The Heat by Sean O’Leary #TheHeat #SeanOLeary @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Heat by Sean O’Leary. This is a quick-ish read and a first for me by this author. My thanks to Emma for arranging my copy and for my spot on the Blog Tour. Let me show you what this book is all about…

Synopsis…

Jake is a loner who works nights in a Darwin motel and lives at the YMCA. He’s in love with Angel, a Thai prostitute who works out of the low-rent Shark Motel.

A vicious murder turns Jake’s life into a nightmare. He must fight for his life on the heat-soaked streets of Darwin and Bangkok in the wet season to get revenge, and to get his life back

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link) also –

Amazon AUS US Australian Bookseller

My Review…

This is a reasonably quick read and the story took me to Australia, not the gorgeous scenic side either. The main protagonist is a young man, a drug user, I suppose what you would consider to be a drop out.

The author has created a story that has a slow feeling pace but is also quite compelling reading. Taking the reader into the murkier world of drug use, prostitution and corruption. However, this young man does have more to him that first glance suggests.

The further into the story I got the more intriguing I found it. It has a moralistic sense to it as the main character tries to do what is best after the death of one of his friends.

The feeling I got from this was that it wasn’t a story about doing what was right, although that is part of the story. It is also about self discovery and also laying some demons to rest.

I did like this slower paced story, it is told from the perspective of the main character and this gives a more personal feel to this story. It is gritty given some of the subject matter involved but also it has a heartwarming sense of justice to it.

A story for contemporary fiction readers and I do think it also crosses into literary fiction. This is a human interest story that I found to be very addictive, I don’t think this will be for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would be more than happy to recommend it.

About the Author…

Sean O’Leary has published two short story collections, ‘My Town’ and ‘Walking’.  His novella ‘Drifting’ was the winner of the ‘Great Novella Search 2016’ and published in September 2017. He has published over thirty individual short stories and is a regular contributor of short fiction to Quadrant, FourW, Sudo, Close to the Bone (UK) and other literary and crime magazines. His crime novella ‘The Heat’, set in Darwin and Bangkok, was published in August 2019. Drifting and The Heat are both available on Amazon. His interviews with crime writers appear online in Crime Time magazine.

He has worked in a variety of jobs including motel receptionist, rubbish removalist/tree lopper, farm hand, short-order cook and night manager in various hotels in Sydney’s notorious, Kings Cross. He has lived in: Melbourne; Naracoorte; Sydney; Adelaide; Perth; Fremantle; Norseman; Geraldton; Carnarvon; Broome; Yulara; Alice Springs; Kakadu; Darwin and on Elcho Island-Galiwinku. He now lives in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, thinks that test cricket is the greatest game of all and supports Melbourne Football Club (a life sentence). He writes every day, likes travelling and tries to walk everywhere.

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Check out the other stops on the Tour…

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

The Tearoom on the Bay by Rachel Burton #NetGalley @Aria_Fiction #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Tearoom on the Bay by Rachel Burton. This was released October 1st this year and is such a delightful read, and its perfect for settling down with on a murky wet autumn afternoon.

Let me show you what it is about…

Synopsis…

It’s time for Ellie to return home and rediscover the past she left behind…

After a tough break-up, Ellie returns to the only place she’s ever really felt at home – the coastal town of Sanderson Bay. A year later, she’s living her dream, brewing delicious artisan teas and selling them at her very own café. And when the mysterious and brooding Ben walks into her tearoom, Ellie finally dares to dream of true love.

But then her ex shows up in the Bay, and just as Ellie discovers some tragic truths about her family’s past, she learns Ben might be hiding an unwelcome secret of his own…

Can Ellie let go of her past and brave a future with Ben?

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

What a delightful book this was to read and one that I started mid-afternoon, and apart from putting it down to have tea I read in one sitting.

Ellie has an interesting story and it is one that the author gradually tease out over the course of the story. A year ago, after her ex broke up with her she returned to her bolt hole in Sanderson Bay. Everything seemed to fall into place a the right time. It was a chance for her to start a business and by doing so help out her Aunt and Uncle who wanted to sell. So Ellie began her Tea shop, a shop that is full of amazing sounding teas that are blended by Ellie herself.

With everything going well and her being busty she hasn’t much time for herself. Then Ben walks in, dark and brooding is how the author describes him and yes initially I od agree, but as his story is slowly unravelled there is more to him than meets the eye.

This is a gorgeous book that really does bring the world of tea, community, family and friends together. Ellie doesn’t have the best memories of family and she is estranged from her father apart from the standard calls on birthdays and the like, but she does have her aunt and uncle. Along with some very wonderful friends that have helped Ellie to settle.

The author has done such a great job of creating some interesting characters, some are a little more vocal than others and not exactly subtle making for some lovely humorous moments. There is a really nice slow burner of a romance that fizzles and meanders its way through.

This was a real pleasure to read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is ideal for snuggling down with and escaping into for an afternoon. A book that readers of contemporary fiction and romance will absolutely adore and one I would definitely recommend.

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

Futures Beckon, Pasts Threaten by Nia Lucas @BooksNia #PublicationDay #Contemporaryfiction #Bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Futures Beckon, Pasts Threaten, the second book in The Choices Series by Nia Lucas. I would like to thank the author for my advanced copy of this book and to also wish her a Happy Publication Day 🙂 xx

The first book, I absolutely adored and was eager to be able to read the second. The third is also Published today and as I have that one on pre-order it should be say on my kindle ready to go.

So a double Publication Day Celebration 🥂xx

Let me show you more about this book…

Synopsis…

Following on from ‘Choices Shape, Losses Break’, eighteen-year-old Lorna Davies is doing everything she can to blend in at University, hiding the challenges of her past. As her closest friends guard the secrets of the girl they love, Lorna tentatively grasps a life less complex.

Terrified of risking everything she holds dear, Lorna discovers that building a secure future is hard when the weight of the past threatens all that she has.

As adulthood beckons and a life is shaped, are safe choices truly the right ones? When the secrets explode from their guarded boxes and the full extent of Lorna’s history is set free, will anyone survive the fallout?

Purchase link from Amazon UK

My Review…

Having recently read the first book in the Choices series the emotions are still quite fresh as I started this next book. It follows on Lorna’s story. It is one that starts as she is now heading to University but the months after the loss of Lee and Shay have been tough, really tough and she doesn’t know how she has got through it. It is the year of firsts for her without them.

The book sees Lorna almost on auto-pilot as she drifts to classes and sits on the edge of things. Gradually she finds ways to fill her time and gets a job as well as being at uni. Being at home isn’t an option but she does have her brother Dan, and her friends Han and Nico at the end of the phone. These are her support system, they are there for her and they will help her as much as they can but the tough choices are hers to make.

As she works her way through Uni she meets Rob and another support is added to her arsenal. This is where the title of this book is very clever and so suitable. Lorna needs to decide how she will face the future and how much of the past she can leave behind, but more how much of the past will stay left in the past.

Once again the author follows the emotional thread and in fact, it was more emotional knowing what had gone on in the previous book. I really liked how the author started to analyse the past through Lorna and how these became realisations of sorts. Even though Lorna has had different experiences she still needs to work out how to grow up and find her place in society and find out who she is.

I adored this book as much as I did the first, it still has quite a strong sexual thread but once again it becomes part of Lorna’s emotional story and how things for her have changed. I did wonder how the author would lead Lorna through this next section of her life and I have to say she has done it wonderfully. Lorna is dealing with normality and the everyday things rather than the fast-paced and adrenalin-fuelled days of her past. But the past still echoes around her.

This is a story that I read in a couple of days, it is a sort of coming of age but with some serious themes woven into it. I really do think that the books need to be read in order to understand the full history of where Lorna ios now and I would definitely recommend them both and I am looking forward to seeing where the author goes next.

The Choices Series with Amazon Links (these are affiliate links)

Choices Break, Lossess Break

Futures Beckon, Pasts Threaten

Ties Bind, Love Finds

About the Author…

I am a UK based author of Contemporary women’s fiction who is passionate about writing amazing, strong and very relatable female characters who readers really invest in- I love to deliver the best mate you wish you’d had! My Welsh heritage and my life as a practising Social Worker with teenagers and their families heavily influences my work as does my love of all things 90’s, especially Rave and Clubbing culture. My first novel, ‘Love Punked’ is rated 5* on Amazon and my second 5* rated Novel ‘Choices Shape, Losses Break’ is now available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited!

My Facebook Page is Nia Lucas Books where my latest news and updates are posted and readers can also follow me at @BooksNia on Twitter or @nialucasbooks on Instagram.

You can also visit Nia’s Amazon Author Page where you will find another brilliant book that I also adored – Love Punked.

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

Some Like It Greek by Sue Roberts #contemporaryfiction #NetGalley #bookouture #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Some Like It Greek by Sue Roberts. This is the second book I have read by this author and another very enjoyable read. Let me show you more…

Synopsis…

There’s nothing like a summer escape. A sun-kissed story about living life to the full.

In the month-from-hell, incurable optimist Anna has lost her father and her job, and her trademark smile is dimming. Clearing out her dad’s house, she discovers a postcard of a beautiful sandy beach and a map with a route plotted to the Greek island of Kefalonia. With an empty summer stretching ahead, Anna’s eyes stray to her father’s old camper van. Next thing she knows, she’s hitting the road with friend Demi in tow, on a course from Salford to Skala!

Over one unforgettable summer, Anna and Demi make their rickety way along the sparkling Mediterranean coast, the hot sun shining down on their frequent mishaps with cheerful local characters. It’s the trip of a lifetime, and the scent of lemons in the air – as well as an unexpected romance – are just what Anna needs to awaken her inner Greek goddess.

But there are big surprises in store when they arrive at the island paradise, which could change both women’s lives forever. And as summer comes to an end, Anna has to decide whether she has had enough of the Greek life, or whether this is only just the beginning…

A joyful, hilarious summer read, perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Jenny Colgan and Sophie Kinsella.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

If you have ever thought about a road trip from the UK through Europe to Greece then this is the book you need to pick up. The synopsis for this book gives such a wonderful idea of what you are going to get, but the author has exceeded my expectations as I journey with Anna and Demi through France, across the Alps, into Italy and onto Demi’s childhood home in Greece.

The is an age gap between the women and the author pulled off their friendship with such natural ease. While Demi is older she is so full of life and energy more so than her younger friend. Anna takes advantage of voluntary redundancy in a firm she has worked in for 12 years and decides to recreate her fathers trip in his old converted fish van. Demi wants to return after too long away from her family as well as for a more personal reason.

This is just an amazing read and with such an easy flow to it. The main female characters have an easy companionship that really suits the style of the story. It is also a chance for them to get to know each other better and also make some of their own personal realisations. In essence, a story that is about family, relationships, friendships and realisations.

Then there is Dara! Yeah, a little bit of a swoon moment here! He sounds so amazing, yes there is a small romantic aspect to the story but one with doubts, what if’s because after all, a holiday fling is just a holiday fling!

A gorgeous read from start to finish that has left me wanting to try numerous Greek dishes from the mouthwatering descriptions the author gives. There is an obvious affinity for this area and culture as the love of the food, people and location just oozes from the pages.

I loved this book, the story, descriptions, the characters, food and well… yeah pretty much everything about the story. It is one I would absolutely recommend.

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

The Cottage of new Beginnings by Suzanne Snow @SnowProse @canelo_co @rararesources #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Cottage of New Beginnings by Suzanne Snow. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Synopsis…

One crumbling cottage. One broken heart. A chance to start over?

When Annie returns to Thorndale, the village where she spent much of her childhood, she’s looking for a new start. All she wants to do is fix up the cottage her godmother left her, and fix up her broken heart.

When she clashes with local hero, Jon, Annie can’t help but wonder if coming back to Thorndale was a mistake. The village has clearly changed and the last thing she needs is more drama. But avoiding the distractingly handsome Jon is proving impossible, especially when Thorndale seems to be conspiring to throw them together…

Annie is looking for a fresh start with zero romance – but what if the only way to learn to trust again is to take a risk on love?

The perfect cosy romance for fans of Julie Houston, Victoria Walters and Trisha Ashley.

Purchase Links Amazon – UK or US

My Review…

This is such a delightful book that I read one wet and windy summer afternoon. It is the story of Annie returning to her childhood holiday home. A place she always felt welcomed, wanted and loved by her godmother Molly. Molly passed away and left the cottage to Annie. When Annie’s relationship failed she was already in the process of selling her flat so it made perfect sense to settle somewhere she knew and so to Thorndale she came.

Annie’s recent split has left her feeling low, her arrival in the village of Thorndale doesn’t help her feel that she has made the right decision especially when she discovers her belongings left in the garden and also a run-in with a rather rude man.

The cottage is one of the memories as well as neglect and it takes time for her to settle. She soon finds herself in the midst of a community that is welcoming and very supportive. In fact, it seems that everyone is busy helping everyone else it is a wonder they have time for themselves.

The setting is lovely and the whole feel of the area feels very idyllic and charming. There is a nice romantic theme through this story, it is a slow-burning romance that starts gradually. The reason for that is the past lives of the two main protagonists.

This is one of those stories that slot very nicely into a charming and delightful read, it has a good storyline and is ideal for disappearing into. It is one I would recommend and I look forward to reading more in the series. 

About the Author…

Suzanne lives in Lancashire with her family and loves to read. Amongst her favourite books are historical crime fiction and writers’ biographies. Suzanne enjoys cooking, walking, especially in the Lake District, and developing and planting gardens. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.

Follow the Author on TwitterFacebook

Check out the other stops on the blog Tour…

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

Taking a Chance on Love by Erin Green #contemporaryfiction #womensfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Taking a Chance on Love by Erin Green. I read this a couple of weeks ago and I am desperately trying to catch up with some of my reviews.

Let me show you about this book…

Synopsis…

One question can change everything.

Meet Carmen, Polly and Dana – all happy and successful women, with very different views on relationships.

Carmen has made a life with Elliot for the past eight years. She’s ready for the next step but a proposal seems to be as far away as ever.

Polly is devoted to her family. But after her parents’ bitter divorce, she’s wary of marriage – even after sharing twenty years and one son with Fraser.

Single mother Dana longs for companionship, despite her dedication to raising her son Luke. Finding the right person to bring into their lives feels impossible – until a unique way to select a potential Mr Right comes along.

With 29th February fast approaching, will they each take the chance this Leap Year to take control of their fates?

My Review…

What a gorgeous book this was to read. A first for me by this author and I am so glad to see there are some earlier books that I can read.

This is the story of three women. Polly Dana and Carmen. One has been with her boyfriend for 8 years with no sign of a marriage proposal from him, which is a shame as she owns a bridal shop so knows exactly what she wants. The other a single mum with a home floristry business that caters for weddings, bouquets, buttonholes, table displays and the like. She has just signed up for a show about finding love. The final woman is a Mum, in a stable long term relationship and works in travel agents and is juggling her time between her divorced parents and trying to organise a last-minute birthday party.

Each of them is busy, they have their own priorities and appear very stable but looking for a little something else. The story flits between each of the women in several subchapters. This is great as it gives the reader a chance to get to know the women and what is going on in each of their lives.

While this is a romance, it is not heavily romantic more contemporary fiction with a dash of romance later on in the story. I really enjoyed getting to know women and also their families. It was a gentle introduction that gathered momentum the further the story went.

There are connections that are made, brief pasts mentioned and always the look towards the future and what it may hold. The latter section of the book had me absolutely riveted to every word, I was already pretty addicted in the earlier stages as well. But the ending was just… well I will let you find out for yourselves.

This is a fabulous read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the way the author tackled various subjects through her story. This is such a lovely read and one that readers of contemporary fiction, family life and romance will enjoy. I would definitely recommend it.

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

The Summer Island Swap by Samantha Tonge #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Island Swap by Samantha Tonge. This was a book I read at the beginning of August this year and it is one of the books I chose for the #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge and I am still playing catch-up on posting my reviews!

Let me show you what this wonderful book is all about…

Synopsis…

Sometimes the best holidays are the ones you least expect… 

After a long and turbulent year, Sarah is dreaming of the five-star getaway her sister has booked them on. White sands, cocktails, massages, the Caribbean is calling to them.

But the sisters turn up to tatty beaches, basic wooden shacks, a compost toilet and outdoor cold water showers. It turns out that at the last minute Amy decided a conservation project would be much more fun than a luxury resort.

So now Sarah’s battling mosquitos, trying to stomach fish soup and praying for a swift escape. Life on a desert island though isn’t all doom and gloom. They’re at one with nature, learning about each other and making new friends. And Sarah is distracted by the dishy, yet incredibly moody, island leader she’s sure is hiding a secret.

My Review…

I have 2 or 3of this authors books and they seem to have slid down my TBR pile. When I decided that I wanted a more relaxing summery, romance style read it was this author that suddenly sprung to mind and I thought I really need to read one of her books.

Well, what an amazing book this was and I absolutely adored it. Amy and Sarah are sisters and after a lottery win, Amy decides to treat them both to a luxury holiday. Amy works as a veterinary nurse and Sarah has a management role in a hotel. Both are looking forward to getting away, although Sarah is a little worried about leaving all the arrangements to her younger sister. Expecting a resort with pools, spas, beaches and the full 5-star treatment only to discover that Amy has suddenly changed the plan. Instead, they are on a working holiday on a small island in the Virgin Islands, No spas, 5-star treatments or anything else she was expecting, instead, Sarah has to deal with compost toilets, mosquitoes, cold showers and physical work.

Yes, this story does has a romantic thread running but it is actually the relationship between the sisters that really intrigued me. Sarah is the eldest and has looked out for Amy since their mum passed away, effectively taking on the parenting role and guiding, advising and to be fair has been quite controlling. The reasons for this are revealed more within the story. Amy is lacking confidence but she more than makes up for in enthusiasm and passion for animals.

While the sisters are chalk and cheese, they also have a very strong bond. They have been looking out for each other for years. This trip to a remote island with absolutely no mod cons and basic amenities is right up to Amy’s street but not so much for Sarah.

The thing about this story is the way the author has woven the story of the sisters and their upbringing around the conservation aspects of the island. The author goes into detail about the inspiration behind the story a the end, but it is obvious that there has been research and fact-checking as there is a myriad of little snippets about the wold life, flora and fauna, food, ecology and environment. So many interesting facts add a wonderful additional ingredient.

A wonderful story that readers of contemporary fiction, friendship and family will really enjoy, as I said there is a romantic thread but it is a subtle slower one that really fits in with the feel of the characters. A fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Image and Bio taken from the Author’s Goodreads Page.

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. 
She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo and in 2020 her novel Knowing You won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award. 

http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

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

Christmas at Lock Keepers Cottage by Lucy Coleman @LucyColemanauth @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #Festivefiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage by Lucy Coleman. I am a fan of this author and I always enjoy her books and her latest one is no exception. My huge thanks as always to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of the book.

So, what is this one all about…

Synopsis…

Join us for Christmas in the Cotswolds in this perfect festive escape, from the bestselling Lucy Coleman.

Imogen Tolliman never knew her mother. And when an accident robs Immi of her father too, she goes to live with her grandfather, Tollie, in his picturesque lock-keeper’s cottage by the Aysbury marina.

Tollie is the star of the Santa Ahoy Special each Christmas – a festive boat ride along the canal that enthralls both children and adults alike. And as Immi grows up, she starts to appreciate the magical community she is lucky enough to live in.

When Immi meets Gray Adams, she instantly realises he’s someone special. And as their relationship gets serious, they start to plan for the Christmas to beat all Christmases.

But as the day approaches, and the romantic snow showers turn into blizzards, their dream of a Christmas to remember, looks set to be one they’ll never forget – for all the wrong reasons. Can they salvage the festivities, or will old secrets that are finally uncovered turn Immi’s life upside down forever?

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to a dreamy Cotswolds Christmas full of snowflakes and secretslog fires, mistletoe, friends and much-loved traditions. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley, Holly Martin and Sue Moorcroft.

Purchase Links – KindlePaperbackAudiobook. (These are Amazon affiliate links)


My Review…

I do love a Lucy Coleman book and her latest has a wonderful Cotswolds setting. Immi has not had the best of starts in life as her mum left when she was a baby. Later she lost her father and her Gran. She has been through a lot of grief and the local community have been there for her, given her a chance and she has grown to be a thoughtful and kind person with a big heart and time for people. 

Community is a large part of this story, how they come together and support each other. Whether it is in the form of winter cruises on the narrowboats for children eager to meet Santa or coming up with ideas to fundraise. 

Gray is Immi’s partner, and they see each other only at weekends. His mum has not been well and he has needed to help her come to terms with her illness and the anxiety it has left her with. This means that Immi and Gray only have short periods together and are always busy.

When I started this book I didn’t quite take to the characters, I mean I liked them but I couldn’t quite get the connections they felt a little disjointed. I suppose in some ways it is similar to the relationship between Immi and Gray, even though their love for each other is complete they are often apart more than together. Gradually though I got to see more of this couple and started to understand them more, and also other members of the community. What a community it is, talk about dealing with whatever is aimed at them!

When I had finished this book I found myself with a few loose threads that I am hoping will be picked up in another book. I just feel that there are more stories that this community and its characters have to share. Keeping my fingers crossed for this!

It is a story that is heartwarming and has a good few surprises, and one in particular that I did not see at all. A wonderfully warm, community-spirited story that I really did enjoy and would recommend to readers of contemporary fiction who like a story about love, life family and friendships… and that I dearly hope may be the start of a series!

About the Author…

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

Social Media Links – TwitterFacebookInstagramWebsiteBookbubNewsletter Sign-up

Check out the previous stops on the Blog Tour…

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

We Are Family by Nicola Gill @Avonbooks #NetGalley #family #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for We Are Family by Nicola Gill. This is due to be published tomorrow along with many, many other books, but I hope you have this one on your list to buy.

My thanks to Avon Books for my e-ARC via NetGalley. My thoughts are my own.

Synopsis…

You can’t choose your family…

Jess and Laura might be sisters, but they’re very different people. Laura is laid-back, eats cheese in bed, and takes life as it comes. Jess, meanwhile, is the classic overachiever: Chief of Chivvying, Queen of all WhatsApp groups. They’re family, but they’re not exactly friends.

…but you can let them in.

When their mum dies, the sisters struggle to agree on anything, from where to scatter the ashes to whether “passed away” is an acceptable term. But as life forces them together, Laura and Jess realise: the only way through this is as a team. After all, they’re stuck with each other – and drinking wine is more fun as a pair…

A funny, tender and thoroughly entertaining read for anyone who loved watching Fleabag, and is a fan of books by Marian Keyes, Fiona Gibson, Rachel Marks, Beth O’Leary and Mhairi McFarlane.

Purchase Links from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackAudio (these are affiliate links that earn me a small commission at no cost to you)

My Review…

The synopsis does a very good job of telling you what this book is about. Two sisters having to come together after the death of their mother to sort out funeral arrangements and clearing the belongings.

The story is one that I happily read in a day and I gradually got to know Jess and Laura. They are two very different women in their style and also their personalities as well as their lifestyle. I met Laura first who is a run ragged Mum of Billy and lives with her partner Jon. She seems to be the sort of woman who has no time for herself as she juggles her work, her family and trying to keep too many plates spinning in the air.

Jess, on the other hand, seems to be more organised, and in some ways, she comes across as slightly aloof, controlling and more stylish. This is something that is told from Laura’s point of view and when I met Jess I kind of agreed with Laura’s view. But as the story progressed I found that Laura did annoy me a little bit, she is jealous of what her older sister has and there is a lot of resentment.

The gi8lrs have to connect as best they can as they deal with their mum’s estate and slowly they begin to talk. There are some quite heartwarming moments in the story and also some very funny memories that are shared. This helps to build a bigger picture of the girls growing up and also kind of explains the lives the women now have.

This was a very nice read and one that shows the struggle of losing a parent as well as having to deal with resentment from the past. It is about having the chance to put the past behind them and move forward, but can they? There are hurtful memories and snide comments and while venting frustrations is a good thing they do cut quite deep emotionally.

An enjoyable read that I found very absorbing and entertaining, I liked the contrasts between the women and their lives, opinions, outlooks and traits. Ideal for readers who like a story that has a little sibling rivalry and like a story about families. It is one I would recommend.

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

I Am Dust by Louise Beech @OrendaBooks #20booksofsummer #mystery #suspense #mustread #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for I Am Dust by Louise Beech. THis is a book I have chosen to be part of my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge and what a wonderful book it was.

Let me show you what it is about…

Synopsis

A haunted theatre
A murdered actress
Three cursed teenagers
A secret that devastates them all…

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…

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My Review

I have just finished reading this book and there are two words that I think sum this book up “hauntingly beautiful” I wish I could leave that as my review, but as a Book Blogger I know I need to add more to it. The synopsis gives a very good idea as to the story, but, Oh there is so much more it than that!

The story is told in a time slip style. The past goes back to when three teens, Chloe, Jess and Ryan use a Ouija board to contact a dead actress. She was murdered while the show Dust was being performed. The now is the DW theatre, not as popular as it used to be, and there is exciting news that the show Dust will be performed once again.

The author did such an amazing job with this story, I loved the haunting atmospherics that added some amazing tension. The story started with some excitement as the teens started to use the spirit board, this was then built on over the course of the story. Mixed into this was the mystery about the dead actress, Morgan Miller, who wanted to kill her and why.

There is another mystery that also comes into play, and that is what exactly happened to the teens when they walked away from the board? Did it change them? Did they follow the warnings? Well these questions are just the tip of the ice-berg as the author took this reader deeper and deeper into this mystery.

I call this a mystery, and in some ways yes it is, but it is also has a wonderful supernatural theme to it, also there is the murder which adds a crime element, then there is the relationships between the teens, oh and there is also a heartbreaking aspect. I think what I am getting at is that this book crosses genres and that makes it a book that will engage so many different readers.

The story gradually wrapped me up, drawing me deeper and deeper into its pages. I found myself addicted and at times when I was not reading it, I almost felt it calling out to me to pick it up again. It is a beautifully written story, that is heartbreaking and haunting. I loved it from start to finish and those last few pages completely broke me and left me a sobbing wreck.

This is a book that I am pretty sure will be on my Top Reads of the Year list. It is an exceptional read and one I would Highly Recommend.

About the Author

Louise’s debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers’ pick in 2015 and a top ten bestseller on Amazon. The Mountain in my Shoe longlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2016. The Sunday Mirror called Maria in the Moon ‘quirky, darkly comic, original and heartfelt’. It was also a Must Read in the Sunday Express and a Book of the Year at LoveReadingUK. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was described as ‘engrossing and captivating’ by the Daily Express. It also shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year and longlisted for the Polari Prize 2019. Call Me Star Girl hit number one on Kobo. It also longlisted for the Not The Booker Prize and won the Best magazine Big Book Award 2019. I Am Dust is out in 2020.

Links – WebsiteTwitterAmazon Author Page

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