#BlogTour! #Review – The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings (@MandaJJennings) @HQStories

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Huge thanks to HQ for asking me to kick off the blog tour for ‘The Cliff House’! Incredibly honoured. Here is my review:

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Some friendships are made to be broken

Cornwall, summer of 1986.

The Davenports, with their fast cars and glamorous clothes, living the dream in a breathtaking house overlooking the sea.

If only… thinks sixteen-year-old Tamsyn, her binoculars trained on the perfect family in their perfect home.

If only her life was as perfect as theirs.

If only Edie Davenport would be her friend.

If only she lived at The Cliff House…

What does TWG think?

There is one thing being asked to kick off a blog tour full stop, but then there is another thing being asked to kick off the blog tour for an author you admire not only for her literary skills, but also for her presence, views and the way that she has her tea. Yes, I am being serious. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they drink their tea, and let me tell you now, Amanda Jennings is my type of person – it’s definitely a bonus that she can write exceptionally well, too ;).

The cover of ‘The Cliff House’ is one of the most relaxing yet highly intriguing covers I have seen for a while. It was  pretty clear before I read the book that there was a lot more to the story that meets the eye, and boy it wasn’t wrong!

Usually I lean more towards storylines which send a rocket up your youknowwhat almost straight away, but the fact that the pace of ‘The Cliff House’ was slow, meant that the vibe came across a lot more haunted due to the authors incredible talent of creating vivid imagery in her readers minds. I genuinely think that had the pace been fast, the storyline wouldn’t have worked as well as it did, and I don’t think I would have reacted the way that I did. It wasn’t that the story was creepy, because it wasn’t. I found it to be more of an intense, haunted and mesmerising type of read, which seemed to capture all of my senses and hold them hostage until the very last page.

I don’t want to go into too much detail about the book as that wouldn’t be fair on the readers or the author, however, there were certain elements of the book which I was able to relate to unexpectedly. The main one which made me sit up and take notice was the fact that the main character, Tamsyn, had lost her father. I found the way in which Tamsyn reacted to the aftermath of her father’s death such a realistic portrayal of grief, especially where a parent is involved. It wasn’t a case of her father passing away and she just got on with it and forgot about it as she was young (kudos if you can do that, but kudos if you can’t, obviously!), instead her grief came out in her personality and the way that she lived her life. It was quite emotional to read, yet it hit open rather drastically.

As for the rest of the storyline, I actually can’t find anything that I disliked about it. Every page flowed with the previous one and the next, taking me under its wing by allowing me to lose myself in the spirited and charismatic storyline as though I was one of the characters myself.

‘The Cliff House’ isn’t just about beautiful views and a house you wish you could live in, no. It’s dark, compelling, addictive, beautiful, and utterly, utterly breathtaking. It’s books like this which make me feel exceptionally proud to be an avid reader, because if I wasn’t, I would be missing out on a diamond in the rough, cut above the rest, gem of a read. ‘The Cliff House’ really is one of my most favourite books of all time. How can it not be?

‘The Cliff House’ will be published on the 17th May but can be pre-ordered now from Amazon

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#CoverReveal! The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale (@emilyharvale) @RaRaResources

Cottage on Lily Pond Lane Cover Reveal
It’s c-c-c-c-cover reveal time!!! I am delighted to be helping Emily Harvale reveal the cover of her upcoming novel, ‘The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane’ Part One, courtesy of RaRaResources!

It’s prettyyyyyy!!!!

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New Beginnings

Mia Ward is amazed to be told she has inherited her great-aunt Matilda’s thatched cottage in the tiny seaside village of Little Pondale – especially as Mia didn’t know she had a great-aunt Matilda.

She’s even more astonished to discover she’ll only inherit the place if she actually lives there for one year. Mia’s a city girl at heart, not to mention she’s afraid of water, so the fact the cottage backs on to a sandy beach, is not, in her opinion, a bonus.
But Mia’s struggling to pay her rent since being fired for inappropriate behaviour at the office party, and her boyfriend’s also dumped her. When her best friend, Ella and Ella’s brother, Garrick offer to help her move and settle in, Mia decides to see this as a new beginning.

It may also be the start of an exciting adventure because now Mia wants to know just who, exactly, was great-aunt Matilda. And she’s determined to find out. But it soon becomes clear that someone is trying to make sure Mia doesn’t stay in Little Pondale….

‘The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane’ will be published on the 10th May and you can preorder your copy now from Amazon!

About the author.

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

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

Social Media Links –
Facebook // Twitter  // Instagram

#Review – You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac (@CatherineIsaac_) @TeamBATC @SimonSchusterUK @BookMinxSJV

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You Me Everything is a heartfelt and unforgettable story about the lengths we are prepared to go to for those we love. Guaranteed to make you laugh and cry, this is novel you will never forget.

You and me, we have history.
We have a child together.
We have kept secrets from each other for far too long.
This summer, in the beautiful hills of the Dordogne, it is time for everything to change.

What does TWG think?

Oh…..I don’t even know where to begin. How do you even review a book like this? I hadn’t even reached the halfway point before my heart decided to start breaking.

‘You Me Everything’ is a story which managed to capture my heart almost straight away. As a single mum myself, it was pretty clear that I was going to side with the main character and relate to her point of view a lot more. Yes, I’ll even admit that I was annoyed with the father of the baby and marked his card straight away. However, as more heartbreaking topics came to light as the story progressed, my opinion of the father changed drastically because I was aware of the uncertain future that lay in front of them.

I’m trying not to say too much about the storyline as I don’t want to give anything away, but believe me when I say that ‘You Me Everything’ is extremely emotional. At first I thought the emotion was going to be because of Jess and her baby, William, but that really was just the tip of the iceberg.

This book has one of the best blurbs I have ever read as it is so vague, yet it makes you wonder what on Earth is behind the front cover of the book. I was not expecting the complex storyline, colourful characters, or the heart-wrenching situations Jess and her family found themselves having to face.

‘You Me Everything’ makes you think about what you would do in Jess’ situation. It makes you realise that life can change in the blink of an eye, pushing you to make decisions about things no parent should ever have to make. Jess knew deep down that she had to live in the moment and enjoy her life, but how could she when devastation could land on her doorstep at any moment? What would you do if you had to live in fear every single day, preparing your loved ones for things that nobody can actually prepare themselves for?

Catherine Isaac has written her characters very, very cleverly, enabling her readers to become in tune with their own emotions and adjust their viewpoints towards certain characters without actually doing anything.

The levels of friendship in this book isn’t ‘typical’. It’s more than that. It’s….real. The themes which run through the storyline are bold yet devastatingly beautiful, capturing the true essence of love, life, friendship and being a mum. At first the book is simple where the author gently eases us into Jess’ life. As the storyline progresses, the author naturally brings another part of Jess’ world to life, making me feel as though I wasn’t just reading the book, I was also living it.

My reaction to Catherine Isaac’s, ‘You Me Everything’, was a reaction I wasn’t prepared for. A reaction I never knew existed until then. Even though my heart was breaking, it took a long time for the tears to fall. I soon realised that my body was breaking with the shakes, feeling like an elephant was sitting on my chest, and a sense of loss, was my own way of reacting to the book – from the inside out. I was utterly broken, utterly devastated, yet full of hope due to the incredible and enchanting words my eyes devoured.

I lost myself in William’s discussions. I lost myself in Jess’ emotion. I lost myself in every part of the storyline in a way that I will never, ever forget. Catherine Isaac talks to you via her characters, she brings them to life and showcases them in the most powerful way imaginable. If you’re picking up this book to just ‘read’ then be prepared to live and love alongside it.

Near the end of the book, I had to read several of the pages more than once as my eyes were pouring a waterfall of devastation, grief, passion, and hope.

I lived the lives of Catherine Isaac’s characters. I felt the love of Catherine Isaac’s characters. I believed in the hope that Catherine Isaac’s storyline covered me. This book is an unmissable, emotional, fulfilling, and untouchable novel which will hold your heart hostage in the most powerful way.

There isn’t just Jess, William or Adam – there is ‘You Me Everything’ and I will hold onto the power this book has given me for a very, very long time.

‘You Me Everything’ will be published on the 19th April. You can pre-order your copy now from Amazon

#Review – The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @HarperImpulse @LBAamanda

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One ex.

One wedding.
One little white lie.

When Samantha Jenkins is asked to be the maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding, she couldn’t be happier. There are just three problems…

1) Sam’s ex-boyfriend, Liam, will be the best man.
2) His new girlfriend is pregnant.
3) Sam might have told people she has a new man when she doesn’t (see points 1 and 2 above)

So, Sam does the only sensible thing available to her… and hires a professional to do the job.

Actor Jake Porter is perfect for the role: single, gorgeous and cheap! Sam is certain it’s the perfect solution: no strings, no heartbreak and hopefully no chance of being found out.

But spending a week in the Scottish Highlands with Jake is harder than she imagined. He is the perfect boyfriend, charming, sexy and the hottest thing in a kilt since Outlander! And his dog Harry is quite possibly the cutest things Sam has ever seen!

As the wedding draws closer, Jake plays his part to perfection and everyone believes he is madly in love with Sam. The problem is, Sam’s not sure if Jake is acting anymore…

What does TWG think?

I have to admit that at first, I was a little bit wary about the concept of this book. I mean,  we have all seen the film ‘The Wedding Date’ with Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney, right? Plus, having read multiple books with a wedding date at the forefront of its storyline, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going to be different about Zara Stoneley’s interpretation of the theme seeing as it has been done multiple times…

But, after reading ‘The Wedding Date’, I can honestly say that whilst the theme may be familiar, nobody has written it in the way that Zara Stoneley has. Ever. And I don’t think that they will either. There’s writing a story based on a popular theme, and then there’s writing a story based on a popular theme and owning it ten times over. Zara Stoneley is the latter and by golly did she own it!

Samantha has been asked to be the maid of honour at her best friends wedding. The wedding where her ex-boyfriend (the one who dumped her after dipping his wick in new wax before the old wax had even dried) was going to be the best man. Samantha’s knee-jerk reaction is to hide under the covers and ignore the invitation ever arrived, just so that she doesn’t have to come face to face with the man who thinks his derrière doesn’t smell after a bout of diarrhoea. But, because Sam has a conscience and a heart, she is determined to not let her best friend down on her wedding day. With no boyfriend, no date, no man in question, Sam has to think outside the box when it comes to wanting to shove her ex boyfriend inside a box. How? Well, you’d better read the book then, hadn’t you!!

Oh my goodness gracious me! This book!!!! I think I resembled a pig more often than not whilst I was reading Zara Stoneley’s latest offering! The amount of snorting that came out of me really didn’t sound healthy at all, especially when faced with a border collie whose personality is larger than life. Seriously, the dog is a legend and I want his bandana for my own dog!

Now, as a person who finds themselves checking into ‘Zara Stoneley Anonymous’ after each book, I cannot help but think that ‘The Wedding Date’ is her best book EVER. Seriously! The humour was absolutely brilliant, unforced, and totally in keeping with the overall vibe of the storyline. Not only that, the energy throughout the entire story was mind-blowing and highly contagious. So much so, I couldn’t help but feel like I could conquer anything, even if it meant looking like a prat whilst doing it. ‘The Wedding Date’ is Zara Stoneley’s most energetic book yet, and one which kept me with a humongous smile on my face the entire time.

Everything the characters got up to was unique, brilliantly written and full of hilarious one liners which ended up creating vivid (and hilarious) imagery in my mind. One word – horse. When you delve into this book for yourself, remember the word ‘horse’ and you’ll see what I mean!

Whilst I have to admit that the author may have adapted her writing style slightly with ‘The Wedding Date’, I for one am not complaining and think that the slight change has brought more energy and oomph to an already accomplished author. I would LOVE to see these characters back in another story, and I would love to see Harry settle down with a Mrs Harry to find out whether they dress their pups in bandana’s. It has GOT to happen!!

‘The Wedding Date’ blew me away and threw all of my misconceptions out of the window straight away. These bunch of characters are truly fantastic, with personalities you cannot help but gel with. Well, apart from the two characters which are total asshats!!

I want to stand on my soap box with brightly coloured pom poms and shout about this book for the entire world to hear – that is how much I loved this book! Honestly, what a fantastic, high energy, hilarious novel – ‘The Wedding Date’ is my most favourite book of 2018 so far, and even in my ‘top books of all time’ list. I have found my new book boyfriend in ‘Jake’ and nobody is pinching him!!! ‘The Wedding Date’ is the best date I have ever been on, and the one I will remember for a very long time…especially seeing as I will be re-reading this book until I know it word for word. Out-fudging-standing. Zara Stoneley, you legend!!!

‘The Wedding Date’ is due to be published on the 20th April but it can be pre-ordered now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Elysees by Rebecca Raisin (@jaxandwillsmum) @HQDigitalUK

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Apologies for my lateness, BUT, I am super honoured to be kicking off Rebecca Raisin’s blog tour today for her fragrant, upcoming novel, ‘The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Elysees’. Big thanks to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

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What is French for falling in love?

When Del leaves small town America to compete in a perfume competition in Paris, she thinks it is just the next step on her five-year-plan. It’s an exciting opportunity. What started out as just a dream for Del and her twin sister is nearly in her grasp. If she wins this competition, they are on their way to opening their very own perfume boutique!

Arriving in Paris, watching the sun glinting off the Seine and wandering the Champs-Elysees, Del discovers the most perfect perfumery she’s ever seen. Yet, as the competition dawns Del realises that whilst she might have had the best nose in her small village, her competitors seem to know more than she could ever have dreamed. This competition isn’t going to be easy…

Del has the romance of Paris to sweep her away from her worries, but as the competition heats up, so does her desire for that which she cannot have! If only the dashing owner Sébastien didn’t smell so seductive, look so handsome and make her heart flutter like it never has before. They say love smells as sweet as a red rose in bloom, but Del would tell anyone that true love can’t be bottled – it’s beautiful and unique to everyone…even herself. With everything on the line for her future, can Del really let a little attraction get in the way of securing her dreams?

What does TWG think?

What a book!

I’m sorry to say that it did take me a chapter or two to get into the swing of things, but once I did, I felt like I was walking on air! The vivid imagery the author put into my mind with her outstanding descriptions was jut beautiful. I truly felt as though I was in Paris, soaking up the atmosphere and being surrounded by such mind blowing fragrances.

Del is taking part in a perfume competition, but is the competition all what it seems or did someone put a dash too much lavender in a recipe? Dell has wanted to turn her dream into a reality for years, keeping the memory of her grandmother alive as she went. But, the more she thought about the competition, the more she over thought the tasks she had to partake in. Can being in a bad mood really make a perfume go wrong? And can feeling loved create the most wonderful perfume? Del is determined to find out…

I could tell that Del had the hots for Sébastien almost right away!! For a woman who was so adamant that love wasn’t going to feature in her perfumes due to never truly feeling what romance actually is, she soon changed her mind the moment her mentor came into view. She was like a love sick puppy, no wonder she couldn’t concentrate!!

This book was such a pleasure to read, keeping me entertained until the very last page. I really didn’t want it to end and I felt that the book concluded rather abruptly. It was as though the last chapter was on fast forward. I wanted to stay with Del a bit longer – there is so much more to find out about that character, as well as Sébastien’s, I am hoping that Rebecca Raisin will take them on another journey in another novel!

Such a fun, warm, laugh out loud novel, Rebecca Raisin certainly knows how to paint a picture in her readers minds, whilst also keeping their hearts warm like a little hot water bottle!

‘The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Elysees’ will be published on the 30th March but can be pre-order now from Amazon

Are you one of ‘The Chosen Ones’? Or are you just a ‘Little Girl Lost’ with ‘Secrets of the Dead’? This isn’t a ‘Life Swap’, it’s a #CoverReveal! @carolewyer @bookouture

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-bounces- Carol Wyer is back with the FIFTH book in the ‘Detective Robyn Carter’ series. Fifth!! I am impressed! With the publication day looming…..in 2 months, I am beyond excited to be helping to reveal the cover of Carol’s upcoming novel, ‘The Chosen Ones’!

But, before I do that, here is a little bit more about the book just to whet your appetite:

The Chosen Ones by Carol Wyer

Out on 24th May

They had not been forgiven. And they would never be forgotten ….

When a doting young father is murdered and his body discovered in a cornfield for his family to see, it’s a harrowing new case for Detective Robyn Carter.  But just as Robyn starts to investigate, a popular local doctor and young mother, is found dead outside her surgery.

As Robyn tries to find the link between the victims, she uncovers a dark web of secrets.  Were these much-loved members of the community as innocent as they seemed? 

The killer has a message for Robyn and the carefully chosen victims.  Can Robyn get to the truth before she becomes the next target?

Doesn’t that just sound fab? I cannot wait to read it!! Right, cover time! You ready?

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Ta-daaaa!!! Definitely catches your eye, eh?! If you wish to pre-order your copy of ‘The Chosen Ones’ so it can ping onto your kindle at just gone midnight on the 24th May, you can do so right now via Amazon!! Roll on May is what I say!!

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#CoverReveal! The Hideaway by Sheila O’Flanagan (@Sheilaoflanagan) @Headlinepg @Bookish_Becky

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Rather excited to be bringing you another cover reveal today! This time it’s for Sheila O’Flanagan and her upcoming novel, ‘The Hideaway’. Thank you to Becky from Headline, for asking me to be involved in this reveal. I love this author!!

So, without keeping you waiting too long, here is the cover of Sheila’s upcoming release:

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What would you do if you discovered you were living a lie?

When a shocking news report shatters Juno Ryan’s world, she suddenly finds herself without the man she loves – and with no way of getting the answers she so desperately needs.

A distraught Juno flees to the enchanting Villa Naranja in Spain. The blue skies and bountiful orange groves – along with Pep, the winemaker’s handsome son – begin to soothe her broken heart, but only Juno herself can mend it.

Just when she begins to feel whole again another bombshell falls. Can Juno put the past behind her? And will she ever learn to trust herself again?

Okay, now I am intrigued!! ‘The Hideaway’ will be published on the 31st May, but you can pre-order your copy right now from Amazon UK!

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#CoverReveal! Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain (@Heidi_Swain) @TeamBATC #ComingSoon

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If you’re not aware by now, I am a HUGE, HUGE fan of Heidi Swain and her beautiful novels. No, seriously, I am. I have every single one in paperback. Well, apart from this one but even I’m not THAT magical!! Now, because I am a huge fan of Heidi’s, I will always make time to support this author and her books, any way that I can. Today is no different.

Why?

Because folks, Heidi Swain has a new book coming out and she has asked me (alongside some other fabulous bloggers) to help reveal her new cover to you all!! How exciting!! This is such an honour, thank you Heidi!

It gives me great pleasure to reveal the cover of Heidi Swain’s upcoming novel; Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square. Feast your eyes on this beauty!!

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Kate is on the run from her almost-divorced husband who is determined to have her back, and she has found the perfect place to hide… a little cottage on Nightingale Square in Norwich, far away from her old life in London. But the residents of Nightingale Square don’t take no for an answer, and Kate soon finds herself pulled into a friendship with Lisa, her bossy but lovely new neighbour. 

Within a matter of days  Kate is landed with the job of campaigning the council to turn the green into a community garden, meanwhile all the residents of Nightingale Square are horrified to discover that the Victorian mansion house on the other side of the square has been bought by developers. But when all hope is lost, the arrival of a handsome stranger is sure to turn things around!  

Heidi Swain is the perfect summer read – you’ll want to find your own green space, stretch out in the sun and dive into life at Nightingale Square.

Ohhhhhhhh my goodness, isn’t it gorgeous!! This book is going to look beautiful alongside its other book brothers and sisters, that’s for sure!

‘Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square’ will be released in both e-book and paperback on the 31st May. If you’re super eager to pre-order your copy now in either format, you can do so here:

Pre-order the paperback HERE
Pre-order the e-book HERE

I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to read another one of Heidi Swain’s novels – I am having severe withdrawals symptoms!! Roll on the 31st May!

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#CoverReveal! #IWillFindYou by Daniela Sacerdoti (@Danisacerdoti) @Bookish_Becky @Headlinepg

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I am delighted to be bringing you a STUNNING cover reveal this afternoon! I was incredibly honoured to have been asked by Becky Hunter from Headline, to help reveal the new cover of Daniela Sacerdoti’s brand new novel, ‘I Will Find You’. Thanks so much for asking me!

Here we go!!

I WIll Find You TPB final

Daniela Sacerdoti is adored by over 1 million readers. Set on the mysterious Seal Island, this is a beautiful, heartrending and gripping novel, perfect for those who loved The Time Traveller’s Wifeand The Notebook. ‘A treat for fans of Jodi Picoult or Dorothy Koomson’ Daily Express on Keep Me Safe

When her mother dies, heartbroken Cora seeks solace on a remote Scottish island. Alone in a crumbling cottage inaccessible at high tide, she discovers the stones have their secrets. Nearly three hundred years ago, a young woman sought shelter here, also racked with sorrow. As Cora unravels a haunting story of love and loss, she realises the past may hold the key to her own future happiness…

Oh my goodness – isn’t it stunning? I want to know why she’s running away! What gave her cause to run away? I cannot wait to find out – this book sounds like an absolute corker. Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long to find out!!

‘I Will Find You’ is due to be published in e-book on the 17th May, with the paperback following on the 29th November. If you want to ensure your copy of either formats, you can do so by pre-ordering Daniela Sacerdoti’s book right now from Amazon.

Whilst you go and do that, I’m going to swoon at the cover for a little bit longer!!

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Mother’s Secret by Clare Swatman (@ClareSwatman) @Panmacmillan @Rosiewilsreads

The Mother's Secret Blog Tour Feb 2018
Having fallen head over heels in love with Clare Swatman’s debut novel, ‘Before You Go’, I am delighted to be sharing my review of the authors much awaited second novel, ‘The Mother’s Secret’, which will be published by PanMacmillan on the 22nd February. Huge thanks to the publisher for the blog tour invite as well as the ARC of the book. Here is my review as part of the blog tour:

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The Mother’s Secret is a powerful story about family, secrets and devastating lies

Love keeps us together

Sisters Kate and Georgie have always shared a close bond. While Kate enjoyed the freedoms of youth, Georgie remained at home. But now Georgie is grown up, it’s time she started exploring.

Love can tear us apart

Their mother Jan loves her daughters with all her heart. So what if she kept them out of sight when they were young? She just cared for them so much. She wanted to protect them.

What if your life was based on a lie?

Maybe there was another reason for Jan’s protective behaviour? If they ventured too far afield, it might destroy the facade of their childhood. This family’s about to discover that while lies can cause pain, the truth could destroy them all.

What does TWG think?

We all expect our mothers to tell us the truth no matter what, right? We also put our faith into them from the moment we entered this world, relying on them to guide us and help us blossom as we grow up. But what if you found out that your entire life had been a lie? What if you found out that your mother had been keeping a secret from you all of your life? What if everything you’ve always known, ends up revealing that in actual fact, you’ve known absolutely nothing?

It doesn’t bear thinking about really, does it? I mean, our mothers wouldn’t do that to us….would they?

It feels like I’ve been waiting AGES for Clare Swatman to release her second novel, especially seeing as her debut was one of my top reads of 2017 – how was she going to top that?! Reader, she topped it in a completely different way. Whilst both books are exceptional stories, they are also written completely differently which means that comparing them would be highly unfair. I have fallen in love with both books for various reasons, and by golly Clare Swatman certainly does NOT disappoint with her highly anticipated second novel.

I am genuinely surprised that my heart is now in one piece, given the amount of times it broke in two whilst reading this book! Even though it was pretty clear from the onset where the storyline was heading, including what the big ‘dun dun dun’ moment was that was going to be revealed in due course, it didn’t change my opinion of the book at all. It soon became clear that whilst the heartbreak was made clear early on, the author wrote the book in such a way which was guaranteed to make the reader wish the heartbreak wasn’t true at all. It was as though the entire situation had a big question mark looming overhead – was it true? Or was one of the sisters making a mountain out of a molehill?

I had no idea what to think or what to believe. If the situation ended up being true after all, why did it happen? What reason did they have to go to such lengths to cause long-lasting devastation? I was surprised at a couple of the character’s reactions when the truth came out because of how lenient their response appeared. I even asked myself whether I would respond in the same way if I were in their shoes and, to be perfectly honest, whilst my gut and heart says ‘no’, my mind is saying something completely different.

‘The Mother’s Secret’ has such a high level of complexity throughout the entire storyline, lasting until the very last page. Each individual character had its place within the book, adding another dimension to an already colourful storyline with their vivacious personalities. Unfortunately, those vivacious personalities didn’t last long, though I saw it as a positive as I was able to see an alternative side to the character, finding out a little bit more about what made them tick. For me, the change in the characters meant that I was able to see them as realistic, two-dimensional characters instead of one with a chip on their shoulder. I knew Clare Swatman could write her characters well, but goodness me – this author has really outdone herself.

I absolutely loved this book, even with its shocking, devastating and emotional scenes, it still managed to warm my heart in a way I had never thought possible. ‘The Mother’s Secret’ may be based around one big event, but it also contains a lot of themes which I believe multiple readers will be able to relate to and find comfort in. I really don’t wish to divulge what those themes are in fear of spoilers, so please do trust me.

‘The Mother’s Secret’ opened my eyes to a world of endless possibilities, showing me how to get to the sunshine through the rain. My emotions were tested, my strength was challenged, yet my trust in Clare Swatman’s writing grew even more.

This author can write that’s for sure; she certainly proves that with this heart-wrenching, beautifully written, thought-provoking and absolutely stunning novel about life, loss, lies, trust, and forgiveness, teaching her readers that whilst not everything is ever as it seems, a flower can blossom even during a storm.

Probably one of the best books I have read so far this year, I am in awe at Clare Swatman’s literary skills and the way in which she not only writes to feed the mind, she also writes to feed the soul.

Devastatingly beautiful – I urge each and every one of you to read this book.

Pre-order now.