Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman #GoodEggs #NetGalley @AllenAndUnwin #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman. Many thanks to Allen And Unwin who granted my request to read this via NetGalley.

Happy Publication Day to Rebecca as well xx

I do have to mention this cover. As I have read this book I can look at it and it just makes me smirk. A moody teen, a rebel Grandmother and a son who is at his limits 👍😂

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Meet the Gogartys; cantankerous gran Millie (whose eccentricities include a penchant for petty-theft and reckless driving); bitter downtrodden stepson Kevin (erstwhile journalist whose stay-at-home parenting is pushing him to the brink); and habitually moody, disaffected teenage daughter Aideen.

When Gran’s arrested yet again for shoplifting, Aideen’s rebelliousness has reached new heights and Kevin’s still not found work, he realises he needs to take action. With the appointment of a home carer for his mother, his daughter sent away to boarding school to focus on her studies and more time for him to reboot his job-hunt, surely everything will work out just fine. But as the story unfolds – and in the way of all the best families – nothing goes according to plan and as the calm starts to descend into chaos we’re taken on a hilarious multiple-perspective roller-coaster ride that is as relatable as it is far-fetched.

Good Eggs is a heady cocktail of that warmth and wit of Marian Keyes, Caitlin Moran and TV’s Derry Girls.

My Review…

This is such a lovely story of three generations of the Gogarty family. Millie, the 83-year-old grandmother, Kevin her son and then the teenage grand-daughter Aideen.

The synopsis does give a good idea that this is a story that is going to have a few chuckles, and it certainly does. Right from the get-go, I adored Mille, she is an elderly rebel and poor Kevin does have his hands full with her. Aideen is a troubled teen, she feels overlooked as her twin sister does tend to get more of the attention.

Between the antics of Millie and the antics of Aideen, Kevin is definitely stuck in the middle. I did feel for him as he is pulled from pillar to post. From one situation to another with often quite funny events in the midst.

This is a story that has a good heart to it, no matter what age you are or generation there is always something that you wish you had done. In some ways, this feels like a coming of age for all the generation involved. Realising that there are options and choices, that changes and chances are part of life.

This was a lovely contemporary fiction novel about a normal family, dealing with situations as they rise. At times it was quite serious as there are topics that the author deals with, but at the same time with a snigger of humour interlaced in between. It did make me chuckle as well as giving me that lovely warm heart-warming feel. One I would recommend to those who like a feel-good story.

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

The Hat Girl From Silver Street by Lindsey Hutchinson @LHutchAuthor @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

Today see’s the final day of the Blog Tour for The Hat Girl from Silver Street by Lindsey Johnson. I am delighted to be one of the Book bloggers to share my review today as tour. I would like to thank Rachel at Rachels Random Resources for my e-copy of this wonderful historical fiction novel.

Let bestselling author Lindsey Hutchinson take you back in time to the Victorian Black Country, for a tale of love, hardship and fighting against the odds to succeed.

Life is tough for Ella Bancroft. After her father, Thomas, is wheelchair-bound by an accident at the tube works, the responsibility for keeping a roof over their head falls to Ella. Ella’s mother died when she was ten, and her sister Sally lives with her no-good, work-shy husband Eddy, so is no help at all.  If she and her father are to keep the bailiffs from the door, then Ella must earn a living.

But Ella is resourceful as well as creative, and soon discovers she has a gift for millinery. Setting up shop in the front room of their two-up, two-down home in Silver Street, Walsall, Ella and Thomas work hard to establish a thriving business. Before long, the fashionable ladies of the Black Country are lining up to wear one of Ella’s beautiful creations, and finally Ella dares to hope for a life with love, friendship and family.

Meeting the man she longs to marry should be a turning point for Ella, but life’s twists and turns can be cruel. As the winter grows colder, events seem to conspire to test Ella’s spirit. And by the time spring is approaching, will the hat girl of Silver Street triumph, or will Ella have to admit defeat as all her dreams are tested.

The Queen of the Black Country sagas is back with a heart-breaking, unforgettable, page-turning story of love, life and battling against the odds. Perfect for fans of Val Wood and Lyn Andrews. 

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

What a wonderful story The Hat Girl From Silver Street was, and also my first outing with this author and be I will come back to based on this book.

The story revolves around Ella, the younger, and nicer of two sisters. She is a hard worker under the employ of a milliner. With low wages and unfair working conditions, her father encourages Ella to leave. Between them, they start their own business and this introduces them to many other people.

This is a lovely story that I found very easy to get caught up in, so much so I read it in one sitting. The author delves into the living conditions briefly as well as the hardships and uncertainties of the time. Starting a business from scratch is a brave decision but the author has given solid reasons. Meeting new people in a society is one fraught with danger as Ella’s shop is in her house.

This story revolves around family and life in general. A society that is all about class and getting the best marriage deals is something the author did tackle well. It made for an agonising waiting game as I read the story, getting more and more drawn in.

There are some really good characters that range from the outspoken to the more gentle and with a good range of traits that include vindictive, sly, aloof and downright nasty there is something to keep a sense of intrigue. This means that you will root for some and wait for the others to get their comeuppance.

Overall a great story to lose yourself in for a few hours, it is one that I found easy reading as well as very addictive. A little predictable at times but still very enjoyable. One for those that do like their historical fiction and romance that leans more towards the family saga style of story. One I would recommend and a great introduction for a new to me author.

About the Author…

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

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

Not Having It All by Jennie Ensor @jennie_ensor Relaunch #contemporaryfiction #bookreview and #extract

I am delighted to be helping out Jennie Ensor with the relaunch of her book Not Having It All. THis was a book I read last year and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Jennie is also holding a GIVEAWAY over on her Facebook Page, more details below.

Here is the new cover and I absolutely love it 😍

This is the story of four middle-aged people who are definitely NOT having it all. Meet Bea, Kurt, Maddie and Colin.

Senior lecturer Bea Hudson juggles her job at the ‘Psycho Lab’ with looking after her demanding five-year-old daughter, badly-behaved dog and next-to-useless au pair. When her chief exec husband is sent overseas and she’s left without childcare, Bea turns to best friend Maddie for help.

Kurt, downing whiskies in his hotel room as he imagines what his wife is up to, is convinced that Bea is becoming a little too friendly with Maddie. With characteristic obsession he enlists his neighbour’s help in a secret surveillance operation.

Found-object artist Maddie longs for a child of her own with a man she can trust – and he must love cats.

Divorced, risk-averse Colin is a senior manager at ‘the nation’s number one pussy insurer’. When he meets Maddie in a lift he’s smitten, and resolves to displace Maddie’s feline companions on her sofa. But he starts to fear that Maddie sees him only as ‘a handy stud with a fat wallet’.

Can Bea and Kurt find happiness again? Can Maddie and Colin risk falling in love?

A story about love, relationships and second chances, perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Jojo Moyes, and anyone who loved Bridget Jones’ Diary or Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. If you enjoy novels with depth, heart and laugh-out-loud humour, you’ll love this razor-sharp romantic comedy like no other.

My Review…

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.

Extract…

Emails between Bea and Allie

From: Bea Hudson (bhudson9@blueyonder.co.uk)

Sent: 12 June 2018 10.40pm 

To: Allie Loff (allie53@outlook.com)

Subject: Crisis at home 3

Hope Ray calmer by now?

Sorry to hear that my suggestion re gradual exposure didn’t work. Those emus sound nasty, it might be better to stay well away from now on.

Today’s crisis as follows:

I was trying to make Fran eat more than three spoonfuls of Rice Crispies and at the same time trying to find my laptop with the slides for the presentation I’ve cobbled together about the Phobia Group’s latest non-findings before rushing to catch a fast train to Birmingham.

Me: What are you playing at, Francesca? I’m in a hurry. I can’t wait here forever while you finish that. If you don’t hurry up, you’ll have to go to Little Lanes without your breakfast.

F: (banging her spoon on table) No!

Me: What do you mean, no?

F: I don’t like Little Lanes. I want to stay here!

Me: You can’t, I have to be at a conference in three hours.

F: No!

She picks up her beaker of orange juice and chucks it at me. I’m standing next to the table, three feet away, an easy target. The beaker bounces off my collarbone and rattles to the floor. A gush of cold liquid drenches my shirt.

I’m so shocked I can’t utter a word, let alone a shriek. Fran leaps up from her chair and runs out of the kitchen faster than I’ve ever seen her move. The juice seeps under my bra, down my stomach into a puddle at my feet. My white linen shirt is covered in several large, bright orange splodges. I pull off shirt and skirt and fling them in the sink, then have an urge to run upstairs after Fran and slap her.

How dare she do such a thing? Whatever happened to the smiling, affectionate little girl who used to jump onto my lap and hug me as we watched Mr Bean, or grab my hand and kiss it at the Waitrose checkout?

I lean on the sink, head in hands, not giving a toss that I’m in the kitchen with the blinds open wearing only a bra and knickers in full view of the neighbours. When I finally go upstairs, Fran is sitting on the floor playing with a headless Barbie.

Me: Why did you do that?

F: –

Me: Come on, tell me. I want to know.

F: I don’t know, Mummy.

Me: (yelling) How can you not know!

F: (looks at me in horror)

I take a deep breath, imagining a tropical beach and a gentle breeze cooling my bare skin.

Me: You must not throw things at people on bicycles – and you must not throw orange juice at Mummy. Especially you must not throw orange juice at Mummy! She loves you very much and tries to do what is best for you and Daddy. Sometimes what she does won’t make sense to you, but you must know that she is doing the best she can. Do you understand?

Fran: (looks at me as if I had thrown juice at her)

Me: I love you very much, Frannie. I’m not going to hurt you. But I’m not going to let you behave like that in my house. (That last bit is what Kurt says when he’s angry with her.) Don’t you dare do that again, or there’ll be no more trips to the beach.

I got out Fran’s picture book, made a cup of tea and took a shower. I couldn’t think straight, didn’t know what to do – I couldn’t face trying to get Fran in the car again after what happened last time. I was about to call Katie and ask her to come over early, then remembered her 10.30am hospital appointment (NHS, so no telling how long she’d be).

So I called Maddie. 

Maddie drove over (took less than an hour, so must have been at 90mph), told me I must go to the conference. She would stay and look after Fran, so I could call Katie and tell her she wasn’t needed this afternoon.

Thank heavens for Maddie! When I got back to Godalming this evening, Fran was a sweet little girl again, eating out of Mad’s hand – in both senses! They were sitting side by side on the sofa sharing a plate of bread with peanut butter. I’m not sure who was enjoying it most. Mad likes her food, that’s for sure. Actually, I was a bit taken aback to see them sitting so companionably together. Not jealous, exactly. Well, just a little.

Fran jumped up and wrapped her arms round me and said she was sorry she had been so horrible. I was touched, though I think Maddie put her up to saying it.

The three of us spent the evening together. Maddie cooked dinner and Fran showed me drawings she’d done. Mad had got her drawing deep sea fish from photos on the web, scary-looking creatures with enormous serrated snouts. I told her they were fabulous and she looked so pleased. She was a totally different child to the one I was with this morning – it’s so confusing.

Maybe she feels bad about throwing the juice. Or maybe it’s because Maddie is great with children. She has so many child-friendly skills that I lack. She talks to Fran differently to me, as if she’s a child herself. Yet she can be firm enough to get Fran to do what she wants, even helping to dry the dishes!

I sat in a daze, letting Mad take over, enjoying the peace – no fighting about how much ice cream Fran can have, how much TV she can watch or when she has to go to bed. And M’s such a wiz at practical things – on top of looking after Fran, she fixed the wonky gas ring, wound up the kitchen clock, put the damp remover thingies in the cupboards and swept away the bits of cobweb hanging from the hall ceiling that I keep forgetting to tell Katie about.

After we’d said goodnight to Fran, Maddie joked that I should be married to her instead of Kurt. I said yes, a wife would be much handier – Kurt does nothing around the house except watch TV, make a mess and demand food, back rubs and sexual favours (gross exaggeration, of course). We couldn’t stop laughing. It was almost as funny as years ago when the chemistry teacher at St Mary’s stopped in the corridor, blew her nose and farted (even louder than Dad used to after a helping of Mum’s stew).

Just at that moment, Kurt rang. I couldn’t speak so Mad answered, still chortling. She said I was busy, could he wait a minute? He said, ‘Please, I’d like to talk to my wife, is that too much to ask?’ and hung up.

He still hasn’t called back, which is just as well. He can stew in his own sour juice, imagining whatever he likes. By now he’s probably cooking up visions of Mad and I in bed together, getting up to no good 😨

Anyway, Maddie has offered to come over and look after Fran whenever I need her to. She loves the space and light here, she can paint out on the terrace and do her yoga in the living room. I might take her up on her offer next month, when preschool ends. Then (thank God) there’s only the summer to get through before Fran starts school full-time in September.

xx

About the Author…

A Londoner with Irish heritage, Jennie Ensor began her writing career as a journalist, obtaining a Masters in Journalism (winning two awards) and covering topics from forced marriage to accidents in the mining industry. She isn’t afraid to tackle controversial issues in her novels, either: Islamic terrorism, Russian gangsters and war crimes in her debut BLIND SIDE (a psychological mystery blended with a love story), domestic abuse and sexual exploitation in her second, THE GIRL IN HIS EYES.

Her third novel NOT HAVING IT ALL, a relationship comedy, is an excursion to the brighter side of life. A new edition was published in January 2021.

Ms Ensor’s poetry has appeared in many publications including Poetry Salzburg Review, Ink Sweat and Tears. Her poem ‘Lost Connection’ placed second in the Breakout Prose category of the Fish Lockdown Prize in 2020. In her spare time (?) she reads, walks and attempts twice-weekly yoga. She regularly cycles the punishing hills of north London and at the end of the day enjoys collapsing with a bar of chocolate/glass of strong alcohol in front of a TV crime drama.

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GIVEAWAY –  A prize draw to celebrate the relaunch will be held at 6pm on 23 February on Jennie’s FB page  https://www.facebook.com/JennieEnsorAuthor (the giveaway post is pinned to the page). 

Check out the other stops on the Tour…

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

A Reunion at Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for A Reunion at Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke. Yes it has a Christmas cover, yes it is only September, but Christmas is not the only thing in this gorgeous book.

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

Synopsis…

A brand NEW festive read from Rosie Clarkes’ bestselling Mulberry Lane series.


1949

Peggy and Able Ronoscki’s seaside cafe in Devon is thriving and their twins Fay and Freddie are growing up fast.
To pursue her daughter’s destiny, Fay must train in London and Peggy is faced with a dilemma of moving the family back to London once more.

Meanwhile, Peggy’s elder daughter Janet has her own troubles. She fears her husband is having an affair and Is desperately unhappy.

Peggy is torn two ways and can only hope that a reunion with her friends at Christmas can help resolve her problems.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/2T4OS6m

My Review…

What an absolutely lovely book A Reunion at Mulberry Lane was to read. This is the 6th book in this series but the first one I have read. It does work very well as a stand-alone.

I met several characters who are family and friends of Peggy and Able. These two have left Mulberry Lane, also known as The Lanes, to run a cafe. They work hard but do miss their family and friends back home. It is set just after the end of WWII and the effects of the war are still being felt there are those who are suffering from we now know as PTSD and have a very hard time adapting. But on the whole, it is a time when people are gradually getting back to how things used to be, there are still some food shortages but the country is getting there.

The family and friends of Peggy are a wonderful group and there is an obvious bond between these characters that have been built up over the previous books in the series. The sense of belonging and having people to turn to for support and also the reactions when news is shared gives a wonderful feeling for the reader.

The storyline is a gentle one as such because it is one about the everyday lives of people who work hard and support each other. There is a wonderful feeling of belonging and being loved between the characters and this is what makes this book so special. There are some fabulous characters that I have met and I soon found myself getting to know them and remembering them.

Considering I have come to this series quite late on, I was surprised and also delighted at how quickly I found myself invested in this book. There are mentions of things that have happened in the past and the author gives just enough to make me aware but without giving too much away.

While this book works very well as a standalone I do wish I had begun this from the very beginning as I think the reading journey with the resident of The Lanes would be wonderful. I really enjoyed this book and I think readers of historical fiction and family sagas will absolutely adore this if you haven’t read any of the books I would say read from the beginning as I think this would be a wonderful series to settle down with. I Would definitely recommend A Reunion at Mulberry Lane.

About the Author…

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

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

Starcross Manor by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow @rararesources #LoveHeartLane #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for the latest book in the Love Heart Lane series called Starcross Manor written by Christie Barlow. I adore this series and I loved this latest addition. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

So, shall we see what it’s all about…

Starcross Manor

Dying to know more about the brooding and mysterious Flynn Carter and the secrets behind his plans for Starcross Manor?

You won’t want to miss the next spellbinding chapter in the Love Heart Lane series – where friends are there for you no matter what.

When Julia Coleman meets Flynn Carter again in the cosy village of Heartcross it can only mean trouble. Flynn might be rich, brooding and sexy, but Julia knows first-hand he’s ruthless and she plans to watch his every move.

When Julia discovers Flynn’s plans for beautiful Starcross Manor her greatest fears come true.  Because Flynn’s dreams of turning Starcross into a luxury hotel could ruin Julia’s dreams…and finish off the community of Heartcross for good.

Flynn makes it clear he doesn’t want trouble, and he’s not the man Julia thinks he is.  As he sets about convincing the community he’s changed, he hopes he can convince Julia to give him another chance too…

Grab your own copy at Amazon UKUS ( UK link is an affiliate one)

My Review

What another absolutely fabulous read in the Love Heart Lane series, I was so glad to be back in the village of Heartcross and catch up with its residents once again. The focus of this story is that of local B&B owner Julia Coleman.

Julia is taken aback when she sees the rather handsome Flynn Carter back in Heartcross. She is not a fan of his after he stood her best friend up on her wedding day, and also that he paid far less for her Grandfathers cottage than it was actually worth. So what on earth is he doing back in the village?

Julia isn’t a mean person, but she really does manage to alienate him after calling a village meeting. When the locals realise that Flynn’s conversion of Starcross Manor into a luxury 5* hotel then what will happen to their businesses? How will they stay in business when those guests drive through the village to get to the hotel that literally has everything.

This was such an easy story to get into a short prologue led into such a wonderful story. The author really does bring the sense of community through in her stories, they feel right and give a great sense of belonging. Running alongside that are the gorgeous descriptions of the surrounding area and also of Starcross Manor, it sounds absolutely amazing.

I liked how the author wove Starcross Manor and the character of Flynn into this story. He is a main character right enough but also he seems to hover on the side stage as such. I think him living just outside the village and being busy with managing the conversion gives him more of a mysterious air.

We all know that being part of a community is all about doing the right thing when it really matters. It is also about admitting when you are wrong and trying to make amends. This story is about misunderstandings and there are some secrets and revelations that add to the drama that is unfolded.

A gorgeous one sitting read and one that readers of contemporary fiction, family and with a dash of romance will adore and if you are already up to date with this series then you are in for another wonderful treat. I am absolutely recommending this book.

About the Author

Christie Barlow is the number 1 International bestselling author of ten bestsellers including A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Clover Cottage. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada & Australia.

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Head over to Christie’s Amazon Author Page for all her books

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Till next time, Yvonne 🙂 xx

A Cornish Summer by Catherine Alliott #ACornishSummer #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for one of the books on my #20booksofsummer reading list. A Cornish Summer by Catherine Alliot is one that I read at the begging of June, I really need to get caught up and publish my reviews.

So, what’s this one about…

Flora’s been in love with her husband for twenty years. The trouble is, he’s been married to someone else for the past fifteen . . . 

A summer on Cornwall’s sandy beaches sounds like the perfect getaway.

Except Flora finds she’ll be spending it with her former scheming mother-in-law, ex-husband and his new wife . . .

Can she survive the summer playing happy families?

Could a holiday romance help her finally get over her him?

And will stumbling on the family secret change her mind about them all?

If you like Fern Britton, Katie Fforde and Jill Mansell, you’ll love this irresistible summer read from the bestselling author of About Last Night and Wish You Were Here. 

Purchase from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackAudiobook (these are affilliate links)

This is a book that has a slower more sedate pace to it, well that is until you get a lot further into it. Flora has been commissioned to paint her ex-father-in-laws portrait, though she is nervous about this she does need the money. Flora and her ex, Hugo, have a son, Peter, who is well provided for, Hugo’s family are wealthy, they have status and not all of them look down on Flora.

This is a book that starts with Flora making her way to the estate in Cornwall where she will paint the portrait. She is shocked when she arrives as there are more people there than she was expecting. This launches nicely back in time to when Flora was a teen and how she and Hugo got together. It then flows naturally up to the present day.

The story has quite a bit of description about the past, about the various characters and also Flora’s thoughts. The more I read the more I found myself disliking some characters, and had a suspicion of something being underhanded. This gave an intriguing edge to the story and also there was some unexpected turns of event.

It is a story of family and secrets, and these secrets are not revealed until later in the book. The author has taken a route and twisted things along the way. It has quite a few characters and they were introduced in such a way that I was able to keep up with who was who, and I soon began to work out who I liked or didn’t.

The story was quite engaging for the most part, though there were times where I wanted it to move on quicker as I felt impatient to discover what revelation was going to happen next. But the journey through this book was lovely and I did enjoy it a lot.

This is a story that would appeal to readers who like contemporary fiction with some really nice descriptions. One I would recommend.

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

Wife Support System by Kathleen Whyman @KathleenWhyman1 @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Wife Support System by Kathleen Whyman. I really enjoyed this book and would like to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

So, what is it all about…

We’ve got the balance all wrong. Instead of living with our partners, struggling to do everything by ourselves and only seeing each other now and then, we should do it the other way round. We should live together and see them now and then.

Erica knows her suggestion sounds extreme, but when her nanny leaves without notice, she’s extremely desperate. Polly and Louise aren’t convinced, but when circumstances force them to move into Polly’s enormous but run-down house, they have to admit life’s much easier when the childcare and work is shared.

At first, communal living seems like the answer to their prayers – childcare on tap, rotas for cleaning and someone always available to cook dinner (no more last-minute pizza delivery!). But over time, resentment starts to grow as they judge each other’s parenting styles and bicker over cleaning, cooking and whose turn it is to buy toilet rolls.

And as one woman has her head turned by a handsome colleague, one resorts to spying on her husband and another fights to keep a dark secret, they need each other more than ever. But can Polly, Louise and Erica keep their friendship and relationships strong? Or will their perfect mumtopia fall apart?

Essential reading for anyone fed up with never-ending housework/homeschooling/preparing healthy meals that their kids reject … Fans of Why Mummy DrinksHas Anyone Seen My Sex Life? and Beth O’Leary won’t want to miss this one!

Purchase Links – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link) KoboApple

I really enjoyed this book and read it over a couple of days. It was one of those books that had a gentle pace and it gave me a chance to get to know the three main characters. They were Erica, Louise and Polly, each has children and are school mum friends.

When Erica suggests that their recent holiday together was great and wouldn’t it be good if they could do this again. Sharing the childcare, the housework and being there for each other sounds quite a good suggestion. While on paper things should be good in practice, well that is another matter altogether.

I just know that a group of women living together may sound great, but it can also be a recipe for disaster. Especially if one is always working, the other is having issues and the third seems to be the one picking up after everyone. This is definitely a read that shows the women interactions well and made for great reading.

The dynamics between the women are wonderful reading, I loved how the author tackled various aspects of parenthood from the “my child would never do that” to the “can you pick take so and so to school scenarios”. While each of the women has their own personal lives and problems, there is also the new challenge of working together and finding compromises, this does not work so well.

I found this an entertaining read and one that had me sniggering several times, it also had some heartbreaking revelations. Seeing the women in a setting that doesn’t allow them to put on their “school mum” face was interesting.

I liked this a lot and really warmed to some characters more than others, but also by the end had discovered more about each of the women. A great summer read and one that I would definitely recommend.

Kathleen is a writer for Writers’ Forum magazine, a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and her second book was recently longlisted for the Comedy Women in Print Unpublished Comedy Novel prize.

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The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan @GerHogan @Aria_Fiction @BOTBSPublicity #BOTBSPublicity #bookreview

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of reading The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan and I am delighted to reshare my review of this wonderful book as part of the Blog Tour for the publication of the digital version.

Let me show you what the book is all about…

Welcome to Ballycove, the home of Corrigan Mills…

Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Irish countryside the famed mills have created the finest wool in all of Ireland. Run by the seemingly perfect Corrigan family, but every family has its secrets, and how the mills came to be the Corrigan’s is one of them…

Miranda and her husband were never meant to own the mills, until one fateful day catapults them into a life they never thought they’d lead.

Ada has forever lived her life in her sister’s shadow. Wanting only to please her mother and take her place as the new leader of the mill, Ada might just have to take a look at what her heart really wants.

Callie has a flourishing international career as a top designer and a man who loves her dearly, she appears to have it all. When a secret is revealed and she’s unceremoniously turfed out of the design world, Callie might just get what’s she’s been yearning for. The chance to go home.

Simon has always wanted more. More money, more fame, more notoriety. The problem child. Simon has made more enemies than friends over the years, and when one of his latest schemes falls foul he’ll have to return to the people who always believe in him.

Ballycove isn’t just a town in the Irish countryside. It isn’t just the base of the famous mills. It’s a place to call home.

Best-selling author, Faith Hogan returns with a family tale of love, loss, secrets and finding yourself.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no cost to you)

Well I have to say that the imagery that this author has created in this book is exceptional, I loved reading the sections about the mills, the countryside and life that Miranda experienced as a child.

Then add the present-day settings as Miranda, the owner of Corrigan’s Mill, is starting to feel her years, her health is not as it once was. In the wings her three children try to work out what their mum is going to do with a lucrative business and also worry about her remaining years and their futures.

These timelines have been brilliantly woven to create such a wonderful stroll through the Irish countryside and community as I was transported into the Corrigan family through the years.

This is such a gentle read and it was an absolute pleasure to disappear between the pages and discover a life that has had it’s up’s and downs over the years. Miranda was a lovely character and I soon warmed to her in her childhood and admired her resilience in her adult years. She brought up three children who are very individual and very different characters.

Ada is the more serious one, Simon is always looking for the next big deal and Callie a big name in the fashion world. Each child has a good life and in theory, they should be happy, but each one seems to have a crisis and this is what finally brings them home and together again. It is only Ada who has remained at home over the years.

This is a family that should be strong together but are actually fractured. They have had opportunity and chances and yet can’t seem to see what they have. As hard as it is for Miranda to try and keep them all happy, and even with her health, they seem as distant with each other as ever.

This is such a wonderful story that opens old wounds and confronts new ones that are still raw, resentment and anger are as rife as frustrations and honesty start to make themselves shown. It is an emotional book and I did have the odd watery eye moment, but this is not what I would call a heartrendingly sad book. There are heartbreaking moments, but the story is also heartwarming as realisations are finally acknowledged.

This was a terrific read and one that I sat and read in one sitting. It was a story that drew me in and had me totally captivated with the gentle pacing and also the compelling storyline. This is a really good read and one I would definitely recommend.

13/04/2018 Author Faith Hogan with her dog Penny at her home in Ballina, Co. Mayo. Photo : Keith Heneghan

Faith Hogan is an Irish award-winning and bestselling author of five contemporary fiction novels. Her books have featured as Book Club Favorites, Net Galley Hot Reads and Summer Must Reads. She writes grown up women’s fiction which is unashamedly uplifting, feel good and inspiring.

Faith’s latest book, The Place We Call Home is published in January 2020.

She writes crime fiction as Geraldine Hogan – Her Sisters Bones is available now!

Faith gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway.

She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!

You can find out more about Faith on her website Facebook Twitter Instagram

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🙂 xx

One Day in Summer by Shari Low @sharilow @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for One Day in Summer by Shari Low. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this brilliant book.

Let me show you what it’s all about…

One Day In Summer


Coming soon from #1 bestseller Shari Low, an emotional roller-coaster, that keeps you guessing…

One day in summer, three lives are about to change forever.

After two decades of looking after others, this is the day that Agnetha McMaster is reclaiming her life. It’s her turn, her time but will she have the courage to start again?

Ten years ago, Mitchell McMaster divorced Agnetha and married her best friend, Celeste. Now he suspects his second wife is having an affair. This is the day he’ll discover if karma has come back to bite him.

Thanks to a DNA test, this is the day that Hope McTeer will finally meet her biological father. But will the reunion bring Hope the answers that she’s looking for?

Three people. Twenty-four hours. A lifetime of secrets to unravel.

Purchase Link – Amazon

How gorgeous is that cover? 😍

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I absolutely loved it. The story is set on one day though that particular day has several threads that are wonderfully woven to create such a compelling story.

The synopsis give a very good idea of the basic story line to this book, and within a few paragraphs I was already hooked and curious. The story flits between characters and also time and this gradually gives a fuller picture. There is a lot more to the story than meets the eye and the author has allowed the story to flow and felt like effortless reading.

Understanding events of the past helps to realise how things stand in the present, but even when you think you know everything do you? A betrayal, a twisted version of events, things coming full circle and having the support of family and loyal friends will help.

I found this was such a well paced story that kept my attention from start to finish. I has warmth, hope, dreams and definitely a few surprises. The author was crafty in the way she laid things out and it kept me on my toes and this again is another way of keeping my attention.

Once I began to see the threads being pulled together I could start to make connections, I started to understand the why’s of tensions and how the fear of missing out and wanting more can be twisted.

There are several characters I loved and I could definitively see myself getting on with if they were real, they added a dynamic and mixed set of traits and personalities. Though not everyone was likeable!

This is a fabulous story that I had a couple of teary eyed moments with, it was wonderful to sit and read this book literally in the course of One day and in the sunshine it definitely felt like summer. A fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 20 novels, including One Day In Winter and My One Month Marriage and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.

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That Holiday in France by Rhoda Baxter @RhodaBaxter @BOTBSPublicity #romcom #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review today for That Holiday in France by Rhoda Baxter. I would like to thank Sarah at Book on The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

When Ellie’s boyfriend forbids her from going to France to attend her best friend’s wedding, she decides she’s had enough. She dumps him and goes to France by herself. But travelling alone is scary and Ellie realises how reliant she’d become on the men in her life.


On holiday, she learns to trust her own judgement and grows in confidence. Just when she decides she doesn’t need a man to complete her, she meets Ash, who is everything her ex wasn’t.
But is Ellie willing to give up her new found independence and link herself to another man?

  • Friends to lovers
  • Heroine asserting her independence
  • Summer in France
  • Tiny puddings

That Holiday In France is a standalone story set in the little Yorkshire village of Trewton Royd. Ideal for fans of Mhairi McFarlane or Sophie Kinsella.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

What a fabulous read this book was. Right from the get go I liked Ellie, and within a few chapters I definitely didn’t like her overbearing boyfriend Luke. I was so glad that Ellie decided to stand up to him and go off to France for her best friends wedding. She did almost leave it too late to attend as she did what Luke had wanted and stay home instead.

While in France, Ellie had a bit of an eye-opening experience as she found that she shared some similar view to her Dad and Luke. These were very one-sided and also not pleasant. Luckily for her a good friend of hers put her straight and she began to enjoy herself and gain a bit of confidence.

This was such a lovely story to read and one that I read in just a few hours. I loved the way Ellie stood up for herself and then started to work out who she was and what she liked. The author did a brilliant job of creating a character who had low self esteem, saw others as being better than her and someone that had no belief in herself.

In some ways this is a story of stigma and uncompromising opinions based on a past event, but it is also a story of self discovery and belief with a wonderful romantic thread woven through it. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and it is one I would definitely recommend.

Rhoda Baxter writes romantic comedies about strong heroines and nice-guy heroes. Having studied microbiology at university, Rhoda likes all things science geeky. She also loves cake, crochet and playing with Lego. She lives in Yorkshire with her young family and wishes she had more time to bake.

You can find out more about her (and get a free book by signing up to her newsletter) on her HERE on her Website

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