A Secret Gift by Amanda James @amandajames61 @OneMoreChapter_ #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for one of my favourite authors. A Secret Gift by Amanda James is a fabulous contemporary fiction story set in Cornwall.

My thanks to the Publisher One More Chapter for accepting my request to review this book from NetGalley, for an honest and unbiased review.

Escape to Cornwall for an enchanting, heartwarming new novel about friendship, hope and second chances…

Three years ago, Joy Pentire lost her firefighter husband and she still hasn’t returned to the woman she once was. But then she meets Hope, one of the residents at the nursing home where she’s a carer.

Hope has a secret gift that she wants to pass on.
And Joy’s life is forever changed.

Surrounded by the community in her Cornish hometown, Joy’s unexpected inheritance soon leads to new opportunities, new friends, new love, and the part of herself she’d thought forever lost … her joy.

A heart-warming, joyful story of the power of personal connection. 

PURCHASE LINK – HERE

MY REVIEW

Firstly, now that I have finished reading this book I can appreciate how the gorgeous cover fits in with the story. I have been a fan of this authors stories for quite a while now and have read most of her books. She is an author who crosses genres and does it very well indeed.

This story is about Joy, a widow who is getting by. Not ready to move on after the death of her husband. She works at a local care home. while it is a job it is not what she originally hoped to do. Talking of hope, Hope is the name of one of the residents and if I am honest one of Joy’s favourites. Hope doesn’t have long left, she knows it as does Joy, so Hope bequeaths on Joy a secret and a jar of pebbles! Sounds a bit random I know, but the story that follows is one that I found captivating. So captivating that I read this book from start to finish in one sitting!

This is such a gorgeous read, a story of a young woman trying to deal with life. Working, helping others and not quite fulfilling her life, she isn’t miserable, but she isn’t happy. Melancholic I think would sum her up.

The secret, well if I told you what that was it wouldn’t be a secret, but believe me when I say it is something quite special. It is a secret that not only helps others but will in time help Joy herself. And yes, the pebbles are part of it.

This is another wonderful and captivating story. It has some wonderful sentiment and emotions to it. I found the main character of Joy, to be a really lovely one. Friendly, warm and one of life’s plodders. She plods along doing her best. The author does inject a touch of romance, but for me, the story was about friendship and helping others. About being a friend, a shoulder and supportive when needed, also about trying to move forward after heartache, about trusting people and your instincts.

This really was a lovely story and one I adored and would definitely recommend.

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

The Hotel at Honeymoon Station by Tilly Tennant #NetGalley @Bookouture #20booksofsummer #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Hotel at Honeymoon Station by Tilly Tennant. This is the 2nd book in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

Run away to the Dorset countryside, to the sleepy village of Honeymoon, where rose-adorned thatched cottages soak up the sunlight and Emma is risking everything for a brave new start on life and love…

When Emma’s useless fiancé tells her a lie she cannot forgive, she decides enough is enough. She leaves him, quits her dead-end job and travels hundreds of miles away to the ancient village of Honeymoon in the Dorset countryside, to help her friend Tia turn the old train station into a boutique hotel.

Tia has told Emma that it will be a project, but when Emma arrives in Honeymoon and sees a weed-choked crumbling ruin, her vision of an idyllic life in Dorset begins to disintegrate. But when she meets twinkly-eyed builder Aiden in the village shop, and sparks fly between them, she can’t help but feel that the stars have for once aligned.

As work begins on the hotel, Emma and Aiden grow closer, and on sun-dappled evening walks, he tells her the secrets of the village. But there are some villagers who wish that Emma had never arrived in Honeymoon… And when Emma is involved in a terrible accident on site, and then discovers what Aiden has been keeping from her, it feels like the universe is telling her to leave Honeymoon for good. What if she was wrong to say goodbye to all that was safe and familiar? Will she ever be able to find her happy-ever-after in Honeymoon?

A completely gorgeous and romantic read about being brave and taking chances on love and life. Fans of Shari Low, Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will be enchanted by The Hotel at Honeymoon Station. 

My Review…

I have not read all of these authors books, but the ones I have read have been fabulous. The Hotel at Honeymoon Station is another wonderful and heartwarming read. Perfect for summer escapism.

The main two characters in this book are Emma and Tia. They kind of were friends at school but not really in the same social circles. They are definitely characters that are chalk and cheese. Emma, I discovered has had more to worry about as she has grown up than Tia. Whereas Tia is more energetic and outgoing, Emma is more reserved and staid. She will admit to being boring, with no imagination. So, given this, it is quite surprising for her to take on a project that means walking away from the monotony of her, life, her waste of space boyfriend and her family.

Even though it does appear out of character, she wants a new start. Something she can get excited about and with a friend in the form of Tia.

I love how the author brought these two characters together and not only embraced their differences but made them part of the story. While it is mainly more about Emma, Tia has a very large and important part to play. As do, the erm local builders! The author has once again played on differences with the buff, building, brothers Aiden and Blake, and to great effect as well I may add.

The story was entertaining as well as being a discovery about the characters themselves. Starting a new life when you are risking everything is going to be scary. Emotions, worries, stress, finances are all going to work the way to the surface at some point. What you do with them once they are there though, well you will have to read and discover yourself.

This is a wonderful story, gorgeous and with a mostly welcoming community. Finding their way in and around the area is another way of the author showing the differences, not only with Emma and Tia but also with Aiden and Blake.

This is a gorgeous story and one that I read over two sittings, although if I had started it earlier in the day I would have easily read it in one. This is a story that is about family and friends as well as finding the courage to stand up and take a chance. If you have read this authors books before then you know you are going to be in for a treat. This is one for fans of contemporary fiction with a heartfelt warmth to it and a good dash of romance. It is one I would definitely recommend. 

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

A Hare’s Footprint by Celia Moore @CeliaMooreBooks #FoxHaltFarm #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Hare’s Footprint by Celia Moore. This is sadly the third and final book in the Fox Halt Farm series, one I have enjoyed from the very start.

CELIA MOORE’S A HARE’S FOOTPRINT is the final part of the Fox Halt Farm trilogy  – the compelling epic tale with a backdrop of Dartmoor, Devon continues… There is so much of the past that Billy has spent years avoiding. There’s a future where dreams could rip everything apart. And someone has a deadly vendetta. Should you grasp at your dreams?

My Review…

I have read and enjoyed every single one of the book in this trilogy and it is quite sad that it has come to an end. It is one that you do need to read in order to understand the complex backstories that the author has gradually woven throughout each of the books.

The subtitle – Grasping at Dreams is such an appropriate title for this final book. The dreams are not just for one of the characters but for several, some more obvious than others. Billy dreams of building up the Fox Halt Farm business to include ice cream, her husband Richard dreams of finally finishing work and having time to explore and travel. Others want to do their best for loved ones and others are determined to upset the applecart. As for the main title of A Hare’s Footprint, well that you will discover more about it in the story itself!

This book was quite an emotional roller coaster, especially between Billy and Richard, they were so hell-bent on following their dreams that they got caught up in their own excitement without thinking of the other. Any changes to the running of the farm have implications that run further than the everyday schedules and routines. Sometimes being so determined and dogged in wanting to do the best can leave you blind to the feelings and wishes of others.

Within this trilogy there have been several major events, the author still links them and brings them back into play. This is why I do recommend reading it from the beginning. The author really did put her characters through the mill, as she has done in the past. This time it makes people have to stop. Give them a chance to process what they have. While it was emotional and also compelling reading it gave the characters a chance to re-evaluate not only themselves but also the role they have in the larger scheme of things.

This has been such a wonderful trilogy and it is a contemporary fiction saga that revolves around the family and friends of Fox Halt Farm. It has had many twists and unexpected surprises, love, loss and life. Some magical moments, some fun moments and all in all a very compelling series. It is a trilogy I would definitely recommend.

See what other Book Bloggers have to say about this book and trilogy…

A HARE’S FOOTPRINT IS THE SEQUEL TO CULMFIELD CUCKOO & FOX HALT FARM and below are some of the reviews of those books ~

★★★★ STARDUST BOOK REVIEWS ‘not only a story of romance and love, but of mystery and intrigue’

★★★★ Audio Killed the Bookmark ‘perfect amount of romance and mystery’

★★★★★ B FOR BOOKREVIEW  ‘suspense as well as the drama…read like a hot knife through butter’

★★★★ Splashes into Books ‘a frightening roller coaster ride’

★★★★ 3 DEGREES OF FICTION ‘entertaining and captivating read’

★★★★ Dash Fan Book Reviews  ‘gritty, enthralling, and got my hooked’

★★★★ ME AND MY BOOKS  ‘wondering who to trust as the story played out’

★★★★ Kraftireader  ‘great story with characters’ multi-layered personalities’

★★★★ BEING ANNE  ‘had me reading into the early hours to the book’s conclusion. And it’s quite a conclusion’  

About the Author…

An image posted by the author.

Sign up for Celia Moore’s news and updates HERE or visit her Website

Celia Moore is the author of the Fox Halt Farm series, a unique series blending romance, suspense, and secrets. Celia lives in Devon in the South West of the United Kingdom and is a keen gardener and runner too – always accompanied by her scruffy border x jack russell terrier called Tizzy.

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

Summer Serendipity at the Twist and Turn Bakery by Helen J Rolfe @HJRolfe #PublicationDay #contemporaryromance #bookreview

When Helen Rolfe messaged me to ask if I would would like to read her latest Heritage Cove book, Summer Serendipity at the Twist and Turn Bakery, it was a no brainer. Absolutely! Delighted to! It’s Heritage Cove and of course it is one of Helen’s books!

So, I am delighted to share my review today and would like to wish Helen a very Happy Publication Day 🙂

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It’s summer in Heritage Cove, the picturesque village by the sea. Join some of your favourite characters and welcome new faces in this uplifting, romantic read brimming with character, community and friendship…

The Heritage Bakery is finally getting the makeover it deserves, with sisters Jade and Celeste modernising the place and putting their own stamp on it while retaining all the charm of days gone by. But Jade has far more planned than a brand-new kitchen and fancy cake designs. She’s ready for an even bigger change in her life. It’s almost time to take the next step and she knows just what to do to make that happen.

Etna owns the village tea rooms and when she hears that local man Harvey is looking for a labourer to help him renovate the bakery after being let down at the last minute, she suggests to her nephew Linc that it may just be the change he needs to get his head straight. Linc arrives in the Cove willing to give it a go and he works hard, but what he hadn’t envisaged was anything bordering on a romance – not with his track record or what he’s involved in right now.

When a tall, dark, handsome stranger appears in the village and turns Jade’s world upside down, will it be enough to make her abandon her plan before she even sets the wheels in motion? And has Linc missed his chance to tell her how he really feels?

It’s almost time for the wedding of the year for one of the village favourites and the annual Wedding Dress Ball. But when the sun begins to set, will anyone else be lucky in love?

This summer read is Book 3 in a series of standalone novels set in Heritage Cove, the little village by the sea…

A wonderful romantic treat, perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Ali McNamara
.

Purchase Link – AMAZON UK

My Review…

What a treat it was to come back to Heritage Cove and catch up with all the locals once again. It is such a fabulous community and the author really captures the sense of belonging and offers such a warm welcome.

This is the 3rd book in the series and I have read them all and loved them. You could read each one as a stand-alone, as they do work well but in my opinion, you would be missing out on some fabulous stories about the unique residents and the bonds they have.

This store starts, as the title suggests, at the bakery run by my sisters Jade and Celeste. The story focuses on Jade and the intro doesn’t leave her in the best of moods. Hoping for a lie-in, she is rudely disturbed by a lot of noise. The refurb has started earlier in the day than she had arranged. Armed with a hangover she confronts the rude intruder.

Well, I have to say I would have been very much the same as Jade, I am not a morning person but I may make an exception if I was met by the gorgeous Linc! He is the nephew of Etna, the owner of the Tea shop. He is just odd-jobbing trying to work out if or where he is going to settle.

One thing you learn is how welcoming the Cove is, especially when there is a family link (or Linc!!!) Plans for the refurb of the bakery, alterations to the Waffle Shack, other odd jobs and offers of various kinds have been woven into this gorgeous story.

The author has once again created such a wonderful story but one where there is a secret or two that is lurking waiting to be told. These secrets mixed in with the goings-on in the cove, a wedding, the odd night at the pub with the regulars and of course the scrumptious mentions of food give the reader a whole lot to enjoy.

A gorgeous, family and community centred story that was an absolute joy to read. It had me grinning like a loon several times. A heartwarming and wonderful story that fans of this author will adore. One for readers of contemporary fiction and romance, and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Helen J Rolfe writes romantic fiction and contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community.

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Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries where she thinks her readers might like to escape to.

Helen J Rolfe also writes for Orion Books under the name Helen Rolfe.

Born and raised in the UK, Helen graduated from University with a business degree and began working in I.T. This job took her over to Australia and it was there that she finally turned to what she loved and studied writing and journalism. She spent a while freelancing for women’s health and fitness magazines, volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases, and eventually began writing fiction in 2011. And now, she thinks she may just have found her dream job.

Helen currently lives in Hertfordshire, UK, with her husband and their children.

Helen loves to hear from readers so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. She can be found at – Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

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

The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood @Authormary @panmacmillan #hist/fic #saga #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood. I was so surprised and absolutely delighted when a copy of this book landed on my doormat, so my huge thanks to Pan Macmillan for my amazing book post.

Any regular visitors to my blog may be aware that I am a big fan of Mary’s work, she also writes under the pseudonym Maggie Mason. This author definitely knows how to write a saga, so if you love your historical fiction then you need to check out some of her books.

Let’s look at the first in this new trilogy by Mary…

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The Jam Factory Girls is an uplifting and emotional novel of friendship set in the heart of pre-WWI London from bestselling author, Mary Wood.

Life for Elsie is difficult as she struggles to cope with her alcoholic mother. Caring for her siblings and working long hours at Swift’s Jam Factory in London’s Bermondsey is exhausting. Thankfully her lifelong friendship with Dot helps to smooth over life’s rough edges.

When Elsie and Dot meet Millie Swift, they are nervous to be in the presence of the bosses’ daughter. Over time, they are surprised to feel so drawn to her, but should two East End girls be socializing in such circles?

When disaster strikes, it binds the women in ways they could never imagine. Long-held secrets are revealed that could change all their lives…

Purchase from Amazon UK – Mary’s book are very accessible and you usually see them in the supermarket and you can of course order them from your local book seller.

My Review…

It is always an absolute treat to read a book by this author, especially when I get to read the first book in a new trilogy. The Jam Factory Girls is the first in this new trilogy and it is a wonderful book from start to finish.

This book introduces two Eastend girls Elsie and Dot, and also the Jam factory owners daughter Millie. An unlikely friendship blooms between these girls, they just get on so well. Millie’s friendship would be looked down upon by her parents just as the girls’ friendship with Millies would be. In an era when social classes are still very evident, and classes should not mix it is an unusual relationship, to say the least.

For me, Elsie was the main character of the three and her story is told more so than the others, but the author knows how to weave a tale that involves the three. Hardship, poor working conditions and living conditions are described and show that even when times are tough, there are always those that are in a worse condition.

The over-riding feeling through this book is one of friendship, loyalty and wanting to do the right thing. Not always easy when a good deed can be seen as charity and pride is a priority. The story tells of not just the friendship between the girls but also includes the going on in the factory, the rise of women calling for their own rights in the workforce.

This is an absolutely fabulous book and one that I adored. The author has once again transported me back in time and delivered such a heartbreaking at times story, but one that also injects hope for the future into it. If you are a fan of sagas and historical fiction then this is a book that is definitely one that should be on your list. If you have read any of this author’s books then you know you are going to be in for a wonderful read. The Jam Factory Girls is a book I would definitely recommend. 

About the Author…

Mary Wood

Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers on her Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels
And on her web page: http://www.authormarywood.com
She is also on Twitter: @Authormary

Mary welcomes all contact with her readers and feedback on her work.

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

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

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

Let me show you about this book…

Synopsis…

One question can change everything.

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

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

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

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

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

My Review…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 24-Hour Cafe by Libby Page @LibbyPAgeWrites @orionbooks #CompulsiveReaders @Tr4cyF3nt0n #24HourCafe #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for The 24 Hour Cafe by Libby Page. I am joining with Tracy at Compulsive Readers as part of the Blog Tour. I read it way back in November and I can now finally share my thoughts…

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Welcome to the café that never sleeps. Day and night Stella’s Café opens its doors for the lonely and the lost, the morning people and the night owls. It is many things to many people but most of all it is a place where life can wait at the door. A place of small kindnesses. A place where anyone can be whoever they want, where everyone is always welcome.

Meet Hannah and Mona: best friends, waitresses, dreamers. They work at Stella’s but they dream of more, of leaving the café behind and making their own way in life.

Come inside and spend twenty-four hours at Stella’s Café; a day when Hannah and Mona’s friendship will be tested, when the community will come together and when lives will be changed…

I read this book over a couple of sittings and found it such a relaxing book. This book is about the people who visit or work in the 24-hour cafe called Stella’s. It is told in 24 chapters as the clock marks each hour.

There are two main characters, Mona and Hannah. They are friends and also work as waitresses in Stella’s, each works a 12-hour shift and so I got to see the customers that they met of their shift. I really liked how the book was laid out because not only did I get to read about each of the main customers for each hour of the story, I also got details into the lives of Hannah and Mona.

Their backgrounds are told through a series of memories and go through their backstories up until they work at the cafe. It delves into their hopes, dreams, disappointments and frustrations. I did really like both of these characters and their stories. As I said there is a focus on a customer for each hour. Now, this is what I really liked because it was like people watching from the perspective of either Mona or Hannah, and also you get the story from the customer themselves. For me, this worked really well and though it is only a snapshot into a persons life, it is very representative of the cafe life.

So with the customers’ stories, this is almost like a story of short stories that intersperse the main story of Mona and Hannah. Their stories come across as more like short stories as they are not told in chunks instead they are interrupted as customers take priority.

This is a slower read and I liked the quietness of the story, there is drama and emotion throughout the story, it is not overwhelming, it is more subtle than that. The whole book was just one of those books that you can quite happily lose yourself in as I did over two sittings.

A lovely read that I thoroughly enjoyed and was a delight to read. The 24-Hour Cafe is a book I would definitely recommend.

Libby Page wrote The Lido while working in marketing and moonlighting as a writer. The Lido has sold in over twenty territories around the world and film rights have been sold to Catalyst Global Media. Libby lives in London where she enjoys finding pockets of community within the city. Follow Libby on Twitter

See what other Book Bloggers think by checking out their stops on this Tour…