#Review – The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty (@NikkiM3) @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks

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Four friends. Five Letters. One Secret.

The scandalous breakthrough novel from Nicola Moriarty that will leave you asking, how well do I really know my friends?

Joni, Trina, Deb and Eden.

Best friends since the first day of school. Best friends, they liked to say, forever.

But now they are in their thirties and real life – husbands, children, work – has got in the way. So, resurrecting their annual trip away, Joni has an idea, something to help them reconnect.

Each woman will write an anonymous letter, sharing with their friends the things that are really going on in their lives.

But as the confessions come tumbling out, Joni starts to feel the certainty of their decades-long friendships slip from her fingers.

Anger. Accusations. Desires. Deceit.

And then she finds another letter. One that was never supposed to be read. A fifth letter. Containing a secret so big that its writer had tried to destroy it. And now Joni is starting to wonder, did she ever really know her friends at all?

What does TWG think?

You know when a book cover catches your eye online, and you can tell straight away that it’s going to be a good read, that your excitement overflows when it doesn’t disappoint? Ever get that?

Couldn’t wait to get started on Nicola Moriarty’s new book, I’m not gonna lie! Letters, secrets, what’s not to be intrigued about! Four friends who have been best friends since they were knee-high to a grasshopper, you would assume that they know each other inside and out, yes? In an ideal world, yes, but seeing as reality got in the way, friendships and relationships grew apart. How can four women re-kindle their close friendships, reconnecting with the personalities they once knew?

Getting four women to write anonymous letters was such a bold move! It was also a move which wasn’t going to be free from trouble either. Look, here’s the thing, I’m female and I really do like to talk (if I’m in the mood). However, I don’t really like baring my soul when people know that I am, I want something to hide behind to save…judgement. That said, being free from judgement and having that anonymity means women WILL bare their souls, and go to town on it. Why? Because they can!

All four ladies are extremely different in terms of personalities and beliefs. There is Joni, the one that seems to enjoy being the ‘fixer’ of the group, but it also means she is often stuck in the past. Then we have Trina, she reminded me of Claudia from The Babysitters Club books as she was the quirky one, yet oozed warmth. That make sense? Think I’m showing my age with the BSC books though! Next up we had Eden, the lady with a life which everyone admires. Lastly there’s Deb, the firecracker of the group. Ever seen Miss Congeniality 2? Deb reminded me of the character Sam Fuller, played by Regina King, as she is bulshy and very blunt, yet her heart seems to be in the right place.
Oh and btw, this is my take on the character! You may think differently!

At first I liked Joni as she just wanted to do right by them all, except she didn’t seem to enjoy using her brain and ended up not thinking of the consequences before she did anything. The letters for example. Could you write anonymous, honest letters with three of your friends? I couldn’t! I’d be absolutely bricking it! Due to that, I absolutely LOVED the letter part of the storyline, as us readers were kept in the dark right until the last minute. Trying to work out who wrote what, proved incredibly difficult. After all, as readers we only know a little bit about each of the characters, so unless our detective skills are rather brilliant, working out the authors of the letters is a tricky one. I did get rather impatient though as I wanted to know who wrote them haha.

I really did enjoy ‘The Fifth Letter’ as it ticked a lot of my boxes, proving itself to be my kinda book. Yes, I ended up disliking a character or two I am afraid to admit. No, I’m not going to tell you who as you will need to decide for yourself who you like and dislike! I kept changing my mind, especially when I disliked them all at one point, nearly putting them on the naughty step! I loved each and every element of surprise that Nicola added to the storyline. For me, Nicola Moriarty modernised the whole Sex and the City vibe by creating characters who were much more relatable, and far easier to understand. I thought that the novel, bar a few moments where the storyline slowed down too much, was a fab read.

The Fifth Letter is the modern-day take on Sex and the City meets Neighbours; a fun, sassy, emotional storyline which highlights exactly how damaging secrets can be. A must read that’s for sure!

Thank you Penguin/MJ/Netgalley!

Buy The Fifth Letter from Amazon UK
Buy The Fifth Letter from Amazon US
Buy The Fifth Letter from Amazon AU

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Book review – Mothers and Daughters by Minna Howard.

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Blurb.

‘Alice finds herself suddenly widowed in her early forties, leaving her with an empty house and a lonely heart.

Laura and Evie, her twenty-something daughters announce their separate and unexpected news, which ploughs Alice straight out of grieving and into the prospect planning a wedding and becoming a reluctant – yet glamorous – granny, to not one, but three grandchildren.

Frank, an old family friend returns to give his godchild Laura away at her wedding.

A whole host of secrets unfold that rock the family’s foundations and set Alice free to finally begin a new, exciting chapter of her life with no regrets.’

What does TWG think?

‘Until death do us part’ is part of the vow that’s said when you get married isn’t it? You find ‘the one’, get married and imagine your wedded bliss to last for many, many years (I can only assume as I have never been married). But what if you found yourself to be a widow at the age of forty? Don’t they say that life begins at forty? How can life begin at forty when one life has just ended? Alongside the grief and loneliness, add a dose of shocking news from daughter 2 AND unexpected news from daughter 1 and you get one stressed out Alice. Will Alice’s relationships with her daughters survive the newly added pressure? Mother and daughter bonds are strong, but are they THIS strong?

Minna Howard’s book has been sitting on my Kindle since May and I have only just gotten around to reading it, shocking isn’t it? Being a mother with a daughter myself, this book intrigued me immensely.

It didn’t take me that long to warm up to Alice as she has a heart of gold and wants to protect those that are close to her, regardless of the pickles they land themselves in. When it came to her children; Laura and Evie, I found myself leaning more towards Evie. Maybe it was because I could relate to part of her situation, or maybe it was because she seemed to be around more in the story.

I loved the way Minna has based her storyline around modern-day situations, some of which a lot of readers will probably be able to relate to. She has made those particular situations their own personality, and, instead of the usual negativity that seems to appear when those topics arise, Minna has written them with a ‘it’s happened…AND?’ attitude. For me, that was a breath of fresh air. She hasn’t written the circumstances through rose-tinted glasses, she has written them realistically from another point of view.

I may sound old before my time here, but the way that Laura spoke to her mother annoyed me haha. She spoke with such a condescending attitude but it was Alice’s response that surprised me the most. I thought Alice to be a feisty woman, but when it came to the interaction with her daughters, she let herself become a doormat. That made me quite sad. Gosh, I get involved in books don’t I haha.

If I’m honest, I didn’t have any idea what to expect when I read this book, I just went with the flow. Whilst ‘Mothers and Daughters’ is predominantly based around Alice and her two daughters, the book changes direction three-quarters in. Even though I wasn’t expecting anything in particular to happen as it were, I had my mouth open in shock. It’s crazy how you create a bubble for the ones that you love and see no wrong in them, but not everything is at it seems, is it?

Mothers and Daughters is a book about love, trust and new beginnings. Minna Howard has written such a diverse a homely story which oozes with personality and emotion. This book is an ideal read for any day, and every day. A book that will make you want to curl up on the sofa with your favourite chocolate whilst discovering the true depth of a mother/daughter bond. thought-provoking and deep. Roll on the next book!

Mothers and Daughters by Minna Howard, published by Aria, is available to buy now from Amazon UK.

Book review of ‘The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower’ by Rebecca Raisin.

The Little Antique Shop Under The Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin.
Published: 30th June 2016 by Carina UK.
Available to pre-order on Amazon UK.


‘Anouk LaRue used to be a romantic, but since she had her heart well and truly broken her love life has dissolved into nothing more than daydreams of the perfect man. Retreating to her extraordinary Little Antique Shop has always been a way to escape, because who could feel alone in a shop bursting with memories and beautiful objects…
Until Tristan Black bursts into an auction and throws her ordered world into a spin.
Following your heart is a little like getting lost in Paris – sometimes confusing and always exciting! Except learning to trust her instincts is not something Anouk is ready to do when it comes to romance, but the city of love has other ideas…’


I am absolutely thrilled to be on the blog tour for such a talented author. Thank you to Carina for inviting me on the tour personally, and a thank you to Rebecca for allowing me to read her book! Excited!!

There is nothing like getting swept up in the history of antiques; finding out where they came from and whether they hold any sentimental value. After all, everything has a story to tell….right? Anouk enjoys telling the story of the items, but she doesn’t enjoy telling her own story half as much. Who would want to after their heart was broken? As they say, ‘all is not fair in love and war’. Apparently bidding for antiques if like a war, but compared to what Anouk is about to be faced with, that bidding war seems like the better option..but is it? Will Anouk be able to tell her own story? Or will she find any reason not to, even if that was at the expense of herself?

It’s often said that walking into an antique shop is like walking into a life-sized treasure chest; so much beauty in one place, yet you have to search to find it. The same can be said for ‘The Little Antique Shop Under The Eiffel Tower’, except, you don’t have to search for the beauty as it is right there in front of you. I have never been to France, let alone Paris, but thanks to the first few pages of Rebecca’s book, I felt like I was right there soaking up the atmosphere. Anouk (the character whose life you follow) had me very intrigued from the beginning because I could tell that there was so much more to her personality and life and I was looking forward to seeing how that would unfold. Anouk’s life hasn’t been straight forward at all, she has had quite a few knocks and it seems to still affect her as she is quite a fragile soul. Not only did Anouk catch my eye, all of the other characters within the book had something special about them. I felt that by the end of the book, I had gotten to know each character’s personality and some of their history, and I loved it.

To be extremely honest, between you and me, I didn’t just love the characters personalities. I loved the whole book. Every single page had a sense of drama about it with added suspense. It’s like you’re waiting for something to happen but you’re not sure what exactly, but then you’re kept guessing as the story takes another turn. I would say I was on the edge of my seat when I was reading it, but I was laying in my bed, but if I was on a chair, it would have me on the edge! Multiple times I laughed, multiple times I gasped. The book is a work of art. I am trying to be quite vague writing this review and it’s proving to be quite difficult to do so! I just want to tell you everything, but I can’t, and I won’t, so you have to go buy it and read it when it’s out!
As I said above, the book is filled with drama, not only that, it’s the sort of drama that has you asking questions as if you’re trying to solve a riddle. I tried to solve a riddle once, but I failed. I’m really glad that I did fail at it though, because it made the riddle even better! Sorry, I’m being a bit dubious right now aren’t I? The riddle that I tried to solve was this book!

I cannot fault ‘The Little Antique Shop Under The Eiffel Tower’ one bit. It is one thing for a story to have incredible characters, but it’s another thing to make the reader feel like they’re walking in the country it’s set in. Rebecca has written about how relaxing the lifestyle is in France, I felt relaxed reading it.

Rebecca writes with emotion. She writes to be believed. She writes with humour, compassion and the ability to connect the reader with the story on multiple levels. Such an amazing book from start to finish. Finishing ‘The Little Antique Shop Under The Eiffel Tower’ felt like I had lost something, like a friend. The whole novel had me spellbound and captivated by the essence of its beauty.
‘The Little Antique Shop Under The Eiffel Tower’ is a valuable that needs to be treasured for many years to come.

After the lie by Kerry Fisher.

After the lie by Kerry Fisher.
Published: 29th April 2016 by Bookouture.
ISBN: 1910751812
Available to buy on Amazon UK and Amazon US.
Big thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC.

#TalkoftheTown Talk of the town

‘Your past will devastate your family. But your lies could destroy them. What would YOU do?
Sometimes a lie can split your life in two. There is “before”, and there is “after”. Try as you might – you can never go back.
When Lydia was a teenager, she made a decision that ruined her family’s life. They’ve spent the last thirty years living with the consequences and doing their best to pretend it never happened.

Lydia’s husband, the gorgeous and reliable Mark, and her two teenage children know nothing about that summer back in 1982. And that’s the way Lydia wants it to stay. The opportunity to come clean is long gone and now it’s not the lie that matters, it’s the betrayal of hiding the truth for so long.
When someone from the past turns up as a parent at the school gates, Lydia feels the life she has worked so hard to build slipping through her fingers. The more desperate she becomes to safeguard her family, the more erratic her behaviour becomes. But when the happiness of her own teenage son, Jamie, hangs in the balance, Lydia is forced to make some impossible decisions. Can she protect him and still keep her own secret – and if she doesn’t, will her marriage and family survive?’

Have you ever told a lie? No, I don’t mean a ‘no I didn’t eat the last biscuit’ type of lie or a ‘no I didn’t just trip my little sister up’ lie. I mean a lie that could have the power to change everything. Have you? Interesting. Before I read this book, I asked myself exactly the same question as I have just asked you, to get into the zone of the book purely based on the title.  After the lie is a story about betrayal. A story about family and the strength that is within. Lydia has made mistakes in her life, after all, she is only human. However, does she have to ‘pay’ for the mistakes she made as a teenager, for the rest of her life? Will the betrayal be brushed off as ‘teenage years’?
Lydia has tried to get on with her life with her husband and two children but when opportunities arise for several members of the family, it could threaten the black cloud that has loomed over Lydia’s head for many years. Is there about to be a storm? Or will they be dancing in the rain?
As soon as you begin reading the book, you’re swept into Lydia’s life and her emotions, her world becomes yours for the duration of the story. If you’re anything like me you will start wondering for the word go. Well, if you’re a total book nut then you’ll be pretty nosy and curious when it comes to any book. Correct? Thought so. Every page had me thinking to myself ‘what happened?!’. Then, once that question got answered within the story, my thoughts switched to ‘are you for real?!’ in response to many of the characters! Obviously I’m not going to say which ones, but I did sit with my hand over my mouth in shock. To be fair though, I sat like that throughout the book! The only character I will mention is Mabel. Ahhhh, Mabel, such a minx and as you will find out, could not give a flying furball about anything.
Kerry Fisher has written a book full of emotion which captures the true essence of the topics involved, without glossing over the true message.  She has written an incredibly powerful book with an extremely powerful message, and when you finish reading the book, the power will still be in your mind. The message will still be there, reminding you of the family and what they have had to deal with. Some readers might say that it is a relatable book. Only you will know that for yourselves once you have read it. I cannot recommend this book enough. It was a book that grabbed my attention from beginning to end. High praise for Kerry Fisher and her wonderful writing!!

The Summer Escape – Book Review

The Summer Escape by Lily Graham.
Published: 26th May 2016 by Bookouture.
Available on Amazon in Kindle format.

Amongst the beautiful olive groves and sea-front tavernas, summer has arrived on the sun-drenched island of Crete.
After losing the love of her life, Ria’s life has been on hold. So when her boss becomes completely unbearable she makes the snap decision to run away to the Greek island of Crete, armed only with her passport.
When Ria finds herself working for eccentric novelist Caroline, she meets handsome vineyard owner Tom. He’s charming, mysterious and Ria starts to wonder if it’s not just the beautiful Greek island that she’s falling for.
But as Ria gets to know Tom better, she uncovers a tangled web of secrets. What is he hiding? Ria has some secrets of her own. Can she open up to Tom and learn to live again?
This summer, escape to the sun with this charming and emotional story about starting over and grabbing happiness with both hands.

This is becoming a habit of mine. ‘What is?’ I hear you ask, leaning forward on the edge of your seats waiting patiently for my words…….
Sorry, I went on holiday, to Crete for approximately six hours. Well, it only took me six hours to read! Back to my habit. This was yet another book I judged by its cover. Sorry!! I hadn’t read the blurb before I began to read it, I just spotted the cover and the author on Twitter and went to read it for a review. Simple as that. Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the advance copy of the book!
At first glance, the cover made me think it was going to be a light-hearted, romantic, simplistic book which gives you an idea to find a holiday romance on your travels. Is that what you’re thinking it’s about?
Welcome to Ria’s life, or lack of, seeing as she is stuck in a job with a boss and a colleague that finds fault in everything she writes. Ria finds herself in a difficult situation after terrible things happened in her life, making her future become full of uncertainty. No five-year plan anymore so to speak. Should she stay, or should she go?
Ria makes a decision that changes her life once and for all. A decision that puts her on the path that a loved one had wanted for her all along. But how influential was that loved one? Will Ria be able to honour her loved ones dreams, but more importantly, will Ria be able to find herself again and honour her own dreams?
Along the way you meet vibrant and exciting characters, some who you probably won’t pay too much attention to at first, and some that you wish you had paid more attention to. On her travels, Ria finds herself in hot water, more than once, thinking that she was about to lose her new-found life. Can she hold onto it? Will Ria finally get the happy ending she has dreamt about? Or will Ria find herself going back to living with her parents, working with a teacher’s pet?
After reading the book, I found my first glance to be somewhat incorrect. I mean, it is a romantic story, very romantic. However, oh my goodness me! It isn’t simplistic at all and I love that! The amount of skeletons that you see come from the closet is unbelievable. The amount of secrets that ONE family, sorry, no, one person can have is absurd! Absurd in a ‘this makes fantastic reading’ kind of way. I felt sorry for Ria throughout most of it because she has had an incredibly tough time, and you find yourself willing her to succeed and be happy. Even when she lands herself in hot water you will probably find yourself willing for her still, wanting her to finish what she started! I wouldn’t suggest reading this book when you’re hungry though. You go to several bakeries in the story, more than once, and unless you don’t like Greek pastries then you’re going to be a tad stuck. I have never tried Greek pastries myself, but oh I want to now.
Several times during the book I laughed out loud, the humour and jokes between Ria and Caroline (her new boss) are on point. Modern humour. This book should have come with a warning though: ‘WARNING: do not, under any circumstances, forget the tissues’. Why? Because you will cry! I hope you do actually, because if you don’t then I’m even more soppy than I thought and I cannot have that. So when you read it, cry. Deal?
‘The Summer Escape’ is a book about love, dreams, second chances, but more importantly; truth. It is such an unpredictable read which will have you captivated by the end of the first chapter. Lily Graham has written a book that will stay in the back of your mind, in a good way, and make you question your own paths in life. Are you living your life for somebody else, or are you living your life for YOU?

I have had the absolute pleasure the past few days to get to know Lily, and not only is she a wonderful writer, she is also a wonderful person. You’re all in for a good time with this book. Lily, I cannot wait for your next book, please keep me updated! If it’s anything like this one, it will be incredible!