Escape to Giddywell Grange by Kim Nash @KimTheBookworm @rararesources #Bookreview

I am so delighted to finally share my thoughts on Escape to Giddywell grange by Kim Nash.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Let me show you what it’s all about…

A dog’s life is just what Maddy needs

Maddy Young thought she had it all.

Swanky city apartment? – yep. Fancy car? sorted. High-flying career? – tick.

Even if she’s lost most of her friends because of spending all her time at work, and can’t remember when she last had fun, it’s worth it.

Until she’s suddenly made redundant. Now she’s 37, jobless, and after the breakup with the former love of her life, unhappily single.

Enter Maddy’s childhood friend, Beth, the owner of Growlers, the doggy daycare centre at Giddywell Grange, on a mission to make Maddy see there’s more to life than work.

Soon, Maddy is swapping spreadsheets for volunteer duty at the library, daily Starbucks for cups of tea with elderly neighbours, and her Prada handbag for doggy poo bags… And with Beth’s gorgeous brother, Alex, back from the States, Maddy starts to think that Giddywell Grange might just be her happy place.

But when her old life – and her old boyfriend – comes calling, will Maddy go back to the job she loved so much? Or will she discover that the key to happiness lies in making others happy?

The synopsis gives a wonderful idea as to what the book is about. I met maddy as she is nervously waiting for her meeting where she is expecting to be promoted. This is something that Maddy feels she deserves due to all the hard work she has being doing over the years in PR. Work has been her life she has missed family and friends important events and not seen them as much as she should have done because she has been too busy with her work. So from anticipated nervous excitement she is suddenly dropped into a devastated place where she feels she is now surplus to requirements.

I immediately felt my heart go out to Maddy and I quickly found myself caught up with the story within a matter of a few paragraphs. This is the second book by this author and yet again she has absolutely and completely had me hooked and wrapped up within her writing.

I love how quickly the author shows the extreme emotions with Maddy, from enthusiasm to dejected in just a few words. It is this empathy that she brings out in the reader that shows how well she engages with this reader. I think this is why she is going to be a writer whose future books I will always buy without giving it a second thought. I know this is only the second book she has written but I am already a huge fan.

So, from starting the book I spent a few delightful hours devouring the story, I learned about Maddy, her Mum and her best friend Beth. I love how the once best friends had drifted due to Maddy’s work, but instantly connected when Maddy decides to come home again. I must say I also love the characters of Uncle Tom and Alex. They, along with Mum and Beth are full of advice and support as Maddy tries to find her feet and are on hand with loads of love and hugs with the occasional kick up the backside for good measure.

I loved watching the transformation in Maddy from a highflying PR career woman to one who pick up poo as she helps in Beth’s Dog Kennels. The author got the balance so right as it would have been so easy to stray into that feeling of “how the mighty have fallen”, but instead of that she created a character who is warm, helpful and supportive, as I said she got the balance right! The author has created little situations where Maddy is not expected to take part, but she when she surprises people and does these little tasks, it makes for humorous reading.

Life is not straight forward for Maddy and even though she has taken a step back from the PR world, she still has her eye out for another job while helping Beth out. I loved that nothing was straight forward and I wasn’t sure how things were eventually going to pan out and I discovered some nice little surprises along the way!

The author has once again created a story that completely wrapped me up for the few hours that I sat and read. I loved watching the characters develop through the story and how they react and interact with each other. The feeling of warmth, love and family at Giddywell Grange is fabulous and sounds a wonderful place that I would quite happily love to live in.

This is a story about searching your soul and doing what is right and best for yourself. Maddy is fortunate to have a great cast behind her as she learns and discovers things about herself, what makes her happy and I loved watching her discover that there is more to life than a high flying stressful career.

This is a wonderful heartwarming story the I would absolutely Recommend because it is just fabulous. And left me wanting to read more by this author, get a move on Kim I need another of your books to read ASAP 😍😁

Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at www.kimthebookworm.co.uk

Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA. 

When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs. 

Amazing Grace was her debut novel with Hera Books and came out in April 2019.

Escape to Giddywell Grange is Kim’s second novel and will be published on September 18th 2019.

Connect with Kim on Social Media here:Twitter: (@KimTheBookworm) and also Facebook and Instagram

Check out what other Book Bloggers think by visiting their Blogs on the tour…

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

Bird Box by Josh Malerman #bookreview

I am delighted to welcome you to read my thoughts on Bird Box by Josh Malerman. I had seen so many reviews about this book I had to read it.

Let me show you what Bird Box is all about…

Now a Netflix filmstarring Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Rosa Salazar and John Malkovich!

Written with the narrative tension of The Road and the exquisite terror of classic Stephen King, Bird Box is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat horror thriller, set in an apocalyptic near-future world—a masterpiece of suspense from the brilliantly imaginative Josh Malerman.

Something is out there . . . 

Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?

Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey—a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motely group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside—and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?

Interweaving past and present, Josh Malerman’s breathtaking debut is a horrific and gripping snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

Right from the off I am going to say that I have not watched the film. I wanted to read the book first. Now I have read the book I do not actually want to watch the film. The author wove enough vivid imagery into the story that I have my own version in my head of how things look and I want to keep that, rather than watch a film of others interpretations.

Now the story. The synopsis does a cracking job of letting the reader know what they are kind of letting themselves in for. I had my doubts as to whether sitting down to read this a night after the OH had gone to bed was such a good idea! I am happy to say I survived and did read a good chunk of the book before my eyelids started to win the battle and I went to bed.

This is a fabulous psychological and apocalyptic thriller. Even though it is set in the near future, it is the psychological style that takes a precedence and adds that spine tingling element to the reading.

The story focuses on Malorie, she lives in a world that has undergone a major change, it has left survivors that are just hanging onto existence. At the beginning, the world watched, read and listened to stories coming from Europe in disbelief. It wasn’t until those stories started to emerge from the US that people living in America started to pay attention and then a realisation takes hold that they were not stories, this was really happening.

Malorie is a character I did not really warm to but that I also had a lot of time for. I know that sounds a little bizarre but she is a strong character, and let’s be honest she would have to be to survive. She does not trust easily, she is cold and almost clinical in her approach, especially towards the children. She is a woman determined to survive and determined to keep the children alive. She needs their senses as much as she needs her own, they have a role to play and they have to do that role to the absolute best of their ability…

Survivors have to keep their eyes closed, they must not look at what is outside. They are blindfolded and survive on relying on their other senses!

This is such a tense read and the author has done an absolutely cracking job of injecting spine tingling and chilling suspense into the story. It just oozes a dangerous and atmospheric air and the further I got the more it grew.

As I mentioned earlier, Malorie is the main focus. The story tells of how she realised that something in the world was going wrong, what she did to survive and how she came to be in the position she is now in. In the present tense she is making the decision to take a journey down the river with two children. The why’s and who’s are explained through the story.

The timeline for this book flits back and forth and had me totally gripped. The author did a fabulous job of developing his story to explain how the survivors did indeed survive and how living in a world where one of the major senses has to be taken away. This gave me pause for thought and made me wonder how I would negotiate going down to my garden and working out what was edible or ready to be eaten, while all the time wearing a blindfold. Life outside without being able to use sight, even though you have it, is a scary thought. No sneaky peeping out, or sideways glances, no using the periphery of your vision! If you do, well… let’s not even go there because it will not end well!

I liked how not everything was explained, things were left hanging. I have said this before when reviewing this style of book and again it is relevant here as well… If a catastrophic event was to occur would anyone person have all the answers anyway? Even if they did, who would they tell and how would they tell it anyway!

This is a book that readers who like a dystopian, chilling, psychological thriller read. It is one I would Absolutely Recommend!


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

A Boy And His Dog At The End Of The World by C. A. Fletcher #Bookreview

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts with you today for A Boy And His Dog At The End Of The World by C.A. Fletcher. This is a wonderful dystopian story that I absolutely loved. I seem to have had a little bit of a run on Dystopian novels just lately and I have to say I have I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them.

Let me show you what it is all about…

When a beloved family dog is stolen, her owner sets out on a life-changing journey through the ruins of our world to bring her back in this fiercely compelling tale of survival, courage, and hope. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and The Girl With All the Gifts.

My name’s Griz. My childhood wasn’t like yours. I’ve never had friends, and in my whole life I’ve not met enough people to play a game of football.

My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.

Then the thief came.

There may be no law left except what you make of it. But if you steal my dog, you can at least expect me to come after you.

Because if we aren’t loyal to the things we love, what’s the point?

This is the story of Griz, he has never known enough people to play a game of football with. He lives with his family on a remote Scottish island and they don’t get many visitors because… well there are not many people alive in the world. However, one visitor does come to the island and when he leaves again he takes Griz’s dog with him.

I am going to keep within the authors wishes for this book. The author has requested that no spoilers should be given by anyone writing a review. I completely agree with this, so you will find no spoilers!

This novel is told all the way through from the persepctive of Griz. Through Griz I learnt about his life, his role in the family, a little of how populations diminished, it is told in the present and the past as he relates his experiences. It gives reason for chasing after his dog.

The author has done an absolutely fabulous job with the settings that are mentioned through the book, using a futuristic UK to provide a backdrop that I am familiar with and yet it is totally different. The successful portrayal of the lack of people is great and I did think that isolation and loneliness may leave a depressing after-taste, but it didn’t. Instead I felt uplifted at some points as loneliness and isolation felt more like a way of life and therefore it was normal. I rather like the idea of having spaces for being completely alone, but I don’t think I would want it as a permanent thing.

The author has things from the news, weather, environment and taken them to a reasonable and also realistic feeling future.This relevance to our present day gave me a lot to think about, things we take for granted and use or dispose and often without really thinking about it, though we are making steps towards a greener society. It does make me wonder will it be enough!

This is a book that I savoured, I took my time with it and made myself read it slower than I normally would. There was just something about this book that warranted doing this, as not only is it a cracking read, with a fabulous story and style but it also has a message to it. This message is not preached at all and could be seen as an observation. By the time I got to the end I felt a little lost, and also I have to mention that I loved the ending.

This is a quieter style of story in someways, it has a slower pace but it is not a slow story… does that even make sense! It has drama and tension when the story requires it and it was one I immediately fell for within a few pages. When I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it as I was sat in my home surrounded by all my necessary things!!!!!

This would make an ideal book for a Book Club as there are so many things that could be discussed about this book.

This is a cracking read and one I would Absolutely Recommend!


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

Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter. I own several books by this author and this is the first I have read. This is book #1 in the Grant County series and it was a cracking read. It is #17 in my reading challenge for #20 Books Of Summer.

Let me show you what it is all about…

The first book in Karin Slaughter’s #1 bestselling GRANT COUNTY series.

She was found in the local diner. Brutally murdered. Ritually mutilated.
And she won’t be the last.
___________________

The sleepy town of Heartsdale, Georgia, is jolted into panic when Sara Linton, paediatrician and medical examiner, finds Sibyl Adams dead in the local diner. As well as being viciously raped, Sibyl has been cut: two deep knife wounds form a lethal cross over her stomach. But it’s only once Sara starts to perform the post-mortem that the full extent of the killer’s brutality becomes clear.

Police chief Jeffrey Tolliver – Sara’s ex-husband – is in charge of the investigation, and when a second victim is found, crucified, only a few days later, both Jeffrey and Sara have to face the fact that Sibyl’s murder wasn’t a one-off attack. What they’re dealing with is a seasoned sexual predator. A violent serial killer…

I have to say right from the off that I really, really enjoyed this book and what a fabulous introduction to a “new to me” author!

The synopsis is one that gives a great idea as to what the story is about, not that I read the synopsis until I have finished reading the book! It does give an indication that this story is going to be a bit on the brutal side, and yes it and in such a brilliant way.

Dr. Sara Linton is the medical examiner/ coroner whose main job is a paediatrician. She works for her ex-husband while doing her role as coroner, not ideal but they do still talk to each other. Oh I should mention that her ex is Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver.

Sara stumbles on the victim in a toilet booth. Sybil has been brutally murdered, and I must add it is quite a bloody affair and as wrong as this sounds… it was so good. It meant that straight away I wanted to know more, the how’s, the why’s and the who’s, it made me impatient and I was addicted straight away.

So with a beginning like that, I knew this was going to be a good book. A great opening with blood, guts, murder and a character I was going to get on with and like. Over the course of the story I got to know Sara a little better, her family, her past and also her relationship with her ex.

The author builds up the story and gradually adds more intrigue and never was I close to working out who was responsible, though I did have the odd idea floating around. The characters fall into various categories, those you will like, those you won’t and those that don’t quite sit right but you don’t know why! I like the way the author littered this story with seeds of doubt, it kept me on my toes and my fingers turning the pages.

Having a main character as a coroner meant I was able to see inside the examination room so to speak, and it was not pleasant but at the same time it was again very good. The descriptions of the bodies and what had happened to them made me shudder and curl my toes up. The investigation was brilliantly paced and move along nicely.

This book could just as easily been called Blindsided rather than Blindsighted and I was the former for most of the story. This author got the balance right with regards to the case, the drama of the personal lives and also the tension and stress in trying to track down the killer.

So as I mentioned, this is the first time of reading anything by this author and what a brilliant book I chose to read. I can definitely see why she is so popular. I am looking forward to reading more in the series as well as the others that she has written. It’s great to find a new author who has lots of already published books out there.

And, as if you really needed me to mention this…. I would Absolutely Recommend Blindsighted!


Book #17 of 20


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

The Death of Justice by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder @Bloodhoundbook #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to welcome you to read my thoughts on The Death of Justice by Tony J Forder. This is #5 in the DI Bliss series and I want to say a huge thank you to Heather at Bloodhound Books for arranging for an e-copy of Tony’s latest book.

I am a huge fan of this series and the author, and this latest book is bloody brilliant!

Let me show you what it is all about…

To keep a secret hidden you must bury the truth

One night. Two shootings. Two victims.

When DI Bliss arrives at the scene of the second murder, he recognises the same three-shot pattern as the first. But there is one major difference: the second victim has been decapitated, the head nowhere to be found. When a second headless corpse is discovered the following day, Bliss and his team realise the killer is on a spree – and he’s not done yet.

After Bliss links the killings and forms a task force with officers from Lincolnshire, they uncover further disturbing news: the murders are not the first in the series – there are four more headless victims, and the Lincolnshire team believe they know why. Not only that, they are also convinced that more potential victims are on the killer’s list.

In a race against time to save further loss of life, Bliss constantly finds himself one step behind and chasing shadows. In order to flush out the hired assassin, he and his team have no choice but to put their own lives at risk. But will everyone survive? 

This is the latest in the DI Bliss series, and you know I am going to say that Yes you should read this series in order. There are smaller personal stories that are running through the series, and they are mentioned in the books but obviously are much better when read in order.

Oh Wow, what a book! This for me see’s a real step up for this author, I have always been a fan of his books, but this one just knocks the socks off what I have read by him… so far! This author always provides a good solid read and I have enjoyed reading the developments with the characters and the addictive story lines. For me, The Death of Justice sees this author step things up big time.

The case begins with a shooting, it is then followed by a decapitation. This is only the beginning! Bliss and his team realise that this could be the start of something much bigger and things could spectacularly spiral out of control. There is a sense of not having much time as Bliss and his department have to cross into another county and co-operation is required across the county borders. Bliss has never really been one for tact and diplomacy and is often found stamping on toes within the hierarchy, but this time he is going to have to hold back, well to a certain extent!

The author has definitely ramped up the complexity in the case as Bliss finds himself in an investigation that has him pulled from pillar to post and is struggling to be everywhere he wants to be. Yet while the case is complex for Bliss, it is not for the reader. I found it easy to follow and I like the logical progress the author uses for Bliss.

Bliss is old school and knows about grey areas and experienced in reading people. He is one of those characters that does interact well with his team, they are valued and respected by Bliss and they have a bond that has been built up over time. This is where I back up my statement about reading in order.

As well as the complex case , the author has injected a great pace to this story. There is definitely a “race against time” aspect to the investigation. It adds to the dramatic and tense that is present throughout. The unusual nature of the case means Bliss is given a little more leeway than usual, he has this with the blessing of his superiors. This is the grey area that Bliss seems to thrive in, and he is definitely well placed to think outside the box as far as protocol and procedure is concerned.

This story starts dramatically and ends spectacularly dramatically. I was able to get up to date with the smaller personal stories in the lives of the regular characters, while they are not major storylines and they do fade during the investigation, they make an appearance again at the end. They are poignant and I like them a lot.

In between the main story there is also some chapters from the perspective of another character. Oh my goodness are they chilling and creepy or what! This adds a great psychological suspense to the story and definitely gets the spine tingling as I read these particular chapters.

Emotions… well… Yes Mr Forder you broke me! That means you got it absolutely right! The author mentions in a note at the end of the story about the balance of this story, my floods of tears meant that for me it was right. Yes it was balanced, the investigation is obviously the main focus, but in with that there was drama, suspicion, tension, emotion and complexity and they all have an important part to play.

This is without doubt THE best book I have read by this author. So many things I loved about it and even though there is a sadness it also made sense because not everything is finite and there are things that happen in daily life that is life itself. I also feel that this is a huge step forward in a series I already love and has left me with such a feeling of “WOW that was bloody good!”

I would have happily read this book in one sitting, instead I had to read it over a couple of days, it’s so annoying when you have to work a night shift ad you would rather be sat at home with your head in a book!

This is a book that , as if you need telling at this point, that I would absolutely would Highly Recommend!

Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed and international bestselling crime thriller series featuring Peterborough based detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first four books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins, and The Reach of Shadows, will be joined on 9 September by The Death of Justice.

Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books.

Scream Blue Murder was written as a standalone, but even before it was published back in November 2017, he had decided to write the sequel, Cold Winter Sun, which was released on 1 November 2018.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is busy working on book six in the DI Bliss series, as well as another novel, Fifteen Coffins. 

Follow tony on his – Website Twitter

See what other Book Bloggers think and check out their stops on the Blog Blitz xx

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

The Good Doctor Of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts with you for The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford. I was very lucky to receive a copy of the book and also an Audio Cd in a giveaway run by Elisabeth on her Facebook page, that was last year!

Let me show you what it’s about…

‘You do not leave a sick child alone to face the dark and you do not leave a child at a time like this.’

Deeply in love and about to marry, students Misha and Sophia flee a Warsaw under Nazi occupation for a chance at freedom. Forced to return to the Warsaw ghetto, they help Misha’s mentor, Dr Korczak, care for the two hundred children in his orphanage. As Korczak struggles to uphold the rights of even the smallest child in the face of unimaginable conditions, he becomes a beacon of hope for the thousands who live behind the walls.

As the noose tightens around the ghetto Misha and Sophia are torn from one another, forcing them to face their worst fears alone. They can only hope to find each other again one day…

Meanwhile, refusing to leave the children unprotected, Korczak must confront a terrible darkness.

Half a million people lived in the Warsaw ghetto. Less than one percent survived to tell their story. This novel is based on the true accounts of Misha and Sophia, and on the life of one of Poland’s greatest men, Dr Janusz Korczak. 

It feels so wrong to say that I really enjoyed this book given the subject it is about, but I really did enjoy it. This is a meticulously researched book about Misha and Sophia and also of Dr Janusz Korzak.

Misha and Sophia live in Warsaw, Poland and they are the main focus of the story. Dr Korzack is a man who features in the story quite a bit along with many others who had to endure the tyranny of Hitler during WWII. Out of the 1/2 million people who were forced to live in the Warsaw Ghetto, less than 1% survived.

There are so many parts of this book that are so hard to read because of what they went through and what happened. The author paints a vivd and heartbreaking picture of suffering, devastation and pure horror of the living conditions of these people. What makes it so difficult is that I know what was going to happen as it did happen. When those living in the Ghetto are told that they will be relocated to a work camp at Treblinka, I know it was never going to be a work camp. I thought if only they knew the truth before they boarded the train! What was the alternative though, remain and be tortured and beaten to death or face starvation. This is why there were so few survivors.

Dr Korzak ran a home for orphans, this is where Misha and Sophioa meet. Dr Korzak’s main principle with dealing with children in his care was that you should look at the child as an individual. To do this you have to get to know the child and only then could you understand the child and their behaviour.

As Germany invades Warsaw, Korzak, the children in his care, Misha, Sophia and many hundreds of thousands are forced into ghettos. The conditions are squalid, disease ridden, food is scarce and is smuggled in. Escaping the ghetto is not an option as being caught is certain death. Misha and Sophia have to make a decision, stay and be rounded up and put on a train or separate and hope they can both survive the war and be re-united.

This is so emotional and hard to read, but it also shows hope and the determination. It is compelling and addictive and the author has done a beautiful job of telling this story.

I mentioned earlier the meticulous research. At the end of the story there are several pages that include the books she used to compile the facts, the places she had visited and the people she met. All these things were brought together and once she had all the facts she began to write. There are photographs on the inside covers of the book.

This is an inspiring story based on the true story of Misha and Sophia. It is a harrowing, heartbreaking, poignant story of courage, loyalty, belief, commitment and hope.

It is one I would Absolutely Recommend!

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


Book 12 of 20

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…

37814776

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

Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb #Review

I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my thoughts with you all today for Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb. This is such a stunning story that I absolutely fell in love with.

I bought a copy for my kindle, but I am also going to get a paperback when it is published at the beginning of September, it’s that good!

Let’s see what it is all about…

Set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s whirlwind romance and glamourous wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb take the reader on an evocative sun-drenched journey along the Côte d’Azur in this page-turning novel of passion, fate, and second-chances.

Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique, fending off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.

James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love.

What an absolutely brilliant read this was. Set in the 1950’s of Monaco, it has a wonderful atmosphere in the era of Grace Kelly and her meeting with Prince Rainier. The authors have blended a little fact with the fiction to create a stunning and highly addictive story.

The setting is wonderful adding a little of luxury of the country, with the film star and life style of the iconic and well known film star Grace Kelly.

I was introduced to perfumer Sophie Duval and photographer James Henderson. This happens as Grace seeks sanctuary in Sophie’s shop trying to avoid the press and photographers. Over the course of the story that follows I gradually got to know more about the friendship that forms between Sophie and James. They just never quite seem to get together at the right time, there always seems to be something that gets in the way.

For James, photography is his passion, but snapping celebs is not what he wants to do. He wants scenery and locations, not easy when there is someone at home that also needs his time.

Sophie is being pressured to sell her business, a business that she took over from her father. The business is in her bones and her soul, it is everything that makes her who she is.

This is such a stunning story and the authors have captured the feel and atmosphere so well. The visuals that they have conjured up made it so easy for me to imagine so many things from, dresses to scenery they made it seem effortless. There is a romantic tension that builds up between Sophie and James, and as much as I wanted to see them together early on I was glad that the authors kept pulling them apart.

The emotion of the story was something that gradually built up and by the end of the book the dam finally burst. I was in tears and not for the reason that you are probably thinking!

There are notes at the end of the book that gave some extra’s into the life of Grace Kelly as well as about perfumes and how the book came to be. I must admit I did spend quite a bit of time after finishing the book, Googling Grace and her life, I wasn’t quite ready to turn the last page on Grace at that moment and needed to read more about this beautiful lady.

This is a book that I would absolutely recommend.

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