Ties Bind, Love Finds by Nia Lucas @BooksNia #20booksofsummer #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for the 3rd book in the Choices Series, Ties Bind, Love Finds by Nia Lucas. I have read all the books in this series and I adore them. Yes, they do need to be read in order.

This is the 7th book pick on my #20booksofsummer reading challenge and this is also one from my own TBR.

Following on from ‘Futures Beckon, Pasts Threaten’, Lorna Goddard navigates motherhood, marriage and a career in the life she never imagined could be hers. As she tries to leave the traumas of her past by building the life she always wanted, Lorna rapidly discovers that stability is never as solid as it looks. What happens when ‘Happy Ever After’ morphs into ‘Ever Happy After’?

When the choices of others yet again turn her life upside down, Lorna discovers that losses no longer break her but the past still beckons at every turn. As it becomes clear that the loves that shaped her conceal a far deeper and more important truth, Lorna is forced to fight for the things she holds most dear.

The scales of love and loss continue to find balance as Lorna Davies rises from the embers of a life less ordinary and forges a fresh path to happiness, taking a route she could never have predicted. Will she finally find what she’s been looking for all along?

My Review…

This is a fantastic series that follows the life of Lorna. Now married with children her life seems to have settled. No longer the troubled teen, moving on from the loss of two very important people in her life.

This is the third book in the series and is one you do need to read from the start. The background for Lorna is important to know who she is and why. The things she us done in the past and the people who are important to her make her who she is.

This series started as a contemporary fiction, coming of age and as Lorna has gotten older has changed, but in some ways she is still working out who she is and who she wants to be. Now in her 30’s things have a habit of not quite going smoothly.

Pressures of work, motherhood for Lorna and her husband Rob are tense, stress creeps in and with that so does distance. She has always been close to the friends she made as a teen. They are her support as much as she is theirs.

As this book progresses the author is once again injected more heartache into Lorna life. This is a strong character and a feisty one at that. Her character takes a lot over the series, and she herself pulls no punches when she makes a stand.

This book does contain strong language and sexual content. The language, is well colourful but it also matches these firebomb of a character. While I am not a fan of a certain used word I can see it is exactly what Lorna would use. The sex can be a little in the graphic side at times but again does fit in with the style of this book.

This is another excellent instalment in the series. Told mainly from Lorna’s perspective you get a no holds barred glimpse into her mindset, character, thoughts, worries and her life.

This is one for readers who like contemporary fiction, it’s gritty and at times adult rated. I have enjoyed every one of the books so far and this lets one is no exception. It is a book I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Doll by Yrsa Sigurdardottir #NeyGalley #20booksofsummer #PublicationDay @HodderBooks #suspense #bookreview

Firstly, Happy Publication Day to Yrsa Sigurdardottir on her latest novel The Doll. This is my 6th book choice that I am delighted to share my review for as part of for #20booksof summer reading challenge.

My thanks to the publisher Hodder & Stoughton for my e-copy request via NetGalley. My review is my own. I still get the creeps when I see this cover!!!

It was meant to be a quiet family fishing trip, a chance for mother and daughter to talk. But it changes the course of their lives forever.

They catch nothing except a broken doll that gets tangled in the net. After years in the ocean, the doll a terrifying sight and the mother’s first instinct is to throw it back, but she relents when her daughter pleads to keep it. This simple act of kindness proves fatal. That evening, the mother posts a picture of the doll on social media. By the morning, she is dead and the doll has disappeared.

Several years later and Detective Huldar is in his least favourite place – on a boat in rough waters, searching for possible human remains. However, identifying the skeleton they find on the seabed proves harder than initially thought, and Huldar must draw on psychologist Freyja’s experience to help him. As the mystery of the unidentified body deepens, Huldar is also drawn into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freyja investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home.

What swiftly becomes clear is that the cases are linked through a single, missing, vulnerable witness: the young girl who wanted the doll all those years ago.

My Review…

I am so glad I had a digital copy of this book rather than a physical copy. I mean, that cover! It so creepy and unsettling.

The doll is discovered during a fishing trip by a young girl out with her mum and a family friend. Later that night the mother dies, the police agree that is was an accident. Rosa is adamant that she wasn’t and that her mum was murdered. She is ignored and her pleas fall on deaf ears.

This is a slower paced police procedural that is set in Iceland. It is a book in the Children’s House series but can easily be read as a stand alone. It did take me a while to get my head around the characters as initially a few were introduced over a short period. I did soon however remember who was who.

The plot of the story is one that is interesting and I was intrigued as to why the doll was so important. It wasn’t until the latter stages that I eventually got the answers. There is several plots going on in this story and it was complex but it did make sense during the reading.

It looks s heavier on the descriptions and details and even though I did like this it did slow the pace down considerably. Fine is you like a more in-depth procedural. It does add a tension and suspense aspect to the story as you have to wait longer for the clues to connect.

I enjoyed this story, a complex and intriguing crime thriller that I would recommend. 

AND JUST IN CASE YOU WANT TO SEE THAT COVER AGAIN…

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The Pact by Sharon Bolton #NetGalley @TrapezeBooks #20booksofsummer #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Pact by Sharon Bolton. This is the 5th book that I have chosen for my list in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

I requested this via NetGalley from Trapeze Books. My review is my own. I read The Craftsman by Sharon 3 years ago and it became my Top Read of 2018. You can read my full review of that book HERE

A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.

18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison.

Twenty years later Megan is free.
Let the games begin . . .

Richard & Judy bestseller Sharon Bolton is back, with her twistiest thriller yet. 

My Review…


What an addictive and darkly twisted book this is. When the synopsis mentions Megan being released from prison and the line “Let the games begin” follows, well that is intriguing enough. After reading the book I now appreciate how important that line is!

Megan is part of a group of students that are top of their class. They are a small but compact group and they spend a lot of time in each others company. After a game of dare goes wrong it is Megan that takes the blame. The full reasons as to why are told later in the story. But as the synopsis says, the rest of the group now owe her a favour.

This was a brilliant story and one that I found myself getting hooked on pretty quickly. Starting the story when the friends were younger. At uni, they excel in their classes and do the usual evening partying.

When Megan is released after serving her sentence the author began to expand on her story. She manages to portray anxiety from the rest of the group as they are left to wonder what Megan will ask of each of them. On the whole, they are successful, they work, have nice houses and they all have a lot to lose.

I adored the way the author very subtle builds up tension, it starts early on and then as the stake get higher she then builds it up more openly. Wondering what will happen and if the group will agree to terms or demands is great. But, there is something else going on, it is dark and it caught me out.

I loved the tense psychological aspect of this story, it kept me on my toes and the story is so addictive. If you have read any of this author’s books before then you know you get amazing reads from her. This one is no exception it is a mix of crime, mystery and thriller with a brilliant psychological edge to it. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman #NetGalley @OneMoreChapter_ #romance #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman. My thanks to One More Chapter Publishers for my e-copy of this book that I received via NetGalley.

This is the 4th book on my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

When Scotland’s sleepiest hamlet becomes the centre of hot gossip, Layla Devlin finds herself caught in a mystery…

When Layla’s fiancée has an unexpected heart attack and dies – in another woman’s arms, no less – Layla is determined to pack up and leave Loch Harris, the village she’s always called home. But an unexpected inheritance and love for her quiet corner of Scotland send her down a new path.

Now Layla finds herself facing a whole new kind of drama. Rumours swirl that a celebrity has moved into Coorie Cottage and Layla is determined to have him headline her opening night at local music venue The Conch Club. But the reclusive star is equally determined to thwart Layla’s efforts. Rafe Buchanan is in hiding for a reason, and soon his past comes to Loch Harris to haunt him… 

My Review…


Layla is left hurt and confused after the sudden death of her fiance. With money left to her she initially doesn’t want anything to do with it. Then she sees the old fishing shop in the Scottish village of Loch Harris. A small community that is getting quieter as tourists are looking for something different. She decides to open a small live music venue and this is not the only thing to occupy her time or her thoughts as she gets ready for opening night.

This was such a gorgeous story to read on a wet and rather yucky summers day. I was as shocked as Layla after I discovered the secret that her fiance Mac was hiding. I also found myself siding with Layla’s dad, Harry, when I heard that she was opening a music venue. I mean a lovely tranquil village with amazing scenery and then add loud music. How the author described Layla’s dream soon had me visualising and imagining what this would actually be like and I found myself getting on board with the idea based on the imagery from the author.

The author has squeezed some wonderful threads into this story a mysterious singer, a stranger, some romance, some lies and deceit and also a whole load of wonderful heart waring and lovely moments. While there are a couple of more serious threads there are also some genuinely lovely ones.

I soon fell in love with the setting and the sound of this amazing village. I love the sound of a certain reclusive garden and could see myself hiding out there with several good books and maybe the odd large glass of wine!

A story that I found really hard to put down a mix of mystery, romance, family drama and wonderful scenery just make this an adorable book to read and one that left me grinning like a loon. If you like good all-around contemporary fiction and romance novels then you are going to love this one. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

My Week In Books, or to be more accurate, My Last Two Weeks in Books (w/e 18th July 2021) #booklove

I have been on annual leave for the past two weeks, and yes it has been excellent. I spent a week with my parents who I had not seen for 21 months due to COVID, they were classed as vulnerable, my husband as highly vulnerable and I work in a residential home with vulnerable people. The risk of travelling over 300 miles and potentially pass on the virus was never worth the risk. Now as we are all have had the double vaccine, the odds have reduced, even though the rates are rising again in England.

Weather, well it has been amazing for us, but my goodness there has been some absolutely awful weather in other places around the world. I do hope that if you are dealing with extreme weather at the moment, that you and your loved ones are safe.

As regular visitors are aware, I do love my garden. Having a week at my parents meant I came back to a jungle, I cannot believe how quick the weeds grew while I was away! No photos until I get the weeding back under control, it is getting there and there are some lovely flowers. The veg has been a bit hit and miss this year, but with the weather being so erratic it isn’t really a wonder.

I suppose I ought to mention the books I have read over the past couple of weeks. I do need to do blog posts for almost all of these books, hopefully I can get caught up over the next few weeks. I seem to have changed a few of my #20booksofsummer picks as well, good job this challenge is flexible! 🙂

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I read and reviewed Crossfire by R.D. Nixon for the Blog Tour, you can read my full review HERE. This was a grittier mystery and one that was full of intrigue. Set with different timelines it was an addictive and intriguing story. It is a procedural to a point and it does involve the police, this is however, a PI type of mystery that has the Investigating team of Clifford &Mackenzie. I do look forward to reading more in this series.

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Primrose Park by Christie Barlow is the latest in the Love Heart Lane series. If you already now of this series then you already know you are going to love this book. If you have not yet read any of the book then… takes deep breath and composes oneself… you really should especially if you love contemporary fiction and romance. A fabulous story with, once again a wonderful sense of community, family and friendship.

I adore the Choices series, Ties Bind, Love Finds by Nia Lucas is the third book in the series. This is a series that is an urban fiction, contemporary fiction read. It does have some colourful language and imagery. The series is about Lorna, from her life as a teen, into her 20’s and now as a mother. Life has been challenging and while things seem to be holding steady, the author has other plans for Lorna. Told from Lorna’s perspective, well mainly from her. this is a no hold barred glimpse into her mindset, thoughts, dreams wishes and her life. A fabulous next book in the series.

I am so glad I have The Doll by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir on my kindle because that cover really creeps me out! This is a slower paced procedural set in Iceland. I wasn’t sure why the doll was so significant until later in the story. By then there is a rising body count, more questions than answers and it made for an addictive read. It one that does in it the noir niche and it is a niche I do enjoy.

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This was a fun and lighter read, no such thing as perfect by Emma Hughes was a good book to just chill out and relax to. Laura gets an invite to trial a dating service called Cupid, as she is a journalist she hopes that she can combine her experience with a feature and hopefully save her job. This service is supposed to find your perfect match, but as the title suggest there is “no such thing as perfect”.

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Oh if there was ever a book for me then this is one of them. The Fair Botanist by Sara Sheridan is definitely right up my street. It is a historical fiction, with some romance, and gardens, and intrigue and mystery and I adored everything about it. Oh and it is also based on fact. It has been getting some excellent reviews so do keep your eye for it.

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Staying with a gardening theme with Janey Trelwnaey’s Year of Surprising Triumphs by Georgia Hill is set in Devon. Janey is a hardworking and socially awkward woman, comfier in dungarees and DM’s than dresses or heels. She works at Cheney House Garden Centre, loves her job and the people until a new manager takes over. Straight away there is an awkwardness between the two. Janey’s problems are only just beginning as she fids herself in the firing line. I adored this book because as much as there is heartache for Janey the author does bring a good balance. Definitely one for those who like a contemporary fiction and rom-com.

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I read The Face at the Window by Ruby Speechley for the upcoming blog tour and it was the cover that caught my eye. Gemma is married to Nick, they have Thomas a 5 day old son. When a colleague offers to mind Thomas while Gemma is in the supermarket she doesn’t think anything will happen. Then it does! Told in different timelines you gradually start to understand the life of Gemma and Nick, that saying “you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors” is one that applies. This is a dark story that has consequences. One for those whi like fiction set in a family and relationship setting.

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I got the chance to read an early copy of HOB by Amy Shepherd. There are some fabulous, quick, simple and tasty recipes that can all be cooked on the cooker, I mean, no one wants to be cooking up a massive meal in this heat. From breakfasts, snacks, drinks, menu planning, budgeting, desserts and more main meals this book has loads of ideas. I really enjoyed it and I do think I will buy a physical copy of this at some point.

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I didn’t read the title of the next boo I was planning to read, I only glanced at my diary and saw the word “I Lie”, typed that into my kindle and Would I Lie to You by Aliya Ali-Afzal popped up. It wasn’t until I went to mark it off as being read that I realised it wasn’t a blog tour copy but an advance copy from NetGalley. The books do have similar titles 🙂

Anyway, what a brilliant book it was and I am so glad that I requested to review this debut book. Faizal is a Pakistani Muslim in an interracial marriage, three children and has just discovered her husband is facing redundancy. Nick thinks there is a good amount in the savings account, but keeping up with the elite mothers and all the activities, parties, fundraisers and such takes funds. Yes, the account is now empty and Faizal has to find a way to get the money before Nick finds out! Brilliant, story, addictive, and covered many different problems in relationships, friendships and trying to fit in. Definitely glad I read this earlier that I planned to.

There we go then. Ten books over two weeks, I think that’s pretty god going.

I would like to say big “Thank You” for the post sharing over the last couple of weeks while I have been taking a break.

Wishing you all a positive, happy and safe week ahead.

All the best

Yvonne xx

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The Price by Kerry Kaya @KerryKayaWriter @rararesources #ThePrice @BoldwoodBooks #bookandtonic #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Price by Kerry Kaya.

I do have a confession, I signed up for the Blog Tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources as the book sounded good. When I went to read it I thought this sounds familiar! Kerry has signed a contract with Boldwood Books and her backlist is being re-issued.

It turns out I have already read this book, and I loved it. So, today I am re-sharing my review 🙂 and I do like the new cover for this fabulous book 🙂

Break the rules…

Harry Fletcher – Fletch to his friends – has spent his life surviving the tough streets of the East End. He knows working for notorious gangster Billy King is dangerous, and sleeping with Billy’s beautiful wife, Susan is deadly…but rules are meant to be broken.

Pay the price.

If Billy discovers the affair, Fletch is a dead man. But the closer he gets to Susan the more reckless Fletch becomes. And soon, Fletch realises that every one – even him – must pay the price for his actions.

But just what is Fletch prepared to lose…and will the cost be too high, even for him?

PURCHASE LINKHERE

My Review…

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I absolutely loved it. The author starts her story in the past in the first chapter, it sets the scene for what is to follow. What followed was an addictive one sitting read for me as I followed the brothers of Fletch and Spence, they work for local gangland boss Billy.

I really liked how the author focused on the relationship of the brothers rather than violence in this story, although the main focus is Fletch. He has a bit more savvy and has more front to him. Although there are mentions of violence, it wasn’t that brutal in the reading.

The brothers are loyal to each other and their Mum, things in the past were tough and it is now that things seem to be working out. Only thing with being part of a gang is that there is always another gang that wants to make a move.

The story took various turns that I found really intriguing, not just a straight forward rival gangs read, but something with much more heart and human interest to it. Getting to know the brothers through the story was a good way to make a reader kind of connect to them, but even though I really liked them there was always that air of danger about them.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story, a brilliant read that wasn’t what I expected and I found it really hard to put down. I think this book would suit various readers, especially those that want a crime read that has a slightly different angle top it. I am looking forward to reading some of the previous books by this author, and as for this book, well I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Kerry Kaya is the hugely popular author of Essex-based gritty gangland thrillers with strong family dynamics. She grew up on one of the largest council estates in the UK, where she sets her novels. She also works full-time in a busy maternity department for the NHS. She has signed a nine-book deal with Boldwood for both new and backlist titles. Her first book The Price will be published in July 2021.

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Crossfire by RD Nixon @TerriNixon @RandomTTours @HobeckBooks #crime #mystery #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Crossfire by R.D. Nixon. This is a wonderful crime thriller read that kept me entertained for a couple of days. This is the first book in The Clifford-Mackenzie series.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my paperback of this fab book from the publisher, Hobeck Books.

To what depths would you sink to protect your own?

Hogmanay 1987

A prank robbery has fatal consequences.

Five Years Later

Highlands town Abergarry is shaken by the seemingly gratuitous murder of a local man. The case is unsolved.

Present Day

Ten-year-old Jamie, while on holiday in Abergarry with his mum Charis, overhears a conversation. To him, it is all part of a game. But this is no game and the consequences are far more serious than Jamie ever imagined.

Old wounds are about to be reopened

Struggling PI team Maddy Clifford and Paul Mackenzie find themselves involved by a chance meeting. How deep into those wounds will they have to delve to unravel the mystery?

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

This was such an interesting book full of much intrigue. Charis and her son Jamie are on holiday in Scotland, Jamie overhears a conversation and his curiosity gets the better of him. An old robbery, followed years later by a murder, now this random conversation overheard by a young boy! What is the connection and why are the Private Investigators Clifford and Mackenzie interested?

I will say that this story took me a while to get going with. There are a few characters to get to know and then there are the differing timelines. It was several chapters before I felt I got to grips with it. By then I was already more than intrigued and I wanted to know more, what the links were, what was hidden, why the crimes were committed and also what all the players were doing.

The author weaves quite a complex story, but as I mentioned, once I started to get an idea who was who then I was able to settle into the story much more and found a gripping mystery, crime and thriller. I found the pace picked up and so did the feeling of suspense.

The characters are a really interesting bunch, some you get a good feeling about, others definitely give off bad vibes and then there are those that you are not so sure about. This range of characters have their roles, there is a surprise or two in store and there is a feeling of something much bigger afoot as the story progresses.

Because the story flits across the timelines it adds a real air of mystery and towards the later stage of the book, there is a really tense atmosphere that you have been gradually been drawn towards. Part of the synopsis mentions what a person would do to protect their family, this is something that is really put to the test for a couple of the characters.

This is a story for those who like a more grittier mystery, it is a procedural in some respects but not police based as such. The Investigating team of Clifford and Mackenzie I really liked, and I am glad to see there is going to be more from them in future books.

A complex story to start with but then it soon became addictive and I needed to know how things would resolve. It is a crime, thriller, mystery and it is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Writing as R. D. Nixon. Terri Nixon was born in Plymouth, Devon, but during her childhood her family moved to the moorland village of North Hill in Cornwall. There, at the age of nine, Terri discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one’s ever offered to pay her for doing those. Terri’s first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, in 2013, and since then she has published a further ten novels, with a twelfth due out December 2020. Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She has returned to Plymouth, and works in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Business at Plymouth University… where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.

Twitter @TerriNixon

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Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke. This is the latest in the Harpers Emporium series and I am loving it so much.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this wonderful book from the publisher, Boldwood Books via NetGalley.

Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls

LONDON 1917

As the Americans enter the War, there is renewed energy in the war effort.  

With husbands and sons fighting for freedom, the women of Harpers are left to tackle the day-to-day affairs at home and work.

With Ben Harper away, Sally fears she is being followed by a mysterious woman. Who is she and what does she want?

Maggie Gibbs collapses seriously ill in the frontline hospitals and is brought back to England close to death. Can she be saved and what does the future hold for her and her broken heart? 

Marion Jackson’s father is on the run from the Police already wanted for murder. She fears he will return to threaten his family once more.
And Beth Burrows is pregnant with her second child, worried and anxious for her husband Jack, who has been many months at sea.

As Christmas 1917 approaches what will the future hold for Harpers, its girls and their men at War?

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

Set in 1917, the First World War is claiming lives, the results are being felt at home. Family and friends worry constantly about those who are serving, those who have been injured, and those that have not been in contact. Shortages are being felt as some things are becoming more difficult to source for the Harpers Store. Inferior quality products are emerging as materials are being used for the war.

Life still has to go on, work still needs doing, homes need to be looked after, mouths have to be fed and it is when times are difficult and fraught that you rely on people around you. Harpers is the linchpin of the story, it is where many of the characters have met over the course of the story. With each book that is released more characters are brought in.

The main four Harpers Girls are Maggie, Marion, Sally, and Beth. They have come on from their early days at Harper’s. This is the point where I do mention that these books can be read as stand-alone stories, but I do think they are better read in order as the character’s lives are developed more and more with each book.

This one, as the title suggests is set during a point where people are obviously wishing for a return to normality, wondering when it will be over and that loved ones can return home. Life is hard for those left behind, and I like how the author describes how lucky her characters feel to be in situations that they are. They either work or have a family or have someone in their lives that helps them, whether it is a family, partner, or friend.

This is a story that does have sad moments and ones that are fraught with despair. It is not only people who are in the midst of the fighting that falls ill. Things carry on at home as they normally would regardless of what is happening in the world, they add stress and worry. The author brings the feeling of hope and also of despair so well into her stories. She has a wonderful way of giving her characters various events to deal with. These may be worrying or add a sense of dread or intrigue, but they also have a way of making her characters stronger.

This is a story for those readers who like historical fiction, sagas, family drama, and stories with a sense of belonging and of friendship. A book and series that combines the individual tales of the characters and gives an overall sense of hope but with several twists to keep the reader on their toes. A book and series I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire. Rosie’s brand new saga series, Welcome to Harpers Emporium began in December 2019.

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Her White Lie by Jackie Walsh @JackieWalsh_ie #NetGalley @HeraBooks @BOTBSPublicity #crime #thriller #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Blog Tour today and share my review today for Her White Lie by Jackie Walsh. This is a wonderful first for me by this author and I will be looking at reading more of her books.

My huge thanks to Sarah at Book ON The Brightside Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book via NetGalley. Also a very Happy Publication Day to Jackie xx

Her dream wedding might become a nightmare

Tara Moore feels like the luckiest girl in the world. She’s finally found the man of her dreams, and after the fairytale wedding, she’s leaving Dublin to start a new life in Australia.

Until Avril Ryan’s body is discovered in a house that Tara lived in three years ago.

Tara doesn’t know Avril, so why was she the last person Avril called? How has she become the number one suspect?

But what the police don’t know is that Tara’s past conceals her own dangerous secrets. And as the detectives start digging and old friendships come to light, Tara begins to wonder who she can trust.

Will her wedding day become her last?

Purchase from Amazon UK

My Review…

This was a very enjoyable read and a first for me for this author. I did like the twisty and intriguing plot.

The story alternates between two main characters, Tara who is counting down the days until her marriage to Lucas. The other is Faye, a childhood friend of Tara’s. They had been inseparable from 8 years old, although in the past three years they had not been close at all.

The author alternates between the two women and this is a great way of getting both sides to a story. One problem is that one side isn’t very reliable. This doesn’t mean that one is good or one is bad, as the other has a secret that is niggling away. It is obvious that something happened in the past, but quite what and why is kept a mystery until much later in the story.

I have to say I wasn’t a fan of either of the women, but the storyline I really did like. The women come across as being very different. One appears strong and confident, the other a worrier. Needing reassurances.

The author gradually weaves her tale, she starts to sow seeds of doubt that had me hooked to what could possibly happen next. Whatever I thought may happen. didn’t, instead, the author sprang a few surprises.

I enjoyed this story a lot, there is a touch of psychological thriller and there is the obvious crime as there is a body. A very good introduction to this author for me and I will be looking at some of her earlier books. This is one for those that like their crime and thriller reads that are not blood, guts and gruesomeness, but more on the mysterious side. There is a police presence in this book but I would necessarily put this in a police pr0cedural. It is one I would happily recommend.

About the Author…

Jackie Walsh lives in Dublin with her husband Paul and dog Layla. She is a member of the Irish Writers Centre and The Irish Crime writer’s group. After years spent building her own business she decided to take time out and pursue her interest in writing. With a lot to learn, Jackie attended classes, writing groups and travelled to lots of festivals and launches. She secured a publishing deal with Hera Books who published Familiar Strangers and The Secrets He Kept in 2019, Five Little Words in 2020 and Her White Lie which will be published in July 2021.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Unofficial Britain by Gareth E Rees #UnofficialBritain @alisonmenziespr @eandtbooks #nonfiction #britain #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for a wonderful book that explores the hidden, the obscure, the random and the often missed areas in Britain. Unofficial Britain by Gareth E Rees. The paperback is due for publication on Thursday (8th July) the hardback is already out.

My huge thanks to Alison Menzies for organising my paperback copy from the publisher Elliott & Thompson.

LONGLISTED FOR RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2021

‘Terrific… Britain’s urban landscape is just as freighted with myth and mystery as its castles and ancient monuments and [Rees] proves it by unearthing a treasure trove of riveting stories.’ – Sunday Times, Best Books of the Year, 2020
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There is a Britain that exists outside of the official histories and guidebooks – places that lie on the margins, left behind. A Britain in the cracks of the urban facade where unexpected life can flourish. Welcome to UNOFFICIAL BRITAIN.

This is a land of industrial estates, factories and electricity pylons, of motorways and ring roads, of hospitals and housing estates, of roundabouts and flyovers.

Places where modern life speeds past but where people and stories nevertheless collect. Places where human dramas play out: stories of love, violence, fear, boredom and artistic expression. Places of ghost sightings, first kisses, experiments with drugs, refuges for the homeless, hangouts for the outcasts.

Struck by the power of these stories and experiences, Gareth E. Rees set out to explore these spaces and the essential part they have played in the history and geography of our isles. Though mundane and neglected, they can be as powerfully influential in our lives, and imaginations, as any picture postcard tourist destination.

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My Review…

The plan was that I was going to read this book over several days. That plan has failed as I read this over two days. I found a book that was informative, brought back memories, made me chuckle and made me see things from a different perspective.

The synopsis for this book is great, it was what really drew me to the book. Places on the margins, places we pass by in our cars, places we see without noticing and how about the things that we are not even aware of even existing as we pass by?

The author has been walking and collecting stories of places that many of us pass by. These areas may be known to a small select few, such as locals or those that regularly use pathways, cycle routes or they are areas that we were aware of when we were younger and have now changed over the years.

landscapes change as do urban settings, where a factory once stood may now be just a shell or it could be a housing estate, school or part of new development. The area of these new builds is built upon the ground that has been used before. they have a history and for some, they are part of their own personal lives. Memories and stories can be built up, sometimes to keep youngsters away from an area because it is dangerous and sometimes with a genuine belief that there is something altogether different going on.

However these stories come about they have gradually worked their way into urban myths. Every area has these myths or there is a mysterious story or tale. The author uses these and other observations to create a book full of whispers, tales, ghostly anecdotes and histories.

He also adds so many things about areas that many of us do not even know about. For example, did you know the infamous Spaghetti Junction has a river below it? I didn’t I just assumed it was a large grey mass of roads and flyovers, if you look on google it is quite surprising how much green there is around this area.

I loved the opening chapter of this book as the author deals with pylons. Yeah, those large metal structures that line the landscape providing electricity. I did chuckle as he mentions how they reminded him of triffids and aliens. I remember for me it was the alien crafts from H.G Wells War of the Worlds that they reminded me of as I grew up, and don’t get me started on how the Daleks used to scare me!!!.

Talking of growing up, the author is a similar age to me and I think this helped me to relate as he mentions films, TV programs and things from the ’70s that I grew up with. This sparked memories and things I had forgotten about over the years.

This is a book that really resonated with me. It is a book that is packed with randomness and also a whole lot of good stuff (apologies for the lack of finesse there!) It is a book of obscure tales, of snippets of history and of things hidden from many in our fast-paced lives.

Stories of our present are as important as those of our pasts. It is our experiences today that are the future history and I think this sort of book is great. It allows you to return and check things out, it prompts you to look things up and it encourages curiosity to go out and discover more. I have made a few notes from this book as to things I want to look at and explore more, it will probably be done from my computer and who knows where it will lead me next.

The author also has a fabulous website called Unofficial Britain, this is jam-packed with amazing stories, pictures, articles and it is well worth a look at.

This is a really good book to read and ponder over, to discover and learn more about the places on the edge, on the margins, where we pass and what we miss. It is one I would very definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Gareth E. Rees is founder of the popular Unofficial Britain website and author of three books, Marshland (2013), The Stone Tide (2018) and Car Park Life, which was published to rave reviews in 2019. Born in Germany, brought up in Scotland the the north of England, he lived in London for many years before moving to Hastings. The modern myths and folklore of place have always driven his writing, which includes horror and weird fiction tales for numerous anthologies, including The Best of British Fantasy 2019.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx