Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite #20Booksofsummer #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts with you for Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite. I have gradually been reading this authors books and I think I have just read my favourite…so far! I still have to get up to date with her books, but my goodness this is an author who is well and truly on my “go to” Author list.By this I mean that when she releases a new book, I will automatically buy it.

Let’s see what Her Last Secret is all about…

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Some secrets you can never tell.

Everyone thinks the Thomases are the perfect family grand London house, gorgeous kids.

They don’t know wife Dominique is a paranoid wreck.
They don’t know husband Ben is trapped in a web of deceit.
They don’t know daughter Ruby lives in fear of the next abusive text.
But someone knows all their secrets.

Can the lies that bind them tear them apart?

This book is beyond awesome! What a devious author Barbara Copperthwaite is!

The synopsis, though brief, is intriguing and as I read it back after finishing the book I realise how clever it is. Just the merest of hints that give nothing away about what it contained inside the cover.

They say that you never know what truly goes on behind closed doors. Those doors in this this story belong to the family home, an office, a bedroom and a flat. The secrets that are contained behind those doors are the secrets of the individuals that occupy them.

I loved the dramatic way the story starts. Its Christmas Day and the police arrive. The story then backtracks for the members of the Thomas family painting a picture of them as a family as well as them individually. The author has cleverly spun a web and added more and more deception until things are brought up to the arrival of the police. Then things slot in place, well almost…

The Thomas family are: Benjamin, the father, an accountant that is in trouble. Dominique is the mum who isn’t quite a in control as she appears to be. Ruby, 15 year old daughter is being bullied and doesn’t tell her family and finally 8 year Amber the youngest, who prefers to hide in small spaces and is called “Mouse” because of this. What appears on the outside to be a successful family is one that behind the front door is one struggling. Their stories about their struggles are individual, but when they come together as a family the dynamic shown is one that is tense and edgy.

Keeping things to yourself and not admitting that you are struggling is something that is at the core of the story. These things become secretive and eventually controlling, it then affects your mood, decisions and how you interact with other people. This is where the author really has played her cards so well in writing this story. She has successfully woven a tale that had me on the edge of my seat and I was powerless to stop reading, I started this book mid evening and turned the last page in the early hours of the morning.

By the end of the book I actually punched the air! What an ending!

This is such a wonderfully wicked, deceptively devious and magnificently manipulative from start to finish. It is a book that I would absolutely recommend!

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

Book 9 of 20

Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawden#20Booksofsummer #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts with you today on Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawden, This is a fantastic read that is set during WWII

Let me show you what the synopsis says…

This heartbreaking and tender novel will appeal to readers who loved Sophie’s ChoiceSchindler’s Ark, and The Book Thief. Austria, 1944: Jakob, a gypsy boy—half Roma, half Yenish—runs, as he has been told to do. With shoes of sack cloth, still bloodstained with another’s blood, a stone clutched in one hand, a small wooden box in the other. He runs blindly, full of fear, empty of hope. For hope lies behind him in a green field with a tree that stands shaped like a Y. He knows how to read the land, the sky. When to seek shelter, when not. He has grown up directing himself with the wind and the shadows. They are familiar to him. It is the loneliness that is not. He has never, until this time, been so alone. “Don’t be afraid, Jakob,” his father has told him, his voice weak and wavering. “See the colors, my boy,” he has whispered. So he does. Rusted ochre from a mossy bough. Steely white from the sap of the youngest tree. On and on, Jakob runs. Spanning from one world war to another, taking us across England, Switzerland, and Austria, Jakob’s Colours is about the painful legacies passed down from one generation to another, finding hope where there is no hope, and color where there is no color.

When I think of Hitler and his plan to create his perfect race, I immediately think of the persecution of the Jews. This story is about persecution but this time of the Gypsies.

The story is told in a style that alternates between chapters that are headed “This Day”, “Before” and “Long Before” and they are spread across five sections that gradually take you through the story. It is a style that is very easy to follow.

This is a story about 8 year old Jakob, a boy who is half Roma (Gypsy) and half Yenish (Swiss Gypsy). It is also about his parents and tells their life-story. With the alternating timelines it is a chance to build up valuable insight and knowledge of the family and their experiences. It also gives meaning to the importance of colour in the lives of this family.

This is a story that has been well researched, this research has then been woven and incorporated into an absolutely amazing story. It is a story that is heartbreaking as you would imagine, but it also has something that has a special balance to it. It shows people at their best as well as at their very worst. This means that not only do you get the desperation and plight of a persecuted people, you also get the balance of those willing to go out on a limb and by doing that they instil a sense of hope.

This is a very special book that has been so well written that I am really struggling with a review. It is a book, that as I read, I wanted to highlight and quote every single sentence. It is beautifully worded and it’s one of those books that will stay with me for a very long time indeed.

If you want to read about the plight of a people who were persecuted and almost wiped out, then this is the book to pick up. If you want a story about the balance of life and death, then pick this book up. If you want a story that is beautifully written and yet harrowing and heartbreaking then pick this book up.

It is a book that once I had read, I just knew I would not be able to do justice to when it came to write a review. I just hope that as you read this, it sparks a little curiosity in you and you go and pick this book up and read it.

Highly Recommended Book.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated xx

Book 8 of 20

Warlock Holmes – A Study In Brimstone by G.S. Denning #20booksofsummer (7/20) #BookReview

Welcome to my review for Warlock Holmes – A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning. This is book number 7 of 20 in the 20 Books of Summer Rading Challenge.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius who uses the gift of deduction and reason to solve the most vexing of crimes.

Warlock Holmes, however, is an idiot. A good man, perhaps; a font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart flatmate. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.

An imaginative, irreverent and addictive reimagining of the world’s favourite detective, Warlock Holmes retains the charm, tone and feel of the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while finally giving the flat at 221b Baker Street what it’s been missing for all these years: an alchemy table.

Reimagining six stories, this riotous mash-up is a glorious new take on the ever-popular Sherlock Holmes myth, featuring the vampire Inspector Vladislav Lestrade, the ogre Inspector Torg Grogsson, and Dr. Watson, the true detective at 221b. And Sherlock. A warlock.

As you can see from reading the synopsis, this is similar to Sherlock Holmes and yet it is completely different!

Warlock is definitely a unique individual, you could say slightly mad, a little too mysterious and not altogether what you would expect.

This story is entertaining as I discovered the dynamics for this authors version of Holmes and Watson is more of a role reversal. Holmes is not the confident type of detective and in fact it is Watson who, once he gets to grips with the facts, takes the lead.

This is a re-imagined version of Sherlock Holmes, changing the name to Warlock and adding a more supernatural twist to it, actually worked rather well for me. I always think of the original Holmes as being mysterious and open to various thoughts and beliefs, and in some ways this lends itself to the way the author has taken with his version.

This is one of those books that I really enjoyed, although I do expect that it may not appeal to all. The books includes 6 stories and is entertaining reading. It does have the feel of the Conan Doyle original to it and I found myself quite engrossed wondering what on earth was going to happen next.

It is a book I would recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 x

Before the Rains by Dinah Jefferies #20booksofsummer #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review with you for Before the Rains by Dinah Jeffries. A historical fiction/romance set in 1930 India. This is one of my picks for the #20Books of Summer Reading Challenge and is number 7/20.

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

A romantic, heart-wrenching tale of love against the odds from the Number One Sunday Times bestselling author

1930, Rajputana, India. Since her husband’s death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza’s only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she’s determined to make a name for herself.

But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince’s handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families – and society – think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what’s expected, or following their hearts. . .

This is my first time reading a book by this author and after reading Before the Rains, it will not be my last time.

Eliza is a photographer who gets a year-long job opportunity to take photographs of the Royal Family in Rajputana, India in 1930. It is a chance for her to hone her craft and hope to arrange an exhibition that could lead to further work.

The story is that mainly of Eliza. It tells of her childhood growing up in India as part of the British occupation. After leaving India after the death of her father she has the chance to return and it is on this return that she photographs.

At the palace, she meets several members of the family including Jay the Prince and next-in-line to the throne. Jay is more progressive in his thinking than other members of his family, though he still holds firm to some traditions. Jay and Eliza gradually get to know each other and he almost takes her under his wing, showing her things outside of the palace that she would otherwise not have seen. This friendship slowly grows and a more romantic aspect, it is not a sudden thing, instead, it has a tension that smoulders.

The author has some fabulous scenery descriptions and she describes the colours and sights to a point that I could imagine what she was explaining. Details of culture, religion and, traditions are touched upon and these are heartbreaking and also real eye-openers. It adds to the suspicion around Eliza she being not only British but also a widow. Speaking of suspicion, it is everywhere in the palace and outside of the palace and from various sources. The tension of the time is brought out very well, as India wants the British to be gone and they can rule themselves again.

This is a very immersive and a compelling book to read. I did think that it wrapped up a little too conveniently but saying that it did give a satisfying ending. Along with friendships and liaisons, there is also a good amount of drama, tension, conspiracy and heartbreak. The clash of culture between India and Britain is dealt with well and gives an impression from both sides. Another large clash is that of the social classes, from the extreme poverty to the extreme opulence of those in the palace.

This is a really good read that I found quite addictive, and it is one I would definitely recommend to readers who like historical fiction and romance.

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

Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Sqaure by Heidi Swain #20booksofsummer #BookReview

I am delighted ot be sharing my review for Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain.

This is the 6th book I have read in the #20 Books of Summer Reading Challange. So, lets have a look and see what it is about…

Kate is on the run from her almost-divorced husband who is determined to have her back, and she has found the perfect place to hide… a little cottage on Nightingale Square in Norwich, far away from her old life in London. But the residents of Nightingale Square don’t take no for an answer, and Kate soon finds herself pulled into a friendship with Lisa, her bossy but lovely new neighbour.

Within a matter of days Kate is landed with the job of campaigning the council to turn the green into a community garden, meanwhile all the residents of Nightingale Square are horrified to discover that the Victorian mansion house on the other side of the square has been bought by developers. But when all hope is lost, the arrival of a handsome stranger is sure to turn things around! 

Heidi Swain is the perfect summer read – you’ll want to find your own green space, stretch out in the sun and dive into life at Nightingale Square.

After seperating from her husband, and trying to lie low, Kate decides to move into an old cottage in Nightingale Square. It’s ideally situated and puts distance between herself and her ex-husband and also her mother. Nightingale Square is a lovely secluded area where she can just be herself and be by herself. Well, that was her plan, the thing is, is that Nightingale Square is a friendly and welcoming area and it’s residents don’t take no for an answer when it comes to getting to know you and getting you involved!

I love the idea of this square, friendly neighbours, an area with history and a warm generous community spirit. Heidi Swain has created a and conjured a wonderful setting without a doubt. She had me hooked from the first few pages.

Kate has had past problems and believes that moving somewhere new will help. But we readers all know that running away from problems doesn’t solve them. Kate is an old romantic who believes that once you have loved and lost, you will never love again! As she has left her husband that’s it as far as she is concerned.

The square is perfect for Kate as the history of it appeals to the antique dealer and history buff in her. There is a main house that dominates the square, but it is due for redevelopment and the new owners will most likely pull it down. The sense of community spirit just oozes from the pages as does the tense romance that hovers in the air. But as things start to heat up along comes a spanner to be thrown into the mix.

This is a wonderful book that is perfect for summer reading. It has drama and tension of the romantic kind as well as friendships and misunderstandings. It is a book I would happily and absolutely recommend to readers.

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

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christine Lefteri #20booksofsummer #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christine Lefteri. I have decided to include this one in the # 20 Book of Summer reading challange, this makes numer 5 of 20.

Let us have a look and see what it is all about…

In the midst of war, he found love
In the midst of darkness, he found courage
In the midst of tragedy, he found hope

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

What will you find from his story?

Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees. 

As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.

Moving, powerful, compassionate and beautifully written, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit. Told with deceptive simplicity, it is the kind of book that reminds us of the power of storytelling.

The synopsis does a great job of explaining what this story is all about. The story of a man and his wife escaping their war-ravaged home in Aleppo, Syria and their journey to Britain as asylum seekers.

Nuri and Afra had a wonderful life, him a beekeeper and her an artist. The tensions in Syria gradually get closer to their home and they decide to leave, not an easy decision to make but one that becomes necessary if they are to survive.

The story flits back and forth telling of their lives in Aleppo and their journey to the UK. A hard journey that has no guarantee of survival or that when they arrive that they will be allowed to stay. Nuri and Afra are luckier than some as they have funds and can pay for certain things that are denied others. Some will start their journey and get no further than some of the refugee camps, some will die on the way, some will never leave their homes.

This is a heartbreaking read at times as I read about various people that Nuri and Afra meet along their journey. This is where the author uses her experiences of helping in refugee camps to help with her story. She has spoken to people in the camps, listened to their stories and created a novel that has some of its roots based in fact.

There is a great deal of emotion with this book, from anger at the way people are treated to compassion at the way people will help. It is heartbreaking as well as the story that the author has crafted around Nuri and Afra is slowly revealed.

I cannot imagine having to take such a journey that is so full of uncertainty but also necessity and for that I count myself very lucky. This is a beautifully written story that I simply could not put down. I had to know what happened to Nuri and Afra and also learn more of these interesting characters.

It is a story that I would absolutely recommend.

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

Someone You Know by Olivia Isaac-Henry #20booksofsummer (3/20) #NetGalley #Review

I am delighted ot be sharing my review for Someone You Know by Olivia Isaac-Henry. My thanks to the publisher Avon Books UK for accepting my request to read this book via NetGalley.

I have had this title on my shelf for a while and I have decided to include it in my #20booksofsummer Readin Challenge. This is number 3/20.

Let’s see what it is all about…

You can trust your family, can’t you…?

Tess Piper was fourteen when her adored twin sister Edie disappeared.

She has spent the last twenty years building a life away from her fractured family, desperate to escape the shadow of the past.

Only now she needs to confront the huge hole her sister’s disappearance left in her life, because a body has been found. The police are shining a spotlight on the Piper family. And secrets are about to surface.

After all, it’s common knowledge that more often than not, these crimes are committed by someone close to the victim. Someone they trust. Someone they know…

What really happened to Edie Piper?

For 20 years Tess has not known what had happened to her sister Edie when they were both 14 years old. When Edie’s body is finally discovered it brings with it a lot of uncertainty and loads of unanswered questions. Throughout the story, new questions are asked and most of them are answered.

This story is a back and forth one, alternating between present day and 20 years ago where it builds up a picture of the girls growing up and also of Tess as she is today. Tess and Edie had been close but, as they grew older they started to drift apart as their interests and like started to change. Edie was more outgoing of the two, but Tess found herself more isolated, the odd one out if you like and wanting to hang onto her sisters coat-tails. Tess was more old-fashioned, preferring things to stay as they were, while Edie wanted to discover new things and people.

All families have things that are not shared with their children. Parents don’t discuss their doubts and fears with them, wanting to keep their children’s childhood as happy and carefree as possible. The full details of their childhood only start to emerge as Tess starts to dig into the past and finally starts to discover hidden truths.

This story has a good pace to it and follows the lives of the girls and the key figures in their lives. It is a story that felt more like a murder mystery rather than a crime thriller for me. It is one I enjoyed and I had a character in my head for the culprit and, while I was right in my assumption I did have the odd wobble of doubt and thought I may have misjudged it. For me, this didn’t take away any enjoyment of the story, it is about the journey and the reason behind the truth rather than who was responsible.

It is one I would recommend!

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

The Teashop on the Corner by Milly Johnson #20Books0fSummer (2/20) #ReadingChallenge #Review

After having las week away from blogging and social media to rest the old brain cells, I am delighted to share my review for The Teashop on the Corner by Milly Johnson. This is the 2nd book in my 20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge.

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

At her beloved husband’s funeral, Carla Pride discovers that Martin never divorced his first wife and has been living a double life with her. And his other wife, Julie Pride, is determined to take everything from Carla – her home, her money, and her memories.

When Will Linton’s business goes bust he at least thinks that with the support of his trophy wife Nicole he will rise to the top again. But Nicole isn’t going to stick around with ‘a loser’ and Will finds himself at rock bottom.

Molly Jones is being bullied into going into a retirement home by her ‘concerned’ daughter-in-law Sherry and son Gram. Then the love of Molly’s life walks in through her door – a man who broke Molly’s heart into little pieces many years ago. But he says he is dying and wants to spend the time he has left with her.

All people in need of a little love and compassion which they find by chance in the stationery and teashop on the corner run by the ever-cheerful Leni, a woman that site developer Shaun McCarthy finds annoying beyond annoying for her ability to remain unrealistically upbeat about everything.

But is the world of Leni Merryman as full of rainbows and sparkles as everyone thinks? Or is her smile papering over many cracks in her heart that will soon be shattered unwittingly by her new friends?

The synopsis does a great job of giving the basics for some of the characters of this book, giving them a basic introduction if you like. These characters are then added to and then are gradually drawn together.

The story is focused around the Teashop run by the warm, generous and kindhearted Leni. Her Teashop is not just a teashop, it is also a stationery magpie’s dream, with literary themed notebooks, cards, pens, cufflinks, writing blocks and other wonderful memorabilia. Along with this, there are also sumptuous cakes, teas and of course my favourite coffee. I could quite easily see myself sat in this Teashop reading, perusing and of course filling my face on the cake!

As I gradually learnt more about the characters I became aware of how things for each of them has un-steadied them. Things happening out of the blue and unexpectedly, knocking their confidence or making them feel guilty or ashamed and, often not of their own doing. Whatever their predicament, they all somehow seem to drift towards the warm and inviting Teashop. Gradually friendships and confidences are formed, they are able to talk about what has happened this, in turn, makes them realise they are not alone, others are struggling and sometimes talking about things can help ease the burden. Well almost everyone talks about their problems through…

The descriptions of the characters are absolutely on point, as it the wonderful sounding Teashop. The story is totally captivating, sad and heartwarming and by the end of the book, I found myself yet again with tears. Tears of sadness as well as joy!

This is the second book I have read by this author. It is also the second time I have read it in one sitting!

The Teashop on the Corner is a perfect read for lovers of heartwarming reads with a touch of romance, with wonderful characters and a story-line that had me guessing and wondering what was going to happen next.

It gets a Highly Recommended from Me!


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

The Outsider by Stephen King #20booksofsummer (1/20) #Review

I am delighted to share my review today for The Outsider by Stephen King. This is the first of my #20BooksofSummer reading challenge that I am taking part in.

When an eleven-year-old boy is found murdered in a town park, reliable eyewitnesses undeniably point to the town’s popular Little League coach, Terry Maitland, as the culprit. DNA evidence and fingerprints confirm the crime was committed by this well-loved family man.

Horrified by the brutal killing, Detective Ralph Anderson, whose own son was once coached by Maitland, orders the suspect to be arrested in a public spectacle. But Maitland has an alibi. And further research confirms he was indeed out of town that day.

As Anderson and the District Attorney trace the clues, the investigation expands from Ohio to Texas. And as horrifying answers begin to emerge, so King’s propulsive story of almost unbearable suspense kicks into high gear.

Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy but there is one rock-hard fact, as unassailable as gravity: a man cannot be in two places at the same time. Can he?

It’s been a while since I read a book by this author, well apart from a re-read of IT a couple of years ago.

The Outsider started as a crime thriller read after the brutal murder of a young boy. All the evidence points to one man. Other evidence places that same man in another place.

I enjoyed the crime aspect of this story and the thrill of the investigation. I enjoyed the feeling of something being wrong. I did have a theory early on, and to be honest I think that is something most readers would pick up on Mine was based on an urban legend/myth that I thought would be a fitting suspect.

Because this is a King book there are certain expectations that I have before reading. I expect a story that is not straight forward, that is going to have an unsettling feeling, a level of horror that me turning all the lights on. This story definitely does have all those.

The story has an almost two-part feel. The first is more the investigations, witnesses and trying to work out the various angles. The second part is something a little bit different. It also sees the appearance of my favourite character in this story, Holly.

Holly is a character who is almost a mystery in herself, I know she has appeared in other books, but I have not read them. She for me is a linking character. She helps join the two parts of the book for me. Linking the crime investigation to what follows.

There is a good amount of tension that builds up, I think a lot of this was my imagination trying to leap forward trying to guess what the author was going to come up with.

By the time I got to the crucial point of the story where the suspect is cornered, I was thoroughly enjoying the book. Then the reasons behind the murder were explained and I have to say I felt a little deflated. As I was reading it I thought “Oh is that it!”, I just felt it ended a bit quick.

Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the story a lot, I thoroughly enjoyed the tense build-up, the eerieness and the crime investigation. The description of the brutal nature of the crime was uncomfortable to read. For me this story had more of a suspense and mystery feel to it rather than a horror.
With that in mind, I would recommend this book to readers who like crime, thriller, suspense with mysterious leanings in the second half.

It is a book I would Recommend.


Book #1 of 20 in my #20 Books of Summer reading Challenge

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

#20BooksOfSummer #ReadingChallenge

I have been seeing various Book Bloggers signing up for the 20 Books Of Summer Reading Challenge and thought why not join as well!

Well the hard bit was choosing 20 books, it didn’t have to be 20 it could have been 10 or 15, if I wanted. But, and I know this is something many readers struggle with, trying to choose a small amount from the mountains of books on my TBR was tough… so 20 it was 🙂

This is a fun challange and the rules are not written in stone, in fact there are not really any rules.

If you wan to take part just choose your books and then link them back to Cathy @746Books. There is a Linky link so you can keep track of not only your own reads but also see others and how they are getting on.

Choose 10, 15 or 20 Books.

The Challenge begins on 3rd of June and finishes on the 3rd September.

So now to my 20 Books…

Now then, the eagle eyed amonst you will notice that there are several books that are the first in a series… yes this is me attempting to catch up with authors that I have been wanting to read for a while.

I think I have a good mix in there and a couple of long ones as well!!!!!

Eeeek wish me luck 🙂