#TheCottageInACornishCove @CassGrafton @RaRaResources #review #blogtour

Delighted to be a last minute addition on Cass Grafton’s blog tour this evening! Many thanks to Rachel for providing the review copy.

Orphaned as a baby and raised by uncaring relatives, much of Anna Redding’s happiness as a child came from the long summer holidays spent with an elderly family friend, Aunt Meg, in the coastal village of Polkerran.

With Aunt Meg’s passing, Anna is drawn back to the West Country, relocating to the Cornish cove where she was once so happy. Filled with memories, she hopes to perhaps open a B&B—and perhaps cross paths with Alex Tremayne again, a local boy she used to have a major crush on and who only had to walk past Anna to make her heart flutter.

Settling into her new life, and enjoying her work for the older, reclusive and—to be honest—often exasperating Oliver Seymour, Anna is delighted when Alex reappears in Polkerran and sweeps her off her feet.

The stars finally seem to be aligned, but just as Anna thinks all she’s ever wished for is within reach, a shock discovery brings everything under threat, and she discovers she’s living a dream that isn’t hers.

Can Anna rescue the new life she has made for herself and, when the testing moment comes, will anyone be there to hold her hand?

What does TWG think?

This book is a real diamond in the rough as on the outside it looks pretty, yet on the inside there is a lot more to the storyline that meets the eye.

Be prepared to have many ‘setting the scene’ type chapters as the pace takes quite a while to pick up. Obviously that has both positives and negatives attached to it. On one hand it’s good to get a feel for the characters and get to know their backstory before moving forward, but on the other hand a slow paced storyline can be a bit of a mud sticking read and some may find that frustrating. In this instance I did a little as I thought that there was a lot of padding out in the book instead of getting the oomph ignited.

However, that’s probably my only irk of the entire book. Pace aside, the premise of the book really touched me. Anna came across as such a lost soul who was yearning for happiness in her life, something which, in the grand scheme of things, isnt really too much to ask.

Learning about Anna’s start in life was quite emotional and i felt really drawn to her outlook on situations and the fact that she wasnt afraid to go after what she truly wanted. Needless to say, Anna experienced a bit more turbulence, however I was relieved to see that she had a few more people fighting her battles with her this time.

Cass Grafton has a way with words and i could tell that she genuinely believed in her characters and the messages that they were trying to convey. I’m really looking forward to reading more cosy reads from this author!

Buy now.

#NewBeginningsatWynterHouse @EmilyHarvale @RaRaResources #review #blogtour #blogger

Huge thanks, as always, to Rachel for inviting me to take part in Emily Harvale’s blog tour today (and for the ARC). I am super excited to be reviewing yet another of this fabulous authors novels. Enjoy!

Neva Grey’s Christmas brought several surprises. Now a shocking secret has life-changing consequences for the Wynters, as the New Year brings revelations … and relatives to Wynter House.

It also brings Hazel Smart and Amelia Goodbody. And it’s not just Adam and Rafe Wynter who are pleased Hazel and Amelia have come to stay. Olivia Wynter will enjoy bossing nurse Hazel around and she also makes it clear Amelia – who is handling the marketing for Rafe’s new business venture – is far more suited to be her grandson’s girlfriend than Neva will ever be.

Whilst Amelia is ensconced at Wynter House, Neva is busy with her new hair and beauty salon in Merriment Bay. Perhaps she should enlist her niece, Sasha’s help because just when she thought she had found the love of her life, old secrets, ghosts from the past, and new arrivals might shatter all her dreams.

At least she has her best friend, Jo Duncan to lean on. But newly single, Jo is determined to have some fun, both at Wynter House and in Merriment Bay. And so is Adam Wynter.

This is book two in the Wyntersleap series but it can be read as a standalone. The Wyntersleap series is interlinked with the Merriment Bay series and several characters appear in both series.

What does TWG think?

Can I just start by saying that, even though the blurb does say that this novel can be read as a standalone, I wholeheartedly recommend that you do read the books in order so that you’re able to get the whole ‘Emily Harvale’ experience, and appreciate the characters and the storyline for their flow. Just my opinion of course.

I love being able to lose myself in one of Emily Harvale’s books, and ‘New Beginnings at Wynter House’ was no different. It felt like I had just opened the book before I was closing it again!

Neva doesnt beat about the bush and neither does Rafe! They say that ‘love moves in mysterious ways’, however I dont think I have ever seen it move so quickly! Can someone really fall in love with someone just like THAT? I’m only questioning it because I’m a slight cynic when it comes to that sort of thing! I’m not questioning it because I disbelieve the author…before anyone thinks that.

Anyway, there were a few characters which had me ‘pffffft-ing’ multiple times; Amelia and Jo. I knew straight away that Amelia was going to rub people up the wrong way, and rub Olivia up the right way. I mean, witches tend to migrate together, right haha? As for Jo, without giving anything away, I was quite surprised by the different side to her personality. I appreciate she had recently had a bit of trouble in her personal life, I just couldnt get to grips with the new her and it made me a little bit unsettled if I’m honest. Weird eh!

As always, Emily Harvale’s witty one liners make this story the triumphant read that it is destined to be. I loved the community spirit, the unconventional table talk, and Sasha’s brilliant personality. Mix those together with dry humour, a sprinkling of romance, and an overall tenderness that envelopes you like a big bear hug, and you end up with a story that you cant help falling in love with straight away. I guess falling in love at the click of fingers isnt just for people!

Did I say that I loved it?

Buy now from Amazon UK

Buy now from Amazon US

#FiveWakesandaWedding @ComedyKaren @0nemorechapter_ @RaRaResources #review

Huge apologies to OneMoreChapter, Karen Ross and of course Rachel for my delay in posting this review. It was a complete error on my part, however I have just this moment finished reading ‘Five Wakes and a Wedding’, so I hope my review makes up for the delay.

(Thank you to the publisher for the review copy)

Undertaker Nina Sherwood is full of good advice. For example, never wear lip gloss when you’re scattering ashes.

Nina is your average 30-year-old with a steady job, a nice home – and dead bodies in her basement. As an undertaker, she often prefers the company of the dead to the living – they’re obliging, good listeners and take secrets to the grave.
Nina is on a one-woman mission to persuade her peers that passing on is just another part of life. But the residents of Primrose Hill are adamant that a funeral parlour is the last thing they need… and they will stop at nothing to close down her dearly beloved shop. When Nina’s ‘big break’ funeral turns out to be a prank, it seems like it’s the final nail in the coffin for her new business. That is, until a (tall, dark and) mysterious investor shows up out of the blue, and she decides to take a leap of faith. Because, after all, it’s her funeral…

What does TWG think?

As soon as I saw the title of this book, my interest was piqued straight away. You’ve no doubt heard of the film ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’, so how about ‘Five Wakes and a Wedding’?

If you aren’t someone with a dark sense of humour that isnt afraid to giggle at the things that are a bit more farfetched, then I wholeheartedly suggest that you turn back now as you are more likely to be offended than anything else! For those who can laugh at things that arent deemed ‘appropriate’, or who doesn’t take themselves, or life too seriously, then you have come to the right place because this book is so wrong that its SO RIGHT!

For starters, death is what the storyline is centred around. Obviously grief is a very personal thing, as are funerals and, if you’re anything like Nina, you would agree that a person’s wishes regarding their final send off should be granted, regardless of how inappropriate their wishes may be. Personally I dont see the harm in having a not so typical funeral, why should I? As long as nobody else gets hurt in the process, i dont see the issue….to a point of course!

I thought ‘Five Wakes and a Wedding’ was such a brilliant, brilliant read. Death is usually seen as a macabre event, and no wonder, however the portrayal of it throughout the story was ingenious, humorous, heartwarming, memorable, and a true breath of fresh air.

I loved the random bunch of characters who, from afar, really shouldn’t have worked together, yet they fitted perfectly like puzzle pieces. Even the dog slotted straight into the fold as though he had been there all along! I thought Kelli Shapiro was bloody brilliant and definitely one of my favourites from the book.

Despite all of the giggles, Karen Ross leaves food for thought in her words along the lines of organ donation, life after death, same gender marriage, betrayal, infidelity, as well as many other topics. How the author managed to include a jam packed storyline without losing momentum is beyond me!

As I’ve already said, I throughly enjoyed every single that I read, and for a little while I was able to step away from ‘the norm’ and be a part of something so bonkers, so eye opening, and so cleverly done, I had to pinch myself to make sure I was still on this planet!

This genuinely light hearted giggle fest shouldn’t have worked, yet it definitely worked for me and left me with a massive beamer on my face. As far as I’m concerned, this book is a winner.

Buy now.

#TheLittleVillageLibrary @HJRolfe @OrionBooks @tr4cyf3nt0n #blogtour #womensfiction

Many thanks Tracy Fenton and Orion for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Here is my review:

It takes a village…

Cloverdale is known for its winding roads, undulating hills and colourful cottages, and now for its Library of Shared Things: a place where locals can borrow anything they might need, from badminton sets to waffle makers. A place where the community can come together.

Jennifer has devoted all her energy into launching the Library. When her sister Isla moves home, and single dad Adam agrees to run a mending workshop at the Library, new friendships start to blossom. But what is Isla hiding, and can Adam ever mind his broken past?

Then Adam’s daughter makes a startling discovery, and the people at the Library of Shared Things must pull together to help one family overcome its biggest challenge of all . . .

What does TWG think?

What I love most about Helen Rolfe is the fact that she can take any subject and turn it into a story that people sit up and listen to. I expected this book to be a light hearted read….until I remembered that, whilst Helen Rolfe does write light novels, she always incorporates deep and highly emotive topics into her storylines. Sometimes this makes the overall vibe of the book less pillow soft and more bean bag soft, however I appreciate stories like that as life isnt all candy floss and rainbows. Life is difficult and I respect the author for keeping her storyline authentic.

Community spirit plays a huge part in ‘The Little Village Library’, something which is always a joy to see in books. Adam’s situation was one that I became invested in pretty quickly, and I felt like his character kept a lot of his personality back. Maybe he was too afraid to show his true self after what he had gone through, I’m not sure. On the other hand, Isla took a little bit of time to get used to. She wasnt my most favourite character and her holier than thou attitude really grated on me after a while!

All in all, ‘The Little Village Library’ is a warm, relatable story which isnt too afraid to highlight some rather emotive topics.

Buy now.

#OnlyLivingWitness #TedBundy @MirrorBooks #TrueCrime #serialkiller #blogtour

Many thanks to Mirror Books for asking me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Only Living Witness’ by Hugh Aynesworth and Stephen.G.Michaud, and for the ARC. Here is my review:

Two journalists with unprecedented direct access speak to Ted Bundy and those closest to him – friends and family.

What follows is a candid and chilling full account of the life and crimes of the most notorious serial killer in history.

What Bundy had to say in over 150 hours of face-to-face interviews is as relevant today as it was at the time.

What does TWG think?

Ted Bundy was a very profilic killer. He died on death row in 1989 after being convicted of multiple murders but, due to the nature of those murders and the ‘treasure hunt’ he sent the police on, the actual amount of people he killed couldnt be confirmed. So, because of this, two journalists were given access to Ted Bundy as he wished to tell his story in a book. Would they get him to confess to other murders? Would they be able to find out what made him destroy the lives of many families?

In short, the answer is no. Ted Bundy was an extremely clever man and refused to give the police extra confessions as he knew what would happen. Hugh and Stephen describe the intimate discussions they both had with Bundy, and the way in which he responded to certain questions.

The detail discussed in the book is chilling and definitely not for the faint hearted. Information about the murders is laid bare, with the victims last movements put down on paper to give people the bigger picture, instead of simply saying Bundy murdered someone in Arizona for example.

This book is a heavy one to read and, in all honesty, what I read was not what I had expected at all. I guess I was expecting Bundy to be a bit more black and white than what he was, but then I also had to remember that his mind worked very differently to the mind of someone who hasn’t murdered.

Due to the fact that I am currently studying Criminology, ‘The Only Living Witness’ was such an eye opening and compelling read. Hugh and Stephen had so much patience and what they achieved with Bundy was incredible. I cant even begin to imagine what their own mental health was like coming face to face with such a dangerous man.

If you love true crime then this will definitely feed your appetite!

Buy now.

Is anyone familiar with #TheFoundling? @Stacey_halls @ZaffreBooks @tr4cyf3nt0n #blogtour #review #blogger

Many thanks to Tracy Fenton and Zaffre Books for inviting me to take part in Stacey Halls’ blog tour, and for the stunning ARC. Here is my review as part of the tour:

Two women, bound by a child, a nd a secret that will change everything . . .

London, 1754. Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London’s Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known. Dreading the worst, that Clara has died in care, she is astonished when she is told she has already claimed her. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl – and why.

Less than a mile from Bess’s lodgings in the city, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, a young widow has not left the house in a decade. When her close friend – an ambitious young doctor at the Foundling Hospital – persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her daughter, she is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life. But her past is threatening to catch up with her and tear her carefully constructed world apart.

What does TWG think?

As ignorant as this may seem, I had absolutely no idea that ‘The Foundling’ got its inspiration from real life. I had no idea that places like that, for children facing abandonment, even existed! It certainly puts things into perspective really, doesnt it?

Being aware of the historical facts behind the novel, the storyline took on a totally different vibe and it came across a lot more darker than if the idea behind the story was fictionalised, does that make sense?

I cannot even begin to imagine what Bess went through when she gave her daughter up, nor can I even begin to imagine what anyone went through during those times where children were concerned. I know that Bess was doing right by her daughter because of the time she lived in and how illegitimate children were not something to be proud of, so to speak, but to give up your child not knowing whether they would live or die, not seeing their milestones etc, all because society frowned upon it, must have been absolutely devastating. I felt that emotion throughout the storyline, and I believed it.

I wouldn’t say that the storyline gave off too much of a mysterious vibe. In fact, I felt as though it could have pushed the boundaries with it a little bit more because, whilst the drama was evident, I still felt as though something was lacking where it was concerned, which was a shame.

That said, I was intrigued at the journey Bess was required to take later on in the story, and I loved how authentic the author made the storyline. Despite my views above, I still found the story to be compelling and quite intricately described. Stacey Halls is a unique storyteller and I am looking forward to reading more from her.

Compelling, dark, highly detailed, and intriguing, ‘The Foundling’ is a heroic and gutsy read which highlights some of the emotive times in history that should never, ever be forgotten.

Buy now.

#NewBeginningsatGlendaleHall @herabooks @RaRaResources @Vicky_Walters #blogtour #review #blogger

Many thanks to Rachel and Hera Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Victoria Walters’ brand new book, and for the ARC. It gives me great pleasure to host today’s stop on the tour with a review:

Emily Prescott’s life isn’t going to plan. Her dreams of starting a family with fireman boyfriend Greg and opening up her own bakery in London feel like they will never come true. So when a wedding
invite arrives from her oldest friend, Beth Williams, Emily is thrilled. Not only will she get to return to her childhood home in Scotland, but best of all – Beth wants her to bake the wedding cake!

However, her excitement is cut short when she discovers that Greg has cheated on her. Devastated by his betrayal, Emily flees to Glendale Hall, Beth’s grand estate in the Highlands, and tries to distracts herself with helping with the wedding plans, but that’s not easy when Greg keeps hounding her to forgive him. Then she’s introduced to Glendale’s new young and handsome vicar Brodie, and things become even more complicated.

When Emily discovers that Greg’s betrayal runs deeper than she imagined, she finds herself with a whole host of decisions to make, especially when she discovers her long awaited dream is finally being fulfilled – at exactly at the wrong time…

What does TWG think?

I’m sorry to say this straight away, but Greg is a a twonk!!!! Yes, yes, he has issues. Yes, yes, he ended up losing nearly everything because of his own bad choices. But geezus! I didnt like him at all! He got my back up from the very beginning and I’m afraid to say that that opinion lasted until the very end of the book.

Right, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…..

OMG.WHAT.A.BOOK!!!!!!! I really think that this novel has ‘movie’ written ALL over it! You know when you’re in a rubbish mood and all you want to do is curl up with heartwarming, romantic movie that makes you laugh right from the bottom of your gut? Victoria Walters’ book was all of that and more. It had serious topics entwined with humour. 1354643 calories entwined with morning sickness. Hot vicars entwined with the entire female population of the village. It had strong friendships entwined with fractured families. Honestly, I dont think I could have wanted for more (apart from the cake, obviously).

It was such a joy to be back at Glendale Hall, and I really do hope there is more to come from the quaint little village. I would be devastated if there wasnt!

Emily is such a relatable character, and I felt myself instantly drawn to her personality – a bit like Beth’s actually. There are several characters in the book which I feel deserve their own time in the spotlight aside from the two I have just mentioned, and that’s Molly, Aunt Sally, Brodie and Caroline. Dont get me wrong, Caroline is very marmite, however she did something so moving for Emily, I couldnt help but be proud of her and the family. They have all come such a long way and its been such an interesting journey to be a part of.

‘New Beginnings at Glendale Hall’ should come with a warning; BEWARE! MAY MAKE YOU HUNGRY.

I hadn’t tried half the stuff that was mentioned in the book yet I would have easily demolished all of the cakes if they had been put in front of me! Seriously! This novel isnt just delectable because of the cosy vibe and genuine characters, no, it’s also delectable because of the amount of cakes, bread and other sweet treats that made their way onto the paper! And anyway, what happened to good old bakers these days? It really isnt the same walking into Tesco to pick up an iced finger or a fresh loaf of bread!

Victoria Walters has such a enchanting way of bringing her stories and characters to life, whilst managing to keep her readers involved for the duration. Her attention to detail is second to none, and the way in which she created a story that’s heartwarming, humorous, relatable, AND emotive, is really inspiring.

I adored everything about this book (apart from Greg), but most importantly I loved being able to feel as though I had come back home whilst i was reading the book. That feeling cannot be bought and can only be created by authors who write from their heart and soul, exactly like Victoria Walters. A movie company would be a fool not to snap this up!

Buy now.

#DeathDeserved #Blogtour #BlixandRamm @EngerThomas @LierHorst @OrendaBooks @AnneCater

Many thanks to Anne and Orenda for the tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Police officer Alexander Blix and celebrity blogger Emma Ramm join forces to track down a serial killer with a thirst for attention and high-profile murders, in the first episode of a gripping new Nordic Noir series…

Oslo, 2018. Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrøm never shows at the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. When celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrøm’s home later that day, she finds the door unlocked and signs of a struggle inside. A bib with the number ‘one’ has been pinned to the TV.

Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missing-persons investigation, but he still bears the emotional scars of a hostage situation nineteen years earlier, when he killed the father of a five-year-old girl. Traces of Nordstrøm soon show up at different locations, but the appearance of the clues appear to be carefully calculated … evidence of a bigger picture that he’s just not seeing…

Blix and Ramm soon join forces, determined to find and stop a merciless killer with a flare for the dramatic, and thirst for attention.
Trouble is, he’s just got his first taste of it…

What does TWG think?

Bloody hell! If my heart wasnt already beating irregular, it certainly is now! What an incredible start to a new series! Move over Tom and Jerry, Blix and Ramm are the newest duo in town and I think they’re here to stay!

#DeathDeserved is full of suspense and intrigue. Oh, and serial killers….if you like that sort of thing! I wasnt complaining at all, even when the vibe of the storyline turned as dark as my heart! It worked and it was all delivered brilliantly.

Enger and Horst are definitely a force to be reckoned with – I really did enjoy this punchy, thrilling, high octane novel which puts nordic noir on the map, bolder and better than ever before.

Buy now.

#AllTheFlowersInParis #WW2 #Paris @SarahJio @OrionBooks @Tr4cyf3nt0n #blogtour #review #historicalfiction

Many thanks to Orion and Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite and ARC of ‘All The Flowers In Paris’ by Sarah Jio. I am delighted to host day two of the blog tour with a review:

One mother’s desperate hope for survival.

1943: In occupied Paris, Celine creates bespoke bouquets at her father’s flower shop on rue Cler, whilst trying to shield her young daughter from the brutal reality of war. But when an SS officer takes an interest in Celine and her family, all their lives are put in jeopardy…

One woman’s search for the truth…

2009: Caroline wakes in Paris with no memory of her previous life. Hunting for clues to her identity in her apartment on the rue Cler, she discovers a bundle of letters written by a young widow during the Second World War. As she peels back the layers of the past, Caroline finds new purpose – but Celine’s story is unfinished. Desperate to find out the truth, Caroline digs deeper, uncovering dark and dangerous secrets…

Can learning the truth about Celine help Caroline unlock the mystery of her past?

What does TWG think?

What with being set in WW2 AND having a beautiful cover, it was as though Sarah Jio’s novel was calling out to me through the ether.

If you aren’t already aware, historical fiction is one of my most favourite genres to read, and ‘All the Flowers in Paris’ was already ticking my boxes before I had even opened the cover!

Like many historical fiction novels, this particular novel had a dual timeline so, not only was it set in 2009, it was also set in 1943 Paris, during the Second World War. I really did appreciate being able to step back in time to do a little bit of detective work for Caroline, whilst also eagerly awaiting the truth behind the many secrets that had come to light.

I loved the historical element to the storyline, and I felt that that was the star of the entire novel. I did feel as though the fractured past, family secrets and longing for the truth, was a bit predictable in the sense that it’s been covered a lot in historical fiction, and i was a little bit concerned that it would make the overall vibe of the book a bit too ‘samey’.

Nonetheless, I still really enjoyed reading ‘All the Flowers in Paris’, especially the way in which Sarah Jio was able to get under my skin with the war references. A pleasure to read. It was an honour to have been indirectly part of Caroline and Celine’s journey.

Buy now.

Ben came in like a wreckage ball, he never meant to start a war… #TheWreckage @Rmorganbentley @TrapezeBooks @tr4cyf3nt0n #blogger #review

Many thanks to Orion and Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Wreckage’, and for the ARC. I had been so eager to read this novel! Here is my review:

One fatal crash

Ben is driving on the motorway, on his usual commute to the school where he works. A day like any other, except for the crash.

Two colliding worlds

Adam has left his home for the last time. In his final despairing act, he jumps in front of Ben’s car, turning the teacher’s world upside down.

Three wrecked lives

Wracked with guilt, Ben seeks out Alice, Adam’s widow, and her 7-year-old son Max. But as he tries to escape the trauma of the wreckage, could Ben go too far in trying to ease his conscience?

What does TWG think?

God, I don’t envy Ben! How on Earth does someone live with themselves after that, an accident or not?! Ben was advised to try to get on with his life and let the family process the disastrous turn of events in their own way, but did he listen? Did he heck! I can see why he wanted to check on the family. I totally get that. What I dont quite understand is whether he was seeing them for their gain, or for his? A guilty conscience is a powerful thing. Hell, a conscience itself is a powerful thing! The family owned Ben nothing. Absolutely nothing. Did he owe them anything? In my opinion, yes. He owed them to stay away.

Alice’s reaction to the entire thing totally confused me, like she even admitted herself. She couldn’t quite understand why she wasnt being the grieving widow that people expected her to be. People deal with things in totally different ways. Plus, nobody else knew Adam like she did. I mean, the psychological elements to this book really did make me think, especially as, like most things, we wont ever find out the answer as to why Adam made the decision he made that morning.

I was so impressed at this debut novel. It read like the author had been writing for many years and that this was a book in a long list of publications. So yeah, I’m a bit shocked at it being a debut because of the strength behind the characterisation and compelling storyline. Also, the fact that this book had a character which got my back up was another thumbs up!

It’s safe to say that Robin Morgan-Bentley’s novel wasnt a wreckage in the slightest! If this is what the author can achieve with his debut, I cannot WAIT to see what he writes next!

Intriguing, compelling, enlightening, and very clever – will you want to be in #TheWreckage?

Buy now.