The Summer Island Swap by Samantha Tonge #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Island Swap by Samantha Tonge. This was a book I read at the beginning of August this year and it is one of the books I chose for the #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge and I am still playing catch-up on posting my reviews!

Let me show you what this wonderful book is all about…

Synopsis…

Sometimes the best holidays are the ones you least expect… 

After a long and turbulent year, Sarah is dreaming of the five-star getaway her sister has booked them on. White sands, cocktails, massages, the Caribbean is calling to them.

But the sisters turn up to tatty beaches, basic wooden shacks, a compost toilet and outdoor cold water showers. It turns out that at the last minute Amy decided a conservation project would be much more fun than a luxury resort.

So now Sarah’s battling mosquitos, trying to stomach fish soup and praying for a swift escape. Life on a desert island though isn’t all doom and gloom. They’re at one with nature, learning about each other and making new friends. And Sarah is distracted by the dishy, yet incredibly moody, island leader she’s sure is hiding a secret.

My Review…

I have 2 or 3of this authors books and they seem to have slid down my TBR pile. When I decided that I wanted a more relaxing summery, romance style read it was this author that suddenly sprung to mind and I thought I really need to read one of her books.

Well, what an amazing book this was and I absolutely adored it. Amy and Sarah are sisters and after a lottery win, Amy decides to treat them both to a luxury holiday. Amy works as a veterinary nurse and Sarah has a management role in a hotel. Both are looking forward to getting away, although Sarah is a little worried about leaving all the arrangements to her younger sister. Expecting a resort with pools, spas, beaches and the full 5-star treatment only to discover that Amy has suddenly changed the plan. Instead, they are on a working holiday on a small island in the Virgin Islands, No spas, 5-star treatments or anything else she was expecting, instead, Sarah has to deal with compost toilets, mosquitoes, cold showers and physical work.

Yes, this story does has a romantic thread running but it is actually the relationship between the sisters that really intrigued me. Sarah is the eldest and has looked out for Amy since their mum passed away, effectively taking on the parenting role and guiding, advising and to be fair has been quite controlling. The reasons for this are revealed more within the story. Amy is lacking confidence but she more than makes up for in enthusiasm and passion for animals.

While the sisters are chalk and cheese, they also have a very strong bond. They have been looking out for each other for years. This trip to a remote island with absolutely no mod cons and basic amenities is right up to Amy’s street but not so much for Sarah.

The thing about this story is the way the author has woven the story of the sisters and their upbringing around the conservation aspects of the island. The author goes into detail about the inspiration behind the story a the end, but it is obvious that there has been research and fact-checking as there is a myriad of little snippets about the wold life, flora and fauna, food, ecology and environment. So many interesting facts add a wonderful additional ingredient.

A wonderful story that readers of contemporary fiction, friendship and family will really enjoy, as I said there is a romantic thread but it is a subtle slower one that really fits in with the feel of the characters. A fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Image and Bio taken from the Author’s Goodreads Page.

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. 
She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo and in 2020 her novel Knowing You won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award. 

http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

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

Christmas at Lock Keepers Cottage by Lucy Coleman @LucyColemanauth @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #Festivefiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage by Lucy Coleman. I am a fan of this author and I always enjoy her books and her latest one is no exception. My huge thanks as always to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of the book.

So, what is this one all about…

Synopsis…

Join us for Christmas in the Cotswolds in this perfect festive escape, from the bestselling Lucy Coleman.

Imogen Tolliman never knew her mother. And when an accident robs Immi of her father too, she goes to live with her grandfather, Tollie, in his picturesque lock-keeper’s cottage by the Aysbury marina.

Tollie is the star of the Santa Ahoy Special each Christmas – a festive boat ride along the canal that enthralls both children and adults alike. And as Immi grows up, she starts to appreciate the magical community she is lucky enough to live in.

When Immi meets Gray Adams, she instantly realises he’s someone special. And as their relationship gets serious, they start to plan for the Christmas to beat all Christmases.

But as the day approaches, and the romantic snow showers turn into blizzards, their dream of a Christmas to remember, looks set to be one they’ll never forget – for all the wrong reasons. Can they salvage the festivities, or will old secrets that are finally uncovered turn Immi’s life upside down forever?

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to a dreamy Cotswolds Christmas full of snowflakes and secretslog fires, mistletoe, friends and much-loved traditions. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley, Holly Martin and Sue Moorcroft.

Purchase Links – KindlePaperbackAudiobook. (These are Amazon affiliate links)


My Review…

I do love a Lucy Coleman book and her latest has a wonderful Cotswolds setting. Immi has not had the best of starts in life as her mum left when she was a baby. Later she lost her father and her Gran. She has been through a lot of grief and the local community have been there for her, given her a chance and she has grown to be a thoughtful and kind person with a big heart and time for people. 

Community is a large part of this story, how they come together and support each other. Whether it is in the form of winter cruises on the narrowboats for children eager to meet Santa or coming up with ideas to fundraise. 

Gray is Immi’s partner, and they see each other only at weekends. His mum has not been well and he has needed to help her come to terms with her illness and the anxiety it has left her with. This means that Immi and Gray only have short periods together and are always busy.

When I started this book I didn’t quite take to the characters, I mean I liked them but I couldn’t quite get the connections they felt a little disjointed. I suppose in some ways it is similar to the relationship between Immi and Gray, even though their love for each other is complete they are often apart more than together. Gradually though I got to see more of this couple and started to understand them more, and also other members of the community. What a community it is, talk about dealing with whatever is aimed at them!

When I had finished this book I found myself with a few loose threads that I am hoping will be picked up in another book. I just feel that there are more stories that this community and its characters have to share. Keeping my fingers crossed for this!

It is a story that is heartwarming and has a good few surprises, and one in particular that I did not see at all. A wonderfully warm, community-spirited story that I really did enjoy and would recommend to readers of contemporary fiction who like a story about love, life family and friendships… and that I dearly hope may be the start of a series!

About the Author…

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

Social Media Links – TwitterFacebookInstagramWebsiteBookbubNewsletter Sign-up

Check out the previous stops on the Blog Tour…

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

We Are Family by Nicola Gill @Avonbooks #NetGalley #family #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for We Are Family by Nicola Gill. This is due to be published tomorrow along with many, many other books, but I hope you have this one on your list to buy.

My thanks to Avon Books for my e-ARC via NetGalley. My thoughts are my own.

Synopsis…

You can’t choose your family…

Jess and Laura might be sisters, but they’re very different people. Laura is laid-back, eats cheese in bed, and takes life as it comes. Jess, meanwhile, is the classic overachiever: Chief of Chivvying, Queen of all WhatsApp groups. They’re family, but they’re not exactly friends.

…but you can let them in.

When their mum dies, the sisters struggle to agree on anything, from where to scatter the ashes to whether “passed away” is an acceptable term. But as life forces them together, Laura and Jess realise: the only way through this is as a team. After all, they’re stuck with each other – and drinking wine is more fun as a pair…

A funny, tender and thoroughly entertaining read for anyone who loved watching Fleabag, and is a fan of books by Marian Keyes, Fiona Gibson, Rachel Marks, Beth O’Leary and Mhairi McFarlane.

Purchase Links from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackAudio (these are affiliate links that earn me a small commission at no cost to you)

My Review…

The synopsis does a very good job of telling you what this book is about. Two sisters having to come together after the death of their mother to sort out funeral arrangements and clearing the belongings.

The story is one that I happily read in a day and I gradually got to know Jess and Laura. They are two very different women in their style and also their personalities as well as their lifestyle. I met Laura first who is a run ragged Mum of Billy and lives with her partner Jon. She seems to be the sort of woman who has no time for herself as she juggles her work, her family and trying to keep too many plates spinning in the air.

Jess, on the other hand, seems to be more organised, and in some ways, she comes across as slightly aloof, controlling and more stylish. This is something that is told from Laura’s point of view and when I met Jess I kind of agreed with Laura’s view. But as the story progressed I found that Laura did annoy me a little bit, she is jealous of what her older sister has and there is a lot of resentment.

The gi8lrs have to connect as best they can as they deal with their mum’s estate and slowly they begin to talk. There are some quite heartwarming moments in the story and also some very funny memories that are shared. This helps to build a bigger picture of the girls growing up and also kind of explains the lives the women now have.

This was a very nice read and one that shows the struggle of losing a parent as well as having to deal with resentment from the past. It is about having the chance to put the past behind them and move forward, but can they? There are hurtful memories and snide comments and while venting frustrations is a good thing they do cut quite deep emotionally.

An enjoyable read that I found very absorbing and entertaining, I liked the contrasts between the women and their lives, opinions, outlooks and traits. Ideal for readers who like a story that has a little sibling rivalry and like a story about families. It is one I would recommend.

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

I Am Dust by Louise Beech @OrendaBooks #20booksofsummer #mystery #suspense #mustread #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for I Am Dust by Louise Beech. THis is a book I have chosen to be part of my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge and what a wonderful book it was.

Let me show you what it is about…

Synopsis

A haunted theatre
A murdered actress
Three cursed teenagers
A secret that devastates them all…

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review

I have just finished reading this book and there are two words that I think sum this book up “hauntingly beautiful” I wish I could leave that as my review, but as a Book Blogger I know I need to add more to it. The synopsis gives a very good idea as to the story, but, Oh there is so much more it than that!

The story is told in a time slip style. The past goes back to when three teens, Chloe, Jess and Ryan use a Ouija board to contact a dead actress. She was murdered while the show Dust was being performed. The now is the DW theatre, not as popular as it used to be, and there is exciting news that the show Dust will be performed once again.

The author did such an amazing job with this story, I loved the haunting atmospherics that added some amazing tension. The story started with some excitement as the teens started to use the spirit board, this was then built on over the course of the story. Mixed into this was the mystery about the dead actress, Morgan Miller, who wanted to kill her and why.

There is another mystery that also comes into play, and that is what exactly happened to the teens when they walked away from the board? Did it change them? Did they follow the warnings? Well these questions are just the tip of the ice-berg as the author took this reader deeper and deeper into this mystery.

I call this a mystery, and in some ways yes it is, but it is also has a wonderful supernatural theme to it, also there is the murder which adds a crime element, then there is the relationships between the teens, oh and there is also a heartbreaking aspect. I think what I am getting at is that this book crosses genres and that makes it a book that will engage so many different readers.

The story gradually wrapped me up, drawing me deeper and deeper into its pages. I found myself addicted and at times when I was not reading it, I almost felt it calling out to me to pick it up again. It is a beautifully written story, that is heartbreaking and haunting. I loved it from start to finish and those last few pages completely broke me and left me a sobbing wreck.

This is a book that I am pretty sure will be on my Top Reads of the Year list. It is an exceptional read and one I would Highly Recommend.

About the Author

Louise’s debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers’ pick in 2015 and a top ten bestseller on Amazon. The Mountain in my Shoe longlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2016. The Sunday Mirror called Maria in the Moon ‘quirky, darkly comic, original and heartfelt’. It was also a Must Read in the Sunday Express and a Book of the Year at LoveReadingUK. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was described as ‘engrossing and captivating’ by the Daily Express. It also shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year and longlisted for the Polari Prize 2019. Call Me Star Girl hit number one on Kobo. It also longlisted for the Not The Booker Prize and won the Best magazine Big Book Award 2019. I Am Dust is out in 2020.

Links – WebsiteTwitterAmazon Author Page

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

Choices Shape, Losses Break by Nia Lucas @BooksNia @rararesources #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Choices Shape, Losses Break by Nia Lucas. I am so pleased that Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources sent me a message about this book as I had missed seeing the post for the Blog Tour about it. Having read Nia’s previous book Loved Punked I knew I would be in for a good read, I wasn’t disappointed.

Synopsis

Shunned and struggling at home and school, teenager Lorna Davies clatters into chaotic and charismatic Shay O’Driscoll and Leon Barrett at an illegal rave in 1995. As Lorna’s talent for dancing sees her unexpectedly employed in the strobe-lit heart of 90’s club culture, her world is turned on its head by her budding friendship with Shay and Leon. For the boys, their high-risk lives endanger all three of them in an association that blurs the lines between friendship and dependency.

As the risks escalate, Lorna’s best friend Hannah, her brother Dan, her bully-turned-protector Nico and her unexpected friend Rosa watch with concern as she is thrust ever closer to harm in an intoxicating new landscape. When life-threatening events risk separating them permanently, Lorna, Leon and Shay juggle love, loyalty, sacrifice and exploitation as their lives change beyond recognition. Will the losses they face break them all?

Purchase from –Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link) or Amazon US

My Review

Once again this author has written an absolutely amazing novel. I am still at a bit of a loss as I sit and try and put my thoughts into some sort of order. So before I really get into it I am going to try and categorise this book into what genre I would put it in and actually it falls into several. I was wondering if there was such a thing as urban contemporary fiction and when I had a sneaky peek over on Amazon I discovered there was! It is also a coming of age, older teen romance and also a damned fine read.

The story is that of Lorna Davies, she is bullied, she has chores at home that are never done right or to a good enough standard in her mother’s opinion, she doesn’t have the best reputation and even the teachers expect her to achieve nothing. She is one of those girls who wants to live in the shadows as much as she can trying not to be noticed. Some of the accusations are down to her actions but are not worthy of the taunting and bullying.

Things change when she goes along to a club and loses herself to the music and she is spotted and asked to join two other dancers to dance on the podium spots, this then leads to being paid to dance. Friends are made and things start to change in Lorna’s life.

The author has the ability to completely captivate me with this story. A girl who is bullied who then starts to find a freedom from the taunts, and jibes. There is a problem however, one is her age, she is not yet 16, and also her out dancing at raves and in nightclubs actually leads an even bigger rift between Lorna and her mum.

The author has woven a storey of family friends, expectations, sacrifice and love. There is quite a strong sexual thread through this story and there are times it does border on the explicit. Now, I am not one for this type of thing in my reading but the author has tackled this in such a varied way. I am not going to elaborate any more but just be aware.

The characters of Leon and Shay are brilliant, and there are times I really wanted to knock their heads together and as I understood their backstories more I realised that understood how they acted and reacted as they did. Lorna, well, initially it took me a while to warm to her but as the story progressed I found a character that had a hell of a lot more gumption to her than I originally thought. The three characters support each other in different ways. It has a whole range of emotions and the ending is just unbelievable.

This is a fabulously addictive read that I absolutely adored. It is a book that I would Absolutely Recommend.

About the Author

I am a UK-based author of Contemporary women’s fiction who is passionate about writing amazing, strong and relatable female characters who readers really invest in- I love to write stories about the best mate you wish you’d had! My Welsh heritage and my life as a practising Social Worker with teenagers and their families heavily influences my work as does my love of all things 90’s, especially Rave and Clubbing culture. My first novel, ‘Love Punked’ is rated 5* on Amazon and my second 5* rated Novel ‘Choices Shape, Losses Break’ is now available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited!

Social Media Links – My Facebook Page is Nia Lucas Books where my latest news and updates are posted and readers can also follow me at @BooksNia on Twitter or @nialucasbooks on Instagram.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

Starcross Manor by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow @rararesources #LoveHeartLane #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for the latest book in the Love Heart Lane series called Starcross Manor written by Christie Barlow. I adore this series and I loved this latest addition. 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 book.

So, shall we see what it’s all about…

Starcross Manor

Dying to know more about the brooding and mysterious Flynn Carter and the secrets behind his plans for Starcross Manor?

You won’t want to miss the next spellbinding chapter in the Love Heart Lane series – where friends are there for you no matter what.

When Julia Coleman meets Flynn Carter again in the cosy village of Heartcross it can only mean trouble. Flynn might be rich, brooding and sexy, but Julia knows first-hand he’s ruthless and she plans to watch his every move.

When Julia discovers Flynn’s plans for beautiful Starcross Manor her greatest fears come true.  Because Flynn’s dreams of turning Starcross into a luxury hotel could ruin Julia’s dreams…and finish off the community of Heartcross for good.

Flynn makes it clear he doesn’t want trouble, and he’s not the man Julia thinks he is.  As he sets about convincing the community he’s changed, he hopes he can convince Julia to give him another chance too…

Grab your own copy at Amazon UKUS ( UK link is an affiliate one)

My Review

What another absolutely fabulous read in the Love Heart Lane series, I was so glad to be back in the village of Heartcross and catch up with its residents once again. The focus of this story is that of local B&B owner Julia Coleman.

Julia is taken aback when she sees the rather handsome Flynn Carter back in Heartcross. She is not a fan of his after he stood her best friend up on her wedding day, and also that he paid far less for her Grandfathers cottage than it was actually worth. So what on earth is he doing back in the village?

Julia isn’t a mean person, but she really does manage to alienate him after calling a village meeting. When the locals realise that Flynn’s conversion of Starcross Manor into a luxury 5* hotel then what will happen to their businesses? How will they stay in business when those guests drive through the village to get to the hotel that literally has everything.

This was such an easy story to get into a short prologue led into such a wonderful story. The author really does bring the sense of community through in her stories, they feel right and give a great sense of belonging. Running alongside that are the gorgeous descriptions of the surrounding area and also of Starcross Manor, it sounds absolutely amazing.

I liked how the author wove Starcross Manor and the character of Flynn into this story. He is a main character right enough but also he seems to hover on the side stage as such. I think him living just outside the village and being busy with managing the conversion gives him more of a mysterious air.

We all know that being part of a community is all about doing the right thing when it really matters. It is also about admitting when you are wrong and trying to make amends. This story is about misunderstandings and there are some secrets and revelations that add to the drama that is unfolded.

A gorgeous one sitting read and one that readers of contemporary fiction, family and with a dash of romance will adore and if you are already up to date with this series then you are in for another wonderful treat. I am absolutely recommending this book.

About the Author

Christie Barlow is the number 1 International bestselling author of ten bestsellers including A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Clover Cottage. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada & Australia.

Follow Christie on – TwitterInstagramFacebook

Head over to Christie’s Amazon Author Page for all her books

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

Till next time, Yvonne 🙂 xx

Nancy Cornish PI by Amanda James @amandajames61

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for Nancy Cornish PI by Amanda James. This is the second book in the series and another book that absolutely hit the right spot. My huge thanks to Mandy for my advanced e-copy of this book, my thoughts are my own.

As I am away from Social Media at the moment, any shares or likes would be very much appreciated ❤

Let me show you what it is all about…

Where extraordinary things happen…you’ll find Nancy Cornish

Nancy Cornish has recently left her job at The Whistling Kettle Café in Padstow to start her own PI business. Nancy, seemingly an ordinary member of her community, has an extraordinary gift. She is able to make psychic connections with those who have passed, and objects belonging to those still living. The PI denotes Psychic Investigator, not Private Investigator. Her husband Charlie is a DS in the Truro police, and a down to earth Cornishman. In the past, he’s dismissed Nancy’s gift as ‘mumbo jumbo’, but now he accepts that she’s a very good detective. He’s over the moon that she’s been able to help him solve some important crimes, and is keen for her to keep up this good work.

As well as working with her husband in his police work, Nancy’s main mission in life is to use her gift to help others. In the grand scheme of things, the cases she solves within her community might not seem very important. However, they mean the world to those who come to Nancy for help. Some of her successes to date has been to reunite long lost lovers, track down a war hero’s missing medals, rescue a beloved pet, and find the mystery ingredient in the local butcher’s prize-winning sausages! 

In this sequel to The Cornish Connection, we see people come to Nancy for all sorts of reasons. Some are new clients, some are old friends, and she often discovers that what they say they need help with, is only the beginning of their story. Nancy’s investigations and discoveries help them to see what’s most important to them in life, and how to achieve it. And as we all know, that thing is happiness. 

Nancy Cornish PI – ‘An unusual and uplifting story, set against the gorgeous backdrop of Cornwall. Perfect!’ 

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

This is the second book in the Nancy Cornish PI series. The PI is Psychic Investigator and Nancy has run her business helping people for a year. She helps people find lost items of sentimental value, discovers untold secrets and puts peoples minds at rest. This is a series I am really enjoying as I follow Nancy around Cornwall as she connects the dots and solves the mysteries.

As this is the second book in the series I was already aware of some of the characters and there are brief mentions of past cases. To be honest it is a book you could read as a stand alone, but I would advise reading in order as some of the characters have some smaller ongoing story lines.

This book follows Nancy as she solves a series of cases, while some seem straight-forward there are also others that have a more serious nature. Other involve a more lengthy course of action and take a while to come together.They are wonderfully woven together and kept me hooked throughout the book.

I always mention this authors use of the Cornish landscape and surrounding area, she uses it to such good effect and it adds a wonderful sens of place. It always amazes me how well she weaves the scenery into the story and it always feels fresh and like you are take a short breather from he story but are still very much involved.

This is another fabulous book int he series and one that i think mystery readers would really enjoy as well as those who want something slightly different. Yes it does have a psychic element to it and I think it works really well. It has left me wanting to read more in the series and I would definitely recommend it.

Amanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.

Amanda has written many short stories and has thirteen novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.

Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the wild and beautiful coastline near her home. She has many suspense/mystery novels set there. Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel, Behind the Lie, Another Mother, Deep Water, The Cornish Retribution, The Feud and Dark Deception. Amanda has two women’s fiction books. The Calico Cat, a family drama/coming-of-age, and The Cornish Connection, cosy crime with a psychic twist. 

Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Visit Mandy on TwitterFacebookAmazon Author Page

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

A Cornish Summer by Catherine Alliott #ACornishSummer #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for one of the books on my #20booksofsummer reading list. A Cornish Summer by Catherine Alliot is one that I read at the begging of June, I really need to get caught up and publish my reviews.

So, what’s this one about…

Flora’s been in love with her husband for twenty years. The trouble is, he’s been married to someone else for the past fifteen . . . 

A summer on Cornwall’s sandy beaches sounds like the perfect getaway.

Except Flora finds she’ll be spending it with her former scheming mother-in-law, ex-husband and his new wife . . .

Can she survive the summer playing happy families?

Could a holiday romance help her finally get over her him?

And will stumbling on the family secret change her mind about them all?

If you like Fern Britton, Katie Fforde and Jill Mansell, you’ll love this irresistible summer read from the bestselling author of About Last Night and Wish You Were Here. 

Purchase from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackAudiobook (these are affilliate links)

This is a book that has a slower more sedate pace to it, well that is until you get a lot further into it. Flora has been commissioned to paint her ex-father-in-laws portrait, though she is nervous about this she does need the money. Flora and her ex, Hugo, have a son, Peter, who is well provided for, Hugo’s family are wealthy, they have status and not all of them look down on Flora.

This is a book that starts with Flora making her way to the estate in Cornwall where she will paint the portrait. She is shocked when she arrives as there are more people there than she was expecting. This launches nicely back in time to when Flora was a teen and how she and Hugo got together. It then flows naturally up to the present day.

The story has quite a bit of description about the past, about the various characters and also Flora’s thoughts. The more I read the more I found myself disliking some characters, and had a suspicion of something being underhanded. This gave an intriguing edge to the story and also there was some unexpected turns of event.

It is a story of family and secrets, and these secrets are not revealed until later in the book. The author has taken a route and twisted things along the way. It has quite a few characters and they were introduced in such a way that I was able to keep up with who was who, and I soon began to work out who I liked or didn’t.

The story was quite engaging for the most part, though there were times where I wanted it to move on quicker as I felt impatient to discover what revelation was going to happen next. But the journey through this book was lovely and I did enjoy it a lot.

This is a story that would appeal to readers who like contemporary fiction with some really nice descriptions. One I would recommend.

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

Wife Support System by Kathleen Whyman @KathleenWhyman1 @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Wife Support System by Kathleen Whyman. I really enjoyed this book and would like to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

So, what is it all about…

We’ve got the balance all wrong. Instead of living with our partners, struggling to do everything by ourselves and only seeing each other now and then, we should do it the other way round. We should live together and see them now and then.

Erica knows her suggestion sounds extreme, but when her nanny leaves without notice, she’s extremely desperate. Polly and Louise aren’t convinced, but when circumstances force them to move into Polly’s enormous but run-down house, they have to admit life’s much easier when the childcare and work is shared.

At first, communal living seems like the answer to their prayers – childcare on tap, rotas for cleaning and someone always available to cook dinner (no more last-minute pizza delivery!). But over time, resentment starts to grow as they judge each other’s parenting styles and bicker over cleaning, cooking and whose turn it is to buy toilet rolls.

And as one woman has her head turned by a handsome colleague, one resorts to spying on her husband and another fights to keep a dark secret, they need each other more than ever. But can Polly, Louise and Erica keep their friendship and relationships strong? Or will their perfect mumtopia fall apart?

Essential reading for anyone fed up with never-ending housework/homeschooling/preparing healthy meals that their kids reject … Fans of Why Mummy DrinksHas Anyone Seen My Sex Life? and Beth O’Leary won’t want to miss this one!

Purchase Links – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link) KoboApple

I really enjoyed this book and read it over a couple of days. It was one of those books that had a gentle pace and it gave me a chance to get to know the three main characters. They were Erica, Louise and Polly, each has children and are school mum friends.

When Erica suggests that their recent holiday together was great and wouldn’t it be good if they could do this again. Sharing the childcare, the housework and being there for each other sounds quite a good suggestion. While on paper things should be good in practice, well that is another matter altogether.

I just know that a group of women living together may sound great, but it can also be a recipe for disaster. Especially if one is always working, the other is having issues and the third seems to be the one picking up after everyone. This is definitely a read that shows the women interactions well and made for great reading.

The dynamics between the women are wonderful reading, I loved how the author tackled various aspects of parenthood from the “my child would never do that” to the “can you pick take so and so to school scenarios”. While each of the women has their own personal lives and problems, there is also the new challenge of working together and finding compromises, this does not work so well.

I found this an entertaining read and one that had me sniggering several times, it also had some heartbreaking revelations. Seeing the women in a setting that doesn’t allow them to put on their “school mum” face was interesting.

I liked this a lot and really warmed to some characters more than others, but also by the end had discovered more about each of the women. A great summer read and one that I would definitely recommend.

Kathleen is a writer for Writers’ Forum magazine, a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and her second book was recently longlisted for the Comedy Women in Print Unpublished Comedy Novel prize.

Follow Kathleen on Twitter

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

Sunshine and Second Chances by Kim Nash #summerfiction #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Sunshine and Second Chances by Kim Nash. I read this book a few weeks ago and thought it was about time I shared this as it is a fabulous read. If you have read Kim’s previous books then you are not going to be disappointed.

Let me show you what it’s all about…

It’s never too late for second chances.

Liv wants her friends to think she has the perfect life. But honestly? She’s running on empty. Desperate from a break from her needy family, Liv is determined that as she and her three life-long friends turn fifty they will honour their promise to each other – made on a beach at sunrise twenty-nine years before – to celebrate this milestone together.

And what better place to celebrate than a gorgeous villa in the Algarve? They’ll enjoy the stunning beaches, picturesque fishing towns and glorious climate, and maybe be spoiled by the gorgeous Eduardo, who’s making one particular heart unexpectedly flutter…

Liv’s friends can’t wait to escape with her: Debs is newly single, Fiona is caring for her mum, and Samantha is grieving. But does time away make the heart grow fonder? Is the thought of returning to reality too hard to bear? Is what they have really all there is to life?

It begins as a reunion in the sunshine, but little do the four friends know what life-changing decisions they’ll all be making before their flight home…

A heart-warming, feel-good summer read about friendship, love and second chances. Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Milly Johnson and Holly Martin.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

What happens when 4 women get together for a holiday in a gorgeous villa in Portugal? Well after the initial awkwardness of not seeing each other for years passes there is laughter, tears and revelations. The woman are 50 or almost 50. They have different backgrounds, styles and personalities but they are all stuck in the rut and monotony of life. A week away is a chance to reconnect and gives them each a chance to be honest.

This author has created yet another one sitting read and what a wonderful read it was as well. I really like the idea of the 4 women getting away and seeing how they react and interact with each other. None of them are truly happy but what can they do about it, after all that is life… right!

I was hooked from the first couple of pages as I was gradually introduced to the women, had a glimpse into their lives until their arrival at their holiday destination. They are normal everyday women and go through life as women do, as mothers, as wives or single. The scenarios the authors weaves for the women at home are realistic and believable, and for me this is what makes this story work.

As the title suggests, this is about second chances. It is a chance to get off the roller-coaster of life for a while and take stock of what you have, what you dreamt about or where you see yourself. It is like a coming of age story but for adult women rather than teens.

The story is perfectly paced and there are so many heartwarming moments, as well as the odd sharp word, well after all you do have 4 menopausal women together! In fact one of my favourite scenes is when there is a discussion about the menopausal, it had me in sniggering knowingly.

A perfect escapism read and one that I adored from start to finish. A story about 4 women reconnecting, admitting the truth and then doing something about it. Brilliant story and definitely recommended.

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