The Game by Scott Kershaw @HQstories #NetGalley #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Game by Scott Kershaw. The cover and the snappy synopsis definitely caught my eye when I requested it.

My huge thanks to HQ for granting my request to review this book via NetGalley.

The rules are simple. To save their life, you have to play.

[text message]

DEAR PLAYER,

THE PERSON YOU LOVE MOST IS IN DANGER.

TO SAVE THEM, YOU MUST PLAY THE GAME.

THE RULES ARE: THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE WINNER.

IF YOU LOSE, YOUR LOVED ONE WILL DIE.

ALL PLAYERS ENTER ALONE.

DO NOT SHARE THIS MESSAGE. DO NOT SEEK HELP.

WELCOME TO THE GAME.

YOU’VE JUST STARTED PLAYING.

[end of message]

MY REVIEW

I have to admit it was the cover that first caught my eye with this book. Snappy title, simple graphic and the line – The rules are simple. To save their life, you have to play.

This is a mystery thriller, that does have a crime element to it, but it is more about the mystery of The Game. What is The Game, who runs it, why is this being done and what would you do to keep those you love safe and alive!

There are 5 players in this game, they are unconnected, they are oblivious to each other and they have travelled from the US, France and Uk to meet up so they can learn more about The Game. The consequences are not as clear cut as I originally thought they might be. There was a curiosity to both stories but I was never fully aware of what was occurring until further into the story. The author does pace this story so well, it is one where some players are on a time limit, and this increases the tension of the story.

There is a lot more to this story than the synopsis gives away. The suspense of wondering if any of the players will do something stupid or brave is an ever[present one.

The players are normal people, with normal lives. Because they have been drawn from different countries it makes any connection unlikely. I liked how the author introduced each player and then kept referring back to things in the past. I soon found that I got to know who was who especially when they do meet up to actually continue The Game.

This is intriguing, I liked the time element and the mystery that was underlying all the way through. It is a thriller and I really enjoyed the story. The characters are not all likeable, but this is down to how the author portrays them. I look forward to reading more by this author and I would happily recommend this book.

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

A Scottish Highland Surprise by Julie Shackman @G13Julie @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Scottish Highland Surprise by Julie Shackman. I have read a couple of books by this author and have enjoyed them so when I saw this one I knew I wanted to read it.

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

Discover the secrets and surprises that the scenic Scottish town of Briar Glen has to offer…
When wedding planner Sophie Harkness refuses to move a friend’s wedding to accommodate a spoilt bridezilla, she finds herself out of a job. That is until she discovers her late grandma has purchased a local shop for her in the pretty Scottish town of Briar Glen.
Surprised and delighted, Sophie opens her own porcelain shop in honour of her grandmother. But when an unusual tea set is left with Sophie, along with a mysterious letter, she can’t help but be intrigued by the story behind the antique.
And when the handsome but aloof art critic Xander North comes knocking on her door, Sophie is about to find out the true colourful past of her latest treasure.
The perfect feel-good romance for fans of Jo Thomas, Katie Fforde and Trisha Ashley.

Purchase Links – AMAZON – UK or US

MY REVIEW

This was such a delightful read and one, that when I started I could not put it down. It was definitely a case of “just one more chapter then I’ll go to bed!”.

There is only so much that wedding planner Sophie can deal with when it comes to demanding brides. So from wedding planner to shop owner in a few days is not something she had envisioned. The shop has already been bought, she has some items that will give her the money to buy her stock and get things ready. The downside is that this is the final wish of her grandmother.

The shop is one that sounds just amazing and I will admit not the first thing that I would think of if I have left this opportunity. Luckily the author knows what readers like and so a shop that sells tea sets and crockery was the focus. Tea is something I and my husband drink a lot of, we are the “dunk the bag in the mug” drinkers, but I do drag the old pot and cosy out in the winter so it can sit by the fire to keep warm and we can have a second stewed brew. After reading this book I know want a nice teapot to go with my china and porcelain teacups and saucers.

The teapots and the history of some of the more collectable ones were really interesting and I admit that the author really sold me on this being the best use for the shop that Sophie has taken on. Now, this isn’t a straightforward story where Sophie gets the shop, sells the pots and things are great. Oh no, this is one that comes with mysteries, one of which accompanies a mysterious set from 1900 and how it came to be handed in at the shop. This is a brilliant storyline and one that kept popping in and out of the story along with the story of Sophies Gran.

If the mystery and the interesting information about the tea sets weren’t enough the author has also wound in a confusing time for Sophie with two male characters. Very chalk and chees these guys are. One comes across as aloof and cold, the other has that cheeky chap aura about him. How will they impact Sophie when she already has enough on her plate researching the mystery tea set and also trying to get her shop ready for opening! Well, you will just have to grab a copy to find out.

This was an adorable story and one that I really loved everything about it. It has mystery, romance, intrigue and gorgeous descriptions throughout. One for fans of contemporary fiction, mystery and romance. It is one I would definitely recommend. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Julie Shackman is a former journalist from Scotland, who has always wanted to write feel-good romance. As well as being an author, Julie also writes verses and captions for greetings card companies. Julie admits to having an obsession with stationery and handbags. She is married, has two sons and a Romanian rescue pup, who she named Cooper. A Scottish Highland Surprise is Julie’s sixth novel.

Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Instagram

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Welcome to Your Life by Bethany Rutter @bethanyrutter @RandomTTours @fictionpubteam #debut #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Welcome to Your Life by Bethany Rutter. This is the first time I have read a book by this debut author and it was a fabulous one to read.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for squeezing me on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

52 weeks.
52 dates.
52 chances to find love.

Serena Mills should be at her wedding.


Instead, she’s eating an ice cream sundae and drinking an obscenely large glass of wine in a
Harvester off the M25.


Everyone thinks she’s gone mad. She’s jilted the man everyone told her she was ‘so lucky’ to find.
But Serena wants to find love. A love she deserves – not one she should just feel grateful for.
So, she escapes to the big city and sets herself a challenge: 52 weeks. 52 dates. 52 chances to find
love.

It should be easy, right?

MY REVIEW

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and that is because Bethany is a Debut Author, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I really liked the sound of the synopsis. The story is of Serena, and she has just left her wedding and is eating ice cream in a chain restaurant. Oh, and she is by herself!

This is the start of a wonderful story about how Serena tries to decide who she is and what she actually wants from her life. Not being the most confident of people and not willing to go out on a limb means she settles for what she knows. Thank goodness she realised in time that what she thought she wanted in life isn’t actually what she was willing to settle for.

This is a very modern feeling romance, that does have some chuckles but also has a more serious side to it. That serious side is one that many of us have had issues with and that is weight. I love how the author has created characters that are happy in their own skins, but still show how hurtful people can be. It doesn’t matter how confident you come across, the comments do still hurt.

So, for Serena changing not only her future but by taking a look at how she perceives what she should settle for is a huge eye-opener for her. It is hard to see herself as others see her and take compliments that are seriously meant. Serena is 28 and is starting to take steps out of her comfort zone. Living in London has opened up a different world to her, giving her some amazing and tantalising new experiences.

This was such a wonderful read. It is light and fun but also deals with some serious issues and the balance was great. This is a romance with a good amount of humour and there are some rather interesting scenes!!

I was definitely interested in how Serena was changing her attitude and also for those around her to support her when she needed it. I really enjoyed this and it is one I would definitely recommend. I am really looking forward to reading more from this author.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bethany Rutter is a writer, podcaster and plus-sized influencer. Her adult
debut, Welcome To Your Life, came to life through conversations with her
friends over drinks in London. Swapping stories of toe-curling online dates,
workplace harassment, new crushes, fashion discoveries and workout
classes, she wanted to write a heroine who turns her life upside-down just
ahead of her thirtieth birthday and is plunged into the wonderful chaos of
contemporary urban life.


In her words: ‘My heroine Serena Mills makes huge decisions. She wants
things for herself, she has Big Feelings, she desires people and is desired in
return. And… she’s fat. Of course, so much about her story has little or nothing to do with her body,
and I hope Welcome To Your Life resonates with you, whatever your body looks like and whatever
you feel towards it. This is just one story that I wanted to tell, where a fat girl gets to be the
protagonist of her own story, rather than a silly footnote in someone else’s.


Welcome To Your Life is dedicated to ‘anyone who’s ever held themselves back’ and encourages
us all to shake off our insecurities and wholeheartedly embrace everything that life has to offer.

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Orphans of the Storm by Celia Imrie #historicalfiction #NetGalley @BloomsburyBooks #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Orphans of the Storm by Celia Imrie. This is a fabulous historical fiction that has been wonderfully researched and offers a glimpse into those on the Titanic.

My huge thanks to Bloomsbury Books for granting my request to read this book via NetGalley. I do wish I had read it sooner as it was a wonderful read.

From internationally bestselling author and celebrated actress Celia Imrie, an epic novel set against the backdrop of the sinking of the Titanic.

Nice, France, 1911: After three years of marriage, Marcella Navratil has finally had enough. Her husband, Michael, an ambitious tailor, may have charmed her during their courtship, but their few years of marriage have revealed a cruel and controlling streak. The 21-year-old mother of two is determined to get a divorce.

But while awaiting the Judges’ decision on the custody of their children, Michael receives news that changes everything.

Meanwhile, fun-loving New York socialite Margaret Hays is touring Europe with some friends. Restless, she resolves to head home aboard the most celebrated steamer in the world.

But as the ship sets sail for America, carrying two infants bearing false names, the paths of Marcella, Michael and Margaret cross and nothing will ever be the same again.

Orphans of the Storm dives into the waters of the past to unearth a sweeping, epic tale of the sinking of the Titanic that radiates with humanity and hums with life.

MY REVIEW

I know I am not the only reader who sees a book and thinks “I really want to read that” and then it gets lost in the mountain of other books. Orphans of the Storm was one of those books and I am so glad I finally got to read it. If you have this on your TBR then I suggest bumping it up and reading it.

When I first saw this I knew it was one that I would enjoy, historical fiction and one that also includes the Titanic. The book is set in 1911, Nice, France. Marcella is going through the motions of divorcing her husband Michael a tailor. The story then goes back and fills in how the couple met, their life together, their two children and how the Titanic is involved.

This story grabbed me from the first few chapters, more so just before the jump back in time! The first half of the book concerns itself more with Marcella and Michael and how things change for her when her children are born. Michael is not the person she thought she had married, and she lives a very fraught life. He is a tyrant and a manipulator to say the least and not a likeable person at all.

The second half of the book introduces Margaret, a woman who has done the “European Tour” and decides to get an early boat back to America. She boards the Titanic along with around 2,24 other people including the crew. We know from history what happens to this ship.

The author has woven such an amazingly heartbreaking story and I didn’t realise how much research had gone into this until the end of the book. This is so interesting to read and it also gave me the chance to hop on the internet for more information.

The author is not one I have read before, but I was aware of her name as regards being an actor. I think in some ways it was her name that caught my eye first.

The story of Marcella, Michael and her children as well as her family and friends was a wonderful yet very sad story. It gave a glimpse into life for women as wives, employees and mothers. Michael is a person who has charm and you soon see how she was won over.

The section of the story dealing with the going down of the Titanic and then the rescue of some of the 2,224 by the passing ship Carpathia was so well done. It gave an account of what was happening to the main people of the story as well as those around them. When the survivors embarked in America the media frenzy was shocking.

This was such a wonderful story to read, I quickly flew through the pages and was gripped. The historical notes and research information at the end of the book are brilliant and very informative.

If you are a lover of historical fiction that is well researched then you really should look at picking this book. I am so glad I finally got around to reading it and wished I had done so sooner. It is a book I would definitely recommend.

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

The Haven by Amanda Jennings @HQStories #psychologicalthriller #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Haven by Amanda Jennings. This is a fabulously addictive psychological thriller.

My huge thanks to HQ Stories for granting my request to read this book via NetGalley.

Two decades ago, Tara and Kit leave everything behind to join a group living in a tumbledown farm on a glorious expanse of Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. For Kit, it’s a chance to break away from his wealthy family and the soulless upbringing he loathes so much; for Tara, the chance to give their young daughter Skye everything she never had – a childhood full of nature and freedom. Breathtakingly beautiful and remote, Winterfall Farm provides them all with an idyllic home, a new family and the opportunity to work and live off the land. At first, it seems too good to be true.

But as the seasons change, the behaviour of Winterfall’s charismatic leader, Jeremy, becomes increasingly erratic. Rules and discipline are imposed. The outside world seems increasingly further away, and as new faces arrive at the farm, tensions rise with devastating consequences…

The Haven is a compelling new novel from Amanda Jennings, author of The Cliff House. 

MY REVIEW

What an addictive read The Haven was. It really didn’t feel like 400 pages! The synopsis lays out the basics very well for the story. A couple leaves the rat race and try to live off-grid. Tara, Kit their 6-year-old daughter Skye and good friend Jeremy buy an old farm on Bodmin Moor. Along with a few others with a similar ethic, they start their own commune of sorts. Trying to create their own utopia in Cornwall.

This was such a fabulous story to disappear into and the beginning of the book introduced me to the characters. Then the author delved into their lives and how they decide to make the move to the tranquil Cornish landscape. Leaving behind luxuries that many of us see as necessities.

While many of us may love the idea of living off-grid, I also know that it would be a very real struggle. Having lived a week without a washing machine or vacuum because they have broken, not having heating in the middle of the winter is tough. I live in Cornwall and I know first-hand how bitter the winds can be, how driving the rain can be and how exposed you are to the elements. Bodmin Moor is definitely exposed and it is also beautiful.

I think the author has done such a wonderful job building up this idyllic sounding community. People with similar views want to create something ethical, environmental and most of all free from politics, bureaucracy and rules. The thing is that when people get together, they bring their own shared beliefs but they also bring opinions. For Tara and Kit, their daughter is the only youngster in the group, they are the only parents. They have their own ideas as to what is best for Skye.

Things seem fine until Jeremy brings in another person to the farm. She is an important character and one that comes with her own past. The decision for her to live at the farm divides opinion. This character along with Tara are two of the narrators of the story. Their voices are used to give their perspective of what is happening and it gives insight into their thoughts and feelings. The is a third voice, Kit’s, but this is told in the third person point of view. Kit keeps his feeling close to his chest and this makes for a good balance of opinions.

I adored how things started so well but then the author gradually started to incorporate cracks. She then widens these cracks and soon things start to turn. Views and opinions become more challenging and there are some serious consequences. I also loved how the ending of this story fell.

This is a fabulous read, it is a thriller that gradually increases the suspicions and doubt. As a reader it is good to see things from a distance, it felt as if I was seeing a larger picture while the characters were more tunnel-visioned. This made for an exciting reading experience. There are some shocks and some twists.

This is one that readers of contemporary fiction, thrillers and psychological thriller genres. I thought it was excellent right from the start to the finish and I would definitely recommend it.

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Blood Sentence by Keith Nixon @knntom @GladiusPress @ZooloosBT #crime #policeprocedural #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Blood Sentence by Keith Nixon. This is the first book in the DI Jonah Pennance series and I am so glad that I have started this one at the very beginning. Pennance is a character that I really liked and I can’t wait to read more. Also, the name choice is so good as well.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s book tours for the spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous crime thriller.

Three bodies, one suspect. That suspect is you…

When the unidentified corpse of an apparent suicide victim is found hanging above a complex pattern of forty photographs of children, Detective Inspector Jonah Pennance of the Met’s specialist Sapphire Unit is brought in to investigate.

A post-mortem reveals the suicide was murder, and Pennance realises he knows the man. But as the body count rises, all the signs point to a care home in Kent – a place that Pennance is all too familiar with.

The problem is the only person connecting the victims is Pennance – and he has a solid motive for wanting them dead… Can Pennance prove his innocence?

Perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James Blood Sentence is the first book in the explosive series featuring Detective Inspector Jonah Pennance.

MY REVIEW

WOW! What a brilliant read this book was. It is the first book in the DI Jonah Pennance series and what an opener it is.

When Pennance is dragged away from a crime scene in London to go to Anglesey, he isn’t expecting to find that he is a connection, not that he is connected to others. I have to be really careful here, it would be so easy to make a slip up in this review and reveal details!!!

Pennance, well he is mystified and so was I. I mean how could he be connected to two bodies, one a suicide in Wales and a murder in London. He works for the Sapphire Unit of the MET, it’s the department that deals with sex crimes, so it becomes more and more intriguing.

Pennance is a bit of a closed book, the only person who he seems to really get on with is a work colleague, Smithson. The relationship between them is friendly and supportive and I am glad it is a friendship rather than a relationship as it means that Pennance has someone to turn to. Why would he need someone to turn to I hear you ask! Well the more you learn about him the more you realise the complexities of his character. Yeah, I know, vague!

The author has created a wonderfully intense and twisted police procedural that has some really dark scenes, it is twisted around one main plot, but it isn’t straightforward. It also has subplots that keep you on your toes and makes for very addictive reading.

Pennance is a character that comes across as cold, so having a sidekick as such makes a good balance. You do get to learn more about him and his past and I think there is possibly more to come out, I definitely think there are more layers to him for the author to tease out, there is definitely the potential from this reader’s opinion.

This is a crime thriller, it has a very mysterious feel to it and it kept me reading. It feels wrong to call a book exciting when it deals with murders and crime, but exciting it is as it is the start of a new series, and I think it is going to be a very good one. I will be keeping my eye out for more.

Ideal for those looking for something new in police procedures. It’s got plenty of twists, some unexpected turns and all in all a fab read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the author

Keith Nixon is the best-selling author of sixteen novels and one million words in print, including the Margate based Solomon Gray series of over 250,000 copies in circulation and reached no.1 on Amazon in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

Keith lived near the gritty seaside town of Margate, where many of his novels are based, for 17 years before relocating to the edge of the Peak District with his family where he lives today. Keith works in a senior sales role within a high-tech industry and has regularly travelled all over the globe.
His novels are published by Gladius Press and Bastei Lubbe (German)

Social media links – Facebook Instagram Twitter – Website

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Jeannie’s War by Carol MacLean @carolmaclean @rararesources #HeraBooks #historicalfiction #familysaga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Jeannie’s War by Carol MacLean. This is a fabulous historical fiction story that I really enjoyed.

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

War changed her country, but it couldn’t change her spirit


Glasgow, 1939
Despite being shy and reserved, Jeannie Dougal finds herself newly engaged to handsome soldier, Arthur Dunn, the day war is announced. Jeannie accepts, even if she is unsure if a girl from the tenements will fit in with Arthur’s comfortable, middle-class background. But as WW2 takes its toll on the world, her wedding must wait…


As she sets off to work at a munitions factory she meets Eileen, Janet and Annie. As her new friends bond together in war work, sharing their stories of romance, Jeannie is grateful to be settled with Arthur, even if he is set in his ways.


Until she meets a charming Canadian soldier, Bill, and realises she has found a spark she was always missing. But how can Jeannie tell Arthur? And is she strong enough to fight her own battle, with the country already at war…?


An emotional and romantic family saga set in WW2 Scotland and the start of a captivating new series. Fans of Call the Midwife and Katie Flynn won’t be able to put this down.

Purchase Links – Amazon Kobo

MY REVIEW

This is a fabulous book and one that I just couldn’t put down. Starting in Glasgow 1939 rumours of war and the memories of the previous one are on everyone’s mind. More so for those living on Kiltie Street where this story is set.

The author has focused her story on one main family, the Dougal’s. Jeannie is a shy girl and has caught the eye of Arthur Dunn. He is also reserved and so it seems like the two will make a good match. When war is declared many men are due to join up and be sent for training. It is a time fraught with worry and so plans are made for the future. Jeannie and Arthur get engaged like many at the time.

The author weaves such a wonderfully compelling story. Kiltie Street is like many areas and war brings people closer and communities support each other. When bombs start to fall this becomes even more apparent. It is something that affects everyone and all try to do their part.

Although the focus is more on Jeannie, it is also about the rest of the family and also friends. The author has created such a heartwarming story but also has got the balance of fear for those who are at home waiting for news of their loved ones. The ever-present danger of the bombing is something that I feel the author has captured well. Mentioning the areas around Glasgow, factories such as Singer, and also how the River Clyde was used on moonlit nights as a marker.

I thought the pacing of the book was great, although it does move through the war years quite quickly it didn’t feel rushed. It mentions so many things that people have to endure during troubled times and how the family work together and support each other. The younger children evacuated, the older ones doing their bit for the war effort, whether it be enlisting or working in factories. Things such as rationing, food, clothing, Anderson shelters and so much more.

There is also the romance side to the story and this one isn’t straightforward and it also involves various couples, after all this is a community and friendships are formed.

A fabulous story that I happily read over one evening. Ideal for readers who like historical fiction, family sagas during WWII and it is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carol MacLean lives in the Glasgow area. She began by writing pocket novels, having 18 published before deciding to write a historical saga. She enjoys weaving social history into fiction and imagining how life must have been for ordinary people living through different times.
When she’s not writing, Carol can be found visiting museums or walking around the city looking for traces of old Glasgow to inspire her next novel.
Carol is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

She has written 18 pocket novels published by DC Thomson and Linford Romance Series (Ulverscroft).


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Run Rose Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson @PenguinRandom #NetGalley #mystery #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Run Rose Run by Dolly Parton & James Patterson. It is a fabulous literary pairing and a cracking read. I also treated myself to the CD that goes with the book, after all the lyrics are mentioned throughout the book! The CD is a mix of a modern country sound as well as a more classic country, ballads and some nice bluesy numbers.

My thanks to Penguin for granting my request to read this title via NetGalley.

From America’s most beloved superstar and its greatest storyteller – a thriller about a young singer-songwriter on the rise and on the run, and determined to do whatever it takes to survive.

Every song tells a story.

She’s a star on the rise, singing about the hard life behind her.

She’s also on the run. Find a future, lose a past.

Nashville is where she’s come to claim her destiny. It’s also where the darkness she’s fled might find her. And destroy her.

Run, Rose, Run is a novel glittering with danger and desire – a story that only America’s #1 beloved entertainer and its #1 bestselling author could have created.

MY REVIEW

I had high hopes for this book when I first saw it, I mean Dolly Parton and James Patterson teaming up to write a book sounds amazing. Both are amazing writers in their own fields and they both have had amazing success over the years.

Run Rose Run is a wonderful story about a young singer, AnnieLee Keyes. She hitches her way to a run-down bar and asks if she can sing on their small stage. A random bloke happens to be there and has a slot after AnnieLee. A chance meeting or fate, either way, is the start of something for them both.

So, who is Rose, and why is she running? That is something that you will soon discover for yourself.

The authors have mixed the goings-on of Nashville and Country music with a fabulously tense mystery. I really enjoyed the way that the older legends of country music get a mention and how the industry is explored in this novel. Yeah, there is the glamour, glitz and rhinestones. There is also the damp bars, the hitch-hiking, and being one of the thousands hoping to see their name in lights. The balance between the up and coming singer against an established legend was great.

Around the music is an underlying mystery, this starts in quite a subtle way. If you are like me and don’t tend to read the synopsis for books, then the obvious title kind of hints at things. Quite how we get there though is an addictive and compelling story.

As this is Dolly, there are snippets of songs and these can be found in full at the end of the book. There is also an album that she has recorded with the same songs on, and the title is the same as the book.

This story was all I had hoped it would be. It is a mix of contemporary fiction, a journey of discovery and a mystery. If you are a fan of all things Dolly then I do think you are going to love this. It was a cracking read with some wonderful heartwarming and heartbreaking moments. At times dark and it is one I would definitely recommend.

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

Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook @LizziePook @RandomTTours @MantleBooks #historicalfiction #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook. This is a wonderful historical fiction set in 1886 in Western Australia.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my copy of this book from Mantle Books.

Fortune favours the brave . . .
It is 1886 and the Brightwell family has sailed from England to make their new home in
Western Australia. Ten-year-old Eliza knows little of what awaits them in Bannin Bay beyond
stories of shimmering pearls and shells the size of soup plates – the very things her father has
promised will make their fortune.


Ten years later, as the pearling ships return after months at sea, Eliza waits impatiently for
her father to return with them. When his lugger finally arrives, however, Charles Brightwell,
master pearler, is declared missing. Whispers from the townsfolk point to mutiny or murder,
but Eliza knows her father and, convinced there is more to the story, sets out to uncover
the truth. She soon learns that in a town teeming with corruption, prejudice and blackmail,
answers can cost more than pearls, and must decide just how much she is willing to pay, and
how far she is willing to go, to find them.


A gloriously rich and wonderfully assured debut, Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter is set
in a mesmerising yet unforgiving land, where both profit and peril lie deep beneath the
ocean surface rendered with astonishing clarity, it is a novel that marks Lizzie Pook
as a name to watch.

MY REVIEW

Eliza Brightwell starts a new life with her parents and siblings in Bannin Bay, N.W region of Australia. Her father is hoping to make his fortune from pearl diving. The voyage from the UK to Australia has been long and arduous. It is 1866.

This is a historical fiction that tells of Eliza and her arrival in Bannin Bay at the age of 10 and back and forth to her life in her 20s. The earlier years tell of sadness, filling in the details of how her father has successfully made a living as a Pearler. It also tells of the hardships of those in the Bay. A mix of cultures, classes and backgrounds. The author builds a wonderful image of this desolate, dusty and dry region, and it is easy to see how quickly one could fall into poverty.

Eliza is a little bit of an enigma, she isn’t interested in the frivolity and frippery as some women are. She is more interested in the natural world, in plants, animals and about what she sees around her. Life is very different from where she first began.

When the boats return from their latest trips her father’s boat is the last one in. It is without her father, her brother is dismissive as are the rest of the crew. She is bewildered, confused and concerned. Not one for being fobbed off she decides to discover what happened herself.

Well now, there is no doubt that this is a headstrong and determined character who knows her own mind. She will take advice but she is also willing to follow what she believes is right. When she senses that there is more to her father’s disappearance she just has to go with her gut.

In this era of history, slavery is common, a time of British Colonialism and of discovery. The pearling industry is something I don’t think I have read about before so this was a really interesting read. There was enough of the basics to make me more curious for further reading.

Eliza was a character I wasn’t sure about at the beginning, but the more I read the more I started to understand her. She would be seen as a feminist and therefore not really accepted into certain circles. In fact, she is her own circle and the author has done a brilliant job with her.

This is a story that ebbs and flows at its own pace. Sometimes it is faster like the storm in the ocean, other times it is slower more languorous and this slower pace gives a chance for the literary side to tease itself out. This at times has a really lovely literary fiction flow, as well as being a mystery and historical fiction in genres. It didn’t take me long to get into this story and I did find the book nagging for me to be picked back up when I had put it down. A fabulous debut from this author and one I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lizzie Pook is an award-winning journalist and travel writer contributing to The Sunday
Times, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Condé Nast Traveller and more. Her assignments have
taken her to some of the most remote parts of the planet, from the uninhabited east coast of
Greenland in search of roaming polar bears, to the foothills of the Himalayas to track
endangered snow leopards.


She was inspired to write Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter, her debut novel, after
spending time in north-western Australia researching the dangerous and
fascinating pearl-diving industry. She lives in London.
You can find Lizzie on Twitter and Instagram.

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The Cornish Captive by Nicola Pryce @NPryce_Author @rararesources #histfic #cornwall #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Cornish Captive by Nicola Pryce. This is the 6th book in the Cornish Saga series. I have read several of them and they work well as stand-alone.

The sixth novel in a stunning series set in eighteenth-century Cornwall, perfect for fans of Bridgerton

Cornwall, 1800.

Imprisoned on false pretences, Madeleine Pelligrew, former mistress of Pendenning Hall, has spent the last 14 years shuttled between increasingly destitute and decrepit madhouses. When a strange man appears out of the blue to release her, she can’t quite believe that her freedom comes without a price. Hiding her identity, Madeleine determines to discover the truth about what happened all those years ago.

Unsure who to trust and alone in the world, Madeleine strikes a tentative friendship with a French prisoner on parole, Captain Pierre de la Croix. But as she learns more about the reasons behind her imprisonment, and about those who schemed to hide her away for so long, she starts to wonder if Pierre is in fact the man he says he is. As Madeleine’s past collides with her present, can she find the strength to follow her heart, no matter the personal cost?
Purchase Link – AMAZON

MY REVIEW

This is the 6th book in the Cornish Saga series. The books can be read as stand-alone stories as it is only some of the characters that are cross overs. There is a list at the beginning of the book that is handy for referring to.

The story is set in 1800, a woman is thrown into confusion as she is being got ready to move. She has been moved every couple of years from madhouse to madhouse, yet this time is too early. Her confusion is soon replaced by the feeling of being overwhelmed as is told that people have been looking for her. She did not deserve to be placed into an asylum, she knows the truth but will anyone believe her. Madeline insists on bringing a young girl with her when she is released, they have formed a close bond and rely on each other for the strength of mind.

Madeline is taken to an area she knows but disguises her identity for fear of being recognised. She has lost her husband, her house and has nothing. There are, however, those who are working in the background to help Madeline and her young friend Rowan. The only thing is that who can she trust and who is actually helping her?

I have read several of the authors’ books and I always enjoy them. Not only does she give the reader a well-researched novel but it is loaded with many details. From the scenery to the way people dress, their jobs, how men and women are treated and also a delve into law with this book. I really liked the character of Madeline, and also Rowan, in fact pretty much all of the women. The author does write a great female lead, with this book there are several females that have important roles.

The historical site of the novel is also great as it does show some of the histories of Cornwall, problems with the mines and mentions of china clay as well pilchard fishing. This is also a very important time for Britain but also for France. During the French Revolution that ended in 1799, many French royalists fled France. This meant that spies and conspiracy are rife, which adds mistrust to the story especially as Madeline is French. She also is cautious around anyone who is French as she doesn’t really know the full lie of the land. So when Captain de la Croix makes an early appearance in the story and then seems to hover around, Madeline is nervous.

The author has created a heartbreaking role for Madeline, a woman who has been moved from asylum to asylum, who has survived for 14 years in squalor. Sudde3nly finding herself free is overwhelming, descriptions of shock, and conditions gradually emerge. The author has done this so well, and it really brought Madeline to life, sharing her suffering and anxieties as well as how she perceives herself.

If you are a fan of Historical fiction Sagas set in Cornwall then this author is fabulous. I have read several of her books and have really enjoyed each one. She gives the roles of her characters fitting parts depending on their backgrounds and status. There is a very mysterious thread to this story and when the author starts to weave her story, there is more to it than you initially realise. Great books for historical fiction, saga, romance and Cornish setting readers. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicola Pryce trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. She has always loved literature and completed an Open University degree in Humanities. She is a qualified adult literacy support volunteer and lives with her husband in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. Together they sail the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure.

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