#BlogTour! #Review – #BloodSong by Johana Gustawsson (@jogustawsson) @OrendaBooks @AnneCater

Happy paperback publication day to Johana Gustawsson and ‘Blood Song’, I am so pleased to be today’s stop on the blog tour! Many thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda for both the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

The action swings from London to Sweden, and then back into the past, to Franco’s Spain, as Roy & Castells hunt a monstrous killer … in the lastest instalment of Johana Gustawsson’s award-winning series

Spain, 1938:

The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Therese witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Therese gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016: A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her hometown rocked by the massacre.

Profiler Emily Roy joins forces with Aliénor and soon finds herself on the trail of a monstrous and prolific killer. Little does she realise that this killer is about to change the life of her colleague, true-crime writer Alexis Castells. Joining forces once again, Roy and Castells’ investigation takes them from the Swedish fertility clinics of the present day back to the terror of Franco’s rule, and the horrifying events that took place in Spanish orphanages under its rule.

What does TWG think?

As ignorant as this may sound, I wasn’t aware of the atrocities that Spain dealt with in the late 1930’s….I am now though! I have absolutely no words! My heart broke for all of the people involved, for all of the people who lost their lives, and for those who lost their life and were forced to continue as a shell. ‘Blood Song’ isn’t a comfortable read at all, in fact I would go as far to say that it is a deeply uncomfortable and unsettling read, however my reaction was nothing compared to the pain of those living in Spain during Franco’s dictatorship.

‘Blood Song’ is a dual timeline novel as it switches between Spain in the past, and Sweden in the ‘present’ where Emily Roy and Alexis Castells find themselves with the task of finding the cold hearted culprit who murdered three people in their own home. Why were they killed? What secrets, if any, were they hiding?

The murder investigation angle of ‘Blood Song’ was so addictive! I loved being able to follow Emily Roy as she attempted to create a profile of the killer, or killers, based on the evidence left and they way they chose to murder. A profiler is such an underrated part of a police investgation, however I thought it was one of the most fascinating.

Emily Roy is an intriguing character, her personal guard is so far up, anyone would need a ladder should they attempt to get past it!

I really did enjoy the complexity of the storyline – I found the uncertainty incredibly intriguing whilst it also kept me on my toes. I did find the storyline to be a little confusing at times due to the way certain situations flitted from one another, making me concerned that I had missed something along the way. A little bit too staggered for me at times!

That said, I thought that Gustawsson dealt with the topics in the storyline phenomenally. The historical nature of the book, whilst being very dark, was written beautifully and I found myself becoming emotional at the fact that stories were being told and voices were being heard, even if the original victim wasn’t telling the story themselves.

A heartbreaking, suspenseful novel which combines historical fiction and crime in the most unique and eye-opening manner, ‘Blood Song’ is a truly unforgettable read.

Buy now.

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#BlogTour! #Review – #InTheAbsenceofMiracles by Michael J Malone (@michaeljmalone1) @OrendaBooks @AnneCater

Next up on TWG today is my review of ‘In The Absence of Miracles’ by Michael.J.Malone. Many thanks to Orenda and Anne for the blog tour invite and ARC.

John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke and she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again.

With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood.

For in a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover.

For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence.

What does TWG think?

Gosh, I don’t really know where to begin. ‘In The Absence of Miracles’ is such a unique story, one that is incredibly topical in todays society.

I would feel incredibly uncomfortable if I sat here and said that I loved this book because of the subject matter discussed, however, even though there were moments of discomfort on my part, I really enjoyed the way in which Michael J Malone delivered the story.

My opinions on the characters changed multiple times throughout the story as one moment I felt empathy towards John’s mother and anger towards John, and then the next moment those opinions reversed.

I was completely blindsided by the eventualities that were uncovered by John’s journey, many of which were difficult to read, yet the reality of said situations are difficult, distressing and often harrowing. Michael J Malone seemed to really get into the psyche of his characters which really made the emotional scenes come to life.

‘In The Absence of Miracles’ may be a dark, harrowing and destructive read, yet it is also a compelling, emotive, poignant and relatable story which describes the journey of locked away emotions, hidden agendas, as well as the miracle of learning how to protect yourself, even if you never realised you had to.

An incredible read that will stay with me for a long time to come.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #LivingMyBestLife by Claire Frost (@fabfrosty) @TeamBATC @AnneCater

It gives me great pleasure to welcome to TWG debut author, Claire Frost and her debut novel, ‘Living My Best Li(f)e. Many thanks to Team BATC for the ARC, and thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Here is my review:

Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Bell is struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Haunted by #blessed on social media, she can’t help but compare her life to those she follows online, wondering where she is going wrong . . .

In the world of social media, Millie is the successful online influencer @mi_bestlife. But in real life she’s just a regular single mum trying to make ends meet, while fending off the younger competition and tenacious internet trolls. Her Instagram feed is far more #BestLie than #BestLife, and soon Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters.

It isn’t until Bell and Millie’s paths cross that they begin to realise what they’re both missing. Can Millie prove to Bell that life online isn’t always what it appears to be? And in return, can Millie learn that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes?

What does TWG think?

Could this book BE any more apt?! How many of us have scrolled through social media, comparing the immaculate selfies with your bed head ones? Or what about the sheer happiness that oozes out of multiple faces on their Instagram grid, whilst you’re posting pictures of yourself looking bedazzled because your cat just threw up all over your child’s highchair, and your child chose that exact moment to reach for some food?

We have all been there. We are only humans after all so, ‘Living My Best Life’ is the story that is full of one liners that nobody ever dare say out loud. It’s the story which puts the human race under the spotlight, confirming that our insecurities are the norm and that faking our lives on Instagram isn’t frowned upon….to a point.

The hilarity throughout the story was impeccably timed. I loved the genuine humour and relatable factor of all of the characters, however Nick is an absolute end of a bell!!!! Seriously!!

It was refreshing to finally read a book that didn’t put single mums in a negative light, as though it’s something to be ashamed of. For that alone, thank you Claire Frost!

Usually when books are pre dubbed as ‘uplifting’, I find them to be anything but. However, i thought that ‘Living My Best Life’ really was the heartfelt and uplifting read that its being promoted as.

I am genuinely surprised that this is a debut novel, as the strength of the entire storyline has the calibre of an author who has been writing books for a long time. Bell and Millie’s friendship was an absolute joy to follow, and their journeys to self discovery was the antidote I never knew I needed.

A relatable, gigglefest, and heartwarming novel that is full of hope. I certainly was ‘Living My Best Life’ whilst reading this, that’s for sure! Loved it!!

Buy now.

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

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheGirlAtTheWindow by Rowan Coleman (@rowancoleman) @EburyPublishing @AnneCater

How are we in August already? This year is going crazy fast! To kick off a brand new month, I am absolutely delighted to be hosting Rowan Coleman and her stunning new novel, ‘The Girl At The Window’. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

Ponden Hall is a centuries-old house on the Yorkshire moors, a magical place full of stories. It’s also where Trudy Heaton grew up. And where she ran away from…

Now, after the devastating loss of her husband, she is returning home with her young son, Will, who refuses to believe his father is dead.

While Trudy tries to do her best for her son, she must also attempt to build bridges with her eccentric mother. And then there is the Hall itself: fallen into disrepair but generations of lives and loves still echo in its shadows, sometimes even reaching out to the present…

What does TWG think?

Novels with ghostly additions aren’t really my forte, yet Rowan Coleman delivers that particular element in a way which made me feel as though they should have been there all along.

Family secrets and uncertain pasts are rife in this storyline from start to finish. Alongside the addition of fantasy and additive imagination, ‘The Girl at the Window’ quickly became one of the most compelling novels I have read so far this year.

Even though the historical parts of the story were quite haunting and deeply emotive, I was very moved by Trudy and Will’s story and the way in which their characters strengthened as the book progressed.

Rowan Coleman is a very unique story teller, and I loved how she made ‘The Girl at the Window’ come alive in a way only she knows how. This book was such a breathtaking and magnetic read. An absolute page turner.

Buy now.

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

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

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

#BlogTour! #Review – #AHomeFromHome by Veronica Henry (@veronica_henry @Orionbooks @AnneCater

Next up on TWG is a delightful book from one of my all time favourite authors, Veronica Henry. Many thanks to Orion and Anne Cater for the blog tour invite and ARC. I hope you enjoy my review of ‘A Home From Home’!

Sunshine, cider and family secrets…

Dragonfly Farm has been a home and a haven for generations of Melchiors – arch rivals to the Culbones, the wealthy family who live on the other side of the river. Life there is dictated by the seasons and cider-making, and everyone falls under its spell.

For cousins Tabitha and Georgia, it has always been a home from home. When a tragedy befalls their beloved Great-Uncle Matthew, it seems the place where they’ve always belonged might now belong to them…

But the will reveals that a third of the farm has also been left to a Culbone. Gabriel has no idea why he’s been included, or what his connection to the farm – or the Melchiors – can be.

As the first apples start to fall for the cider harvest, will Dragonfly Farm begin to give up its secrets?

What does TWG think?

There is a reason why Veronica Henry is one of my all time favourite authors, and ‘A Home From Home’ is that very reason! Honestly, this is a home away from home read that delivered hope and beauty behind every word.

For as long as she can remember, Dragonfly Farm had been Tabitha’s home; a place where she felt safe. However one day, her life became a mismatched mess when a loved one passed away suddenly. Not only did Tabitha have grief to contend with, she also had the fear of whether she would end up losing her home.

Theres a lot of history behind Dragonfly Farm, and whilst some of it may be hearsay and what not, a lot of it has been kept a secret from those who were involved the most. Now we all know what secrets do to people, including families! I would have been surprised if the storyline didn’t contain fireworks!

Alongside Tabitha is her cousin, Georgia – literally chalk and cheese. One is fiery and very hot headed, yet the other is more logical. It was interesting to watch their two lives combine as they came together bound by their family ties and grief.

There are a lot of characters to keep an eye on in this storyline, especially as the book is dual timeline and visits the past with more characters. I did struggle to keep up with who was related to who, who dabbled with who, who was still alive and what not, but I think I got the gist of it! By the way, can I just say what AWESOME character names are in this book!!!!

I thought ‘A Home From Home’ was such a magical novel. I really didn’t want it to end and felt as though I had lost my right arm when it did! Veronica Henry, in my opinion, is the queen of comfort reads, and she certainly went above and beyond with her storyline this time round. I was spellbound by the family histories of the Melchiors and Culbones, and i fell in love with the cosy Dragonfly Farm that seemed to hold the key to eternal happiness.

Reading ‘A Home From Home’ is the perfect book to escape into and forget reality. I mean, who needs politics when you have characters like Plum and Gabriel? A truly wonderful, humble, and touching novel that lit up my light for the duration of the story. I adored it.

‘A Home From Home’ will be published on the 25th July. Pre-order now from Amazon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy now.

Extract.

Joe

Lewes Police Station

October 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Well, look what you’ve done.

You thought you were special.

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

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

And this is not a story about revenge.

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

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

Have I mentioned the fire?

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

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

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

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

Not even Libby, if she ever wakes up.

#BlogTour! #Review – Stop At Nothing by Tammy Cohen (@MsTamarCohen) @TransworldBooks @AnneCater

tammyc
TWG is delighted to be hosting day three of the ‘Stop At Nothing’ by Tammy Cohen, blog tour. Huge thanks to Anne Cater and TransworldBooks for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Stop At Nothing cover

A mother’s job is to keep her children safe.

Tess has always tried to be a good mother. Of course, there are things she wishes she’d done differently, but doesn’t everyone feel that way?

Then Emma, her youngest, is attacked on her way home from a party, plunging them into a living nightmare which only gets worse when the man responsible is set free. But what if she fails?

So when Tess sees the attacker in the street near their home, she is forced to take matters into her own hands. But blinded by her need to protect her daughter at any cost, might she end up putting her family in even greater danger?

There’s nothing she wouldn’t do to make it right . . .

What does TWG think?

Ooooooooooo, this one is juicy!!!

Tess gets the fright of a lifetime when she finds out that her sixteen year old daughter, Emma, was attacked. She can’t help feeling guilty and laying the blame on herself, and many others are quick to point the finger at Tess for not picking up her daughter, instead letting her find her own way back after a party. But Tess didn’t attack her own daughter, so why is SHE in the firing line for it?

I reallyyyyyy didn’t like Tess at first. I actually found her quite annoying and, as harsh as this may sound; incredibly selfish. As a parent its only natural that we feel guilty whenever our children are hurt, wondering what we could have done to stop it from happening, however Tess seemed to take that to a whole new level. It was Emma who was attacked, not her. I couldn’t quite understand why Tess was making it all about her, when her main focus should have been on her daughter.

I was quite surprised to find that my opinion of Tess did change throughout the course of the book and, even though I didn’t end up absolutely adoring her character, I was able to understand her personality a little bit better. Tess’ heart was in the right place and her actions were laced with love for her daughters, she just went about it all in completely the wrong way. That said, who I am to judge on how someone else deals with particular situations.

I much preferred the second half of Tammy Cohen’s book as I felt that the intensity behind the repercussion of the attack had amplified. There seemed to be a lot more grit to sink my teeth in at that stage, especially as I was trying to work out why a certain character (naming no names due to potential spoilers) popped up here, there and everywhere at such ‘convenient’ times.

I really did enjoy reading ‘Stop At Nothing’, the psychological elements of the storyline made for such twisted and toe curling reading – I loved them. Top marks to Cohen for the way she crafted those parts! My head couldn’t keep up! Bloomin’ brilliant!

The whole Emma, nameless character, and Tess situation certainly opened my eyes to how differently we deal with things, and how much our paranoia intensifies when faced with a potentially dangerous situation. Do I think that Tess went overboard? A little bit. Would I have done the same thing? I honestly cannot say what I would have done in the same situation, all I know is that I wouldn’t have been sat around doing nothing.

‘Stop At Nothing’ is a captivating, addictive novel which had me speeding through the pages faster than Lewis Hamilton in a race! Such a clever and thought-provoking novel, Tammy Cohen has done her characters justice.

‘Stop At Nothing’ by Tammy Cohen, will be published on the 18th July by TransworldBooks Books. You can pre-order your copy here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

Buy now.