#BlogTour! #Review – Born Bad by Heather Burnside (@HeatherBWriter) @Aria_Fiction

Born Bad - jacket

Book 1 in this new, gritty Manchester crime trilogy. When your enemies get close, family loyalty is all you can trust.

Brother and sister Peter and Adele Robinson never stood a chance. Dragged up by an
alcoholic, violent father, and a weak, beaten mother, their childhood in Manchester only
prepared them for a life of crime and struggle. But Adele is determined to break the mould. She studies hard at school and, inspired by her beloved grandmother Joyce, she finally makes a successful life for herself on her own.

Peter is not so lucky. Getting more and more immersed in the murky world of crime and
gangs, his close bonds with Adele gradually loosen until they look set to break altogether.
But old habits die hard, and one devastating night, Adele is forced to confront her violent
past. Dragged back into her worst nightmares, there’s only one person she can turn to when her life is on the line – her brother Peter. After all, blood is thicker than water…

What does TWG think?

Oh my god, what a book!! Despite being siblings and bring brought up in the same home environment, Peter and Adele couldn’t be more different if they tried. In his spare time, Peter enjoys doing anything that he SHOULDN’T do, aka, anything that’s against the law. Whereas Adele is seen as the ‘goody two shoes’, a hard worker who is severely misunderstood. Well, if your father was beating you to a pulp as well, I reckon you might be a smudge misunderstood too. A mother is meant to protect her children; Adele and Peter’s mother didn’t, even though she too was used as a punchbag by her violent husband.

Again, OH MY GOD, WHAT A BOOK!!!! I couldn’t stop reading this book! From the very first page until the very last page, my eyes didn’t move from the book in case I missed something important. The things which Peter got up to, shocked me to the core. The things which their father did, also shook me to the core. As for Adele’s anger, did that shake me to my core? No. Why? Because she was hardly going to turn into a calm, anger free type of person considering the environment in which she was brought up! Just to clarify, I don’t condone the results of her anger, but I can see WHY she was so angry.

Peter’s choice of lifestyle didn’t shock me at all, whereas the specifics did. I think that was because I had only watched Peter grow up in one way; the bad way, therefore it probably would have shocked me more if he had turned into a priest.

‘Born Bad’ has such a fast paced storyline which works well with the overall plot. If the pace had turned out to be a bit of a slow burner, I feel like that would have ruined the vibe. Luckily, the pace was spot on and so was the vibe. Heather Burnside has written about such chilling, devastating subjects, whilst still keeping them realistic. I’m not going to lie, the vivid imagery my mind conjured up thanks to the authors incredible descriptive story telling, gave me goosebumps and made me wince. I really was on the edge of my seat with this book as each and every situation seemed to get amplified as the story went on. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more cut throat; it did.

I am so pleased that ‘Born Bad’ is book one in a new series, as I cannot wait to find out how Adele’s story unfolds in the next book. The only irk I have with this book is the conclusion being left severely hanging – annoying!! I just hope that we don’t have too long to wait for book two.

A chilling, realistic, intense, and addictive storyline which will not only have you on the edge of your seat, it will also stay in your mind a long while after completing the book. Absolutely brilliant, highly recommended!

Thanks Aria.

Buy links:

Amazon // Kobo // Google Play // iBooks

About the author

Heather Burnside is a Manchester-based author who, after taking a career break to raise a family, swapped credit control for writing and decided to study for a writing diploma.
Heather had articles featured in several popular UK magazines before publishing her first Manchester-based crime thriller in 2014.

Follow Heather

Facebook: @HeatherBurnsideAuthor
Twitter: @HeatherBWriter
Website: http://www.heatherburnside.com

Born Bad - blog tour banner

#BlogTour! #Review – Brothers & Sisters by Adele O’Neill (@AdelesBooks) @Aria_fiction

Brothers & Sisters - blog tour banner
Do you have the Friday feeling? No? Well you should as today is the start of Adele O’Neill’s blog tour for her debut novel, Brothers & Sisters! What more could you want on a Friday? Well, except my review of the book of course….

Brothers & Sisters - jacket
Nothing remains buried forever… What would you do to protect the ones you love?
A gripping, highly emotive story of love, survival, dark family secrets and sibling loyalty.
Perfect for the fans of Kathryn Hughes and Dorothy Koomson.
When human remains are found on Fitzpatrick Estate, Detective Kelly is drawn deep into the complex web of Fitzpatrick family secrets as Timothy and his sister Rose, now in their sixties, are catapulted into the centre of the investigation.
When the pathology report identifies the remains as that of their uncle, Patrick Fitzpatrick, missing from Fitzpatrick Estate since 1970, they scramble to protect their past.

What would you do to protect the ones you love?

What does TWG think?

Geezus! Nothing like entering the book world with a debut novel like ‘Brothers & Sisters’, is there? A family with a devastating back story. A murder. A dead body. A murder investigation. Enough family secrets to secure a lifetime spot on Jeremy Kyle. It’s safe to say that this debut author hasn’t written the novel by halves – just look at what the book contains!

So much information crammed into such a relatively short space, ‘Brothers & Sisters’ is the type of novel which requires the reader to be focused, especially as the storyline switches between 1970 and 2016, concentration is vital where this book is concerned. Usually books like that confuse me. Thankfully I was able to work out what type of storyline I was dealing with, long before I could get confused.

I have to say, this book contains such a devastating topic which made me feel sick to my stomach. I found it incredibly, incredibly difficult to read due to reasons which aren’t suitable for this review. I understand that the author needed to create an authentic vibe for the overall plot, I just felt that that situation in particular was written in such a black and white manner, thus lowering the sensitivity level of the topic in question. In my eyes, it was too vivid and extremely hard to switch off from.

As for the murder investigation, I enjoyed getting involved in the nitty-gritty parts of that! Perhaps that portion of the story could have been extended to give the readers more of a feel to the murder instead of the family history. That said, the investigation on its own kept my entertained. Simple, yet effective.

‘Brothers and Sisters’ kept me on my toes, enabling my heart to jump into my mouth due to its chilling, shocking, and stomach churning timeline of events. Looking at the shell of the novel; I was entertained to a certain degree, as well as being kept guessing about the conclusion, therefore making the overall premise of the novel a promising read.

However, the horrific subject matter within the storyline was too much to swallow, and extremely difficult to read. For me, those parts of the book made me realise that this book wasn’t my cup of tea, yet Adele O’Neill shows such promise in regards to her writing.

Looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Thanks Aria.

Buy links:

Amazon
Kobo
iBooks
Google Play

#BlogTour! #Review – Second Chances by Minna Howard (@Adelica) @Aria_Fiction

Ba da ba da da da
Monday Monday so good to meeeee
Monday mornin’ it was all I hoped it would beeeeee.

Nothing like a bit of Mama’s and Papa’s on a Monday, especially as it’s a brand new week and, as you should know by now, that only means one thing – TWG kicks off a blog tour! I am delighted that Aria Fiction give me this honorary spot most weeks, so thank you!

This Monday morning will be all that you hoped it would be as it’s the start of Minna Howard’s blog tour for the aptly named; ‘Second Chances’. Here is my review:

Second Chances - jacket

Succumbing to a rather clichéd midlife crisis, Dan Haywood swaps his family for an expensive red sports car and a younger woman. After 24 years of marriage, his wife Sarah is left to pick up the pieces.

Trying her best to re-style her life, comfort hurt children, make time for ‘helpful’ friends and maintain her burgeoning career as a dress designer, Sarah feels pulled in a hundred directions. And it doesn’t help that obstacles – mostly in the form of other middle-aged men – seem to conspire against her.

Proud of herself for moving house and starting to build an independent life, she is shocked when Robert Maynard, her rather dashing new next-door neighbour, insists that the house was promised to him. Now she is destined to be pulled into his life by events beyond her control.

After one failed marriage, will she be able to find happiness again? And do second chances really come to those who wait?

What does TWG think?

Minna Howard is back with a brand new book, Second Chances, which fits in well with the author’s style of her previous novels. I have to admit, whilst I enjoyed the majority of this book, I finished reading it with mixed feelings.

Sarah Haywood had her life turned upside down when her husband decided to trade his lifestyle in for a younger model. Yes, I am talking about his car, AND his wife. As far as Sarah was concerned, their relationship was no different to other married couples, so Dan Haywood’s change of heart came as a shock. Sarah had the chance to make a new life for herself, but, thanks to a bit of neighbourly assumption with their genitalia, Sarah has reached her limit.

How many of you agree with second chances? Are you a once chance only type of person, if they screw that up then everything is done for? Or do you believe that every single person deserves a second chance? Just to be difficult, I believe in a mixture of both as it all depends on the circumstance. However, I don’t agree that EVERYONE deserves a second chance. As for Sarah Haywood, do I believe that she deserves a second chance at happiness? Of course I do.

The storyline itself wasn’t overly original, I’ll be honest, BUT, whilst that didn’t annoy me too much, it did mean that I hoping to be wow-ed by the book. To a point, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Second Chances’, it was such an easy and straightforward read with no serious surprises. I managed to finish Minna Howard’s book in a couple of hours so it mustn’t have been that bad!

All of the characters made me laugh in their own individual ways. Well, except Robert. I didn’t really warm to him that much – an acquired taste! I liked how the pace flowed rather nicely and did its own thing without too much weighing it down; that meant that I could switch off and just enjoy the storyline without a care in the world. Bliss!

As I said above, I really did enjoy this book, but there was something within the storyline that made me wince on a personal level. Sarah Haywood’s job is a dress designer and she works in her friends shop, selling said designs. However, both Sarah and her friend seemed to zoom in on slim people, making quite harsh comments about women with slender figures. Whilst I fully appreciate that this is a work of fiction, as someone who always gets belittled due to their slender size, I felt that those comments in the storyline weren’t really warranted and were a bit uncalled for. Maybe I am being a little over sensitive, but I personally didn’t like those parts.

‘Second Chances’ didn’t blow me away due to the above, but, I did enjoy the lightness of the storyline as a whole.

Thanks Aria.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qjQTyP

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2qkiUGs

iBooks: http://apple.co/2r9dnUl

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2qJWSxY

About the author

Minna has had an exciting career in fashion journalism and now writes full time, whilst enjoying time with her grandsons and working as an occasional film and TV extra. She lives in London.

Follow Minna

Facebook: @MinnaHowardBooks

Twitter: @Adelica

Second Chances - The Blog Tour

#TWGGetsTalking – How to tell the difference between being nasty & being constructive #reviews

Twg gets talking
You should all know by now that I like to talk, ESPECIALLY when I am passionate about something and believe that it needs to be spoken about.

Once again, opinions have been thrust into the limelight and definitions have been questioned. Before I explain further, I’m just going to paste the Oxford dictionary definitions of two words; nasty, and constructive.

Nasty: very bad, or unpleasant.
(definition of unpleasant is: Causing discomfort, unhappiness, or revulsion; disagreeable.)

Constructive: Having or intended to have a useful or beneficial purpose.

constructive

Two completely different word with extremely clear definitions, yet people are still getting confused by the two words.

Why?

As a reviewer, I have always been made aware that authors (or anyone who gets critiqued) tend to appreciate CONSTRUCTIVE reviews as opposed to NASTY reviews. With both types of reviews your opinion is given – that is NOT the issue. After all, every person on this Earth is entitled to their opinion. We are allowed to dislike something. We are allowed to express our dislike of something. We are allowed to jump for joy about something. What the issue is, however, is the WAY those points are put across.

Believe me, I open my trap before my brain connects sometimes, ending up with goodness knows what flying out of my mouth. But when it comes to reviews, I am extremely careful about how I voice my opinion.

For example; ‘Omg I hated that book, it was absolutely shit, the author bored me to tears.’

What’s wrong with that sentence?

Okay, so, the example above is someones opinion. They’re entitled to that. Answer me this; was it constructive, or nasty?

If you said that the example was a constructive comment: seriously? How does saying that a book was ‘shit’, come across as beneficial to the author?
It doesn’t.

It’s rude and it’s nasty. Imagine if you cooked a meal for a group of people and someone came up to you afterwards and said that they thought your cooking was absolutely vile, would you benefit from that?

To turn the above example into a constructive opinion, here’s an example:
‘Personally, this book wasn’t really my cup of tea as I couldn’t quite gel with the storyline. I felt that it came across as quite over the top and unrealistic, which in turn made me switch off.’

The different between the two examples is substantial. The example above still highlights your dislike, yet it also explains WHY you felt that way. It’s also not personally attacking the person who wrote the book, whilst still keeping your opinion entitlement intact.

Whilst authors are painfully aware that their books could end up with negative reviews and their book babies critiqued, it doesn’t mean that just because they have put something in the public eye, that they should expect nasty comments or personal attacks.

YES, they have written something which will get critiqued.
YES, everyones opinion does differ.
YES, readers are entitled to dislike their book.

Just DON’T be nasty about it!

In book clubs, you’re going to have the perfect opportunity to talk about various books whether it’s an online or offline. But, do you think that it’s respectful to openly blast and author and their book, in an online book club which they could be a member of?
Yes or no?

No it’s not!!! Go ahead and state your opinion about a book, but if you’re going to sit there and say that a book is so bad and how you wanted to ‘light a match under it’; that’s not stating your opinion, it’s called being nasty.

As we hear all the time, not everyone will like the same book. Well duh! I fully admit that I have read a book and disliked it. But instead of reviewing it nastily, I gave it a constructive review as there will always be something in a book that you’ll like. I explained what I didn’t like about the book, I also explained WHY I didn’t like those parts, how it made me feel, and so on. I also explained what I DID like about the book. I still managed to express my opinion on the book, without insulting a human being with feelings in the process.

So, if you’re ever in an online book group where the admin have asked you to talk about books in a constructive manner; respectfully do it. They aren’t taking away your freedom of speech. They aren’t banishing you from stating your opinion. They are just asking you to express your opinion respectfully and constructively. Authors have feelings too.

It really isn’t that difficult to do..

#BlogTour! #Review – A House to Mend a Broken Heart by @AlisonSherlock @Aria_Fiction

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Wahey!!! Brand new week of a brand new month and Aria Fiction have me kicking off Alison Sherlock’s blog tour for her new book, A House to Mend a Broken Heart! Woo, thanks Aria Fiction!

A House to Mend a Broken Heart - jacket

Everyone is hiding from something…

Full of warmth, laughter, tears and heartache. Find out if there is a happy-ever-after at Willow Tree Hall. Perfect for the fans of Milly Johnson and Lucy Diamond.

Willow Tree Hall has seen much better days and has been the proud ancestral home of the Earl and Countess of Cranley for centuries.

With no qualifications and escaping her past Annie Rogers takes the job as housekeeper to widowed Arthur, the charming current Earl of Cranley. After a bad fall puts Arthur in hospital, it’s up to a reluctant heir apparent Sam Harris, to lend a helping hand and try to find a sustainable future for the Estate.

With the house requiring a full renovation Annie suddenly finds herself completely out of her depth with a team of dodgy builders and Sam watching critically from the side-lines.

With Sam running from his past and Annie hiding from hers, just maybe together they can bring Willow Tree Hall back to life.

The start of a beautiful new series focusing on the lives and loves, trial and tribulations of all those who live and work at Willow Tree Hall.

 

What does TWG think?

First Alison Sherlock book I have read and I have to say, I was quite pleasantly surprised! It’s a bit hard to know what to expect from a book when you haven’t read any of the authors work, however, the cover of ‘A House to Mend a Broken Heart’ caught my eye when it was first put onto social media as I found it rather pristine looking. Obviously I was intrigued by the title, after all, how can a house mend a broken heart! Who’s heart was broken? Why did it need mending? What did the house do to fix the broken heart?

So many questions.

The house in question is Willow Tree Hall; a stately home which has housed generations of Earls and Countess’s of Cranley for years. However, Willow Tree Hall isn’t looking its best, it’s feeling a little sorry for itself. The current Earl of Cranley, Arthur, has been doing the best that he can with very little help as his grandsons are too busy in their own lives. Well, some say too busy, I say too selfish, but who am I to judge!

Poor old Arthur has a fall and finds himself in hospital, whilst his housekeeper, Annie, tries to keep Willow Tree Hall above water. Not literally.

If you’re a fan of watching Grand Designs, you’ll adore this book. When Arthur’s grandson appeared on the scene, he decided to take it upon himself to hire a builder who seemed to think himself qualified after watching ‘Bob the Builder’ on T.V..
‘It will be fine’ he said
But it wasn’t fine.

I’ll be honest, after the first couple of chapters, this storyline had ‘predictable’ written all over it. It wouldn’t have taken a genius to work out who, if any, were going to get their happily ever after. However, does it honestly matter whether it’s guessed or not?
No it does not!

It didn’t bother me. I wanted to read a happy ending style book. A story where all of the characters involved go through some form of heartache, uncertainty, disappointment and regret, before they realise which new route takes them down the path to happiness. After all, everyone finds happiness in different ways, right?

‘A House to Mend a Broken Heart’ is predominantly a light read, with some rather quirky characters making themselves known along the way. Before I began Alison Sherlock’s novel I was feeling rough, no energy and my brain had decided to go on standby. After reading Alison Sherlock’s novel I felt cosy, relaxed, and calm, with a smile upon my face. I didn’t have to over think the storyline. I didn’t have to try to work out any of the characters. I didn’t find myself getting too annoyed with any of the characters like usual. Reading ‘AHTMABH’ I was able to just….be. I was able to enjoy the re-birth of Willow Tree Hall. I was able to imagine Rose and Beryl’s fashion sense. I was able to feel the chemistry between certain characters. I was able to envision the design work on all of the rooms. I was able to imagine sliding down the banister of the staircase like Sam and Will.

I never knew that a house could mend a broken heart. I never knew that a book had the power to make me feel calm. Until now. Not only is ‘A House to Mend a Broken Heart’ true to its title storyline wise; for the duration of this novel it became A Story to Soothe a Painful Body.

Thank You Alison Sherlock, you most certainly have a way with words.
Thanks Aria Fiction.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2o5GQx8

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2nH94x4

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2nvjCPG

iBooks: http://apple.co/2pEA9SH

Follow Aria 

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

#BlogTour! #Review – Until Love Do Us Part by Anna Premoli @Aria_Fiction #romcom

Print
What happens when two people who hate each other are forced to cooperate by law? A fun, feisty, feel-good romance for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.

Amalia and Ryan met at Yale Law School, from which their mutual dislike for one another was born.

Amalia Berger is a successful, high society New York lawyer. Chicago-based lawyer Ryan O’Moore is the eldest of four sons whose chaotic family run a pub in the heart of the Big Apple.

New York beckons after Ryan is offered a promotion. But when the defence lawyer of his first case is the one and only Amalia Berger, things become complicated.

The courtroom clash escalates between them to the point that the judge sentences them both to a punishment of community service, forcing them to spend time together…

What does TWG think?

I never usually do this, but, before I started reading ULDUP, I had a quick nose at the reviews on Goodreads. I was already on there anyway as I was putting the book as ‘currently reading’, so when I spotted swarms of two star reviews I became even more curious about what was beneath the eye-catching front cover. I mean really, two stars? Whilst I was intrigued due to the ratings I spotted, I was also a little bit apprehensive.

In ULDUP there are two main characters, Amalia and Ryan. Seeing as both characters are lawyers, there would be a slim chance of them bumping into each other, right? Especially given the fact that one is a New York lawyer, whilst the other is a lawyer from Chicago. Right? WRONG.

Amalia and Ryan have a history, a very loose history, and seeing each other has brought up some rather tetchy memories. From an outsiders point of view, Amalia and Ryan absolutely hate each other. But, from an insiders point of view? To be honest, I don’t think THEY even know!

I’ll admit, I did do a childish ‘HA HA’ when the two characters came face to face with each other, animosity was just oozing from the pages and I was looking forward to seeing some fireworks appear! That’s quite bad of me to admit, isn’t it haha.

Amalia and Ryan’s relationship was extremely volatile, yet there were times when it came across rather snooty and childish. It was like reading about two siblings bickering over who ate the last cookie! To be fair, based on their relationship alone – I was absolutely hooked on the book and all of its drama.

At the start of this review I said that I was a little apprehensive about reading this book due to the reviews I had spotted beforehand. Do I agree with those reviews? No, I actually don’t. Obviously, each to their own as everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

BUT….

I absolutely adored this book! It was SO much fun! I welcomed the copious amounts of drama with both hands as I hadn’t read a book like that in a while. I needed something different to read, and Until Love Do Us Part, completely hit the nail on the head. The judge who dished out, Amalia and Ryan’s punishment, was an absolute genius! The things that he came up with for the characters to do, was very cleverly written and such a unique addition to the storyline. Because of that, I felt like I got to see different sides to both of the characters, as opposed to just seeing them both throw their teddies out of their prams. Thoroughly enjoyed those parts the most as I also got to see the characters grow into their stubbornness, and out of their arrogance (to a point).

Until Love Do Us Part truly was such a breath of fresh air. Even though the book is labelled as a romance, it isn’t the type of book where you’re suffocated by romance, heart-shaped balloons and soaking wet kisses. In my opinion, Anna Premoli’s novel is more of an understated, modern romance novel, where the romance part is worked for as opposed to just being a given, or expected.

I throughly enjoyed every part of this novel, although what I will say is that I would have preferred a little more detail in some areas of the storyline. At times I felt like certain situations could have been given a little more oomph, I just wanted that little extra. Does that make sense?

Aside from that, Until Love Do Us Part is definitely a ‘curl up on the sofa & forget the whole world’ type of book. Anna Premoli has written a modern, laugh out loud, unexpected and fun novel which allowed me to do just that; curl up on the sofa and forget the whole world. Bliss.

Thanks Aria Fiction.

Buy links

Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

Anna’s previous books, LOVE TO HATE YOU and YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY are out now: click here to buy

Author bio

Anna Premoli is a bestselling author in Italy. She began writing to relieve stress while working as a financial consultant for a private bank. Her previous novel, Love to Hate You won the Bancarella prize in 2013.

The blog tour isn’t over yet! Today’s stop was only day two, there are still ten stops left to go! Excited? All of the bloggers involved in the ‘Until Love Do Us Part’ blog tour, are listed on the picture below:

Until Love Do Us Part - blog tour banner

Time for a… Lauren Westwood #CoverRebrand x2! @lwestwoodwriter @aria_fiction #CoverReveal

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

Anyone up for a cover rebrand…or two? Oooooh yeahh! The lovely Aria Fiction have asked me to do an exclusive rebrand reveal of not one, but TWO Lauren Westwood novels, how exciting. I’m not just saying it but they are stunning covers!

Here they are!

LW
Here is what the cover USED to look like:

fh

And….

LW2
Here is what this cover USED to look like:

findingsecrets

How stunning are the new covers!! I have read ‘Finding Secrets’ and I must say that the new cover suits the storyline a lot better.
(Btw, it’s a fantastic read).

If these new covers have made you curious about the books themselves, you can buy both books now from Amazon UK.

Buy ‘Finding Secrets’ by Lauren Westwood. // Buy ‘Finding Home’ by Lauren Westwood.

Let me know what you think of the cover rebranding in the comments below!

Thank you Aria for letting me reveal your new look books!

#BlogTour! #Review – Summer at the Dog & Duck – Jill Steeples (@jillesteeples) @aria_fiction

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Absolutely delighted to be hosting day two of, Jill Steeples’, blog tour for ‘Summer at the Dog & Duck’. This is the second book in the series and you can find my review of the first book, here: Blog tour Review! Christmas at The Dog and Duck by Jill Steeples (@jillesteeples)@Aria_Fiction.

Summer at the Dog & Duck jacket

The perfect summer read. Continuing the light hearted, uplifting dramas around the ‘The Dog & Duck’ pub and the life of its landlady Ellie Browne.

Ellie Browne has found happiness running The Dog and Duck pub in the idyllic village of Little Leyton, and her blossoming romance with tall, handsome property developer, Max Golding, is going swimmingly. With her new best friend, Digby, the black Labrador at her side, life just couldn’t be sweeter.

But their peace is shattered when Max’s younger sister, Katy, turns up unannounced with a whole heap of attitude. And Max’s loyalties are stretched further when his glamorous ex, Sasha, re-appears with her own burgeoning secret.

With the master of the manor preoccupied with the demands of his ‘other women’, Ellie’s forced to consider if she has any role to play in Max’s life or in the village of Little Leyton.

Can Ellie get her life and relationship back on track in time for the summer charity ball at Braithwaite Manor?

What does TWG think?

If you’re not aware of this already, ‘Summer at the Dog & Duck’ is the second book in the ‘Dog & Duck’ series. Ideally it would be better reading this one AFTER you have read the first book, just so that you don’t end up confused as the second book picks up where the last story ended, so to speak. Also, I think that if you read the Summer book beforehand, you may end up giving yourself spoilers for the first book before you have even read it. But that’s just my opinion, obviously!

We are back in Little Leyton and the infamous, The Dog & Duck, with new landlady, Ellie Browne. Poor ol’ Ellie is feeling a little insecure, wondering if she is good enough to run the pub, would the punters accept a woman as their landlady instead of a man, and so forth. But, seeing as her boyfriend’s ex is wanting to return to the village, I think Ellie’s concerns over her landlady status could be the least of her worries, don’t you?

I LOVED being back in Little Leyton! I was sad when the previous book ended, so I was so excited to return and catch up with the familiar characters I had grown to love. Last season at The Dog and Duck, we saw things getting ready to change, friendly faces deciding their next moves, and relationships starting to blossom. It was strange to come back this season and not have those characters where they were before, however, Ellie has done a magnificent job. I thought that Ellie was a little more introvert than before, she seemed to have mislaid her fiery nature and confidence where certain things were concerned. On one hand it was great to see a different side to her character, yet on the other side I missed those traits.

For me, Jill Steeples’ new novel was such a quick read, as soon as I started reading it, I just couldn’t put it down! The authors fabulous humour makes itself known throughout the entire storyline, I think I snlaughed (snorted & laughed at the same time) on more than one occasion. Fantastic.

As for the storyline itself, it wasn’t a hard-hitting, overly intense, brain ache of a storyline. No. It was more of a light-hearted, fun-filled, spot on intensity levels, type of cosy read. I thought the careful added situation of Max’s sister, Katy, was written brilliantly, and no doubt a lot of parents with teenagers will resonate! I’m not a mum to a teenager, but I remember being one! As far as I can remember, my attitude wasn’t THAT bad, but then again we all say that haha. The only part of the book to irk me a tad, was how Max was reacting to Katy’s actions. Don’t get me wrong, I could see why he was becoming rather aggravated, BUT, I thought that he crossed the line once of twice. Obviously folk handle situations in different ways, but I could actually see the situation from Katy’s point of view, and not just because I was able to read both sides ha.

Time to be severely vague; at one particular point in the storyline I became rather emotional. I didn’t think that I would find myself crying at that part, but I did and it was beautiful. Now, the only way you’re going to find out what part that was and why it made me cry, is by going and buying the book!

Summer at the Dog & Duck, for me, is my favourite book of the two so far. I absolutely adored the heart-felt emotion. The community spirit. The heart warming friendships and relationships. The sense of belonging and fitting in. Knowing that your extended family is around every single corner, in every shop; everywhere in Little Leyton. This book blew me away, it filled my heart with so much comfort, warmth and love, I was extremely sad to reach the end.

Personally, this novel showcases Jill Steeples’ incredible talent of story telling as from the start of the book until the very end, Jill Steeples manages to make the reader believe in themselves and learn to trust their heart.
Outstanding.

Thank you Aria Fiction

Buy now: Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

Jill’s previous book, WINTER AT THE DOG & DUCK is out now: 

Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

Author bio

Jill Steeples lives in a small market town in Bedfordshire with her husband and two children. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, baking cakes, eating them and drinking wine.

Follow Jill

Facebook: @JillSteeplesAuthor

Twitter: @JillSteeples

Website: http://www.jillsteeples.co.uk/

#BlogTour! #Review – When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi (@JessicaJarlvi) @Aria_fiction

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A breathtaking, heart-pounding, dark debut, sure to delight fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep.

When Anna, a much-loved teacher and mother of two, is left savagely beaten and in a coma, a police investigation is launched. News of the attack sends shock waves through her family and their small Swedish community. Anna seems to have had no enemies, so who wanted her dead?

As loved-ones wait anxiously by her bedside, her husband Erik is determined to get to the bottom of the attack, and soon begins uncovering his wife’s secret life, and a small town riven with desire, betrayal and jealousy. 

As the list of suspects grows longer, it soon becomes clear that only one person can reveal the truth, and she’s lying silent in a hospital bed…

What does TWG think?

Imagine this; everything in your life seems to be going swimmingly, you have two children and a husband. You love your job, but unfortunately your husband doesn’t seem to love your job quite as much as you. Despite the minor hiccough, your life is just so, nothing really to complain about.

Still with me?

Now imagine this; all of a sudden, the rug from your ‘normal’ life gets pulled out from under you, you’re brutally attacked and left for dead. Something doesn’t quite add up really, does it?

But all of the above is Anna’s life, how did it go from normal to nearly ended, all in the matter of moments?

‘When I Wake Up’ is told via multiple characters across various time scales, predominantly in the past. For me, those types of storylines are a bit hit and miss because in one book the multiple viewpoints may work brilliantly, yet in other books I may struggle to keep up and find myself confused. Unfortunately, this book was the latter. I struggled to get to grips with all of the various characters and the parts they played in the storyline, which in turn made it harder for me to connect all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.

That said, the ‘whodunnit?’ factor was incredibly intense, making it harder (in a good way) to pinpoint which character had actually done the deed, if any. Each character made me go ‘hmmm’ with their involvement, but I couldn’t work out who it was at all. I loved how the author managed to interlink each character and their lifestyles, whilst keeping the suspense level up to its full potential.

Some parts of the storyline weren’t for me, I’ll be honest. I didn’t know where they seemed to fit with the overall theme of the book as I thoroughly enjoyed all of the secretive, and gripping parts. Too much duplication amongst characters viewpoints.

Overall, ‘When I Wake Up’ kept me engrossed, entertained, and determined to find out what happened to Anna, and why. For me, the chase of the storyline was the best part.

Thanks Aria Fiction.

Buy links

Amazon //Kobo//iBooks//Google Play

Author bio

Born in Sweden, Jessica moved to London at the age of 18 to obtain a BSc Hons degree in Publishing and Business. She worked in publishing in the UK for a number of years before heading to Chicago where she edited a magazine for expats. Back in Sweden, she completed a Masters in Creative Writing. Since 2010, Jessica has taught journalism and media at a local university, and has spent the last five years as the marketing and PR manager for a British firm. Last year, she was one of the winners in the Montegrappa Prize for First Fiction at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Jessica is married with three spirited children, and although she’s known for her positivity, her writing tends to be rather dark!

Follow Jessica

Facebook: @JessicaJarlvi

Twitter: @JessicaJarlvi

Website: http://www.jessicajarlvi.com

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Inheritance by Angie Coleman @Aria_Fiction

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What happens when you are forced to live and work with your worst enemy?

Twenty-four-year-old Ashley Morgan thinks her future is guaranteed when she takes over the reins of her family business. What could go wrong?

But when her father decides to give the job to Jamie Standley, his right-hand man, Ashley feels cheated and breaks off all ties with her father.

Three years later at the reading of her late father’s Will, she discovers to her horror that Jamie will continue to be director of Morgan & Hall, while she will only receive a small share in the business. But on one condition: that Ashley and Jamie work together and live under the same roof for a whole year…

Once again Ashley feels betrayed and cheated. To her, Jamie is an impostor and she is determined to make him pay. But forced cohabitation can sometimes have unpredictable consequences…

What does TWG think?

Ashley seems totally convinced that her father will ask her to take over his business. By ‘totally convinced’ I mean extremely cocky. Up until the very last moment, she believes that that job will be hers. Soooooo, I’m sure you can guess her surprise when her father DOESN’T give her the job.

Now, instead of having her moment of frustration and annoyance and just getting on with it, Ashley decides to cut all ties with her father. Then one day, Ashley comes face to face with the man who got the job and learns that both of them will have to live under the same roof as each other, for one whole year – all in the name of ‘inheritance money’.

Whilst this novel only took me a couple of hours to read, there were multiple moments where I just wanted to put the book down due to Ashley’s whining and constant tantrums. An adult having tantrums is really not a pretty sight. I could see WHY Ashley was frustrated at the start, don’t get me wrong, BUT, I couldn’t understand why she just had to throw her teddy out the pram ALL THE TIME!!! She seemed to find a problem with everything and anything; pardon my bluntness but I couldn’t stand her.

Jamie on the other hand (the man who got the job over her), seemed to have more likeable traits than Ashley, and he came across as quite a fun character. His humour was brilliant, and the amount of patience he has is absolutely incredible. For me, Jamie was the one that gave the storyline the sustenance, the likability factor, as well as managing to keep the storyline above water.

The love hate relationship between Ashley and Jamie was somewhat predictable, yet at times it was quite entertaining to read. During those moments was when I saw little snippets of Ashley’s personality that I actually liked; she was being nice, I just wish she showed more of that side of her personality.

Did I love this book? No, I didn’t. I liked the overall concept of the storyline and I really do think that it has a lot of promise.

Did I hate this book? Oddly enough, no, I didn’t. I was entertained, it was pleasant enough to read. For me, Ashley’s character is what let the book down. She really isn’t likeable, she seemed to annoy me more than anything else and I just couldn’t get over how ugly her tantrums were.

All in all ‘The Inheritance’ was pleasant, entertaining to a point, with an incredibly promising concept to the storyline.

Thanks Aria.

Links to buy

Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Facebook: @ariafiction

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

NetGalley: http://bit.ly/2lkKB0e

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