Dreams Come True at Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters @Vicky_Walters @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #romance #HeraBooks #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Dreams Come True at Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters. This is a fabulous series and each book could be read as a stand-alone but then you would be missing out on some fabulous stories.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy from the Publisher Hera Books.

Lorna is following her dreams. But can she follow her heart?
Lorna Ferguson has dreamt of opening her own bed and breakfast in the village of Glendale for as long as she’d pictured falling in love. While her love life remains frankly hopeless, Lorna is determined to secure Dove House – the home she imagined living in as a child – to start this new venture with her family.
Along with brother Adam, Lorna starts restoring the house to its Art Deco glory, but faced with a whole host of renovation problems and their money fast running out, they worry that Dove House will never be ready to open in the New Year.
When a mystery man turns up, needing to fulfil a promise he made to his dying father and find the object he left at Dove House many years ago, Lorna’s heart goes out to him. But what they find there is going to change both of their lives forever.
Facing problems at every turn, and distracted by her heart, Lorna is going to need all the magic that her beloved Glendale can supply to make all her dreams come true.


Purchase Links – Amazon Kobo Apple Hive

MY REVIEW

This is 5th book in The Glendale series and it is a wonderful one to read. The author has based her fictional village of Glendale in Scotland, it is a community with a warm welcome and once you have arrived you never want to leave.

Lorna and Adam are siblings, their mother took them to visit the wonderful Art Deco Dove House when they were small children. They have always loved the cottage and had dreams of one day owning the cottage and running it as a B&B. A huge undertaking but one that they suddenly have the chance of buying and making their dreams come true.

I adored the feeling of coming back to this community and the characters of Glendale and the surrounding area. Having read and followed this series, each book is a wonderful chance to sit and immerse myself.

The challenge of renovating Dove House is a massive task, it will take all of Lorna and Adam’s time, money and effort to get it to a stage where it can once again become habitable. Both are single and both are looking forward to starting this new venture, they have the support of their family and friends, well mostly! Some don’t see the dream coming to fruition though.

There is something more to Dove House than either sibling realised, a mysterious visitor wanting to fulfil a final wish, a chance to start again, admissions as to feelings and being open to change is just the tip of the iceberg.

This is another fabulous instalment in this series, it has the warmth and familiarity of the previous books, and yes this is where I would suggest reading the series in order. To be fair though, each book could be read as a stand-alone as the author does give the basics of family and friendship connections from previous books.

If you are a fan of contemporary fiction stories that are centred around communities, friends and family then this is a book and series you really need to have on your list. The author creates each story with a wonderful heartwarming essence, nothing is straightforward and there are bumps in the road, but then that is very much what life is like.

Gorgeously written, with wonderful characters and a wonderfully heartwarming story that I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Victoria Walters is a full-time author living in Surrey. Victoria writes cosy books including the bestselling uplifting and romantic series GLENDALE HALL and the new gripping and charming crime novel MURDER AT THE HOUSE ON THE HILL. She has been chosen for WHSmith Fresh Talent and shortlisted for two RNA awards. Victoria was also picked as an Amazon Rising Star.
Find out more about Victoria by following her on Instagram at @vickyjwalters, on Twitter at @Vicky_Walters or by visiting her blog at:https://victoria-writes.com/

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

Tick Tock by Simon Mayo #thriller #contemporaryfiction #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Tick Tock by Simon Mayo. I have not read any of his books before, but if his latest one is anything to go by I will be reading them.

It starts quietly enough. A tick tick ticking you can hear in your ear. Tinnitus, you think. It will pass. But it doesn’t. It gets worse – and then you pass it on.

Before you know it, it spreads. Elsewhere across the globe, it emerges, small outbreaks at first, contained groups of people, young and old, and suddenly it’s a plague – and ten days later it’s killing people. The hospitals are overflowing and there is no cure. There is a paranoid panic which sets friend against friend, neighbour against neighbour. Where does the world go from here?

In the north London school where it is first discovered, head of English, Kit Chaplin is struggling to understand what he is witnessing. Even eminent bacteriologist and his partner Lilly Slater can’t help him. But as the virus rips through the school and into the outside world, the world starts to take notice. Kit is more concerned about his students – and his young daughter, Rose – but little by little he gets sucked into where this mystery illness might have come from. And how it’s going to threaten his world.

Tick Tock is the compelling new novel from master storyteller and legendary DJ, Simon Mayo. It tells the story of a different kind of pandemic through the eyes of three people at the heart of the storm. Utterly exciting, urgently contemporary, piercingly insightful, it more than confirms the promise of his bestselling and acclaimed first thriller, Knife Edge.

MY REVIEW

I had seen this book getting some good reviews and decided it was one I really wanted to read. I mean the first paragraph in the synopsis – “It starts quietly enough. A tick tick ticking you can hear in your ear. Tinnitus, you think. It will pass. But it doesn’t. It gets worse – and then you pass it on.” that really was the hook for me!

This is a big story but one that has a small amount as far as the cast of characters goes. They are father and Daughter, Kit and Rose and Kit’s partner Lilly and her daughter Jess. The story focuses mainly on Kit, Rose and Lilly, as circumstances and events mean they come together for various reasons further in the story.

It has not been long since the Covid pandemic and this is referred to in this story as something that has happened and the world has moved on. The ticking can be heard not only by the person who emits it but also heard by those close to them. For me, this is a step forward from a cough or sneeze that we were all distancing ourselves from over a previous couple of years.

The author does use some of the reactions that we saw from Covid in this story and then elaborates on others. Pandemic and panic, social media and public opinion are something that goes hand-in-hand with this story. It adds to the tension and especially when the clicking then turns into deafness and then death.

I liked how the author brought things to a quiet presence, where people didn’t wear headphones and music playing loudly and while it sounds peaceful it came across as very ominous and quite a scary atmosphere. You need to be able to hear if people are clicking and therefore if they are infected. So this was a great move within the story.

The characters come across as trustworthy, Kit is a Head of English, Rose is a student and Lilly is a known virologist. This adds a credence to the feel of the story as such because we are talking about two adults who are educated and having the daughter involved means they have access to the modern generation’s use of technology and social media.

This was a gripping story and one that I really enjoyed. It was a tense read and one that I read easily over two sittings. I have not read any of this author’s previous books so I am looking forward to changing that.

This is one for those who like a story that is tense, well-paced and has a lot of theories that are discussed. I like how the characters are forced together to search for their own answers and this again is where the choice of characters and their roles come into play so well. This was one that had quite a few twists and I wasn’t entirely sure where the author was going to go or how it would end, definitely kept me hooked and I would definitely recommend it.

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

Sunny Skies and Summer Kisses by Eliza J Scott @ElizaJScott1 @rararesources #romance #contemporaryfiction #family #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Sunny Skies & Summer Kisses by Eliza J Scott. This is part of the Life on the Moors series. It is a wonderful series and each book can be read as a stand-alone.

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.

No matter how hard you fight it, love will always find a way…
Ever since she was a little girl, dance teacher Anoushka Cartwright has dreamed of opening her own dance studio near her home on her beloved North Yorkshire Moors. And when she gets the chance to do just that she can hardly believe her luck!
Life is sweet. Or it would be if it wasn’t for her relationship with Damon which has been growing increasingly toxic, much to her family’s concern. Critical of her dreams he can’t understand why she won’t move to the city of York and live with him. He refuses to accept their relationship is floundering until the day Anoushka breaks up with him.
Popular indie/folk singer, Gabe Dublin, hails from Southern Ireland. He’s been head-over-heels in love with Anoushka ever since he first set eyes on her at a wedding two years earlier. She’s the reason he keeps returning to the area, staying with his friends, Lady Caroline Hammondely and her husband Sim, at Danskelfe Castle. Gabe and Anoushka have become good friends, but she’s always made it clear they could never be anything more, which is tearing Gabe’s heart in two. He knows he won’t be able to love anyone else the way he loves Anoushka.
Her family and friends can see how perfect they are for each other but Anoushka is adamant, after her experience with Damon, she has no room for a man in her life. She makes a pact with herself to focus all of her attention on her dance school. And she intends to keep it. The only thing is, it’s not as easy as it seems.
When an unexpected situation throws them together, Anoushka’s feelings are exposed for the world to see. The question is, will she act on them or will she stay true to her promise to herself?
Join Anoushka and Gabe – and all the other Life on the Moors Characters – for the latest heartwarming visit to the characterful village of Lytell Stangdale in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors.

Purchase Links – AMAZON UK US

MY REVIEW

I have read quite a few of the Life on the Moors series, somehow along the way I have missed the odd one so it was great to catch up with the comings and goings in Lytell Stangdale. This story focuses on Anoushka, or Noushka as she is often referred to. If you have read any of this series, she is the stepdaughter to Kitty.

Noushka has finally had enough of her controlling boyfriend, no one seems to like him but she will not be pushed into a decision based on others’ opinions. These opinions, although, well-meaning, are not, however constant so Noushka feels she can make her own mind up about Damon.

After she finally makes her mind up, she is surprised at how he went storming off, but more surprising is when he tries to win her back. After all, she is nothing without him, she needs him to get away from the country yokels and make a success of herself! Yes, he is that sort of person, and the author does a cracking job of allowing this character to get under the readers’ skin.

The one thing about this series is the wonderful community spirit and friendships that are in abundance. The families are supportive, and Noushka soon finds that she has made the right decision. She just wished people would now leave her be and stop trying to set her up with Gabe, a singer and songwriter. They have been friends for ages and Noushka can’t see him as anything else. Besides, she has only just got out of a relationship and is not looking for another. Instead, she wants to finally achieve her dream of opening a dance studio.

They say things happen for a reason, and they happen when you need them the most. This is something that the author has really nailed in this story. As I mentioned, I have missed a couple of books, but the characters soon came back to me. Things are not a given and neither are chances. I love how the author kept tiptoeing around certain key points and didn’t hold back on things that help to explain more about how Noushka feels about things in general.

This is a really wonderful book and I was glad to come back to some wonderful and memorable characters. I adore this series and I am annoyed that I have missed a couple, but I will be back-tracking to read books 4 and 6!

This is the one really great thing about this series, each book can be read as a stand-alone, but obviously, you get to know the characters better if you read all the books. This latest book works well as a stand-alone, but then I had read Kitty’s Story, so I was aware of her storyline.

Fabulous story, ideal for fans of contemporary fiction, romance, family and friendships and with a wonderfully supportive community. I would definitely recommend this one.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Bio – Eliza lives in the North Yorkshire countryside with her family. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her kindle or working in her garden, fighting a losing battle against the weeds.
Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming romance stories with relatable female characters. Her books will always have happy endings.

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

Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland @JessicaRedland @rartraresources @BoldwoodBooks #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland. I have followed this series from the very beginning and adored each of the books. So it is with sadness that I read this final book, I will miss the characters and the Hedgehogs.

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

It’s the countdown to Christmas at Hedgehog Hollow Wildlife Rescue Centre, and everyone is gearing up for a festive season to remember…
It should be the most wonderful time of the year for Samantha and Josh as they prepare for the arrival of their first baby. But life at Hedgehog Hollow rarely goes to plan and the pair are faced with adversaries, old and new, and unexpected challenges to overcome.
Fizz’s job at the heart of the rescue centre is a dream come true but her personal life is more like a nightmare. With her love life a disaster and her past about to dramatically catch up with her, she needs the love and support of her Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever.
As the snow falls over Hedgehog Hollow, will Samantha and Fizz find the Christmas miracle they need to overcome their heartache and find happiness?


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

Oh, this is such a bitter-sweet review as this is the final book in this series, although the author does mention the possibility of coming back to some characters mentioned. I for one hope that she does.

This has been a fabulous series and one that I have read from the very first when there was no rescue centre, when the house was run down and where an elderly man was alone. The author has created such a heartwarming series and each step of the way I have been hooked. Following the comings and goings of the people, the families and friends and obviously of the little prickle balls themselves.

This final book is another heartwrenching one, although it is also full of wonderful surprises and new starts. Yes it does have Christmas mentioned ( this book was released in September btw) and it was a refreshing book to read in the August sun.

Family and friends are looking toward Christmas, but it is going to be a strange one in some ways as things don’t remain the same. I did like the way the author didn’t make it excessively festive but concentrated on the close-knit family, extended family and close friends of those who have been part of Hedgehog Hollow over the years. Christmas is a time for remembering things and not all are good. there are some very tough times ahead for some of the characters as they have to admit things that they have kept hidden for far too long.

Sam and Josh are awaiting the arrival of their new baby, and this is one of the new starts I have mentioned. There is a sense of fear and excitement as they await the birth, but there is also plenty of other things going on in the story. It does have a feeling that the author has started to bring things to a close, but it has been done in such a wonderful and natural feeling way.

This book was a real emotional rollercoaster, there were so many moments when I had to swallow a lump in my throat or wipe away the odd tear so I could keep reading. I would love to share all these moments but I am deliberately avoiding this.

A vague-ish review as such as I don’t want to spoil any of the numerous and wonderful moments if you are still to read this one.

If you are a fan of contemporary fiction and romance with family and friends being the focus then you need to have a look at this series. There is romance, trouble, challenges, expectations and so many wonderful surprises throughout the series and also this final book.

This has been a fabulous reading journey and I have learnt more about hedgehogs and this has been incorporated into the storylines so well.

Fabulous series, with amazing characters and wonderful storylines that I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Redland writes emotional but uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast where she lives with her husband, daughter and sprocker spaniel. Her Hedgehog Hollow series, set in a hedgehog rescue centre, takes readers into the beautiful rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.


Social Media Links – Facebook Twitter Instagram Newsletter Bookbub

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

The Couple at Causeway Cottage by Diane Jeffrey @dianefjeffrey #publicationday #thriller #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my book review today for The Couple at Causeway Cottage by Diane Jeffrey. The author contacted me a few weeks ago to see if I wanted to read her latest book, it was an easy decision and an immediate Yes Please!

I would like to wish Diane a happy Publication Day for this book 🙂

Kat and Mark move to an island off the Northern Irish coast for a new beginning. Far away from their frantic life in London, it’s the perfect place to bring up the family they’re longing to start.

But as soon as they arrive, cracks begin to appear in their marriage. Mark is still texting his ex-wife. Kat is lying about a new friendship. And one of them is keeping an explosive secret about the past.

The couple in Causeway Cottage are hiding something – and the truth can be deadly…

MY REVIEW

I do like a story that has a good mystery behind it, The Couple at Causeway Cottage is a story that has a mystery and is atmospheric and completely addictive reading.

Kat and Mark have moved to a small island off Ireland, the cottage is ideal as it is close enough for Mark to be able to visit his ailing mother. For Kat, the location is the opportunity to take photos and build her website sales. The land is rugged and wild, windswept and alluring. But there is a feeling that lurks around the periphery of the story. A secret and a lie that is not fully known until much later in the story.

Unbeknown to her husband, Kat is aware of one of the residents of the island, it is around an event when Kat was in her teens. This is tentatively approached through the story for those involved, and it adds a wonderful vibe to the story.

While Kat does come across as trustworthy, this little secret of hers means she starts to be elusive about things. This distrust is added to when she starts to doubt her husband, this is an easy thing to accept given that he does work away quite often.

The island is isolated, Kat has left her friends behind and it seems that the friends she meets on the island have hidden messages or meanings behind their conversations. This does leave Kat feeling alone and it is a chance for her mind to work overtime.

The ending of this story shocked me, there were little things hinted at but it wasn’t until the final chapters that I suddenly got the whole thing. The secrets of the past are the foundation for the present and I do think they were very well woven together.

I do like this style of story, it has brooding darkness to it that mirrors the location, it works very well and it gives the overall mysterious atmosphere to it. A fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Image and info from Author Website

I was born in 1973 and grew up in the UK: in North Devon and Northern Ireland. I spent a lot of my childhood in the water: either in the swimming pool or the Atlantic Ocean, as I swam competitively and also did surf life saving for several years. I was actually the first female lifeguard to work on the beaches in the UK. This is probably my main claim to fame!

After obtaining a BA joint honours degree in French and German from the University of Nottingham, I decided to become a teacher. As I felt that I wasn’t fluent enough in French or German to teach either subject, I moved to France, where I became an English teacher. I now live in Lyon with my husband and our three children, black Labrador and cat.

I’ve always wanted to be an author and I started writing poems and short stories at about five years of age. After lots of rejection letters and emails over the years from agents and editors, my debut novel was published when I was 43, which just goes to show: you should never give up!

I have written five psychological thrillers, all published by HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins, and all bestselling ebooks: Those Who Lie (2017), He Will Find You (2018), The Guilty Mother (2019), a USA Today bestseller, The Silent Friend (2020), A Karin Slaughter Killer Reads pick for ASDA, and The Couple at Causeway Cottage (2022). I am currently working on my sixth novel.

When I’m not teaching or writing, I run (a little) and swim (a lot). I devour chocolate, books and beer. I love holidays and travelling. Above all, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

Social Media – Website Twitter Facebook

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

Crushed by Kate Hamer @kate_hamer #20booksofsummer #mystery #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Crushed by Kate Hamer. I won this book in a giveaway run by the author and it has taken me far too long to pick it up to read it. This is why it has featured on my #20booksofsummer reading challenge, it is 17/20.

‘Mesmerising, compulsive, deliciously dark – and so good on the complex and thorny bond between friends. Kate Hamer’s writing is incandescent.’ Lucy Foley, author of The Hunting Party


Phoebe stands on Pulteney Bridge, tights gashed from toe to thigh. The shock of mangled metal and blood-stained walls flashes through her mind as she tries to cover her face so she won’t be recognised. It wouldn’t do to be spotted looking like this. She’s missing a shoe. She feels sick.

Phoebe thought murder and murder happened. Thoughts are just thoughts, they said. Now she knows they were wrong.

At home, Phoebe arranges the scissors and knives so they point toward her mother’s room. She is exhausted, making sure there’s no trace of herself – not a single hair, not even her scent – left anywhere in the house. She must not let her thoughts unravel, because if they do, there’s no telling who might be caught in the crossfire, and Phoebe will have to live with the consequences. 

MY REVIEW

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I have to say I really enjoyed this one. I also think it is going to be quite a difficult one to review. It is a slow-based book that crosses genres, there is a mystery to it as well as a sense of dread giving it an almost psychological thriller style to it. It is also about families, teens and coming of age along with the feeling they are going through.

So, how to review this one… it is the story of three girls, each unique and each with their own set of problems. Growing up and going to school, it is about Pheobie but the other two, Grace and Orla share the story from their own perspectives.

Being teens the girls are at that crossroads in life between being children and adults. Trying to make sense of the world and people around them. They are still naive about certain things, but they are also trying to work out what life is and what they are going to do.

There are times when this story does show their adolescent side and also a more grown-up and devious side. It shows their fears and anxieties as well as gives a look into each other’s individual lives. Some of the scenes oozed fear as well as despair. I suppose this is quite a dark and gloomy story given what the girls go through, but I think this adds more realism. That being said though, the author definitely has a way with her words and writing style. The mystery about each girl becomes very addictive and makes this a difficult book to put down.

I have gone through various reviews from other readers with this book and it does seem to be one that divides readers. For me, though I really enjoyed it. It is dark, mysterious and at times riddled with fear. It has a good psychological aspect to it as the teens are in the limbo of becoming adults.

A very good and captivating read and I will be looking to read more by this author. It is a book I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Hamer’s third novel CRUSHED is published in May 2019 (Faber & Faber). She is the author of THE DOLL FUNERAL (Faber & Faber 2017) which was a Bookseller book of the month and an editor’s pick for Radio 4’s Open Book. Her first novel THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT has been translated into 18 different languages. It was shortlisted for The Costa First Novel Prize, the British Book Industry Awards Debut Fiction Book of the Year, The John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger and the Wales Book of the Year. It was a Sunday Times bestseller. She grew up in the west country and rural Pembrokeshire and now lives with her husband in Cardiff. 

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

New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow #LoveHeartLane #contemporaryfiction #romance #NetGalley @OneMoreChapter_ #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for the latest book in the Love Heart Lane series. New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse by CHristie Barlow is a gorgeous read. If you have read any of the books in this series, then you are going to adore this one.

My huge thanks to One More Chapter for inviting me to read this title via NetGalley.

This is the 9/20 book in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. I really must get caught up with the rest of the reviews for this!

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what

‘A letter, a death, and a baby girl whose name will begin with “L”…’

When Heartcross’ resident clairvoyant tells Molly McKendrick to expect a whole lot of scandal and upset to blow in with the approaching winter storm, Molly doesn’t know what to think.

With a baby on the way any week now, and Christmas not far off, the last thing Molly needs is drama, but when she crosses paths with Bree, a sixteen-year-old homeless girl, and takes her in from the cold, secrets from the past flood the present and Molly, her partner Cam, and their son George, are soon experiencing a holiday season filled with unexpected festive surprises… 

MY REVIEW

This was a refreshing book to read as it has a right chilly feel as winter sets in at Heartcross in Book 9 of the Love Heart Lane series. Refreshing because I was sitting out reading this in a very hot garden at the beginning of July!

This book takes us back to the Old Bakehouse, obviously, the title gives this away and it was great to catch up with Molly and Cam. This is a lovely couple and they work together so well, but things are a little off with them and it’s not just down to Molly being pregnant. There is something more going on and things don’t improve when Molly brings in an unknown girl who was at the local shelter for those who are homeless. This is something that Cam normally would not have minded, but as I mentioned things are not quite as happy and rosy as they should be in the Bakehouse.

I adore this series and this latest book was great to read as it took us back to one of the couples featured in some of the earlier books. While getting the Bakehouse up and running has been tough, things could get tougher still and with the pressure of another addition to their family, he is a little wound up.

The community of Heartcross is a close-knit one, some families go back generations and some residents have lived there all their lives and have seen many comings and goings. There isn’t much that goes on without someone being in the know or at least noticing something that reminds them of things past.

Another story means getting to know the characters a little more and also a chance to introduce others. In this case, Bree, is a young girl who is homeless and a little edgy but has a heart of gold. The only thing is will anyone see past the stereotype of a homeless person image she has?

Once again there are a couple of very serious subjects tackled, there are some wonderful heartfelt moments and also a sense of dread. I will say that there are also a couple of damp-eye moments in this one as the story and the mystery of the past began to emerge.

If you have read any of the books in the series then you are going to adore this one. It can be read as a stand-alone but these are much better read in order. This is one for those who like a wonderful community, family and friendship feel of a story, some serious and fun moments and an all-around fabulous read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author

Christie Barlow is the international bestselling author of twelve romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.
Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
When Christie isn’t writing she enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.
Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.
Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

www.christiebarlow.com

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

The Halfways by Nilopar Uddin #20booksofsummer #contemporaryfiction #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Halfways by Nilopar Uddin. This is a stunning book to read about a family that is spread between New York, Bangladesh, Wales and London.

This is the 8th book on my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. My huge thanks to HQ Stories for acce[pting my request to read and review this title.

Nasrin and Sabrina are two sisters, who on the face of things live successful and enviable lives in London and New York. When their father, Shamsur suddenly dies, they rush to be with their mother at the family home and restaurant in Wales, and reluctantly step back into the stifling world of their childhood.

When Shamsur’s will is read, a devastating secret is revealed that challenges all that people thought and loved about him. It also profoundly changes the lives and identities of the sisters, and creates an irreparable family rift…

Moving between London, Wales, New York and Bangladesh, this is an epic family drama that spans over four decades. A story of mothers and daughters, of fathers and daughters, of sisterhood, it is a tale that explores belonging, family and what makes forgiveness and redemption possible.

MY REVIEW

This is a wonderful book to read and a first for me by this author. The story is one about differing opinions between family members. The family emigrated from Bangladesh to the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Their father has recently passed away and the sisters Nasrin and Sabrina have returned back to Wales from London and New York.

While the story focuses a lot on the two girls, the author has included other family members and relations. This was a brilliant way of giving different perspectives and it gave a better idea of the opinions other people had. Their parents wanted their girls to live and experience the ways of the West, but even on this, they disagreed as their mother felt they should be more away from their home, religion, culture and heritage of Bangladesh.

The author has created an extremely poignant story of the differences between cultures religions, traditions and expectations. Trying to live your life between two different cultures does bring arguments and disagreements. While both sisters try to be modern and to be more like those around them, they are still aware that their skin is of a different colour. Both have compromised to be more accepted and this is shown through some very heart-breaking scenes.

Getting to know more about family and also the culture was so interesting and the author made it so addictive. The story is deep and moving and does explore the stigmas and perceptions of people, especially those within this family. Backstories are explored for the parents and for several others and this helps build a fuller picture.

I adored this story, it has some fun moments, but it is also very heartbreaking. A gorgeously told story with additional information in the glossary at the end. It is a family in turmoil, one that is struggling and trying to overcome the death of a father and husband and also trying to keep things together. They are trying so hard to keep things going and not everything goes to plan.

This is one for those who love to explore different cultures, religions and lives, contemporary fiction as well as dipping into the past. Addictive reading and one I would definitely recommend.

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

A Change of Heart by Hannah Ellis @BooksEllis @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the tour today and to share my review today for A Change of Heart by Hannah Ellis. This is the second book in the Isles of Scilly series and I adored that book, and yes it would be better to read them in order.

My review for the first book, The Weekend Getaway, is HERE

The Weekend Getaway

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 fabulous book.

She was never meant to fall for her best friend’s brother…

Seren has had a soft spot for her best friend’s brother for as long as she can remember. But when she starts to see Kit as more than just a friend, she knows she’s on dangerous ground.

Avoiding him is probably her best course of action, but that’s easier said than done when you live on a tiny island.

When Kit declares he’s in love with her, she’s forced to deny her feelings. There’s too much to lose for her to do anything else.

If only her heart would get the message that she and Kit aren’t meant to be.

As the tension between them builds it becomes more and more difficult for Seren to keep her feelings hidden.

Can she find the courage to risk everything for love? And will Kit still be waiting for her when she does?

Purchase Links – Amazon Universal link

MY REVIEW

This is the second book in the Isles of Scilly series and again I absolutely adored it. The previous book introduces the reader to the Treneary family who lives on the Isles of Scilly. The first book was about Kiera and Noah, it also introduced the rest of the family. This latest book focuses on best friends Kit and Seren.

They have been friends for years, but recently there has been a change. Both like each other, but there is something more that threatens to rock the boat. Having a friendship is a great thing, you have support and company as well as someone to have a laugh with. Seren is a friend of the family, she spent most of her childhood growing up and around the Treneary house, so Kit is almost like her little brother, and she often reminds him of this. Kit runs a business and he is always popping in to see Seren at the local pub where she works. He is in love with her but doesn’t think she feels the same.

Once again the author has woven such a lovely story that was tantalising with the constant will they/won’t they hanging over. At times this gave quite a fraught feeling and I wanted them to get together, but things never go according to plan. Especially when exes turn up, or you are seen laughing with someone else, or you start to avoid the other person. This leads to heartache and also makes for a wonderful story.

This is a wonderful family, there are several family members and each is mentioned, some more than others and I am hoping that the author has plans to give them each a story over the series.

The setting is fabulous as there are no secrets but plenty of gossip in this island community. If you like the village romance-style stories then this has a very similar vibe.

A gorgeous story that I was only planning on reading a few chapters of, but, which, once again I read in one sitting. Thank goodness I didn’t have work the next morning!

A gorgeous story of family, friendship and change. It has a tense feel to it as the author puts her characters through the mill, but this makes it great for the reader. Ideal for fans of contemporary fiction and romance. One I would defiantly recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hannah spent many years working in childcare before deciding she’d like to write books. When she’s not busy writing she likes to read, drink tea and eat chocolate. She also enjoys yoga and jogging.

Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Instagram

Check out the stops on the Tour

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

The Cottage on Winter Moss by Allie Cresswell @Alliescribbler #fiction #historicalfiction #contemporaryfiction #dualtimeline #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Cottage on WInter Moss by Allie Cresswell. I have read some of Allie’s books previously and I do like her writing style a lot. When she contacted me to see if I wanted to read her latest book, there was no hesitation, of course, I would. My views are my own.

Burned-out author Dee needs fresh inspiration. Impetuously, she abandons London and her good-for-nothing boyfriend to go wherever her literary quest takes her. Journey’s end is a remote village on the shores of a wild estuary, overshadowed by a ruined pele tower. She rents Winter Cottage and waits for a story to emerge.

The bleak beauty of the whispering dunes, the jacquard of colour and texture of the marsh and a romantic tree in a secluded glade—The Trysting Tree—all seduce Dee. Nevertheless, the secretive behaviour of a handsome neighbour, lights across the marsh, a spurious squire and a bizarre, moonlit encounter all suggest there is something odd afoot.

Local gossip and crumbling graveyard inscriptions give Dee the opening she needs. She begins to weave hints about the tragic history of a local family, feuding brothers and a fatal fire into a sweeping historical saga. Her characters clamour for a voice as the tale spools effortlessly onto the page—demanding to be told. Dee feels more like its instrument than its instigator.

As she becomes enmeshed in the local community, Dee is startled to find her fiction unnervingly confirmed by fact, her history still resonating in the present-day.

Is she being guided by echoes of the past?

Purchase Link – AMAZON

MY REVIEW


I really enjoy this author’s books, her latest one was such a wonderful read. Dee, an author who has just split from her boyfriend decides to go on a road trip to… well… she drives until she runs out of road. She finds herself in a small community and there is a cottage available to let through the winter months.

The residents of this out-of-the-way village and the remote cottages where she stays give her something for her next story. Using people from the past she discovers her story just seems to want to be told. The truth of the past, the mistakes of the past, and the hurt of the past are still felt by today’s families. Bickering and feudal families from the past have set the scene for the atmosphere of the present.

This author writes some amazing descriptive passages, bringing a bleak, barren, and weather-worn area out of the shadows. She gives it a sense of being, like a character in its own right. In fact, the surrounding area in this story has secrets, just as the families do. How often do we wonder what the walls of old houses have seen, well the author gently brings this out in this story.

The story is actually a story within a story. The present-day one is of Dee and how she comes to be in the cottage on Winter Moss, the few people she meets, and how she feels drawn to the mysteries of the past. The past is something that wants to be told. As I was reading this story I felt a certain atmospheric air, one that has a nervous feeling. What if the truth is something that will cause harm or upset, how would you feel if the people from the past had their story told and it could potentially change how you perceive others or they perceive you?

Using a duel timeline was a great way to get to know the families and discover what happened many years ago. It is a story of the time, of family loyalty and of marrying into the right family. As the author leads us through the generations attitudes change but the animosity remains.

This is a gorgeous story, the author describes the setting with beauty and danger. Wind and wave-swept areas are open to the elements and are often deluged in rain. The mists and fog make it treacherous, and the water makes it dangerous. The author however weaves a wonderful tale that shows how a community has its opinions, and how the past sets a precedent for the present.

Gorgeously written, wonderful characters, heartbreak, hope, and an addictive read from start to finish. If you like dual-timeline stories that deal with families, troubles, feuds, and a chance to restart then this is one you really should look at. I would definitely recommend this book, it was fabulous reading.

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