Meet Me In Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May @nicolamay1 @rararesources #Review

I am delighted to share my review for Meet Me iN Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May. My huge thanks to Rachel for acceprting my request to join the tour and also to Nicola for my e-copy of her latest book.

Let’s see what it is all about…

The cast of the runaway bestseller, The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, are back – including Rosa, Josh, Mary, Jacob, Sheila, new mum Titch and, last but by no means least, Hot, the adorable dachshund.

Newly wed, and with her inherited corner shop successfully up and running, Rosa Smith seems to have all that anyone could wish for. But the course of true love never did run smooth and Rosa’s suspicions that her husband is having an affair have dire consequences.

Reaching rock bottom before she can climb back up to the top, fragile Rosa is forced to face her fears, addiction and jealousy head on.

With a selection of meddling locals still at large, a mystery fire and Titch’s frantic search for the real father of her sick baby, the second book in this enchanting series will take you on a further unpredictable journey of self-discovery.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK or US

This is the 2nd book in the series and I am so annoyed with myself that I didn’t read the 1st one. There are some fabulous characters that I am meeting for the first time though it is their second appearance. I would say that you are better to read in order, though this second book did read well as a stand-alone.

Rosa runs a corner shop and specialises in all things pet-related. She is really struggling with her home life and coming to terms with her husband working away during the week. This adds a fraught tension to their relationship and gradually rosa starts to spiral out of control until she finds herself at rock bottom.

This is such a great read and one that I found was relatable. We all have things going on in our lives and the doubts and insecurities are a real threat. The author has very realistically and sympathetically captured this with her storyline and characters.

Rosa is not an “all doom and gloom” character and it is only in her times of solitude does she step on the slippery slope. She has around her some wonderful friends who are there to keep an eye out for her and to help her when she needs it.

Hitting rock bottom and getting some “tough love” treatment is something that Rosa needs, it sounds harsh but sometimes you have to see what you have lost before you realise what you had. The story goes through various emotions as Rosa starts to take a good look at what she has achieved in her life.

This is a story that I thoroughly enjoyed and it took me along the “things are not always as they appear” route. The balance between Rosa and her problems are levelled out with the other characters and things in their lives and the parts they play.

After reading this book, it has left me curious as to the previous book. There are tantalising little snippets and hints back to the first that has sparked my curiosity… ok nosiness!

This is a story of emotion, drama, romance and life in general.

It’s one I would recommend!

Award winning author Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire with her rescue cat Stanley. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Inspired by her favourite authors Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews, Nicola writes what she describes as chicklit with a kick.

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The Secret – Violet’s Story by Eliza J Scott @ElizaJScott1 @rararesources #Review

I am delighted to be shgaring mny review for The Secret – Violet’s Story by Eliza J Scott. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for accpeting my request to join the tour and also to Eliza for my e-copy of this book.

Having read the previous book I was eager to return back to the Life On The Moors series. Although I think this could be read as a stand alone novel, I think it is best read in series order.

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

It’s been two years since glamorous and ambitious Violet Smith fell head-over-heels in love with blacksmith Jimby Fairfax, and moved back home to the North Yorkshire village of Lytell Stangdale to be with him. 


Life couldn’t get much sweeter. Their romance is blooming and Romantique – the business she set up with Jimby’s sister Kitty, designing luxurious underwear and burlesque costumes with the odd wedding dress throw in – is thriving. 


But on a romantic weekend break, a face from her past triggers a series of events which send Violet into turmoil. She finds herself with no alternative but to reveal a secret she’s buried deep for the past sixteen years. A secret she hasn’t shared with anyone, not even her best friends, Kitty and Molly, and they share everything. 


With the revelation forcing a wedge between herself and Jimby, heartbroken Violet fears that he won’t ever be able to think of her in the same way again and won’t want anything more to do with her. 


As ever, Kitty and Molly rally round, offering their advice and support but Vi is worried that keeping her secret was just a step too far for Jimby. 
Will she succeed in showing him their love is strong enough to overcome it? 


The Secret – Violet’s Story is book 3 in the Life on the Moors Series. 

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON UK or AMAZON US

This is the third in the Life On The Moors series and I love it. The Secret is all about Violet, or Vi as she is known to everyone. She returned to the village of Lytell Stangdale a few years before and fell in love with Jimby, a childhood friend. The story that follows is one that caught my attention as I discovered more about Violet and what her secret is!

As soon as I started reading this book I felt that connection come back from the previous book, The Talisman – Molly’s Story. The friends that make up this series so far have been Kitty and Molly, so it was so nice to read about Violet. The warmth of the friendship that these women have is just a great thing to read about. They are supportive of each other in that wonderful “they have your back” sort of way. They have a more sisterly than friend relationship.

They know everything about each other, well almost! As Violet had been away at University she had a section of her life that she had not told anyone about. This I completely understood and also why she never said anything. I think it was quite plausible for her to hold this secret back. Something happens that makes Violet think it is time to explain, but will this drive Jimby away from her?

This is such a wonderful stroy that I happily immersed myself in, I happily read this while sat in the garden in the sun. The descritions of the surroundings, the village and the general characters were great. It didn’t take me long to get into the story and I loved that I was reunited within the characters of the story again. Emotions did come into play as I wondered what was going to happen and also the revelation of the secret.

If you love books about friendship, relationships within a gorgeous setting then this is a book, in fact it is a series that you should consider picking up.

It gets a Definitely Recommended from Me!

Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming stories with happy endings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It gets a Highly Recommended from Me!


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

I Looked Away by Jane Corry @PenguinBooksUK #ILookedAway #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for I Looked Away by Jane Corry. My huge thanks to Ellie Hudson from Penguin Books for sending me an ARC of Janes latest book.

Now, let’s see what it is all about…

THE GRIPPING NEW THRILLER FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF MY HUSBAND’S WIFE AND THE DEAD EX

Every Monday, 49-year-old Ellie looks after her grandson Josh. She loves him more than anything else in the world. The only thing that can mar her happiness is her husband’s affair. But he swore it was over, and Ellie has decided to be thankful for what she’s got.

Then one day, while she’s looking after Josh, her husband gets a call from that woman. And for just a moment, Ellie takes her eyes off her grandson. The accident that happens will change her life forever.

Because Ellie is hiding something in her past.

And what looks like an accident could start to look like murder…

I am a big fan of Jane Corry and have read her previous books, I looked Away is amazing and my favourite one by her…so far!

This author has created such an addictive and emotional story that incorporates so many different elements. These have been brilliantly researched and woven together to create a stunning read.

It revolves and evolves around Ellie. Where to even start with this fabulous character… circumstances took her from a happy, carefree childhood so full of love and happiness that is until her world is totally upended. After a traumatic experience, she finds her life changes, what should be a new start turns sour. She finds herself in situation after situation, at times only barely coping, this is not how childhood should be. She feels lost, continually isolated and inadequate. These feelings over the years are gradually cemented and added to and it doesn’t help that she has never come to terms to deal with the grief that her original trauma stems from.

As I mentioned this author deals with some serious elements and she does them exceptionally well. Dealing with PTSD, emotional abuse, mental health and homelessness are definitely serious and often misunderstood. Now given the nature of some of the topics you may think that this book would be a sombre one, in fact, it is far from that. Instead, the author has created a flow and pacing that suits her story so well, it effortlessly flows and is an absolute page turner. I found myself wanting to get the bottom of what makes Ellie tick, to discover all about her life.

At the end of the book, Jane shares some personal experiences and also a section called “The Science Behind the story”, and also an insightful Q & A with Claire Pooley who specialises in trauma and is a psychotherapist and mental health nurse. I found these additions to be so interesting, they add an extras something special to the work that went into the story.

This book is such a good read on so many different levels. It’s emotional, poignant, insightful and thought-provoking, along with that I saw a glimpse into a different side of society.

I Looked Away is a book I would Highly Recommend!


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

The Path to the Sea by Liz Fenwick @liz_fenwick #Review

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for The Path to the Sea by Liz Fenwick. It was a fabulous surprise when this beautiful book landed on my doorstep a few weeks ago.

Now I have a confession, this is the first book I have read by this author, I do have several on my kindle. Here lies the problem… I am more likely to pick up a physical book, and the ones I have by Liz are on my kindle! I am sure I am not the only one who finds this…Am I?

Anyway, I do digress so…

You can get a pre-order on Amazon UK and Publication Day is for 6th June.

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

Sometimes going home is just the beginning…

Boskenna, the beautiful, imposing house standing on the Cornish cliffs, means something different to each of the Trewin women.

For Joan, as a glamorous young wife in the 1960s, it was a paradise where she and her husband could entertain and escape a world where no one was quite what they seemed – a world that would ultimately cost their marriage and end in tragedy.

Diana, her daughter, still dreams of her childhood there – the endless blue skies and wide lawns, book-filled rooms and parties, the sound of the sea at the end of the coastal path – even the family she adored was shattered there.

And for the youngest, broken-hearted Lottie, heading home in the August traffic, returning to Boskenna is a welcome escape from a life gone wrong in London, but will mean facing a past she’d hoped to forget.

As the three women gather in Boskenna for a final time, the secrets hidden within the beautiful old house will be revealed in a summer that will leave them changed for ever.

The Path to the Sea beautifully evokes the mystery and secrets of the Cornish coast, and will be loved by fans of Kate Morton and Rachel Hore.

First things first, look at that cover… I am in love with it and feel I could just walk out onto one of the beaches. Now to try and convey how much I loved this book…

The story is one that tells of 3 generations of women at Boskenna House.

Within the first few chapters, I was struck by the wonderful skill this author has. Her descriptions for the Cornish scenery, the house, the gardens is sublime. It was so easy to visualise everything from the perfect choice of words she used. These descriptions kept flowing wonderfully throughout the story and kept building on what I could already imagine. The lavish parties given in the 60’s with jewellery, clothes and sumptuous food was an absolute delight to read.

The 3 women are Joan, Diana and Lottie, they are very different in character and also temperment. But within these differences I saw some subtle similarities. Joan the Grandmother tells her part of the story in1962, a summer of boats, buffets, sailing, beaches and friends. Diana, Joan’s daughter, was a child in 1962 and through her she told of her days with her father and her adventures. She also has a present day part to play, I disciovered her fears, guilt and some secrets that had been hidden over the years. Lottie is in the present, she is daughter to Diana, she is desperate to find out what is haunting her mother and why her Gran is so cryptic about the past and desperate to keep what she see’s as a failure hidden.

Combining a mix of history, Cold War Politics and family secrets, I felt an ominous shadow surrounding the story and it’s characters. I love stories that build up intrigue and a sense that some people are not willing to share what they know. The mystery, the secrets and also intrigue that is added made this a book that was hard to put down for even a moment. It made me wonder all the while about the “who’s” and “why’s” while I was avidly turning pages.

The chapters alternates between not only the 3 women but, also between their respective timelines. It did not take me long to recognise the time changes or the characters. I soon found that I didn’t pay heed to the headings for these changes as I immediately knew when I was and who I was reading.

There is a great pace to this book and while I wanted to take my time I was also so eager to discover the truths. I found it emotional and by the end I had shed a couple of tears. I found it was so easy to get caught up and to become invested in the characters.

This is a beautifully written contemporary fiction story, that is full of lavish and gorgeous descriptions with a story that gradually reveals it’s secrets.

The Path to the Sea by Liz Fenwick
gets a Highly and Absolutley Recommended from Me! 🙂


Image and Bio taken from Goodreads.

I was born in Massachusetts and after nine international moves – the final one lasting eight years in Dubai- I now live in Cornwall and London with my husband and a cat. I made my first trip to Cornwall in 1989, bought my home there seven years later. My heart is forever in Cornwall, creating new stories

My debut novel THE CORNISH HOUSE was followed by A CORNISH AFFAIR, A CORNISH STRANGER and UNDER A CORNISH SKY, A Cornish Christmas Carol (novella), THE RETURNING TID and ONE CORNISH SUMMER. All published by Orion in English. There are editions in Dutch, German, Portuguese, French, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Estonian, Latvian, Turkish, Serbian, Czech and soon Hungarian. My next novel THE PATH TO THE SEA is out in 2019.

Visist Liz on – Goodreads Twitter Facebook


I am taking part in the #20BooksofSummerChallenge and I am including One Cornish Summer by Liz on my list. So keep your eye out for my review.

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

Edie Brownes Cottage by the Sea by Jane Linfoot @janelinfoot @rararesources #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Edie Brownes Cottage by the Sea by Jane Linfoot. A huge thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and also to Jane for my e-copy of this wonderful book.

Those who don’t jump will never fly…

Hurtling through the sky was supposed to be Edie Browne’s flight of independence. But when she falls head over champagne bucket while celebrating her successful landing, her life is changed in an instant. 
 
But starting over has its benefits, and as Edie relearns the basics under the watchful eye of her Aunty Josie and an entire Cornish village of new friends and neighbours, she finds love and joy she never could have imagined in the unlikeliest of places… 

Come home to St Aidan and Periwinkle Cottage for a romance full of love, laughter and friends for life!

Purchase Links: From Amazon – UKUS

There is so much more to this book than first meets the eye. In fact, the same can be said for Edie Browne. The synopsis tells how Edie’s life changed and she has to relearn things, so many things that are taken for granted that are not even thought about until they have been taken away…

I met Edie as she was parachuting from a plane. Then I met her as she is making her way to Cornwall and I gradually got to know her and what had happened to her. She is trying to work out who she is now as she is still reeling from her illness and struggling to find her feet.

Moving to Cornwall with her Auntie Jo gives Edie a chance to leave the hustle and bustle of city life. Instead, she can chill out and adjust to a much more relaxed tempo. In helping herself, Edie also finds that she is not the only one in need of help. Auntie Jo needs help with the house and renovations on that and the barn-yard open some exciting new opportunities. Auntie Jo needs Edie just as much as Edie needs Auntie Jo!

Friendship and laughter accompany this book and is such a large part of it. I loved the crafting community and it is so appropriate for small Cornish villages. The mentions of neighbours and friends helping out and lending a hand is another thing I love about the Cornish community. The author has picked up and used this so well and has wrapped it around and into Edie’s story so well.

The author has used Edie’s illness and highlighted that it is not people of a certain age that have illnesses, it can hit people of any age. The use of the illness defining Edie at the start of the story and her struggle to come to terms with changes was something that really touched me. It is a heartfelt read with an important aspect to it, but also not at all morbid or depressing although the frustration and despair are there, it also has a humour to it that is just the right balance. It gives it a more upbeat feel.

This was a wonderful story with so many things that I thoroughly enjoyed. Some fabulous characters with various backgrounds and stories to them, the Cornish setting is a big thing for me and she was spot on with that. The plot was interesting and also very addictive to read.

Edie Brownes Cottage by the Sea gets a Highly Recommended by Me! 🙂

Jane Linfoot is a best selling author, who lives in a muddy cottage, up a steep hill in Derbyshire, with her family, their pets, and an astonishing number of spiders. Although she loves seeing cow noses over the garden wall, she’s happy she can walk to a supermarket.

Jane grew up in North Yorkshire where she spent a lot of her childhood avoiding horizontal gales blowing off the sea, and wrote her first book by accident, while working as an architect, and renovating country houses. While she loves to write feelgood books that let readers escape, she’s always surprised to hear her stories make people laugh, admits to (occasionally) crying as she writes, and credits her characters for creating their own story lines.

Jane’s garden would be less brambly if she wasn’t on Facebook and Twitter so often. On days when she wants to be really scared, she rides a tandem.

Her latest books include a series of stand alone novels, based around a seaside wedding shop in Cornwall. Cupcakes and Confetti – The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea, Sequins and Snowflakes – Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop, and Bunting and Bouquets – Summer at the Little Wedding Shop, and most recently, The Little Cornish Kitchen. These are all published by Harper Impulse, an imprint of Harper Collins.

Follow Jane on Twitter @janelinfoot, or find her on her Author Page Facebook or her Personal Page Facebook. She’s also on Instagram, and has lots of Pinterest boards relating to her novels.

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The Gift of Friends by Emma Hannigan #RandomThingsTours @annecater #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Gift of Friends by Emma Hannigan. My huge thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for accepting my request to join the Blog Tour and also to Headline Review for my copy of this beautiful book.

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

Kingfisher Road – a leafy, peaceful street in the town of Vayhill. But there are whispers behind closed doors. Who is moving into Number 10?

Engaged to handsome, wealthy Justin Johnston, Danielle appears to her new neighbours to have the perfect, glossy life. But not everything is as it seems…

In fact, each of the other four women who live close by has a secret, and each is nursing their own private heartache.

But could a gift be waiting on their doorsteps? And, by opening their front doors, and their hearts, to each other, could the women of Kingfisher Road discover all the help they need?

This thirteenth and final novel from the beloved and inspiring Emma Hannigan is a life-affirming, uplifting story that celebrates the strength and joys of female friendship.

Emma Hannigan was the No. 1 bestselling author of eleven novels including Letters to Daughters, The Wedding Promise, The Perfect Gift, and The Summer Guest, as well as a memoir, All to Live For, which was about surviving an eleven year battle with cancer – facing cancer 10 separate times over the course of those years – and remaining strong, positive and warm. Very sadly, we have now lost Emma in the fight against cancer – she passed away at the end of February 2018.

The Gift of Friends went straight to number one on the bestseller lists in Ireland and has remained there ever since.

As I sit and write this review I feel quite emotional. I am so sad that such a talented and amazing author was taken far too soon. Sad also that it is only now I have read one of Emma’s books, though I do have 3 of her books on my kindle, no excuse! Emotional because of the beautiful story she wrote and also for the words in the Acknowledgments. Having read The Gift of Friends I am determined to read the rest of this authors books.

The Gift of Friends is a perfectly wonderful story. I was warmly greeted by the residents of Kingfisher Road, Nancy, Maia, Pearl and Betsey. A wonderful group of women who alternate between being carefree, friendly, loud, sensitive, bold and just a little bonkers, but in a very good way. They are not backwards in coming forwards with advice or opinion, by that I mean they very much say what they think. Poor Danielle is a little overwhelmed by her new home with Justin and also with the 4 women when they introduce themselves in their very exuberant way.

As much as I felt for Danielle, I couldn’t help but smirk as the author described this encounter. This was the start of a story that had me riveted as I got to know about Kingfisher Road and it’s residents. Danielle gradually gets to know these women and friendship forms. Bonds are built upon and she finds that not only are they able to help her settle in, but that she is also able to help them.

As the story unfolds I began to realise that things are not as rosy as they first appear. There is something that is held back by each of the characters. Even though they are very close I began to realise that certain things were kept secret. It was one of those scenarios that showed that we don’t always know what goes on behind closed doors. Not everything is shared, somethings are so deep and so painful that the owner of them wants to keep them buried, rather than talk of the secret they carry.

This book had me with so many “lump in my throat” moments, and at times that lump broke and left me in tears. It was such an emotional read with serious as well as more lighthearted moments and beautiful friendships. I got to gradually discover the truth about the households and their residents.

This story had such an easy flow to it and a wonderful balance between the more serious and also the lightheartedness. It is such a beautiful read and one I would Highly Recommend.

Emma Hannigan was an Irish author and blogger, best known for writing about her experience of suffering from cancer. 

With a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, Hannigan’s mother and maternal aunt tested positive for the responsible gene, BRCA1. She also received a ‘positive’ result in August 2005, which carries an 85% risk of developing breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer. In 2006, Hannigan underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy (or both breasts removed) and a bi-lateral oopherectomy (or both ovaries removed) to reduce the risk of cancer developing to 5%. However, breast cancer soon developed, “in the neck, shoulder and under my arm”, in 2007. After repeated treatment, a tumor always reappeared. She died at age 45 after her tenth battle with cancer.

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Not Having It All by Jennie Ensor @Jennie_Ensor @bombshellpub #Review

I am delighted to share my review today for Not Having It All by Jennie Ensor. My huge thanks Heather at Bloodhound Books and Jennie for my copy and also spot on the BLog Tour.

Let’s see what the book is all about…

Neuroscientist Bea Hudson fears she is a bad mother and that her career will be thwarted by family life. When her husband suspects Bea of having an affair with her best friend, a chain of events is triggered, leading to a crisis in Bea’s life.

Bea Hudson, a neuropsychologist living in Godalming, is struggling to cope with the challenging behaviour of her obsessive husband Kurt and their disruptive four-year-old daughter Fran. On top of this, her boss is pressuring her to get results from her research. Bea has her work cut out.

Things come to a head when Kurt goes away on an extended business assignment. While sacking staff and drinking heavily, Kurt’s insecurities run amok and he becomes convinced that Bea’s close friend Madeleine is seducing his wife and unduly influencing his daughter.

Meanwhile, childless artist Madeleine sees her friend torn between the demands of work and offers to help with Fran. But when she reveals a startling desire to her unsympathetic therapist Mr Rowley, he advises her to focus on the attention of Colin, a man she met in a lift.

Can Bea survive the demands of her career and the turmoil in her marriage without having a breakdown? Can Madeleine survive Kurt’s anger and find happiness with Colin? And can love survive marriage, middle-age, alcohol and ambition?

Not Having It All is about a scientist torn between her stalling career and the demands of her family. With themes of trust, deception and obsession, it is a mercilessly playful take on modern friendships, relationships and family life.

How on earth does Bae Hudson juggle being a neuropsychologist on the brink of a breakthrough with being a wife, mum and friend? Well, I soon found that it isn’t easy for her as I read Not Having It All!

Bea is fraught and struggling. A serious career and research means she has to spend time at work to be seen as someone serious about her career. If she reduces her hours she could very easily be side-lined and her funding may disappear. Her husband also has a demanding job, often working away from home for periods. This time he is in Turkey because “he is the best man for the job”. With both of them in full time careers the housekeeping and looking after Fran, their daughter falls to Polish au pair Katie.

Along the way, I also met Madelaine, Colin, Nigel and Allie. They all have roles to play in one form or another. It seems they are also having some sort of crisis in their lives. This is at times a hilarious read as it includes such a cross-section of people. Whether they are having a midlife crisis, feeling guilty about working too much or feeling downright unappreciated, they all seem to be having problems of some sort. Life can be a pain sometimes as pressures easily mount, making mountains out of molehills and often just needed to be looked at from a different perspective or to have recognise the struggles of others. The author has taken everyday worries and wrapped them into a fabulous story that held my attention.

I liked the format or this book as it is told in journal entries, notes or emails from each of the respective characters. It felt that it added to the busy lives of those concerned. Yes, it is unusual but, it worked very well as I got to see different sides to each of the characters. It also meant that the story moved along at a good pace but also that it didn’t feel rushed.

I really enjoyed Not Having It All. I liked how it reflected today’s modern and fast world and also was upbeat and had a good level of humour that kept it from falling into a more serious read. I loved that I actually laughed out loud on several occasions.

Not Having it All is one I would Definitely Recommend.

Jennie Ensor lives in London and has Irish roots. During a long trip overseas she obtained a Masters in Journalism and began her writing career as a journalist, covering topics from forced marriages to accidents in the mining industry. Her debut novel BLIND SIDE was published by Unbound in 2016. In January 2018 her short story ‘The Gift’ was placed in the Top 40 of the Words and Women national prose competition. Her poetry has appeared in many UK and overseas publications, most recently Ink Sweat and Tears. She sings in a chamber choir.

Links

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NOT HAVING IT ALL: a brazen comedy about the perils of midlife to be published 28 May 2019 by Bombshell Books


Paperback launch: Waterstones, London – Crouch End, 7-9pm Tuesday 11 June. Free entry. To reserve seats email crouchend@waterstones.com or call the bookshop on 0203 551 9706

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

Baxter’s Requiem by Matthew Crow @MatthewCrow @annecater #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Baxter’s Requiem by Matthew Crow with you today. I was lucky to win a copy of this book on a Giveaway run by the fabulous Anne Cater on her blog at Random Things Through My Letterbox.

Let me tell you a story, about a man I knew, and a man I know…

Mr Baxter is ninety-four years old when he falls down his staircase and grudgily finds himself resident at Melrose Gardens Retirement Home.

Baxter is many things – raconteur, retired music teacher, rabble-rouser, bon viveur – but ‘good patient’ he is not. He had every intention of living his twilight years with wine, music and revelry; not tea, telly and Tramadol. Indeed, Melrose Gardens is his worst nightmare – until he meets Gregory.

At only nineteen years of age, Greg has suffered a loss so heavy that he is in danger of giving up on life before he even gets going.

Determined to save the boy, Baxter decides to enlist his help on a mission to pay tribute to his long-lost love, Thomas: the man with whom he found true happiness; the man he waved off to fight in a senseless war; the man who never returned. The best man he ever knew.

With Gregory in tow Baxter sets out on a spirited escape from Melrose, bound for the war graves of Northern France. As Baxter shares his memories, the boy starts to see that life need not be a matter of mere endurance; that the world is huge and beautiful; that kindness is strength; and that the only way to honour the dead, is to live.

Baxter’s Requiem is a glorious celebration of life, love and seizing every last second we have while we’re here.

What a stunning book Baxter’s Requiem is! Meeting the character that is Baxter was memorable. A grumpy old man on the outside but with a wonderful wit and a huge heart on the inside! Greg is again another wonderful character, he is quiet and withdrawn in an almost moody way. With over 70 years separating these two there are bound to be differences but, actually not that many!

Both Greg and Baxter have personal stories in them. They are kept close and they almost protect them from the outside world. They are precious memories that they have built up and I can understand this almost secretive shield they have around them.

When Baxter and Greg meet it is at the care home that Baxter has been sent to recover from a fall. Baxter sees Greg as something more than quiet and withdrawn, he sees sorrow and pain. Baxter believes that he can help Greg somehow and so the process of building up a friendship and a bond begins.

It is not only Greg that needs help, Baxter does from a care point, but Baxter has something else in mind. He wants desperatley to go to France, it is something that means so much to him. So without realsining it Greg needs Baxter to help him to be able to live his life and break free of what holds him back. Baxcter needs Greg to break out and fulfil a heartbreaking promise to the man he loved.

I read this book 3 weeks ago and it is only now that I am coming back to my paper notes and what I thought. I have a lump in throat as I type this up, it reminds me how beautiful and poignant this story was. It shows that life can be so fragile and fleeting and also so full of love.

I loved the emotions that the author brought out of me with Baxter’s Requiem, smilrking at some of the one liners from Baxter only for the realisation that life has an expiry date. Care homes are often referred to as “Gods waiting room” but in Baxter’s case he sees them as “practising being dead and paying for the privalige”. This cracked me up and then the reality of what he said…

Sadness and a sort of melancholy was what I expected before I began this book. But then I found that it was heartwarming, moving, funny and yes there is sadness and heartbreak. but, this book wasn’t about that. This was a story that showed me a life lived, a life loved, a life apart and a life to come.

If you after a gorgeous, stunning, beautiful read then you seriously need to read this book. It get a Highly Recommended from Me!

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

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Cherry Radford @CherryRad @urbanebooks #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter by Cherry Radford. I recieved a copy of this book last year from Urbane Publishers, many apologies for it taking so long for me to read and review. I wish I had picked it up sooner as it was such a wonderful read.

So before I get carried away, why don’t I let you know what it’s all about …

After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to her aunt’s converted lighthouse on Beachy Head. Writing for a tedious online magazine but hoping to starting a novel, she wants to be alone – until she finds an entrancing flamenco CD in her borrowed car and contacts the artist via Twitter. It turns out that actor-musician Santiago needs help with English, and is soon calling her profesora.

Through her window, the other lighthouse winks at her across the sea. The one where her father was a keeper, until he mysteriously drowned there in 1982. Her aunt is sending extracts from his diary, and Imogen is intrigued to learn that, like her and Santi, her father had a penfriend.

Meanwhile, despite their differences – Imogen is surrounded by emotional and geographical barriers, Santi surrounded by family and land-locked Madrid – their friendship develops. So, she reads, did her father’s – but shocking revelations cause Imogen to question whether she ever really knew him.

Two stories of communication: the hilarious mistakes, the painful misunderstandings, and the miracle – or tragedy – of finding someone out there with whom you have an unforeseen, irresistible connection.

This is such a beautiful story, well more a story within a story. Imogen is the Lighthouse Keepers daughter, her father drowned mysteriously and his part of the story is told in snippets from his diary. The pages from the diary are sent separately to Imogen, this is one of the stories. Another is the relationship between Imogen and her family, her son Ollie, her Aunt who sends the diary pages and also her friend Jules.

The main story is that of Imogen herself and how she helps Santi, a Spanish Musician/Actor. She had been unaware of him until she found and listened to a CD of his in her car. It was right music for her to listen to at the right time, as it made such an impact she tweeted him and gradually a friendship formed. Music is an important part of the story in some ways because it is the foundation of a friendship that takes the lonely and isolated Imogen on a trip to Madrid.

Things happen for a reason, some things happen at the right time and right place. These become more apparent as the story gradually unfolds. For me Imogen is the personification of a lighthouse, she is isolated, stands apart from others and has an eerie beauty to her. As I got to know her through the story, I found myself understanding and warming to Imogen and caring about her.

There is a myriad of Spanish phrases throughout this book, don’t worry though they are all explained as conversations flow. I should explain that Imogen is helping Santi with his English and vice versa. Some of these conversations are hilarious and add such a nice touch.

Both Imogen and Santi have such wonderful personalities, and are very different. They each have their own struggles, problems, home life dramas. I loved the way they interacted and their friendship took time to develop, it gave me a chance to get to know them as individuals rather than a duo.

I adored this book, the setting and story-lines were compelling, the characters were memorable and all-in-all a very beautiful story.

This is a book that would appeal to readers who like a slower meander through the lives of the characters they meet. It delves into the families pasts and reveals the odd secret along the way. A story that I would highly recommend.

P.S. I love the cover for this book and my copy has little lighthouses next to the page numbers. Also on the chapter heading pages there is a wonderful silhouette of the lighthouse . I love the little details in book designs…just saying 🙂

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