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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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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The Mensch by Leopold Borstinski @Borstinski @ZooloosBT #historicalfiction crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Mensch by Leopold Borstinski. While I am delighted to share I am also sad that this is the final book in the Alex Cohen series. It has been a fabulous series to read and an absolute pleasure to support in the Blog Tours.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this wonderful book.

How can a crooked man ever go straight?
Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen settles down in Florida surrounded by his wife and family. But his past life in the criminal underworld stalks his every move and when a bullet whizzes past his ear, he must decide whether to run or fight.


In his desire to go straight, Alex inserts himself in the East Coast porn film industry, only to find that the tentacles of the mob are clasped tight around his life. With the Feds using new laws to hunt down mob bosses, and rats in his own organization all too ready to testify against him, Alex must clean house before the authorities throw him in jail or the mob kills him to stop him ratting them out.


The seventh book in the Alex Cohen series is a historical thriller novel, which reveals the dying embers of Jewish organized crime in America. Leopold Borstinski’s crime fiction shines a light on the death of the old-style mob in an explosive finale.

PURCHASE LINK – HERE

MY REVIEW

Mensch is a Yiddish term for a person of integrity and honour (according to Google). Could you call a gangster a man of honour or someone with integrity?

In this final book in the Alex Cohen series, the author takes a glimpse, at times of the past, of Alex. From his beginnings when he arrived at Ellis Island to where he is in 1965. He started in The Bowery’s and has gradually emerged into a name that is revered i8n the gangs of the US. The author has had him in the mix and rubbing shoulders and swapping stories with Alfonse Capone, The Kennedys, Fidel Castro and Frank Sinatra.

As the years have passed, Alex has become a husband and a father, he has a close-knit group of friends and business partners. He has worked hard and has put himself in danger many times. and occasionally the lives of his family. He has known a vast number of people and some of them have walked away unharmed!

In this final book, Alex is contemplating his future. He has always said that certain parts of his business will become legitimate and others will go to his oldest and closest business partners and friends. As the author gradually approached the 70s, the once feared name of Alex has started to lose some of its impact. The FEDs have been around for many years, but recently the noose is tightening around the old-style gang bosses. Eager to remain free, there are some who are not averse to turning witness.

Alex has always had a motto and it is one that has been mentioned several times in each book. In this final book, it is mentioned even more. If you have followed the series then you will know to what I refer.

I have enjoyed this series from the very start, following the highs and the lows. The Mensch is a book that feels slower, and it sort of makes sense to me as Alex is starting to slow down. But, that does not for one moment mean he is relaxing and taking things easy. He is getting things in order and this means huge amounts of travelling for face-to-face meetings. I think by slower, I mean he is spending time thinking over the past, the present and the future. Life is going to change, what and when that change will be, well you are going to have to read this one to find out.

This is a series that is one for those who like historical fiction that is based around the gangsters of the US. From an unknown immigrant to one who has associated with the rich, the famous and the notorious. A fab series and a brilliant finale in this final book. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.
There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.
He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

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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.


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Windswept & Interesting: My Autobiography by Billy Connolly #Audible #audiobook #toplisten #audioreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Windswept & Interesting: My Autobiography by Billy Connolly. I grew up and was aware of this comedian and over the years I have then watched his travelogue shows.

When I saw this on Audible I knew straight away that this was the book I was going to spend my credit on this month. It was a brilliant choice and exceptional audio and one that will be on my Top Books of the Year list!

In his first full-length autobiography, comedy legend and national treasure Billy Connolly reveals the truth behind his windswept and interesting life.

Born in a tenement flat in Glasgow in 1942, orphaned by the age of 4, and a survivor of appalling abuse at the hands of his own family, Billy’s life is a remarkable story of success against all the odds.

Billy found his escape first as an apprentice welder in the shipyards of the River Clyde. Later he became a folk musician – a ‘rambling man’ – with a genuine talent for playing the banjo. But it was his ability to spin stories, tell jokes and hold an audience in the palm of his hand that truly set him apart.

As a young comedian, Billy broke all the rules. He was fearless and outspoken – willing to call out hypocrisy wherever he saw it. But his stand-up was full of warmth, humility and silliness too. His startling, hairy ‘glam-rock’ stage appearance – wearing leotards, scissor suits and banana boots – only added to his appeal.

It was an appearance on Michael Parkinson’s chat show in 1975 – and one outrageous story in particular – that catapulted Billy from cult hero to national star. TV shows, documentaries, international fame and award-winning Hollywood movies followed. Billy’s pitch-perfect stand-up comedy kept coming too – for over 50 years, in fact – until a double diagnosis of cancer and Parkinson’s Disease brought his remarkable live performances to an end. Since then he has continued making TV shows, creating extraordinary drawings… and writing.

Windswept and Interesting is Billy’s story in his own words. It is joyfully funny – stuffed full of hard-earned wisdom as well as countless digressions on fishing, farting and the joys of dancing naked. It is an unforgettable, life-affirming story of a true comedy legend.

‘I didn’t know I was Windswept and Interesting until somebody told me. It was a friend who was startlingly exotic himself. He’d just come back from Kashmir and was all billowy shirt and Indian beads. I had long hair and a beard and was swishing around in electric blue flairs.
He said: “Look at you – all windswept and interesting!”
I just said: “Exactly!”
After that, I simply had to maintain my reputation…’ 

MY REVIEW

Billy Connolly is a voice I have known of since childhood when Mum and Dad listened to his vinyl LPs, a voice I have known but at the time I didn’t really understand, probably just as well really.

Over the years Billy has been on TV chatshows, radio, Top of the Pops, in film and to be fair in most of the entertainment genres. I have read one of his previous books, it was years ago and it was one that I lent to someone who never returned it!

I decided to listen to the audiobook of this autobiography and I have to say, compared to when I heard his voice as a child, I can understand every word. I mentioned listening to this book to my mum, and the first thing she said was “could you understand him”, yes she still remembers trying to decipher the LPs, not easy especially when Billy starts laughing!

This is a man who has had an interesting life, he has travelled the world and met so many people. He is an observer of people and has taken risks and chances. Some worked some didn’t. But he is a unique man.

Listening to this book had me laughing to a point where I had to pause the book so I could compose myself and also hear what Billy was saying! He sees life slightly differently and this is what makes his improvised stand-up routines so unique.

If you want to listen to an autobiography that gets under the skin of what makes a person tick, then this one is fabulous. Billy doesn’t hide his past, he is open about his mistakes and how he has done things as well as what has affected him over the years.

This is entertaining and funny but it is also honest and a bit of an eye-opener at times. It isn’t all humour and anecdotes, as he discusses the abuse he suffered as a child. It is something that had taken many, many years for him to come to terms with and also to understand. I did also get the hardback of this and read some sections as well as listened. And yes, as I read it I could hear Billy’s voice.

Excellent listening, honest and very addictive. I would absolutely recommend it. 

Here are a couple of quotes from the book that I found on Goodreads –

“Blessed are those who yodel – for they shall never be troubled by offers of work.”
― Billy Connolly, Windswept & Interesting: My Autobiography

“I hope I’ve shown a few disbelievers that they should never discount those they think are different, disorganised or distractible.”
― Billy Connolly, Windswept & Interesting: My Autobiography

ABOUT BILLY CONNOLLY

Image is taken from Goodreads

William “Billy” Connolly, Jr., CBE is a Scottish comedian, musician, presenter and actor. He is sometimes known, especially in his native Scotland, by the nickname The Big Yin (The Big One). His first trade, in the early 1960s, was as a welder (specifically a boilermaker) in the Glasgow shipyards, but he gave it up towards the end of the decade to pursue a career as a folk singer in the Humblebums and subsequently as a soloist. In the early 1970s he made the transition from folk-singer with a comedic persona to fully-fledged comedian, a role in which he continues. He also became an actor, and has appeared in such films as Mrs. Brown (1997), for which he was nominated for a BAFTA; The Boondock Saints (1999); The Last Samurai (2003); Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004); and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008).

It is as a stand-up comedian that Connolly is best known. His observational comedy is idiosyncratic and often off-the-cuff. He has outraged certain sectors of audiences, critics and the media with his free use of the word “fuck”. He has made jokes relating to masturbation, blasphemy, defecation, flatulence, haemorrhoids, sex, his father’s illness, his aunts’ cruelty and, in the latter stages of his career, old age (specifically his experiences of growing old). In 2007 and again in 2010, he was voted the greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups.

Connolly has been married to comedian and psychologist Pamela Stephenson since 1989. In the book Billy, and in a December 2008 online interview, Connolly states he was sexually abused by his father between the ages of 10 and 15. He believes this was a result of the Catholic Church not allowing his father to divorce after his mother left the family. Due to this, Connolly has a “deep distrust and dislike of the Catholic church and any other organization that brainwashes people”. In a 1999 interview with “The Sunday Herald” Connolly condemned the SNP as “racist” and the new Scottish parliament as a “joke”.

In November 1998, Connolly was the subject of a two-hour retrospective entitled Billy Connolly: Erect for 30 Years, which included tributes from Judi Dench, Sean Connery, Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, and Eddie Izzard. 

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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

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Rough Diamonds by Gillian Godden @GGodden @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #crime #gangland #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Rough Diamonds by Gillian Godden. This is the latest in the series and the Diamond Ladies take the lead.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy via NetGalley

Rough Diamonds
Flawed, tough, unbreakable…


In the aftermath of her husband’s shocking murder, Patsy Diamond wants answers. Who was Nick really? Where is all his money? And who killed the man she once loved? Patsy knows exactly who to go to first – Nick’s pregnant mistress, Natasha.


Natasha might seem young and innocent, but Patsy’s certain the girl is hiding something. And the only way to find out what is to keep Natasha close and make her part of the Diamond family.


With the two women forming an unlikely bond, they begin to dig deeper into Nick’s secret life and discover things that shock…and terrify them.


Because Nick Diamond played a deadly game and if the women in his life want payback, then they are going to have to follow his rules – or break them and make their own.


But the strongest diamonds are created under pressure and these women are no exception…


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

This is the latest book in the series that focuses on the Diamond Family. Nick Diamond has been shot, and the repercussions of his death are far-reaching. Some will be pleased that he is gone, others though see an opportunity to take over his patch.

This latest in the series see’s the focus change to the women in the Diamond family, Mother – Victoria, Wife – Pasty, Mistress – Natasha and those who are close to the family who live in one of the rougher parts of Scotland.

Pasty is threatened and she starts to realise that there was more to her husband’s activities than just him being a solicitor and money launderer. She discovers that her husband Nick had more underworld business dealings than she had ever realised. Splitting her time between London and Scotland, Patsy desperately tries to discover the truth and where Nick had hidden the large amount of money that is missing.

Seeing the Diamond women step up and take charge was something that I really liked. The author didn’t change their characters at all but instead made them determined. It would have been easy to toughen them up, but this is not who they are. Now don’t get me wrong, they are not people to be taken advantage of and they do have a bite, so the author does just enough to give them what they can deal with at the right time.

While Patsy doesn’t come across as likeable, her character is determined, and she really isn’t a woman to be messed with. She has made decisions and will act on them, who they will benefit in the long run though, well we will have to wait and see.

While this is the next book in the series, it is also one that marks a new chapter in the Diamond family. New contacts, friendships and business partners are needed but who to trust to watch your back is something that you will discover as the story unfolds.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is one for those who like their crime thrillers with a gang-style kick to it, brutal at times but very addictive reading. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gillian Godden is a brilliantly reviewed writer of gangland fiction as well as a full-time NHS Key Worker in Hull. She lived in London for over thirty years, where she sets her thrillers, and during this time worked in various stripper pubs and venues which have inspired her stories.

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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

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Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland @JessicaRadland @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #romance #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland. This is a brilliant series and this latest book focuses on a different character, but don’t worry the others are still around.

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.

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Samantha has a secret. Returning home from her dream honeymoon to the normality of running her beloved Hedgehog Hollow rescue center, she’s ready for the next chapter of her life with Josh. Or is she? Samantha is hiding something which could forever change the dreams they shared and bring their happy ever after crashing to the ground.

Lauren has given up on love. Twenty-six years ago the love of her life, Shaun, left her a note and was never seen again. Two painful divorces later she still can’t face opening up to anyone. But little does Lauren know that the closure she’s dreamt of for all these years may be closer than she thinks, and perhaps the only way to let new love in is to forgive and forget.

Samantha and Lauren will need the love and support from the Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever. After all, some dreams are worth chasing…

MY REVIEW

I am a big fan of this series and I always look forward to picking up a new book, This latest one had me wrong-footed for a minute or so, it is still set in and around Hedgehog Hollow, but instead of the focus being more on Sam and Josh and their hedgehogs, another leading character was brought in.

Lauren is aunt to Josh. She has been married twice and not successfully. Her first husband just disappeared leaving just a note and a huge hole in her heart. The second husband changed after their marriage. She has vowed off men, although she does live with a male friend. She has never truly gotten over her first love.

While this does feature Lauren, the chapters also kept me up to date with Sam and Josh as they go off on honeymoon. This is the first time they have both had any quality time together and once again the author brings Sam’s worries to the forefront. Sam has terrible anxiety issues and with just cause. The patience, understanding nature and love of Josh really does shine through. If you have read any books from this series then you will know of Sam’s past. If not the author does briefly mention it.

Lauren however has her own problems. She has just discovered the job she loves at the local college no longer exists after the college has been bought out. She has the chance to apply for a new role, but it isn’t one she wants. It seems that the person who is responsible for telling her this news is one that could possibly give her more than one thing to think about.

Any Hedgehog Hollow book has updates on hedgehogs. This one is no different, there are also some new mentions of Hogs from the honeymoon trip. No matter where you go in this series a hedgehog is lurking somewhere and it is great.

This installment is slightly different compared to the others, while the characters are all there it is also nice to see more from Lauren. Learning more about her and her life in the past was really interesting. Revelations about her past came as a real shock to her and I thought it had been done so well.

This book has some really wonderful moments, as well as some tough issues. There is one particular moment that had me welling up as the author described a very simple but poignant event.

While life moves on at Hedgehog Hollow there are still things to be done. The rescue center has become more of an outreach center and not just for our prickly friends. It is a sanctuary and a wonderful place to keep coming back to. I adore each book in the series, and while they can be read as stand-alone, they are wonderful to read in order. Once you have read one it leaves you wanting the next one. Great for fans who are looking for romance, life, and the problems it comes with and it is a book and series I would definitely recommend.

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