We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza @HQstories #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride & Jo Piazza. I was sent an advanced copy of this book via the publisher HQ Stories and my thoughts are my own.

Not every story is black and white.

Riley and Jen have been best friends since they were children, and they thought their bond was unbreakable. It never mattered to them that Riley is black and Jen is white. And then Jen’s husband, a Philadelphia police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager and everything changes in an instant.

This one act could destroy more than just Riley and Jen’s friendship. As their community takes sides, so must Jen and Riley, and for the first time in their lives, the lifelong friends find themselves on opposing sides.

But can anyone win a fight like this?

We Are Not Like Them is about friendship and love. It’s about prejudice and betrayal. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, no matter the cost.

MY REVIEW

I have been looking forward to reading this book since watching an online event. This book is quite a powerful read, it brings together two characters who have been friends from childhood and now find themselves doubting each other.

This book is about race and racism as well as murder. When a 14-year-old boy gets shot by a police officer, it hits the headlines. The boy, Justine is Black, the police officers are white. The news reporter, Riley, is Black. One of the police officers wives is Jen, she is pregnant and white. Riley and Jen are friends and this is going to test their friendship.

This is a very addictive story. Firstly there is the murder of Justine, an innocent boy on his way home. Then there is the story of the police officers, well more of Kevin who is Jen’s husband. Also the story of the friendship between Riley and Jen.

I really liked the story of the friendship of the closeness that had built up between the two girls. Over the years they had drifted apart but are still close. Jen does think she is racist, and Riley doesn’t confront people when comments are made about colour.

The story is a very timely one, showing bias, injustice, prejudice, social differences and perceptions. The story has a great flow to it, it is emotional and poignant. Given that this is a co-written book, I thought the authors did a fabulous job and it didn’t feel like a co-written book as the authors gelled together so well.

This is is a poignant, powerful and emotional read. I found it very difficult to put down as I needed to know how everything would pan out for the women and for their friendship. Would justice be served, would the right thing be done and how would the story end. This would make a good book club read as I do think there are several talking points, and the book does have some great questions at the back.

If you are looking for a story that is very relevant, one with great characters and is emotional and addictive reading then you might well want to look this one up. One for those who liked, mystery and thriller as well as contemporary fiction storiers. . I really, really enjoyed it and I would definitely recommend it.

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The Collector’s Daughter: A Novel of the Discovery of Tutankhamun’s Tomb by Gill Paul @GillPaulAuthor @RandomTTours #histfic #ancientegypt #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share m review today for The Collectors Daughter by Gill Paul. this is a fabulous book and is about the discovery of Tutankhamun’s Tomb. I loved reading this book and wish to thank Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for organising my copy of the book.

An unforgettable discovery
In 1922, Lady Evelyn Herbert’s dreams are realised when she is the first to set foot inside the
lost tomb of Tutankhamun for over 3,000 years.


A cursed life
But the months after the discovery are marred by tragedy, when Eve’s father dies suddenly
and her family is torn in two. Desperate to put the past behind her, Eve retreats into a
private life with her new husband.


A deadly choice
But she is harbouring a dark secret about what really happened in Egypt. And when a young
woman comes asking questions years later, the happiness Eve has finally found is
threatened once more…

MY REVIEW…

I absolutely adored this book, a mix of historical mystery, ancient Egyptology and some real-life people that the author has fictionalised the story around. Facts, fiction and history are three things that I do adore in a novel.

As the synopsis suggests this is the story of Lady Evelyn Herbert. Daughter of the Earl of Carnarvon whose friend is Howard Carter. Anyone who has even a little bit of interest in the tombs of the pharaohs will be aware that it was Carter who discovered Tutankamun’s tomb. The author used documented evidence and facts to get the basics of the story d has then created a fabulous fictionalised account around Lady Herbert, known as Eve.

The story is one that flits back ad forth in time from the 1970s to the 1920s. Eve recounts her time as a younger girl and her interest in ancient Egypt, a fascination that she shared with her father and obviously Carter. Eve is one of the first people to have entered the final resting place of Tutankhamun and throughout the story she reminisce3s about her experiences, her travels and her adventures fr a few years before settling down to marry. Some of the chapters are from the perspective of her husband, but the majority are from Eve.

Rumours at the time of the discovery were rife, tales about a curse and also of objects going missing. The author includes all of this in her story and what a story it was.

Eve has had a fabulous life, and the author has created a warm, loving and eager woman of the real-life Eve. A young woman who had one of the most amazing experiences when she was able to enter the tomb, but also of her life after. A socialite who loved parties gave generously to friends and an absolutely lovely sounding woman. As I discovered more I found myself warming to Eve and her husband more and more. They are a perfect combination and the author really does bring out their love and loyalty.

This story is not all happiness, it does contain mentions of loss and death of friends and family. Eve herself has her own issues is during the 1970’s timeline I found her trying to piece missing memories together, trying to remember things in the past and fill in the missing chunks. She has had a series of strokes over the years and this has left her forgetting times, places, faces and events. It is a heart-breaking part of the story to read. It is this that gives the story its mystery element as Eve tries to remember the whereabouts of some artefacts.

I really adored this book and there is some great research materials that you can follow up on at the back of the book, as well as photographs and more details about those involved. Also as part of the story, there are mentions of politics, fashion, events and society of the time. It all adds up to create a wonderfully woven story that was an absolute pleasure to read. This is one for those who like historical fiction and it is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in the twentieth century and
often writing about the lives of real women. Her novels have topped bestseller lists in
the US and Canada as well as the UK and have been translated into twenty-one
languages. The Secret Wife has sold over half a million copies and is a book-club
favourite worldwide.


She is also the author of several non-fiction books on historical subjects. She lives in London and
swims year-round in a wild pond. The Collector’s Daughter is her tenth novel.

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Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke. This is the latest in the Harpers Emporium series and I am loving it so much.

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 from the publisher, Boldwood Books via NetGalley.

Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls

LONDON 1917

As the Americans enter the War, there is renewed energy in the war effort.  

With husbands and sons fighting for freedom, the women of Harpers are left to tackle the day-to-day affairs at home and work.

With Ben Harper away, Sally fears she is being followed by a mysterious woman. Who is she and what does she want?

Maggie Gibbs collapses seriously ill in the frontline hospitals and is brought back to England close to death. Can she be saved and what does the future hold for her and her broken heart? 

Marion Jackson’s father is on the run from the Police already wanted for murder. She fears he will return to threaten his family once more.
And Beth Burrows is pregnant with her second child, worried and anxious for her husband Jack, who has been many months at sea.

As Christmas 1917 approaches what will the future hold for Harpers, its girls and their men at War?

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

Set in 1917, the First World War is claiming lives, the results are being felt at home. Family and friends worry constantly about those who are serving, those who have been injured, and those that have not been in contact. Shortages are being felt as some things are becoming more difficult to source for the Harpers Store. Inferior quality products are emerging as materials are being used for the war.

Life still has to go on, work still needs doing, homes need to be looked after, mouths have to be fed and it is when times are difficult and fraught that you rely on people around you. Harpers is the linchpin of the story, it is where many of the characters have met over the course of the story. With each book that is released more characters are brought in.

The main four Harpers Girls are Maggie, Marion, Sally, and Beth. They have come on from their early days at Harper’s. This is the point where I do mention that these books can be read as stand-alone stories, but I do think they are better read in order as the character’s lives are developed more and more with each book.

This one, as the title suggests is set during a point where people are obviously wishing for a return to normality, wondering when it will be over and that loved ones can return home. Life is hard for those left behind, and I like how the author describes how lucky her characters feel to be in situations that they are. They either work or have a family or have someone in their lives that helps them, whether it is a family, partner, or friend.

This is a story that does have sad moments and ones that are fraught with despair. It is not only people who are in the midst of the fighting that falls ill. Things carry on at home as they normally would regardless of what is happening in the world, they add stress and worry. The author brings the feeling of hope and also of despair so well into her stories. She has a wonderful way of giving her characters various events to deal with. These may be worrying or add a sense of dread or intrigue, but they also have a way of making her characters stronger.

This is a story for those readers who like historical fiction, sagas, family drama, and stories with a sense of belonging and of friendship. A book and series that combines the individual tales of the characters and gives an overall sense of hope but with several twists to keep the reader on their toes. A book and series I would definitely recommend.

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. Rosie’s brand new saga series, Welcome to Harpers Emporium began in December 2019.

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The Hotel at Honeymoon Station by Tilly Tennant #NetGalley @Bookouture #20booksofsummer #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Hotel at Honeymoon Station by Tilly Tennant. This is the 2nd book in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

Run away to the Dorset countryside, to the sleepy village of Honeymoon, where rose-adorned thatched cottages soak up the sunlight and Emma is risking everything for a brave new start on life and love…

When Emma’s useless fiancé tells her a lie she cannot forgive, she decides enough is enough. She leaves him, quits her dead-end job and travels hundreds of miles away to the ancient village of Honeymoon in the Dorset countryside, to help her friend Tia turn the old train station into a boutique hotel.

Tia has told Emma that it will be a project, but when Emma arrives in Honeymoon and sees a weed-choked crumbling ruin, her vision of an idyllic life in Dorset begins to disintegrate. But when she meets twinkly-eyed builder Aiden in the village shop, and sparks fly between them, she can’t help but feel that the stars have for once aligned.

As work begins on the hotel, Emma and Aiden grow closer, and on sun-dappled evening walks, he tells her the secrets of the village. But there are some villagers who wish that Emma had never arrived in Honeymoon… And when Emma is involved in a terrible accident on site, and then discovers what Aiden has been keeping from her, it feels like the universe is telling her to leave Honeymoon for good. What if she was wrong to say goodbye to all that was safe and familiar? Will she ever be able to find her happy-ever-after in Honeymoon?

A completely gorgeous and romantic read about being brave and taking chances on love and life. Fans of Shari Low, Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will be enchanted by The Hotel at Honeymoon Station. 

My Review…

I have not read all of these authors books, but the ones I have read have been fabulous. The Hotel at Honeymoon Station is another wonderful and heartwarming read. Perfect for summer escapism.

The main two characters in this book are Emma and Tia. They kind of were friends at school but not really in the same social circles. They are definitely characters that are chalk and cheese. Emma, I discovered has had more to worry about as she has grown up than Tia. Whereas Tia is more energetic and outgoing, Emma is more reserved and staid. She will admit to being boring, with no imagination. So, given this, it is quite surprising for her to take on a project that means walking away from the monotony of her, life, her waste of space boyfriend and her family.

Even though it does appear out of character, she wants a new start. Something she can get excited about and with a friend in the form of Tia.

I love how the author brought these two characters together and not only embraced their differences but made them part of the story. While it is mainly more about Emma, Tia has a very large and important part to play. As do, the erm local builders! The author has once again played on differences with the buff, building, brothers Aiden and Blake, and to great effect as well I may add.

The story was entertaining as well as being a discovery about the characters themselves. Starting a new life when you are risking everything is going to be scary. Emotions, worries, stress, finances are all going to work the way to the surface at some point. What you do with them once they are there though, well you will have to read and discover yourself.

This is a wonderful story, gorgeous and with a mostly welcoming community. Finding their way in and around the area is another way of the author showing the differences, not only with Emma and Tia but also with Aiden and Blake.

This is a gorgeous story and one that I read over two sittings, although if I had started it earlier in the day I would have easily read it in one. This is a story that is about family and friends as well as finding the courage to stand up and take a chance. If you have read this authors books before then you know you are going to be in for a treat. This is one for fans of contemporary fiction with a heartfelt warmth to it and a good dash of romance. It is one I would definitely recommend. 

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

Always and Forever at Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters @Vicky_Walters @HeraBooks @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Always and Forever at Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters. This is one for fans of contemporary fiction and I adored 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 gorgeous book.

What if we’re all just searching for something?

Anna Stewart is lost. After barely surviving a car accident as a teenager, Anna is scared of settling. Flitting between jobs, boyfriends and homes whenever she gets bored, she has no idea what the future holds. Then her brother Brodie, minister of Glendale, suggests she moves to the beautiful Scottish village, lining up a housekeeper job for her at Glendale Hall.

Out of options, Anna agrees to the move, knowing that she can always run away again. Once at the hall, her culinary skills impress everyone, and she agrees to give Hilltop Farm’s new manager, Cameron, cooking lessons. Sparks fly between Anna and the handsome Scot, but Cameron is looking for love – something that Anna definitely isn’t.

But it’s wedding season at Glendale Hall, and Anna is about to discover that her new home has a way of working its magic on even the coldest of hearts. Will she really be able to just walk away, or could Anna have finally found a place to belong?

It’s summertime in the beautiful Highlands village of Glendale – pack your bags and come on holiday with this gorgeously uplifting, romantic read. Fans of Milly Johnson, Heidi Swain and Holly Martin will love this charming romcom.

Purchase Links: Amazon Kobo Apple

My Review…

This is the 4th book in the Glendale series and I have loved every one of them. Glendale is a very special place, set in the highlands of Scotland it is off the beaten track as such but is a bustling, lively and welcoming community.

Even though this is part of a series it can easily be read as a stand-alone. Each one of the books focuses on a set of characters, there are links to other events that have happened in previous books. These connections are explained briefly, but in all honesty, if you have not read one yet then start from the beginning because you are missing out on some gorgeous heartwarming and lovely stories.

Anna suffered a traumatic event as a teen, it left her trying to find herself and not really sure of what she wanted or deserved in life. Out of options and in need of help she calls her brother as the last resort. There is a job as a housekeeper at Glendale Hall.

She is made to feel very welcome by everyone, well almost everyone. There is a certain local who is quiet, a loner and actually feels brooding and intimidating. He doesn’t feel like he should fit in this well-knitted community, but he is respected and well thought of. So, what is Anna not seeing?

The author has once again written a gorgeous book that is full of community spirit and amazing friends. Giving Anna a chance to stop and look at life and decide what it is she could actually achieve. Rather than constantly on the move could she find a sense of home and finally settle.

This is one for those who love a warm, heartfelt story. It is a contemporary fiction that I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Victoria Walters writes up-lifting and inspiring stories. She’s the author of three novels, THE SECOND LOVE OF MY LIFE, SUMMER AT THE KINDNESS CAFÉ, and COMING HOME TO GLENDALE HALL. She has been chosen for WHSmith Fresh Talent and shortlisted for an RNA award. Victoria was also picked as an Amazon Rising Star, and her books have won wide reader acclaim.

Victoria is a full-time author. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry, and loves books, clothes, music, going out for tea and cake, and posting photos on Instagram.

Find out more about Victoria by following on Instagram, on Twitter or by visiting her blog.

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Nellie’s Heartbreak by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #NetGalley #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Nellie’s Heartbreak by Rosie Clarke. I love this authors books and her latest one is another fabulous historical fiction read.

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 via NetGalley.

Nellie’s Heartbreak

A new stand-alone saga set in Yorkshire around out the outbreak of the second world war and the unlikely relationship between a master and servant.


As a small child, Nellie Peace was always dreaming but sensed her mother’s rejection.  

Abandoned and sent into service at Beaumont House at an early age, Nellie is lost and alone until she meets the unpredictable and reclusive artist, Lucas Harrington and falls in love with him.

This unlikely association between master and servant is encouraged by Lucas’s gentle natured Aunt Alice as Lucas sees something unusual in Nellie and is compelled to paint her. 


Broken promises lead to inevitable heartbreak and Nellie flees Beaumont House in disgrace for London. 
Alone again, Nellie must learn to live and fend for herself and her new-born child.

Can Nellie win a second chance of happiness and can she solve the mystery of her mother’s tortured past?

Purchase Link – Amazon

My review…

What a very apt title for the latest book by Rosie Clarke. Nellie has not had the best life growing up, but she has had it better than some. As soon as she is old enough to leave school her mother finds her a place in service. Not something Nellie expected or was aware of until she finished her last day at school and was whisked off for a new life.

You could say that her life in service was the making of Nellie, but also one that was the breaking of her. A sensible girl growing up, a hard worker, honest and a loyal friend. When Lucas spots her she becomes his muse, Lucas is the son of the house. A serving girl is definitely not the same class or carry the same status. What starts as a friendship gradually turns to more and leads to a real heartbreaking time for Nellie.

The author has done such a wonderful job to bring Nellie from a teenager into a woman. Having the love and excitement that comes with it only to be wrenched away. Battling through emotions, Nellie manages to overcome heartache and loss. Much of this is down to some wonderful friendships. It is this friendly nature of Nellie that really does shine through, as well as a stubborn pride.

The beginning section of the book could easily be something out of Downton Abby, with those upstairs and those downstairs. The author shows different sides and opinions to either side. Being set in the late 1930s there is a change in attitudes, some new ideas are challenging the old but not all are accepted.

Nellie has a good solid support system around her, a childhood friend, Tom has always had a soft spot for her, Alice, Mrs Jones, Iris and several others have taken to her and offered help and given advice. It is Nellie who has made the decisions in her life and taken the paths she thinks to be the right ones. Sometimes doing what feels right is hard, but the right paths are not always the easy ones as she will soon discover.

A fabulous story and be for lovers of historical fiction and romance as well as sagas. A captivating and completely absorbing story that I adored from start to finish and one I would definitely recommend.

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. Rosie’s brand new saga series, Welcome to Harpers Emporium began in December 2019.

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Cuban Heel (Alex Cohen #5) by Leopold Borstinski #CubanHeel #AlexCohenSeries @borstinski @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for the latest Alex Cohen book, Cuban Heel (Alex Cohen #5) by Leopold Borstinski. I have read and loved everyone of these books and this one has moved on another decade to the 50s.

My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Would you work with the devil to build a paradise on Earth?

Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen joins long-time friend and business partner, Meyer Lansky to recreate Las Vegas in 1950s Havana. When dictator President Batista gives them the opportunity to build their dream casino complexes, Alex must choose between dancing with this devil or being in debt to the Italian mob.

If he takes the mafia money then he will be tied to the men who planned his earlier downfall and removed his mentor, Lucky Luciano from the syndicate. If he refuses their investment then he will be beholden to the tinpot generalissimo and his bloated ego. But Alex knows that there is more at stake than mere gelt–now he has his family surrounding him and they will suffer the ultimate price if he makes a bad decision.

The fifth book in the Alex Cohen series is a historical thriller novel, which tears at the heart of the Jewish mob’s role in pre-revolution Cuba. Leopold Borstinski’s piercing crime fiction gives each reader the shocking skinny into the building of modern America.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US – Direct from Leopold’s Website

My Review…

The setting is the 1950s, the place in Cuba and this is the 5th book in the Alex Cohen series. The author has created a series that follows the life, relationship, work and family of Jew, Alex Cohen. A man who had nothing and who has turned a profit from his various wheelings and dealings, oh and the occasional murder!

Cuba is the new Vegas for Alex’s business colleague Lansky Meyer. A country that will see the gambling empire that Meyer to possibly come to fruition. A place that he can call his own and is free from the mobs and bosses, as well as Hoover and the FBI.

Alex is a hustler, he has worked with and alongside the big bosses and now that he is back with his wife Sarah he wants a more settled life. While he is still in the thick of things, he is thinking more about the impact things could have on his family. In the past, he has been very much an act now think later guy. As he has aged and gained experience he is looking at a different lifestyle and that Cuba may provide that.

As this series does contain references to historical events, I was aware of the troubles that await Alex as Cuba, or Castro makes himself known. Being “in bed” with a president doesn’t make it a safe place when Castro makes his move.

Once again, the author has completely had me hooked on what happens next with Alex. Even though he is a rogue, I do have a soft spot for him as I have followed him from his beginnings and arrival in the US. Each decade the author takes his characters into have historical references and these are worked well in the stories.

Again Alex is at the forefront and he has certain roles, not just as a father and husband but also as a businessman. Wanting to leave certain parts of his past in the past is not easier. He is a man with a reputation and this means he is the man to go to. I do like how the author keeps him in the thick of things and never makes things plain sailing. The action and drama of Alex’s life never stop and this makes this such an exciting series.

A series that I adore and if you like historical fiction, gangsters, action, mobs and dubious dealings then this is one for you. I would definitely recommend this series and also this latest book.

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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The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood @Authormary @panmacmillan #hist/fic #saga #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood. I was so surprised and absolutely delighted when a copy of this book landed on my doormat, so my huge thanks to Pan Macmillan for my amazing book post.

Any regular visitors to my blog may be aware that I am a big fan of Mary’s work, she also writes under the pseudonym Maggie Mason. This author definitely knows how to write a saga, so if you love your historical fiction then you need to check out some of her books.

Let’s look at the first in this new trilogy by Mary…

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The Jam Factory Girls is an uplifting and emotional novel of friendship set in the heart of pre-WWI London from bestselling author, Mary Wood.

Life for Elsie is difficult as she struggles to cope with her alcoholic mother. Caring for her siblings and working long hours at Swift’s Jam Factory in London’s Bermondsey is exhausting. Thankfully her lifelong friendship with Dot helps to smooth over life’s rough edges.

When Elsie and Dot meet Millie Swift, they are nervous to be in the presence of the bosses’ daughter. Over time, they are surprised to feel so drawn to her, but should two East End girls be socializing in such circles?

When disaster strikes, it binds the women in ways they could never imagine. Long-held secrets are revealed that could change all their lives…

Purchase from Amazon UK – Mary’s book are very accessible and you usually see them in the supermarket and you can of course order them from your local book seller.

My Review…

It is always an absolute treat to read a book by this author, especially when I get to read the first book in a new trilogy. The Jam Factory Girls is the first in this new trilogy and it is a wonderful book from start to finish.

This book introduces two Eastend girls Elsie and Dot, and also the Jam factory owners daughter Millie. An unlikely friendship blooms between these girls, they just get on so well. Millie’s friendship would be looked down upon by her parents just as the girls’ friendship with Millies would be. In an era when social classes are still very evident, and classes should not mix it is an unusual relationship, to say the least.

For me, Elsie was the main character of the three and her story is told more so than the others, but the author knows how to weave a tale that involves the three. Hardship, poor working conditions and living conditions are described and show that even when times are tough, there are always those that are in a worse condition.

The over-riding feeling through this book is one of friendship, loyalty and wanting to do the right thing. Not always easy when a good deed can be seen as charity and pride is a priority. The story tells of not just the friendship between the girls but also includes the going on in the factory, the rise of women calling for their own rights in the workforce.

This is an absolutely fabulous book and one that I adored. The author has once again transported me back in time and delivered such a heartbreaking at times story, but one that also injects hope for the future into it. If you are a fan of sagas and historical fiction then this is a book that is definitely one that should be on your list. If you have read any of this author’s books then you know you are going to be in for a wonderful read. The Jam Factory Girls is a book I would definitely recommend. 

About the Author…

Mary Wood

Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers on her Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels
And on her web page: http://www.authormarywood.com
She is also on Twitter: @Authormary

Mary welcomes all contact with her readers and feedback on her work.

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

The Heat by Sean O’Leary #TheHeat #SeanOLeary @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Heat by Sean O’Leary. This is a quick-ish read and a first for me by this author. My thanks to Emma for arranging my copy and for my spot on the Blog Tour. Let me show you what this book is all about…

Synopsis…

Jake is a loner who works nights in a Darwin motel and lives at the YMCA. He’s in love with Angel, a Thai prostitute who works out of the low-rent Shark Motel.

A vicious murder turns Jake’s life into a nightmare. He must fight for his life on the heat-soaked streets of Darwin and Bangkok in the wet season to get revenge, and to get his life back

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

Amazon AUS US Australian Bookseller

My Review…

This is a reasonably quick read and the story took me to Australia, not the gorgeous scenic side either. The main protagonist is a young man, a drug user, I suppose what you would consider to be a drop out.

The author has created a story that has a slow feeling pace but is also quite compelling reading. Taking the reader into the murkier world of drug use, prostitution and corruption. However, this young man does have more to him that first glance suggests.

The further into the story I got the more intriguing I found it. It has a moralistic sense to it as the main character tries to do what is best after the death of one of his friends.

The feeling I got from this was that it wasn’t a story about doing what was right, although that is part of the story. It is also about self discovery and also laying some demons to rest.

I did like this slower paced story, it is told from the perspective of the main character and this gives a more personal feel to this story. It is gritty given some of the subject matter involved but also it has a heartwarming sense of justice to it.

A story for contemporary fiction readers and I do think it also crosses into literary fiction. This is a human interest story that I found to be very addictive, I don’t think this will be for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would be more than happy to recommend it.

About the Author…

Sean O’Leary has published two short story collections, ‘My Town’ and ‘Walking’.  His novella ‘Drifting’ was the winner of the ‘Great Novella Search 2016’ and published in September 2017. He has published over thirty individual short stories and is a regular contributor of short fiction to Quadrant, FourW, Sudo, Close to the Bone (UK) and other literary and crime magazines. His crime novella ‘The Heat’, set in Darwin and Bangkok, was published in August 2019. Drifting and The Heat are both available on Amazon. His interviews with crime writers appear online in Crime Time magazine.

He has worked in a variety of jobs including motel receptionist, rubbish removalist/tree lopper, farm hand, short-order cook and night manager in various hotels in Sydney’s notorious, Kings Cross. He has lived in: Melbourne; Naracoorte; Sydney; Adelaide; Perth; Fremantle; Norseman; Geraldton; Carnarvon; Broome; Yulara; Alice Springs; Kakadu; Darwin and on Elcho Island-Galiwinku. He now lives in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, thinks that test cricket is the greatest game of all and supports Melbourne Football Club (a life sentence). He writes every day, likes travelling and tries to walk everywhere.

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Some Like It Greek by Sue Roberts #contemporaryfiction #NetGalley #bookouture #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Some Like It Greek by Sue Roberts. This is the second book I have read by this author and another very enjoyable read. Let me show you more…

Synopsis…

There’s nothing like a summer escape. A sun-kissed story about living life to the full.

In the month-from-hell, incurable optimist Anna has lost her father and her job, and her trademark smile is dimming. Clearing out her dad’s house, she discovers a postcard of a beautiful sandy beach and a map with a route plotted to the Greek island of Kefalonia. With an empty summer stretching ahead, Anna’s eyes stray to her father’s old camper van. Next thing she knows, she’s hitting the road with friend Demi in tow, on a course from Salford to Skala!

Over one unforgettable summer, Anna and Demi make their rickety way along the sparkling Mediterranean coast, the hot sun shining down on their frequent mishaps with cheerful local characters. It’s the trip of a lifetime, and the scent of lemons in the air – as well as an unexpected romance – are just what Anna needs to awaken her inner Greek goddess.

But there are big surprises in store when they arrive at the island paradise, which could change both women’s lives forever. And as summer comes to an end, Anna has to decide whether she has had enough of the Greek life, or whether this is only just the beginning…

A joyful, hilarious summer read, perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Jenny Colgan and Sophie Kinsella.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

If you have ever thought about a road trip from the UK through Europe to Greece then this is the book you need to pick up. The synopsis for this book gives such a wonderful idea of what you are going to get, but the author has exceeded my expectations as I journey with Anna and Demi through France, across the Alps, into Italy and onto Demi’s childhood home in Greece.

The is an age gap between the women and the author pulled off their friendship with such natural ease. While Demi is older she is so full of life and energy more so than her younger friend. Anna takes advantage of voluntary redundancy in a firm she has worked in for 12 years and decides to recreate her fathers trip in his old converted fish van. Demi wants to return after too long away from her family as well as for a more personal reason.

This is just an amazing read and with such an easy flow to it. The main female characters have an easy companionship that really suits the style of the story. It is also a chance for them to get to know each other better and also make some of their own personal realisations. In essence, a story that is about family, relationships, friendships and realisations.

Then there is Dara! Yeah, a little bit of a swoon moment here! He sounds so amazing, yes there is a small romantic aspect to the story but one with doubts, what if’s because after all, a holiday fling is just a holiday fling!

A gorgeous read from start to finish that has left me wanting to try numerous Greek dishes from the mouthwatering descriptions the author gives. There is an obvious affinity for this area and culture as the love of the food, people and location just oozes from the pages.

I loved this book, the story, descriptions, the characters, food and well… yeah pretty much everything about the story. It is one I would absolutely recommend.

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