telling. This is definitely a book to bump up your reading list!

Buy now!

About the author.
Lisa Regan is an Amazon bestselling crime novelist. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She is a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Find out more at her website:

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller

#BlogTour! #Review – Brotherhood by David Beckler (@DavidBeckler1) @SapereBooks

The final day of the ‘Brotherhood’ blog tour is upon us, and I have a review to share with you all for my stop today. Many thanks to Sapere Books for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

An ex-Marine is forced to confront his troubled past…

Manchester, England, 1998

When Byron Mason’s estranged nephew, Philip, rings him out of the blue in desperate need of help, he knows he must put his personal feelings aside to protect his family.

A teenage boy has been murdered, and Philip is one of the suspects.

Worse than that, the dead boy was the nephew of Ritchie McLaughlin – a local thug who Byron has clashed with in the past – and Philip has now gone missing.

Desperate to clear Philip’s name, Byron enlists the help of his old friend Adam Sterling to track down the real killers.

Is Philip in danger? Can Byron and Adam find him before the police do?

Or has Byron’s violent past with McLaughlin come back to haunt him…?

What does TWG think?

The premise of ‘Brotherhood’ really intrigued me, and the cover of the book didn’t quell that intrigue at all. In fact, the simplistic, dark tone of the image actually made me more eager to delve into the storyline than ever before. Could the room in the image be described in the book? Could the person on the cover end up showing similarities to the characters in the story? I couldn’t wait to find out.

‘Brotherhood’ isn’t my typical sort of read at all. There is A LOT of testosterone in the storyline, and the fact that the book leans more towards males in terms of the characters and violence cements the need for all of that testosterone. That’s not to say that females couldn’t have done what the males in this book did, because they could, and I’m not saying that ‘Brotherhood’ is a book solely for males because again, it isn’t. It just has that vibe to it.

I did enjoy the suspense and gritty nature of David Beckler’s story telling. He certainly knows how to get his readers where he wants them in terms of hook and intrigue. I did find the graphic violence a bit tough to read, not because it wasn’t well written, it was, it was just constant and really uncomfortable at times. I’m not one for action movies and I felt that a large portion of ‘Brotherhood’ showed multiple similarities to the action film genre which wasn’t really my cup of tea. I do like graphic details and violence in the books that I read, I just found it a little too much for me personally.

Putting that aside, there are a lot of turns in many of the characters journeys, especially Phillip’s, and I thought that the suspense surrounding the rollercoaster events was brilliant. I didn’t know which way to turn!! Would Phillip be found? Will Byron deliver on his promise to his brother? So much to sink your teeth into in this book, and I just loved the speed in which David Beckler delivered and maintained those heart racing events.

If you’re after an action packed, intense novel then ‘Brotherhood’ will certainly tick those boxes.

Buy now.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · bloodhoundbooks · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller

#BlogTour! #Review – Paper Dolls by Emma Pullar (@EmmaStoryteller) @BloodhoundBook

Happy publication day, Emma Pullar! I am delighted to be kicking off the ‘Paper Dolls’ blog tour today, many thanks to Heather and BloodHoundBooks for the tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

When a bizarre set of murders take place in London, three flatmates become embroiled in the terrifying mystery.

Mike, Beatrice and Kerri all share a flat and a passion to move their careers forward. When Mike, a frustrated mime in Trafalgar Square, lays eyes on performance artist Princess, his world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, Kerri is struggling to hold onto her job as a journalist, when she stumbles across a body, which turns out to be the third victim of the Paper Doll Killer. Beatrice, who was once a bestselling author, looks to the series of murders for inspiration but finds a lot more than she bargained for.

As the three flatmates discover they each have links to the killer they start to turn on one another. Who might be next? Why does the killer paint the victim’s cheeks and lips with blood? What purpose do the paper dolls serve?

As the deranged Paper Doll Killer continues to stalk the streets of London there’s only one question that needs to be answered … is anyone safe?

What does TWG think?

Whatever you do, don’t judge this book by the opening chapter. Hear me out a second; the opening chapter isn’t bad at all, it is just extremely dark and circumstantially graphic. I have seen on social media that people struggled with the graphic nature of the beginning of the book, but in all honesty, when a subject contains a theme which goes on in the outside world, wouldn’t you rather the author be realistic? It’s a theme which can devastate lives, or warrant copious amounts of therapy. It isn’t a theme which can be glossed off with rainbows and glitter. So yes, be prepared to have your eyes opened, but don’t judge the entire book on it because, if you were in the position of the characters the author was describing at the start, you would feel a lot worse than discomfort at the black and white descriptions. Again, yes, I am speaking from experience.

‘Paper Dolls’ is very, very clever. The storyline is very dark and mysterious, yet its evident that the author did her research when it came to the main themes of book. I had no idea of the complexity behind certain situations and without sounding like a wuss, they unnerved me at times because I had no idea what the characters were capable of. Hell, I don’t think they even knew what they were capable of.

Mike, Kerri and Bea are so very different, and it was interesting watching their journeys unfold as the storyline progressed. I thought that the split narrative was very in keeping with the nature of the book, and I thought that it allowed the suspense to grow with every new chapter. Personally, I wasn’t too keen on the ending as I felt as though I finished the book with a massive question mark looming over my head.

Emma Pullar has written a very intriguing, well thought out, dark and vice like novel – I thoroughly enjoyed the uniqueness of the book. If you’re looking for something different and intense, I cannot recommend ‘Paper Dolls’ enough.

Buy now!

About the author.

Emma Pullar is an award-winning and bestselling writer of dark fiction and children’s books. Her picture book, Curly from Shirley, was a national bestseller and named best opening lines by NZ Post. Her second picture book, Kitty Stuck, was illustrated by her talented daughter who was just twelve-years-old at the time. Four of Emma’s short stories have been published. Her dystopian duology, Skeletal and Avian, are popular with fans of the genre and Emma’s crime debut is out March 2019. She also writes articles for Bang2write and dabbles in screenwriting. Find her on Twitter @EmmaStoryteller or Instagram @emmapullar_storyteller or http://www.emmapullar,com.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · Rararesources

#BlogTour! #Review – Return to Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale (@emilyharvale) @rararesources

TWG is returning to Lily Pond Lane today as part of the blog tour for Emily Harvale. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Life couldn’t be better for Mia and her friends in Little Pondale – until tragedy strikes…

Mia Ward is on cloud nine after a magical Christmas and New Year and she isn’t the only one. Everyone on Lily Pond Lane seems to be living in blissful harmony. Until tragedy strikes… not once, but twice. And as Hettie Turner points out: ‘Bad things always come in threes.’

Whilst the other residents of Little Pondale are wondering what might happen next, Mia is busy worrying about her friends and trying to help them with their grief. But she needs to be careful. Just when she thought she had everything, there’s a very real chance she might lose the only thing she truly wants.

What does TWG think?

If you are new to Emily Harvale’s ‘Lily Pond Lane’ series, don’t fret as a few of the books can be read as standalone, this one included. However in my opinion, I do recommend that you read the main series so that you have better knowledge of the back story of the characters. As I say though, it’s not required for enjoyment, I just personally think that it would be advantageous. Plus, they are brilliant reads so it’s a win win situation.

Mia keeps having bad dreams and her anxiety that something devastating is going to happen, is through the roof. Whilst Jet keeps telling her that everything is fine and dandy, Mia cant help feeling unsettled that a bombshell is about to be dropped.

Whilst we all know that life isn’t as stress free as we all would like, several of the characters lives in ‘Return to Lily Pond Lane’ certainly have picked the short straw. Obviously I can’t go into detail as to what those stresses were, be prepared for fireworks and a lot of uncertainty.

I have loved this series so far, and I continue to fall in loved with Lily Pond Lane with every new visit. Personally though, I didn’t love this installment as much as the others because I found Jet and Mia a little immature at times due to their involvement in a particular situation.

Overall, ‘Return to Lily Pond Lane’ is an emotive and heartwarming read which made me want to hug my loved ones even tighter. An enjoyable addition to the ‘Lily Pond Lane’ series.

Buy now.

About the author.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings.” When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Canelo · contemporary fiction · humour · netgalley · RNA · romance · womens fiction

#BlogTour! #Review – The House at Greenacres by Darcie Boleyn (@DarcieBoleyn) @canelo_co

It’s day two of Darcie Boleyn’s blog tour and I am super excited to be one of the tour stops today! Many thanks to Canelo for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

All roads lead home…

When Holly Dryden fled Penhallow Sands nearly a year ago she was determined to put the past – and Rich Turner – behind her. But now an unexpected loss and financial trouble has led her back to the family vineyard and it’s time to tell Rich the truth – he’s a father.

Surrounded by the memories of what they once shared Holly’s anger fades in the glow of Rich’s undeniable love for their son and the way he selflessly steps in to help the vineyard out of trouble. As Holly watches Rich flourish in his new role as father to baby Luke, she realises that though they can’t change the past, the future is still theirs to write…

What does TWG think?

Okay, that is it – I am now officially broody. Like seriously broody. Not what I was expecting to feel when I started reading ‘The House at Greenacres’, I’ll be honest!!!!

Holly doesn’t quite know what to do with herself does she? Shes gone back home for her beloved grandpa’s funeral, trying her best not to think about the last time she stepped foot in her childhood home. Of course the massive difference to a year ago is that she is now a mum and her grandpa isn’t around to meet the little fellow. That in itself gets the ice around the heart threatening to melt!

If Holly thought that she was going to come back to the village on the down low, she had another thing coming. The reasons as to why Holly left soon become clear, and one of the main reasons ends up standing in front of her far sooner than she thought. Maybe I am just too harsh, but I wouldn’t have been so lenient on the person is question. I know Holly was thinking of Luke’s best interests, but if the person in question flew the nest at the first sight of a storm, what makes them think that a child won’t bring other stresses to light?

Okay I am being harsh. Rich has had an upsetting time, and so has his parents. I just couldn’t get over his idiocy at times. Maybe that’s just me, I don’t know.

I adored the community spirit throughout this book! As for the dogs, AWWWWWW!!!!! The fact that Darcie Boleyn always has a whippet/greyhound in her storylines is amazing and I always look out for that little detail whenever I read a book of hers. It may not be an important detail to some, but it’s the little touches like that which make Darcie Boleyn’s stories feel as though you’re catching up with friends, each and every time.

‘The House at Greenacres’ is a story which definitely makes you look at the bigger picture, as well as highlighting just how important communication is. Holly is living proof that things can be ironed out if things were spoken about and discussed. So simple, yet one of the hardest things to put into practice.

Darcie Boleyn and the characters of ‘The House at Greenacres’, made me feel as though I was coming home. The warmth behind the authors words was incredibly power, and it blew me away just how much belief the author puts into her characters to make them come alive and tell the best story that they can tell. A huggable, emotive and humourous book which makes you think, ‘I want to be like Holly’s gran when I grow up’.

Buy now!

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · humour · lifestyle · netgalley · RandomThingsTours · RNA · romance · Transworld/Penguin · womens fiction

#BlogTour! #Review – A Vintage Summer by Cathy Bramley (@CathyBramley) @AnneCater @TransworldBooks

I am SO excited to be hosting today’s stop on the ‘A Vintage Summer’ blog tour. Hugest of thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review of Cathy Bramley’s latest novel:

London has not been kind to Lottie Allbright. Realising it’s time to cut and run, she packs up and moves back home – but finds her family in disarray. In need of a new place to stay, Lottie takes up the offer of a live-in job managing a local vineyard. There’s a lot to learn – she didn’t even know grapes could grow so far north!

Butterworth Wines in the rolling Derbyshire hills has always been run on love and passion but a tragic death has left everyone at a loss. Widowed Betsy is trying to keep the place afloat but is harbouring a debilitating secret. Meanwhile her handsome but interfering grandson, Jensen, is trying to convince her to sell up and move into a home.

Lottie’s determined to save Butterworth Wines, but with all this and an unpredictable English summer to deal with, it’ll be a challenge.

And that’s before she discovers something that will turn her summer – and her world – upside down . . .

What does TWG think?

Nevermind bottling wine, the warmth and brilliance of this novel needs to be bottled!

Oh my gosh, ‘A Vintage Summer’ is everything I could have hoped for and more. Whilst a large part of the storyline does focus on grapes, wine and the Butterworth family vineyard, there are quite a few in depth and emotional situations in amongst all of that.

Lottie has lost her way a life bit and, despite feeling as though she had found ‘the one’, Lottie realised that she needed to make a drastic change before it was too late. Without delving into too much detail, Lottie is well rid did the change she had to make and I was SO glad to see her break free before things got a lot worse. I know that not everyone in similar situations can do what Lottie did, and that doesn’t make you any less strong. As they say, you can’t understand a situation unless you have been through it yourself.

When Lottie’s life perked up a little, it was such a joy to watch her flourish and live the life that she so badly craved. It didn’t take her long to settle into her new job in the vineyard, making a new set of wonderful friends along the way.

Betsy is an absolute LEGEND! She reminded me so much of my great grandmother, Waddy, it was unreal. This characters outlook on life was, whilst emotional at times, hilarious and one of a kind. Again, Betsy’s personality would sell millions if it was bottled!!

There are a lot of colourful and energetic characters throughout ‘A Vintage Summer’, some of which I favoured more than others (well, there was only one I really disliked). Actuslly to hell with it, aside from that one cactus, I loved them all. They were all so different yet all so wonderful.

For me personally, the thing which affected me the most was when the topic of single parentage came up. It’s not often that I read a book where single mothers are mentioned in a positive and empowering manner – I just wanted to hug Cathy Bramley for what she wrote. I am a single mum and I got quite emotional as I was reading this book – thank you Cathy Bramley for showing single mums in a positive light. Thank you for showing the world that we are capable at raising children on our own. Thank you for not being like everyone else and looking down on us because we raise our children with one parent and not two.

I got quite choked up writing that, do excuse me.


‘A Vintage Summer’ made me as happy as Winnie the Pooh with a new jar of honey. I thought the storyline was just so beautiful and so beautifully written. I could feel just how much the author believed in her characters by the words alone. I am hoping Lottie and Jensen come back in another book because I am now left with multiple questions regarding their lives!

An outstanding, touching, emotive read which made fireworks explode in my heart. Definitely Cathy Bramley’s best book yet. I loved it!

Buy now!

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Non Fiction · Rararesources

#BlogTour! #Review – Let’s Make Pom Poms by Katie Scott (@bloggerkscott) @RaRaResources

Final blog tour of the day is for something a little bit different – pom poms! I am excited to be one of the bloggers closing Katie Scott’s blog tour today. Huge thanks, as always, to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Fun and easy makes for all the family. Get crafty with pom poms with 15 easy to follow step by step guides. Make your own set of fluffy dice, sushi that looks good enough to eat and an everlasting Christmas tree as well as many other exciting projects.

What does TWG think?

It isn’t often that I review books like this, not because I don’t like them, but because they don’t crop up that often! I was hoping to try making some of the pom poms to go alongside my review, unfortunately I didn’t have time.

That said, the guides look very easy to follow, even for those who aren’t natural crafters. I remember making pom poms as a child so this book took me right back to my childhood!

What’s ideal about this book is that it looks like a perfect activity for children and families to get involved in, come rain or shine.

I cannot wait to show my little girl the quirkiness that is pom poms, thanks to Katie Scott’s fun little guide.

Buy now.

About the author.

Katie Scott is a craft and book blogger who lives in the county of Kent, UK. Living at home with her husband and infant daughter, Katie loves nothing more than long evenings in with a good book, a pile of crafting goodies and a very large pot of tea.
Let’s Make Pom Poms is her first crafting book.

Find more work from Katie Scott on her blog:

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction

#BlogTour! #Review – Secrets of Willow House by Susanne O’Leary (@susl) @Bookouture

Nearly at the end of today’s blog tours! Next up is a review of Susanne O’Leary’s new novel, ‘Secrets of Willow House’. Thank you to Bookouture for the ARC.

A heartwarming and moving story about secrets, fresh starts and the power of friendship, set in the wilds of Ireland’s shores.

Maeve McKenna is on the verge of a breakdown. Having worked herself into the ground as a sought-after interior designer in London, she’s in desperate need of a vacation.

Philomena Duffy is a little lonely. After losing her husband, their crumbling mansion, Willow House, feels awfully empty.

With the rugged shores of Ireland calling, Maeve visits her aunt Philomena in Sandy Cove, where she once, as a teenager, kissed a wild, mysterious boy – a kiss she has never been able to forget. The beautiful night’s sky is dotted with stars as far as the eye can see, and Maeve is worlds away from her chaotic life in the city.

As Maeve throws herself into restoring Willow House to its former glory, a deep friendship with Philomena begins to blossom. Surrounded by the faded walls and peeling carpets of the old mansion, together they stumble across a secret that turns their family upside down.

All the while, she can’t stop thinking about the enigmatic boy from her past, and that magical kiss… Is he still in Sandy Cove?

Just as she’s beginning to feel at home, reality calls. Part of Maeve can’t bear to leave Willow House and its rocky beach. Does she have the courage to leave the security of her old life behind, and put down new roots in Sandy Cove, or is that just a daydream?

What does TWG think?

What a pretty cover!! Refreshing setting too. It’s not often I pick up a book to find that it’s set in Ireland! Makes a nice change if I’m honest!

This is definitely a feel good, uplifting, empowering novel. Granted the storyline isn’t overly complex or romantically one of a kind, but the fact that it had that cosy type of warmth to it, made me enjoy it all the more.

I thought the concept of daydreams and a character reaching for the stars to have a life they have wanted for a long time, was brilliantly written. At a time where our own futures are rocky due to politics and such, I loved being able to live vicariously through the characters, namely Maeve, in this book.

A lovely, warming novel to cosy up in bed with.

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book of the month · Book Review · contemporary fiction · humour · lifestyle · romance · womens fiction

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheMagnificentMrsMayhew by Milly Johnson (@millyjohnson) @simonschusterUK @TeamBATC @ed_pr

It is an absolute honour to be today’s stop on Milly Johnson’s blog tour. Yes, THE Milly Johnson! I have been a huge fan of Milly’s for a long time, even before I started blogging! Huge thank you to EdPr and TeamBatc for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review of ‘The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew’:

Behind every successful man is a woman.

Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

Sophie Mayhew looks like she has the perfect life. Wife of rising political star John F Mayhew, a man who is one step away from the top job in the government, her glamour matches his looks, power, breeding and money. But John has made some stupid mistakes along the way, some of which are threatening to emerge. Still, all this can still be swept under the carpet as long as Sophie ‘the trophy’ plays her part in front of the cameras.

But the words that come out of Sophie’s mouth one morning on the doorstep of their country house are not the words the spin doctors put in there. Bursting out of the restrictive mould she has been in since birth, Sophie flees to a place that was special to her as a child, a small village on the coast where she intends to be alone.

But once there, she finds she becomes part of a community that warms her soul and makes her feel as if she is breathing properly for the first time. Sophie knows she won’t be left in peace for long. Now she must decide: where does her real future lie?

What does TWG think?

Go Sophie, go Sophie, go, go, go, go Sophie!!!!!

If I had pom poms roundabout now, I would be shaking them until the cows come home!!! Of course I can’t tell you why that is, apart from what the blurb tells you, but omg I nearly shouted ‘you legend!!!!’ at the top of my voice…until I realised that my five year old was asleep and probably wouldn’t take too kindly to me shouting my mouth off in support of Mrs Mayhew. How rude, right?

Sophie, unfortunately, doesn’t have the strength (or confidence) to tell her wonderful husband (COUGH), John, where to go to boil his head. Everyone thinks the sun shines out of his backside and, seeing as he lives and breathes politics, there’s also a high chance those people who say they like him, also detest him. But that would be splitting hairs….

Can you tell that I didn’t like him one iota?! The way he treated Sophie was despicable, and as for her apparent family…well!!!!

As you can see, I am trying very hard to be vague here so I don’t ruin the book for anyone else, even if it is super tempting to make the air colourful with my opinion of several of the characters!!

I’m just going to put this out there now – this book has got to be my most favourite book Milly Johnson has ever written. Whenever I turned the page onto a new chapter, it felt as though I was unwrapping a beautiful present. #TheMagnificentMrsMayhew really is a story that just kept on giving. I wasn’t just empowered and uplifted by the new direction that Sophie chose to take and the heartwarming situations she came into contact with, i also felt safe, and hopeful. You know you’re holding a diamond of a book in your hands when you feel as though you’re being hugged from the inside out.

I was on tenterhooks several times throughout the book as I wanted Sophie to finally have the life that she deserved and not the life that she was TOLD to have. The fact that she was able to find her inner peace despite everything that had gone on, and how much she had changed, was a surprise. A wonderful, wonderful surprise. It’s not that I doubted her, not at all, it’s just that I wasn’t sure how much she believed in herself.

This book has a selection of such energetic, three dimensional, fabulously flawed characters which made the storyline what it was and then some. I loved the warmth that shone through the storyline, and I also loved the rain clouds that descended on the storyline too because to make a rainbow, you need both sunshine and rain, and Milly Johnson certainly has written the best rainbow I have ever read.

If you ever feel as though you need to read something which will point you in a positive direction in life, I urge you to make this that particular read. Nevermind being The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew or Sophie the Trophy, this author is now, in my eyes, The Magnificent Milly Johnson.

Such a beautifully written, poignant novel which highlights the importance of living life for YOU and believing in the choices you make, because nobody else is going to do it for you. Absolutely loved this book and everything it stood for. Phenomenal.

Buy now!