#BlogTour! #Review of Nobody’s Girl by Tania Crosse (@TaniaCrosse) @Aria_Fiction

Nobody's Girl - The Blog Tour banner

Day three of Tania Crosse’s blog tour is with me, TWG! I have a review of Tania Crosse’s new novel, Nobody’s Girl, on my blog today and I hope you enjoy it! Make sure you keep following the rest of the blog tour via the hosts above.

Nobody's Girl cover
A compelling story that tingles with drama, tension and an overwhelming sense of love. Perfect for the fans of Jo Cox and Rosie Goodwin.

The boom years immediately after the Great War bring nothing but happiness for wealthy industrialist Wigmore Stratfield-Whyte and his wife Clarissa – until tragedy robs them of their greatest treasure.

Many years later, an horrific fatal accident brings young Meg Chandler, a spirited farmer’s daughter, into their lives. Meg wants nothing to do with them, but Clarissa is drawn irresistibly towards the bereaved girl and will move heaven and earth to help her. Will Meg allow Clarissa into her own shattered life, and can the two share a future happiness together? And will Meg’s new acquaintances bring her the contentment she craves – or seek to destroy her?

Set in the Kent countryside in the years leading up to the Second World War, this compelling saga tingles with drama, tension and an overwhelming sense of love.

What does TWG think?

Oh.My.Word! ‘Nobody’s Girl’ really isn’t the easiest book to read. I had read about a chapter when I became choked with silent emotion, and I had to pause, put the book down and try to reassemble my thoughts. Now, what’ve I’ve just said isn’t a negative thing at all, especially how I said that it wasn’t an easy book to read. In terms of language usage and storyline organisation, it WAS an easy book to read; in terms of the theme of that first chapter, no, it wasn’t an easy book to read. With other books I have read, we usually get a meet a greet type feeling at the beginning of the book, being eased into the storyline gently and completely unaware as to what may be around the corner (or, the next page). However, ‘Nobody’s Girl’ didn’t really do that, before I had even learnt the ins and outs of the main characters I had been caught off guard in such a heart-wrenching way. I so badly wanted to cry, but I couldn’t because the emotion was far too raw. Does that make sense? Sometimes you can read something in a book which upsets you drastically, to the point you’re stunned into silent emotion. It was that.

As I mentioned before, I had to put the book down and go do something else which didn’t require any of my emotions. But, the more I tried to calm my emotions, the more I struggled to forget the novel. I felt as though I was abandoning the characters by pausing the book. How stupid does that sound, but it’s true.

When I decided to pick the book back up, I needed to keep my emotions in check otherwise the book was going to take me an age to read, and that’s not TWG. ‘Nobody’s Girl’ is set in the years between the Great War and World War II, straight away it was as though I had stepped back in time due to the use of ‘motor vehicle’, for example. Those slight word variations throughout the novel may be overlooked by many readers, but it was brilliant to see the author use the language from the time in which her book was set. ‘Nobody’s Girl’ starts off with two main characters, Wigmore and Clarissa Stratfield-Whyte; and it didn’t seem too long before another character main character was added. Sigh. I just wish it was under better circumstances.

Meg Chandler, a character who I would give anything to talk about right now. A character who, unfortunately, I cannot say too much about due to spoilers. A character who, just like the characters at the start of the book, managed to stir up the silent emotion I had been trying to hide for most of the book. Every emotion, action, and description about Meg’s situation was written to the point I thought I was watching everything from the sidelines. The pain. The moment of being unable to do anything; I have no words about how a large portion of the storyline made me feel. Saying that I became emotional would be an incredible understatement, I mean, who wouldn’t get emotional over the entire novel?

Tania Crosse created firework situations for several of the characters, and they were all written with such poise, sincerity, devastation, yet undeniable beauty. Yes, I could no longer understand my own thoughts and feelings whilst finishing this book, but the authors story telling had me absolutely spellbound.

‘Nobody’s Girl’ was full to the brim of heart-wrenching moments; sometimes it felt as though the beginning of the book started off the domino effect for the rest of the book. It got to a point where I was reading so fast because I was so worried someone else in the book was going to end up emotional, or more sparks were going to fly. This book really was cut throat.

On one hand, Nobody’s Girl kept me on the edge of my seat with emotions even I couldn’t understand, but on the other hand, Nobody’s Girl gave me hope, a sense of belonging, a reason to love and the lesson in learning how to BE loved.

This book is by far the most intense, and emotive novel I have read so far this year. Tania Crosse has blown me away and I am still trying to work out how to put my feet back on the ground. I will not forget Nobody’s Girl in a hurry, Meg will always be the girl in my heart.

Absolutely outstanding.

Thanks Aria.

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

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

iBooks: http://apple.co/2o0Szcn

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2o0WFRK

 

#CoverReveal! The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach by Kat French (@KFrenchBooks) @AvonbooksUK

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

It’s Sunday….

It’s 7pm….

It’s….

COVER REVEAL TIIIIIMMMMEEEEEE!!!

There’s revealing a beautiful cover, and then there’s revealing a beautiful cover for one of your favourite authors; tonight’s reveal is the latter, I couldn’t BE more excited!!

The incredibly talented, Kat French, is back and she’s bringing a brand new book with her! Her upcoming novel, The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach, will be published in e-book on the 22nd June, and paperback will follow afterwards on the 13th July.

Are you ready for this cover?

Are you?

Kat French

A Greek island solves all life’s problems…doesn’t it?

Winnie, Stella and Frankie have been best friends forever.
When their lives unexpectedly unravel, they spontaneously decide to buy a gorgeous B&B on a remote Greek island.
Drenched in hot sun, Villa Valentina is the perfect escape
from reality. But when Winnie meets Jesse, their brooding
neighbour, she finds that Greece is full of its own
complications – not least how attractive he is…

Meanwhile, Frankie and Stella are discovering that Villa Valentina has its own secrets – starting with the large supply of gin in the cellar and the arrival of a famous rock band. A band with one very good-looking member who just might distract Frankie from thoughts of her husband…

Eeeeee!!!! Does that sound exciting, or does that sound exciting!! The countdown is definitely on where this baby is concerned! Roll on June!!

The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach is available to pre-order right now from:
Amazon UK

#Tour #Review The Many Colours of Us – Rachel Burton @bookish_yogi @NeverlandBT @HQDigitalUK

Many colours 1

Finallyyyyy!!! It’s my turn to host today’s stop on Rachel Burton’s blog tour for her debut novel, The Many Colours of Us, which was published by HQDigitalUK on the 26th April 2017! I hope you enjoy reading my review as much as I enjoyed reading this book.

Many colours

What if your life was built on lies?

Julia Simmonds had never been bothered about not knowing who her father was. Having temperamental supermodel, Philadelphia Simmonds, as a mother was more than enough. Until she discovers she’s the secret love-child of the late, great artist Bruce Baldwin, and her life changes forever.

Uncovering the secrets of a man she never knew, Julia discovers that Bruce had written her one letter, every year until her eighteenth birthday, urging his daughter to learn from his mistakes.

Julia begins to dig deeper into the mysterious past of her parents, opening up a history she’d never have imagined, but as she discovers the truth she needs to decide if she is willing to forgive and forget…

What does TWG think?

What do I think….what do I think….

1. Julia’s mother needs a stern talking to and a ruddy good shake.
2. Julia’s father should have been made to see sense when he was alive.
3. Julia needs a bloody big hug, with someone trustworthy to lead her in the right and TRUTHFUL direction.

Review done. kthx.

Fine, I’ll do a proper one! Although if I was asked to say three things about this storyline, the above is what I would come out with! Now, seeing as I haven’t been asked for three things in particular, I can now squeal and ramble!

Sometimes when I sit down to read a novel, I ensure I am on Twitter at the same time as I quite like tweeting the author whilst I read their book; Rachel Burton was one of those authors!

I have to say one thing first though as it really shocked me, to be honest I still can’t get my head round it….

HOW THE PICASSO IS THIS RACHEL BURTON’S DEBUT NOVEL?! DEBUT?!? DEBUT!?! I didn’t realise it was her debut until afterwards! The entire novel read as though it was written by an author who had perfected her craft! Can you tell that I was gobsmacked? If this is what Rachel Burton manages to deliver with a debut novel, I cannot WAIT for book two.

Julia Simmonds has grown up knowing one parent, her mother. Every time Julia tried to bring up the subject about her father, her mother culled the conversation, using the excuse of lack of memory for lack of information. As far as Julia was concerned this was her life, she trusted her mother and the information she had been given over the years. Her mother hadn’t exactly given her cause for concern regarding her father….

How could you not be hooked with a storyline like this? I thought my family had a lot of skeletons in our closets but EEEESH! It didn’t take me long at all to sink my teeth into the gritty and intense storyline, as soon as I was hooked I couldn’t put the book down, hence why it only took me a matter of hours to read. Unfortunately, I was able to relate to several of the situations that unfolded in this book, especially where Julia’s father was concerned.

Seeing as I read this book like an outsider looking in, I attempted to see the situation from each of the characters points of view to begin with, but I couldn’t help getting angry at Julia’s mother. Well, and her father! Their ‘logic’ was extremely selfish in my opinion. But like I said, I can relate to certain aspects of the book which is why my views are more emotionally based, and a lot harder than others.
Just to clarify, but views up to this point are solely on the storyline and not the way the author has written it, btw.

‘The Many Colours of Us’ blew me away on more than one occasion. It wasn’t all light-hearted and lovey dovey, the storyline was incredibly black and white at times (in a good way), powerful and unbelievably soulful. I don’t think I have ever read a debut novel that carried itself with such grace, intensity, and emotion, like Rachel Burton’s. I’m not going to lie, I couldn’t stand a couple of the characters in the book yet they brought another dimension to the novel, so they were put in the book for the right reasons (even if they did irk me).

Again, this is yet another review that I have to be rather vague about as every event and emotion in the book is linked to another. I don’t wish to get into trouble for causing a domino effect of spoilers!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘The Many Colours of Us’; Rachel Burton really has done herself proud by writing such a beautiful, but raw storyline. A lot of people are going to read this book and feel as though their own lives are being written about; yes, it really is that relatable.

Such a poignant and impressive debut novel. I loved it! Absolutely flawless.

Thank you HQ.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Author Bio:

Rachel Burton has been making up stories since she first learned to talk, prodigiously early. In 2013 she finally started making one up that was worth writing down. 

She has a BA in Classics and an MA in English and has never really known what to do when she grew up. She has worked as a waitress, a legal secretary, a yoga teacher and a paralegal. She never quite made it to law school.

She grew up in Cambridge and London but now lives in Leeds with her boyfriend and three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bookish_yogi

The Many Colours of Us Schedule Graphic

#Review! Summer at the Little Wedding Shop by Jane Linfoot (@janelinfoot) @HarperImpulse

jane linfoot

The third book in the bestselling series, ‘The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea’.

When the owner of Brides by the Sea, Cornwall’s cutest little wedding shop, offers Lily a job as their new wedding stylist, her first thought is – can she possibly pull it off?

Before she’s even sourced a fairy light or tasted a cupcake, Kip Penryn hires her services – but he’s opened an exclusive wedding venue in direct competition to her friend Poppy!

Lily feels like a traitor working for Kip, only everyone knows Penryn men are gorgeous but unreliable. All she has to do is sit back and watch him mess it up…doesn’t she?

Love is in the Cornish sea breeze this summer as the girls tackle their busiest wedding season yet. There’s plenty of bunting, bubbly and baking – but who is going to catch the bouquet?

What does TWG think?

Just to clarify, Summer at the Little Wedding Shop IS the third book in the series, however, the books can be read as a standalone and it isn’t a necessity to have read the previous books before you start this one. That said, you might find it easier to connect with the characters if you have already read the other books. Jane Linfoot does give reminders of the characters lives as the story unfolds, but it really would stop those ‘huh?!’ moments when various characters popped up (again).

Personally, Summer at the Little Wedding shop has got to be my one of my most favourite books from the series, with the previous novel Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop, coming a close second.

Lily is stuck in a rut and has a huge, grey rain cloud camping above her head, just waiting to rain on her parade; especially seeing as Lily’s mother seems to enjoy leaving a bitter taste in her mouth by trying to be the Cornish version of, Cilla Black! To bide her time, Lily has been given the role of ‘wedding stylist’ in the wedding shop itself, a role where no Lily has gone before. Literally. All she would need is one larger than life (personality) bride who knows what she wants, to ease her into the role gently….right? Ha…ha…..

Once again, Jess manages to make me laugh out loud whilst covering my face with my hands. She is such an amazing character to read about, even if her ideas are extremely farfetched! Got to give her her due though, she manages to pull them all off, including giving Lily the new role!

I could just imagine the look on Lily’s face when she went to meet with the rivals in the storyline, seeing as there is a lot of history with the rival and his family. I’m sorry to say, but, I could not stand the bloke at first. His arrogance, pigheadedness and ability to not see further than his nose, REALLY got my back up! If it wasn’t for Lily’s vocal castration, I don’t think I would have put up with his character for much longer. Luckily though, Lily had her one liners down to a fine art which made me giggle. You know the sort I’m on about, ‘right place right time’ one liners. Genius.

I realised with the previous book that it wasn’t a good idea to read it on an empty stomach. Did I take my advice for this book? No, I did not. Poppy’s mouth-watering treats feature rather heavily throughout the entire book! The way Jane Linfoot had written about those sweet treats made it seem like the pages had turned into cakes…mmmmm. Seriously though, the descriptions of Poppy’s baking was beautifully executed, even down to the tastes. It’s safe to say that my stomach was rumbling and dribble may have, erm, landed on my kindle once or twice. #sorrynotsorry.

The pace of the storyline was excellent, nothing was rushed, nor were there any empty moments; Summer at the Little Wedding Shop kept me entertained from start to finish. There always seemed to be something to giggle at, a character to dream about, items to lust over, characters to get annoyed at (for me, the rival and one other person!), as well as multiple situations to think about. What more could you honestly want? Well, except real cake of course…

I was worried that certain characters and their personalities would end up taking centre stage, turning the novel into a serious, complex situation as opposed to the lighthearted and heart warming book we all know and love. Due to my concern above, I loved the storyline contained a couple of hidden messages yet it didn’t let those messages over power the rest of the storyline.

‘Summer at the Little Wedding Shop’ really is a beautiful, heartfelt and cosy read, which really needs to have its own space on your bookshelf (as well as the other two). Jane Linfoot’s beautiful writing is the star of the show; the entire novel was such a breath of fresh air and a lot of fun.

Highly recommended!

Thanks Jane/Harper Impulse.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review of Summer at Conwenna Cove by @DarcieBoleyn @canelo_co

Summer at Conwenna Cove blog tour 2

Thrilled to be one of the bloggers hosting Darcie Boleyn’s brand new book, Summer at Conwenna Cove, as part of the blog tour for Canelo! I hope you enjoy reading my review:

Summer at Conwenna Cove

In a gorgeous Cornish village, two brokenhearted people fall head over heels. But can the magic of Conwenna Cove heal the hurt of the past? A feel-good summer romance perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Phillipa Ashley and Jenny Hale.

Eve has a glittering career, a loving husband and a future. But a terrible twist of fate means she loses it all, and with nowhere left to turn she flees to her Aunt Mary’s home in Cornwall. The last thing on her mind is romance – until she meets Jack.

Jack has seen the worst things people can do to each other and realised he is better off alone. He settles in Conwenna Cove, and saves his affections for the rescue dogs he cares for. But when Eve arrives in the village he can’t deny his attraction to her.

Eve and Jack are both scared to trust, but when they come together it’s impossible for either to ignore their feelings. Can they put their fear aside and learn to love again?

Summer at Conwenna Cove is an emotional and heart-warming holiday read about being brave enough to take a chance on love.

What does TWG think?

Every time Darcie Boleyn brings out a brand new book I seem to turn into an excited puppy, unable to sit still and pining with impatience. Seriously, I’m not even kidding. Oh, and by ‘pining’ I mean DM’ing the author asking when her next book is coming out, over and over again. I’m nice like that, SOOOO not annoying.

Anyway. Cornwall. Again. Deep down I really didn’t want to groan about the setting as Darcie Boleyn is one of my favourite authors, but the groan just shot out before I could stop it. Now, I don’t have anything against Cornwall as it sounds so beautiful, it’s just there are loads of books which are set in Cornwall, most of them being published recently!

I kept an open mind and as I ploughed into the storyline and got to know the characters, my ‘issue’ with the setting went completely out the window. Eve has hit rock bottom. No longer is she the confident, carefree, optimistic individual she once was; instead she is a woman who has reached her breaking point. All I wanted to do was give Eve a big hug and obviously I couldn’t. I felt so, so sorry for her as a character as her circumstances were quite heart wrenching to read about. Seeing as Eve needed a change of scenery, my mind was so occupied with the way that she was feeling I didn’t seem to mind where she went, as long as she took the time she needed to recuperate.

It was from that moment that the storyline itself took precedence over the setting. The setting was an eye-catching addition instead of being the star of the show. For me, that is more important. I wanted to be able to connect with the storyline and its characters BEFORE I was able to gaze at the scenery; it’s no use if the setting of a book overpowers the true essence of the story and the characters. Hats off to Darcie Boleyn for writing such a powerful storyline that was able to showcase its own beauty.

Alongside Eve as a main character, is a man called Jack. A man who prefers his own company after being ‘stabbed’ in the back but people he thought he could trust. We’ve all been there, eh? I didn’t know what to make of his character at first as it took a while for his guard to come down, so his inner personality was always hidden away. It was as though he was always putting on a front. As time went on, his ‘guard’ kept doing squats by coming down, then going back up again, which meant that my opinion of Jack kept changing.

For me, the absolute stars of the show were the dogs in the rescue centre. Well, one in particular but I don’t want to say too much as I might give snippets away. I am not ashamed to say that where those dogs were concerned, ‘teary’ became my middle name. Wow.

‘Summer at Conwenna Cove’ sure does pack a punch in terms of intensity and depth. I was amazed at how full of information the book was, there was just so much to sink my teeth into!

I really have no idea how Darcie Boleyn does it, but she does. Every. Single. Time. I cannot fault this book at all, not even for the setting! I loved the diversity of the characters, the intense situations, the deep and meaningful conversations and the heart-warming moments with the dogs. Most importantly, I loved how the author brought all of the different situations and emotions together to create this mesmerising, huggable, rollercoaster ride of a novel; all without losing any momentum.

‘Summer at Conwenna Cove’ is a book to be read, cherished and understood. A book to be your hug when you’re on your own. A book to give you that confidence to be able to admit when you need to re-group. A book to give you the kick up the backside to ensure that your own well-being is put before anyone else’s. Not just A BOOK, it’s THIS BOOK.

Out-flipping-standing.

Thank you Canelo.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34925197-summer-at-conwenna-cove

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Conwenna-Cove-heart-warming-feel-good-ebook/dp/B06ZYK46GW/

Author Information

 Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Author Links

Blog: https://darcieboleyn.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/darcieboleyn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/public/Darcie-Boleyn

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darcieboleynauthor/

#BlogTour #Review – Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea by Liz Eeles @lizeelesauthor @Bookouture

Liz Eeles

When twenty-nine-year-old Annie Trebarwith receives an unexpected letter from a great-aunt she’s never known, she leaves her shoebox-sized flat in London and catches a train to the rugged Cornish coast.

Salt Bay is beautiful and Annie begins to kindle a bond with her great-aunt Alice. Even though there is zero phone signal and the locals – including the gorgeous but brooding Josh Pasco – can be decidedly grumpy at times, Annie starts to feel at home in Salt Bay.

Soon Annie’s love of music leads her to relaunch the Salt Bay Choral Society, and she’s surprised to see how just much the choir means to the community – and she even starts to break through Josh’s surly exterior…

But London is calling Annie back, and she has to make a decision. Give up her old life completely, or leave Salt Bay, her new-found family – and the choir – behind?

What does TWG think?

Happy publication day to Liz Eeles and Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea! I am truly honoured to be kicking off the blog tour with a review. Hope you enjoy!

How STUNNING is that cover by the way!!

Let me just get this bit out-of-the-way first; I may have groaned a little when I saw that the book was set in Cornwall. I know, I know, it’s madness! Recently there seems to have been a rise in the amount of books set in Cornwall (not that it’s not a beautiful place btw!), and I did happen to think ‘not another one’. Wait, wait, let me explain! A lot of the novels that I’ve read that were set in Cornwall, seemed to be a bit ‘samey’; I was uber excited about Liz Eeles’ novel and I really was hopeful that it would be different from the rest.

You want to know something?

It only took until the end of the first chapter for me to decide that, Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea, is my MOST FAVOURITE book set in Cornwall so far, without a doubt! This book had everything I could have hoped for in a book and more. The main character, Annie, was introduced to Cornwall in the most unique and comical way; lets just say that that woman has a lot of balls!

I was hooked on Annie’s personality from the very beginning as she didn’t seem to take herself too seriously, unlike a certain other character in the book (naming no names)! I thoroughly enjoyed finding out Annie’s family secrets, as well as seeing Cornwall from a completely new angle. Honestly? It was fun. Most of the characters (again, naming no names) stood out in their own individual ways; each of them bringing something special to the storyline. Don’t get me wrong, there was a character or two (cough) that managed to rile me up the wrong way good and proper. No, seriously, I think I actually swore out loud whilst I was reading it; I couldn’t get over how self-absorbed one character was! I could not stand them! I have a slight feeling that I’m not going to be the only one either haha.

The direction in which the storyline took was unexpected and I loved it. Not only did it surprise me multiple times, reading Liz Eeles’ novel gave me a sense of belonging due to Salt Bay’s unity. I loved the fact that I was able to see Annie come out of her shell as the story went on; and as stupid as this sounds, I felt quite proud of her.

Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea truly was an idyllic, beautifully written, heart-warming story that made my heart swell with joy. There was something incredibly special about Liz Eeles’ novel and I can’t seem to put my finger on what that is. Maybe it was the storylines aura, I don’t know. It just gave me that feel good feeling, as well as the belief that anything is possible if you just get up and do it.

A phenomenal, mesmerising novel which is full of family secrets, heart-warming moments and the power to dream.
Absolutely beautiful; I love everything about this book and Liz Eeles’ captivating writing. Brava…really, Brava….

Thank you so much Bookouture!

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author

 Liz began her writing career as a journalist for newspapers and magazines before moving into the health sector as a communications manager and press officer. The low point of her career was abandoning an interview with Cliff Richard after two questions because she was about to faint – her excuse is that she was newly pregnant at the time.

Liz is from Gloucestershire but now lives by the sea in West Sussex with her husband and grown-up daughter. She spends a lot of time meaning to meditate, avoiding exercise, and missing her son who lives in London.

https://www.facebook.com/lizeelesauthor/

https://twitter.com/lizeelesauthor

The blog tour has only just begun! All the details of the hosts on this tour are below:

Annies-Lovely-Choir-Blog-Tour

#Review! Then. Now. Always by Isabelle Broom (@Isabelle_Broom) @MichaelJBooks

Isabelle Broom

Twenty-eight year old Hannah is ready for an adventure. She and her colleagues are in Spain for a month to film a documentary, and it’s a dream come true. Not least because Hannah will get to spend long summer days with Theo, her boss (and gorgeous crush). It couldn’t be a more perfect setting to fall in love…

If only Tom (Hannah’s best friend and cameramen) and Claudette (the presenter) would stop getting in the way…

Then things become even more complicated when Nancy, Hannah’s half-sister arrives. What on earth is she doing here?

For just once in her life, can’t Hannah have one perfect summer, free of any drama?

What does TWG think?

I need to start this review with a little apology! I was lucky enough to receive Isabelle Broom’s new book ahead of publication date, (I did read it then too) so I am ever so sorry that I am just getting round to reviewing the book on my blog now!

Having devoured and absolutely ADORED Isabelle Broom’s previous novel, ‘A Year and a Day’, my excitement for her latest book reached its maximum level ten times over. Yes, I was THAT excited. There is just something so majestic about picking up an Isabelle Broom novel, allowing yourself to surrender to the beautiful words which have the depth, and power to be able to take you on a journey where the only guarantee is its beauty.

In the little Spanish village of Mojocar, Hannah and her colleagues are busy filming a documentary. Well, unless Hannah’s definition of ‘filming’ equals ‘oggling’ the boss, then yes, she is oh so busy filming! It was made clear from the onset that Hannah had a special connection to Mojocar; to be able to re-visit village years later, brought a lot of memories to the surface. Luckily for Hannah, she was able to use her work trip to her advantage and delve deeper into Mojocar’s heritage, finding out exactly why her connection with the village ran as deep as it did.

It took me a little while to be able to really gel with this storyline, as I struggled to find that vital piece of information to sink my teeth into. The ‘connection’ if you will. At times there seemed to be a lot of information gathering, scenery descriptions, character discussions, and a lot of me wondering where all of the above was heading. To be honest, the description of Mojocar was what kept my attention for the first part of the book. I am ashamed to admit that I never even knew that village existed; I thoroughly enjoyed being able to find out more about such a beautiful sounding village.

When Hannah’s half-sister, Nancy, appeared on the scene, that was when the storyline changed direction. I remember rubbing my hands together thinking, ‘drama, drama, drama’!! Up until then, the only side of the story I had heard was Hannah’s. Let’s just say that her opinions of her half-sister were not exactly glowing! Seriously, I thought that I was going to be introduced to a demon (slightly over dramatic, but y’know, my point is there!). As more of the storyline began to unfold, I got to know more about Nancy; I didn’t think that she was as bad as Hannah had made out. However, certain situations began to unravel and Hannah & Nancy’s relationship became more black and white, as opposed to rainbow.

Overall, ‘Then. Now. Always.’ is such a carefree, beautiful, and unique tale which highlights the importance of being true to yourself. I loved ‘watching’ Hannah’s personality evolve throughout the course of the book; it was incredible to see her start off as a duckling and grow into a beautiful swan. Yes, there were times where I couldn’t relate to the book as much as I would have liked to, but it didn’t ruin the storyline for me. Isabelle Broom’s stories and her outstanding descriptions of different countries, has turned her into my unofficial tour guide. I have never been abroad before, yet after reading this novel (as well as her others), I felt as though I had travelled to Spain and seen the sights for myself. Honestly. Every rock face, every lingering smell of the Spanish food and the surroundings, just every little detail of the country and the characters were described absolutely beautifully. I am still in awe at how one author can make her words jump off the page and turn into an image in my mind.

Another beautiful, and mesmerising read from the incredibly talented, Isabelle Broom.

Thank you Michael Joseph Books/Penguin.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Guestpost from ‘First Time Mums’ Club’ author @lucie_wheeler @HarperImpulse

First Time Mums Club

Today I have the honour of closing Lucie Wheeler’s FIRST EVER blog tour! If you missed any of the blog posts on the previous days, all of the bloggers who have taken part are listed above. I’m not biased or anything as I am a blogger myself, BUT, what a fabulous bunch of bloggers on this tour!! Don’t you agree? The excitement on social for Lucie Wheeler’s debut novel has been outstanding, I am truly blessed to be part of a fantastic group of bloggers for a truly inspirational author.
Today I have a guest post from the lady herself, Lucie Wheeler, but if you did miss my review of her debut novel ‘The First Time Mums’ Club’, you can check it out here: #BookReview! The First Time Mums’ Club by Lucie Wheeler (@lucie_wheeler) @HarperImpulse

My ideal writing environment.
by Lucie Wheeler

There are people who can write anywhere, and there are people who can only write in certain places. I think I fall in between. Generally, as a rule, I write in my office upstairs, which is the box room. I have my desk in there which I bought from Ikea, a steal at £40, a cube unit (also from Ikea) which stores anything and everything and a few filing cabinets for all the boring stuff. It is a room which I really wish I could spend some money on and jazz it up into a fantastic little writing room full of inspiring quotes and beautiful furniture… but that will have to wait. Right now, it serves its purpose and that’s what is important. So I generally do my writing in there. 

However, I also have my laptop which I can take with me anywhere I go and I can still write. Sometimes this is just downstairs on the sofa so that I can spend time with my family alongside writing or catching up with work emails. And sometimes this will be in my car, in the car park at gymnastics, whilst I wait for LO. I do occasionally venture into the garden too – but I get frustrated with the glare from the sun so it doesn’t happen often. 

So what do I need from a writing space? Whether I am in my office at home, or in the car, I need relative silence to function. I am not a writer who can listen to music and write. Sometimes I use music to get a ‘feel’ for a scene or try to encourage an emotion out of me so that I can write about it, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty of writing a story, I like it to be quiet. I like to let the story talk to me and run away with my imagination. Saying this, I can work with a little background noise. The TV is on at the moment and I can concentrate fine (unless something like The Great British Bake Off or The Apprentice is on!) I can also write in the library when I am at uni (because I have a lot to do and not a lot of time so sometimes my writing has to happen whilst at university) and the library isn’t silent. But… I can’t concentrate in a place like a coffee shop. I think because the talking there is closer to me and more in my personal space, whereas in the university library, it is a large space and the chatter tends to be a dull hum rather than an interesting conversation that I want to earwig in on – and let’s face it, we authors love an earwig on a conversation. It’s where half our material is inspired from! 

And I am definitely a straight-to-computer type of writer. I can’t do longhand. Whilst this is fine for notes, I simply cannot write fast enough. I like the speed of typing as the idea unfolds in my head and my hand doesn’t write fast enough. And when I try to do it, the words become illegible and it’s a waste of time. So for me, typing is the way forward. 

So there you have it. As long as I have a computer and fairly quiet surroundings, I can write pretty much anywhere. Although if we are talking about an absolute ideal writing environment – I wouldn’t say no to a balcony in a tropical climate with a cocktail and the sea to look at… who wants to take me?

Haha I don’t think many people will be disagreeing with Lucie on her dream writing location, would we? I certainly wouldn’t! It’s fun to see what an authors life is like BEHIND the book. Big thanks to Lucie Wheeler!

If you still haven’t been able to get your paws on a copy of ‘The First Time Mums’ Club’ yet, here are all the details of the book and the ‘to buy’ link:

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Meet Pippa…

After years of trying and a failed IVF attempt, Pippa is thrilled to see two little lines appear on a pregnancy test. Finally a precious baby to call her own. This is all Pippa has ever wanted…if only husband Jason could show just a little excitement.

Imogen…

A baby is the icing on the cake for Imogen and Alice – proof that their love for each other can overcome any obstacle. But when Imogen starts receiving malicious texts, it’s clear that not everyone is thrilled about the girls’ good news.

And Ellie…

A drunken one-night stand and Ellie’s life is ruined! Pregnant, jobless and the relationship with her best friend, Chris, over- forever. Because Chris just happens to be the father of Ellie’s baby…and potentially the love of her life!

For these first time mums the road to motherhood is bumpier than most!

Buy now from Amazon UK!

#Review! Invisible Women by Sarah Long @BonnierZaffre @Emily_BookPR #InvisibleWomen

invisible women

Isn’t it about time we talked about YOU?

Tessa, Sandra and Harriet have been best friends through first crushes, careers, marriage and the trials of motherhood. After twenty years of taking care of everyone else’s every need, they’ve found themselves hitting the big 5-0 and suddenly asking themselves: ‘what about me?!’

Sandra has a sordid secret, and Harriet is landed with her ailing mother-in-law. Tessa is looking for something to fill the gaping hole left by her youngest daughter’s departure for uni, where it seems she’s now engaged in all sorts of unsavoury activities, if Tessa’s obsessive late-night Facebook stalking is anything to go by.

When Tessa impulsively responds to an online message from an old flame, she soon finds herself waiting at Heathrow Airport for The One That Got Away.

But what will the plane from New York bring her? The man of her dreams, or a whole heap of trouble?

And could this be the long-awaited moment for Tessa to seize her life, for herself, with both hands?

What does TWG think?

One day, as I was feeling so downtrodden and incredibly invisible, I decided to find myself a new book to get stuck into. After less than a minutes worth of searching, a book appeared on my screen which couldn’t have been more apt if it had tried; Invisible Women. Coincidence or match made in heaven? I’m going to go with the latter! I really was in a funk of a mood, so to find a book which seemed to fit the bill with how I was feeling right at that very moment, I just knew I had to read it.

So I did.

Even before I had had time to settle myself into the storyline, the book had already thrown me a curveball which left me somewhat curious and somewhat impatient. I wanted to know what the monkeys was going on but seeing as the question mark loomed at the very start, I knew that I had a long wait to find out what was happening. Three women, three very different lives, yet all three ladies have one big thing in common; they are all about to hit the big FIVE-OH. Now, I’ve always known the age of mid-life crisis’ to be 40 (no offence to anyone 40 or over, just what I’ve seen about!). To see a storyline focus on the age of fifty and the realistic issues that could crop up at that time, well, it was like a little breath of fresh air and an eye-opener all in one go!

Sandra, Tess and Harriett have all reached the times in their lives where their children have flown the nest, they release that they can’t stop defying gravity for much longer and they think about all of the things that they SHOULD have done. No, no, no, I don’t mean going on a family vacation to a different country, or eating different food in a restaurant when your staple is always fish, chips and mushy peas. No. Things for them. Things that would make themselves happier, boost their confidence or actually make them feel….visible?

Whilst it may seem all to easy to just go and do things for yourself, when you have husbands like Tessa, Sandra and Harriett’s, the only thing that you’re likely to do for yourself is….er…..

Oh, my, god. All three men were absolute PIGS! One husband is like the spokesperson for selfishness and gluttony, another husband seems to have gotten muck in his eyes and forgets that his wife is indeed his wife, and not his maid, and the third one seems to have had his own issues but is now hell-bent on using the ‘woe is me’ card. Even.in.the.aftermath. Man flu doesn’t seem as bad now when you compare it to those three!!

There were times where I found the book to be a little slow, but, I actually think the storyline needed those slow moments to make the realism of the three situations more evident. Sarah Long hasn’t made all of the storyline bubbly, optimistic and cosy; she has made a lot of it modern, realistic and bulshy. I felt really sorry for one of the ladies as they were treated like absolute shizzmanizzle and I found myself getting rather irate. I say ‘rather’, I think I may have shouted at the book once or twice. I hope we weren’t meant to like the husbands in this book, because I can assure you that I did not!

‘Invisible Women’ is very cleverly written, witty and the underlying message throughout the storyline is a very important one. I was really hopeful that all three women would manage to find their callings in life, their happiness and their reason to keep going. At times I was urging them to just go for it but as an outsider, it was easy for me to sit here and say that.

Sarah Long is very witty in her dialogue and knows how to keep her readers enthralled by her words. Whilst ‘Invisible Women’ didn’t blow me away, it really was the tonic I needed when I felt low myself. Lots of giggles, powerful friendships and bucketfuls of determination, this book will really keep your attention from start to finish.

Thank you Bonnier Zaffre.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review of Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer by Sue Watson (@suewatsonwriter) @Bookouture

Ellas-Ice-Cream-Summer-Kindle

Ella’s life just hit rock-bottom, but can a summer by the sea mend her broken heart? When life gives you lemons… make ice-cream!

Life hasn’t always been easy for single mum Ella, but she has just hit an all-time low; she’s jobless, loveless, very nearly homeless and, to make matters worse, now the owner of a pocket-sized pooch with a better wardrobe than her.

Packing her bags (and a bigger one for the dog), Ella sets off for the seaside town of Appledore in Devon to re-live the magical summers of her youth and claim her portion of the family ice-cream business: a clapped-out ice-cream van and a complicated mess of secrets.

There she meets gorgeous and free-spirited solicitor, Ben, who sees things differently: with a little bit of TLC he has a plan to get the van – and Ella – back up and running in no time.

Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer is a heart-warming and hilarious romance that will scoop you off your feet and prove it’s never too late for a fresh start. The ideal holiday read for fans of Lucy Diamond, Abby Clements and Debbie Johnson.

What does TWG think?

Eeeee!! Over the moon to be one of the stops today on Sue Watson’s blog tour for her brand new book, Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer! Love, love, LOVE HER! Hope you enjoy my review!

As soon as I find out that Sue Watson is due to release a brand new book, I begin to feel the excitement (quite similar to Christmas Day as a child) start stirring, deep within. Now, of course, if I have to wait a few weeks for a Sue Watson book and I know that it’s on its way, well, I do become rather impatient. Reading a Sue Watson book is quite similar to the feeling of getting into a freshly made bed; the calmness, comfort and soothing touch, feeling all of your worries disappear from your mind for the duration of the book (or, as soon as you snuggle into your brand new duvet). Bliss, right?

Almost every single time that I finish one of her novels, I always wonder how on Earth she will top that particular book with her next one. But you know what? She does! Sue ALWAYS manages to up the ante on her own storylines.

Take Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer for example; a deliciously enticing front cover don’t you think? A cover that is bound to bring back childhood memories of visits to the beach, 99’s and the good ol’ marmite opinion flavour; Neapolitan. I’m sure you’re probably nodding your head in agreement right now, because it IS true. Now, the thing about Ella and her Ice-Cream Summer, well, the storyline goes wayyyyy beyond the calm childhood memories and it delves a lot further than I could have anticipated. I too, thought that this book was going to be a tutti-frutti style storyline; colourful, sweet and completely one of a kind, based on the cover. But, this storyline isn’t just tutti-frutti. No. There were moments where the storyline had the depth of chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream, the intensity of Karamel Sutra ice-cream, the vulnerability of raspberry ripple ice-cream and the uniqueness of a tiramisu ice-cream, topped with coffee sauce and a sprinkle of chopped nuts.

In a nutshell, Sue Watson’s novel contains everything you could ever dream of. Ella is stuck in a rut; her children are growing up and becoming less dependent, her living situation isn’t the most reliable, and a four-legged friend struggles to decide on a tutu or pjs for a lounge day. If Ella wanted a bit of excitement in her life, excitement is what she shall get (and no, I don’t mean that she bought an ice-cream with two flakes instead of one. Although….). Every family comes with their own collection of skeletons in closets, however, Ella had absolutely no idea about the amount of skeletons there were in her own family’s collection.

Road trip to Devon anyone?


Ella’s Ice-cream Summer tickled my taste buds from start to finish. I had only reached 5% completion on the Kindle when I had to put the book down to attractively snort in hysterics at the words in front of me. 5% was all it took to make that happen, imagine what the rest of the book must have been like! Oh, wait, I don’t need to imagine as I have read it, nerney ner ner! How mature of me…

I absolutely ADORED this book. The characters were incredibly written, full of surprises and incredibly memorable (Ben.cough.Ben), the overall theme of the novel uncovered itself really nicely throughout without rushing to a conclusion, and the hilarity really did continue until the very end of the book. Sublime.

When it comes to a Sue Watson novel, I usually feel sad that the story is coming to an end and I would have to wait a while for my fix; that was not the case this time (there’s another book in the series, but shhhhh). Don’t get me wrong, I felt like I was leaving my long-lost friends behind as they were amazing to get to know; their journey really was such an enticing read. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series, without a doubt.

Sue Watson has written yet another hilarious, heart-warming and utterly inviting read, full to the brim of surprises, delightful treats and one of a kind characters. Whilst I adore everything that this author writes, Ella’s Ice-cream Summer has got to be my most favourite book of Sue Watson’s, ever. I really have no idea how she does it, but she does. Every.Single.Time.

I cannot recommend this book enough! You will be a tool not to go and buy a copy of it; surrender yourself to Sue Watson’s beautiful and comforting words, with this addictive and memorable storyline. Absolutely divine (as always)!

Thanks Bookouture!

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author
 

Sue Watson was a journalist on women’s magazines and national newspapers before leaving it all behind for a career in TV. As a producer with the BBC she worked on garden makeovers, kitchen takeovers and daytime sofas – all the time making copious notes so that one day she might escape to the country and turn it all into a book.

After much deliberation and copious consumption of cake, Sue eventually left her life in TV to write.  After a very successful debut novel, Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes Sue signed with Bookouture.