Put the kettle on, I’m #ComingHomeToWinterIsland! @jo_thomas01 @AnneCater @headlinepg

I am delighted to welcome back, Jo Thomas, to TWG today as I review her latest novel, Coming Home to Winter Island. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and many thanks to the publisher, Headline, for the ARC.

Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds?

Ruby’s singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover.

But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met.

City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won’t be welcome at Teach Mhor.

But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought.

There’s an unexpected guest in the house and he’s not planning on going anywhere any time soon …

What does TWG think?

Absolutely beautiful – if emotion doesn’t make itself known in any shape of form throughout this book, I’d want to know why!

Ruby has a life plan. Wait, I’ll rephrase that…her boyfriend, Joe, has a life plan and Ruby just happens to be the one doing all of the hard grafting. I know, I know – it didn’t make much sense to me either, but what do I know?

Thanks to Ruby’s voice not working as well as she needs it to, what with her being a professional singer and everything, Ruby decides to take a break to Tenerife for some well deserved relaxation. However, due to an out of the blue phone call, Ruby’s plans are now scuppered and shes needed elsewhere. Personally, I thought she got more out of her visit to Scotland than Tenerife!

I loved how we got to know more about Ruby in Scotland. She seemed to fit into her grandfathers way of living, even if she had never met him before. I wasn’t entirely keen on the community though! I know that people are protective about newcomers, especially in a close knit community, but they didn’t do themselves much favours by coming across stuck up. Like I say, I can see why they were like it as their loyalties laid with Ruby’s grandfather, but then again, Ruby didn’t exactly help herself though!

As I said at the start, the storyline is full to the brim with such heartfelt and poignant emotion, I dont think I could have stopped the tears pricking my eyes if I had tried. It was so lovely to watch memories being reunited, families having their dreams come true, and legacies leaving their marks.

Coming Home to Winter Island, is the perfect read to lose yourself in, and escape to a realm that only Jo Thomas can create. This is a story that captures the true essence of dreams, and the powerful mark that memories can leave for multiple generations.

I loved visiting Winter Island, and I think that Jo Thomas has written yet another beautiful, inspiring novel that will leave it’s own mark on readers from all walks of life.

Buy now.

Have you ever written an accidental love letter? #TheAccidentalLoveLetter @olivia_beirne @headlinepg @annecater #blogtour #review

Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Olivia Beirne’s ‘The Accidental Love Letter’. Also thanks to the publisher for the ARC.

What would you do if you received a love letter that wasn’t meant for you?

Bea used to feel confident, outgoing and fun, but she’s not sure where that person went.

Over the last few months, she’s found herself becoming reclusive and withdrawn. And despite living with her two best friends, she’s never felt lonelier. To make things worse, she’s become so dependent on her daily routine, she’s started to slip out of everyone else’s.

But when a mysterious battered envelope covered in stars lands on her doormat, Bea wonders if she could find the courage to open it.

It isn’t addressed to her, but it could be… if you squinted…

What does TWG think?

I really did enjoy the premise of this book. Olivia Beirne did a brilliant job at bringing her characters together utilising the theme of ‘family’. Whilst a lot of people associate relatives with who they are blood related to, there are a lot of people who include people who aren’t related to them. Sometimes they find themselves closer to the family members that they chose themselves as opposed to the ones that they were given.

Throughout the storyline, the focus on relationships and loneliness is incredibly rife. Bea didn’t seem to think much of herself, and her confidence both in her professional life and personal life, really held her back in terms of just ‘going for it’. Even though her personality was endearing, I did feel as though the author missed a trick as we didn’t really know much about her, only where she worked, who she lived with, what she was afraid of and her mum. There wasnt much of a backstory given about her and I felt that I was unable to connect with her as well as I would have liked, meaning that, even near the end of the story, Bea still felt like a stranger.

Like I said at the beginning, the premise of the book was enjoyable, and there were many strong elements to it which the author executed brilliantly, namely the care home. I wasnt too convinced that Bea’s flatmate issues had a necessary part in the story as they didn’t seem to fit with the overall consensus of the book. That said, I loved the warmth of the storyline and the journey it took in the latter half of the book – Olivia Beirne’s talents really shone through for me then.

‘The Accidental Love Letter’ is a heartwarming and hopeful novel, one that I wasnt putting down until the very end.

The Accidental Love Letter by Olivia Beirne, is published on the 17th October by Headline.

Pre-order now.

#BlogTour! #Review – Her Last Promise by Kathryn Hughes (@KHughesAuthor) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

Apologies for the delay in posting my review today, I have been at Edinburgh Book Festival! Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Kathryn Hughes’ latest novel, ‘Her Last Promise’. Also, many thanks to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review:

Tara Richards was just a girl when she lost her mother. Years later when Tara receives a letter from a London solicitor its contents shake her to the core. Someone has left her a key to a safe deposit box. In the box lies an object that will change everything Tara thought she knew and lead her on a journey to deepest Spain in search of the answers that have haunted her for forty years.

Violet Skye regrets her decision to travel abroad leaving her young daughter behind. As the sun dips below the mountains, she reminds herself she is doing this for their future. Tonight, 4th June 1978, will be the start of a new life for them. This night will indeed change Violet’s destiny, in the most unexpected of ways…

What does TWG think?

Ever since I lost myself in Kathryn Hughes’, ‘The Letter’, I just knew that this was an author to watch and, after reading ‘Her Last Promise’, my opinion of the authors talent was cemented on a whole new level.

As far as I am concerned, Kathryn Hughes is the queen of historical fiction who also knows how to incorporate the dramatic realism, with the hint of broken family ties that readers have come to know and love.

‘Her Last Promise’ focuses on the devastating effect that harboured regret and guilt can have on one person and families alike.

The gentleness of Tara’s personality alongside Violet’s lack of confidence, could easily have been a recipe for disaster, yet their characters spoke volumes and made the story, and their own personal journeys, come to life beautifully.

I loved how Kathryn Hughes emphasised the importance of living life to the full as best as you are able, as well as highlighting the fact that a lot of people get scared when they are faced with life changing decisions, just like both Tara and Violet.

‘Her Last Promise’ is such a beautifully written and thought provoking novel which made the hair on my arms stand to attention due to the power of the written word.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheJulyGirls by Phoebe Locke (@phoebe_locke) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

Its TWG’s turn on the blog tour for ‘The July Girls’ by Phoebe Locke, author of ‘The Tall Man’. Huge thanks to Anne Cater and Headline for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Every year, on the same night in July, a woman is taken from the streets of London; snatched by a killer who moves through the city like a ghost.

Addie has a secret. On the morning of her tenth birthday, four bombs were detonated across the capital. That night her dad came home covered in blood. She thought he was hurt in the attacks – but then her sister Jessie found a missing woman’s purse hidden in his room.

Jessie says they mustn’t tell. She says there’s nothing to worry about. But when she takes a job looking after the woman’s baby daughter, Addie starts to realise that her big sister doesn’t always tell her the whole story. And that the secrets they’re keeping may start costing lives . . .

What does TWG think?

-claps- YASSSSSS!!!!!! What a book!!!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Everything I thought was true, wasn’t, and everything I thought was a lie, was the truth. ‘The July Girls’ is brilliant at taking you under its wing very early on in the book. I actually struggled to put the book down, and before I knew it it was 1am and I had a mere 100 pages left to read!

The author, Phoebe Locke, very cleverly honed in on what a magpie does, yet it didn’t seem to hit home until the book nearly came to an end as all of the puzzle pieces leading up to the conclusion weren’t all there yet.

This book follows the life of Addie, Jessie, and a magpie. What do the three of them have in common? That is the big question. I chose to look past what was right in front of me the whole time, over complicating the storyline for myself. Was there a need to do that? Not in the slightest. Don’t overthink ‘The July Girls’ and just go with the flow, you’ll thank me later!!

I loved the chilling vibe to the book, and I thought that everything was combined brilliantly over the course of the books timeline. Honestly, this is a bloody brilliant book and I was hooked. Addie’s naivety gave the storyline a pinch of innocence, whilst also making all of the suspenseful situations all the more darker. The subject of ‘trust’ is prominent throughout the book, and I must say that that definitely made me think about family ties and whether you can trust those you are actually meant to trust because of who they are.

‘The July Girls’ is dark, devious, and darn right gripping. Whilst I enjoyed Phoebe Locke’s previous novel, the author has come up trumps with this book and has delivered an absolute blinder. I want to read it all over again!

‘The July Girls’ will be published in hardcover by Headline on the 25th July. Pre-order now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Extract from #CallMeALiar by @ColetteMcbeth @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

‘Call Me A Liar’ is on my TBR and I hope I can get round to it soon, however I am delighted to be hosting an extract of the book for my stop on the blog tour today. Thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite. Before we get to the extract, here is a bit more about ‘Call Me A Liar’:

You could say it started with vanity. We believed we were special. But the truth is we were simply vulnerable.

Months after landing their dream job, five brilliant young minds are sent on a remote retreat.

But when one of them disappears, they’re forced to question why they were brought there in the first place.

And for the first time in their lives, they realise too much knowledge can be deadly . . .

One of them is lying.
One of them is guilty.
No one is safe.

Buy now.

Extract.

Joe

Lewes Police Station

October 2017

Let me say this: cracking Libby’s skull was not part of the plan. I can’t even remember hitting her; it was more of a violent push in the deep heat of an argument and before I could do anything to change the outcome, she was flying backwards, her head making a strange metallic sound as it connected with the stone floor. Ting! That’s the only way I can describe it, like one of those instrumental triangles we used to play in school. It was a shame about the floor too – if it had been a shag pile carpet rather than porcelain, Libby might not be unconscious in hospital. But I’m certain safety was not uppermost in their minds when they were designing that house. It was all sharp angles and hard surfaces and glinting, gleaming glass that allowed your own reflection to stalk you.

I don’t mention any of these misgivings to the police, though. My solicitor has advised me it’s not a good line of defence. They’re hardly going to charge a floor covering with a violent crime, he says.

It’s me they have in their sights, at any rate. Every question is angled towards my guilt. What I did. What I failed to do. My shortcomings – of which there are many – have been itemised and catalogued, and while individually they appear harmless enough, their combined effect in the harsh light of the interview room creates an unsettling picture. I don’t doubt this is the ploy, the web the officers are spinning around me. But it is an effective one nevertheless. Having listened to their accusations and character assassinations for the best part of eight hours, I’m beginning to scare myself.

The main issue appears to be my scant adherence to the rules. Yes, it’s true, there are rules of engagement when you find your self in such situations. Say your wife or child goes missing, say you stumble across a body, or in my case, you happen to knock out a loved one, there are set procedures and scripts to follow. Firstly, you raise the alarm. You call 999. You attempt to help the victim. You account for every second spent before help arrives. Officer, I passed wind at 2.02 p.m. You display the correct mixture of horror, fear and sadness. You cry the requisite amount of tears. Basically, you’re aiming for high levels of authenticity in every single action. Anything too forced or overly dramatic will arouse suspicion. Anything too casual and you are cold and callous. It’s a balancing act and I’m no circus entertainer. I’m failing spectacularly.

I did nothing. Try explaining that one away. I tell them I panicked but even that’s not true. I wasted precious minutes standing over Libby unable to compute what had happened. There was nothing left inside me, no nerves or sensory receptors to send messages to my brain. Even when finally I leant over her to assess the level of damage, I became instead mesmerised by my own face, gawping at me from the polished brilliance of the porcelain floor.

Well, look what you’ve done.

You thought you were special.

Turns out you’re every bit as bad as the rest.

The officers say they want to know everything, but this is a lie. They want to know everything around the narrow field of their investigation, scavenging for morsels of extraneous information that will get us nowhere while blocking out the bigger picture. I have no intention of pandering to them. I could tell them Amy Winehouse was playing on the karaoke system at the party downstairs, not Amy herself, obviously, but Will’s brutal destruction of ‘I’m No Good’, but that would be pointless scene­setting, nothing more. I could make a stab at describing the hurt Libby inflicted upon me. Her revelation chiselling into my bones. I don’t love you, I never did. How she stood in front of me and delivered this nugget of truth. I could tell them how it burnt through the epidermis right down to the subcutis, how I thought the pain might send me mad with grief, but this would provide them with a motive, allow them to craft a neat narrative around revenge.

And this is not a story about revenge.

It’s about ambition and greed, and love, I suppose, and what we do in the name of them.

I tell the officers I looked out of the window and saw the car and the two men getting into it and driving off. I tell them I ran into the hallway and that’s when I saw the smoke and felt the blistering heat.

Have I mentioned the fire?

It has been suggested several times that I started it deliberately to cover up my crime, as if an assault wasn’t enough for one evening and I decided to go the whole hog and burn the place down.

Let me say this clearly: I did not start the fire but someone else did.

Everyone invited to the party was meant to die in that fire.

And just because we survived doesn’t mean we’re safe.

Not even Libby, if she ever wakes up.

#BlogTour! #Review – My Lemon Grove Summer by Jo Thomas (@jo_thomas01) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

Hugest of thanks to Anne Cater and Headline for the blog tour invite and ARC, I am delighted to be reviewing ‘My Lemon Grove Summer’ by Jo Thomas on my blog today.

When life hands you lemons … is it ever too late for a second chance?

Zelda’s impulsive nature has got her precisely nowhere up until now. A fresh start in a beautiful hilltop town in Sicily looking for new residents, together with her best friend Lennie, could be just what she needs. And who better to settle down with than the person who knows her best?

But the sun-filled skies and sparkling seas can’t hide the shadow hanging over Citta d’Ora, which means not everyone is pleased to see their arrival. The dreams Zelda and her fellow new residents had of setting up a new life might be slipping away. But a friendship with restauranteur Luca could be about to unlock the possibilities that lie in the local lemon groves. And there’s a wedding on the horizon that might be just what the town needs to turn it around…

Could a summer in Sicily help Zelda learn to trust her instinct and follow her heart?

What does TWG think?

Yet again, Jo Thomas delivers a home away from home read with characters you just cannot get enough of. In other words, this author does NOT disappoint.

Zelda thinks she has it all mapped out. Shes made a plan with her best friend and is adamant that she knows what she wants from life, but we all know what happens to best laid plans!!

The setting of ‘My Lemon Grove Summer’ was simply stunning. I have never been to Sicily and, to be honest, the chances of me going anytime soon are incredibly slim! I’m just glad that Jo Thomas pays attention to the finer details in her stories! There were times I felt like I good taste the air, the descriptions were that vivid and that colourful.

Zelda, in my opinion, has a marmite personality and my opinion of her kept changing throughout the book. Theres one thing being confident about your life, but then theres another thing about being over confident, illogical and verging on arrogant. I had everything crossed that Zelda would realise the error of her ways, but I knew deep down that it wouldn’t be an overnight miracle.

It was very easy to get invested in the characters and the goings on in Citta d’Ora. I loved the escapism and having the opportunity to put real life on the back burner for the duration of this book. A wonderful, home away from home read that will bring your heart, as well as your tastebuds, back to life.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – Passport to Happiness by Carrie Stone (@CarrieStoneUK) @HarperImpulse @RaRaResources

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I am dodging this dreary weather today by jetting off with ‘Passport to Happiness’ by Carrie Stone. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Harper Impulse for the ARC. Here is my review:

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Will the trip of her dreams…

Everly Carter is bored. With her job, with her single status and with the never ending line of rubbish men on Tinder. Tired of going through the motions of seeming happy, Everly wants to be happy! So, in a spontaneous moment of bravery (perhaps spurred on by a few cocktails) Everly books a holiday. Time away, alone, to find out what she really wants from life. Become the journey of her lifetime?

Everly’s search for happiness takes her to picturesque Swiss villages and the sunsets of glamorous Bermuda. But with every new stamp in her passport, Everly still feels as though something is missing…

Could it be that true happiness is hard to find, until she finds herself?

What does TWG think?

If you’re looking for a novel which points you in the direction of looking at the bigger picture; ‘Passport to Happiness’ is definitely the one to choose. Everly feels a bit….stuck. Her life feels like one monotonous roundabout, and she no longer feels happy with what her life throws at her. With Tinder spitting out dates which find Everly running for the hills instead of their bedroom, the only ties she has is with her job, and her sister.

I could see why Everly wanted a bit more action in her life, and I could understand her reasons for wanting her life to change. I thought her spontaneity was very endearing and clearly worked for her in regards to learning to find herself, however, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit irritated by the character herself.

Firstly, after her spontaneous visits to Switzerland and Bermuda, Everly was extremely worried about her finances. She had checked how much money she had to her name and knew she had to curb her spending and earn a bit more. What does she do? She goes and books an impulsive flight to Bali on her way back to London from Bermuda. Am I missing something? Hell, if I had money in my pocket to burn, I would be impulsive as well, however she clearly admitted she needed to be careful, and I know for a fact that flights to Bali do not cost mere pocket money!

Secondly, for someone who wanted to give back to the communities she visited, she was quite a selfish person. I know she needed to find herself, and I know that she needed to heal from the heartbreak which came her way back in London, and whilst she was on her travels, but I honestly didn’t realise that it would be Everly’s way or the highway. At least, that was the impression I gave.

By the way, all the above is my opinion on the character and not my opinion of the authors story telling….just wanted to clarify that before anyone thought I was being rude. I’m not!

Aside from my irks with Everly, I enjoyed the concept of the storyline and the true friendships she formed on her travels. I thought that Carrie Stone delivered the importance of being at one with yourself, in a very poignant manner. It certainly made me think of my own outlook to certain situations, I must admit.

At times I did feel as though the overall storyline was a bit patchy, as though the story had jumped ahead and I had missed bits. I hadn’t, but one minute Everly was in Bali, in her new accommodation, and then the next she was getting ready for an interview which just came out of nowhere. Good on her though for grabbing life by the you know what’s!

As for the descriptions about Bali and Bermuda – wow, wow, wow! I felt as though I was standing at the top of the trek, looking out at the view. Beautiful writing. I was definitely under the spell of the story then!

‘Passport to Happiness’ is a fun, lighthearted read with characters you will be remembering for a while. Personally, my favourite has got to be Panda – how could it not? Absolute legend.

Buy now!

About the author.

Carrie was born and raised in London, but her love for travel and adventure has seen her spend the last fourteen years living and working internationally.She is currently based in Spain alongside her husband, young daughter and adopted Indonesian dog, Bali.Carrie is a traditionally published author with Harper Impulse, as well as an independently published author. When not writing, she works as a Psychic Medium & Spiritual Coach (www.carriebattley.com). To find out more about her Twitter @CarrieStoneUK

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheGiftOfFriends by #EmmaHannigan @headlinepg @AnneCater

The final blog tour of the day is one that is incredibly bittersweet. The author of this book, Emma Hannigan, sadly lost her life in February 2018, after fighting cancer for over ten years. It is an honour to be involved in the blog tour for her final novel, ‘The Gift Of Friends’, and I would like to extend my thanks to both Anne, and Headline, for inviting me to take part and for the ARC.

Emma Hannigan is sorely missed, but her inspiration, love and light, and beautiful words will continue to live on.

Kingfisher Road – a leafy, peaceful street in the town of Vayhill. But there are whispers behind closed doors. Who is moving into Number 10?

Engaged to handsome, wealthy Justin Johnston, Danielle appears to her new neighbours to have the perfect, glossy life. But not everything is as it seems…

In fact, each of the other four women who live close by has a secret, and each is nursing their own private heartache.

But could a gift be waiting on their doorsteps? And, by opening their front doors, and their hearts, to each other, could the women of Kingfisher Road discover all the help they need?

What does TWG think?

I really didn’t want this book to end. I wanted to savour the warmth of the characters, and I wanted to stay wrapped up in Emma Hannigan’s magical storyline.

‘The Gift of Friends’ was an incredibly bittersweet novel to read, as I couldn’t ignore the fact that it was the authors final novel due to her passing last year.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book as it highlighted something important which a lot of people seem to forget – not everything is as it seems. It really isn’t, and sometimes you just need just one person to understand that, so that you can deal with whatever you need to deal with.

Just like the residents of Kingfisher Road. They all came together when they needed to and I adored the loyalty between each of the women.

‘The Gift of Friends’ truly is a gift in itself, hence my very vague review as I feel that the storyline needs to be unwrapped by the individual reader.

This is such a heartwarming and beautifully written novel which highlights the importance of having someone in your corner, regardless of whether they’re near or far. Emma Hannigan hugged me from the inside out in a way that only she knew how to do with her unique style, and unique courage. A cosy, uplifting story which was an absolute pleasure to devour.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #ThoseWhoAreLoved by Victoria Hislop (@VicHislop) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

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Next up on TWG today is a review of ‘Those Who Are Loved’ by Victoria Hislop. Many thanks to Anne Cater and Headline for the blog tour invite and ARC – it’s a pleasure to be involved in the tour today!

Those Who Are Loved Cover

Athens 1941. After decades of political uncertainty, Greece is polarised between Right- and Left-wing views when the Germans invade.
Fifteen-year-old Themis comes from a family divided by these political differences. The Nazi occupation deepens the fault-lines between those she loves just as it reduces Greece to destitution. She watches friends die in the ensuing famine and is moved to commit acts of resistance.

In the civil war that follows the end of the occupation, Themis joins the Communist army, where she experiences the extremes of love and hatred and the paradoxes presented by a war in which Greek fights Greek.

Eventually imprisoned on the infamous islands of exile, Makronisos and then Trikeri, Themis encounters another prisoner whose life will entwine with her own in ways neither can foresee. And finds she must weigh her principles against her desire to escape and live.

As she looks back on her life, Themis realises how tightly the personal and political can become entangled. While some wounds heal, others deepen.

What does TWG think?

‘Wow’, is all I can say to this one! How do you even begin to write a review for a novel like this one? If you are into your history, ‘Those Who Are Loved’ will be right up your street. What an intricately detailed, powerful novel this is.

Set in Greece, main character, Themis, tells the story of her life during the Second World War, and the devastation she, and many others, had to live through. I’m not clued up on my history regarding Greece, so it was a very bittersweet pleasure to learn more about what happened in the 1940’s over there, even though it was quite heartbreaking to read at times. It’s not that I was ignorant to the fact that the Nazi’s took over Greece, I had no idea as it’s a topic which isn’t given as much ‘airtime’ so to speak, as other historic events from that time.

Themis is a character and a half. She is one of a kind and a true gem whose life I had the honour of delving into. I cannot even begin to imagine just how many hours research, Victoria Hislop embarked on to get the details of the storyline up to scratch, but it is very clear that the author took to the task to ensure that the storyline was as factually correct as possible.

‘Those Who Are Loved’ is a very deep, atmospheric read, that is full of emotion and incredibly complex due to the political and historical premise behind the storyline. This book blew my mind, and I can honestly say that Victoria Hislop has set the bar incredibly high with this novel. A beautiful, compelling, highly atmospheric read which I was able to sink my teeth into and forget my surroundings – perfect.

Pre-order now! Published 30th May.

#BlogTour! #Review – Her Husband’s Mistake by Sheila O’Flanagan (@sheilaoflanagan) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

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If you hear a banshee type noise, don’t panic, it’s only me squealing at the fact that I am on the blog tour for THE Sheila O’Flanagan. Oh my!!!!! Thank you, Anne Cater, for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Headline for the ARC – I am delighted to be reviewing ‘Her Husband’s Mistake’ on my blog today!

Her Husband's Mistake Cover

Roxy’s marriage has always been rock solid.

After twenty years, and with two carefree kids, she and Dave are still the perfect couple.

Until the day she comes home unexpectedly, and finds Dave in bed with their attractive, single neighbour.

Suddenly Roxy isn’t sure about anything – her past, the business she’s taken over from her dad, or what her family’s future might be. She’s spent so long caring about everyone else that she’s forgotten what she actually wants. But something has changed. And Roxy has a decision to make.

Whether it’s with Dave, or without him, it’s time for Roxy to start living for herself…

What does TWG think?

Should we feel guilty for wanting to do things for ourselves? For Roxy, that question is taking a very long time to be answered. If she didn’t have her cheating husband, Dave, breathing down her neck, I can guarantee that the answer would be no, we shouldn’t feel guilty. We are only human after all, we are bound to feel some sort of guilt because, heaven forbid, we chose to do something that didn’t involve doing a weekly shop, washing our partners small, and being waitresses to our children.

However, we knew what we were signing up for, right? I have never been married and currently, I don’t intend on that ever being in my future so I am probably the wrong person to be commenting on domestic bliss. BUT, surely being in a marriage means supporting one another through good times and bad, supporting them with any decisions they make, not making the other one feel bad for choosing to do something which makes them happy….yada. Am I wrong by thinking that?

I will hold my hands up and say that I wasn’t sold on ‘Her Husband’s Mistake’ to begin with. I mean, who would want to read about a marriage going tits up? The thing is, I WANTED TO! I couldn’t see the appeal to the storyline, however I became incredibly invested in the emotion behind Roxy’s decisions, I refused to put the book down and ended up feeling a bit like a curtain twitcher whilst reading the rest of the book. Dave decided to get his end away with the next door neighbour not long after Roxy had buried her father – bit of a cactus, wouldn’t you agree?

The way that Dave treated Roxy throughout the book had me reeling with anger. How dare he twist the situation! How dare he act like the victim even though HE was the one who broke the trust in their marriage to begin with? How dare he go behind Roxy’s back and make decisions that affect them all, all because he doesn’t like her doing a job that she enjoys? Why is it okay for him to carry on living the life of Riley, yet as soon as Roxy chooses to do a job and gain some independence outside of the family, he sees red and DEMANDS? No. No. NO! I was absolutely livid. I didn’t quite realise how fuming I was until I stood up and my legs decided to channel their inner Shakin’ Stevens. I really wasn’t expecting to become so emotionally involved with the characters, but I just couldn’t help it.

Okay, at first, the storyline is a bit of a tame Eastenders, however once the storyline gets going, the characters bring the story into a whole new league of its own. The thing I loved most about ‘Her Husband’s Mistake’ was the relatable and raw elements. Sheila O’Flanagan has tapped into family dramatics and written a story which showed the issues that families may be up against, in a way that readers may be able to take on board for their own lives. The poignancy behind each of the characters personalities really hit home and I felt that the authors signature style was put in the spotlight brilliantly.

‘Her Husband’s Mistake’ is a thought-provoking, emotive read which certainly made me think about what I want out of life, and that I deserved to be happy. Roxy deserved to be happy. She deserved to be treated like Roxy, not just Roxy the wife, or Roxy the mum. She is a person in her own right and deserves to be respected for that just as much as the next person. I really enjoyed this book in the end, and it is definitely a story which has made my cogs work a lot harder than others!

Pre-order now! Published 30th May 2019.