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 Lady in the Veil by Alllie Cresswell @Alliescribbler #TheLadyInTheVeil #historicalfiction #bookreview

i am delighted to share my review today for The Lady in the Veil by Allie Creswell. I have read a few, but not all of this authors books and I adore her writing. So when I got a message to ask if I would like to read her latest book I was immediately on board.

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What secrets hide beneath the veil? When her mother departs for a tour of the continent, Georgina is sent from the rural backwaters to stay with her cousin, George Talbot, in London. The 1835 season is at its height, but Georgina is determined to attend neither balls nor plays, and to eschew Society. She hides her face beneath an impenetrable veil. Her extraordinary appearance only sets off gossip and speculation as to her identity. Who is the mysterious lady beneath the veil?

The Lady in the Veil follows on from The House in the Hollow, but stands just as well alone.

Purchase Links – Amazon – UK or US

My Review…

I have not read all of this authors books, probably half of them but I am aware that she writes mesmerising stories in a classic style. This can be read as a stand-alone, the previous book Tall Chimneys was an amazing read, there is a prequel, The House in the Hollow, I have not read that one.

From the synopsis, I was aware of the mysterious veiled lady, Georgina and that she was sent to live with relatives in London. Why she kept herself veiled is something the author holds back until later in the story. Doing this the author keep the mystery and intrigue that surrounds Georgina.

Georgina has spent her life living simply, eschewing society. Preferring her life in the country and the pleasures she finds there. Being brought into a bustling metropolis like London is very far from what she knows. Her arrival at the Talbot house isn’t promising. Lady Jane Talbot takes a negative view.

The author gradually works her characters into the story, she introduces various members of society and she does it to great effect. Her portrayal of Lady Jane is fabulous, she is a character who epitomises the prejudice of ladies of the time. She really knows how to make her opinion and feeling felt.

There are several characters, each one has a place and a purpose within the story. A story that is about opinions, marriages, being seen, scandal and being one of the in-crowd in the upper echelons of the elite. The authors writing harks back to the classics such as Austen, and if you have read any of the Highbury books then you know how well she does this.

This is such a wonderful story that is just so lovely to sit and read. I do love the style of this authors writing. It feels right, the mannerisms, attitudes, phrases, marriages or rather contracts, how the wealthy parade around the town to be seen, take tea, have preambles in the park and the like. It really is a pleasure to read.

Another fabulous story from such a wonderful writer. While I do say that this has the feel of a classic style, don’t think that is over worded. It isn’t, it is a very accessible one. There are some fabulous descriptions, wonderful characters and some serious storylines. It is just a gorgeous read that fans of historical fiction and romance will adore. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Allie Cresswell

I have been writing stories since I could hold a pencil and by the time I was in Junior School I was writing copiously and sometimes almost legibly.

It was at this time that I had the difference between fiction and lies forcefully impressed upon me, after penning a long and entirely spurious account of my grandfather’s death and funeral…..

The teacher had permitted it as being good therapy for bereavement whereas in fact it was only a good excuse to get out of learning my multiplication tables (something I have never achieved).

Clearly I was forgiven. For for my next birthday I asked for a stack of writing paper and my parents obliged, it being more easily obtained and wrapped than a pony.

A BA in English and Drama at Birmingham University was followed by an MA in English at Queen Mary College but marriage and motherhood put my writing career on hold for some years until 1992 when I began work on Game Show.

In the meantime I worked as a production manager for an educational publishing company, an educational resources copywriter, a bookkeeper for a small printing firm, and was the landlady of a country pub in Yorkshire, a small guest house in Cheshire and the proprietor of a group of boutique holiday cottages in Cumbria.

I am currently teaching literature in the community alongside full time writing.

I have two grown-up children, Tom and Abby, and am married to Tim.

I live in Cheshire.

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Secrets of the Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood @Authormary #panmacmillan @RandomTTours #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Secrets of the Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood. I am a huge fan of this author and her books and this is the second book in the series.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this fabulous book.

A heart-warming saga about female friendship from the bestselling author of The Jam Factory Girls.
Secrets of the Jam Factory Girls is a moving saga novel of friendship set in the heart of pre-WWI London from
bestselling author, Mary Wood.


Elsie’s worked her way up at Swift’s Jam Factory from the shop floor to the top, and now it’s her time to shine. But
when she’s involved in an incident involving her half-sister Millie’s new husband, she is forced to keep it secret – the
truth could threaten their sisterly bond.


Dot is dogged by fear, coming to terms with her mother’s rejection of her. She should be enjoying the happiness she
craves with her beloved Cess; instead, she’s trapped in an asylum, haunted by the horrifying cries of inmates. All she
wants is to get married, but what chance is there for her if she’s locked away?


Millie is trying to build a life with her new husband. But the man she loves is not all he seems . . .


Can the Jam Factory girls create the future they all deserve?


This historical saga series begins with The Jam Factory Girls.

My Review…

This is the second book in the Jam Factory Girls series and it does continue on from the previous book, but you could read it as a stand-alone, but you would miss out on a great story and intro to the girls.

Life has changed for Elise and Millie as their sisterly bond becomes closer. In fact, the bond between Cess, Bert and all the characters becomes closer. Within this closeness, there is still the feeling of not belonging as Millie has lived a very different lifestyle to that of her new fond family. These differences can be overcome and realisations are discussed as each person finds where they feel more at home.

This closeness is going to be tested, and not in a way I had ever envisioned. I don’t ever read the synopsis for any of this authors books, I just know I want to read them and that is just what I do. The Jam Factory is improving, and not just in the profits but also in production since Elsie and Millie have had more of an input. Working conditions and the health and well being of their mostly female staff has worked wonders.

With the slowly changing attitudes, things do have the appearance of looking up, there is however the old fashioned attitude that is still very strong, an attitude of ” this is how things have always been” still has a firm foothold. Challenging this attitude both on the work and homelife front is something that will be a strength of will.

This is a wonderful historical fiction that I adored, as I mentioned this is a continuation and it was great to catch up with the girls and their families. The author really does encompass so many things in the time of the setting. Hints and nudges towards working condition, family life, status, a little of the politics and of course it is all wrapped up in a wonderful story.

the author never makes things easy for her characters, or for that matter her readers as she does put us all through the wringer. I did find this book angered me a lot as the attitudes of the time and of particular characters are so bloody-minded and it is the strength of the writing that brings out the feelings.

A superb read as always from a fabulous author. If you are a fan of historical fiction, sagas and family dramas from a time gone by then you are going to get on so well with this author. I would definitely recommend this book.

About the Author…

Born the thirteenth child of fifteen to a middle-class mother and an East End barrow boy, Mary Wood’s family was poor, but rich in love. Mary raised four children and has numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


An avid reader, she first put pen to paper in 1989 and is now a full-time novelist. She is the bestselling author of
numerous books, including The Abandoned Daughter and The Brave Daughters.

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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

Harpers Heroes by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to once again feature my review for author Rosie Clarke latest book Harpers Heroes. This is the latest book in the Harpers Emporium series and what a wonderful next instalment it was.

My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for arranging my e-copy of hte book and also for my spot on the Blog Tour.

Here is what it’s about…

Synopsis…

From the bestselling author of the Welcome to Harpers Emporium and The Mulberry Lane Series.
The Harpers Girls come face to face with the harsh reality of the cruelty of war.


Oxford Street, London 1915

Sally Harper quietly battles to keep Harpers afloat in the difficult days of the war, whilst husband Ben is working all hours for the War Office.

Beth Burrow is fighting concern for her husband Jack, now at sea with the Merchant Navy, and the fear she may never see him again and be blessed with a child.

Driven to exhaustion, Maggie Gibbs, is now working as a nursing assistant on the battlefields in France. With the everyday horrors of the casualties of war to contend with she suffers her own personal tragedy when her fiancé’s plane ditches in the sea.

Can the Harpers Girls and their loved ones survive the perils of war and find a path to future happiness?

A heart-warming saga following the lives, loves and losses of the Harpers Girls. Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Pam Howes and Dilly Court.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

My Review…

What an absolute joy to catch up with the folks at Harpers. This is a department store that has amazing bosses, colleagues and friends. They are more of an extended family rather than a work force and this is what makes this series so special.

There are some characters that are focused on more than others, these key characters are facing worrying and uncertain times. Some of the workforce have signed up to do their duty and fight in The First World War. The War has far reaching effects not only for those who are in the midst of the fighting, but also for those left at home worrying about loved ones. Also with rations and shortages other suppliers need to be found.

As I mentioned the story and characters are based around those that work ot or know people at Harpers, it gives it a family saga feel and really does draw you into t the lives, worries and uncertainties during this period in our history.

The author portrays so many aspects of war life. The women who volunteer close to the front helping the wounded, those involved in logistics, in freight and supplies, undercover work and many other aspects. While the horror of wounds is mentioned the story does ot focus so much on the front line fighting, though it is always an ever-present feature. In some ways it is more about everyday people doing the best they can no matter where they are and what they are doing.

Harpers Heroes is part of a series and even though I have not read this from the beginning I did read the previous book. So, yes you can read them as a stand alone, but I do wish I had read them in order as the two books I have read so far have been so engaging.

If you are a fan of historical fiction and romance, of family sagas and engrossing stories then you really want to have the Harpers series on your list, Harpers Heroes is a wonderful read 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.

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Futures Beckon, Pasts Threaten by Nia Lucas @BooksNia #PublicationDay #Contemporaryfiction #Bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Futures Beckon, Pasts Threaten, the second book in The Choices Series by Nia Lucas. I would like to thank the author for my advanced copy of this book and to also wish her a Happy Publication Day 🙂 xx

The first book, I absolutely adored and was eager to be able to read the second. The third is also Published today and as I have that one on pre-order it should be say on my kindle ready to go.

So a double Publication Day Celebration 🥂xx

Let me show you more about this book…

Synopsis…

Following on from ‘Choices Shape, Losses Break’, eighteen-year-old Lorna Davies is doing everything she can to blend in at University, hiding the challenges of her past. As her closest friends guard the secrets of the girl they love, Lorna tentatively grasps a life less complex.

Terrified of risking everything she holds dear, Lorna discovers that building a secure future is hard when the weight of the past threatens all that she has.

As adulthood beckons and a life is shaped, are safe choices truly the right ones? When the secrets explode from their guarded boxes and the full extent of Lorna’s history is set free, will anyone survive the fallout?

Purchase link from Amazon UK

My Review…

Having recently read the first book in the Choices series the emotions are still quite fresh as I started this next book. It follows on Lorna’s story. It is one that starts as she is now heading to University but the months after the loss of Lee and Shay have been tough, really tough and she doesn’t know how she has got through it. It is the year of firsts for her without them.

The book sees Lorna almost on auto-pilot as she drifts to classes and sits on the edge of things. Gradually she finds ways to fill her time and gets a job as well as being at uni. Being at home isn’t an option but she does have her brother Dan, and her friends Han and Nico at the end of the phone. These are her support system, they are there for her and they will help her as much as they can but the tough choices are hers to make.

As she works her way through Uni she meets Rob and another support is added to her arsenal. This is where the title of this book is very clever and so suitable. Lorna needs to decide how she will face the future and how much of the past she can leave behind, but more how much of the past will stay left in the past.

Once again the author follows the emotional thread and in fact, it was more emotional knowing what had gone on in the previous book. I really liked how the author started to analyse the past through Lorna and how these became realisations of sorts. Even though Lorna has had different experiences she still needs to work out how to grow up and find her place in society and find out who she is.

I adored this book as much as I did the first, it still has quite a strong sexual thread but once again it becomes part of Lorna’s emotional story and how things for her have changed. I did wonder how the author would lead Lorna through this next section of her life and I have to say she has done it wonderfully. Lorna is dealing with normality and the everyday things rather than the fast-paced and adrenalin-fuelled days of her past. But the past still echoes around her.

This is a story that I read in a couple of days, it is a sort of coming of age but with some serious themes woven into it. I really do think that the books need to be read in order to understand the full history of where Lorna ios now and I would definitely recommend them both and I am looking forward to seeing where the author goes next.

The Choices Series with Amazon Links (these are affiliate links)

Choices Break, Lossess Break

Futures Beckon, Pasts Threaten

Ties Bind, Love Finds

About the Author…

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

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

You can also visit Nia’s Amazon Author Page where you will find another brilliant book that I also adored – Love Punked.

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

A Place to Belong by Cathy Mansell #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Place to Belong by Cathy Mansell. This is one for historical fiction readers and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Synopsis…

A Place to Belong is the gripping and heartwrenching novel from Cathy Mansell, set against the sweeping backdrop of Dublin and rural Ireland in the 1940s. 

She lost everything in one night. Now she must fight for happiness.

It’s 1943 and Ireland has escaped the worst of the war raging in Europe, but life is not without its hardships. When fire breaks out at the convent in Cavan where she has spent the past ten years, orphan Eva Fallon barely escapes with her life.

She’s offered a bed for the night by Ma Scully, whilst her nephew Cathal, visiting from Dublin, helps battle the blaze. Seventeen-year-old Eva has never known such kindness but she’s too proud to take advantage, and finds a job at Blackstock’s farm, setting in motion a chain of events that will change her life forever.

Amidst tragedy and hardship, the only ray of light is the friendship of Ma Scully and her growing, secret love for Cathal. And through it all Eva clings to her hope that one day she will find a place where she can truly belong.

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

My Review…

This is the first book I have read by this author and I absolutely adored it. I am so pleased that there are several more books for me to read by her.

This is set in 1943, WWII rages in Europe. Ireland is not affected as much by bombs like the UK and apart from rations life does seem to progress as normal for Eva. The story begins when there is a fire at the orphanage where Eva lives. Not everyone gets out. Eva comes across the wonderful character of Ma Scully, a straight-talking woman who keeps her eye on Eva. Once Ma realises that Eva is indeed trustworthy she helps her to find a job on the Blackstone farm as a scullery maid. Life there is hard and the mistress Aggie holds no favour for Eva, in fact, she goes out of her way to be as horrid as possible.

A turn of events causes Eva to leave quickly and she makes her way back to Ma Scully. Bad news seems to follow Eva as much as bad luck. Eva finds her self in the midst of an investigation that is no fault of her own. But, as much as there are many nasty people in the world, Eva has the good fortune to have met some very genuine, honest and caring people, especially in Ma Scully and her nephew Cathay.

This was such a gorgeous story that completely wrapped me up. A fabulous historical fiction that starts with a tragedy and finds Eva followed by heartache and worry. Eva is such a lovely character her innocent outlook on life and her naivety are just so nice to come across in a story. But obviously, with those nicer qualities, there are those that will try to take advantage. Don’t think for a moment thought that Eva is a walkover, she will stand up for herself and fight her corner.

I really enjoyed the descriptions of the settings, with the odd mentions about the war helping to keep me firmly planted in the time of the story. There are some mentions of politics, but only briefly as the main focus of the story is Eva and the people who come into her life.

A truly wonderful story that I think readers of historical fiction, historical romance will enjoy. I loved the setting, the characters and the storyline and I would absolutely recommend this wonderful book.

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

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

Willows Wedding Vows by Debbie Viggiano @DebbieViggiano @rararesources #rachelsrandomresources #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Willow’s Wedding Vows by Debbie Viggiano. My 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.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Wedding vows have never been this personal…

Willow has been living with marriage-shy Charlie for more years than she cares to remember and is old-fashioned enough to want a wedding band and a loads-of-sex honeymoon before stretchmarks and nipple shields.

So when the once-wary Charlie surprisingly goes down on one knee, Willow doesn’t question why her boyfriend is suddenly so keen to rush her into saying “I do”.

The first clue comes as Willow is zipped into her Cinderella dress, the second as she bobs into the wedding car, and the third as the Roller swings towards its fairy-tale destination… leaving a shell-shocked Willow desperately trying to figure out what to do next.

A bride can do anything she wants on her wedding day, but nobody expected her to do this…

Get your own copy at Amazon UK

The synopsis does a good job of laying out the basics for this story and if you are a fan of romance and rom-coms then I think you are going to really enjoy this one. While it does read as a rom-com, there is far more then meets the eye. Meeting the eye, well the least said about that the better, as a roving eye is probably more appropriate! There are certainly some chuckles as well as some eye-opener with this story… I seem to be a little fixated with eyes!!!

So, Willow is a lovable character who has been with long term boyfriend Charlie for several years. They live together and as his job is oh so much more stressful than hers, after all she is a librarian that may occasionally have to deal with disgruntled customers, yeah I wasn’t a fan of him in case you hadn’t realised!

He is successful and often has to attend meetings and is often away for weekends. His best mate Ben has just split up with his other half. Willow’s best mate, Emma has not had much luck in the boyfriend department, and even Emma’s Mum seems to single. It is only Willow and Charlie that seem to be the only couple. Oh, and I almost forgot Kev, well this is a character that had a quite a large part to play in the grand scheme of things.

Now as the story progressed I got to know more about Charlie and Willow, and I have to say the inclusion of the italicised comments are brilliant. They add a humorous tone and are definitely enjoyable.

The story goes through the high’s and lows of Willow and Charlies relationship, things are not as hunky-dory as they appear, but they are a solid couple aren’t they…

I really enjoyed the pace of this story, it had an easy flow and made for effortless reading. In no time I was caught up in the shenanigans of, well mainly Charrlie actually. Yes, this is a story about Willow, but the first half focused more on Charlie. It is later in the book that Willow takes the larger part and for good reason to.

This is not a straight-forward rom com, it has much ore to it and follows a very twisty route. The is a very large secret that I will admit to working out, but I think this was down to the hints that were gradually dropped and led me to follow the breadcrumbs as it were to successfully work it out.

A very enjoyable read and one I would definitely recommend for a lighter read but one that still has serious undertones. It has left me wondering why on earth I have not read any of this authors books before. I have purchased a few of her books and they are still to be read. I know I am not alone when I mention this!

Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her adult children return home bringing her much joy… apart from when they want to raid the fridge, or eat her secret stash of chocolate. Follow her on Twitter

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

Cold Fusion 2000 by Karl Drinkwater @karldrinkwater @BOTBSPublicity #ColdFusion2000 #BOTBSPublicity #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Cold Fusion 2000 by Karl Drinkwater. Many thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side for my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging my copy of the book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Alex Kavanagh is a pedantic physics geek – a teacher who hates teaching, a lover who’s always getting dumped, a writer whose articles all get rejected, a 28-year-old still living at home and bullied at the bus stop by teenagers – and he’s just had the worst day of his life. Things can only get better, right?

Enter his ex, Lucy, in what seems to be a chance meeting. Her betrayal marked the point when his life went nuclear. But – holy protons! – he still loves her.

Two problems. First, she isn’t who he thinks she is. Second, she’s going to leave him forever in 72 hours.

Cold Fusion 2000 is a haunting novel about a man who’s too rational to believe in ghosts and too short-sighted to see what was in front of him all along.

This was a book that I wasn’t sure about when I first started it. The beginning was a mix of a playlist of songs, physics and then a character I didn’t immediately take to. I read a dozen pages and decided to go off and do something else. I then returned to it and an hour or so later.

I don’t why that break worked but it did. I found the main character of Alex Kavanagh to be a cold and almost allof one and I didn’t think I would like him. By the end of the book however I discovered that me initial thoughts about him were totally wrong.

Alex is a socailly awkward person, he doesn’t quite seem to fit in anywhere and doesn’t seem to have anyone that he can connect to. He had been on track to complete a Phd, he then left University before completing it after a breakup from his then girlfriend Lucy. He returned back home to live with his parents.

He then reconnects with Lucy for a short time, they get on well but it isn’t meant to last as she is only visiting.

The story flows around Alex, his past and his present and his friendship with his sisters friend Natalie. It is almost like a story of finding who he is and where he belongs. I suppose you could call it a coming of age story, but this doesn’t really feel right as you assume that this would be more about a teen, but Alex is in his 20’s.

From a story I wasn’t sure about I then discovered a tale that was wonderfully written and gradually drew me in. I then found it very difficult to put down. A story of a man who is lost, but needs someone to take the time and have the patience for him. Alex went from a man I wasn’t that fussed about to a man who I really liked.

I think this is a book for those who like something a little bit different, that is well written and has some wonderful heartwarming moments. I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it.

Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

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Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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