Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage by Samantha Tonge @SamTongeWriter @Aria_Fiction @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #romance #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage by Samantha Tonge. This is a fabulous read and perfect now that we have more sunny days and the weather is warming up.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for arranging my e-copy of this gorgeous book. I would also like to wish Sam a very Happy Publication Day 🙂

Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage

A new start can come from the most unexpected places…

It’s been years since Lizzie Lockhart spoke to her parents. But she was safe in the knowledge she knew everything about them. Once upon a time, they were as close as could be. Until they weren’t.

After receiving the earth-shattering news of their passing, Lizzie decides it’s time to unearth some family secrets and find out just who her parents really were… starting with Streamside Cottage. A cottage Lizzie never knew existed, in a place she’s never heard of: the beautiful English village of Leafton.

Leaving behind London, and the tattoo parlour she called home, Lizzie finds herself moving to the countryside. Faced with a tight-lipped community, who have secrets of their own, Lizzie is at a loss for what to do, until her rather handsome neighbour, Ben, steps in to help.

As Lizzie finally begins to piece together the puzzle of her family history she realises she has to confront the truth of the past in order to face her future.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK or US Kobo

My Review…

Oh my goodness what a fabulous read Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage was. Lizzie discovers her parents owned a cottage when their will is read. The cottage is left to her Aunt Fiona, Lizzie knows nothing about the house.

The village of Leafton has that wonderful community feel and Lizzie feels at home after living in the buzz of London. She had led quite a sheltered childhood as her parents were overly protective, and I mean really over the top protective. Leaving home to go to Uni was an ey opener and this led to her starting to stand on her own two feet causing a rift between daughter and parents. Staying in the secretive property will give Lizzie a chance to find out more about her past and parents. But are the locals of the village willing to share their secrets?

This is such a wonderful read that I absolutely adored from the first few paragraphs. It is told in a now and past format, the way the past is told works well with the Now part of the story. It is told in gradual back steps through the years and links in with Lizzie’s discoveries. There are more secrets to be unearthed than the obvious and these cause more than a few emotional discoveries and admissions for some of the characters.

I really liked how the author used a tattooist as the main protagonist. Even though tattoos are more accepted there is still a stigma attached. It would have been easy to give Lizzie a harder time as she does have artwork adorning her skin, but the author went down a more acceptable route and I liked how it was woven into the story with explanations. I am slightly biased about tattoos as I do have three of my own.

The sense of things being secretive and hidden was wonderful, at times with the sense that there was something much deeper to come. Weaving the locals and their stories into the story of Lizzie was a really good way of adding intrigue. While the locals are supportive there is a feeling that there is more that needs to be told.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, it is one of family and accepting the past, of heartbreaking discoveries. While it is a rom-com and it has a nice romantic thread, this feels more serious as there are some more serious issues that are dealt with. It is one for those who like a romance with a touch more suspense to it and it is one I would definitely recommend. 

About the Author…

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and studied German and French at university. She has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris, and has travelled widely.
She has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

In 2014 her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction Best Ebook Award.
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 2019 she was shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Award.
In 2020 she won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award with her novel Knowing You, from publisher Canelo.

Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Instagram Website

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

Chasing the Italian Dream by Jo Thomas #contemporaryfiction @TransworldBooks @NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share a review today for Chasing the Italian Dream by the fabulous Jo Thomas. I am a big fan of this author and her fabulous stories that transport me across countries. My huge thanks to Transworld Books for granting my request to read and review this publication via NetGalley.

A summer escape she’ll never forget . . .

Lucia has worked hard as a lawyer in Wales, aiming for a big promotion she hopes will shortly come her way. Finally taking a well-earned break at her grandparents’ house in southern Italy, the sunshine, lemon trees and her nonna’s mouth-watering cooking make her instantly feel at home.

But she’s shocked to learn that her grandfather is retiring from the beloved family pizzeria and will need to sell. Lucia can’t bear the thought of the place changing hands – especially when she discovers her not-quite-ex-husband Giacomo wants to take it over!

Then bad news from home forces Lucia to re-evaluate what she wants from life. Is this her chance to carry on the family tradition and finally follow her dreams?

My Review…

When overworked Lucia goes back to her old home in Italy for her annual 2 week holiday her grandparents have a bit of a surprise waiting for her. They are planning on giving up the family pizza restaurant that has been in the family for years. It would have been passed onto a son, but he died several years ago. The only other option is to leave it to Giacomo, Lucia’s ex-husband.

Once again this author has transp[sorted me into a glorious setting with amazing food and fabulous characters. The author has such an amazing feel for what she writes and an obvious love as it really does come across in her work. Chasing the Italian Dream is such an addictive read and there are some deeper issues that are delved into. Bucking the trend of the traditions, confronting truths, wobbling stereotypes and nudging preconceived ideas about how things should be are gently and wind brilliantly woven into this story.

The story is not just about Lucia, it is about many more people than that. There is obviously the Grandparents and Giacomo but there are several more that really do help build up the story. They add an interesting balance as well as some entertainment. I could almost smell the food and I definitely wanted to taste everything the author described, well maybe not quite everything!

From amazing food descriptions to little nuggets of information about pizzas, the making of them and various ingredients to a wonderful system of support, this book really does have all you want and then some. It is such a delight to settle down with and feel the warmth of not just the writing but also the heat of the ovens as I read this on a very cold and wet January afternoon.

This is a book that will be a hit with regular readers of this author and also those who really enjoy contemporary fiction and romance. So easy to sit and devour over the course of an afternoon and one I would definitely recommend.

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

The Black Fox by Gordon Bickerstaff #TheBlackFox @GFBickerstaff @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #conspiracy #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers to be opening the Blog Tour and sharing my review today for The Black Fox by Gordon Bickerstaff.

My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles Blog Tours for my spot ont he tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous action-packed crime thriller.

Incredible conspiracy.

Intricate espionage.

Spy story.


Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission.

She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin’s mind that the CIA want destroyed.

As the pressure to find Shawlens escalates – the CIA send Zoe’s former mentor to track her down and her fate seems sealed when he surrounds Zoe and Gavin with a ring of steel. With each hour that passes, the ring is tightened, and the window for discovering Gavin’s secret will shut.

Zoe is faced with a decision that goes against all of her survival instincts. If she is wrong – they both die. If she is right – she will discover the secret and become the next target for assassination.

Run for your life…

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I want to give myself a stern talking to for not reading any of his books sooner. This is a crazy action-packed, conspiracy fuelled thriller that kept me hooked from start to finish.

The main lead for this story is Zoe, she is one tough cookie and knows how to handle herself in a fight. She is a clever main character who has a whole load of skills, and I am sure that there are some that I have yet to discover with other books. Her brief is to kidnap Gavin, a scientist, who has been under her watch and disappear.

What starts off as a storyline that had a simple beginning the author then jets off into a full-blown chase to the death, that involves the US and its various agencies and departments on British soil. Dodging, ducking and diving traps and lures to discover why on earth the US are willing to risk everything to get their hands on this scientist.

This is one for those, who like me, love a bit of conspiracy, a dash of espionage and a sprinkle of double-crossing within governmental agencies. I was very surprised that when I started to write this review I looked at the page count, 330 of them and the amount of detail that is included is astonishing. There are so many double-crosses, twists, foiled plans and side steps I have to take my hat off to the author for keeping track of everything and still creating a story that has a fabulous flow.

The characters are superb, Zoe as I have mentioned is a one-woman wonder. Comes across as being tough as nails but does has a slight softness to her. Gavin is a nerdy guy, but he has problems with his memory and this adds another dimension to his story. There are additional characters as you would expect, but I will let you meet them yourself.

This is a book that would appeal to those who like fast-paced, action and adventure stories that involve a superbly worked plot and has full-on chases and explosive scenes. I adored this from start to finish and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

I was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. I studied biochemistry, and I’ve worked in several Scottish universities where I did research on enzymes, and taught biochemistry. After thirty years of teaching and research I retired my academic pen, and took of a mightier fiction pen.

I live in central Scotland with my wife and we enjoy reading, writing, and walking in the hills.

The Lambeth Group books follow the secret government investigations of agent Zoe Tampsin. A strong female protagonist with courage, determination, and guile. She is assisted by specialist consultant, Gavin Shawlens.

Social Media: Twitter Facebook Goodreads Website Bookbub

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

The Switch by Beth O’Leary #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share a review today for The Switch by Beth O’Leary, a book I read a month ago. I really must get caught up with some of my reviews.

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Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena’s tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it’s time they swapped places…

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?

My Review…

After reading The Flat Share last year I knew I wanted to read more by this author. The Switch is a wonderful story that revolves around Eileen and Leena Cotton, Grandmother and granddaughter. Both sort of stuck and wanting a change, so that is what they do. Eileen stays in London for a couple of months living in Leena’s flat, while Leena lives in a small village in Yorkshire.

I adored this book right from the get-go. Eileen is an absolute hoot with her outlook on life, especially when she lives in London. Leena, in comparison, comes across as more reserved ut super organised. Both women have something in common, when they set their mind to something there is very little that will budge them from completing.

The author has described both of these women so well, on the outside they come across as strong, independent and resourceful. However, to those that really know them well, there are little cracks. Facing up to things and accepting how Leena’s sister is no longer with them is a major thing for her to deal with.

Sometimes in life, you need to step away to see things clearer and to appreciate those around you. Keeping busy doesn’t deal with problems, it masks them, buries them and they still need to be dealt with. This is very much a story of trying to find the courage to deal with problems and admitting to things that have gone on before.

Given the two very different locations, the author has done a wonderful job of presenting a sense of community, and this is down to the diverse and wonderful characters that she has created. From you to old, from shy to outspoken there is literally a wonderful cast that brings a good amount of humour and provides some truly heartwarming and also funny moments to this wonderful story.

This is a story I just loved everything about. Ideal for those who are looking for a story that you can escape into and come out the other side feeling great about. One I would definitely recommend.

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

The Mersey Mistress by Sheila Riley @SheilaRileyAuthor @rararesources #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Mersey Mistress by Sheila Riley. This is a fabulous historical fiction novel and it is the first book I have read by this author. I will be reading more.

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

BRAND NEW FROM LIVERPOOLS’ VERY OWN BESTSELLING AUTHOR, SHEILA RILEY

1910 LIVERPOOL DOCKS.


Ruby Swift is a hard-working, straight-talking woman of substance who does not suffer fools gladly,
But when tragedy strikes on a bitter Christmas Eve, Ruby and her beloved Archie take matters into their own hands when a trusted employee’s house is mysteriously engulfed by flames and lives are lost.
Orphaned by the fire, Ruby welcomes heartbroken sixteen-year-old Anna Cassidy, into her home and family but circumstances conspire against them and she is unable to save Anna’s twelve-year-old brother Sam Cassidy, who is sent by the Church to Canada as a Homeboy. 
Can Ruby help mend a broken heart and can these two children ever be reunited or is there another higher game in play?

Mersey Mistress takes you on a journey to another time, another place. From the banks of the River Mersey to the frozen waters of the Canadian Saint Laurence River.

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

This is such an addictive historical fiction story that fans of sagas will love. The intro to the story is hard and cruel, it is representative of a time gone by.

Set in 1910 in the dock area of Liverpool the author weaves the story of two women. One who has turned her back on all she knows for happiness. The other trying to the best she can. Both women have suffered tragedy in their lives. They have endured the pain of losing family. Yet they have fought through and are survivors.

This is quite an emotional story at times, that did pull at the heartstrings. There are so many ups and downs that I found myself unable to stop reading. The author has captured the feel of society and also of the conditions of the time. She has successfully used her characters to show the good and the bad in a society of the time.

The story is such a fabulous read and even though it has heart-breaking moments, I also felt that it was balanced with a sense of hope. This is one that historical fiction/ romance and family saga readers are going to adore. It has the feel of the start of a much longer story, and I would love to see a follow-up. I read this in one sitting, it was that good and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing 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.

Social Media Links – Facebook Twitter Instagram Bookbub

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Uncork My Love by Rich Amooi @RichAmooi @rararesources #romcom #NetGalley #Giveaway #bookreview

It is no surprise to regular visitors that I do love Rich Amooi‘s books, his latest one, Uncork My Love is a fabulous bit of literary escapism and as always it put a smile on my face.

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.

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Uncork My Love

A sweet romantic comedy set in beautiful Napa Valley!

Ivy needs a miracle and a drink—not necessarily in that order. With a struggling winery, the only hope of keeping her dream alive is snagging a gold medal at the annual wine competition. She’s determined to win, but she can do it without the help of Ted Jacobs, aka Mr. Know-it-All.

Ted wants to catch lightning in a bottle and create the world’s greatest wine, but he’s smart enough to know he can’t do it alone. When he heads to Napa to keep his grandma from ending up in jail (don’t ask), he meets Ivy. She’s as complex and intoxicating as his award-winning cabernet, but as stubborn as the mule next door when she stomps on his offer to collaborate.

Ted knows it’s risky to mix business with pleasure, but if Ivy would only listen, they might just be the toast of the town.

Purchase Links from Amazon UK US

My Review…

If you like a good romantic comedy, that is full of heart-warming moments and quite a few chuckles then this is the author for you. Rich’s latest book Uncork My Love is set in the Napa region and is about two winery owners.

Now, I am the first to admit that I adore this authors books and this one is another fabulous light-hearted escapism read that is perfect for losing yourself in for a couple of hours or so. I often mention that his novels are a little bit cheesy and tongue in cheek and this is what makes them so good.

Uncork My Love did feel a little different, it did have some of the cheesiness as the two main characters danced around “not liking each other”, but the joy of this story was the hilarious moments of the two, well, I suppose you could call them “interested others”, and I am not saying much about them at all.

Having a business head is all well and good but sometimes you need to step back and take a risk. This is something that Ivy is reluctant to do and the last thing she needs is some no it all man telling her how to do things properly. Ted does know his stuff and wants to help, but he and Ivy clash and are at loggerheads much of the time.

The author uses his magic to create yet another story that had me grinning and also sniggering several times. There is also some detail about wine, mixing, the flavours and these are expertly combined into Ivy and Ted’s story. I like wine, I don’t know much about it apart from if I like it I will drink it!

This is a wonderful rom-com from an author who knows just how to hit all the right notes. A bit cheeky with wonderful characters and an all-round cracking read. I adored it and would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Rich Amooi is a Taleflick Discovery Winner, Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Recipient, Holt Medallion Finalist, and the Amazon Bestselling author of 16 romantic comedies, including It’s Not PMS, It’s You, Dying to Meet You, There’s Something About a Cowboy, and Madam Love, Actually.

A former radio personality and wedding DJ, Rich now writes romantic comedies full-time in San Diego, California, and is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

Social Media Links – Website Facebook Instagram Twitter Goodreads

There is also a GIVEAWAY as part of the Blog Tour and you can enter HERE for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally). Good Luck xx

Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The April Dead by Alan Parks @AlanJParks @blackthornbks @RandomTTours #HarryMcCoy #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts today on The April Dead by Alan Parks. I read and reviewed his previous book earlier this month and this 4th book in the series is just as brilliant. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of the book from the publisher Black Thorn Books.

The fourth dark and gripping Harry McCoy thriller from the most exciting new voice in Scottish noir

NO ONE WILL FORGET . . .


In a grimy flat in Glasgow, a homemade bomb explodes, leaving few remains to identify its maker. Detective Harry McCoy knows in his gut that there’ll be more to follow. The hunt for a missing sailor from the local US naval base leads him to the secretive group behind the bomb, and their disturbing, dominating leader.


On top of that, McCoy thinks he’s doing an old friend a favour when he passes on a warning, but instead he’s pulled into a vicious gang feud. And in the meantime, there’s word another bigger explosion is coming Glasgow’s way – so if the city is to survive, it’ll take everything McCoy’s got . . .

My Review…

What a fabulously gritty crime thriller book The April Dead is. I haven’t read the first two books in the series but I did read the third and loved it.

Set in 1974 Glasgow, the author transports the reader back to a time where not all police are on the right side of the law. Some are corrupt and some walk a very fine line. One fine line walker is Harry McCoy, he isn’t exactly a dirty copper taking backhanders, but he does stray into grey areas.

A missing American man and bombs exploding is just the tip of the iceberg for McCoy. His colleague Wattie is trying to juggle fatherhood and the pressure of leading a case. While McCoy doesn’t exactly have the time to help out Wattie, he does manage to pep-talk him.

The author really does keep the reader in the era of the story, with mentions of music and also the fact that smoking is done in every and all buildings. Add to this the murky underworld and a new threat with the bombs, McCoy really does have his work cut out.

This story is one that has a really dark side to it. Historic crimes and atrocities are explained with enough detail to make your skin crawl. I do think the author got the balance right with his descriptions and explanations.

This is a tough gritty inner-city crime thriller read, it dips its toes into gangland and touches on the historic. One for readers who like their crime to be more thriller than mystery, although the mysteries of the subplots are eventually solved. Another brilliant read and it confirms that this is an author who I will definitely be reading in the future. I would definitely recommend this one.

About the Author…

Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

Bloody January (Book 1)
February’s Son (Book 2)
Bobby March Will Live Forever (Book 3)
The April Dead (Book 4 )

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The Silent Friend by Diane Jeffrey #TheSilentFriend @dianefjeffrey @HQstories @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #crimethriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Silent Friend by Diane Jeffrey. This was a fabulous crime thriller read that did have a great psychological aspect to it.

My huge thanks to Emma at #dammppebblesblogtour for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this brilliant read.

I love this cover! As I have read this book I can see how well it works for the story inside.

Tragedy brought them together. The truth will tear them apart. 

It’s supposed to be Laura’s dream holiday: a trip to France with a group of friends to see their favourite band play live. But the holiday quickly turns to disaster, and Laura is left haunted by terrifying images from the worst night of her life. 

When Laura finds an online support group for victims like her, she’s not convinced it will help. But when Sandrine replies to her message, she seems to understand what Laura’s going through, in a way that no one else can. 

Soon, Laura and Sandrine are sharing their deepest thoughts and feelings with each other. But one of them has a terrible secret – she isn’t who she says she is. And once the twisted truth is revealed, there’s no going back… 

PURCHASE LINKS – Amazon UK or US Kobo Google Apple Waterstones Hive

My Review…


I love it when you get a book that gives very little away in the synopsis. It’s like going in blind and for The Silent Friend, this was perfect. I got a story that pulled me in very quickly and led me on a journey that I didn’t expect at all.

Given the slim synopsis, my review will also be a bit on the vague side. The story is told from two perspectives. One from a woman who has lost two of her friends and the other from a mother. The two characters share their experiences of an event that happens in France. Both are victims. Both are suffering. Both feel guilty.

The story is told over a timeline that is shown over the course of a few months before the event, the event itself and then onwards. It gives the thoughts and feeling of both women and of those who are in immediate contact with them. This keeps the character list small and gives a more intimate account.

There is a psychological aspect to this, but not the usual crime thriller one. Yes, a crime was committed, but it is the psychological impact that the women deal with that becomes the major thread of the story for me. The author very craftily draws the reader into the lives of the women and then delivers some wonderful heart-stopping moments. Things suddenly linked and left me shocked as I didn’t really see them coming.

This was such an addictive read. From initially not really knowing what story was going to unfold I soon found myself flying through this. The author wove a story that is full of intrigue but from different perspectives. It gives an idea of what people go through after a traumatic event and how they cope with living afterwards.

I loved this story so much. It had me with my heart in my mouth at times and also with the odd tear in my eye as the full picture was brought out. This is one for readers who like a crime mystery read and it is one I would definitely recommend. 

About the Author…

Diane Jeffrey is a USA Today bestselling author. 

 
She grew up in North Devon and Northern Ireland. She now lives in Lyon, France, with her husband and their three children, Labrador and cat. 

 
Diane’s is the author of four psychological thrillers, all of which were Kindle bestsellers in the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia. 

 
THE GUILTY MOTHER, Diane’s third book, was a USA Today bestseller and spent several weeks in the top 100 Kindle books in the UK. 

 
Her latest psychological thriller, THE SILENT FRIEND, is set in Belfast and Lyon. It was published in ebook in November 2020 with the paperback and audiobook to follow in 2021. 

 
She is currently working on her fifth psychological thriller. 

 
Diane is an English teacher. When she’s not working or writing, she likes swimming, running and reading. She loves chocolate, beer and holidays. 

 
Above all, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. 

 
Author website: http://www.dianejeffrey.com 
Readers can also follow Diane on – Twitter FacebookWebsite Instagram

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The Housewife by Alex Kane @AlexKaneWriter @BOTBSPublicity @HeraBooks #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted, if somewhat late today, to help kick off the Blog Tour for The Housewife by Alex Kane. This was a fabulous gangland crime thriller that I adored.

My huge thanks to Sarah at BOTBSPublicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this cracking book.

Even perfect mothers have secrets…

Leah. She’s the perfect mum to ten-year-old Samuel, wife to loving husband Thomas, head of the PTA. But her closet is full of skeletons – and if the truth gets out, her world could be destroyed.

Annie. She’s the gangster’s moll with a brain. She might be a woman, but she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty to play the men at their own game. But what no one knows is the devastating secret haunting her.

Terry. He’s the king of Glasgow gangland, working his way up from estate to mansion. From drugs to guns, there’s nothing he won’t stop at to grow his dirty money. He might be a hard man, but his weakness is women.

As their three stories collide, the lives of each will never be the same. Because even perfect women hide dark secrets… Don’t they?

My Review…

This is a fabulous crime thriller story that involves three main characters as well as a handful of secondary ones. The story revolves around the gangland scene in an area in Glasgow. An area where drugs are rife and lives are not lived, people just exist.

The author has woven such a brilliant story that focuses on Leah, a mother who has a secret that she is desperate to keep hidden from her son and husband. Annie has stepped away from her life and into that of the girlfriend of gangland crime boss Terry. Terry is the third main character, the boss who is not averse to breaking the law to maintain control of his area.

This is such an addictive read as I was drawn further into the three storylines. Throughout the story, I was taken into the murk and grime of an inner-city housing estate. The author built a picture of deprivation and drug addiction. There is one however who has seen what drugs do and steers clear of using and wants a better life.

Using to of the characters, the author has injected a secretive edge, it is one that kept me so intrigued as I desperately wanted to work out the connection. When that was eventually dropped I was shocked. Definitely a “I never saw that coming” moment.

I really enjoyed how quickly I was taken into the lives and the story. It is gritty as I was taken into the drug world from both the user and the dealer. As well as those who are involved through association. The stories are brilliantly worked and had a tense filled edge to them. A fabulous story from start to finish and it is one for those who love their crime thrillers on the dark and gritty side. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Alex Kane is a writer from Glasgow. She has been writing for ten years and in 2018 signed with Hera Books, a digital first publisher.

(2019) No Looking Back
(2019) What She Did
(2020) She Who Lies
(2020) The Angels
(2021) The Housewife

Alex Kane writes gangland crime and psychological thrillers and will read anything she can get her hands on from both genres. If she is not writing, she can be found relaxing at home reading, or drinking tea and/or gin (sometimes all of the above).
Alex is currently working on future books but can also be found procrastinating on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Anthrax Island by D.L. Marshall #AnthraxIsland @DLMWrites @canelo_co @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Anthrax Island by D.L. Marshall. This is a fabulous crime thriller book and I was delighted to get a spot on the blog tour. My thanks to Emma at #damppebblesblogtours for my e-copy of this book.

FACT: In 1942, in growing desperation at the progress of the war and fearing invasion by the Nazis, the UK government approved biological weapons tests on British soil. Their aim: to perfect an anthrax weapon destined for Germany. They succeeded.

FACT: Though the attack was never launched, the testing ground, Gruinard Island, was left lethally contaminated. It became known as Anthrax Island.

Now government scientists have returned to the island. They become stranded by an equipment failure and so John Tyler is flown in to fix the problem. He quickly discovers there’s more than research going on. When one of the scientists is found impossibly murdered inside a sealed room, Tyler realises he’s trapped with a killer…

A gripping thriller that will leave you guessing until the final page. Perfect for fans of Terry Hayes, James Swallow and Alistair MacLean.

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON UK US

My Review…

This was a tense crime thriller read that also had a spy thriller feel to it. The author used the Scottish island of Gruinard as the basis for his story and then expanded on it. The island was used for the testing of Anthrax in 1942 and using this fact the author then weaved a suspense ridden tale about what happened if the island still had active spores.

John Tyler, well what to say about him. Well, a man with a troubled past, a mercenary who takes on various “off the book jobs” and he has just been sent to Anthrax Island to look at the death of a technician on the base.

Given the location of the island and also that it is a no go area, this gives the story that brilliant locked in thriller feel. The isolation and also the barren and windswept island really does come through well in the writing. There is a limited number of characters and some have more of a presence than others.

The characters are used to great effect as the author gradually ramps up the mystery and intrigue of what begins a single death but then escalates to more bodies. As the story progresses then so does the suspense as I was left wondering two things, who was going to be next and could the killer be caught in time.

This, as I mentioned, is the first book in the series and the author has already got a poor battered John Tyler ready for his next mission. The main character has his flaws, and the author has left little snippets about him in the story. He is a character I will enjoy getting to know a little more as the series progresses and I am looking forward to the next book.

I really liked how the author wove fact with fiction. Using Anthrax and the testing of it on the island was such a great starting point to a story that had a reasonably fast pace to it, the intrigue, suspense and tension married sin well with the traits of the main character. The isolation and limited characters kept the main focus of the story very much in the reader’s mind.

I really enjoyed this book, it had a spy thriller feel as well as being a crime thriller. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

D. L. Marshall was born and raised in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Influenced by the dark industrial architecture, steep wooded valleys, and bleak Pennine moors, he writes thrillers tinged with horror, exploring the impact of geography and isolation. In 2016 he pitched at Bloody Scotland. In 2018 he won a Northern Writers’ Award for his thriller novel Anthrax Island.

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