My Wife Jodie by V.A. Rudys #domesticthriller #20booksofsummer #bookreview

Today I am delighted to share my review for My Wife Jodie by V.A. Rudys. I requested this book to review via Amazon Vine after seeing the rather creepy cover!

This is 14/20 in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

Ethan Page had it all: a respectable job, loving friends, and a beautiful apartment – the envy of all his friends. He was madly in love with his wife, Jodie – until he discovered the power she possessed beyond all comprehension, and the price she demanded for engineering his perfect life.

Paperback, 1st Edition, 384 pages Published July 16th 2021 by Blinkenlight – Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW…

There is a very short synopsis for this book, but combined with the cover image, it provides a very intriguing glimpse into the story. It caught my attention and took me on a route that I really never expected to be on.

Ethan and Jodie Page, a great couple, good life, a nice house, plenty of money and get along wonderfully. That is until the smallest and least significant thing happens.

This is going to be such a hard one to review as I am not able to give the main crux or twist of this story away. It is however a brilliant one. I did initially have my misgivings about it when it came up in the story, but I went with it and my goodness did the author do a great job with this.

The synopsis does suggest that there is some sort of control over the life the Page’s lives. It isn’t until further on in the story that you begin to fully realise the full extent and also how it impacts their marriage. The author explores how a marriage can be controlled and in this one, it is not the usual way. Bringing in a sense of mistrust and cajoling you can see why things start to deteriorate.

In some ways, this is an exploration into marriages, relationships, manipulation, trying to do the right thing, believing in people but eventually, it does come down to the level of trust. It definitely has a psychological edge to it giving it a thriller and suspense feel.

This is a domestic thriller that has a huge twist, not the usual one and it took me by surprise. Vague review I know, but if you get the chance grab a copy of this if you are a fan of this type of genre. I adored this book and I would definitely recommend it. 

About the Author…

V. A. Rudys is a writer, and author of the new novel My Wife Jodie. Rudys was brought up in a creative environment with art being a very important part of life. For most of his career Rudys worked as a video editor engaging viewers visually, and now he’s exploring the world of visual thrillers. Originally from Lithuania, Rudys lives in London. He also struggles with dyslexia, but believes that no one should be discouraged from being able to write. 

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

A Stitch in Time by Amanda James @amandajames61 #histfic #romance #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Stitch in Time by Amanda James. I first came across Mandy’s books when she was with Bloodhound and I have read every book since then and loved each one. It has taken me until now to pick up a book before that time!

This is one of my picks on the #20booksofsummer reading challenge, and it is book 12 out of 20.

A stitch in time saves nine… or does it? Sarah Yates is a thirty something history teacher, divorced, disillusioned and desperate to have more excitement in her life. Making all her dreams come true seems about as likely as climbing Everest in stilettos.

Then one evening the door bell rings and the handsome and mysterious John Needler brings more excitement than Sarah could ever have imagined. John wants Sarah to go back in time…

Sarah is whisked from the Sheffield Blitz to the suffragette movement in London to the Old American West, trying to make sure people find their happy endings. The only question is, will she ever be able to find hers? 

My Review…

I have read several of this authors later books and thoroughly enjoyed them. I wanted to read some of her earlier novels and A Stitch in Time fits the bill perfectly.

This is essentially a love story between Sarah and John. Sarah is a disgruntled school teacher who is struggling with a couple of her students. Stuck in the everyday. John offers Sarah a chance to change her everyday life to one that will take her back in time. Ideal for a history teacher.

Yes a mix of romance with a little bit of time travel. This was easy to follow and the time travel but added a nice twist to a really lovely story. The author did explain the travel bit, but like Sarah I am still bewildered! You don’t need to understand it, but it does work very well within the context of the story.

I really liked how the author brought the two characters together, and then threw obstacles in their way. A couple who are interested and obviously want to be together, but not everyone thinks the same way.

Will they get the ending they deserved? Only time will tell.

A fabulous book that shows a different side to this author writing. A wonderfully heart-warming story and one that I found delightful and very addictive. It’s one I would definitely recommend. 

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

The Silk Roads: The Extraordinary History that created your World – Children’s Edition by Peter Frankopan #audiobook #20booksofsummer @NetGalley @BloomsburyUK #audioreview

I am delighted to share an audio book review today for The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan. I have this book in hardback and have been meaning t read it for so long. When I saw there was an audio version available via NetGalley I immediately requested a copy. My thanks to Bloomsbury Children’s Books for granting my request to listen and review.

This is a children’s version aimed at those around 11 years and up. A quick listen at just over two and a half hours long.

Set your sails east with this stunningly original new history of the world. Peter Frankopan explores the connections made by people, trade, disease, war, religion, adventure, science and technology in this extraordinary book about how the east married the west with a remarkable voyage at its heart – the journey along the Silk Roads.


From ancient world laws laid down by King Hammurabi and the mighty Persian empire, to terrifying Huns, the rise of Europe, two world wars and politics today, The Silk Roads moves through time and history sewing together the threads from different peoples, empires and continents into a phenomenal history of the globe.


With stories from each and every corner of society, Frankopan’s magnificent retelling of his literary triumph The Silk Roads, sumptuously illustrated by Neil Packer, is a must-have world history.

My Review…

I have a hardback version of this book but as yet have not read it. When I saw there was an audio version I thought this might be the ideal time to listen instead. I was aware that this is a version that is abridged and aimed at a teen audience and so shorter in length than the actual book.

This narration is excellent to listen to, my only issue was that it finished far too quickly! I was really enjoying the book and I could have listened for a lot longer.

This is the story of the Silk Road, from the first recognition and use of this route to modern-day use. Not only does the author deal with important events on the Silk Road, but he also uses these events to mention other events in the world. This works really well as there are various reference points so you are aware of what else was going on at the time.

So while this is primarily about the Silk Road it is also a world history book. Cross-referencing like this means you get glimpses of social events, cultures, histories. The author explores how political decisions, trade decisions are all part of how we see different countries and their rulers in the world. How money and politics are more important than the people.

Condensing world history down into this version is excellent. It makes this a fascinating listen for those who like history but want a more manageable version. After listening to this I do think I will be picking up my physical copy of the book and also the follow-on book.

A fabulous listen and one I would definitely recommend. 

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

No Such Thing As Perfect by Emma Hughes #NetGalley #20booksofsummer

I am delighted to share my review today for No Such Thing As Perfect by Emma Hughes. This is a book that was not originally on my #20booksofsummer reading list, but is now another one I have swapped in!

I requested an advance copy of this book from Random House via NetGalley. My review is my own.

No one’s life is as perfect as it looks.

Least of all Laura Morrison’s. (Although she’s not sure how perfect hanging onto your job by a thread and sleeping on an air mattress at your sister’s looks, in all honesty.)

When Laura gets the chance to trial Cupid – a high-tech new dating service which will draw on everything she’s ever done online to find her perfect match – she figures it’s got to be worth a try.

She can’t believe her luck when good-looking, kind considerate Adam turns up for their first date. On paper he’s…well…perfect.

But when Laura develops feelings for the person who led her to Adam in the first place, familiar doubt creeps in.

Maybe for life to start falling into place, Laura has to learn to let go…

My Review…

As the synopsis for this book tells you, life for Laura hasn’t been great. So when an invite to trial a new dating service arrives she decides to give it a go. Laura is a journalist and she can use her experience of the service to hopefully help her keep her job.

This is a light and fun read. Following Laura as she goes through her days and then her meeting with her potential perfect match. As this is supposed to be an easy way of meeting and finding your partner it is supposed to take the some of the doubts and lies out of the start of a new relationship.

I liked the idea of this book, using algorithms to find a potential match is great. As we know, algorithms are great but that do have peculiarities so I was waiting for a twist along the way.

Laura has other problems in life and this did help bring other characters into the story along with family and friends. These characters add a good range of personalities and give different advice and opinions.

Overall a light-hearted story that had a few surprises. If you are a fan of contemporary romance then I do think this is one you would enjoy and it’s one I would recommend. 

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Ties Bind, Love Finds by Nia Lucas @BooksNia #20booksofsummer #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for the 3rd book in the Choices Series, Ties Bind, Love Finds by Nia Lucas. I have read all the books in this series and I adore them. Yes, they do need to be read in order.

This is the 7th book pick on my #20booksofsummer reading challenge and this is also one from my own TBR.

Following on from ‘Futures Beckon, Pasts Threaten’, Lorna Goddard navigates motherhood, marriage and a career in the life she never imagined could be hers. As she tries to leave the traumas of her past by building the life she always wanted, Lorna rapidly discovers that stability is never as solid as it looks. What happens when ‘Happy Ever After’ morphs into ‘Ever Happy After’?

When the choices of others yet again turn her life upside down, Lorna discovers that losses no longer break her but the past still beckons at every turn. As it becomes clear that the loves that shaped her conceal a far deeper and more important truth, Lorna is forced to fight for the things she holds most dear.

The scales of love and loss continue to find balance as Lorna Davies rises from the embers of a life less ordinary and forges a fresh path to happiness, taking a route she could never have predicted. Will she finally find what she’s been looking for all along?

My Review…

This is a fantastic series that follows the life of Lorna. Now married with children her life seems to have settled. No longer the troubled teen, moving on from the loss of two very important people in her life.

This is the third book in the series and is one you do need to read from the start. The background for Lorna is important to know who she is and why. The things she us done in the past and the people who are important to her make her who she is.

This series started as a contemporary fiction, coming of age and as Lorna has gotten older has changed, but in some ways she is still working out who she is and who she wants to be. Now in her 30’s things have a habit of not quite going smoothly.

Pressures of work, motherhood for Lorna and her husband Rob are tense, stress creeps in and with that so does distance. She has always been close to the friends she made as a teen. They are her support as much as she is theirs.

As this book progresses the author is once again injected more heartache into Lorna life. This is a strong character and a feisty one at that. Her character takes a lot over the series, and she herself pulls no punches when she makes a stand.

This book does contain strong language and sexual content. The language, is well colourful but it also matches these firebomb of a character. While I am not a fan of a certain used word I can see it is exactly what Lorna would use. The sex can be a little in the graphic side at times but again does fit in with the style of this book.

This is another excellent instalment in the series. Told mainly from Lorna’s perspective you get a no holds barred glimpse into her mindset, character, thoughts, worries and her life.

This is one for readers who like contemporary fiction, it’s gritty and at times adult rated. I have enjoyed every one of the books so far and this lets one is no exception. It is a book I would definitely recommend.

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

The Doll by Yrsa Sigurdardottir #NeyGalley #20booksofsummer #PublicationDay @HodderBooks #suspense #bookreview

Firstly, Happy Publication Day to Yrsa Sigurdardottir on her latest novel The Doll. This is my 6th book choice that I am delighted to share my review for as part of for #20booksof summer reading challenge.

My thanks to the publisher Hodder & Stoughton for my e-copy request via NetGalley. My review is my own. I still get the creeps when I see this cover!!!

It was meant to be a quiet family fishing trip, a chance for mother and daughter to talk. But it changes the course of their lives forever.

They catch nothing except a broken doll that gets tangled in the net. After years in the ocean, the doll a terrifying sight and the mother’s first instinct is to throw it back, but she relents when her daughter pleads to keep it. This simple act of kindness proves fatal. That evening, the mother posts a picture of the doll on social media. By the morning, she is dead and the doll has disappeared.

Several years later and Detective Huldar is in his least favourite place – on a boat in rough waters, searching for possible human remains. However, identifying the skeleton they find on the seabed proves harder than initially thought, and Huldar must draw on psychologist Freyja’s experience to help him. As the mystery of the unidentified body deepens, Huldar is also drawn into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freyja investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home.

What swiftly becomes clear is that the cases are linked through a single, missing, vulnerable witness: the young girl who wanted the doll all those years ago.

My Review…

I am so glad I had a digital copy of this book rather than a physical copy. I mean, that cover! It so creepy and unsettling.

The doll is discovered during a fishing trip by a young girl out with her mum and a family friend. Later that night the mother dies, the police agree that is was an accident. Rosa is adamant that she wasn’t and that her mum was murdered. She is ignored and her pleas fall on deaf ears.

This is a slower paced police procedural that is set in Iceland. It is a book in the Children’s House series but can easily be read as a stand alone. It did take me a while to get my head around the characters as initially a few were introduced over a short period. I did soon however remember who was who.

The plot of the story is one that is interesting and I was intrigued as to why the doll was so important. It wasn’t until the latter stages that I eventually got the answers. There is several plots going on in this story and it was complex but it did make sense during the reading.

It looks s heavier on the descriptions and details and even though I did like this it did slow the pace down considerably. Fine is you like a more in-depth procedural. It does add a tension and suspense aspect to the story as you have to wait longer for the clues to connect.

I enjoyed this story, a complex and intriguing crime thriller that I would recommend. 

AND JUST IN CASE YOU WANT TO SEE THAT COVER AGAIN…

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

The Pact by Sharon Bolton #NetGalley @TrapezeBooks #20booksofsummer #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Pact by Sharon Bolton. This is the 5th book that I have chosen for my list in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

I requested this via NetGalley from Trapeze Books. My review is my own. I read The Craftsman by Sharon 3 years ago and it became my Top Read of 2018. You can read my full review of that book HERE

A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.

18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison.

Twenty years later Megan is free.
Let the games begin . . .

Richard & Judy bestseller Sharon Bolton is back, with her twistiest thriller yet. 

My Review…


What an addictive and darkly twisted book this is. When the synopsis mentions Megan being released from prison and the line “Let the games begin” follows, well that is intriguing enough. After reading the book I now appreciate how important that line is!

Megan is part of a group of students that are top of their class. They are a small but compact group and they spend a lot of time in each others company. After a game of dare goes wrong it is Megan that takes the blame. The full reasons as to why are told later in the story. But as the synopsis says, the rest of the group now owe her a favour.

This was a brilliant story and one that I found myself getting hooked on pretty quickly. Starting the story when the friends were younger. At uni, they excel in their classes and do the usual evening partying.

When Megan is released after serving her sentence the author began to expand on her story. She manages to portray anxiety from the rest of the group as they are left to wonder what Megan will ask of each of them. On the whole, they are successful, they work, have nice houses and they all have a lot to lose.

I adored the way the author very subtle builds up tension, it starts early on and then as the stake get higher she then builds it up more openly. Wondering what will happen and if the group will agree to terms or demands is great. But, there is something else going on, it is dark and it caught me out.

I loved the tense psychological aspect of this story, it kept me on my toes and the story is so addictive. If you have read any of this author’s books before then you know you get amazing reads from her. This one is no exception it is a mix of crime, mystery and thriller with a brilliant psychological edge to it. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman #NetGalley @OneMoreChapter_ #romance #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman. My thanks to One More Chapter Publishers for my e-copy of this book that I received via NetGalley.

This is the 4th book on my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

When Scotland’s sleepiest hamlet becomes the centre of hot gossip, Layla Devlin finds herself caught in a mystery…

When Layla’s fiancée has an unexpected heart attack and dies – in another woman’s arms, no less – Layla is determined to pack up and leave Loch Harris, the village she’s always called home. But an unexpected inheritance and love for her quiet corner of Scotland send her down a new path.

Now Layla finds herself facing a whole new kind of drama. Rumours swirl that a celebrity has moved into Coorie Cottage and Layla is determined to have him headline her opening night at local music venue The Conch Club. But the reclusive star is equally determined to thwart Layla’s efforts. Rafe Buchanan is in hiding for a reason, and soon his past comes to Loch Harris to haunt him… 

My Review…


Layla is left hurt and confused after the sudden death of her fiance. With money left to her she initially doesn’t want anything to do with it. Then she sees the old fishing shop in the Scottish village of Loch Harris. A small community that is getting quieter as tourists are looking for something different. She decides to open a small live music venue and this is not the only thing to occupy her time or her thoughts as she gets ready for opening night.

This was such a gorgeous story to read on a wet and rather yucky summers day. I was as shocked as Layla after I discovered the secret that her fiance Mac was hiding. I also found myself siding with Layla’s dad, Harry, when I heard that she was opening a music venue. I mean a lovely tranquil village with amazing scenery and then add loud music. How the author described Layla’s dream soon had me visualising and imagining what this would actually be like and I found myself getting on board with the idea based on the imagery from the author.

The author has squeezed some wonderful threads into this story a mysterious singer, a stranger, some romance, some lies and deceit and also a whole load of wonderful heart waring and lovely moments. While there are a couple of more serious threads there are also some genuinely lovely ones.

I soon fell in love with the setting and the sound of this amazing village. I love the sound of a certain reclusive garden and could see myself hiding out there with several good books and maybe the odd large glass of wine!

A story that I found really hard to put down a mix of mystery, romance, family drama and wonderful scenery just make this an adorable book to read and one that left me grinning like a loon. If you like good all-around contemporary fiction and romance novels then you are going to love this one. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

Yours Cheerfully by A.J Pearce #histfic #NetGalley @panmacmillan #publicationday #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce. This is the second book in The Emmy Lake Chronicles. I loved the first book Dear Mrs Bird and this second book is just as good.

My thanks to the publisher Pan Macmillan for my advanced e-copy that I requested via NetGalley. This book is also #3 in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

From the author of the “jaunty, heartbreaking winner” (People) and international bestseller Dear Mrs. Bird, a new charming and uplifting novel set in London during World War II about a plucky aspiring journalist.

London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK) is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.

When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.

Every bit as funny, heartwarming, and touching as Dear Mrs. BirdYours Cheerfully is a celebration of friendship—a testament to the strength of women and the importance of lifting each other up, even in the most challenging times. 

My Review…

I have been waiting for a follow on to Dear Mrs Bird and Yours Cheerfully is a fabulous 2nd book in The Emmy Lake Chronicles.

Emmy Lake wanted to be a war journalist, she did get a job but not quite the one she imagined. It was for an Agony Aunt Column in a magazine called the Woman’s Friend. Set during WWII Emmy is making her way in the magazine world. this magazine is a small friendly publication that is full of tips on clothing, making the best of what you have, gardening, cookery and of course advice.

The Ministry call on magazines to help recruit more women to work in a bid to help out the war effort. A chance meeting with Anne a mother of two gives her an insight into women working in the factories. the women are determined in doing their bit, but they feel they are being treated as men would be and that fact hey they have children and homes to look after is not being taken into account. This sets Emmy on something of a mission as the factory women become friends, she still has to be careful about what she writes due to censorship.

I loved how the author has continued the story of Emmy and also her good friend Bunty. There is enough information given to get an idea of the first book, but I would recommend reading it as it was such an excellent one.

Once again the author includes a letter from readers who seek advice during a worrying time. For young girls working for the first time, for mothers who have children to care for alone, she touches on how widows are treated and the conditions that women who are effectively single parents during wartime deal with in life.

The author has brought the style of the magazine, which was seen as one of the little publications for older readers into the forefront. Giving Emmy a larger role so that she is able to really get to grips with the working woman life. There is politics, there is a certain amount of elitism and snobbery and there is the old boy’s brigade that comes into play. But during all this, the author does remember that Emmy has a life outside of the magazine. One that involves her boyfriend Charlie.

Once again the author has created such an addictive read. She deals with issues of the day in such a way as it makes the reader care about the issues. Some of the things I was not aware of and it has been an enlightening read as well as an emotional one. It does have its moments of sadness but also many moments of hope. A gorgeous story and one for those who like historical fiction during WWII. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

The Wolf and The Woodsman by Ava Reid #20booksofsummer #1 #fantasy @DelReyUK #NetGalley #readingchallenge #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Wolf and The Woodsman by Ava Reid. This is the first of the books I read in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

This book is a fantasy that has a folk tale, fairy tale feel to it. Let me show you more…

A dark, evocative and unforgettable fantasy debut steeped in Hungarian history and Jewish mythology, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Katherine Arden.

‘Rooted in history and myth, The Wolf and the Woodsman is a stunning debut . . . It will twine like a dark forest around your heart.’Samantha Shannon, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Priory of the Orange Tree
______________________________________
Stories don’t have to be true to be real…

In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.

But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman – he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.

As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.

My Review…

I do like books that have elements of mythology and history in them. This one has Hungarian history and Jewish mythology woven into the story. I am not familiar with either, so I found a story that had a grown-up, or more adult style fairy tale feel to it.

Evike is a wolf girl but not like the others in her village. She does not have one of the magical abilities of the other though. This leads her to feel like an outcast or loner. She is bullied and not made to feel like she belongs. AS she doesn’t have the powers, she is not as valuable and therefore becomes the obvious choice to send to the King.

Gaspar is a woodsman, he is also the Kings son. He is another character who doesn’t really fit, he has mixed blood, and some see him as not being fit to be the next king.

Over the course of the story, the author gradually builds on her characters beliefs, thoughts and views. Being different or belonging to a different culture is something that is a strong theme in this story. Evike is a pagan and looked down upon. Gaspar is a follower of the Holy Order of Woodsmen. Their differences are shown, but they gradually become to understand each other. Bloodlines, faith, beliefs and cultures are something that the author has worked in so well. She shows different sides and viewpoints as well as extremes.

Being a book that deals with magical abilities, it puts this in a fantasy genre, but in some respects, it also falls into a coming of age for Evike. I was quite sad when I finished this book, I found it captivating as the two main characters travelled. Exciting as they met knew creatures and people. Addictive when it came to the dynamics and power struggles.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and it lived up to my expectations. I would definitely recommend it.

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