#ForWhenImGone by Rebecca Ley @RebeccaHelenLey @orionbooks

Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy, and to Tracy for the tour invite.

Because there’s never enough time to say goodbye…

Sylvia knows that she’s running out of time. Very soon, she will exist only in the memories of those who loved her most and the pieces of her life she’s left behind.

So she begins to write her husband a handbook for when she’s gone, somewhere to capture the small moments of ordinary, precious happiness in their married lives. From raising their wild, loving son, to what to give their gentle daughter on her eighteenth birthday – it’s everything she should have told him before it was too late.

But Sylvia also has a secret, one that she’s saved until the very last pages. And it’s a moment in her past that could change everything…

What does TWG think?

So you’ve been told some devastating news. Dealt a hand of heartbreak that’s on countdown. What do you do? Wait, what WOULD you do? Spend as much time as you can with your loved ones before you’re taken? Create everlasting memories for those you have held in your heart for goodness knows how many years? Or do you write a book of what to do when you’re gone?

Sylvia did the latter. She created a book for her husband detailing present ideas, little anecdotes to help support him and their children as they grow up without her. I mean, looking to the future lives of your children, knowing that you’re not going to be around to see it? That’s got to hurt.

If, like me, you’re the sort of person who has ice around their heart, be prepared for that to melt and probably flood for the duration of this book. It well and truly broke me and hung me out to dry……yet it was done in the most sensational, poignant, detailed, beautiful manner that made me catch my breath.

The underlying tone of ‘For When I’m Gone’ is very serious as it discusses topics such as still birth and cancer, two very powerful and triggering topics. However on the other side of the coin, theyre two topics which still need their time in the spotlight so that other people can try to understand the devastating effects they can have on a person and everyone around them.

I feel bad saying that I loved this novel due to the emotional content, however i truly was bowled over by the delivery and the way in which the author took the time to create a story that not only taught people about cancer and grief, it also showcased the beauty of memories not being afraid of your own emotions.

Rebecca Ley has polished this novel so well, it is going to shine bright like a diamond for very long time to come. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this managed to get onto the big screen. Honestly? It would wholeheartedly deserve it.

Buy now.

#UnderAStarrySky @laurajanekemp @OrionBooks #Review #empowering

Many thanks to the Orion team for inviting me to take part in Laura Kemp’s blog tour for ‘Under A Starry Sky’, and for the review copy. I’m so excited to be reviewing it today!

Wanda Williams has always dreamed of leaving her wellies behind her and travelling the world! Yet every time she comes close to following her heart, life always seems to get in the way.

So, when her mother ends up in hospital and her sister finds out she’s pregnant with twins, Wanda knows that only she can save the crumbling campsite at the family farm.

Together with her friends in the village, she sets about sprucing up the site, mowing the fields, replanting the allotment and baking homemade goodies for the campers.

But when a long-lost face from her past turns up, Wanda’s world is turned upside-down. And under a starry sky, anything can happen…

What does TWG think?

Beautiful cover, beautiful title, and a story that matches. However it didn’t quite match in the way I was expecting, and I’ll tell you why;

As beautiful as the storyline may be, each chapter seemed to remove a layer like a piece of wrapping paper, ready to showcase what truly lay beneath all of the layers, meaning that there was so much more to the book that meets the eye. Wanda has been dreaming of travelling for many years, yet something seemed to always hinder her plans. That said, I think she can be forgiven for a little grief holding her back…oh and the fact that her sister had some rock and roll in her future.

This storyline made me chuckle and made me gasp in equal measures. I wasn’t expecting the novel to have such a deep, dark undertone to it and, to be perfectly honest, I felt a little uncomfortable at times reading Annie’s situation. Now, don’t take that as a negative, because its not. I mean it in the way that nobody should feel comfortable by the thought of abuse in any form, and I felt that Annie’s story was so realistically portrayed that it didn’t feel like fiction. It felt real. It felt like it was happening right there and then, in front of my very eyes.

Wanda was a little bit of complicated personality. She didn’t seem entirely convinced by her choices in life, and I felt like she wasn’t confident in doing what was best for herself, which was a shame yet on the other hand, a lot of readers will be able to relate to the type of person she is.

I loved the sense of empowerment that was laced through the book, as well as the feeling of hope when things go wrong. All of the characters had been through so much in their own individual lives, yet they all still believed in hope and the ability to search for the stars in the sky to help them on their way.

Empowering, inspirational, moving and incredibly relatable; I know that whenever I look up at the sky, like Wanda, Annie and Lew, the sparkling stars in the sky will be there to give me hope.

Laura Kemp, please hold me!

Buy now!

#EverythingIsFine by Gillian Harvey @GillPlusFive @OrionBooks #review

Happy publication day, Gillian! Thank you for having me on the blog tour, Orion!

Jessica Bradley has it all: the perfect boyfriend; influential healthy-eating blog; successful PR company and wonderful daughter, Anna. Or at least that is what her thousands of followers believe.

The truth is, her boyfriend just broke up with her in four words on a post-it; her zest for healthy-eating has all but disappeared; her PR success is all reliant on her now not-so-honest online-life and she just got caught eating her daughter’s Coco-Pops.

So as they say: fake it ’til you make it. A few little white lies and phoney smiling selfies and Jess can keep up appearances. But when her real-life starts to spiral out of control how can Jess tell the truth from the lies? And will she be able to seize real happiness when it is right in front of her?

What does TWG think?

If you’re anything like Ross Gellar from Friends, then you’ll be well versed on the phrase ‘I’m fine!!!!’. Or, if you’re a female who gets asked by her partner who has recently annoyed her something rotten, then ‘I’m fine’ will also be your go to response. Speaking from experience, naturally!

Who on EARTH dumps their partner by a post it?! I’ve broken the cardinal rule of dumping someone by text (sorry not sorry)….but a post it? That’s a new one on me!

I’m not gonna lie, I could not believe how on the money this storyline is! Social media seems to be a place where people feel as though they need to be someone else to get more likes, or more interaction. People seem to be weary of being themselves incase some random stranger unfollows them or disses their outfit. Whilst it’s a disheartening thing to see or admit, its shamefully something that is incredibly evident. And it shouldn’t be.

The fact that Jess finds herself in amongst the turmoil of fact versus fiction, and self belief versus compliments from strangers, is what made this storyline such a warming read. So many times I found myself nodding in agreement, or being able to relate to something that Jess was feeling – it takes a good writer to be able to connect their readers with their characters via their emotions, and I truly believe that Gillian Harvey nailed it.

Jess’ story was such a breath of fresh air. I really enjoyed the relatabilty factor and the humour alongside the deep routed emotional situations. A lot of people, myself included, use humour to get through difficult situations so the fact that humour played a big part in the overall vibe of the book, was such a genius pairing.

I cannot fault this book at all! If anything its shown me just how important it is to be myself, because if you cant be yourself for you, who can you be it for?

Buy now.

Meet cute or meet c-UGH? #WouldLikeToMeet @FrostyCheeks @TrapezeBooks

Hugest of thanks to Alex for the blog tour invite and ARC, I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for ‘Would Like To Meet’ by Rachel Winters, today! Enjoy!

Long-suffering assistant Evie Summers will lose her job unless she can convince her film agency’s biggest and most difficult client, Ezra Chester, to finish the script for a Hollywood romcom. The catch? He hasn’t started writing it.

Suffering from ‘writer’s block,’ he will only put pen to paper if singleton Evie can prove to him that you can fall in love like they do in the movies. Forget internet dating, Evie can only meet a man the way that Sally met Harry, or Hugh Grant meets anyone. Cue her entering into one ridiculous romcom scenario after another. But can life ever be like the movies?

Of course, real life is never that straightforward . . .

What does TWG think?

Watch out Meg Ryan, theres a new leading lady in town! Never mind ‘You’ve Got Mail’ or ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, or even ‘Cinderella’ (not that Meg Ryan was in that but whatevs!) – ‘Would Like To Meet’ is an amalgamation of everything romcom…..and then some.

Talking of Disney princesses, Evie reminded me of several sought after romantic leads. For example, Evie at times showed that she wasn’t exactly the brightest button in the box. In fact, she often acted like the thing in her skull was a useless object….a bit like when Ariel brushed her hair with a fork.

My favourite personality trait of Evie’s was the way she cared about her loved ones. She tried so hard not to involve them in anything that would cause them harm, even if that mean dealing with situations in her life on her own, that she would have loved her friends by her side for. Remind you of anyone? Snow White of course! The only difference being that that princess had seven little helpers by her side! At least her and Evie had Dopey in common, aka Jeremy…bless him.

Even though Evie loved her friends, she ended up getting herself into situations which ended up hurting her friends in the process. Unintentionally I may add, but it would have helped if she wasn’t channeling her inner princess Jasmine by having her head in the clouds half the time! A magic carpet ride wasn’t going to fix her Nob conundrum, that’s for sure!

Of course it wouldnt be a romantic comedy without a prince charming, however which one would suit? The prince who wanted Evie to be something she wasn’t? Or the prince who was too afraid to beat his demons, therefore ending up being a little bit of a beast? Cinderella or Belle?

The nickname for one of the characters (Nob fyi) was so on point I nearly choked on my drink. He is a grade A chump nugget who totally deserved a poke in the penis with a sharp pencil. I mean, I could say more but I think my opinion was succinct enough!

Whilst I will hold my hands up and say I wasn’t at all taken with the storyline to begin with (wait…!!!!!), after trying it on for size I came to realise that this was a pretty bloody good book with humour hilarious enough to bring out the silent seal (yes, I laugh like a seal….think of the actions of the fins but no noise)! This modern day romantic comedy revitalised the whole ‘meet cute’ dynamic and the fact that a single woman must apparently meet a single man who looks good on paper. Stuff that!

Just like Rachel Winter proves, you’ve got to spill your drink over a few heifers before you find the right person to show you the importance of living.

Hilarious, on point, and an author to watch!

Pre-order the paperback here!

Just this second finished #TheGinLoversGuideToDating by @NinaKayeAuthor @OrionBooks – LOVE!!!! @RaRaResources #blogtour

I have literally just finished reading this book, so I am hoping you’ll forgive me for my few minutes delay in posting this review for my tour stop!

(Huge thanks to Rachel and Orion for the tour invite and review copy)

When Liv’s high-flying career goes off the rails, she finds herself working at a glitzy new gin bar to pay the bills. She’s never let romance distract her, but with one very hot colleague, a mysterious online follower who might just be her soulmate, and a lot of cocktails, her dating life is about to be shaken up…

But is Liv looking for a sparkling flirtation, or something a little stronger?

Sometimes you have to face up to your past, seize your future, and mix your own recipe for happy ever after…

What does TWG think?

One hundred….no, one THOUSAND percent YES!!!! Omg this book!!!!

Okay, ignore Liv’s snobbish attitude (we all have one) at times, and try to put her emotional indecisiveness down to previous turmoil, and you should agree with me that Nina Kaye has written an absolute stonker of a book!

This is a modern day dating manual with a twist – the twist being that it isnt actually a manual, more of a story where you get told what NOT to do in a relationship. Its also a story that ends up teaching you a few important things, like how to rebuild your confidence, how to find your worth, how to make new gin recipes to help you forget your past endeavours. You know, the vital thing every woman should know.

Dylan is such a good friend to Liv, it annoyed me how much she took that for granted! I found Reyes’ spin on the English language absolutely brilliant. Who on earth came up with our lingo anyway! Such good fun!

I finished reading this novel with a massive smile on my face and a fizzy tummy (no, I didnt drink all the gin). I had had a feeling as to who GrahamLeeton was, but I kept doubting myself due to how obvious it was! My stomach fizzed in anticipation because I felt the energy, I felt the connection between them. Gosh, it was so real!

I was in my absolute element reading Nina Kaye’s novel. This author speaks my language with her dry sense of humour, and her characterization is second to none – I was so impressed by how put together the entire storyline was. For me, ‘The Gin Lover’s Guide to Dating’ is the ideal antidote for the current climate as it has definitely put the smile back on my face for the time being. I honestly feel like this is a priceless gem waiting to be discovered – I loved it.

Buy now.

#Spotlight #Mine @ClareEmpson2 @OrionBooks @tr4cyf3nt0n #bookblogger

I hope you’re all keeping well just now. Life is very, very different to the one we were all a part of this time last week! Many of us are finding it difficult to concentrate on our usual hobbies, reading including, so I want to thank Tracy Fenton for being incredibly accommodating in the recent climate, so therefore my stop today is a spotlight post with the promise of reviewing soon.

‘Who am I? Why am I here? Why did my mother give me away?’

On the surface, Luke and his girlfriend Hannah seem to have a perfect life. He’s an A&R man, she’s an arts correspondent and they are devoted to their new-born son Samuel.

But beneath the gloss Luke has always felt like an outsider. So when he finds his birth mother Alice, the instant connection with her is a little like falling in love.

When Hannah goes back to work, Luke asks Alice to look after their son. But Alice – fuelled with grief from when her baby was taken from her 27 years ago – starts to fall in love with Samuel. And Luke won’t settle for his mother pushing him aside once again…

Why readers love this emotionally gripping story by the author of HIM:

‘Read it, read it, read it. One of my books of the year, without a doubt.’ Goodreads reviewer

‘Beautiful, haunting, emotional, and totally addictive.’ Goodreads reviewer

‘A realistic, character driven, highly-emotional and addictive read.’ Goodreads reviewer

‘Be warned: this novel will take over your life while you are reading it.’ Goodreads reviewer

Click here to purchase Clare Empson’s previous novel ‘Him’

Click here to purchase ‘Mine’

Loved either of Clare’s books? Leave a review and tell the world!

If you’re holding out for a legal thriller, ‘TheHoldout’ might just be the one! @MrGrahamMoore @OrionBooks @tr4cyf3nt0n #blogtour

Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Oriom for the blog tour invite for ‘The Holdout’ by Graham Moore, and for the ARC. Here is my review:

One juror changed the verdict. What if she was wrong?

‘Ten years ago we made a decision together…’

Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar fortune, vanishes on her way home from school. Her teacher, Bobby Nock, is the prime suspect. It’s an open and shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed.

Until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, persuades the rest of the jurors to vote not guilty: a controversial decision that will change all of their lives forever.

Ten years later, one of the jurors is found dead, and Maya is the prime suspect.

The real killer could be any of the other ten jurors. Is Maya being forced to pay the price for her decision all those years ago?

What does TWG think?

Never mind ‘holding out for a hero’, I’m holding out for ‘The Holdout’! I’ve always wondered what it must be like to be a member of the jury and, weirdly enough, my obsession with ‘Ally Mcbeal’ has never really piqued my curiosity as much as I would have liked it to. Basically, I’m too nosy for my own good. So, when I saw Graham Moore’s novel appear on social media, I knew straight away that I needed to get my mitts on a copy. Did it disappoint? Why no, no it did not!

I’m not going to lie though, the storyline was, at times, a little beyond farfetched, something which I’m not exactly used to. However, I had to keep an open mind so that my own walls weren’t stopping me from enjoying the storyline in its entirety.

The concept of everything not being as it seemed is usually so predictable, yet this book completely threw that assumption out of the park! Every new page gave me something I wasn’t expecting, whether it be a new piece of evidence, an unlikely friendship, a different route for the story to take. I was honestly surprised by what I was reading and the way that the author delivered every new thing in such a punchy, memorable way.

I really was hooked by this suspenseful, punchy and eye opening novel. I have a feeling that this is the start of very good things for Graham Moore and his novels!

Buy now.

#TheLittleVillageLibrary @HJRolfe @OrionBooks @tr4cyf3nt0n #blogtour #womensfiction

Many thanks Tracy Fenton and Orion for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Here is my review:

It takes a village…

Cloverdale is known for its winding roads, undulating hills and colourful cottages, and now for its Library of Shared Things: a place where locals can borrow anything they might need, from badminton sets to waffle makers. A place where the community can come together.

Jennifer has devoted all her energy into launching the Library. When her sister Isla moves home, and single dad Adam agrees to run a mending workshop at the Library, new friendships start to blossom. But what is Isla hiding, and can Adam ever mind his broken past?

Then Adam’s daughter makes a startling discovery, and the people at the Library of Shared Things must pull together to help one family overcome its biggest challenge of all . . .

What does TWG think?

What I love most about Helen Rolfe is the fact that she can take any subject and turn it into a story that people sit up and listen to. I expected this book to be a light hearted read….until I remembered that, whilst Helen Rolfe does write light novels, she always incorporates deep and highly emotive topics into her storylines. Sometimes this makes the overall vibe of the book less pillow soft and more bean bag soft, however I appreciate stories like that as life isnt all candy floss and rainbows. Life is difficult and I respect the author for keeping her storyline authentic.

Community spirit plays a huge part in ‘The Little Village Library’, something which is always a joy to see in books. Adam’s situation was one that I became invested in pretty quickly, and I felt like his character kept a lot of his personality back. Maybe he was too afraid to show his true self after what he had gone through, I’m not sure. On the other hand, Isla took a little bit of time to get used to. She wasnt my most favourite character and her holier than thou attitude really grated on me after a while!

All in all, ‘The Little Village Library’ is a warm, relatable story which isnt too afraid to highlight some rather emotive topics.

Buy now.

#AllTheFlowersInParis #WW2 #Paris @SarahJio @OrionBooks @Tr4cyf3nt0n #blogtour #review #historicalfiction

Many thanks to Orion and Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite and ARC of ‘All The Flowers In Paris’ by Sarah Jio. I am delighted to host day two of the blog tour with a review:

One mother’s desperate hope for survival.

1943: In occupied Paris, Celine creates bespoke bouquets at her father’s flower shop on rue Cler, whilst trying to shield her young daughter from the brutal reality of war. But when an SS officer takes an interest in Celine and her family, all their lives are put in jeopardy…

One woman’s search for the truth…

2009: Caroline wakes in Paris with no memory of her previous life. Hunting for clues to her identity in her apartment on the rue Cler, she discovers a bundle of letters written by a young widow during the Second World War. As she peels back the layers of the past, Caroline finds new purpose – but Celine’s story is unfinished. Desperate to find out the truth, Caroline digs deeper, uncovering dark and dangerous secrets…

Can learning the truth about Celine help Caroline unlock the mystery of her past?

What does TWG think?

What with being set in WW2 AND having a beautiful cover, it was as though Sarah Jio’s novel was calling out to me through the ether.

If you aren’t already aware, historical fiction is one of my most favourite genres to read, and ‘All the Flowers in Paris’ was already ticking my boxes before I had even opened the cover!

Like many historical fiction novels, this particular novel had a dual timeline so, not only was it set in 2009, it was also set in 1943 Paris, during the Second World War. I really did appreciate being able to step back in time to do a little bit of detective work for Caroline, whilst also eagerly awaiting the truth behind the many secrets that had come to light.

I loved the historical element to the storyline, and I felt that that was the star of the entire novel. I did feel as though the fractured past, family secrets and longing for the truth, was a bit predictable in the sense that it’s been covered a lot in historical fiction, and i was a little bit concerned that it would make the overall vibe of the book a bit too ‘samey’.

Nonetheless, I still really enjoyed reading ‘All the Flowers in Paris’, especially the way in which Sarah Jio was able to get under my skin with the war references. A pleasure to read. It was an honour to have been indirectly part of Caroline and Celine’s journey.

Buy now.

Ben came in like a wreckage ball, he never meant to start a war… #TheWreckage @Rmorganbentley @TrapezeBooks @tr4cyf3nt0n #blogger #review

Many thanks to Orion and Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Wreckage’, and for the ARC. I had been so eager to read this novel! Here is my review:

One fatal crash

Ben is driving on the motorway, on his usual commute to the school where he works. A day like any other, except for the crash.

Two colliding worlds

Adam has left his home for the last time. In his final despairing act, he jumps in front of Ben’s car, turning the teacher’s world upside down.

Three wrecked lives

Wracked with guilt, Ben seeks out Alice, Adam’s widow, and her 7-year-old son Max. But as he tries to escape the trauma of the wreckage, could Ben go too far in trying to ease his conscience?

What does TWG think?

God, I don’t envy Ben! How on Earth does someone live with themselves after that, an accident or not?! Ben was advised to try to get on with his life and let the family process the disastrous turn of events in their own way, but did he listen? Did he heck! I can see why he wanted to check on the family. I totally get that. What I dont quite understand is whether he was seeing them for their gain, or for his? A guilty conscience is a powerful thing. Hell, a conscience itself is a powerful thing! The family owned Ben nothing. Absolutely nothing. Did he owe them anything? In my opinion, yes. He owed them to stay away.

Alice’s reaction to the entire thing totally confused me, like she even admitted herself. She couldn’t quite understand why she wasnt being the grieving widow that people expected her to be. People deal with things in totally different ways. Plus, nobody else knew Adam like she did. I mean, the psychological elements to this book really did make me think, especially as, like most things, we wont ever find out the answer as to why Adam made the decision he made that morning.

I was so impressed at this debut novel. It read like the author had been writing for many years and that this was a book in a long list of publications. So yeah, I’m a bit shocked at it being a debut because of the strength behind the characterisation and compelling storyline. Also, the fact that this book had a character which got my back up was another thumbs up!

It’s safe to say that Robin Morgan-Bentley’s novel wasnt a wreckage in the slightest! If this is what the author can achieve with his debut, I cannot WAIT to see what he writes next!

Intriguing, compelling, enlightening, and very clever – will you want to be in #TheWreckage?

Buy now.