Boxer Boys Collection by Nick Rippington @nickripp #bookreview @BOTBSPublicity

I am delighted to welcome you to read my thoughts as I help to kick off the Blog Tour for Boxer Boys Collection by Nick Rippington. My huge thanks to Nick for sending me the 3 e-book set and to Sarah Hardy at BOTBSPublicity for the invite onto the Blog Tour. This collection is a series of 3 books and I will try by best to give you a mini review for each book…

But first how about I let you know what the Boxer Boys Collection is all about…

Some Family feuds just won’t go away… For 40 years the Dolans and the Marshalls have lived side by side on the same rundown housing estate in east London. While teens Gary Marshall and Arnie Dolan forge a close friendship, fighting constant battles to survive both on the streets and closer to home, the relationship between their parents is complicated and, at times, toxic. Gradually family secrets emerge which have their roots in the early 80s… and Gary and Arnie realise their entire upbringing was built on lies.  

So first up is Crossing the White

Gary Marshall is being bullied on the rundown London estate he lives on, local lad Arnie (Arnold) Dolan steps in and saves Gary from a beating. This is the start of a friendship that see’s the boys through their teens and is the start of the Boxer Boys.

It is a story of family, friendship, changing from kids into adults and watching each others backs. Over the course of the story it becomes apparent that Gary is drawn into the murkier side than he really wants to. Things go awry for Gary and his chances at living his dream in a career he is passionate about, instead he takes different route.

This is a gritty read that deals with teens in the sprawling and gang ruled estates of London. There are various things that have been dealt with and it adds to the authentic feel of the story.

A great first book in the collection and it made me want to know exactly what was going to happen next. So much so that I went straight onto the 2nd in the set.

Spark Out

This is a book that goes back to the era of Gary and Arnies parents, mainly the Dolans, but the Marshall’s do have a part to play. The Dolan family is made up of Big Mo & Beryl and, Chuck their eldest, it is also about Clive, Big Mo’s brother.

This has a different feel to it and it was nice to get to know more about the family of the boys I had met in the first book. Big Mo is, well tough to say the least. He has a fiery temper and is the sort that hits first and then asks questions later and he is the leader of a shady small group of friends. The Dolan’s have a reputation not to be messed with.

Clive and Mo are very different in what they want out of their lives. Mo is about power, reputation and money. Clive is about wanting more from his life and this is why he joins the Scots Guards. This is the time of Maggie Thatcher in the 80’s and the Falklands conflict. Nobody thought that would come to anything and so off Clive goes. History tells us that this was something and Clive is not the same person he was when he left.

This is a more emotional read as well as having more violence. It gives a great insight into the families, their priorities and loyalty. It’s all about the family and who they are.

Once again as soon as I had finished this one I was straight onto the next…

Dying Seconds

Back again with Gary and Arnie, or should I say Gareth and Arnie. The previous books were extensive in their groundwork and this is brought to a fabulous conclusion in Dying Seconds. It is 2016 and while Garth is dealing with a job in Wales, Rugby and Football matches, Arnie is having to come to terms with his new lifestyle.

He has had his role in the Boxer Boys changed and the families are fracturing with tension and suspicions are running at an all time high.

There is a lot for the two men to deal with and their responsibilities and loyalties have changed. Gareth’s past is brought up to date and he can finally deal with things that have been hanging over him for the past few years.

This is a tense 3rd book and it is where all the threads are finally pulled together and things slot into their proper places. It is a story full of doubt, suspicion and fear and it is full of pace.


OVERALL – this has been a great series and I really do apologise for being so vague, but I was aware that if I wasn’t careful then spoilers would slip out.

The three stories combine to give a fabulous insight in two main families and the trials and tribulations that go with them. There are so many things that happen along the way for not only the families but also the boys as well.

The style of the story is gritty and it fits so well with the gangland setting. As much as there is violence with the story as you would expect, there is also much more than that. It is a story that show the dynamics of family and society of the respective times the stories are set in. It is about loyalty and friendship and how long they can be stretched before something gives.

This has been a really good collection of 3 stories that are intertwined and linked and that span the years. They each have a connection to each other and yet at the same time each have a different feel in the way they read. After reading Nick’s Bio I can see that he brings his own knowledge and experiences to his writing. This is a collection that I thoroughly enjoyed each one of the books and I would suggest that they are definitely read in order, you could argue that they could be read as stand alone books but for me they worked perfectly as they were set out.

It is one of those collections that falls into several categories. I add my own tags and the ones I have chosen for this is, Urban Fiction, Family Drama, Family & Lifestyle and Contemporary Fiction as well as General Fiction. I think it is one would interest many readers.

A fabulous collection and one I would Definitely Recommend.

NICK RIPPINGTON is one of the victims of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal you never hear about. 

As the newspaper’s Welsh Sports Editor, he was made redundant with two days notice when Rupert Murdoch closed down Europe’s biggest-selling tabloid in 2011. 

On holiday at the time, Nick was never allowed back into the building, investigators sealed off the area with crime scene tape and seized his computer, which contained all the secrets to his Fantasy Football selections.

Handed the contents of his desk in a black bin bag in a murky car park, deep throat style, Nick was at a crossroads – married just two years earlier and with a wife and 9-month-old baby to support. Options were limited but self-publishing was booming. Having hit on an idea for a UK gangland thriller taking place against the backdrop of the Rugby World Cup, in 2015 he produced Crossing The Whitewash.

The book was praised by many, received an honourable mention in the genre category of the Writers’ Digest self-published eBook awards and more than 25 five-star reviews on both sides of the pond. 

Almost two years after Crossing The Whitewash came the second in the Boxer Boys series, a prequel called Spark Out, which was released in paperback on July 1 and for Kindle on July 10, 2017. The book received an award for best cover of 2017 with the Chill With A Book website, along with a readers award, before receiving the IndieBRAG medallion from a prestigious site covering Independent writers and publishers throughout the world.

The third book in the Boxer Boys series Dying Seconds, a sequel to Crossing the Whitewash, was released in December 2018.

Married to Liz, Nick is now a full-time back bench designer on the Daily Star sports desk and has two daughters – Jemma, 36, and Olivia, 8. A Bristolian at heart, he lives near Ilford, Essex. In the past he has worked for the Sunday Mirror, Wales on Sunday and Media Wales in Cardiff as an executive editor.

You can follow Nick on…

FacebookTwitterGoodreads Author PageWebsiteAmazon Author Page in the UK

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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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The Greek Affair by Linn B Halton @LinnBHalton @rararesources #Giveaway (UK) #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Greek Affair by Linn B Halton as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My huge thanks to both Rachel and Linn for my e-copy of this book. I can honestly say it was nice to read something set in a warmer environment as I sat in a chilly Cornwall.

Synopsis:

More than just a holiday romance?

Her daughter, her job and divorcing her untrustworthy ex are Leah’s main priorities. She isn’t really bothered that her life might be missing a few things. But after winning a prestigious travel blogger award, she’s inundated with offers to review glamorous holiday destinations. Lying around drinking exotic cocktails and being paid for it! What could be better?

Perhaps a romantic trip to idyllic Greece to find the one man who might make Leah risk her heart again…

Purchase Link Click Here.

My Thoughts:

When she wins the Travel Blogger Award doors open for Leah and her daughter Rosie. A short solo cruise for Leah and a meeting with Harrison makes her realise that she has never really dealt with the emotions of being a single parent. Harrison is the perfect gentleman and a wonderful friendship builds up. A trip to Greece with Rosie during half term is another eye-opener for Leah as she meets another single parent in the form of Daniel. Rosie strikes up a friendship with his daughter Belle and it gives Rosie a chance to realise that she is also missing something in her life.

This is a fabulous mix of travel, family, home-life, separation and difficult pasts. As I read, especially the sections that gave descriptions about Greece, I couldn’t help but think that this author has surely been here as her descriptions were wonderful. I have never been to Greece and I loved the quirky little asides about structures, doorways, a little about the architecture and foods. It had such a great feel to it and it was easy to lose myself in the vivid imagery that she had created.

I really liked that the young daughter had a say in her mum’s blog and in fact had her own segment. Working together and encouraging each other really stood out for me with this mother and daughter team.

The story has its emotional up’s and down’s as things progressed at a pace that felt very appropriate. Again this was where the author really got it right as far as how she portrayed the dilemma’s, anxieties and uncertainties when entering relationships where children are involved. Mixing various scenarios and giving things priorities for the main characters made for a really interesting read, with a few surprises along the way for good measure.

It is a romance but not the slushy lovey-dovey type and this made for a more realistic read. The main characters are 30 something parents who lead very different lives, I felt the romance had a more practical, no-nonsense approach with the adults dealing with not only their own possible futures but also that of their children and families. It played out very well indeed.

This is a book that has a good selection of things that I enjoy in this style of book, yes there is drama and romance but it is nicely balanced with the more practical everyday feeling of life in the real world and with a tantalising Greek backdrop. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

From interior designer to author Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love, and relationships.

Follow Linn on her: WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Giveaway :

Giveaway to Win Rose Wine and Chocolates (UK only)

If you would like to be in with a chance to win a lovely rose wine and chocolate gift set, click on the link below and follow the instructions. Good luck!

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway **HERE**

*Terms and Conditions –UK 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 I reserve 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 be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfillment of the prize, afterwhich time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Tangled Vines by Megan Mayfair @mayfairmegan @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Tangled Vines by Megan Mayfair as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. May huge thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Megan for my e-copy of her book.

Synopsis:

Amelia O’Sullivan is a photographer who has always viewed herself through the wrong lens. When her marriage publicly crashed around her, she flees to the safety of her aunt’s country property to pick up the pieces. Can she adjust her focus to what she really wants from her life? 

Born into a wealthy and powerful family, Frederick Doyle may seem like a man who has it all, but behind the scenes, a bitter business feud threatens an irrevocable family split. As he fights for control of the winery he’d built from the ground up, he finds a supportive ally in Amelia and becomes increasingly beguiled by her creative spirit. 

Jill McMahon is a successful novelist suffering from writer’s block over her latest manuscript. Finding her niece, Amelia, at her door, reminds her of the bonds of family, but in seeing Amelia andFrederick’s relationship grow, a long-forgotten and painful secret threatens tore-surface. 

Can Amelia, Frederick, and Jill untangle themselves from their pasts or will history simply repeat itself? 

PurchaseLink  – Here

My Thoughts:

I usually start a my thoughts with a bit of my own synopsis, but this time I am not as I would pretty much duplicate what it says so I will go straight into what I thought.

This is set in Australia and is a wonderful read that captured my attention from the outset and held right the way through until the end. The story is about three key characters and how they know or come to know each other. It is a story about their lives, their worries, their loves, and losses. Decisions that need to be made for their own individual future need to be made and they all seem to have come to a crossroads in their lives and they have to decide what, who and where their possible and potential happiness lies. The story is about finding an inner strength and confidence in making their decisions to move towards starting the next chapter in their lives and, it is not going to be plain sailing. Important decisions are not easily made.

Even thought there are some heartbreaking revelations, the author has not dwelt too much on them. The story has a pacing that keeps the story moving forward as I followed the characters on their uncertain futures while still dealing with ongoing grief and worries. 

There are various friends, family and colleagues that accompany the main characters and they each have their part to play in the story. I soon worked out who I liked and didn’t and I am sure you will have similar views.

As I mentioned earlier, the past has a part in this story and it plays out very well, and the author dealt with some aspects very well, one in particular was the anxiety that one of the characters has to deal with, for me this was a key trait of this character and it gave an insight into the reactions, emotions and also the personality of said character.

This is a story I really enjoyed, I found myself wondering as to how things would pan out as nothing was clear cut. Nothing was guaranteed to follow a certain pattern and this added a good deal of  subtle dramatic suspense. This is a romance that is not overly romantic which sounds a really odd thing to say. What I mean is that there is a romantic thread, but it is also about family, life, experiences, disappointments and new beginnings as I followed three people dealing with major decisions that could have implications for their futures and goals.

A story that would appeal to romance and also general fiction readers and is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Megan’sstories are about families, intrigue and love. Every book contains a bit of humour and a lot of heart.

Megan lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children and has a background in public relations and higher education.

She drinks far too much coffee and has an addiction to buying scarves. She interviews with other authors for her blog series, Espresso Tales, and loves a bit of #bookstagram.

Her debut novel, The Things We Leave Unsaid, was released by Crooked Cat Books in 2018. Tangled Vines is her second novel.

Social Media Links – Instagram – Facebook – Twitter – Website


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Divided We Stand by Rachel McLean @rararesources #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Divided We Stand by Rachel Mclean as part of the blog tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. This is the third and final installment in The Division Bell Trilogy. My thanks to Rachel for the invite onto all three tours and also the author fo re-copies of her books.

Synopsis:

Britain is a country under surveillance. Neighbours spy on neighbours. Schools enforce loyalty to the state. And children are encouraged to inform on their parents.

Disgraced MP Jennifer Sinclair has earned her freedom but returns home to find everything changed.

Rita Gurumurthy has been sent to a high security prison. When a sympathetic guard helps her escape she becomes a fugitive, forced to go into hiding.

To reunite her family and win freedom for her son and her friend, Jennifer must challenge her old colleague and rival, the new Prime Minister Catherine Moore.

Will Catherine listen to reason and remove the country from its yoke of fear and suspicion? Or will Jennifer have to reveal the secret only she knows about Catherine, and risk plunging the country into turmoil?

Purchase Link:-  Amazon UK –  Amazon US

My Thoughts:

This is the final book in The Division Bell Trilogy. This is also a trilogy that really should be read in order.  The Trilogy itself is set a few years in the future and the government has been active in segregating people, turning them against each other. Racism is rife and sets people of all races against each other in a big brother, whistleblower style surveillance system. The author has created a series that is quite chilling in some of its realism.

Jennifer is a disgraced Mp, she has finally been released from the British Values Centre, a place where its “patients” are brainwashed into the correct and more acceptable way of thinking. For Jennifer however, there are those that are aware of corruption and the many miscarriages of justice and are willing to help.

The culmination of this trilogy shows a country that has been held by fear gradually coming to its own realisation. The initial herding mentality that has gone on has now passed and people are starting to make little steps towards making a stand. The fear that authorities can come into your home and remove what and who they want, whenever they want is realism that many feel and don’t like. It is this and the sense of mis-justice that drives people for a change. This final book is like a political game of chess or cat and mouse.

I have enjoyed all the books in this trilogy. I like the dystopian, Big Brother, Orwellian style to it. This trilogy worked well for me, and I think it was due to it only just being set in the future, we have Brexit as an ever-present theme in all media outlets, racism and segregation are things that do still happen, peoples values and ideals are changing. I think it is the present climate that adds to this book.

If you are reader who likes political, big brother style dystopia, or a reader of general fiction then this is a trilogy I would recommend.

About the Author:

rachel mclean

I’m Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.

I’m told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories – well, I’m sorry but I can’t help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They’re inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.

You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub.

Social Media Links –  Twitter –  Facebook –  Instagram

 

 

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Love Punked by Nia Lucas @BooksNia @rararesources #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review with you all today for Love Punked by Nia Lucas as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. Huge thanks to Rachel for the invite to join the tour and also to Nia for my e-copy of her book.

Synopsis:

When her life is irrevocably altered by a post-Rave tryst on her mother’s floral patio recliner, Erin Roberts’ long-standing relationship with Humiliation takes her down a path that’s not so much ‘less well trodden’, more ‘perilous descent down sheer cliffs’.

Armed with a fierce devotion to her best friend and the unrequited love for the boy she might have accidentally married at age seven, when Erin falls pregnant at sixteen, life veers off at a most unexpected tangent.

Her journey to adulthood is far from ordinary as Erin learns that protecting the hearts of those most precious to you isn’t balm enough when your Love Punked heart is as sore as your freshly tattooed arse.

Whilst raising football prodigies and trying not to get stuck in lifts with Social Work clients who hate her, Erin discovers that sometimes you have to circumnavigate the globe to find the very thing that was there all along.

Purchase Links:  Amazon UK or   Amazon US

My Thoughts:

Erin Roberts is an average girl growing up. She is feisty, determined and will stand up for herself and her best friends. After falling pregnant at 16 after a one night stand her life is not the one she imagined for herself as she juggles being a mum with studying. With unwavering support from her family and a small group of friends, she does all she can as a mum and as a woman. Her priority in life has changed, being a mum is the most important thing in her life and they always come first, even before her…

This story is so full of highs and lows, inspirational and poignant as well. At times I got angry with Erin as I thought she was passing up opportunities for happiness as she puts her family first. But as it happens she does do the right thing and more importantly the right thing for her family. I can understand her not wanting to have a potential man in her life if they are not serious. For me, Erin grew up very quickly and at times had an old head on young shoulders. Determination has got her through some difficult situations as she gradually makes her way through the story and the early years of being a mum.

Now this story is a little colourful in language and, while it may not appeal to all readers, I think it was so appropriate for the characters, the setting and the time of the story. She says what she thinks and occasionally without a filter. This is a character that does not see the qualities that others see in her, she has doubts, fears and a strength that she is unaware of.

Now I did find I went through quite a few emotions with this book, anger, sniggering and, the odd tear. At times it is beautifully poignant and at others raucous and wild. A real modern feel to this story that tells the story of a young woman growing up that is faced with many challenges and decisions to make.

It is a book I wasn’t sure how I would get on with but I found myself completely immersed with and read in a couple of days a great debut. A story that is modern and gritty but also loving, witty and hopeful, one I would definitely recommend to readers of contemporary and literary fiction.

About the Author:

myAvatar.png

I am a UK based author of Contemporary women’s fiction who is passionate about telling the stories of strong, sympathetic, entertaining and engaging female characters and the lives that they lead. My Welsh heritage and my life as a practising Social Worker with teenagers and their families heavily influences my work as does my love of all things 90’s and an adolescence spent immersed in clubbing culture.

Social Media Links – Instagram – Twitter – Facebook – Blog

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Aphrodite’s Closet by Suzy Turner @suzy_turner @rararesources #BookReview

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I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my review of Aphrodite’s Closet by Suzy Turner with you all today. Huge thanks to Rachel for the invite onto the Blog Tour for this book and also to Suzy for my e-copy of this book.

Synopsis:

Agatha Trout didn’t even know she had a Great Aunt Petunia, so imagine her surprise when she finds Petunia left her a corner shop in her will. But it’s not just any old corner shop—it’s a corner shop that needs something unique, something the town of Frambleberry has never seen before.

Influenced by her confident best friend, Coco, Agatha is soon convinced that there’s only one way to go: an adults-only sex shop.

While some of the townspeople are clutching their pearls in horror, others are open to the new experiences this shop offers. But not everyone in Frambleberry is convinced. Will the women soldier on in the face of violent threats or will their fears get the best of them—and their new venture—before it even gets off the ground?

Purchase Link – Amazon UKAmazon US

My Thoughts:

Aggie Trout dresses far older than her years, she is a librarian and certainly fits the old, clichéd stereotype. She is left a shop by her mysterious Great Aunt Petunia. When her flamboyant friend Coco suggests going into business with Aggie, I don’t know who was more flabberghasted when Aggie agreed to open a sex shop. Here begins a story of transformation as the shop will test the girls resolve to some opposition.

Oh my goodness, what an absolute corker of a read, it had me laughing and giggling at so many moments throughout. Aggies family and friends really do compliment her and the story so well and the author has done such a great job creating them. Along with various innuendos there is the mysterious Petunia, yes she is dead but her story and why she is a mystery gradually comes out, like a skeleton from a family closet, along with a few other little titbits.

The descriptions of this classic, old style shop were marvelous and soon had me wishing I had a Great Aunt Petunia loitering around somewhere… though I don’t think an adult only shop would be my choice…

This story is about how important family and friends are. There are several secrets and stories that are teased out through the pages. It is also about how Aggie, who was the quiet, invisible one who has been wrapped up in her comfort blanket too long, finally starts emerge. The devious tactics of Aunt Petunia and the energetic Coco soon pull her out into the world and get her to experience life.

It was an absolute pleasure and delight to read this book, it is such a fun, and humorous story and I absolutely loved the lightheartedness as well as the romance and slightly more serious aspects of it. A book that I would definitely recommend to other readers.

About the Author:

Suzy Turner 2017.png

Born in England and raised in Portugal, Suzy lives with her childhood sweetheart Michael, their two crazy dogs and three cats.

Shortly after completing her studies, Suzy worked as a trainee journalist for a local newspaper. Her love of writing developed and a few years later she took the job of assistant editor for the region’s largest English language publisher before becoming editor of a monthly lifestyle magazine. Early in 2010 however, Suzy became a full time author. She has since written several books: Raven, December Moon, The Lost Soul (The Raven Saga), Daisy Madigan’s Paradise, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw, The Temporal Stone, Looking for Lucy Jo, We Stand Against Evil (The Morgan Sisters), Forever Fredless, And Then There Was You, Stormy Summer and her latest, Aphrodite’s Closet.

In 2015 she launched her popular 40+ lifestyle blog which continues to go from strength to strength, while just over a year later, she trained to become a yoga instructor. Suzy continues to write, blog and teach yoga in one of Portugal’s loveliest settings – the Algarve.

Social Media Links

Lifestyle BlogInstagramGoodreadsFacebookTwitterPintrest

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Snowflakes Over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman @LucyColemanAuth #BlogTour @rararesources #BookReview #Giveaway (Open Int’lly)

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I am delighted to be sharing my review of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman. This is part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources and I wish to say a big thank you to Rachel for the invite and to Lucy for my eBook.

You can purchase your own copy of SnowFlakes Over Holly Cove HERE

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Synopsis:

As the snowflakes start to fall, Holly Cove welcomes a new tenant to the beautiful old cottage on the beach…

For lifestyle magazine journalist Tia Armstrong, relationships, as well as Christmas, have lost all their magic. Yet Tia is up against a Christmas deadline for her latest article ‘Love is, actually, all around…’

So, Tia heads to Holly Cove where the restorative sea air and rugged stranger, Nic, slowly but surely start mending her broken heart.

Tia didn’t expect a white Christmas, and she certainly never dared dream that all her Christmas wishes might just come true…

Set in Caswell Bay on the stunningly beautiful Gower Coast, the cottage nestles amid the limestone cliffs and the woodlands, where the emotions run as turbulently as the wind-swept sea.

As cosy as a marshmallow-topped mug of cocoa, fall in love with a heart-warming festive story from the bestselling author of The French Adventure.

My Thoughts:

Tia is a lifestyle journalist for “Love A Happy Ending” magazine. She has been struggling emotionally following the recent death of her mum. Tia’s boss Clarissa is concerned for and decides that Tia’s next assignment can be done at a little cottage at Holly Cove. A picturesque setting on the Gower coast in Wales was just the thing Tia needed.

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I absolutely loved this book. It is a beautiful story of relationships within families as well as finding love. This theme is something that is mirrored in Tia’s assignment as she is tasked with writing articles about how couples and families celebrate Christmas and the New Year. As she is working for a magazine the articles are written months in advance, so there is a span between the assignment and Christmas.

This will be Tia’s first Christmas with her Mum and she knows it will be hard. Tia has a brother and is they have just been getting back to familiar ground after a disagreement left them not speaking for a few years. Christmas is a time for family and being together, not everyone is able to do this for various reasons.

While at the cottage Tia meets Nic, and does he have the weight of the world on his shoulders. He initially comes across as moody, but actually, he and Tia seem to have a few similarities. As he divulges little snippets about his life and how he is reluctant to trust people, she can see that she also has the same issue. Then there is Max, an ex-serviceman who has decided that a simple life is the way to go. The mother hen of this little group is Olwen fussing and keeping an eye on everyone is what she does best.

This is a fabulously addictive book that looks at families and relationships and the challenges that can appear. Allegations can be made and they can cause rifts, sometimes a moment to see another person’s perspective or just to listen to the other side of an argument is a way to understand the whole story.

With its wonderful setting descriptions of cottages, rugged beaches and a wonderful cast of characters bring some great imagery and a feeling of warmth. The characters are wonderful and I got the chance to see the different sides to certain individuals.

This is a book I could have happily read in one sitting and is an author I am definitely going to be reading again.

I adored this book from the start and although it came to a natural ending that felt complete, I couldn’t help feeling a little sad that I had actually turned the last page. A story that would appeal to readers who like to delve into family life, relationships, misunderstandings, and romance and is a really wonderful festive uplifting read and one I would highly recommend.

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About the Author:

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From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Follow the author on

FacebookTwitter for Lucy ColemanTwitter for Linn B Halton

Giveaway

Tour prize

Giveaway Win a signed paperback of A Cottage in the Country and a rustic wooden heart decoration (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Boardwalk by the Sea – Autumn Antics by Georgina Troy @GeorginaTroy #BookReview @rararesources #Giveaway (Open Int’ly)

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Today I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Boardwalk by the Sea – Autumn Antics by Georgina Troy as part of the Blog Tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. I just love the cover for this book, very reminiscent of the older style holiday and travel posters, and the colours really do pop out. Many thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Georgina for my e-copy of the book. You can get your own copy of this book from Amazon.uk or Amazon.com

Synopsis:

Being a part-time hand model can be tricky, especially when you have to deal with prima donnas like Megan Knight, a reality star whose meteoric rise has surprised everyone. Bella is happiest running her tiny antique business from the front room of her cottage on the boardwalk. To ensure she has enough income coming in, she also rents out two of her bedrooms and is hiding a secret crush on one of her lodgers. His name is Jack and he also happens to be her best friend Sacha’s brother.

If life wasn’t complicated enough, her world-travelling mother appears on her doorstep on the same evening that Jack’s ex-fiancée arrives on the boardwalk determined to win him back. Bella has a lot of thinking to do and soon discovers that not all gems sparkle.

My Thoughts:

This is the story of Bella and her friends set in Jersey. Bella is a hand model and is definitely glad when her latest assignment is over. Being a hand model can sometimes mean working with celebrities and Divas…Megan falls into the diva category. Bella finally gets home and settles into her normal routine when suddenly a call to ask if Megan can come and hideout on the island is made and Bella is tasked with looking after Megan… Add to this a hunky lodger, antiques, cafe, friends and family and you get a wonderful read.

This story is about Bella and those around her and I have to say this woman never stops. She is busy with her own antique business, keeping up with her friends, her hand model work and on top of that, she now has to “babysit” a reality star diva/celebrity. Megan’s arrival does cause some animosity when she first arrives but actually, she does show her true colours and turns out to be quite different from the persona she portrays. Bella’s mum also makes a surprise appearance and, although I have not read the previous book in this series, I managed to understand and get enough information that it didn’t cause any problems for me.

There are several storylines that run through the book, some are a continuation from the previous book as I have already mentioned, and again I didn’t feel I was missing anything. But I am now curious and looking to read the other books.

This is a fun read with some brilliant descriptions of Jersey and some wonderful sounding food. I did have a google at some of the mentions and found some interesting recipes to try… sorry I did slightly digress there. The author did a good job with the descriptions and I found it easy to imagine the area and also the weather.

This is an author that is new to me and based on my experience with this story I can honestly say I will be buying more of her books.

This is a wonderful autumnal read with many things that are so appropriate to this time of year. Perfect for snuggling under a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate close by as you settle into the story.

Ideal for readers who are after a relaxing read with some drama, a few laughs, a good touch of romance and a wonderful sense of community and belonging. An absolute pleasure to read. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

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Georgina Troy is a pseudonym of author Deborah Carr. She recently signed with HarperCollins’ romance imprint HarperImpulse to write an historical romance to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War. The Poppy Field by Deborah Carr will be published in e-book format on 12 October 2018 and in paperback on 27 December 2018.

Georgina was a finalist in the Contemporary Romance Category of the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards 2016 (RoNAs) with A Jersey Kiss and a finalist in the Joan Hessayon Award for new writers 2015. Her first four-book series, The Jersey Scene and books 1 and 2 of her second series, The Boardwalk by the Sea are available.

She also writes thrillers as Ella Drummond and lives on the island of Jersey with her husband and three rescue dogs and is 1/3 of The Blonde Plotters.

Sign up to Georgina’s Newsletter at: deborahcarr.org/contact

Social Media Links – WebsiteFacebookTwitterPintrest

Giveaway

How do you fancy winning a Boardwalk by the Sea tote bag and a necklace? Enter the competition below to stand a chance 🙂 xx

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Giveaway – Win an Autumn Antics Locket and Tote Bag (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Malignant by Anita Waller #BookReview @Bloodhoundbook

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I am delighted to be one of the Book Blogger opening the Blog Blitz today for Malignant by Anita Waller. This is a fantastic book that I read in one sitting and is one I would highly recommend. It is published by Bloodhound Books.

Synopsis:

What if someone set you limits?

Claudia and Heather have been friends and neighbours for many years and both women decide it is the right time for them to leave their husbands. Together they get a flat but their peace is short lived when Claudia is diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Being a good friend, Heather takes on caring for Claudia but a lethal meeting with James, Claudia’s ex-husband, results in someone dying.

As life for Claudia and Heather begins to unravel, the answer to their problems becomes clear… it’s murder.

My Thoughts:

Claudia and Heather have been friends and neighbours for years. They are each others support system and shoulder to cry on when life with their husbands gets too much. After one particular nasty event, both women decide that they have had enough and come to realise it is time to get out of their relationships. They rent a flat and finally they are free… but at what price…

Straight off I am going to say as much as I loved the crime element to this story, it takes a second place to they story of the women. Their friendship is one that has been their sanity over the years as they have listened and cried with each other. When they finally break away from the abusive husbands they have the chance to start again.

Claudia and Heather I absolutely adored, their tenacity, grit and determination is to be applauded, I am not going to applaud everything they have done, but I can see the reasoning… that’s all I’m saying!

The emotions run high with this book, from an emotional prologue right the way through the story to the moving Author Notes. This for me is where this author really excelled, the tone and feeling felt just right. When a terminal illness diagnosis made its appearance into the story, I was so angry as by this point I cared about the characters, I wanted to them to have a happy life. The author did such an amazing job of creating characters I could empathise with. By the end of the book the term “blown away” springs to mind for the journey that I had been taken on.

I suppose I should say a little something about the crime element of the book… the crimes work well and do feel plausible for those involved and that’s all I’m giving you! It does have a very real presence in this book and one that threw up some unexpected turns of events.

This is a fabulously brilliant book that deals with many emotions in various forms. It is a heartbreaking book in so many ways taking me from elation to despair as the characters take risks, form stronger bonds and deal with betrayal and loss and so many other things. If you are after a book that deals with family, relationships and friendship that takes dark turns and twists that will hook you from the very beginning then you really do need to read this. It is a book that falls into so many categories such as crime, thriller, suspense, family drama, family life, relationships, abuse…Oh and MURDER!!!

This is a book I would highly recommend for so many reasons, and as I read Malignant, the film Thelma and Louise came to mind… two women setting out to make a new start in their lives xx

About the Author:

Anita Waller.jpgAnita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children.
She began writing when she was around 8 years of age, writing ‘compositions’ at junior school that became books with chapters. She wrote several novels in the romance genre and then realised she wanted to add murders to the romances, so she morphed into a psychological thriller author. Beautiful was her first completed novel in this genre.
The manuscript was submitted to Bloodhound Books who, within three days of reading it, offered her a contract. 31 August 2015 it was released as an ebook, to be followed a couple of days later by the paperback version.
Following the outstanding success of Beautiful, she began a sequel on 27 December 2015, finishing it on 19 March 2016. The new novel, Angel, was launched on 7 May 2016.
Her third novel, 34 Days, followed Angel and was launched on 3 October 2016 to outstanding success; at its highest level, it was #26 in Amazon charts. It is selling equally as well in the US and Australia and has sold over 15,000 copies in the first eight weeks following publication.
She then took time out to temporarily change genre; Winterscroft, a supernatural novel, was launched on 7 February 2017. While she was writing Winterscroft it became clear that fans of 34 Days wanted a sequel, and on 10 August 2017, Strategy was launched.
She is now working on her sixth novel, A Legal Issue, once again set in Sheffield, and once again a psychological thriller.
In addition to writing, she also teaches patchwork and quilting – a little reference to this is likely to surface in every book!
She is a lifelong Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! More than a little reference to this is likely to surface – see 34 Days!

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