#BlogTour! #Review – Two Little Girls by Frances Vick (@franvicksays) @Bookouture

Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review of ‘Two Little Girls’ by Frances Vick.

An innocent girl is taken. The killer confesses.
But that’s not the whole story. That’s not even the beginning…

It’s 1985 and the disappearance of ten-year-old Lisa Cook shocks the nation. Her best friend, Kirsty, traumatised and fearful, gives evidence that helps to put the Cook family’s lodger behind bars.
…But what if Kirsty made a mistake?
Now, decades later, Kirsty leaves a life she loves to move back to the hometown she hates – tortured by her memories, she’s determined to finally uncover the truth about what happened to Lisa that day. But someone is waiting for her there, someone close to her family. Someone who is hoping to finish off a job that was started years ago…

What does TWG think?

You can’t fault Frances Vick on her insightly way of getting into her characters minds. I mean, just look at Kirsty for example. She, alongside her best friend, Lisa, were at the heart of a devastating event which changed the lives of those around them forever, and still the author got into their minds and transferred their thoughts onto paper in a really clever and chilling way.

However, I am on the fence about the book in its entirety. The twisted element to the storyline definitely kept me hooked, but the fact the storyline didn’t seem to go anywhere in the latter half of the book was a bit of a ‘huh’ moment.

‘Two Little Girls’ is a devious read, and it contains topics which will get the readers talking, such as autism and vaccines. A sore spot for some (the vaccine thing), yet it’s one which will give the book it’s time in the spotlight.

This isn’t my most favourite of books by Frances Vick, but I still enjoyed the complex relationships between the characters in this read. Very impressive.

Buy now!

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#BlogTour! #Review – Final Betryal by Patricia Gibney (@trisha460) @Bookouture

Many congratulations to Patricia Gibney on the publication of ‘Final Betrayal’! I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour with a review – many thanks to Bookouture for the tour invite and ARC.

‘She lifted the flap of the envelope and pulled out the single white page. As she opened it up she stared, open mouthed. Four words were typed on the page. I am watching you.’

When Amy Whyte and Penny Brogan leave a local nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning and don’t arrive home, their families are beside themselves with worry. Conor Dowling has just been released from prison, a man full of hatred for Amy, the girl who put him behind bars in the first place.

The case is given to Detective Lottie Parker, when the girls’ blood-soaked bodies are found, days later, in a derelict squat. Chillingly, both girls are clutching silver coins in their hands – what message is this killer leaving behind? All the signs point to Conor but his alibi is water tight.

As Lottie examines Penny and Amy’s final days alive in a desperate search for clues, two more girls are found stabbed to death in a luxury apartment complex. Caught up in what is fast becoming her toughest case yet, Lottie is unaware that somebody is watching her every move.

Then Lottie’s two daughters, Katie and Chloe suddenly disappear from the town centre. Terrified that the killer has her girls, the stakes have never been higher for Lottie.

But as Lottie puts everything on the line to find her daughters and solve the case, she’s about to find herself in terrible danger – someone has a personal axe to grind with her and they know the best way to get to her is to hurt the ones she loves the most.

What does TWG think?

Book six already? How the hell did that happen!! I seem to say this quite often when it comes to book serials, but it’s still true nonetheless – you don’t NEED to read the books in order if you’re new to the series. Each book can be read fine on their own, however, because they are all brilliant, I do suggest you read them all. That’s just me though!

Lottie Parker is back and she still hasn’t managed to bring some good luck with her! How much rubbish can one person, and one family, deal with?! In ‘Final Betrayal’, Lottie starts off feeling as though she has finally got her feet firmly on the ground and is hopeful for the future, a feeling she hasn’t felt for a very long time. You know what I’m going to say next, right? Exactly – someone comes along and bursts her bubble, and yes, she is in trouble! But is she the only one?

Patricia Gibney is outstanding at creating a suspenseful storyline which made me feel nervous from the bottom of my spine. Sounds weird, I know, but it happens! There is a lot of uncertainty to sink your teeth into in this latest installment, and the intensity gets richer with every passing page.

Full of red herrings, thrilling circumstances, and dark and devious characters; ‘Final Betrayal’ is an atmospheric, twisted read and I LOVED every second of it. Patricia Gibney is a legend!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – I Know You by Erik Therme (@ErikTherme) @Bookouture

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Next up on the blog today is something a little bit darker – ‘I Know You’ by Erik Therme. Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

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‘I can help you save your sister. But I need something from you …’

Sisters Bree and Alissa Walker share a special bond. Neglected by their parents, they have always looked out for one another. But one day, sixteen-year-old Alissa goes missing. When Bree discovers her green backpack with all her belongings, abandoned on the steps of their run-down trailer, she knows that something bad has happened …

Then she receives a chilling text message. Someone has Alissa. But Bree will have to give up something very precious in exchange.

Desperate to save Alissa, Bree looks at everyone close to their family. She’s sure that Alissa’s best friend is keeping something back about her little sister and a boy at school, and why has their estranged uncle, who they’ve not seen in years, been hanging around again?

It soon becomes clear that the person behind the message knows a lot about the dark truths within the Walker family and will go to any lengths to get revenge. And as the search for Alissa continues, Bree discovers something about her brother Tyler that she wishes she hadn’t, a dangerous secret, which is also the key to bringing her little sister back home … 


What does TWG think?

If you’re in the mood for something dark and suspenseful, ‘I Know You’ would be RIGHT up your street!

Older sister, Bree, has unintentionally become the guardian of her two siblings due to their parents neglect. I say ‘neglect’ loosely as they certainly haven’t had the typical childhood, nor have their parents been all there when they should have been. Without giving too much away, it seems as though their parents have multiple skeletons in their closets.

I thought the suspense of the novel was utterly brilliant. It was unexpected and had me racing through the pages like a woman on a mission. The fact that multiple portions of the book made for uncomfortable reading, actually had me more hooked because I had to find out who the puppet master was, so to speak.

I have to admit that, despite the fab levels of suspense, I felt as though something was missing. At times it felt as though I had walked into the storyline half way through, missing out on vital pieces of information which would have helped me to understand the why’s and wherefores about the entire situation. I felt as though the storyline had a lot going on in it, yet came together a bit higglepiggidly and as I say, confusingly.

For such a relatively short novel, ‘I Know You’ is an incredibly intense read. I thoroughly enjoyed the rollercoaster ride of uncertainty. The lead up to the conclusion had me glued to the pages, eager to find out more. I had goosebumps up and down my arms in anticipation! However, I was expecting the conclusion to have more of Big Bang to it, just as us readers were led to believe. It didn’t quite match up to the suspense surrounding it.

All in all, ‘I Know You’ ticks multiple boxes with its high levels of suspense and intensity; Erik Therme clearly knows how to keep the readers guessing, that’s for sure. I would have liked it even more if it didn’t have the anti-climax to it, however the events leading up to it were certainly one of a kind and a pleasure to read.

Buy now from Amazon

About the author.

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering for his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his seventeen-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only twenty places in the world UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

 

Author Social Media Links:

Website: www.eriktherme.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ErikTherme

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7831573.Erik_Therme

Facebook: www.facebook.com/erik.therme

#BlogTour! #Review – The Mill on Magnolia Lane by Tilly Tennant (@TillyTenWriter) @Bookouture

Happy publication day, Tilly Tennant! Today is the first day on the blog tour for ‘The Mill on Magnolia Lane’ – it’s an honour to be kicking the tour off! Many thanks to Bookouture for the tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

The sky is cornflower blue, the air is scented with the smell of fresh apple blossom and Lizzie Lovell can’t wait to start her new life in the mill on Magnolia Lane. But is she just about to fall in love with someone she shouldn’t?
When Lizzie loses her larger-than-life Dad she doesn’t know how to move forward. Encouraged by a childhood dream she shared with her beloved father, she is determined to continue his legacy and moves to the old Mill on Magnolia lane, a place he had always longed to own.
Restoring the old windmill is a much bigger job than Lizzie bargained for, especially when she is distracted by her new next door neighbour Jude, who has temptingly twinkly eyes and a body to die for. But when Jude’s ex- girlfriend Harriet arrives back on the scene, Lizzie begins to wonder if life wasn’t far simpler before she moved to the mill. Especially when it emerges that Harriet knows something about Jude’s past, something that could shatter her new start and her heart into smithereens…

What does TWG think?

Oh Charlie, you legend!!! What a fun loving, well thought out character he is! I found his excitement about everything and anything, totally infectious. Yes, it was pretty evident that he had autism or similar, which I found completely insightful and thought it was brilliant that I was able to learn a little bit more about such a misunderstood condition.

I am very, very torn with my thoughts on ‘The Mill on Magnolia Lane’ because whilst there were parts of the storyline I was able to lose myself in, I found a lot of it to be a little bit mismatched. The main focus in the story is Lizzie’s mill, but there is also a lot of things going on elsewhere involving her family, relationship, and the death of her father. I wish that the book delved into the life of Lizzie’s brother, James, because his name kept getting mentioned due to his, what I assume, rocky mental health and, when a devastating event occurs involving him, it seemed to come out of nowhere without too much of a deal.

I enjoyed the theme on family ties and how the author highlighted just how complex those relationships can be, both with biological family members, and extended. I will say that Gracie’s selfishness frayed my nerves at times, and I was disappointed to see that the topic of being a single parent was shown in a negative light as though it is a bad thing to happen to someone.

Florentia was a breath of fresh air and I loved the energy she brought to the storyline. Her outlook on life is one to be admired, and I would go as far to say that everyone needs a friend like her, she is fab!!!

Overall, as you tell I am on the fence. ‘The Mill on Magnolia Lane’ wasn’t my most favourite book that this author has written because of the incomplete, mismatch of situations, however, I adore Tilly Tennant’s books and the way she puts difficult situations in the spotlight, allowing readers to understand them in their own way.

Buy now!

About the author.

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing. She wrote a novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.
Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. In 2016 she signed to the hugely successful Bookouture and is currently working on her next Tilly Tennant novel. She also writes as Sharon Sant, where she explores the darker side of life, and Poppy Galbraith, where things get a little crazier.

#BlogTour! #Review – My Best Friend’s Secret by Anna Mansell (@AnnaMansell) @Bookouture

I have just this minute finished Anna Mansell’s beautiful new book, so I apologise in advance if my ramblings aren’t as coherent as normal. Many thanks to Bookouture for asking me to take part in the blog tour today, and for the ARC. I am honoured to be able to share my review today.

Your best friend deserves the truth. But it will ruin her life. What would you do?

In summer, the small Cornish village of Gorran Haven fills with tourists, but in the colder months its pretty narrow streets are blissfully quiet, the bell on the village shop door rings only for locals, the beach is unspoilt, empty and safe.

It’s been over twenty years since four very different teenage girls sat on that beach, and swore to be best friends forever. Their lives went different ways after Emily left. But each remembered that promise. And none truly found friendship like it again.
Now, Emily’s back, with a secret she can’t face. She tries to hide away, take time to heal and make some difficult choices, but she runs into one of her old friends, and soon the four are reunited. Lolly, warm as ever, is a successful physiotherapist, married with kids. Yet smart, strong Amanda, who cherishes her teenage daughter, is alone and seemingly stuck in a dead-end job. And creative Jess is so much quieter than Emily remembers.
The bond is still there, and Emily realises their friendship might keep her together, but there are reasons why the women fell out of touch. Secrets that have lain dormant for decades start to surface, and then one of the women discovers a betrayal so big, it could turn each of their lives upside down.
It’s always those we’re closest to who have the power to tear us apart. Can friendship give Emily and her friends the strength to survive a devastating shock, or are some things unforgiveable?

What does TWG think?

Can someone fish out the lump from my throat please, like, pronto?!

Wow, wow, wow – what a wonderful bunch of characters Emily, Amanda, Lolly and Jess are! Amanda is the fiery, sassy type of personality who hides her heart behind her bravado. Emily is the peace keeper of the group who is afraid to take the stand out of her comfort zone, but she has to. Lolly is a lady who wants to be happy and loved, often settling for second best. And Jess, the one who is misunderstood because she doesn’t even understand herself and is afraid to admit that her life changed due to something out of her control.

Without giving too much away, I adored Emily because of the similarity between her and I. I can’t really say what that is, but the way in which she was portrayed in the book made me so emotional and has got to be the best described character in her situation, I think I have ever read. Finally an author has made it positive instead of turning it into a negative. I’ll let you think about what I could be meaning!

My heart went out to each of the ladies as they had their lives rocked by various different events. I thought the way in which they all came together when they needed someone the most, was so beautiful and made me quite sad that I don’t have that around me. Yes, I’m jealous of fictional characters. In all seriousness though, I adored their closeness and the way that they flourished as a group of friends. I mean really, there’s a lot of people who would run a mile if they came face to face with half of the stuff that those gals did!!

Anna Mansell never fails to deliver with witty humour, beautifully thought-provoking situations, and an overall storyline which makes the world a much better place. This author writes from the heart and makes her readers embark on a journey which not only makes them laugh, it gives them food for thought in regards to their own lives. Yes, I’m speaking from experience.

‘My Best Friend’s Secret’ is definitely a ride to hold onto with both hands as, from start to finish, the storyline engulfed my heart as I followed the journey of four of the strongest women I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. This book isn’t just a eye-opening, shock inducing read which puts all of the skeletons in the closet, directly under the spotlight. It’s a novel which makes you look at the bigger picture, think about what you want from life, and help you believe that you do deserve to be happy, even when you have to endure a lot of pain beforehand.

Can someone hug me now? I loved this book and everything it stood for, and I loved just how much heart the author put into her storyline and the characters.

Buy now.

About the author.

Anna had a brush with ‘fame’ as a magician’s assistant back in 1977. She later decided that being sawn in half by her magical performing father, at barely 6 months old, was too submissive a role. She vowed to channel the trauma in to something much more pro-actively creative. Having failed at acting, singing and professional murder mystery parties (she was ALWAYs the one to die!), she fell to something much more solitary: writing. She has written three novels, published by Bookouture, her fourth – HER BEST FRIEND’S SECRET – comes out on April 1st, 2019. Anna lives on a dairy farm in Cornwall with her two children, her husband, and her ex-racing greyhound, Olive Dog.

#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.

#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.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Woman I Was Before by Kerry Fisher (@KerryFSwayne) @Bookouture

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It gives me great pleasure to be hosting Kerry Fisher today as part of the blog tour for ‘The Woman I Was Before’, where I will be sharing a review. Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC.

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A new home can be a happy ending. Or a fresh start. Or a hiding place…

Of all the emotions single mother Kate Jones feels as she walks into her brand new house on Parkview Road, hope is the most unexpected. She has changed her name and her daughter’s, and moved across the country to escape the single mistake that destroyed their lives.

Kate isn’t the only woman on the street starting afresh. Warm, whirlwind Gisela with her busy life and confident children, and sharp, composed Sally, with her spontaneous marriage and high-flying career, are the first new friends Kate has allowed herself in years. While she can’t help but envy their seemingly perfect lives, their friendship might help her leave her guilt behind.

Until one day, everything changes. Kate is called to the scene of a devastating car accident, the consequences of which will test everything the women thought they knew about each other, and themselves.

Can Kate stop her own secrets from unravelling, or was her hope for a new life in vain?

What does TWG think?

Wow….just, wow.

Can I get away with just writing that for my review?

No?

Damn it! I don’t even know where to begin. I have the thoughts in my head but they just don’t want to spill out in a coherent manner, so I do apologise in advance if the phrase ‘wow, just wow’ appears multiple times throughout this review!

‘The Woman I Was Before’ is a drama filled, wow-tastic, mystifying, magnetic, thought-provoking read which made me say ‘oh my word….’ out loud more than once. Wow…(see, told you).

Three narratives, three different women, three VERY different lifestyles, all joined together by one little detail; they’re neighbours. A single mum, a mum with two children, and a lady who wants to be a mum, yet each of the women think that the other ladies in the street have much better lives than theirs. Why do they feel like that? Because of social media. Because of the ‘perfect’ lifestyles people showcase on their social pages, showing off to people that they are very happy and that they’re living a drama free life…..

If only it were that simple…right?

The author isn’t saying that people who update their social sites with pictures and updates, telling others what they’re up to and such, are falsifying their lifestyles. She’s not saying that everyone on social media is pretending to be something that they’re not. Instead, Kerry Fisher, along with help from Gisela, Sally and Kate, highlights just how flawed society is when it comes to social media, and how people are very quick to compare their own lives against a little snapshot which only gives a glimpse into 5 seconds of a person’s life. I’m sure we have all scrolled down Facebook, looking at people’s pictures and feeling a pang of jealousy at how happy people look, or how we wished our lives were like there’s, right? But how many of us have actually stood back and thought that we don’t know what else is going on in their lives?

‘The Woman I Was Before’ isn’t several chapters of women comparing themselves to each other, it’s wayyyy more than that and, to be honest with you all, I wasn’t expecting just how deep the storyline ended up being. I have to be careful of spoilers here, but there is a lot more to Kate, Gisela, and Sally which meets the eye. They all have their own reasons for the way that they come across, yet they are all so afraid of showing their flaws in case people no longer want to be around them. It’s a shame that we have reached a time where people are too afraid to be themselves because of how other people perceive them, and yes, I am guilty of doing that. We all are. However, when you read just how devastating it can be for a family involved in the constant pretending and uncertainty of who they actually are, it can be quite an emotional thing to read.

Kerry Fisher always amazes me with every story she produces, yet with ‘The Woman I Was Before’, this author has gone above and beyond and produced what I think is her best book to date. I was in awe at the complexity of each character and their journeys – they’re all so different yet still very similar. One character in particular was involved in a situation which put my heart in my mouth in shock. I guess part of me saw something like that happening, but it still came out of nowhere and left me flying through the pages to find out the outcome of the event. I mean, why does it always take a shock to the system for someone to realise that things aren’t right?

I went through a variety of feelings whilst reading Kerry Fisher’s latest novel, such as anger, devastation, empathy and of course sadness. I was hooked by the dramatic suspense and constant urge to find out more. Whilst I wanted everyone involved to be happy and have the ending that they deserved, I knew fine well that life really isn’t like that and, seeing as the author had written a story which was so in keeping with modern day society and the challenges that come with that, I knew that the conclusion would be a realistic one.

Wearing my heart on my sleeve, ‘The Woman I Was Before’ captured my heart and soul from the very beginning. The suspense was out of this world and the fact that the characters went through relatable things meant that I was able to fall into their lives as though they were really happening. I absolutely LOVED this book and I wish I could climb to the top of a hill with a megaphone and shout about it until I’m blue in the face. Honestly, wow – this book is everything I could have wished for and more. A stunning, addictive, and empowering read which made realise that I deserve to NOT compare my life to Jane Doe’s on Facebook because I am worth way more than that because I am me, and there is only one of you. What could be better than that?

Buy now!

About the author.

Kerry Fisher is the bestselling author of five novels, including The Silent Wife and The Secret Child. She was born in Peterborough, studied French and Italian at the University of Bath and spent several years living in Spain, Italy and Corsica. After returning to England to work as a journalist, she eventually abandoned real life stories for the secrets of fictional families. She now lives in Surrey with her husband, two teenage children and a naughty Lab/Schnauzer called Poppy.
 

#BlogTour! #Review – Escape to the Little French Cafe by Karen Clarke (@KarenClarke123) @Bookouture

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Second Bookouture blog tour of the day is for Karen Clarke and ‘Escape to the Little French Cafe’. Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

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On the beautiful French coast lies the Café Belle Vie, a peaceful haven offering a warm welcome and delicious pains au chocolat – and where Natalie’s quiet life is about to be turned upside down…

When thirty-one-year-old Natalie Bright’s boyfriend dumps her and immediately gets engaged to his ex-girlfriend, she escapes her heartbreak and moves to the charming village of Chamillon on the Île de Ré.

She’s determined to build a new life there: writing about farmer’s markets for a local magazine, exploring the local vineyards on her bike, and taking advantage of the sunshine. And in the Café Belle Vie she finds a bustling community – including new best friend Charlie – and a near-constant supply of cakes.

All in all, things are looking pretty good.

So when a blast from the past – her teenage crush Jay Merino – suddenly turns up in Chamillon, Natalie’s thrown. She’s sworn off men ever since she moved to France, but she and Jay have a connection that stretches back years.

But could taking a chance on an old flame complete her new life – or ruin everything she’s worked so hard for?

What does TWG think?

Oh bonjour mon ami!!! I felt as though I was on French soil whilst I was reading this!

I am a massive fan of Karen Clarke’s novels as they always deliver on the cosiness factor! I did feel as though the storyline was a little bit different to the authors usual writing style, however I still enjoyed following Natalie’s journey as the story progressed.

At times I forgot just how old Natalie was as, despite being in her thirties, she came across as such a naive and younger minded character. Not that that is a bad thing of course, because it isn’t! I just thought that she was a bit of a lost soul who wanted to finally have their happy ending.

I adored the humour that was throughout the entire book, including Natalie’s reaction to one of the characters dog! Oh I did laugh!! All of the giggles seemed so natural and unforced, it really did up the pleasure element for me, for sure.

Romance is the big theme in ‘Escape to the Little French Cafe’, if you hadn’t guessed that already…being set in France and everything! I’m not a big slushy, romance type of person  but you know what, I absolutely bloomin’ LOVED reading this Cinderella-esque, Snow White type of storyline which made me want to order a wedding hat…even though there wasn’t a wedding. I believed in true love where Natalie’s journey was concerned, and that’s all down to Karen Clarke’s delectable storytelling.

If you fancy a novel which can make you laugh, reach for the wedding confetti, AND put on ten stone just by thinking of cakes and other treats, ‘Escape to the Little French Cafe’ would be right up your ‘rue’. Such an uplifting, cosy novel which will make your heart leap with joy…or, if you’re like me, it’ll make the ice around your heart melt!

Buy now!

About the author.

Karen Clarke writes romantic comedy novels. Her BEACHSIDE series is set in the fictional seaside town of Shipley and features recurring characters, but each book can be read as a standalone. She is currently working on a new, three-book series set in Devon. 

Karen has also written three romcoms with a paranormal twist, all available to download

When she’s not working on her novels, Karen writes short stories for women’s magazines and has had over three hundred published globally. Some of them can be read in her short story collection ‘BEHIND CLOSED DOORS…and other Tales with a Twist’ 

Karen lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.

 

Author Social Media Links

 FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/karen.clarke.5682

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/karenclarke123

WEBSITE: https://www.karenclarkewriter.com

#BlogTour! #Review – My Daughter’s Secret by Nicole Trope (@NicoleTrope) @Bookouture

Happy publication day, Nicole Trope. Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, as well as allowing an ARC. Here is my review:

My baby girl, I’ll never forget you – your smile, your laugh, the way your hair sparkles in the sun. I cannot comprehend this pain. I cannot breathe through it.

For Claire, life as she knows it is over. And after the death of her daughter, Julia, she is searching for answers. Stumbling upon a pile of letters, hidden under Julia’s bed in an old, battered shoebox, she feels closer to her daughter than ever before. They tell her that Julia was happy, that she was thriving at university, that she was in love.

But as the letters go on, Claire starts to feel uneasy at something hidden between the lines. Even as she grieves, she must prepare to face a shocking discovery. Because Julia was hiding a terrible secret – and when it’s uncovered, it will make Claire question everything she thought she knew about her daughter…

What does TWG think?

‘My Daughter’s Secret’ was not what I expected at all. The storyline kicked off with a powerful and highly charged opening chapter, one which set the presedence for the rest of the novel. Of course, as readers, we aren’t aware that that is what the opening chapter ends up doing. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what Claire was feeling when the reality of her daughters death sunk in. It was heartbreaking to watch her world cave in once again, as well as watching her trying to find the truth behind Julia’s death. The police considered it to be suicide…but was it?

If you’re after a book which uplifts you and leaves you beaming, personally I wouldn’t suggest reading this book. Now before anyone says anything, I don’t mean that in a bad way. Nicole Trope’s novel is very harrowing with multiple depressing elements, so in my opinion, this novel is the sort of book you pick up when you want to delve into the finer details of a character’s life, or if you need to read something which enables you to put things into perspective.

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t find this book hard to read, because I did. I couldn’t fathom why Claire’s grief was being shrugged off by those close to her, but I could see why she felt as though she was going crazy at times. I mean, her daughter has died and shes now been left with pandora’s box to try and find the truth.

I had a feeling I knew where the fingers would point, about half way through the book – something which doesn’t happen to me very often. I felt sick by what came to life and I thought that Claire’s reaction was quite tame considering. However, everyone deals with things differently as we know, I was just surprised by how she ended up dealing with things considering her thoughts beforehand.

I found ‘My Daughter’s Secret’ to be such a gritty, emotive read which blew up any rational thinking I had. I thought that Nicole Trope is a very atmospheric writer who seems to go above and beyond when it comes to crafting her characters personalities.

There are a lot of dark and distressing themes discussed in this book such as suicide, domestic physical abuse and emotional abuse, most of which will have a lot of readers reaching for the tissues. I did enjoy the suspense of the novel, but overall I will admit that I’m still on the fence because of the spiralling negativity from start to finish. That said, the drama in this book is written very well.

An intoxicating, atmospheric and devastatingly emotive read that will leave you feeling things you’ve never felt before.

Buy now from Amazon