Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds : Still Living the Dream in Rural Ireland by Nick Albert @Nickalbertautho @rararesources #rararesources #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for the second book Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds by Nick Albert. Yes they are still living the dream! My huge thanks to Rachel for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this brilliant book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds 2 – Still living the dream in rural Ireland

Nick and Lesley’s desire for a better life in the countryside was a long-held dream. Unforeseen events and a leap of faith forced that dream into reality, but moving to rural Ireland was only the beginning of their story.
Foreigners in a foreign land, they set about making new friends, learning the culture and expanding their collection of chickens and unruly dogs. But their dream home was in desperate need of renovation, a mammoth task they attacked with the aid of a DIY manual, dwindling funds and incompetent enthusiasm. With defunct diggers, collapsing ladders, and shocking electrics, what could possibly go wrong?
Will their new life live up to expectations, or will the Irish weather, dangerous roads, and a cruel twist of fate turn this dream into a nightmare?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackAudible (these are Amazon UK affiliate links)

Amazon US – KindlePaperbackAudible

Having read and throughly enjoyed the first book I was eager to see how Nick and Lesley were getting on and how the renovations and repairs to their house in Ireland were going. Due to stress Nick was advised to find a slower pace of life and so he and Lesley moved to a property in need of repair. This was a mish-mash of a house that had been added on over the years and in need of a lot of TLC. It is also in the middle of nowhere on a mountain.

Well I cant think of anything more stressful than renovating your own home when you only have a DIY manual for guidance. But from a readers point of view it does make very entertaining reading and Nick has a fabulous way of injecting a sense of humour into the various mishaps that have happened along the way.

Not only are they dealing with the different way of life, the remoteness and the task ahead of them they are also battling the weather. This brings many challenges and again humour. Building work at the best of times is weather dependant but when you are up a mountain the challenges are made more difficult.

As well as the increase in their animal family, which adds some hilarious moments, Lesley has back problems requiring hospital trips. A very scary time is also included as she is admitted to hospital.

It is such an enjoyable read as I get a glimpse into this couples life. It is a book that has its ups and downs and there are so many moments when I found myself chuckling. The dog antics and the various anecdotes are just brilliant reading and I take my hat off to the pair for the challenges they are facing to build their dream home.

A brilliant read of a couple starting over in a new country and the various things that happen along the way. It is a book I would definitely recommend.

Nick Albert was born in England and raised in a Royal Air Force family. After leaving College he worked in retail management for several years before moving into financial services where he quickly progressed through the ranks to become a training consultant. As a very passionate and reasonably talented sportsman, Nick had always wanted to use his training skills towards creating a parallel career, so in the mid 1980’s he qualified and began coaching sport professionally. After a health scare in 2003 and in search of a simpler life, he and his wife Lesley, cashed in their investments, sold their home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country they had never before even visited. With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, they set about renovating their new home, where they now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly, but delightful dogs.
In 2017 Nick was signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about his life in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019. Book four is due out in 2020.

Nick is also the author of the twisty thriller, Wrecking Crew, the first in a series of books featuring reluctant hero Eric Stone.

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The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary @OLearyBeth @QuercusBooks #20booksofsummer #fiction #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. I have had this on my TBR since it came out last year and it is one of the books I am reading for #20Booksofsummer reading challange and it was blooming brilliant.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…
 

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. 

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

I am kicking myself for not reading The Flatshare sooner, it has been languishing on my TBR ever since it came out and it is such a brilliant read.

Tiffy has been living in her ex’s flat and finally decides to move out when he parades his girlfriend through his property. I have to say I took an immediate dislike to him and wondered why on earth Tiffy still lived there.

Her new place is a flat where she will rent the bed when the other occupant is not there!!!!! Yeah you read that right! He works nightshifts Monday to Friday and stays with his girlfriend at weekends. Tiffy works Monday to Friday in the day so actually it makes sense… sort of!

Now once I had got my head around the flatshare, and so had Tiffy and her friends it does actually seem to work. It gives Tiffy a chance to get her head straight after her long overdue split from her ex, much to the delight of her friends. This is where the real story comes out about her relationship and it is much darker than I had realised as I had not really read the synopsis properly! So everything was a revelation and a shock.

As flat mates, Tiffy and Leon, he is the other person in the flat, by the way, never meet, they are the proverbial ships that pass in the night. They instead communicate by post-it notes, leaving messages and gradually they get to know each other. This relationship works really well, several months go by before an unexpectedly embarrassing and hilarious bumping into each other finally happens.

The author has created such an addictive one sitting read that I was loath to put down for even a second. The way she created and worked this storyline is just brilliant, there is a nervous start as you would expect when two people live together, but this is where it gets interesting. They are strangers and therefore they find it easier to communicate with each other through the notes they leave. So as I read I got to know them and about their individual lives as they also got to know each other.

Woven into this getting to know each other storyline, there is also other plots that emerge. For Tiffy it is a darker thread, one that makes her realise about her past and gives her the chance to deal with how she will shape her future. For Leon it is about getting justice for his brother and again about how he wants his life to pan out.

This was a brilliant read and I adored everything about it, the pacing the characters the story just completely worked for me. There is a balance between the darker moments with funny occurrences and mishaps. There is a sense of friendship and of finding things that are right for each individual. It is a book that readers who are after a human interest storyline that has moments of humour injected into, it shows how an obsessive personality can change a person and how friends are there when needed.

Yeah, I loved The Flatshare and I would Highly Recommend it.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an Amazon affiliate link)

Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being within reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work.
You’ll usually find her curled up with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).

You can visit Beth on her Website or Twitter

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

The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan @GerHogan @Aria_Fiction @BOTBSPublicity #BOTBSPublicity #bookreview

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of reading The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan and I am delighted to reshare my review of this wonderful book as part of the Blog Tour for the publication of the digital version.

Let me show you what the book is all about…

Welcome to Ballycove, the home of Corrigan Mills…

Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Irish countryside the famed mills have created the finest wool in all of Ireland. Run by the seemingly perfect Corrigan family, but every family has its secrets, and how the mills came to be the Corrigan’s is one of them…

Miranda and her husband were never meant to own the mills, until one fateful day catapults them into a life they never thought they’d lead.

Ada has forever lived her life in her sister’s shadow. Wanting only to please her mother and take her place as the new leader of the mill, Ada might just have to take a look at what her heart really wants.

Callie has a flourishing international career as a top designer and a man who loves her dearly, she appears to have it all. When a secret is revealed and she’s unceremoniously turfed out of the design world, Callie might just get what’s she’s been yearning for. The chance to go home.

Simon has always wanted more. More money, more fame, more notoriety. The problem child. Simon has made more enemies than friends over the years, and when one of his latest schemes falls foul he’ll have to return to the people who always believe in him.

Ballycove isn’t just a town in the Irish countryside. It isn’t just the base of the famous mills. It’s a place to call home.

Best-selling author, Faith Hogan returns with a family tale of love, loss, secrets and finding yourself.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no cost to you)

Well I have to say that the imagery that this author has created in this book is exceptional, I loved reading the sections about the mills, the countryside and life that Miranda experienced as a child.

Then add the present-day settings as Miranda, the owner of Corrigan’s Mill, is starting to feel her years, her health is not as it once was. In the wings her three children try to work out what their mum is going to do with a lucrative business and also worry about her remaining years and their futures.

These timelines have been brilliantly woven to create such a wonderful stroll through the Irish countryside and community as I was transported into the Corrigan family through the years.

This is such a gentle read and it was an absolute pleasure to disappear between the pages and discover a life that has had it’s up’s and downs over the years. Miranda was a lovely character and I soon warmed to her in her childhood and admired her resilience in her adult years. She brought up three children who are very individual and very different characters.

Ada is the more serious one, Simon is always looking for the next big deal and Callie a big name in the fashion world. Each child has a good life and in theory, they should be happy, but each one seems to have a crisis and this is what finally brings them home and together again. It is only Ada who has remained at home over the years.

This is a family that should be strong together but are actually fractured. They have had opportunity and chances and yet can’t seem to see what they have. As hard as it is for Miranda to try and keep them all happy, and even with her health, they seem as distant with each other as ever.

This is such a wonderful story that opens old wounds and confronts new ones that are still raw, resentment and anger are as rife as frustrations and honesty start to make themselves shown. It is an emotional book and I did have the odd watery eye moment, but this is not what I would call a heartrendingly sad book. There are heartbreaking moments, but the story is also heartwarming as realisations are finally acknowledged.

This was a terrific read and one that I sat and read in one sitting. It was a story that drew me in and had me totally captivated with the gentle pacing and also the compelling storyline. This is a really good read and one I would definitely recommend.

13/04/2018 Author Faith Hogan with her dog Penny at her home in Ballina, Co. Mayo. Photo : Keith Heneghan

Faith Hogan is an Irish award-winning and bestselling author of five contemporary fiction novels. Her books have featured as Book Club Favorites, Net Galley Hot Reads and Summer Must Reads. She writes grown up women’s fiction which is unashamedly uplifting, feel good and inspiring.

Faith’s latest book, The Place We Call Home is published in January 2020.

She writes crime fiction as Geraldine Hogan – Her Sisters Bones is available now!

Faith gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway.

She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!

You can find out more about Faith on her website Facebook Twitter Instagram

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🙂 xx

The Little Bookshop at Herring Cove by Kellie Hailes #summerfiction #romcom #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Little Bookshop at Herring Cove by Kellie Hailes. I read this book back in April and for some reason I have missed posting my review on here… still, better late than never!

Here is what it is all about…

The start of something wonderful…

Sophie Jones loves her little bookshop at Herring Cove. She’ll never give it up to big property developer, Alexander Fletcher – no matter how handsome he might be…

Yet beneath Alex’s sharp suit and persuasive manner, there’s something about him that makes Sophie want to trust him.

So when he offers to help make her little shop a success again, she wonders whether this could be the start of something wonderful for both Sophie and Alex – together?

Perfect for fans of Caroline Roberts, Cathy Bramley and Heidi Swain.

Buy your copy at Amazon UK (this is an Amazon affiliate link, I earn a small commission but at no cost to you)

Alexander Fletcher is the son of a property developer, you know those that come into rundown seaside areas and revamp it into a modern resort. While Herring Cove is a little on the rundown side, it is nothing if it’s not a community. At it’s heart there are still a few shops and a pub, but it is hard for those businesses to keep going.

One of the businesses is the bookshop run by Sophie, while she does like the look of the man that stands before her, she does not fall for his charms and the generous offer he has to buy her business… well she doesn’t fall for him straight away.

Now I have never read anything by this author before and I have to say that my first outing was wonderful. I loved the sound of Herring Cove and I loved the characters in the story. This is a story that oozes heartwarming and feelgood as well as having quite a few sniggery moments, especially as the slight flirty but not supposed to be flirty comment litter this lovely story.

There is a story behind the bookshop and it has ramefications for Sophie and her on the “don’t need a man in my life” outlook. Alexander, well isn’t he a dark horse, and rather handy as well!

This is a lovely one sitting read, it was captivating and light to read but also had a nice feel to it, full of warmth, friends and laughs. Having not read this author before I cannot wait to read the other already published books, The Little Bookshop at Herring Cove is a book I would definitely recommend.

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

The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor #20booksosummer #crimethriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor. I have had this book since it was released and this is why it made it onto my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. This is the 2nd book I’ve read in this years challenge.

Here is what the book is all about…

NB – there are various covers for this book, this is the one I have.

What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear? The breakout thriller of 2019 that will make you second-guess everyone you meet.

We all know them. Those who exist just on the fringes of society. Who send prickles up the back of our neck. The charmers. The liars. The manipulators. Those who have the potential to go that one step too far. And then take another step.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living from these people. Each week she broadcasts a radio show looking into the past lives of convicted killers; asking if there was more that could have been done to prevent their terrible crimes.

Then one day she is approached by a woman desperate to find her missing friend, Cassie, fearing her abusive husband may have taken that final deadly step. But as Jessamine delves into the months prior to Cassie’s disappearance she fails to realise there is a dark figure closer to home, one that threatens the safety of her own family . . .

Set over a long, dark winter in London and perfect for fans of HE SAID/SHE SAID, THE DANGEROUS KIND is at once a gripping thriller and a stunning portrayal of the monsters that live among us.

Purchase Link for Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link for Amazon, it earns me a small commission but with no cost to you)

Well this was such a dark book to read. I found it quite addictive and given the nature of some of the subjects I thought the author tackled it very well without going into too much detail.

The story flits back and forth between characters and time, gradually building up intrigue and suspicion along the way. as the synopsis for this book suggests, there is a darkness to some people, they are dangerous and appear to the outside world to be safe, respectable and “normal”. But what if these people are given an avenue to vent this dangerous side to their personalities. What if they are the ultimate manipulators and know how to control, coerce and compel vulnerable others into doing horrible and dangerous things. What if these manipulators go one step too far!

The book deals with domestic abuse and I saw one side of manipulation, abuse and bullying. This was not glamorised at all, the basic of details indicating the abuse was given. Then another type of abuse was brought into the story, that of children being used in horrific ways, again into details were gone into. What I read was the effect of how these people were treated, the fear, guilt and shame were apparent as well as the need to please their tormentors.

The story went down some dark paths and the work of one woman who is trying to find the whereabouts of a missing person. Jessamine is a radio presenter who focuses on this mystery and it takes her well outside her comfort zone. What she doesn’t realise is that while she is focused on the missing person, there is a shadow looming on her horizon.

This is a good read and even though it feels so wrong to say it I did enjoy it. I enjoyed the suspicion, the lies, the manipulation is used, the suspense and intrigue. It was well-paced and I found it very difficult to put down as I needed the answers and I wanted to know who was responsible. I did feel the ending felt a little rushed, I would have liked to have a bit more suspense. Maybe though I just wasn’t quite ready for it to finish.

This is a book that would appeal to readers who like their crime thrillers a bit more on the darker side and I would recommend it.

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

Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger @KatieGAuthor @rararesources #summerfiction #romance #romcom #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to be one of the opening Book Bloggers to share my review today for Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Cove by Katie Ginger. 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 gorgeous book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay

Grab your strawberries and cream and get ready to return to the beautiful Swallowtail Bay!


Summer is in full swing and the locals are getting excited for the launch of the Swallowtail Bay strawberry food festival. But will all run smoothly when festival organiser Hetty’s heart is torn between lord of the manor John Thornhill and successful bakery owner Ben?


Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

I do enjoy books by this author and Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Cove is the second book in this series, it can be read as a standalone.

The thing I really enjoy about Katie’s books are the wonderful descriptions of the setting and the scenery. She builds such a good vivid image that I can almost see the area from her words. The next thing I adore are the characters and the way they are woven in to create a wonderful sense of friendship and community.

The main character is Hetty, a local events organiser and she attends a business forum, a chance for local business owners to get together and discuss upcoming things. The mention of the Strawberry Festival, that has over time diminished and is a mere shadow of its former self gives Hetty the idea of bringing it back but on a much larger scale. The only place large enough is Thornhill Hall, and more specifically John Thornhill himself. The family are not particularly popular as they have become reclusive over the years.

I have to say I really liked Hetty, she is a go-getter who has a natural way about her and especially with people. After some needling she convinces John to let her use some of the fields for her festival. Somehow her ends up helping out more and she gets to see that there is more to this man than the stand-offish person she thought he was.

There is obviously a romantic theme with this story and it is not as straight-forward as it would first appear. So begins the will they won’t they scenario and it could have gone either way or not at all, and I wasn’t sure who with but I did hope!

The storyline of the Festival and the organisation along with family hiccups and the romance made for a fabulous read. It all felt nicely balanced and I was definitely hooked as things gradually played out. It had a very realistic feel to it especially the Festival that had gone into decline over the years. As well as the financial struggles associated with the upkeep of a large house.

I sat and read this book in one sitting and it was an ideal book for sitting out in the garden in the glorious sunshine to read. If you are a fan of romance, rom-com, heartwarming stories and having a right good read then I would definitely recommend this one, it was fabulous.

KATIE GINGER lives in the South East of England, by the sea, and she really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay is her fifth novel. The first, Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay is available now. Her debut novel The Little Theatre on the Seafront was shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award, and her stand- alone Christmas novel Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage was a US Amazon bestseller.
When she’s not writing, Katie spends her time drinking gin, or with her husband, trying to keep alive their two children, Ellie and Sam. And there’s also their adorable King Charles Spaniel, Wotsit (yes, he is named after the crisps!).


For more about Katie you can visit her website – find her on Facebook – or follow her on TwitterInstagram

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

One Day in Summer by Shari Low @sharilow @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for One Day in Summer by Shari Low. 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 brilliant book.

Let me show you what it’s all about…

One Day In Summer


Coming soon from #1 bestseller Shari Low, an emotional roller-coaster, that keeps you guessing…

One day in summer, three lives are about to change forever.

After two decades of looking after others, this is the day that Agnetha McMaster is reclaiming her life. It’s her turn, her time but will she have the courage to start again?

Ten years ago, Mitchell McMaster divorced Agnetha and married her best friend, Celeste. Now he suspects his second wife is having an affair. This is the day he’ll discover if karma has come back to bite him.

Thanks to a DNA test, this is the day that Hope McTeer will finally meet her biological father. But will the reunion bring Hope the answers that she’s looking for?

Three people. Twenty-four hours. A lifetime of secrets to unravel.

Purchase Link – Amazon

How gorgeous is that cover? 😍

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I absolutely loved it. The story is set on one day though that particular day has several threads that are wonderfully woven to create such a compelling story.

The synopsis give a very good idea of the basic story line to this book, and within a few paragraphs I was already hooked and curious. The story flits between characters and also time and this gradually gives a fuller picture. There is a lot more to the story than meets the eye and the author has allowed the story to flow and felt like effortless reading.

Understanding events of the past helps to realise how things stand in the present, but even when you think you know everything do you? A betrayal, a twisted version of events, things coming full circle and having the support of family and loyal friends will help.

I found this was such a well paced story that kept my attention from start to finish. I has warmth, hope, dreams and definitely a few surprises. The author was crafty in the way she laid things out and it kept me on my toes and this again is another way of keeping my attention.

Once I began to see the threads being pulled together I could start to make connections, I started to understand the why’s of tensions and how the fear of missing out and wanting more can be twisted.

There are several characters I loved and I could definitively see myself getting on with if they were real, they added a dynamic and mixed set of traits and personalities. Though not everyone was likeable!

This is a fabulous story that I had a couple of teary eyed moments with, it was wonderful to sit and read this book literally in the course of One day and in the sunshine it definitely felt like summer. A fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 20 novels, including One Day In Winter and My One Month Marriage and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.

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Before I Die by Jackie Morrissey #BeforeIDie #JackieMorrissey #InkubatorBooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Before I Die by Jackle Morrissey. THis was such a compelling read and I would like to thatnk Emma at damppebbles Blog Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about..

She’ll care for you. Until you’re dead.

Maureen might be getting on in years but she’s fiercely independent and smart as a whip.

But when she falls and injures her ankle, her daughter Alva is convinced Maureen can no longer take care of herself and is determined to get her some help – which comes in the shape of local caregiver, Dolores.

Maureen tries to say no, she’s fine on her own, but it’s not so easy to get rid of Dolores. She seems to be everywhere, poking her nose into every corner of Maureen’s life, implying to Alva that her mother is getting senile and will soon need constant care.

Maureen feels as if she’s under siege 24/7. And she knows in her heart that there’s something not right about Dolores…  But no one will listen.

Then one of Dolores’s other charges dies in mysterious circumstances and Maureen realises she may be fighting for a lot more than her independence.

Because once Dolores has you in her care, death may seem like a sweet release.

The stunning psychological thriller, perfect for fans of K. L. Slater, Teresa Driscoll, and Andrew Hart.

Buy your copy from – Amazon UKUS

The synopsis does a fabulous job of setting the scene for this book and it indicates that not all is as it should be. Maureen is a character I immediately liked, the is all there with no loose marbles. She is independent but does seem to be avoiding Delores who seems bossy, a bit of a bully and, according to most people, never stops talking.

Now I found that the main premise for the story was one that intrigued me, it has a relevance to events in the news as elderly and vulnerable people are taken advantage of. I found the way the author tackled the subject of getting older and therefore becoming forgetful to be very relevant and it played to the stereotype of the older members of society no coping and in need of more support.

Delores was a well drawn out character, she is sneaky and devious and knows how to push the right buttons. Unfortunately she doesn’t take into account Maureen’s tenacity, and that is fortunate for Maureen. WHile Maureen knows what is going on, her daughter doesn’t and she believes what the wonderful carer Delores tells her. Setting seeds of doubt and then following them up as they develop.

The story takes some surprising turns, and I soon discovered how well the author had this story plotted out. Events from earlier in the book suddenly become obvious later on as things start to draw to their conclusion. There are sneaky and deceitful characters, as well as those that mean well. But when certain things connect then watch out!

I really enjoyed this story, the characters were well developed and they played their parts wonderfully. The sad thing about this book is that even though it is fiction, this manipulation and praying on the vulnerable does happen in real life. I think this is why this book worked so well for me. Before I Die was a slower thriller, but full of suspense and I would definitely recommend it.

Jackie Morrissey lives in County Dublin and worked for many years in adult education. Her job took her into colleges and prisons all around Ireland, and introduced her to a range of interesting people. She loved the buzz of teaching, but came to hate the tyranny of correcting assignments. She has written throughout her adult life and has had many short stories published, one of which won the Molly Keane Short Story award. She has also been a regular contributor of short pieces for the Irish radio program Sunday Miscellany. About four years ago, she took the decision to write full time.  The psychological thriller Before I Die is her first published novel.

BEFORE I DIE is Jackie’s debut novel and her first published with Inkubator Books.

Jackie has no Social Media Links to follow.

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

The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly @VictoriaDarcy @rararesources #rararesources #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Beauty of Broken THings by Victoria Connelly. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this beautifully written book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

United by tragedy, can two broken souls make each other whole?

After the tragic loss of his wife, Helen, Luke Hansard is desperate to keep her memory alive. In an effort to stay close to her, he reaches out to an online friend Helen often mentioned: a reclusive photographer with a curious interest in beautiful but broken objects. But first he must find her—and she doesn’t want to be found.

Orla Kendrick lives alone in the ruins of a remote Suffolk castle, hiding from the haunting past that has left her physically and emotionally scarred. In her fortress, she can keep a safe distance from prying eyes, surrounded by her broken treasures and insulated from the world outside.

When Luke tracks Orla down, he is determined to help her in the way Helen wanted to: by encouraging her out of her isolation and back into the world. But Orla has never seen her refuge as a prison and, when painful secrets and dangerous threats begin to resurface, Luke’s good deed is turned on its head.

As they work through their grief for Helen in very different ways, will these two broken souls be able to heal?

Buy your copy from Amazon – UKUSAUS

This was an amazing read full of emotion that was a mix of heartbreaking storylines but with a glimpse of something better in the future.

The main characters are Orla and Luke, they don’t know each other. It is only when Luke checks his wife’s phone that he discovers she was friends with someone called BB. Helen and BB had an online friendship and an interest in photography. It is through the photographs that Luke is able to track down BB and discover who BB is.

Orla is a recluse, she lives in a castle. She doesn’t speak to anyone, she wont answer the door and she only goes out to walk her dog on a close by beach. He withdrawal from people is a sad story and it explains why her only presence is online with her photography.

The link between the Orla and Luke is Helen, a woman who had wanted to live life through her photography but settles for a job that pays the bills. It is when she decides that her and Luke are secure enough for her to finally take the chance and change her career. This is when tragedy strikes and her life is cut short.

The story is sad and there where many times I had tears and was just able to keep them at bay. There was a simple line in the story that broke me though and it was such a simple and yet poignant one “She left the world with a smile,” at the end of chapter 6. It summed up how Helen saw the life.

The story that followed was about how Luke and Orla gradually become friends, one helping the other to overcome grief and pain. Challenging each other to take steps, but while one of them is taking steps forward the other is in denial and hides in the shadow of grief. It is a story about things happening when it is time for them and when you are ready to face them. Grief and tragedy cannot be measured and categorised into simple stages with a time limit on each stage.

This is a stunning read and one that I read in one sitting. It is emotional as the author takes the reader into the lives of two people that have had two very different things happen to them. Even though these events are different they still have to go through similar processes of acceptance. While reading the story I was willing the two main characters forward, but I also knew that there would be setbacks.

A fabulous story that I thoroughly enjoyed, heartwarming and emotional as well as one of hope. The title is just perfect and it fits so wonderfully with the story. I would definitely recommend The Beauty of Broken Things.

Victoria Connelly studied English Literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.

Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

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Up Close and Personal by Kathryn Freeman @KathrynFreeman1 @rararesources #rararesources #romcom #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for one of my favourite authors today. Up Close and Personal by Kathryn Freeman is a fabulous read. My thnaks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog TOur and for arranging my e-copy of this brilliant escapism read.

Let me show you what it is all about…

British actor Zac Edwards is the latest heartthrob to hit the red carpets. Hot, talented and rich, he sends women wild…all except one.

Close protection officer Kat Parker hasn’t got time to play celebrity games.  She has one job: to protect Zac from the stalker that seems to be dogging his every move.

Zac might get her hot under her very starched collar, but Kat’s a professional – and sleeping with Zac is no way part of her remit…

Buy a copy from Amazon UKUS

I do look forward to curling up with a Kathryn Freeman book and Up Close and Personal was an excellent read. The story is about a film-star being stalked and having a bodyguard assigned to him. One has impeccable manners, is well spoken and always punctual. The other says what they think, is a bit messy and is often running late. Meet the film-star Zac Edwards and his body guard Kat Parker.

Their first meeting was a bit of a disaster, their second didn’t inspire confidence but there is a hint of a spark between them, some flirting and innuendo. Kat is a professional and she cannot afford the distraction of falling for handsome and tasty Zac.

The plot of the story has more to it than first meets the eye, both characters have a dark past that they are not willing to share. This in part is why some of their quirks are as they are, their past have, in some ways shaped the way they look at he futures.

I loved that instant connection between these two characters, they are the focus of the story, though there are others that have a part to play. The reading was so effortless as I disappeared into the world the author created. There is chemistry, humour and also more serious stuff, but all nicely balanced to keep the flow of the story moving along at just the right pace.

This is very much a will they or won’t they style of story, and I wasn’t sure exactly how it was going to end as there could have been many scenarios that could have made the conclusion.

This is a wonderful read that I loved from start to finish. I was completely hooked and found it the perfect book to read sat in the garden on a sunny afternoon. Ideal for fans of rom-coms and romance and one I would definitely recommend.

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

I’ve two sons and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), so any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

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