Fool’s Gold by Gillian Godden @GGodden #FoolsGold @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Fool’s Gold by Gillian Godden. I read the first book in this series a couple of months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it so I was delighted to join the Blog Tour for this second book.

You can read my full review of the first book HERE

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 via NetGalley.

A new life…

With their wretched life in Liverpool behind them, Julie and Ralph Gold head to London for their next big break. Julie’s had enough of slumming it, she’s ready to quit their life of crime and go legit.


The same old game…
But it seems their reputation had beat them to it, and the underworld is already bubbling with news of the their arrival. And as much as Julie tries to go straight, the more people underestimate them and treat them like fools. And there is only so much Julie can take…


One last trick.
So when they are offered one final big job, Julie knows they should say no. It’s risky and could cost them everything they have. But it could also be their last chance to make it big.
And when fools rush in, the Golds take the spoils.


Read what happens next for Julie and Ralph Gold in another gripping story by Gillian Godden.


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

I read the first book in this series, Gold Digger, earlier this year and I loved it. While it did take me a few pages to get back up to speed with the main characters, I soon found myself immersed in the shady world of Ralph Gold and Julie.

Ralph has made the commitment and asked Julie to marry him. If you have read the first book you will know the background to these two characters, neither has had the best of life but they are gradually getting there. Let us say they are not exactly legit and in some ways, it adds to the appeal of the characters given their backgrounds. The author has taken two characters, thrown enough bad stuff at them, and yet they have found each other and are planning for the future.

Ther plans involve Julie organising a wedding, setting up legit business premises and also working with Ralph and also taking part in a heist that is due to happen just before they get married. Yes, just a normal day for this couple!

This was such a welcome return to two fabulous characters and I adored getting back up to speed with them. Ralph has a more influential role with his Italian crime boss. There is a lot of respect between them, but there is something that is being held back. While Ralph trusts Don Carlos completely, Julie is still in the getting to know his stage, and like most people, she doesn’t completely trust him. Especially when he holds the reins for this latest huge job that could set the Golds up for life.

I do like the contrast between Ralph and Julie, she is bold, brassy, opinionated and I think she is brilliant. Ralph is more dark and brooding, but together they make a glamourous couple. Weaving the elements of their past stories in with their current and future lives makes for a very addictive read.

This is one that like a gangland thriller story, there is some humour between the characters and also some dodgy characters. It is not an overly dark story, but there are obvious dark moments. It is twisted and just a great read. With a bit of a teaser for the next book. 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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A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane by Lindsey Hutchinson @LHutchAuthor @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane by Lindsey Hutchinson. This was a wonderful historical fiction and saga story that I really enjoyed.

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 via NetGalley.

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Dolly Perkins and Jack Larkin have grown up in the notorious gin palaces of Birmingham.


It’s a world of happiness and friendship, but also violence and poverty. Now that Dolly runs the Daydream Gin Palace on Gin Barrel Lane she can finally control her own destiny, but sometimes fate still plays its hand.


Keen to expand her empire, Dolly and Jack take on a new pub, but they are in for a shock when a foul smell in one of the bedrooms turns out to come from a body hidden in the wall. As the police hunt for their suspect, rumours abound, spread by the local urchins – happy to be used as runners for a little bit of food and a coin or two.


But rumours can be dangerous, and as one of the worst winters on record covers everything in snow, Dolly and Jack have to fight for the lives they have made for themselves, and for the urchins that they have come to think of as family. Will the arrival of a new baby on Gin Barrel Lane bring the promise of new hope, or will the long-awaited thaw uncover new secrets and new tragedies…


The Queen of Black Country sagas is back on Gin Barrel Lane with a rip-roaring, heart-warming, page-turning story of family, friendship and beating the odds. Perfect for fans of Val Wood and Lyn Andrews.


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW…

I have not read the book that precedes this one, so I can definitely say that A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane works very well as a stand-alone. I do wish I had read the first book, The Children from Gin Barrel Lane because there are things mentioned that I do think I would like to have known more about.

A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane is a gorgeously written historical fiction book set in Birmingham around the 1860s. Dolly runs a gin palace and is looking to expand. Dolly is unmarried and while this does make it an issue for some, on the whole people are more than happy to deal with a woman in business. One man, however, is not. I do think this is where I would have benefited from the first book!

The one this about this story is the sense of community, support and people with long memories. The author has woven a story around a wonderful group of characters who all bring their own special something. Jack with his easy manner, Aggie with her gossip, Nellie, Nancy and Fred for advice and of course many more characters as well. All very easy to remember.

As Dolly decides to open another business, the nose of a certain businessman is definitely put out of joint. This does set a tense tone for the later part of the story, but on the whole, this is about the main characters and their coming and goings. The authors bring in street runners who deliver messages and this does highlight the conditions of these orphans and the lack of support for a whole part of society. The community, though, does tend to look out for its own.

This was a super story to read, it had me frowning one moment, grinning and chuckling the next and I will say there was the odd lump in the throat moments as well. If you are a fan of the saga type novel then I do think this is one for you, and an ideal story to sit down with over a couple of afternoons. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I would defiantly recommend it.

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. Lindsey’s first title for Boldwood was published in February 2020.

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The Mersey Angels by Sheila Riley @1sheilariley @rararesources @bookandtonic # boldwoodbloggers @BoldwoodBooks #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Mersey Angels by Sheila Riley. This is the second book in the series, and it can be read as a stand-alone. I did adore the first book – The Mersey Mistress (my review HERE)

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

1916 LIVERPOOL
Following the death of her father, Ruby Swift, and husband Archie finally move back into Ashland Hall.
As the Great War rages, fathers and sons take the King’s Shilling and head off to fight the unknown enemy, not knowing what horrors lie ahead.
With Ned Kincaid in the Navy, Archie signs up to the volunteer constabulary and nurses Anna Cassidy and Ellie Harrington enlist to do their bit for King and Country.
Soon the true casualties of war are being brought home in droves, Ruby converts Ashland Hall into an auxiliary hospital for wounded servicemen.
It’s not long before the true cost of war is brought closer to home and Anna and Ellie enlist in the British Military Nursing Corp and soon find themselves in the battlefields of France in search of the truth.
But they soon discover more than they bargained for…

Purchase Link – AMAZON

My Review…

This is the second book in the Liverpool Saga series and carries on from The Mersey Mistress. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but I do think that it works better if read in order.

As the synopsis describes, Ruby has moved into Ashland Hall. WWI is taking its toll and the casualties are mounting, Ruby decides that she will give over the hall to help the injured servicemen as beds and hospitals are in short supply. As the injured are brought in thoughts of loved ones away in Europe is always on the minds of those who are home in Briain. Everyone, well almost everyone is wanting to do their part.

Set in 1916, the author uses her knowledge of the Liverpool area, to give the reader a chance to glimpse the lives of those who lived and worked both in Liverpool and further afield. This is a story that has its hardships and also its secrets. Even though the war is going on people still have to carry on with their everyday lives. For some that means working longer, doing jobs they would never have been considered for and putting themselves in the midst of some of the worst events in history.

The story does focus on key people, I found myself quite caught up in their various stories. Wondering along with the characters if a loved one would return, if they would be injured and if a telegram would bring the worst news. Following the characters as they struggled with loss, love but with a hope that things would be ok.

This is a story that falls into the saga and historical fiction genres. It is an addictive read and one that brought attitudes, social etiquette, some politics into the lives of the characters. It is a book and a series I am really enjoying and The Mersey Angels is one I would happily recommend.

About the Author…

Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing a new saga trilogy for Boldwood 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. Her new trilogy began with The Mersey Orphan in September 2019.

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Gold Digger by Gillian Godden @GGodden @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers @bookandtonic @BoldwoodBooks #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Gold Digger by Gillian Godden. This was a brilliant read that I absolutely adored. This was originally published as GOLD.

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 via NetGalley.

Money talks…

And blonde bombshell Julie isn’t afraid to ask for what she wants. With her mother locked up for murder, all Julie cares about is protecting her younger sister, Frankie. But penniless and alone on the streets of Liverpool, Julie realises that there’s only one sure fire way to make cash fast – the oldest trade.

The men mean nothing to Julie, until she meets Ralph Goldstein, an ex-con who’ll do whatever it takes to make his way to top. And the only man Julie can trust.

Separately, Ralph and Julie’s lives are filled with risk and danger. But when they meet, their blend of personality and ambition could be the best thing that ever happened … or the worst.

Will their pasts be their downfall, or will they make it big…together?

A brilliantly dark and gritty story about one woman’s fight for survival. Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Caz Finlay and Heather Atkinson.

This book has previously published as GOLD

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

this is the first time I have read a book by this author and I am looking forward to reading more by this author. This book was p[previously published as Gold.

The synopsis gives a good idea about who Julie is, and how she is very protective of her sister. The run-up to why Julie takes to the trade she does is told early on in the book. In fact, that opening was an indication as to how gritty this author writes.

Ralph, now he was a bit of a dark horse. With a criminal record, I soon realised that he is not squeaky clean, he and his friend Paddy have ambitions. What I did see was several sides to Ralph, hardworking, loyal and with an edge to him.

The book alternates between Julie and Ralph. They are completely unknown to each other, For a good part of the book, I got to know each of the characters. An important journey as it gave a good idea of their backgrounds and why they have chosen the routes in life they have. It is past the halfway point when things start to slide.

As the synopsis indicates, the two do meet. The combination of the two makes for a great team. They do have a ruthlessness to them it is a story of two people who have both suffered.

This is one for those who like a grittier, urban setting story. One that involves criminals and various criminal acts, it is after all a gangland crime thriller. It is also one I read in one day, once I started I found it really difficult to put down. Thoroughly enjoyed this, the two main characters are excellent and the story totally addictive. I would definitely recommend this one.

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. She has signed a six-book contract with Boldwood for a new series – the first title of which Gold Digger will be published in July 2021. In addition Boldwood will be reissuing her five backlist titles over the next few months.

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The Price by Kerry Kaya @KerryKayaWriter @rararesources #ThePrice @BoldwoodBooks #bookandtonic #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Price by Kerry Kaya.

I do have a confession, I signed up for the Blog Tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources as the book sounded good. When I went to read it I thought this sounds familiar! Kerry has signed a contract with Boldwood Books and her backlist is being re-issued.

It turns out I have already read this book, and I loved it. So, today I am re-sharing my review 🙂 and I do like the new cover for this fabulous book 🙂

Break the rules…

Harry Fletcher – Fletch to his friends – has spent his life surviving the tough streets of the East End. He knows working for notorious gangster Billy King is dangerous, and sleeping with Billy’s beautiful wife, Susan is deadly…but rules are meant to be broken.

Pay the price.

If Billy discovers the affair, Fletch is a dead man. But the closer he gets to Susan the more reckless Fletch becomes. And soon, Fletch realises that every one – even him – must pay the price for his actions.

But just what is Fletch prepared to lose…and will the cost be too high, even for him?

PURCHASE LINKHERE

My Review…

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I absolutely loved it. The author starts her story in the past in the first chapter, it sets the scene for what is to follow. What followed was an addictive one sitting read for me as I followed the brothers of Fletch and Spence, they work for local gangland boss Billy.

I really liked how the author focused on the relationship of the brothers rather than violence in this story, although the main focus is Fletch. He has a bit more savvy and has more front to him. Although there are mentions of violence, it wasn’t that brutal in the reading.

The brothers are loyal to each other and their Mum, things in the past were tough and it is now that things seem to be working out. Only thing with being part of a gang is that there is always another gang that wants to make a move.

The story took various turns that I found really intriguing, not just a straight forward rival gangs read, but something with much more heart and human interest to it. Getting to know the brothers through the story was a good way to make a reader kind of connect to them, but even though I really liked them there was always that air of danger about them.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story, a brilliant read that wasn’t what I expected and I found it really hard to put down. I think this book would suit various readers, especially those that want a crime read that has a slightly different angle top it. I am looking forward to reading some of the previous books by this author, and as for this book, well 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. Her first book The Price will be published in July 2021.

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Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke. This is the latest in the Harpers Emporium series and I am loving it so much.

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

Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls

LONDON 1917

As the Americans enter the War, there is renewed energy in the war effort.  

With husbands and sons fighting for freedom, the women of Harpers are left to tackle the day-to-day affairs at home and work.

With Ben Harper away, Sally fears she is being followed by a mysterious woman. Who is she and what does she want?

Maggie Gibbs collapses seriously ill in the frontline hospitals and is brought back to England close to death. Can she be saved and what does the future hold for her and her broken heart? 

Marion Jackson’s father is on the run from the Police already wanted for murder. She fears he will return to threaten his family once more.
And Beth Burrows is pregnant with her second child, worried and anxious for her husband Jack, who has been many months at sea.

As Christmas 1917 approaches what will the future hold for Harpers, its girls and their men at War?

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

Set in 1917, the First World War is claiming lives, the results are being felt at home. Family and friends worry constantly about those who are serving, those who have been injured, and those that have not been in contact. Shortages are being felt as some things are becoming more difficult to source for the Harpers Store. Inferior quality products are emerging as materials are being used for the war.

Life still has to go on, work still needs doing, homes need to be looked after, mouths have to be fed and it is when times are difficult and fraught that you rely on people around you. Harpers is the linchpin of the story, it is where many of the characters have met over the course of the story. With each book that is released more characters are brought in.

The main four Harpers Girls are Maggie, Marion, Sally, and Beth. They have come on from their early days at Harper’s. This is the point where I do mention that these books can be read as stand-alone stories, but I do think they are better read in order as the character’s lives are developed more and more with each book.

This one, as the title suggests is set during a point where people are obviously wishing for a return to normality, wondering when it will be over and that loved ones can return home. Life is hard for those left behind, and I like how the author describes how lucky her characters feel to be in situations that they are. They either work or have a family or have someone in their lives that helps them, whether it is a family, partner, or friend.

This is a story that does have sad moments and ones that are fraught with despair. It is not only people who are in the midst of the fighting that falls ill. Things carry on at home as they normally would regardless of what is happening in the world, they add stress and worry. The author brings the feeling of hope and also of despair so well into her stories. She has a wonderful way of giving her characters various events to deal with. These may be worrying or add a sense of dread or intrigue, but they also have a way of making her characters stronger.

This is a story for those readers who like historical fiction, sagas, family drama, and stories with a sense of belonging and of friendship. A book and series that combines the individual tales of the characters and gives an overall sense of hope but with several twists to keep the reader on their toes. A book and series I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire. Rosie’s brand new saga series, Welcome to Harpers Emporium began in December 2019.

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Insider by Owen Mullen @OwenMullen6 @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #ganglandcrime #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Insider by Owen Mullen. This is the second book in the Family series and it is a corker. I have read several book by this author and I am loving this latest series. You can read my full review of the first book Family HERE.

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.

Someone’s playing both sides and now they have a score to settle…

When the family business is crime, you can never be sure who to trust. And when three of their businesses are hit in one night, the notorious Glass family close ranks. Either someone is sending them a message or a war is coming… 

With trouble coming from all sides, the heads of the Glass family have more than enough to deal with, but all bets are off when a stranger from the past enters the game, causing division and mistrust.

Crooked cops, rival gangs and old enemies are bad enough, but when the trouble comes from the inside, loyalties are tested, with deadly consequences.

Page-turning, gripping, gritty, Insider is perfect for fans of Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers and Mandasue Heller.

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

I loved the first book in this series and this second book Insider continues the story of the Glass family. This is where I do recommend reading the first book, not only because there are details that help the relationships in the second book. And also because it is a brilliant read.

Danny Glass is gone, Luke Glass is now running the family business and Nina Glass is running her real estate business. Things seem to be going well until there are two robberies and a third on the LBC club. The club is the centre of the business, it is Luke’s baby and he feels this as an attack on him and his family. Good job that there is a security guard there who knows his business.

The author once again hit the reader with an amazing high impact crime thriller read. The Glass family are not, well, they’re not quite legitimate, actually, they are a lot not legitimate! But there is something quite likeable about them. I think it is the way the author portrays the importance of family. They never had the best childhood but they did what they did and it is the reason they are where they are today.

The author introduces some new characters, this keeps the storyline fresh and gives more for the reader to think about. Being a series that revolves around a crime family you know that there is going to be a large amount of mistrust. Adding new characters is enough to keep the reader kind of on the fence as they try to work out why the new characters are there.

This is a fabulous read and one that I adored from the very bringing to the end. Many twists and second-guessing moments, there are red-herrings as the author toys with the reader. The questions that start to build are eventually answered, the doubts are put to rest but there is something lingering on the horizon for the family and it has left me so eager to see what happens next.

This is one for readers who like gritty, gangland crime thrillers read. It is addictive, fast-paced and an absolute hard hitter. An excellent second book in this series and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Owen Mullen is a highly regarded crime author who splits his time between Scotland and the island of Crete.  In his earlier life he lived in London and worked as a musician and session singer. He has now written seven books and his first gangland thriller for Boldwood, Family was published in January 2021.

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One Summer Sunrise by Shari Low @sharilow @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers @BoldwoodBooks #contemporaryfiction #NetGalley #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for One Summer Sunrise by Shari Low. This was an absolutely gorgeous read. 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.

As the sun rises on a hot summer’s day, four lives are about to be changed forever…

Brand new from the bestselling author of What If?, What Now? and One Day In Summer.

Today, Maisie McTeer decides to track down the ex who jilted her at the altar. Today, she’ll find out that revisiting the past can also rewrite her future. 

After losing her husband, Harriet Bassett can no longer bear her lonely life. Today, a familiar face in a crowd will spark a quest to discover if there’s something and someone worth living for. 

Scott and Kelly Bassett’s daughter is leaving home. Today, Scott plans to tell Kelly that he’s ending their marriage to pursue his rock and roll dreams. 

However, Kelly, has a bombshell of her own. How will Scott react to the news that a new arrival is on the way to fill their empty nest? 

Between sunrise and sunset, there’s love, heartbreak, laughter and tears, but who will find happiness at the end of the day?

Purchase HERE

My Review…

The synopsis gives a quick introduction to the main characters of the story, Maisie, Harriet, Kelly Scott. Along with other family and friends, this is the story of one day in the summer.

Oh, my goodness did I love this story! I was completely wrapped up in the lives of the characters and how in one day their lives all changed dramatically. The author did such a wonderful job of introducing the characters in such a way that they became easily memorable. Even though the focus is on the main characters, the supporting ones are just as important, without them, this would be a very different story.

The supporting characters are to help interlink the main characters and bring them together and also weave an emotionally charged story. As well as this there are snippets of backgrounds, relationships, family and friends that create a much bigger picture.

This is a story that has a whole lot going on, there are moments when grief and guilt make an appearance, but this is what happens in real life. There are also some inappropriate comments, some well-meaning comments, quite a few giggles and some wonderful heartfelt moments. The story is one that deals with family, friends and relationships. While on the outside lives can look great, you’re not always aware of things that are hidden away.

The author gradually works her characters and the storyline to provide a book that is very addictive. She effortlessly glides between characters and weaves her tale. I adore this book from the very start, and then there was that final section. Oh my! what a wonderful ending, it left me with tears.

A fabulous story about family and friends, of happiness, guilt and grief all worked together to give a stunning read. One for fans of contemporary fiction and family drama. Great book and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 20 novels, including One Day In Winter and With Or Without You and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow and her first title for Boldwood was My One Month Marriage in January 2020.

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Nellie’s Heartbreak by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #NetGalley #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Nellie’s Heartbreak by Rosie Clarke. I love this authors books and her latest one is another fabulous historical fiction read.

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

Nellie’s Heartbreak

A new stand-alone saga set in Yorkshire around out the outbreak of the second world war and the unlikely relationship between a master and servant.


As a small child, Nellie Peace was always dreaming but sensed her mother’s rejection.  

Abandoned and sent into service at Beaumont House at an early age, Nellie is lost and alone until she meets the unpredictable and reclusive artist, Lucas Harrington and falls in love with him.

This unlikely association between master and servant is encouraged by Lucas’s gentle natured Aunt Alice as Lucas sees something unusual in Nellie and is compelled to paint her. 


Broken promises lead to inevitable heartbreak and Nellie flees Beaumont House in disgrace for London. 
Alone again, Nellie must learn to live and fend for herself and her new-born child.

Can Nellie win a second chance of happiness and can she solve the mystery of her mother’s tortured past?

Purchase Link – Amazon

My review…

What a very apt title for the latest book by Rosie Clarke. Nellie has not had the best life growing up, but she has had it better than some. As soon as she is old enough to leave school her mother finds her a place in service. Not something Nellie expected or was aware of until she finished her last day at school and was whisked off for a new life.

You could say that her life in service was the making of Nellie, but also one that was the breaking of her. A sensible girl growing up, a hard worker, honest and a loyal friend. When Lucas spots her she becomes his muse, Lucas is the son of the house. A serving girl is definitely not the same class or carry the same status. What starts as a friendship gradually turns to more and leads to a real heartbreaking time for Nellie.

The author has done such a wonderful job to bring Nellie from a teenager into a woman. Having the love and excitement that comes with it only to be wrenched away. Battling through emotions, Nellie manages to overcome heartache and loss. Much of this is down to some wonderful friendships. It is this friendly nature of Nellie that really does shine through, as well as a stubborn pride.

The beginning section of the book could easily be something out of Downton Abby, with those upstairs and those downstairs. The author shows different sides and opinions to either side. Being set in the late 1930s there is a change in attitudes, some new ideas are challenging the old but not all are accepted.

Nellie has a good solid support system around her, a childhood friend, Tom has always had a soft spot for her, Alice, Mrs Jones, Iris and several others have taken to her and offered help and given advice. It is Nellie who has made the decisions in her life and taken the paths she thinks to be the right ones. Sometimes doing what feels right is hard, but the right paths are not always the easy ones as she will soon discover.

A fabulous story and be for lovers of historical fiction and romance as well as sagas. A captivating and completely absorbing story that I adored from start to finish and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire. Rosie’s brand new saga series, Welcome to Harpers Emporium began in December 2019.

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Italy Ever After by Leonie Mack @LeonieMAuthor @rararesources @Boldwoodbooks #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #contemporaryromance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Italy Ever After by Leonie Mack. I have read a couple of this authors books before and I have thoroughly enjoyed them. So it was very easy to jump on the Blog Tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. Huge thanks to Rachel for my spot on the Tour and for my e-copy of this fab book that I read via NetGalley.

Escape to the sun and head off to Italy, with the wonderfully warm and ever-so-page-turning Leonie Mack!

TV journalist Lou feels battered and bruised after her divorce from Phil, the father of her daughter Edie. Her confidence and sense of fun have steadily been drained away, and she isn’t sure who she is any more.

When the opportunity arises to accompany Edie on a music camp in Italy for a month in the summer, Lou jumps at the chance for new adventures, new horizons and new friends. The hazy warmth of the summer sun, shining brightly over the stunning Lake Garda, slowly brings Lou back to life. 

Nick Romano, Edie’s music teacher, loves being home in Italy, but coaching his students for their concert in Milan, is bringing back difficult memories. His blossoming friendship with Lou is the perfect distraction, although a summer fling would be easier to conduct without the scrutiny of his mother Greta, not to mention the interference of his extended Italian family.

As the summer passes, full of sunshine and breath-taking scenery, gelato and delicious feasts, Lou and Nick get ever closer. But as the time for farewell creeps up on them, will they be able to say goodbye and leave their memories behind in the Italian sun, or can a summer romance last a lifetime?

Leonie Mack is back with a sizzling, sun-baked love story, perfect for all fans of Mandy Baggot, Jo Thomas and Carole Matthews.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

My Review…

The synopsis does an absolutely fabulous job of letting you know what this book is about. Two adults, one a mother, the other a teacher, an ex-husband and a daughter. In some ways, it is the story of how the dynamics of a relationship can change over the course of time, it is also something much more special than that as well.

Lou and daughter Edie are in for a fabulous time in Italy. Lou is a parent helper for the group led by Nick, conductor for the orchestra and choir. It soon becomes apparent that there is more to Nick’s musical abilities that Lou realises. But, she is ordinary in comparison to him, untalented beside her daughter and ex-husband.

During the course of the story, I began to realise how low Lou is when it comes to her perception of herself. She compares herself to those around her and finds herself coming up short. Nick has talent to spare but keeps it hidden, instead, he focuses his energies and his love for music on the children he teaches.

To a certain extent, the story is about the adults finding themselves, or maybe finding confidence in themselves. The author definitely knows how to write chemistry between the characters, this is woven brilliantly into their stories and of those close to them.

As well as the chemistry, the music, the fun, the food there are also some gorgeous description and not just of Nick! The scenery of lakes, mountains and general area is wonderful. There is a mention in the authors note about how she achieved the descriptions during the lockdown, well worth reading by the way.

A wonderful story that is a romance but is also about finding comfort in one’s own skin, making up your mind to stop doubting and to take a risk or two. A gorgeous story that I read over a couple of sitting while sitting outside in the sun. It is one for fans of contemporary fiction and romance and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Leonie Mack is a debut novelist whose first book My Christmas Number One was published by Boldwood in September 2020. Having lived in London for many years her home is now in Germany with her husband and three children. Leonie loves train travel, medieval towns, hiking and happy endings!

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