The Cottage of new Beginnings by Suzanne Snow @SnowProse @canelo_co @rararesources #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Cottage of New Beginnings by Suzanne Snow. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Synopsis…

One crumbling cottage. One broken heart. A chance to start over?

When Annie returns to Thorndale, the village where she spent much of her childhood, she’s looking for a new start. All she wants to do is fix up the cottage her godmother left her, and fix up her broken heart.

When she clashes with local hero, Jon, Annie can’t help but wonder if coming back to Thorndale was a mistake. The village has clearly changed and the last thing she needs is more drama. But avoiding the distractingly handsome Jon is proving impossible, especially when Thorndale seems to be conspiring to throw them together…

Annie is looking for a fresh start with zero romance – but what if the only way to learn to trust again is to take a risk on love?

The perfect cosy romance for fans of Julie Houston, Victoria Walters and Trisha Ashley.

Purchase Links Amazon – UK or US

My Review…

This is such a delightful book that I read one wet and windy summer afternoon. It is the story of Annie returning to her childhood holiday home. A place she always felt welcomed, wanted and loved by her godmother Molly. Molly passed away and left the cottage to Annie. When Annie’s relationship failed she was already in the process of selling her flat so it made perfect sense to settle somewhere she knew and so to Thorndale she came.

Annie’s recent split has left her feeling low, her arrival in the village of Thorndale doesn’t help her feel that she has made the right decision especially when she discovers her belongings left in the garden and also a run-in with a rather rude man.

The cottage is one of the memories as well as neglect and it takes time for her to settle. She soon finds herself in the midst of a community that is welcoming and very supportive. In fact, it seems that everyone is busy helping everyone else it is a wonder they have time for themselves.

The setting is lovely and the whole feel of the area feels very idyllic and charming. There is a nice romantic theme through this story, it is a slow-burning romance that starts gradually. The reason for that is the past lives of the two main protagonists.

This is one of those stories that slot very nicely into a charming and delightful read, it has a good storyline and is ideal for disappearing into. It is one I would recommend and I look forward to reading more in the series. 

About the Author…

Suzanne lives in Lancashire with her family and loves to read. Amongst her favourite books are historical crime fiction and writers’ biographies. Suzanne enjoys cooking, walking, especially in the Lake District, and developing and planting gardens. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.

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Taking a Chance on Love by Erin Green #contemporaryfiction #womensfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Taking a Chance on Love by Erin Green. I read this a couple of weeks ago and I am desperately trying to catch up with some of my reviews.

Let me show you about this book…

Synopsis…

One question can change everything.

Meet Carmen, Polly and Dana – all happy and successful women, with very different views on relationships.

Carmen has made a life with Elliot for the past eight years. She’s ready for the next step but a proposal seems to be as far away as ever.

Polly is devoted to her family. But after her parents’ bitter divorce, she’s wary of marriage – even after sharing twenty years and one son with Fraser.

Single mother Dana longs for companionship, despite her dedication to raising her son Luke. Finding the right person to bring into their lives feels impossible – until a unique way to select a potential Mr Right comes along.

With 29th February fast approaching, will they each take the chance this Leap Year to take control of their fates?

My Review…

What a gorgeous book this was to read. A first for me by this author and I am so glad to see there are some earlier books that I can read.

This is the story of three women. Polly Dana and Carmen. One has been with her boyfriend for 8 years with no sign of a marriage proposal from him, which is a shame as she owns a bridal shop so knows exactly what she wants. The other a single mum with a home floristry business that caters for weddings, bouquets, buttonholes, table displays and the like. She has just signed up for a show about finding love. The final woman is a Mum, in a stable long term relationship and works in travel agents and is juggling her time between her divorced parents and trying to organise a last-minute birthday party.

Each of them is busy, they have their own priorities and appear very stable but looking for a little something else. The story flits between each of the women in several subchapters. This is great as it gives the reader a chance to get to know the women and what is going on in each of their lives.

While this is a romance, it is not heavily romantic more contemporary fiction with a dash of romance later on in the story. I really enjoyed getting to know women and also their families. It was a gentle introduction that gathered momentum the further the story went.

There are connections that are made, brief pasts mentioned and always the look towards the future and what it may hold. The latter section of the book had me absolutely riveted to every word, I was already pretty addicted in the earlier stages as well. But the ending was just… well I will let you find out for yourselves.

This is a fabulous read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the way the author tackled various subjects through her story. This is such a lovely read and one that readers of contemporary fiction, family life and romance will enjoy. I would definitely recommend it.

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

A Reunion at Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for A Reunion at Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke. Yes it has a Christmas cover, yes it is only September, but Christmas is not the only thing in this gorgeous book.

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.

Synopsis…

A brand NEW festive read from Rosie Clarkes’ bestselling Mulberry Lane series.


1949

Peggy and Able Ronoscki’s seaside cafe in Devon is thriving and their twins Fay and Freddie are growing up fast.
To pursue her daughter’s destiny, Fay must train in London and Peggy is faced with a dilemma of moving the family back to London once more.

Meanwhile, Peggy’s elder daughter Janet has her own troubles. She fears her husband is having an affair and Is desperately unhappy.

Peggy is torn two ways and can only hope that a reunion with her friends at Christmas can help resolve her problems.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/2T4OS6m

My Review…

What an absolutely lovely book A Reunion at Mulberry Lane was to read. This is the 6th book in this series but the first one I have read. It does work very well as a stand-alone.

I met several characters who are family and friends of Peggy and Able. These two have left Mulberry Lane, also known as The Lanes, to run a cafe. They work hard but do miss their family and friends back home. It is set just after the end of WWII and the effects of the war are still being felt there are those who are suffering from we now know as PTSD and have a very hard time adapting. But on the whole, it is a time when people are gradually getting back to how things used to be, there are still some food shortages but the country is getting there.

The family and friends of Peggy are a wonderful group and there is an obvious bond between these characters that have been built up over the previous books in the series. The sense of belonging and having people to turn to for support and also the reactions when news is shared gives a wonderful feeling for the reader.

The storyline is a gentle one as such because it is one about the everyday lives of people who work hard and support each other. There is a wonderful feeling of belonging and being loved between the characters and this is what makes this book so special. There are some fabulous characters that I have met and I soon found myself getting to know them and remembering them.

Considering I have come to this series quite late on, I was surprised and also delighted at how quickly I found myself invested in this book. There are mentions of things that have happened in the past and the author gives just enough to make me aware but without giving too much away.

While this book works very well as a standalone I do wish I had begun this from the very beginning as I think the reading journey with the resident of The Lanes would be wonderful. I really enjoyed this book and I think readers of historical fiction and family sagas will absolutely adore this if you haven’t read any of the books I would say read from the beginning as I think this would be a wonderful series to settle down with. I Would definitely recommend A Reunion at Mulberry Lane.

About the Author…

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series.  She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner.  She lives in Cambridgeshire.

Social Media Links – Newsletter Sign UpWebsitebookbubTwitter

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The Bird in the Bamboo Cage by Hazel Gaynor #TheBirdintheBambooCage @HazelGaynor @HarperFiction @RandomTTours #RandomTTours #histfic #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Blog Tour and to share my review for The Bird in the Bamboo Cage by Hazel Gaynor. It is due to be published on 20th August in the UK and there are links further down so you can pre-order a copy. If you are lucky enough to live in Ireland it was published on 6th 🙂

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my stunning copy of this amazing book. Let me show you what it is all about…

War imprisoned them,
friendship set them free.

China, 1941. With Japan’s declaration of war on the Allies, Elspeth Kent’s future changes forever. When soldiers take control of the missionary school where she teaches, comfortable security is replaced by rationing, uncertainty and fear.


Ten-year-old Nancy Plummer has always felt safe at Chefoo School. Now the enemy, separated indefinitely from anxious parents, the children must turn to their teachers – to Miss Kent and her new Girl Guide patrol especially – for help. But worse is to come when the pupils and teachers are sent to a distant internment camp. Unimaginable hardship, impossible choices and danger lie ahead.


Inspired by true events, this is the unforgettable story of the life-changing bonds formed between a young girl and her teacher, in a remote corner of a terrible war.

**The following purchase links are Amazon affiliate links**

Pre-order you copy today –KINDLEHARDBACKAudiobook

This is an amazing book to read and one that opened my eyes to another aspect of WWII. The story of a group of Missionary School children living in China who were caught up in the war when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour. 

The story is told predominantly in two voices, a schoolgirl calledNancy Plummer (Plum) and her teacher Elspeth Kent. Between them, they tell their story of their time in Chefoo Missionary School, a boarding school where children live while their parents are off doing missionary work, are diplomats or doing work in areas where it is not suitable for children to live. 

Through Plum and Elspeth, I quickly learnt the routine of the school, children, teachers and local people who worked as servants. It sounded like a very idyllic life and in some ways quite privileged but with a sad side to it. Children had to come to terms with their parents work being more important. 

Things soon change as Japan enters the war. Disruption soon follows for the school as soldiers take over. The resolve of the teaching staff to carry on as best as possible really stands out. Elspeth uses the motto of the Girl Guides/ Brownies to help the girls through this transition. The emphasis of taking daily tasks and challenges and turning them towards earning badges gives the girls something to work towards especially when the school is moved.

The school is then moved again, this time to an internment camp. Illness, appalling conditions, lack of food and medical supplies make this is very glum and dissolute place. Again the resolve of the teachers is admirable and again making the best of a bad situation comes in to play. 

The story is one I read over a couple of days. It is a story that has a huge sadness around it but actually what comes through more than anything else is the feeling of hope, of friendship and of one day hopefully returning home to family. 

The author has created amazing characters, I immediately adored the main characters of Plum, Mouse, Sprout, Elspeth, and Mrs T. There are several other characters that have very important roles in the story as they provide support to their friends. There are obviously going to be characters that I am not going to like and I have to say I liked how the author dealt with a truly horrid and awful one. 

The author does characters and descriptions of setting so well. Research is obvious throughout the book and the whole story felt right. She does an amazing job of describing the awful conditions but in a way that mirrors the resolve of the staff to see the best in the conditions.

I adored this book and the way the author has woven a story around real-life events and true accounts. There is a wonderful list of books at the back of the book for further reading and also about how she was introduced to this story. It is interesting and well worth reading. 

This is a fabulous read, it took me through a range of emotions and also left me with a feeling that was heartwarming. It is a story of how a group of people are thrust into unthought-of conditions and situations. How that group then supported each other where possible. A story based on true events that readers are historical fiction needs to add to the reading list. It is an amazing book and one I would absolutely recommend.

Hazel Gaynor is an award-winning, New York Times, USA Today,
and Irish Times, bestselling author of historical fiction, including
her debut THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, for which she received
the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. THE
LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER was shortlisted for the 2019
HWA Gold Crown award. She is published in thirteen languages
and nineteen countries. Hazel is co-founder of creative writing
events, The Inspiration Project, and currently lives in Ireland with
her family, though originally from Yorkshire.

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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

Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas @jo_thomas01 @annecater #randomthingstors #romance #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas. This is an author who I will automatically read without reading a synopsis, and will always make room for. She has such a fabulous style and I love her stories. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Let ma show you what it is all about…

A heart-warming tale of a woman reclaiming her life in the lavender fields of Provence. Filled with warmth and recipes.

Can she find her recipe for happiness?


Del and her husband Ollie moved to a beautiful village in Provence for a fresh start after years of infertility struggles. But six weeks after they arrive, they’re packing the removal van once more. As Del watches the van leave for England, she suddenly realises exactly what will make her happier… a new life in France – without Ollie.


Now alone, all Del has is a crumbling farmhouse, a mortgage to pay and a few lavender plants. What on earth is she going to do? Discovering an old recipe book at the market run by the rather attractive Fabian, Del starts to bake. But can her new-found passion really help her let go of the past and lead to true happiness?


A heart-warming tale about reclaiming your life, set amongst the lavender fields of Provence.


Perfect escapism from the author of Late Summer in the Vineyard and The Honey Farm on the Hill.

What a gorgeous book this was as Jo Thomas once again delivers a wonderful read. Del and Ollie had dreams of a new life in rural Provence, unfortunately their marriage is rather like the old house they move into, crumbling! They both decide it is time to go back home, but Del has a change of heart and decides to stay.

Thank goodness for Ralph, loyal if a little disobedient, Oh he is the dog by the way. With her mind made up, Del decides to make a go of living in a foreign country alone, with no money and no friends. As she starts to find her way around the local market, she learns a little more about the farmhouse and the lavender that used to be grown there.

It is not long before Del finds that there is more to her than meets the eye, a shame she doesn’t see it herself. This is a gorgeous book with some fabulous characters, Dell herself is one of life’s helpers and people seem to be drawn to her.

With stunning scenery and characters what is there not to like. While all sounds perfect and idyllic there are clouds on the horizon and they show themselves soon enough.

This is another wonderful read and one that definitely warms the heart. Uncertainty and nerves of a new start and the support of friends help move this story along and I was easily transported to the perfumed lavender hills of the location and I stayed there for the whole afternoon as I read this book from start to finish. This is another Jo Thomas book that I would definitely recommend. A wonderful read that is an ideal for for pure escapism from everyday life.

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first
for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and
Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie
Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a
runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan
Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook
Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and
three children.

Follow Jo on Twitter Website

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Swallowtail Summer by Erica James #contemporaryfiction #holidayfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Swallowtail Summer by Erica James. This is an author who I have not read before and after reading Swallowtail Summer I will be keeping my eye for more by her.

Let me show you what this is all about…

It was the summer it all ended . . . It was the summer a new story began.

Linston End has been the summer home to three families for several decades. The memories of their time there are ingrained in their hearts: picnics on the river, gin and tonics in the pavilion at dusk, hours spent seeking out the local swallowtail butterflies. Everyone together. But recently widowed Alastair is about to shock his circle of friends with the decisions he has made – and the changes it will mean for them all… Can these friends learn to live life to its fullest?

Fans of Fern Britton and Katie Fforde will love escaping into summertime with this warm-hearted, uplifting story set in the beauty of the Norfolk Broads.

Do not be taken in by this beautiful cover, there is something dark lurking behind it.

Linston End was left to Alistair, it is a house on the Norfolk Broads and is a place where he and his friends have met up every year. Alistair, Simon and Danny have always been friends, well more brothers than friends. They have all married and some have children. Summer holidays are taken at the house with the families coming together.

This summer is different, this summer Alistair is bringing someone new and his friends are nervous and worried. The newcomer is Valentina, she is the new lady in his life and has a chance at a new start. With changes ahead, tension is ever-present during the summer holiday.

The author has done a wonderful job are creating a stunning setting for Swallowtail Summer, the house sounds like such an idyllic place for old friends and their families to come together. A chance to catch-up and reminisce about old times. But with the arrival of Valentina things are different. There is an air of mistrust at her arrival. The author mentions, partway through the story, that some things from the past have been swept under the carpet, they have been things that others may have been aware of but not voiced. With the added tension of Valentina nerves are a little frayed. Comments are made and past events alluded to, and gradually the ticking time-bomb of the past ignites.

This is a story that is quite captivating as I do like a story with a past, with secrets and with a touch of the dramatic, and this story does have those. It also has the dynamics of family and friends who are close, but apparently not quite as close as they like to think as they have all held something back.

There is quite a lot of intrigue throughout and as to have a fresh start you do have to deal with the past first, it means admitting your part in the events before moving on. I like the way this had all been laid out and then gradually pulled together for quite an ending.

A very enjoyable read that will appeal to readers of a slower-paced story about family, friends, secrets, the past and the future. It is one I would recommend.

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

The Wave by Virginia Moffatt #TheWave @aroomofmyown1 @0neMoreChapter_ @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Wave by Virginia Moffett. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Tonight they’ll share their darkest secrets, but tomorrow, there is no escape…

A devastating tsunami is heading towards the Cornish coast. With no early warning and limited means of escape, many people won’t get away in time.

While the terrifying reality of the news hits home, one young woman posts a message on Facebook, ‘With nowhere to run to, I’m heading to my favourite beach to watch the sunset, who wants to join me?’

A small group of people follow her lead and head towards the beach; each of them are harbouring their own stories, and their own secrets.

As they come together in the dying light of the Cornish sunset, they will discover something much more powerful than they ever imagined. But there is no escaping the dawn … the wave is coming…

Here are the links so you can buy your own copy – Amazon UKAmazon USHarper CollinsWaterstones WHSmiths Foyles Hive

Well this was an addictive read. A deadly tsunami is due to hit coastal areas around the world. The author has chosen to focus on a cove in Cornwall and as it is a county I live in it was so easy for me think of many of the covers near where I live.

The story focuses on a handful of people and they are introduced in a very clever way. The first person posts a status on Facebook, it is seen by the person who mentions it to a third and so on. This is how the small group of strangers find themselves on a remote beach facing the inevitable.

Each person tells their own story of how they came to be there. It is told in the present tense and so there is a little repetition but from each ones own perspective. For me this was a good way to get to know the characters and what made them tick.

The group come together, there are cross words, but there is also the understanding that they are all going to die together as the wave hits. There is a sort of resolve to the group, this almost makes the story come across not as emotionally charged as I thought it possibly would be. The inevitability of their situation I suppose. While there is emotion it is understated, and I realise it is how each of the characters hold back the tears and overly emotional blubbering. There are nerves, tensions, times of calm, as well as fun and laughter, there is contemplation and thoughts of if things could have been differently in the past. Call it wishful thinking if you like, but what it boils down to is working out who is important and how to make peace and say that final goodbye.

I was totally captivated by this book and it made me think about what I would do if I heard the news of an impending tsunami. A wonderful read that had me mesmerised and one that I would definitely recommend.

Virginia Moffatt was born in London, one of eight children, several of whom are writers. ‘The Wave’ is her second novel. Her previous publications are ‘Echo Hall’ (Unbound) and ‘Rapture and what comes after’ (Flash fiction collection published by Gumbo Press). She also writes non fiction. Virginia is married to Chris Cole, Director of Drone Wars UK. They have two daughters at University and a son still living with them in Oxford.

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