Anyone want to join Tilly Tennant and I, as we visit ‘The Garden on Sparrow Street’? @TillyTenWriter @Bookouture

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Tilly Tennant’s blog tour, and for the ARC. I am delighted to be sharing my review.

As the cold winter nights draw in, escape to the sleepy town of Wrenwick, where the streets sparkle with snow and a lonely young widow is about to find that true love really can strike twice…

As Christmas cheer fills Sparrow Street with excitement, grieving widow Nina is having a hard time. December is always a difficult month to face without her beloved husband Gray, the days feel long and bleak, and to cap it all, she’s just lost her job.

So when Nina hears that Sparrow Street’s Community Garden, one of Gray’s favourite places, is to be put up for sale she knows she must do something. Filled with purpose, she gathers the residents of Sparrow Street around her to turn the neglected patch of land into a Garden of Memories.

Working with her neighbours, single mum Kelly and eighty-year-old Ada, Nina soon finds that she’s not the only lonely soul on Sparrow Street. And as the community comes together and the garden flourishes, Nina can’t help but be drawn to Irish gardener Colm with his sparkling blue eyes and kind heart, finding herself confiding in him about all her recent troubles.

But just as Colm and Nina grow closer and he opens up to her about his own secret loss, Colm’s estranged wife returns from Scotland, wanting to try again. Nina knows she should let the man she’s falling for go – it’s the right thing to do. But what if fate has other plans in store? Will the beautiful garden on Sparrow Street have brought two people together only for Nina’s cautious heart to push them apart?

What does TWG think?

Now THIS is what I was waiting for!! Emotion, heartwarming events, colourful characters, uncertain romances, and the right amount of humour to even out the tender times. THIS is Tilly Tennant at her finest.

The concept of rebuilding a garden for the local community, isn’t one that i found to be unique. I have read several books which have centred around that particular thing and, in all honesty, I was a bit unsure as to how Tilly Tennant would make it her own. I know that there isnt really much that can be done to make the idea of a garden something to remember, but I must say that Tilly Tennant DID make the idea her own and I thoroughly enjoyed the way she made the community come to life.

Nina and Robyn have both suffered losses that have torn their lives apart. Whilst Robyn has more of an outgoing personality in terms of grabbing another romance by the begonias, Nina is more of an introvert and someone who cant help but worry about every little thing. I found Robyn a little much at times, often a little bit arrogant. I know that she was a bubbly person, however that seemed to make her think that she could walk into any situation like a bull in a china shop. I guess you could say that i related more to Nina due to her type of personality.

What I loved most about the book was that a group of people from all walks of life, came together to support one another, regardless of the issues that they were facing in their personal lives. On the outside, the residents of Sparrow Street seemed to have their stuff together, yet once the walls were brought down, they all ended up showing a different side to their personalities. Nobody judged each other for their issues, their worries and what not. They just helped in their own little ways and I loved that! It was such a heartwarming thing to see and I actually felt a little bit of hope, something which I’ve not genuinely felt in a while.

‘The Garden on Sparrow Street’ is more than just a garden, it’s about journies through life after loss, life after heartache, and living life before it ends up being a loss. I loved the amount of heart that the author invested in the storyline, and I loved being able to watch various characters feel confident enough to spread their wings, even whilst feeling uncertain. A genuinely touching, hopeful, and tender novel – I loved it.

Buy now.

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Kate Bradley wants ‘To Keep You Safe’, how nice is that! #review @kate_bradley @Tr4cyF3nt0n @ZaffreBooks #blogtour

Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the ARC.

You don’t know who they are. You don’t know why they’re hunting her. But you know she’s in danger.

What do you do?

When teacher Jenni Wales sees 15-year-old Destiny’s black eye, she’s immediately worried. Destiny isn’t your average student: she’s smart, genius IQ smart, and she’s in care. But concern turns to fear when Jenni witnesses an attempt to abduct Jenni from school.

Who are these men and what can Destiny know to make them hunt her?

With those around her not taking the threat seriously, Jenni does the only thing she can think of to keep Destiny safe: she takes her.

What does TWG think?

What on Earth did I just read?!? ‘To Keep You Safe’ is the perfect example of how people see things in their own way, regardless of what the truth is. The main characters, Jenni and Destiny, find themselves tangled in something very dark, and very sinister. But who is being truthful?

As a teacher, Jenni has her students best interests at heart, and is required, by law, to protect the children in her care and raise any concerns. Obviously that would be a lot easier if honesty was the name of the game.

This storyline is such a unique and psychologically twisted read that often put my head in a spin. Who did I believe? Who did I WANT to believe? As the storyline progressed, my empathy towards the characters kept cchanging – one minute I felt sorry for Jenni, and then the next I felt sorry for Destiny. What I thought was so clever about the book was the way the author made her readers think. She wrote the storyline in such a way that most readers, ie me, would end up not seeing what was directly in front of them. Then again, was that all part of the game too?

The thoughts of ‘what on earth did I just read’, visited my mind multiple times. I couldn’t get my head around the purpose of various characters actions, nor could I work out the intent of the storyline itself. Either way, I flew through this book because i was so addicted to its compelling vibe and uncertain futures for the characters. This may have been my first Kate Bradley book, but I don’t think that it would be my last, either!

Buy now.

We’re leaving together, but it’s still farewell; its.. #TheChristmasCountdown! Ready Donna Ashcroft? @Donnashc @Bookouture

Delighted to be closing Donna Ashcroft’s blogtour today for ‘The Christmas Countdown’ – many thanks to Bookouture for having me on the tour and for the ARC. Here is my review:

It’s that time of year again, snowflakes are fluttering and the countdown to Christmas has begun! Holly Devine is returning to the only place that feels like home, hoping that some festive magic will help to turn her life around…

Twenty-seven-year-old Holly Devine has just had her heart well and truly broken. Hurt by the two people she loves the most, she flees to her eccentric Aunt Clara’s cosy cottage to hide away over the winter season. But kind, impulsive Aunt Clara has other ideas… She’s not about to see her favourite niece wallowing in sadness during the most wonderful time of the year. So, with the help of her close circle of friends and plenty of gin, she creates a handmade advent calendar for Holly.

Every day in December, Holly opens a new door and has a different task to complete. She soon finds herself asking out a complete stranger – gorgeous, cheeky pub landlord, Finn Jackson. But as handsome Finn gets involved in her festive challenges, Holly’s determination to avoid romance is put to the test. Still, Finn’s far too carefree and single for true love, isn’t he?

As Holly begins to embrace each day – a complete makeover, building the biggest snowman she’s ever seen, singing in a karaoke contest – Finn is there adding fun and laughter to every moment. Holly starts to realise that she can become the person she’s always wanted to be…

But a secret from Finn’s past threatens to turn Holly’s Christmas upside down and makes her question everything she has experienced in the last few weeks. Will Finn open up to Holly in time to show her how he really feels? And will she complete the advent calendar challenges and fall in love this Christmas?

What does TWG think?

Mrs Christmas has done it again!!!! Omg I LOVED it! What a festive, flirty, fun, and utterly fabulous read this is. I knew that Donna Ashcroft was talented, but honestly, she has exceeded my expectations with ‘The Christmas Countdown’.

I’m not sure if this was done on purpose or not, but the fact that the author set the book around Christmas was genius. I mean, at one point in the story I got a little bit hot under the collar and was thankful for cooler temperatures. Phwoar!

I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to Holly and her lack of self confidence, something which I am sure a lot of us have dealt with at some point. I am struggling with my own mental health at the moment, so i found myself becoming emotional at Holly’s situation. I wanted to tell her that I understood y’know?

Holly went on various journeys throughout the book, and watching her grow into her wings and flourish was definitely a highlight of mine.

I also thought Finn was one of those ‘perfectly flawed’ types, another character who had a lot to offer but was lacking in the confidence to be able to offer himself the vital gift of moving on.

You know, I try to savour every word of Donna Ashcroft’s novels and, as weird as this sounds, I sometimes dread reading them too because I know that they will come to an end – I hate it when that happens! As Jane Austen said, ‘if a book is well written, i always find it too short’. The same applies with ‘The Christmas Countdown – I really didn’t want it to end.

It may be beginning to look a lot like Christmas, however Donna Ashcroft has written the best gift of all in the shape of a book that just kept on giving. Mrs Christmas by name, Mrs Christmas by nature – a heartwarming, humourous, poignant, rromantic and beautifully written nove. Donna Ashcroft has kept her title of ‘Mrs Christmas of fiction’ for the second year running – LOVED IT!

Buy now.

Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun and games…SORRY! Wrong one – #WelcomeToTheFamily @fab_fiction @HQStories #Review

Many thanks to HQ for the ARC of ‘The Family’ by Louise Jensen – I am excited to be kicking off the blog tour today.

ONCE YOU’RE IN, THEY’LL NEVER LET YOU LEAVE.

Laura is grieving after the sudden death of her husband. Struggling to cope emotionally and financially, Laura is grateful when a local community, Oak Leaf Organics, offer her and her 17-year-old daughter Tilly a home.

But as Laura and Tilly settle into life with their new ‘family’, sinister things begin to happen. When one of the community dies in suspicious circumstances Laura wants to leave but Tilly, enthralled by the charismatic leader, Alex, refuses to go.

Desperately searching for a way to save her daughter, Laura uncovers a horrifying secret but Alex and his family aren’t the only ones with something to hide. Just as Laura has been digging into their past, they’ve been digging into hers and she discovers the terrifying reason they invited her and Tilly in, and why they’ll never let them leave…

What does TWG think?

You know when you’re caught up in a bad nightmare, feeling as though you cannot escape from the terror that’s pulsing through your veins due to your own subconscious? Imagine that but in book form…the telling of a similar thing mind, not YOUR actual nightmare or that would put you off reading it now wouldn’t it?

‘The Family’ is one of those types of reads which ends up getting right under your skin and, even though the storyline was brilliant at making me feel uncomfortable and quite nervous, it also had me at its beck and call. A bit like pringles – once you pop open the book, you literally cannot stop reading!

Laura has her daughters best interests at heart and would do ANYTHING to protect her, however I dont think she knew that her mummabear instincts would end up kicking in sooner than she thought. A fight for survival if you will.

The twisted nature of the storyline kept me hooked until the very last page. I felt that the uncertainty of the characters actions were brilliantly written and allowed the reader to carve their own picture in their minds about what might happen, and when. There were a lot of things in the book which left me reeling (in a good way), and I absolutely loved the sinister, secretive elements which left me in a total head funk!

Louise Jensen is an author who is outstanding at what she does, and is certainly one to watch in the genre she writes.

Such a compelling, addictive and sinister read – brilliant! Although, please don’t take offence when I say that I would rather not be welcomed into this family….if you don’t mind!

Buy now!

#AskMeNoQuestions…..and I’ll tell you no lies as I review Louisa De Lange’s new book! @paperclipgirl @OrionBooks @AlainnaGeorgiou

Ask Me No Questions Blog Asset
Huge thanks, as always, to Alainna and Team Orion for the blog tour invite (and ARC) – I am delighted to be today’s stop on the ‘Ask Me No Questions’ blog tour!

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TWINS HAVE A SPECIAL BOND SOMEONE WILL KILL TO BREAK . . .

As children, Gabi and Thea were like most identical twin sisters: inseparable.

Now adults, Gabi is in a coma following a vicious attack and Thea claims that, until last week, the twins hadn’t spoken in fifteen years. But what caused such a significant separation? And what brought them back together so suddenly?

Digging into the case, DS Kate Munro is convinced the crime was personal. Now she must separate the truth from the lies and find the dangerous assailant – before any more blood is spilled . . .

What does TWG think?

Bloody hell woman!! Louisa De Lange certainly knows how to kick off a series!!! I honestly think that my brain is still fried from reading ‘Ask Me No Questions’ – it is an absolute head funk of a novel that hooked me from the get go. I didn’t know who to believe, what to believe….nothing.

Kate Munro wasn’t like any other DS I had read about, in fact she seemed to be so far away from the type of DS she should be, I was surprised that she was running the show so to speak. No offence to her, of course. She was just incredibly aloof and un-DS like and, weirdly enough, it made me more intrigued about what will happen next in the series. Would Kate end up being stronger on her feet? Or would her own personal issues end up causing her even more trouble than before?

In ‘Ask Me No Questions’, Kate Munro wasn’t the only character to watch, in fact there were several characters who needed to have eyes constantly on them due to their sporadic behaviours and lack of honesty. The two characters who were at the forefront of the storyline were identical twin sisters, Gabi and Thea. Despite being identical twins and being close as children, their relationship as adults ended up being incredibly tense so, when Gabi ends up in the hospital after being attacked, Thea finds herself in DS Kate Munro’s eye line. Naturally.

Imagine the T.V show, Jeremy Kyle, and then put that next to ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ and you STILL wouldn’t be close to the level of secrets that were in this book. Like I said above, I really didn’t know what to believe. I think it was because I ended up becoming so invested in the storyline, in the characters, and in the investigation itself, I think I ended up blindsided and perhaps refused to see things that were right under my nose. I’m not sure. All I know is that Louisa De Lange has written a belter of a novel that ended up getting right under my skin. It was such a cleverly crafted novel! I have no idea how the author managed to entwine so many different versions of events without messing up, but she did and she did it brilliantly.

The intensity of ‘Ask Me No Questions’ was a perfect match to the vibe of the story as well – I really enjoyed this book and I cannot WAIT to find out what is next in store for Kate Munro, and how much trouble she lands herself in this time!

Intense, twisted, secretive and full of surprises – an incredible start to a new series!

Buy now!

Grab some paper, it’s time to get #WrappedUpForChristmas! @katlyn_duncan @HQDigitalUK @RaRaResources

I don’t think anyone is thinking about wrapping up their Christmas presents just yet, but if you are, what better book to get you in the mood than one titled ‘Wrapped Up For Christmas’. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to HQ for the ARC. Here is my review:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but not for Angie Martinelli…

Having lost her boyfriend, job, and apartment all in the space of a week, Angie has no choice but to leave California and return to her family in New England.

Determined not to let life weigh her down, Angie finds work at the local mall where she worked as a teenager. After an embarrassing run-in with a handsome stranger, Nick, she’s convinced her luck is about to change.

But Nick has secrets of his own… and as the first flakes of snow begin to fall, Angie can’t help but wonder if she’ll ever find love.

What does TWG think?

Cute dog? CHECK.

Strong female lead? CHECK.

Ideal person to tickle the main characters fancy? CHECK.

Heartwarming and full of festive cheer? DOUBLE CHECK!

You know the TV channel that’s dedicated to Christmas movies? ‘Wrapped Up For Christmas’ needs to be put on there! It screamed ‘Hallmark’ movie to me after the first couple of chapters!

Angie has had to reboot her life after things went disastrously wrong. She would have preferred not to move back into her family home, but due to the lack of funds and employment, it was the only option Angie had. With her best friend, Reese, being close to popping, the thought of leaving home yet again filled Angie with dread. Could she really make a new life in the place that she was so desperate to leave?

The romantic elements to this story were absolutely spot on, if somewhat frustrating at times! I just wanted to bang the heads of Angie and her love interest! Seriously! Communication clearly wasnt their strong point at all. Despite that, I was rooting for both of their happiness and had everything crossed that they crossed find themselves on the paths that they needed to be on.

As for the festive cheer, Katlyn Duncan sprinkled it throughout the book like snowflakes. It wasn’t too much, nor was it too little, in fact it was just right.

I adored Reese’s character and ended up laughing out loud at her antics involving her stomach – oh I remember it well!

‘Wrapped Up For Christmas’ is a book version of the candy cane – significant, festive, and the ideal thing to get you feeling christmassy. I thoroughly enjoyed following Angie’s journey; it really is a cushty, snugfest of a Christmas treat.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @0neMoreChapter_ @RaRaresources

Four Christmases and a Secret Full Tour Banner
Happy publication day to Zara Stoneley and ‘Four Christmases and a Secret’! I’m excited to be kicking off the blog tour today – thank you to Rachel for inviting me to take part, and of course to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

Four Christmases and a Secret Cover

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Except for Daisy Christmas means another of Uncle T’s dreaded Christmas parties, complete with Christmas jumper and flashing antlers.  And Oliver Cartwright.  Gorgeous Oliver Cartwright. Who she hates.

Every year Daisy has to face insufferable Ollie and hear all about how BRILLIANT he is.  Whereas Daisy has no job, no man and no idea how to fix things.

This Christmas however Daisy is determined things will be different.  There will be no snogging Ollie under the mistletoe like when they were teenagers.  No, this year she’ll show Ollie that she’s a Responsible Adult too.

But as the champagne corks pop, and the tinsel sparkles, Uncle T has news of his own to share…and it could change Daisy’s life forever…

What does TWG think?

If you’re not getting ready for Christmas now….I want to know why! Surely Zara Stoneley’s new book has put you in the Christmas spirit in erm….September?! By the way, this cover is SO pretty!!! Simple yet extremely effective – I love it!

Now, I am a massive fan of Zara Stoneley’s books, so it absolutely pains me to say that I really struggled with 30-40% of this book. I thought the stepping stones to the story were there from the beginning, however I felt that the connection was very thin and the storyline didn’t have the same flawless, continuous vibe like many of her other books. I am well aware that there is a lot happening in the book, and often that can make things feel a little bit up in the air at times, that wasn’t the issue at all. In fact, I loved the randomness of Daisy’s character and the fact that she just dived head first into literally everything about her life. For me, it was the fact that there were snippets of events, issues, relationship drama etc, yet they seemed to lay there dormant and unconnected to the main storyline. That’s what I struggled with…..however….

wait for it……

Once I hit like 40% of the book, everything fell into place and I ended up falling head over heels in love with the book and what Zara Stoneley was trying to achieve. At the end of the book my cheeks were aching something chronic, and it turned out I was grinning like an absolute loon. I didn’t want Daisy’s story to end! I am so pleased that the jigsaw pieces came together eventually.

Daisy is such a bonkers character and I thought she was absolutely brilliant. She gave the book the element of surprise, the element of uniqueness, and ended up becoming a character I would love to meet again in another book. Honestly, she is hysterical and made ‘Four Christmases’ what it was. Well, her and Stanley….oh, and Uncle T. Oh my heart! Uncle T, what a legend! He reminded me of my Great Uncle Ted – a gentle giant who would do anything for anyone, yet also the type of person who would stand their ground if need be. I will hold my hands up and say that my eyes did leak a bit where he was concerned…..that’s all I’m saying on that matter though!

Back to Stanley. Another legend of the four legged variety! I love how Zara Stoneley always puts a doggy character in her books, and the way that she gives them such a memorable personality instead of being just a background ornament as it were. Stanley was as much of a character in the book as Daisy and Ollie were.

Daisy’s mum was a belter too – absolutely hilarious, cringeworthy and simply perfect! Even though there is a lot of hilarity in this book, there are also several discussions of topics on a deeper scale. That said, they are also written with a hint of hilarity….just to even things up a bit.

By the time I got to the end of the book, I couldn’t believe my reaction to the first part of it, but I am so glad that I trusted my judgement and Zara Stoneley’s writing as I ended up absolutely loving this book.

Zara Stoneley creates such hilarious, heartwarming storylines which are both memorable and unique; ‘Four Christmases and a Secret’ is no different. If you’re after a book which puts a unique spin on the festive season, bereavement and relationships, I would urge you to read this in a heartbeat. Another brilliant, brilliant book by an author who certainly knows her way around a pen and paper!

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Zara Stoneley is the USA Today bestselling author of ‘The Wedding Date’.

She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Born in a small village in the UK, Zara wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. After many (many) years, and many different jobs, her dream of writing a bestseller came true. She now writes about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hopes that her tales make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say ‘ahhh’.

Zara’s bestselling novels include ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘No One Cancels Christmas’, ‘The Wedding Date’, ‘The Holiday Swap’, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ and the popular Tippermere series – ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and ‘Country Rivals’.

Visit Zara’s Website.

#BlogTour! #Review – #ChristmasEveryDay by Beth Moran (@BethCMoran) @BoldwoodBooks

Christmas Every Day Blog Tour Final
Thank you so much to Boldwood Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for this festive delight, ‘Christmas Every Day’ by Beth Moran, and for an ARC of the book as well. Christmas seems to be getting earlier and earlier each year but if you’re anything like Beth Moran and her characters, would you wish that it could be ‘Christmas Every Day’? I hope you enjoy my review as much as I enjoyed the book:

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When Jenny inherits her estranged grandmother’s cottage in Sherwood Forest, she has nothing to lose – no money, no job, no friends, no family to speak of, and zero self-respect. Things can only get better…

Her grumpy, but decidedly handsome new neighbour, Mack, has a habit of bestowing unsolicited good deeds on her. And when Jenny is welcomed into a rather unusual book club, life seems to finally be getting more interesting.

Instead of reading, the members pledge to complete individual challenges before Christmas: from finding new love, learning to bake, to completing a daredevil bucket list. Jenny can’t resist joining in, and soon a year of friendship and laughter, tears and regrets unfolds in the most unexpected ways.

What does TWG think?

‘Oh I wish it could be Christmas, every dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.’

Do you? Do you really? I couldn’t handle the expense or the amount of food! Surely there would need to be some ground rules put in place before things got out of hand? Or am I thinking too deeply about something that actually won’t happen…..

Anyway, Jenny has to start her life again. Well, not quite. I mean, she can’t exactly go back where she came from and ask her mother to give birth to her again now can she? She does require a brand new start though after things got severely out of hand in her old job. I so wish I could divulge what happened as it is an absolute BELTER! But I can’t, because I would be in trouble. Soz……

So, in the quest to find her new start, Jenny goes to live in a cottage which hasn’t seen anyone live in it for many, many years. Seriously, you cannot count the copious amounts of rats that have taken over the house!

Jenny is STUBBORN! Not just a teensy bit stubborn so it’s slightly endearing, she’s stubborn to the point where you want to shout at her to accept help. I know that there are people who prefer to do things themselves without feeling like they owe anybody anything if they received help, I get that, I’m a stubborn ahem too. But come on, how often would you get a neighbour who seems to be a Jack of all trades, offering his services? Mind out of the gutter…

The community spirit in this book is phenomenal. I loved how everyone was there for one another, whether they had known them briefly or not, they just didn’t turn anybody away. If one person had something they no longer needed but someone so desperately needed that item, they would give it to them no questions asked. How lovely is that? I can’t even get my brother to share his cheese and onion crisps with me and I’ve known him 29 years! RUDE!

I lapped up every inch of this book, losing myself in the wonderful personalities of the characters, the emotive actions of certain characters, Jenny included, and the hilarity behind the overall storyline.

I went into ‘Christmas Every Day’ thinking that I was going to be faced with a typical romantic novel (not that there’s anything wrong with that of course), but instead I ended up reading a book which not only has romance by the bucketloads, it also has a subplot which literally moved me to tears. I wasn’t expecting to be blindsided by the details of bullying, health, regrets, secrets, and strength, however that is exactly what happened and wow, all of it completely blew me away.

I LOVED how unique the storyline was, and I adored how every little path came together to create a storyline that was full of multiple, beautiful journeys all incased under one umbrella; hope.

‘Christmas Every Day’ is as glittery as a Christmas tree after your three year old has decorated it.
As funny as your family member channelling their inner Santa Claus for the younger families (ridiculous Ho-Ho-Ho included).
As emotive as hearing yet another Cliff Richard Christmas song on the radio….
And as brilliant as watching young children get excited about their presents on Christmas morning.

Whether you’ll find yourself on the ‘Naughty’ or ‘Nice’ list this Christmas, ‘Christmas Every Day’ has found itself on my ‘top reads of 2019’ list. I absolutely adored it.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheSecretToHappiness by @JessicaRedland (@JessicaRedland) @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodblogtours

It is finally my turn to host Jessica Redland and her novel, ‘The Secret to Happiness’ on my blog, as I take part in the blog tour today. Many thanks to Boldwood Books for inviting me to take part and for the ARC. Here is my review:

Everyone deserves a chance at happiness…

Danniella is running from her past, so when she arrives at the beautiful seaside resort of Whitsborough Bay, the last thing on her mind is making friends. After all, they might find out her secrets…

Alison is fun, caring and doesn’t take herself too seriously. But beneath the front, she is a lost soul, stuck in a terrible relationship, with body confidence issues and no family to support her. All she really needs is a friend.

Karen’s romance has taken a back seat to her fitness business. But she doesn’t want to give up on love quite yet. If only those mysterious texts would stop coming through …
When the women meet at their local bootcamp, a deep friendship blossoms. And soon they realise that the secret to happiness is where they least expected to find it…

What does TWG think?

When I first saw the cover of ‘The Secret to Happiness’, I thought that the storyline was going to follow the usual trends that are found popular fiction at the moment. But it didn’t, not really. Not that there is anything wrong with that, of course, it’s just nice to read a book which steers its characters in an unexpected direction.

And unexpected this was. I never expected to read the last chapter through tear filled eyes, nor did I expect to have teare cascading down my face at the very end.

Danniella is broken, yet she refuses to open up to anyone as she is scared not only of their reaction, but hers. She would do anything to get the confidence to make friends and trust someone to be her confidant; if only she could get over the hurdle that was holding her back.

Next up is Alison and, just like Danniella, she struggles with her confidence. It probably doesn’t help that her relationship isn’t doing much to help her insecurities. How can you tell someone who has been with their partner for many, many years, that they deserve someone who isn’t a doorknob? Will they believe you? Probably not!

The last main character who is featured in the book is fitness fanatic, Karen. On the outside, her life is one which could cause copious amounts of envy, yet the picture on the inside tells a completely different story.

As I said at the beginning, I really wasn’t expecting what this storyline delivered. A lot of books I have read, have had characters with secrets about being in love with someone else etcetera, but ‘The Secret to Happiness’ reveals secrets on a much deeper scale. Each of the characters journeys revealed heartbreaking situations, emotional challenges, and such life changing and poignant discoveries; a couple of which I was able to relate to personally.

If I could have bottled up the feelings that Jessica Redland’s beautiful story telling gave me, I would have had the entire world in my hands. I cannot even begin to explain just how this book made me feel. I was genuinely bowled over by the sensitivity of the author as she put several devastating situations under the spotlight – something which can only be done by an incredible talent like Jessica Redland.

Despite the intense emotion I felt whilst reading the book, I also found myself in hysterics at some of the characters antics, especially when all three ladies got together. I would have done anything, and would do anything, to have such genuine and incredible friendships just like the ones described in this book. That said, i was so pleased to see that each of the ladies finally had someone that they could turn to. I mean, it may be a small thing to some, but having another person ask if you’re okay or if you want to talk about anything, is an act which can make that person’s day. It may even be the starting block in rebuilding somebody’s confidence. You just never know.

Nevermind trying to work out what the secret to happiness is; it is literally right in front of you and it goes by the name of ‘The Secret to Happiness’ by Jessica Redland – the most genuinely beautiful, emotive, and phenomenal books I have ever, EVER read.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheSleepover by Carol Wyer (@carolewyer) @Bookouture

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Oh I do love a Carol Wyer novel, and I am delighted to be reviewing her latest one, ‘The Sleepover’, as part of the blog tour organised by Bookouture. Many thanks to the publisher for inviting me to take part, and for the ARC as well. Here is my review:

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She said she’d gone to a sleepover. But she never made it. Someone must know why…

When Detective Natalie Ward is called to the home of fourteen-year-old Roxy Curtis she can’t help but empathise with Roxy’s distraught mother Cathy. Roxy hasn’t come home, last seen heading next door for a sleepover with her best friend Ellie. As the mother of two teenagers herself, Natalie knows that this is every parent’s worst nightmare.

But when Roxy’s body is found in the basement of a beautiful Victorian mansion on the other side of town, Natalie’s darkest fears are confirmed. What was Roxy doing there? The people who knew her best should know – but Cathy seems evasive, and Ellie refuses to talk. Natalie is determined to find out what secrets they are keeping…

Then Roxy’s mother Cathy disappears. 

When her body is found two days later, Natalie is forced to face the fact that Roxy’s loved ones are in real danger. Things take a more sinister turn when Ellie vanishes, her mobile phone switched off. Is Ellie hiding something about the night Roxy died that could put her in terrible danger? And can Natalie work it out before another innocent life is taken?

What does TWG think?

OH MY GOOD GOD! WHAT THE FRIED EGGS DID I JUST READ?!?!?!

Can I just tell you all to go and buy ‘The Sleepover’ like, right this second? Just when I thought that Carol Wyer couldn’t get any better, she goes and knocks the ball WAY out of the park by writing a novel which made me want to go and hide out on a cloud with Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony! Honestly! If you’re after suspense, this book has it. If you’re after a twisted read that is full of red herrings, dead ends, and uncertainty – this book has it. If you’re after a main character who knows how to kick ass whilst still being a well respected Detective, then Natalie Ward is your gal. If you’re after a book which leaves you wanting more and shouting ‘NOOOO’ when the book ends, then ‘The Sleepover’ should definitely be your next read.

Roxy told her mum that she was going for a sleepover; a sleepover which her friend knew nothing about. Why did Roxy lie? Where did she go? When the police are called to a situation over the other side of town, Roxy’s whereabouts are confirmed, however not in a good way. Detective Natalie Ward and her team are on the case, but if they thought that it would just stop with Roxy, they are about to be seriously mistaken.

There are quite a few cactus characters in this book! The type of characters who, if they were on Tinder, would even have rats swiping left instead of right. Why couldn’t they just do as they’re bloody told?!

As I’ve already said, I thought ‘The Sleepover’ was a bloody awesome read. I had an inkling who was ‘it’ so to speak, but seeing as the author likes to stick red herrings in her books and make her readers feel as though they’re losing the plot, I wasn’t entirely convinced by my train of thought.

Yes, I kicked myself when I appeared to be right! That never happens! Seriously though, the entire book was very cleverly thought out, and as much as I jest about losing the plot, the psychological side to the storyline was brilliant! Somewhat unnerving mind!

Natalie Ward has come up trumps once again and I cannot WAIT to see what is in store for her next! Carol Wyer is an absolute genius who has a mind I can only guess as to what the heck goes on in it – holy cheeseballs my nerves are fried!

An outstanding, twisted novel that had me shouting ‘OH MY FUDGING GOODNESS’ more times than I could count.

Buy now from Amazon