Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland @JessicaRedland @rartraresources @BoldwoodBooks #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland. I have followed this series from the very beginning and adored each of the books. So it is with sadness that I read this final book, I will miss the characters and the Hedgehogs.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher Boldwood Books.

It’s the countdown to Christmas at Hedgehog Hollow Wildlife Rescue Centre, and everyone is gearing up for a festive season to remember…
It should be the most wonderful time of the year for Samantha and Josh as they prepare for the arrival of their first baby. But life at Hedgehog Hollow rarely goes to plan and the pair are faced with adversaries, old and new, and unexpected challenges to overcome.
Fizz’s job at the heart of the rescue centre is a dream come true but her personal life is more like a nightmare. With her love life a disaster and her past about to dramatically catch up with her, she needs the love and support of her Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever.
As the snow falls over Hedgehog Hollow, will Samantha and Fizz find the Christmas miracle they need to overcome their heartache and find happiness?


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

Oh, this is such a bitter-sweet review as this is the final book in this series, although the author does mention the possibility of coming back to some characters mentioned. I for one hope that she does.

This has been a fabulous series and one that I have read from the very first when there was no rescue centre, when the house was run down and where an elderly man was alone. The author has created such a heartwarming series and each step of the way I have been hooked. Following the comings and goings of the people, the families and friends and obviously of the little prickle balls themselves.

This final book is another heartwrenching one, although it is also full of wonderful surprises and new starts. Yes it does have Christmas mentioned ( this book was released in September btw) and it was a refreshing book to read in the August sun.

Family and friends are looking toward Christmas, but it is going to be a strange one in some ways as things don’t remain the same. I did like the way the author didn’t make it excessively festive but concentrated on the close-knit family, extended family and close friends of those who have been part of Hedgehog Hollow over the years. Christmas is a time for remembering things and not all are good. there are some very tough times ahead for some of the characters as they have to admit things that they have kept hidden for far too long.

Sam and Josh are awaiting the arrival of their new baby, and this is one of the new starts I have mentioned. There is a sense of fear and excitement as they await the birth, but there is also plenty of other things going on in the story. It does have a feeling that the author has started to bring things to a close, but it has been done in such a wonderful and natural feeling way.

This book was a real emotional rollercoaster, there were so many moments when I had to swallow a lump in my throat or wipe away the odd tear so I could keep reading. I would love to share all these moments but I am deliberately avoiding this.

A vague-ish review as such as I don’t want to spoil any of the numerous and wonderful moments if you are still to read this one.

If you are a fan of contemporary fiction and romance with family and friends being the focus then you need to have a look at this series. There is romance, trouble, challenges, expectations and so many wonderful surprises throughout the series and also this final book.

This has been a fabulous reading journey and I have learnt more about hedgehogs and this has been incorporated into the storylines so well.

Fabulous series, with amazing characters and wonderful storylines that I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Redland writes emotional but uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast where she lives with her husband, daughter and sprocker spaniel. Her Hedgehog Hollow series, set in a hedgehog rescue centre, takes readers into the beautiful rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.


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Vendetta by Edie Baylis @ediebaylis @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #crime #thriller #gangland #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Vendetta by Edie Baylis, this is the 3rd book in The Allegiance series. I am loving this series and if you like gangland thrillers then this is one that should be on your radar.

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 book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley.

Who can you trust?


Once bitter enemies, Samantha Reynold and Seb Stoker’s powerful alliance enable their firms and casinos to go from strength to strength. With the families no longer in opposition, it seems that Sam and Seb are untouchable…


But not everyone is happy with the new power couple of the club world.


Unbeknownst to everyone, someone new wants to see Sam’s perfect life ruined. And they will stop at nothing to seek their revenge – even if it means destroying everything – and everyone – in their path.


With tensions high, Sam and Seb must put their trust in each other completely. But can they trust those closest to them? Or do they have a vendetta of their own?


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

This is the 3rd book in this series and while this could be read as a stand-alone book, I would suggest you read the series in order. There are several characters in this series that you are introduced to over the previous books, and, there are some ongoing storylines.

Sam Reynolds and Seb Stoker were rivals, but they both own businesses and they have gradually learnt to trust one another, so much so that marriage is on the cards. Sam has had a good upbringing and never fully realised how her father operated his business, so when she took over it was definitely an “in at the deep-end” move. Luckily she has had Seb there to help her and back her up, he along with his brothers own a casino. Both businesses work and there is now a problem with Seb, it leaves him moody and this unsettles Sam.

Now before you, you think this is just a story about Sam and Seb, there is far more to come. And boy does the author know how to turn the screws in this story, I found myself on the edge of my seat trying, and failing to work out how on earth the two storylines are going to add up. The second storyline is one that the author weaves brilliantly. It starts out tentative and then when things are in place the author then ramps up the tension and the danger.

With two storylines and also a few subplots, this is a fast-paced book and it suits this gangland thriller to a tee. Bringing in characters from the past and working with them as she has, the author has shown different sides to Sam and Seb. Sam is not quite the naive woman she was in the first book and Seb finds that he doesn’t want to risk Sam at all.

I adored how the author twisted the characters and had them do their worst. There are some mentions of prostitution and drugs, and to be honest it is part of the genre that these feature as part of the plot. They are tackled well and they do show a seedy side to casinos, clubs and the gangland scene.

This was addictive and at times brutal and I loved it. I think this is due to the fact that I have read each of the books in this series and I have grown to like some of the shadier characters. I know that they have dodgy and dangerous dealings, but the author shows a family and loyal side to these characters.

There is an ending to this book that I liked, yep a bit of a cliffhanger and I cannot wait to see what she is in store for Sam and Seb in the next book.

Fabulous series, tense, danger-ridden, and with a strong gangland thriller feel. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Edie Baylis is a successful self-published author of dark gritty thrillers with violent background settings. She lives in Worcestershire, has a history of owning daft cars and several motorbikes and is licensed to run a pub. She has signed a five-book deal with Boldwood and the first book in her new ganglit series, set in Birmingham, was published in January 2022.

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Rough Diamonds by Gillian Godden @GGodden @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #crime #gangland #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Rough Diamonds by Gillian Godden. This is the latest in the series and the Diamond Ladies take the lead.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy via NetGalley

Rough Diamonds
Flawed, tough, unbreakable…


In the aftermath of her husband’s shocking murder, Patsy Diamond wants answers. Who was Nick really? Where is all his money? And who killed the man she once loved? Patsy knows exactly who to go to first – Nick’s pregnant mistress, Natasha.


Natasha might seem young and innocent, but Patsy’s certain the girl is hiding something. And the only way to find out what is to keep Natasha close and make her part of the Diamond family.


With the two women forming an unlikely bond, they begin to dig deeper into Nick’s secret life and discover things that shock…and terrify them.


Because Nick Diamond played a deadly game and if the women in his life want payback, then they are going to have to follow his rules – or break them and make their own.


But the strongest diamonds are created under pressure and these women are no exception…


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

This is the latest book in the series that focuses on the Diamond Family. Nick Diamond has been shot, and the repercussions of his death are far-reaching. Some will be pleased that he is gone, others though see an opportunity to take over his patch.

This latest in the series see’s the focus change to the women in the Diamond family, Mother – Victoria, Wife – Pasty, Mistress – Natasha and those who are close to the family who live in one of the rougher parts of Scotland.

Pasty is threatened and she starts to realise that there was more to her husband’s activities than just him being a solicitor and money launderer. She discovers that her husband Nick had more underworld business dealings than she had ever realised. Splitting her time between London and Scotland, Patsy desperately tries to discover the truth and where Nick had hidden the large amount of money that is missing.

Seeing the Diamond women step up and take charge was something that I really liked. The author didn’t change their characters at all but instead made them determined. It would have been easy to toughen them up, but this is not who they are. Now don’t get me wrong, they are not people to be taken advantage of and they do have a bite, so the author does just enough to give them what they can deal with at the right time.

While Patsy doesn’t come across as likeable, her character is determined, and she really isn’t a woman to be messed with. She has made decisions and will act on them, who they will benefit in the long run though, well we will have to wait and see.

While this is the next book in the series, it is also one that marks a new chapter in the Diamond family. New contacts, friendships and business partners are needed but who to trust to watch your back is something that you will discover as the story unfolds.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is one for those who like their crime thrillers with a gang-style kick to it, brutal at times but very addictive reading. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gillian Godden is a brilliantly reviewed writer of gangland fiction as well as a full-time NHS Key Worker in Hull. She lived in London for over thirty years, where she sets her thrillers, and during this time worked in various stripper pubs and venues which have inspired her stories.

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Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland @JessicaRadland @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #romance #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland. This is a brilliant series and this latest book focuses on a different character, but don’t worry the others are still around.

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.

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Samantha has a secret. Returning home from her dream honeymoon to the normality of running her beloved Hedgehog Hollow rescue center, she’s ready for the next chapter of her life with Josh. Or is she? Samantha is hiding something which could forever change the dreams they shared and bring their happy ever after crashing to the ground.

Lauren has given up on love. Twenty-six years ago the love of her life, Shaun, left her a note and was never seen again. Two painful divorces later she still can’t face opening up to anyone. But little does Lauren know that the closure she’s dreamt of for all these years may be closer than she thinks, and perhaps the only way to let new love in is to forgive and forget.

Samantha and Lauren will need the love and support from the Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever. After all, some dreams are worth chasing…

MY REVIEW

I am a big fan of this series and I always look forward to picking up a new book, This latest one had me wrong-footed for a minute or so, it is still set in and around Hedgehog Hollow, but instead of the focus being more on Sam and Josh and their hedgehogs, another leading character was brought in.

Lauren is aunt to Josh. She has been married twice and not successfully. Her first husband just disappeared leaving just a note and a huge hole in her heart. The second husband changed after their marriage. She has vowed off men, although she does live with a male friend. She has never truly gotten over her first love.

While this does feature Lauren, the chapters also kept me up to date with Sam and Josh as they go off on honeymoon. This is the first time they have both had any quality time together and once again the author brings Sam’s worries to the forefront. Sam has terrible anxiety issues and with just cause. The patience, understanding nature and love of Josh really does shine through. If you have read any books from this series then you will know of Sam’s past. If not the author does briefly mention it.

Lauren however has her own problems. She has just discovered the job she loves at the local college no longer exists after the college has been bought out. She has the chance to apply for a new role, but it isn’t one she wants. It seems that the person who is responsible for telling her this news is one that could possibly give her more than one thing to think about.

Any Hedgehog Hollow book has updates on hedgehogs. This one is no different, there are also some new mentions of Hogs from the honeymoon trip. No matter where you go in this series a hedgehog is lurking somewhere and it is great.

This installment is slightly different compared to the others, while the characters are all there it is also nice to see more from Lauren. Learning more about her and her life in the past was really interesting. Revelations about her past came as a real shock to her and I thought it had been done so well.

This book has some really wonderful moments, as well as some tough issues. There is one particular moment that had me welling up as the author described a very simple but poignant event.

While life moves on at Hedgehog Hollow there are still things to be done. The rescue center has become more of an outreach center and not just for our prickly friends. It is a sanctuary and a wonderful place to keep coming back to. I adore each book in the series, and while they can be read as stand-alone, they are wonderful to read in order. Once you have read one it leaves you wanting the next one. Great for fans who are looking for romance, life, and the problems it comes with and it is a book and series I would definitely recommend.

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Fallout by Edie Baylis @ ediebaylis @Rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #crime #thriller #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Fallout by Edie Baylis. This is a fabulous book and the second book in the Allegiance series. The first book, Takeover was a brilliant story and this second book is just as good.

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

If you want to check out my review of TAKEOVER click HERE

Fallout
Secrets. Lies. Revenge.

With the odds stacked against her, Samantha Reynold is determined to prove she’s tough enough to be the boss. But when a secret from the past threatens to ruin Sam’s reputation, she suddenly feels very alone in this dark new world. There’s only one man she can turn to – rival club owner, Sebastian Stoker.

Seb knows first-hand how secrets and lies can tear a family apart. He wants to protect Sam at all costs, but siding with her could threaten his own position as head of the Stoker family and risk accusations of betrayal.

With loyalties divided and two families at war – the fallout could be deadly.
Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

This is the second book in the series, the first book Takeover was brilliant and it saw Samantha Reynold taking over her father’s business. This second book continues the story as Sam and rival club owner, Seb work together to deal with what’s coming.

This book could be read as a stand-alone, but in all seriousness, I would consider reading the Takeover first as it introduces the characters and deals with things that make it easier to understand them. That being said the author does a great job of filling in the basics.

As Sam is still coming to terms with being adopted she has the support of Sam Stoker. Although they didn’t immediately trust each other, they have realised that they can not only work together but trust each other. Being rival club owners work for them, but not necessarily for those who work for them. Family’s can be tricky things and when they feel that things could be a danger or threaten them things get tricky. How can they convince their respective families and close family friends that this is all going to work out?

The author has once again provided a fabulous story that hit the grounds running. Working the suspicious natures of those around Sam and Serb has been wonderfully done. It adds tension and gives the overall feel of the story a good pace. Sam still feels as if she has to prove herself, which is difficult for a woman to do at the best of times. But, in this more male-dominated world she has to prove not only how tough she can be but also that she is resilient. Seb, well he is a fabulous character and is the rock that Sam needs. But, as much as she needs him he needs her as well. They make a great team.

This is a dangerous world that the author has created for her characters. The baddies are great as well as obviously the goodies! The author brings a sense of mistrust and intrigue that helps fuel the pace of the story, it kept me on my toes and eagerly turning the pages. The title Fallout is brilliant as for me it sums up this story very well.

If you are looking for a crime thriller story that has a strong gangland element to it then you really need this series on your shelf. Brilliant story, fabulous characters and an addictive read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Edie Baylis is a successful self-published author of dark gritty thrillers with violent background settings. She lives in Worcestershire, has a history of owning daft cars and several motorbikes and is licensed to run a pub. She has signed a five-book deal with Boldwood.

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The Reckoning @KerryKayaWriter @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #crime #gang #thriller #bookrewiew

I am delighted to share my review today for The Reckoning by Kerry Kaya. This is the 4th book in the Carter Brothers series and is one for those who like crime, gangland, and thrillers.

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 book via NetGalley,

An eye for an eye…

Once the top dog, Danny Mckay has walked away from his old gangland life. He’s on the straight and narrow now, looking forward to settling down and living a quiet life.

But trouble seems to follow Danny. And when his own family is caught up in a shocking event, Danny is dragged back into the gangland world, hell-bent on revenge.

Danny’s determined to make someone pay, but the rules are different this time around – old friends are enemies, and Danny doesn’t know who he can trust.

And as Danny gets closer to the truth, he realises that the consequences of his own actions could destroy everything – and everyone – that he loves.
Purchase Link – AMAZON

MY REVIEW

This is the 4th book in this series and it does read well as a standalone as this is the first book I’ve read in this series. I have, however, read other books by this author and she writes some cracking g gangland thrillers.

Danny has been out of the crime and gang lifestyle for several years. He is a legit businessman and wants to remain that way. His daughter is celebrating her 18th birthday when there is a shooting. Due to his past, Danny tho is this may be linked to him. But who, why and what for is what takes some working out.

The author has created another fabulous read and one that definitely drops you into the murky and dangerous world of gangs and crime. Even though Danny has a past that he has put behind him, it still runs in his blood. The author gradually brings his older acquaintances to the fore didn’t and things become tense and full. of suspense. Throughout this story there is never a straightforward answer..people are out for themselves and are trying to keep out of trouble.

I like how the author twists and weaves the character and the storyline. Never knowing who is telling the truth or what their motives keep the suspense up right the way through. Even though the topic is gang crime there is a good amount of loyalty and respect. Having different generations, younger and old school is a great way of showing the different ideals. The impatience is shown and lack of experience is evident as are ideals. While they may not always be legal they certainly make for great reading.

If you are a fan of gangland crime thrillers then this is an author you should keep an eye for. This book is a so fearful twisted read, delving into family loyalties. This isn’t too blood and gutsy but there is some violence. I really enjoyed this one and I would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kerry Kaya is the hugely popular author of Essex-based gritty gangland thrillers
with strong family dynamics. She grew up on one of the largest council estates in the
UK, where she sets her novels. She also works full-time in a busy maternity
department for the NHS. She has signed a nine-book deal with Boldwood for both
new and backlist titles.

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Victory Bells for the Harpers Girls by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Victory Bells for the Harpers Girls by Rosie Clarke. This is the 6th book in this series and it has been one of ups and downs.

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 latest book in the series.

Can the Harpers Girls look forward to some happy times as a new dawn rises over London?

Sally Harper is busy juggling running London’s Oxford Street Store Harpers and looking after her beautiful newborn daughter, whilst her husband Ben is overseas on another dangerous mission, this time to rescue a friend in need.
Young Becky Stockbridge finds herself in a difficult situation which could bring shame to her and her family. Will Becky, with the help of her friends, find her happy ever after and keep her secret?
Marion Jackson is blessed with a son as she eagerly awaits the return of her husband Reggie. But all is not right when Reggie returns. Is Marion strong enough to save her family from yet another crisis?
As the war clouds retreat and the victory bells ring, tears and joy mingle with those of sadness as the world counts the true toll of war and celebrates peace.

MY REVIEW

Each of the books in this series follows the lives of key characters. The Girls made friends and have carried their friendships on through difficult times. Some helped nurses during the War and others did what they could to keep things going. The constant has been Harpers, an Emporium that has had its good times and its bad.

Set towards the end of World War I, this book is again such a wonderful read. It could be read as a stand-alone but I do think it is better to read in order as the lives of the characters have helped define them and their lives.

The war has had an impact on the country and also on families and friends, the constant worry as to who will get that dreaded telegram, who will have letters from family members, who will come back and also those that will never return. I really liked the emphasis the author took on some of the problems those who returned had to deal with, shell shock as it was known was dismissed by many. But for those fortunate to receive the proper care things could be easier for them over time. Encompassing the challenges of those returning as well as those lost gives a balance that felt right. While the obvious happiness of a reunion is evident, there was also a quiet sense of unease and nerves.

As I mentioned, the constant in this book is Harpers Emporium. For those who work and manage the store, there is a constant worry about getting stock and also keeping the business going so that those who work there can still get a wage. Things are in short supply, and there is a lot of moving around to make the shelves look full. Being a close-knit group friendships are as important as family. It is times of worry and distress having a non-judgmental ear is important.

There are changes afoot for a few of the characters and having the means and opportunity to talk things through really brings the closeness of the characters out. This is something that I have really enjoyed with each book I have read. The author has kept the characters moving, progressing, growing and learning. Families expand and unfortunately, families also reduce. Times of joy have a tinge of sadness as things for some will never be the same.

This is another gorgeous book to read. Keeping up with the coming and goings of the characters as they continue their lives is something I look forward to with each instalment. While there is sadness there are also things to look forward to, changes, developments, new plans and new beginnings. If you love your sags and historical fiction stories then this is one you are going to really enjoy. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Shop Girls of Harpers and The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire.


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The Mersey Mothers by Sheila Riley @1sheilariley @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #historicalfiction #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Mersey Mothers by Sheila Riley. I have read a few books by this author but this is the first I have read from the Reckoners Row series, this is book #3!

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 from Boldwood Books via NetGalley.

The Mersey Mothers
Liverpool 1953

January sees the dawn of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation year as the mothers of Reckoners Row unite in preparation for the celebration of the new Queen.

Meanwhile, Evie Kilgaren is dreaming of her summer wedding to Danny Harris, but trouble looms for Skinner & Sons with a new rival trying to put them out of business, but no one knows why….

Ada Harris is summoned to the bedside of her estranged husband, who, in his dying moment confesses to a deadly secret – he knows who really murdered Evie’s mam Rene all those years ago and the consequences are far-reaching.

Has an innocent man been jailed and is there still a murderer walking carefree?

Will Evie get the happy-ever-after she so longs for with Danny? And will The Mersey Mothers unite and still be friends?
Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

I have read several books by this author and enjoyed all I have read. The Mersey Mothers is the 3rd book in the Reckoner’s Row series. I have not read the two earlier ones and while I do wish I had because the author is fab, this one did read well as a stand-alone novel.

This book opens with a prologue and then jumps forward a few years. Set in Liverpool in 1953 the residents of Reckoner’s Row are hard-working, supportive of their families and also of their community. When one of their own does something to upset the harmony then it is made known, as Ada Harris is all too aware. There is a story about her ex-husband Bert that gradually emerges and how things have changed for the main characters. This may have been present in the previous books but the author includes details so that I didn’t feel as if I was missing anything.

The area is near the docklands and is handy for haulage businesses, and this is what Danny and his fiance Evie are desperately trying to keep going. There is however a rival business that is threatening their livelihood.

In the 50s there are several historical references to keep the reader set in the day. The coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the Korean War and also rationing started to be more relaxed after the end of WWII. The country is starting to move forward, things are improving but life is still hard. This is where the communities, friendships and families are really important. This is one of the things the author really does manage to get across well in her books and The Mersey Mothers have all that sense of spirit and supportiveness.

There are several stories that are brilliantly intertwined in this family saga style story. It is these stories that make this a fabulous book to read. Families and friendships may be tested but there is a sense that the community will always keep an eye out for their own. Things are not always rosy and there are still those who are trying to get one over the rest.

This is another wonderfully addictive historical fiction story from this author. Ideal for those who love reading family sagas and while it can be read easily as a stand-alone novel you do get to see developments and changes over the course of reading a series in order. I adored this one and I would definitely recommend it. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing the Reckoner’s Row series under her own name. She has set it around the River Mersey and its docklands near to where she spent her early years. She still lives in Liverpool.


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What’s Next by Shari Low @sharilow @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #contemoraryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for What’s Next by Shari Low. This was a wonderful read and one that is great for those who like reading contemporary fiction and family life scenarios.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy from the publisher Boldwood Books via NetGalley.

What Next?
Two weeks, four friends and one big bucket list of secrets to unravel…

Val Murray and her best friend, Josie had been planning a ‘Thelma and Louise’ bucket list style holiday.
Now Josie is gone, and Val needs to make the trip before it’s too late.
But Val doesn’t want to do it alone, so she enlists the help of her nieces, Carly and Carole, and their best pal, Jess, who jump at the chance to join Val on a trip of a lifetime.
What Val doesn’t realise is that Carly, Carole and Jess are all at turning points in their own lives, nursing crushing secrets, lies and betrayals.
Somewhere between Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York they all hit a crossroads and have to decide if they want to return to the lives they left behind or let Josie’s last wishes take them on a brand new adventure.
Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

Having read a few of this author’s books now, I have to say this one is one of my favourites – well, so far!

It starts with a bucket list that Val and her friend Josie had thought up. Now that Josie has passed on, Val decides it’s time to get something done about this list. You soon get to realise that Val is incorrigible and so she sort of organises and hi-jacks her nieces and they all go off to America to tick off the items.

The three nieces, Carly, Carol and Jess are, well sort of stuck in their lives or have something going on with them. It gives the 4 women a chance to not only kick back and have some fun but to assess.

This is a fabulous book and I have to say Val is such an amazing character. She is one of those characters who is the cornerstone of the story. While she is loud, bright and a real hoot, she also has another softer and hugely caring side. She is also a dangerous woman to go out anywhere with as she will definitely lead you astray, this makes for some hilarious and raucous moments in the story.

Each of the women has something they need to deal with, none of them is upfront about it. They need a trigger for the secret to be released. So while this trip is for the purpose of fulfilling a friend’s wish, it is also about discovering what needs to change for each of them.

The author has got the balance spot on with this story mixing humour with worries about life, health and family. There are changes and challenges and some wonderful moments that just make you feel that you are not alone in the world. Life for the women has been portrayed very differently for each one, and this was a great way of seeing different perspectives on life and how success is seen or happiness is measured.

This is a fabulous read, it is heartwarming and yeah there were a couple of moments when I had a lump in my throat. Ideal for readers of contemporary fiction, life, family and friendship. A gorgeous read and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 25 novels, including One Day In Summer and My One Month Marriage and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.
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The Runaway Children by Lindsey Hutchinson @LHutchAuthor @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Runaway Children by Lindsey Hutchinson. This is a gorgeous historical fiction and saga story that I adored.

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 from the publisher via NetGalley.

A heart-warming saga about surviving against the odds and finding a family, from top 10 bestseller Lindsey Hutchinson.
In two rundown, abandoned houses, at the side of a barren Black Country heath, live six children with no family but each other. Abandoned or orphaned, every day is a fight to find food and keep warm. But they are determined to stay free of the clutches of the workhouse and the horrors that would face them if they were ever torn apart.
Dora Parsons lives with her mother Mary and her evil grandmother Edith. Edith’s house may be comfortable and warm, and food is plentiful, but every day Dora suffers at the hands of her spiteful gran. Desperate to protect her child, Mary longs to run away but she has no money to keep them alive and nowhere else to call home.
When fate intervenes and Mary and Dora meet the children, events are set in train that will change all their lives forever. But will the friends find peace and comfort at last, or does the chill of the winter signal the most desperate ending of all…
The Queen of Black Country sagas is back with a heart-breaking, page-turning story of survival, friendship and what it means to be a family. Perfect for fans of Val Wood and Lyn Andrews.


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

This was a wonderful story about family and the relationship between the different members. Sometimes your closest family are those that you meet with and have no connection, those with who you form a close bond. This is what Mary and her daughter Dora discover.

Set in the Black Country, Mary and Dora are quite lucky, they have a home, a roof over their heads, food and clothing, much more than some who live on the streets. In contrast are a group of 6 children, orphans who have been cast aside who live in two run-down cottages. A chance meeting brings these two families together.

This author definitely knows how to create a nasty character. Edith is the epitome of a curmudgeonly old woman. She has her daughter Mary running circles caring for her and at the same time, she makes the life of Dora an absolute misery. The story is one that is heartbreaking as no matter what Dora does it is never good enough.

This is nicely balanced against the warmth that is shown by the 6 orphans, rather than being the thieving sort, they have morals set down by their leader Fingers. Each child has been found and becomes part of the family.

Showing the different people react and interact with each other is wonderfully shown in this story. Whether it be the kindness of strangers or the vicious remarks from an old woman, it takes all sorts to make a story. I was curious as to why Edith was so vindictive, some people however are just this way. She does seem to live to moan and cause trouble wanting to be the centra of attention.

The characters in this story do come with backstories, some may only have a small mention, but others have much more and this is what makes this story so interesting. There is a mystery to this story and it is one that gradually comes out and when it does it will change everything.

A wonderful heartwarming story for fans of those who love their historical fiction and saga stories. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury, and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson.


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