#BlogTour! #Review – #RedemptionBay by RaeAnne Thayne (@raeannethayne) @Millsandboon

I am so excited to be hosting the second book in the Hope’s Crossing series, Redemption Bay, by RaeAnne Thayne. Having absolutely LOVED the first book, I couldn’t wait to delve into this one. Huge thanks to Mills and Boon for the blog tour invite and ARC, here is my review:

McKenzie and Ben need a second chance….

McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her beloved hometown of Haven Point. It may be small and struggling, but it’s never let her down…unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick.

He left Haven Point behind years ago, for good reason. Yet seeing the town through McKenzie’s eyes could change his mind.

If he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing…a place where love arrives when it’s least expected.

What does TWG think?

Ahhh, everyone’s favourite person has returned to Haven Point, and what a welcome he got! Sarcasm. Naturally. Ben Kilpatrick didn’t do himself many favours when he last step foot in the little town, something the residents of Haven Point haven’t forgotten in a hurry. However, with the chance of their town getting a much needed boost in terms of tourism and money, many of the townspeople need to bite their tongue around Ben.

As mayor, McKenzie Shaw is very loyal to her town and the people in it. Even if some of the people in it refuse to let her do her job, thinking that they can do it way better than she.

Relationships in this book are very tense, yet they are incredibly addictive to read. ‘Redemption Bay’ is drama filled, tense at times, and is full of tender moments which can warm your heart.

I adored the strong community spirit and heartwarming friendships, and I found myself lost in the intensity of the village dynamics – I really couldn’t put this book down.

RaeAnne Thayne is such a enthusiastic, magnetic and euphoric author who makes her characters come alive with such ease and passion.

I said this after reading Snow Angel Cove last time, and I’ll say it again now – Thayne has quickly become one of my most favourite authors due to her heartwarming and beautifully written tales, which clearly have come from her heart.

I cannot recommend Redemption Bay enough and I urge everyone to put RaeAnne Thayne on your TBR pronto. I throughly enjoyed this and I cannot wait to read more.

Buy now.

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#BlogTour! #Review – Stasi 77 by David Young (@djy_writer) @ZaffreBooks

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Final blog tour post of the day, and it’s another book published Zaffre Books, ‘Stasi 77’ by David Young. Many thanks to Zaffree for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here his my review:

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A secret State. A dark conspiracy. A terrible crime.

Karin Müller of the German Democratic Republic’s People’s Police is called to a factory in the east of the country. A man has been murdered – bound and trapped as a fire burned nearby, slowly suffocating him. But who is he? Why was he targeted? Could his murderer simply be someone with a grudge against the factory’s nationalisation, as Müller’s Stasi colleagues insist? Why too is her deputy Werner Tilsner behaving so strangely?

As more victims surface, it becomes clear that there is a cold-blooded killer out there taking their revenge. Soon Müller begins to realise that in order to solve these terrible crimes, she will need to delve into the region’s dark past. But are the Stasi really working with her on this case? Or against her?

For those who really run this Republic have secrets they would rather remain uncovered. And they will stop at nothing to keep them that way . . .

What does TWG think?

Don’t make the mistake that I did! ‘Stasi 77’ is best read once you have read the other books in the series, and I’m speaking from experience as I didn’t quite realise until it was too late that it was part of a series. I did learn the hard way and unfortunately it did alter my experience regarding the entire thing.

David Young was a new author for me, one I was looking forward to getting stuck into! Even though an error was made and I wasn’t able to enjoy the book 100 percent, I could not fault the author on his ability to create a suspenseful storyline. I was very impressed by the intensity of the characters actions and their own individual journeys, even though there was a lot more to their personalities that I hadn’t found out yet.

The historical element to ‘Stasi 77’ made for a shocking read, but one which I lapped up like a cat with a saucer of milk. The uniqueness of the history versus crime was a true experience, and I did enjoy the chilling escapades and rollercoaster ride of a read.

I am looking forward to starting from the very beginning with David Young’s novels, as I thought that his writing style is extremely engaging and highly gripping.

Buy now from Amazon.

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheLibrarianOfAuschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (tr: Lilit Zekulin Thwaites) @Tonilturbe @EburyPublishing @PenguinUKBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

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Third tour of the day is for a book which I am humbled to be hosting on TWG today; ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ by Antonio Iturbe, translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites. Thank you to Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Ebury, Penguin Books for the ARC. Here is my review:

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‘It wasn’t an extensive library. In fact, it consisted of eight books and some of them were in poor condition. But they were books. In this incredibly dark place, they were a reminder of less sombre times, when words rang out more loudly than machine guns…’

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the secret librarian of Auschwitz, responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles, as well as the ‘living books’ – prisoners of Auschwitz who know certain books so well, they too can be ‘borrowed’ to educate the children in the camp.

But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, the children’s block, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor…

What does TWG think?

I really have no idea how to review this book to be honest. It’s not that I didn’t like it because, as weird as this sounds given the topic of the book, I did really enjoy it. I mean, this book is about the prisoners of Auschwitz and the Nazis. I don’t feel qualified enough to comment on the devastations of that time, does that make sense? Obviously I am going to, but I apologise in advance if I just ramble!

‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ is based on the true story of one of the prisoners in the camp, Dita Kraus, written in the book as ‘Dita Adler’. There are some parts of the storyline which have been fictionalised – good luck to those trying to work out which bits are which! Of course, if you googled every single thing in the book, I’m sure the fictional pieces will jump out at you! I did end up googling some things whilst I was reading the book, not because I wanted to double-check that it was factually correct, but more so because I wanted to see the faces of the imbeciles who led people towards their deaths. Not just a small handful of people, not that that would make it any easier to swallow, but an estimated 1 million people. ONE MILLION!

At times I struggled to believe what I was reading. The fact that the SS soldiers and the Kapo were so blasé about what they were doing, sent chills up my spine. What possessed them to get caught up in Hitlers dirty work? How could they live with themselves knowing that they had sent innocent people, including young children, to their deaths? At one point in the book, the story described just how one young child was sticking their tongue out at a solider as they were being put into the chamber. Heartbreaking.

I was in awe at Dita’s strength as, for such a young girl, she clearly had to grow up very quickly to be able to get through the things that she did. She saw people die right before her very eyes. She protected her mother from a situation which could have turned out a lot worse if she hadn’t. She made friends with children one day, only to hear that they have been removed from the camp and sent to a chamber. No way of saying goodbye. No way of protecting people who came to be like an extended family. Dita’s hands were tied, and at times that was quite literal.

Just like the title suggests, there was a library in Block 31. Hang on, let me correct that. There was a SECRET library because, if prisoners were found with books on them, it warranted a death sentence. Death. Because they read a book. I’m literally shaking my head here. And, seeing as Dita ended up being the librarian for Block 31, and responsible for the collection of the five books in the block, she had literally put herself in the firing line knowing full well what the outcome would be should she be caught. Yet her love for books, according to her, was worth playing with death for.

Alongside Dita’s journey, we also follow the lives of several other figures such as Fredy Hirsch, leader of Block 31, and Dr Mengele, a man who liked conducting inhumane experiments on the prisoners….just because he could. There are a lot of other historical names noted throughout this book, a lot of which don’t deserve their names in print, but unfortunately it’s an important part of our history.

Before reading ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’, I had obviously heard about the gas chambers and such, but I had never read a book with Auschwitz at the forefront of its storyline. I am glad that I finally decided to read about the devastation of those years, and finding out little details which helped the prisoners during that time, such as coming together and singing songs on the way to the chamber. Unity at such a dark time.

I don’t think I will ever understand the why’s and wherefores about this particular subject, but, thanks to Antonia Iturbe’s outstanding writing, I am determined to broaden my knowledge. It’s a shame that me doing that won’t change the situation for the thousands and thousands of people who lost their life, but it’s a small way of honouring the memory of the survivors.

‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ moved me, devastated me, and left me utterly broken. Nothing at all compared to what people endured at the hands of the Nazis I know. It goes without saying that Antonio Iturbe has written a heart wrenching novel, simple because you would need to be made of stone to not be moved by even a little detail in this book. I am blown away by the amount of research it must have taken in order to complete this book. I, like I said at the start, am blown away by Dita Kraus, especially as she retraced her steps many years later.

One of my top books of all time, ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ is an emotional, harrowing novel which details some of the heartbreaking events from Auschwitz. A book which I will never, ever forget.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Island in the Sun by Janice Horton (@JaniceHorton) @RaRaResources

Many thanks to RaRaResources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘Island in the Sun’ by Janice Horton, as well as the ARC. Here is my review:

When successful jewellery designer Isla Ashton unexpectedly inherits her eccentric Aunt Kate’s Caribbean island, she is obligated to return to the place she associates with heartache and regret. To where she grew up and fell in love with her childhood friend, Leo Fernandez. Fully intent on selling the island and finally putting the past behind her, Isla is soon compelled to put together the pieces of what really happened on a fateful night ten-years before.

She begins to believe that in going to prison, Leo hadn’t only been shielding her from the same fate. She also starts to suspect that her late Aunt hadn’t been entirely honest in sending her away under the guise of recriminations. Who had they both been protecting and why?

What does TWG think?

Can you tell that summer is on the way? No? Well you should, because if you don’t, ‘Island in the Sun’ will be changing that before you can choose your seat on your TUI flight!

I wasn’t feeling this book at first to be honest. An entitled, high and mighty family member with the power newly bestowed upon her to either make a community stronger, or ruin a lot of peoples lives. It was Isla’s arrogance that irked me, and like I say, the fact she thought she was entitled because of what and who she came from. It just bugged me – it took me a little while to gel with the storyline and to try and understand where it was heading.

The more of the story I read, the more Isla began to make sense and, the more her past was uncovered, the more I felt empathy towards her. Ironic really, isn’t it? It just goes to show that an authors attention to detail is paramount when it comes to a reader disliking, or liking a novel. Thankfully I ended up being the latter despite my uncertainty at the start.

I loved the setting and imagining feeling the sand between my toes and the warmth of the sun on my cheeks. Janice Horton brought that to life beautifully. I honestly think it’s one of the best settings I have ever had the pleasure of losing myself in.

‘Island in the Sun’ is a sunshine on a rainy day type of book, which blends both romantic situations with emotional and devastating events in a touching and enriching manner. It really was a joyful and pleasant read, perfect for staycations and vacations.

Buy now!

About the author.

Janice Horton, also affectionately known as the backpacking housewife, writes contemporary romantic fiction with a dash of humour and a sense of adventure. Once her three children had grown up, Janice and her backpacking husband sold their empty nest in Scotland UK along with almost everything they owned and set off to travel the world. Since then they have been traveling full-time and have explored over 50 countries, living out of an apartment, a hut, or wherever they happen to find themselves.

Janice works as a writer wherever she is in the world. When not writing bestselling romantic adventure novels, she writes lifestyle and travel features for her website and her work has featured in national and international magazines like ‘Prima’ in the UK and ‘Friday’ in Dubai. She has also been involved in BBC Scotland’s Write Here Write Now project and has been interviewed on many podcasts and radio shows including Loose Women’s Kaye Adams’ prime time BBC Radio Scotland Show.

Visit ‘The Backpacking Housewife’ website.

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

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

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

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

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

All in all, things are looking pretty good.

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy now!

About the author.

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

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

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

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

 

Author Social Media Links

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

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/karenclarke123

WEBSITE: https://www.karenclarkewriter.com

#BlogTour! #Review – My Summer of Love and Limoncello by Sue Roberts (@SueRobertsautho) @Bookouture

Happy publication day to Sue Roberts and ‘My Summer of Love and Limoncello’. I am delighted (whilst being super poorly) to kicking off the blog tour for Sue’s book today – many thanks to Bookouture for the tour invite, here is my review:

Three best friends, Italian sunshine and a handsome stranger can fix just about anything… Can’t it? 

Maisie Knight had it all. A gorgeous husband. A successful business. A beautiful home. Until one day, after walking into the storeroom of their shop, she loses it all at once – catching her husband cheating on her with the girl from Checkout 3. So when she wins a holiday to Italy, a week under the Tuscan sun couldn’t come soon enough. 

Treating best friends Cheryl and Emma to a girls’ trip, the terracotta-roofed Villa Marisa on a rustic farm awaits them. The fields of golden sunflowers could be the perfect cure for Maisie’s broken heart – and local farmer, suspiciously perfect Gianni, with his thick black hair and twinkling brown eyes is a welcome distraction from her broken heart.

Mornings waking up to freshly brewed coffee and views of the rolling hills, moped rides with cheeky Italians, and feasts of prosecco and pasta help Maisie forget her troubles. After all her heartache, she’s surprised when she starts opening up to Gianni – she’s even more surprised when the temperature rises and it’s not just the rays of the Italian sunshine…

Maisie could get used to the good life. But just as she’s getting her spark back, disaster strikes. The next thing she knows, her past is catching up with her, reopening old wounds and Maisie has a life-changing decision to make. Should she say ciao to her summer of love and limoncello?

What does TWG think?

This book definitely ticked my box for ‘up-lit’, even if the poor main character, Maisie, had her life spin on its axis. But as they say, ‘when life throws you lemons…’ or limoncello in this case!!!

I really enjoyed the relaxing, and easy to read vibe of the storyline as it wasn’t at all taxing and meant that I was able to lose myself in the storyline without worrying whether I was going to miss out in a vital piece of information.

Romance is featured in this book, naturally, and despite not being a big ol’ romantic myself, I enjoyed watching relationships blossom. However I did find it a little too cheesy at times, if not a little forced.

‘My Summer of Love and Limoncello’ an ideal holiday read, as well as being the ideal read to kick you up the backside and remind you just how important self care is. I did feel for Maisie but she showed that she was such a tough cookie, even if she did crumble at times. Cookie Monster would be proud!

A heartwarming, enjoyable novel which puts a spring in your step and a smile on your face.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – #AsSickAsOurSecrets by A.B.Whelan (@AuthorABWhelan) @AnneCater

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Fourth blog tour of the day, and second one for RandomThingsTours, is my review of A.B.Whelan’s ‘As Sick As Our Secrets’. Many thanks once again to Anne for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

As Sick As Our Secrets Cover
What would you do if you found out your husband was a serial killer?

Olivia Campbell has the life most women want. A respected husband, beautiful home, and the freedom that only financial security can provide.

But not all is as it appears…

Olivia has secrets, and after discovering a hidden journal in her husband’s study, she realizes that she’s not the only one.

As her picture perfect world starts to fall apart around her, Olivia wonders just how deep the secrets run as she finds herself immersed in the investigation of a young missing girl.

Some coincidences are just too hard to ignore, but how far is she willing to go to discover the truth?

What does TWG think?

Oh bloomin’ eck – I cannot fault this book for its intensity, suspense, and mind-blowing level of grit, but sheeeeeesh it really is like the title suggests; sick!! Of course I don’t mean that rudely, I mean that in the ‘sick and twisted’ sense, because it really is!!

‘As Sick As Our Secrets’ isn’t the type of thriller which describes the characters actions and leaves a little bit of mystery for the readers to decipher in their own mind. Instead it’s the type of thriller which describes actions in such intense and chilling detail, explaining the twisted event in such a manner which creates a picture in the reader’s mind which includes feelings of nausea and thoughts such as; ‘WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!?’. To be brutally honest, my mind couldn’t decipher the storyline any other way than what the author wrote! Again, no, I’m not saying that as though it’s a bad thing, it was just difficult for me to digest at times because I couldn’t get over just how ‘what the f…..’ the characters in this book could be.

A.B.Whelan is a very clever and dynamic author who certainly knows how to grab her readers by their anatomy! Even if I wanted to put this book down, I don’t think I would have been able to, purely down to my level of intrigue. This book may be very twisted and a bit nauseating, but it works in a way I never, ever imagined myself saying.

A magnetic, stomach churning, twisted read which took over my mind, body and soul. I was certainly put under A.B.Whelan’s spell…will you be?

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon US

#BlogTour! #Review -Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman (@LucyColemanAuth) @Aria_fiction @RaRaResources

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It’s a RaRaResources day today as all of my blog posts are for this tour host! I hope you will join me for the three reviews I have lined up (I say lined up….i’m yet to type them but y’know!). First of three posts is my review of Lucy Coleman’s ‘Summer on the Italian Lakes’. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and many thanks to the publisher for the ARC.

Lakes yellowBestselling Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping – and steamy – love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling… Not only does she have writer’s block, but she’s a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.

So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer’s retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda – owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson – could this be just the thing to fire up Brie’s writing – and romantic – mojo?
Brie’s sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer’s very own happy-ever-after…

What does TWG think?

If you’ve ever wanted to go behind the scenes of an author’s life, then you’re in luck as the main character of this book is a best-selling romance author. I have a slight hunch that Lucy Coleman used her own personal experiences with writing to bring Brie’s character to life, by highlighting the highs and the lows of putting pen to paper. I thought it was brilliant as well how the author made people think about the romance genre as it had, and continues to do, negative press because people can’t understand the complexity behind writing romantic novels. Obviously that’s a nice way of putting it! Even though I am pleased that Lucy Coleman has openly, well, indirectly, defended her genre, I felt sad because why should she? Nobody gives bad press about thriller novels and people getting their heads lopped off, so why should romance authors defend the fact that they want to spread a little love around the place? You’ll have to excuse me – I’m going off on a tangent,  it’s just something i feel quite strongly about….if you hadn’t guessed already!

Anyway! Poor Brie not only has writers block, she also has self-confidence block because of just how much recent events have made her want to hide. People automatically assume that, just because Brie likes to write things that get her readers a little hot under the collar, that her own bed is getting a lot of attention. And no, I don’t mean sleep.

When Brie goes to Lake Garda to assist another author and his retreats, she manages to re-evaluate her life in more ways than one. Obviously I won’t say how she does that, but i definitely became her cheerleader that’s for sure!

I am probably going to sound like a pessimist here, but I spent a lot of the story sitting waiting for Arran to run. It’s not that i don’t believe in love, I just felt that Arran’s situation was incredibly fast and I suppose I couldn’t really invest in it because I was uncertain of the overall outcome. Like i say, I know i sound a bit pessimistic when I say this, especially as i wanted the ‘happily ever after’ as much as the next person, i just found it a little too….shall we say, convenient? Just to clarify – the above isn’t a negative remark towards the author and the way that she has delivered the storyline, it’s just my opinion on the characters lifestyle choices. I know the author put them there, obviously, it’s just hard not to think of them as real people.

I really enjoyed the realistic portrayal of a writers life alongside such wonderful, and heartfelt humour. The characters were such a fun bunch to get to know and I thought that Lucy Coleman did a sterling job at making readers (ie me) resonate with their personalities on various levels.

Brie has got to be one of my most favourite characters that Lucy Coleman has written, mainly due to the relatability of her personality but also because she shone with both her perfections and imperfections.

‘Summer on the Italian Lakes’ is such an uplifting, humorous, poignant read which will have you yearning for your own happily ever after.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.
When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.
Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links

Website
Facebook
Twitter

#BlogTour! #Review – Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan (@alexkhanauthor) @HeraBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Third and final tour of the day is for a book full of glamour; Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan. Huge congratulations to both Alex, and Hera Books on the publication of this release. I am delighted to share my review with you all today, many thanks to Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Hera Books for the ARC.

Zara Das is Bollywood’s hottest property, her every move watched by the eyes of the press. Riding high from the success of a string of blockbusters, she has the world at her feet, but the scandal from her latest film threatens to dethrone her as Bollywood’s reigning queen. 

So when superstar director Raj Dillon stages a lavish retelling of Pride and Prejudice, moving the shoot from Mumbai’s soundstages to London, Zara knows this is the role that could put her back on top. Coming with them are the Bollywood Wives – Jackie, Sasha, and Rani – bringing their own off-screen drama.

But behind the diamonds, designer clothes and seven-star hotels lies the truth of how Zara reached the top. And when a dead body is found in her hotel room, it seems that someone is determined to take Zara down – and will stop at nothing to expose her darkest secrets. 

Zara has spent years running from her past. But now it’s caught up with her… 

What does TWG think?

Wow – I don’t think I have ever read a book like this before! I will admit that I was a little bit unsure of the storyline at first as I couldn’t really work out where things were going, or whose life I should be paying attention to the most. Of course there was the main character, Zara, who we get to know very well throughout the book, but there were other women in the book with such strong personalities that they were all fighting for the main spotlight.

I would say that the book reminded me of ITVBe program, ‘The Only Way is Essex’, but that may be deemed a negative remark, and it isn’t. I think the concept of ‘how the other half live’ so to speak, was what reminded me of the outspoken TV program, yet it was very clear that there was no competition for who won the glamour and sassy stakes – the Bollywood Wives.

The storyline is very unique due to it containing high end, glamorous Indian lifestyles alongside dark and thrilling elements, enough to grab you by the collar and hold you hostage like a bit of BDSM (with your consent…obviously 😉 ). I will admit, again, that I wasn’t really taken by the main character, Zara, as she had more of an unlikable vibe than likeable. That said, Minnie was farrrr worse than she was! Alex Khan is brilliant at creating such colourful and highly complex characters which can both grate you one minute, and then have you feeling like their BFF the next. Rani was good at that!!

So, despite my earlier uncertainty, I ended up being pleasantly surprised by how the storyline all came together and I cannot wait to see what Alex Khan brings to the table next – more sass I hope!

A addictive, glamorous and intense read which left me wanting more.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Year of Starting Over by Karen King (@karen_king) @Bookouture #publicationday

Massive congratulations to Karen King on the publication of ‘The Year of Starting Over’! I am absolutely delighted to be kicking off the blog tour today with a review – many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Last year was meant to be when Holly got her happy-ever-after. But stuck in a job that’s going nowhere, and a relationship that feels more like it’s going backwards… thisyear Holly hasdecided it’s time to change her life. She just has to:

– End the relationship with the commitment-phobic boyfriend
– Go on a proper adventure
– Learn to be herself again
– Definitely, categorically not fall in love.

Cramming her belongings into her little yellow Mini, Holly drives on to a ferry bound to Spain, to stay at a remote farmhouse near a beautiful village in the Andalusian hills.

But the day she arrives she nearly crashes her car into a gorgeous guy on a motorbike. He’s called Matias and their paths keep crossing, much to Holly’s irritation. Because as she learns to speak Spanish from the locals, finally starts laying out plans for her own design business, and sips sangria in the sunlit village square, Holly is beginning to remember who she is and what she wants.

So she won’t allow herself be distracted by Matias. Because this year – for Holly – there are more important things in life than love. And she won’t let yet another bad relationship ruin everything… will she?

What does TWG think?

Sometimes when things happen in our lives, we have to decide between fighting….or flighting. Not everyone has the luxury over going to a different country to think things over, so a lot of us only have the option to flee to the toilet to contemplate our lives whilst inhaling the new, seasonal toilet duck smell, as though cinnamon and spice will make us see things much clearer than good ol’ pine. Thankfully Holly had the option to think things through in Spain….

Poor Holly has lost sight of herself and what she wants from life. Instead of doing things or wearing things that SHE wants, she has been making choices based on what other people want, in fear that they won’t like her for who she really is. It’s a sad state of affairs when people feel the need to do that, isn’t it?

‘The Year of Starting Over’ really is a book which makes you think about the bare bones of your own life and everything you wish to achieve in the not too distant future. It wouldn’t be a Karen King novel if there wasn’t a man involved, so of course the storyline contains multiple eligible bachelors for Holly to think about….even though she has sworn off men due to the actions of snakey Scott.

I loved how tender and uplifting the novel was, and I absolutely fell in love with little Luna. What a character!! It was wonderful how we got to see Holly start the story as a little bud who got weathered along the way, finally flourishing in a way that she should have all along. It was a beautiful sight to see and Karen King has done an exceptional job of bringing Holly’s story to life in such a natural and humorous manner, whilst also ensuring that her readers took a step back to think about their own lives.

A cosy, fun filled and poignant novel that will highlight just how ‘okay’ it is to not be okay in life. Such a wonderful little book.

Buy now!