The Garden by the Sea by Amanda James @amandajames61 @OneMoreChapter_ #publicationday #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #

I am delighted to share my review today for The Garden by the Sea by Amanda James. This is one of my “go-to authors”, so whenever I see a new book I am there!

Happy Publication Day Amanda xx

My thanks to the Publisher – One More Chapter for approving my request to read this via NetGalley.

A heartwarming novel of new beginnings, community and finding your tribe when you need them the most…

A precious heirloom passed down from mother to daughter…

Lowena Rowe’s beloved mum always claimed her family seedbox was special. Said to contain soil from Tintagel, the mysterious seat of the legendary King Arthur, whomever made a wish upon the box would have a beautiful garden, bountiful crops and love of their fellow man’. Lowena isn’t inclined to believe the myth but can’t part with the box, knowing how much it meant to her mum.

Starting over with a new home and a new job in the Cornish village of St Merryn, Lowena can’t help feeling lost and alone… but she isn’t the only one. Now, as a community of misfits finds solace and friendship in the shade of her growing garden, she realises there might have been truth to the mythical box after all, and she may just be growing the life and love she’s always wanted…

MY REVIEW

This is the second book in The Cornish Escapes, the books can be read as stand-alone as they are individual stories in their own right. This is an author that I will automatically read and I always enjoy her stories.

Lowena Rowe has just moved into a gorgeously sounding cottage with a wild garden that overlooks the sea. Her move also means a new job. It is a fresh start for her as she has sold her Mums home, there are certain things that Lowena brings with her to her new home, one of which is a little box that her Mum had told her was special.

This is a story that is captivating, enchanting and so wonderfully described. The author has brought together a mixed bunch of characters who have their own quirks and foibles. Zelah is fab and I do think she is one of my favourites. The thing with this story is that it felt right, by this I mean that there are some of the characters who I thought “that could be so and so from my village”. Having characters that could so easily be from your community makes for really great reading.

The story is about bringing people together, making new friendships and helping others out. Stepping out of your comfort zone is something that is tough, but there are several characters that do actually need to make this journey to realise that there is more to life.

There is a romantic element to this story and not just for one set of characters. While I do think that these were really good, it did feel a little bit too convenient, this is not a bad thing as they all fitted in within the context of the story. I just think that there is the potential for being a lot more to several of the characters and a couple of them I was really intrigued to know more about.

This is a lovely and wonderful story, it is about new starts, looking towards the future and believing. It is a heartwarming story and one that I adored. It is one I would happily recommend.

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

The Cosy Cottage in Ireland by Julie Caplin #NetGalley @OneMoreChapter_ #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Cosy Cottage in Ireland by Julie Caplin. I read this one just before Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed it.

My huge thanks to One More Chapter for approving my request to read this book via NetGalley.

Snuggle up in your favourite armchair and take a trip across the Irish sea for comfort food, cosy cottage nights and a heartwarming romance…


Talented lawyer Hannah Campbell is after a change in her workaholic Manchester life – so on an uncharacteristic whim, she books herself a place at the world-renowned Killorgally Cookery School in County Kerry. But on her first night In Ireland, sampling the delights of Dublin, Hannah can’t resist falling for the charms of handsome stranger Conor. It’s only when Hannah arrives at her postcard-pretty home at Killorgally for the next twelve weeks that she discovers what happens in Dublin doesn’t quite stay in Dublin…

Nestled amongst rolling green hills and breathtaking countryside, the cookery school throws Hannah and Conor together again–for better or worse.

MY REVIEW

This is the 8th book in the Romantic Escapes series, each book is a stand-alone and I have read some, but not all of them.

Hannah decides to do something daring, something completely out of character and books a sabbatical. She goes on a 6-week cookery school course in the gorgeous coastal area of County Kerry. What she doesn’t realise is that when she stopped over in Dublin, that the man she met will also be at the school.

Once again this author has completely entranced me with the sumptuous and breathtaking descriptions of the setting. The school is part of a large complex that sounds idyllic and in keeping with the area. The main house with various cottages dotted around that has been renovated over time to provide dwellings for the students. I loved the ethos that the author has created with this story, it centres around knowing where and how food is produced in a local and seasonal way. Using the freshest ingredients to create some very tantalising and mouth-watering dishes.

AS this is a book in the Romantic Escapes series, there is obviously a good romance element to it. The author does this so well and does manage to yet again create a mouthwatering storyline. The main characters definitely blow hot and cold, and they are not the only ones.

I really liked how Hannah finds herself to be rather lacking when it comes to cooking when she is so driven for the rest of her life, especially her job as a lawyer. This self-expectation to be good at all she tries and not taking undue risks makes for an interesting character. While she may not be the best cook she does however have an inquisitive mind, and her lawyerly instincts are niggled.

I adored how the tentative friendship/ relationship developed, nothing certain and definitely not straightforward. But there is also much more to this story than that, there are the wonderful friendships and great bickering from the other students. They bring different expectations, skills, backgrounds with them and it was wonderful to see them gradually get to know each other and form their own little group.

This is one for those who adore a heartwarming romance set within a stunning location. I adored everything about this story and it is one I would definitely recommend.

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

The Secrets of Latimer House by Jules Wake @OneMoreChapter_ #NetGalley #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Secrets of Latimer House by Jules Wake. I requested this via NetGalley from the publisher One More Chapter, a division of Harper Collins.

I do like this author and have always enjoyed her books, she also writes under Julie Caplin.

In the war against Hitler every secret counts…

Society heiress Evelyn Brooke-Edwards is a skilled interrogator – her beauty making her a non-threat in the eyes of the prisoners.

Farm girl Betty Connors may not be able to type as she claimed, but her crack analytical skills soon find her unearthing covert connections.

German ex-pat Judith Stern never expected to find herself listening in to German POW’s whispered conversations, but the Nazis took her father from her so she will do whatever it takes to help the Allies end this war.

Billeted together in the attic of Latimer House – a place where secrets abound – Evelyn, Betty and Judith soon form a bond of friendship that carries them through the war. Because nothing is stronger than women united.

Tucked away in the Buckinghamshire countryside, Latimer House, a grand country estate, stands proudly – a witness to some of greatest secrets of WW2.

Used by the SOE to hold Nazi prisoners of war, this stunning historical novel is inspired by the untold story of the secret listeners of ‘M Room’ who worked day and night to help the Allies win the war. A must-read for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Fiona Valpy, Elaine Everest, Jean Fullerton and Deborah Burrowes.

MY REVIEW


What a fabulous story this was, it does have a mix of historical fact and fiction. This is the story of three women who come from very different backgrounds but have a valuable and important way of helping the war effort. These girls are listeners and secret gathers and what they discover help Churchill and his g3enerals plot and plan to bring down Hitler and end World War II.

Judith is a quiet woman, she isn’t outgoing, more mouselike. She is one of the survivors who made her way to England and is of Jewish descent. Betty is local to Latimer house as she grew up in the village nearby. She has a farming background. Evelyn is from a monied background, private education and believes it is more important to help out where she can rather than gallivant around in social circles.

The author provides a quick intro to each of the women and to what they have been doing up to this part of the war. Each of them has a specialism that is of benefit to the goings-on in Lattimer House. Whether it is the ability to speak German or have lived there or indeed having a memory that makes connections easier.

The author brings these three together and gradually as they begin to get to know each other it is easy for the reader to do the same. It wasn’t long before I could distinguish each character, their personality and their way of thinking. Each one brings sadness with them, this is war and life being life is always going to leave an impression.

The author really does a brilliant job with the characters, the main ones as well as the supporting ones. The story has a fabulous flow and I was able to see the women doing their job and realise what an impact this actually had on them mentally.

The author has included a piece at the end of the story as she describes the role of this large Buckinghamshire house and its part in the war. A place where captured crew and pilots were taken to prior to their transfer to Prisoner of War camps in other parts of the UK. It was interesting to follow up this story by having a browse through the internet to discover more.

I found this book to be addictive and a fabulous read apart from the last 15%, it is hard to read when you have tears in your eyes. This ending was very special and I loved how the author brought the story of the three women to a conclusion. It seemed very fitting and appropriate as well as keeping in with the story.

A wonderful story with fabulous characters and one for fans of historical romance and fiction. It is one I would definitely recommend

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jules Wake’s earliest known declaration that she planned to be a writer came at the age of ten. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury brands, taking journalists on press trips to awful places like Turin, Milan, Geneva, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and occasionally losing the odd member of the press in an airport. It gave her the opportunity to eat amazing food, drink free alcohol as well as providing opportunities to hone her writing skills on press releases and to research European cities for her books.

Eventually the voices in her head persuaded her it was time to sit down and write the novel she’d always talked about. Her debut novel in 2014, was quickly followed by the bestselling From Italy With Love, published by One More Chapter, HarperCollins, which reached number 1 in the Amazon Kindle charts.

Jules’ book Covent Garden in the Snow was a Kindle Top 2 bestseller and the follow up book Notting Hill in the Snow was nominated for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Her latest books The Saturday Morning Park Run came out in August 2020 and The Spark in December 2020. Her next book will be a complete departure as The Secrets of Latimer House is her first foray into historical fiction.

She also writes cosy romantic fiction as Julie Caplin and the seventh in her popular Romantic Escapes Series, The Little Swiss Ski Chalet was published in January 2021. The next in the series The Cosy Cottage in Ireland comes out in Autumn 2021.

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

The Seaside Cocktail Campervan by Caroline Roberts #NetGalley @OneMoreChapter_ #romance #romcom #bookreview

I’m delighted to share my review today for The Seaside Cocktail Campervan by Caroline Roberts. This is a fun read and one I read a few weeks ago. I requested this title via NetGalley and the publisher One More Book granted my request.

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Bringing love, laughter and friendship from coast to coast…
Next stop: seaside, sunshine and romance!

When Lucy isn’t in her cosy cottage by the sea, she’s winding through the Northumberland coast with her loveable Dachsund Daisy, cooking up a storm at the local village celebrations. Inspired by her Italian Poppa, Lucy’s chasing a new dream with her pizza van business. And at one particular party, she meets Jack, the brooding but gorgeous owner of the Cocktail Campervan.

Wary of repeating mistakes of the past, Lucy and Jack keep it strictly business. But as the summer drifts by in a swirl of garden parties, fun and fizz, laughs and celebrations, and as the cocktail campervan creates the community they so desperately need, romance starts to blossom – one stop at a time… 

MY REVIEW

It was the title of this book that caught my eye when I first saw it, it sounds like a fabulous venture to have. The Cocktail Campervan belongs to Jack, and he has been providing his mobile bar for private events for a few years. Lucy has just got started, her venture is homemade pizzas that she cooks and sells from a horsebox.

Both took a risk on their outside catering careers and it was at an event where they first meet, not the best first meeting considering Daisy the dog made quite an impact! Working fetes, weddings, birthdays and special occasions mean they are bound to meet again at some point. A friendship forms and this is great for Lucy as Jack manages to feed some business her way. Neither one is interested in romance or a relationship, they are busy with their businesses and don’t need the hassle, the complications or the heartbreak, but they do get on and have an easy friendship.

This is a fab story of food, cocktails, amazing locations, friendship and family. I really enjoyed the feel of the story and the way the author brought the characters and their own individual stories out. Their stories are gradually teased out as their friendship grows. Very hard to make friends when you are flat out working at mainly evening functions but get to know each other they do.

The author creates some wonderful recipes, gorgeous-sounding cocktails and I was so happy to see quite a nice list of these and how to make or bake them at the end of the book. The scenery that is described ranges from dramatic and luxurious to a simple beach, all sounding wonderful. Friends and family have a part to play, while the main focus is on Lucy and Jack.

Tentative, heartwarming and wonderfully lovely read. Once for those who like contemporary romance and fiction, as well as food and drinks. A great read over the course of an afternoon and evening and one I would definitely recommend.

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

Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @OneMoreChapter_ @BOTBSPublicity #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten. I love the Maggie Jamieson series and this is the 5th book. As always I would recommend reading in order, but you can read as a stand-alone.

My huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my invite to join the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of Noelle’s latest book.

‘Hugely confident … harrowing, visceral … recommended’ Ian Rankin on Dead Inside

A brutal murder…

When a burned body is found with its teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson discovers that the victim may be the husband of one of her probation colleagues.

A dark history…

As the body count rises, the team becomes increasingly baffled by how the victims could possibly be connected until a clue leads them to a historical case that was never prosecuted.

A terrible secret…

In order to catch the killer, Maggie must piece together what happened all those years ago before it’s too late.

PURCHASE LINK – Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

I have read and enjoyed every book in this Maggie Jamieson series. The author deals with some tough and hard-hitting subjects in her books and this one is no exception!

AS the short but intriguing synopsis suggests, this is going to be a tough one especially as it may involve someone from another organisation. While this is a police procedural, the author weaves in other agencies. She does this very well and uses her own knowledge from working in the Probation service to expand on the storyline.

The team is still coming to terms with a tragedy from the previous book, it is mentioned but not enough to make it a spoiler if you haven’t read the series in order. Yes, these books can be read as stand-alone but as with all series, you do get to see a bigger picture and how the dynamics of the teams work.

The case is one that is addictive reading, it is a brutal murder that leaves so many questions for the team to work through. Bringing in specialists from various fields and agencies keep the pacing moving and the story progressing well. Things really start to heat up when a second victim is discovered and things begin to tentatively connect. This does not mean, however, that this is a simple case.

Having various other agencies and experts adds a nice touch to this series, I do like how they link in. I did however think there was a little too much explanation as to the policies and procedures. I do understand that they have their roles and some explanation is required. For me, though it did at times slow the pace and detract from the thrill of the investigation and felt just a little too much. It would however be very handy if you are reading the book as a stand-alone.

The case is intriguing, the body count creeps up and using the experience of a Profiler adds a psychological edge, while the Pathologist adds some interesting if occasionally morbid details. As well as the case there are also details in Maggie’s personal life as she finally admits to her own secrets.

This is another really good read, it is one for those who like a grittier Police Procedural story and it is one I would recommend reading.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi-agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the book love via her blog. Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here – Newsletter Twitter Facebook Website Bookbub

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour

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

Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @BOTBSPublicity @OneMoreChapter_ #DeadPerfect #crime #bookreview

Today I am delighted to share my review for Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten. This is the 3rd book in the series and another great read. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Bog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this wonderful book.

Synopsis…

A murdered woman…

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer.  The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else.  Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger.  Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls? 

Can Maggie find the depraved killer?  Or will Kate become his next living doll?

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

My Review…

Dead Perfect continues where the previous book left off, with this in mind I do think it is a series that should be read in order, you could read it as a stand-alone, but you would miss out on a lot of detail.

DC Maggie Jamieson is the main character and when her boss calls her to say there is a body that looks like one of her friends Maggie does go into a spin. Frantically trying to get hold of Kate who is notorious for not having her mobile phone with her! Kate is found and the story unfolds of a body that has a very specific wound, not a pleasant one as there is not the level of blood and gore that some murders have, but still an unpleasant one!

The author uses more of a police approach to this story as it is a focus on the investigation from Maggie’s perspective that takes s precedence. The previous books have had more focus on inter-agency involvement in her stories, while other agencies are mentioned in this story they do take more of a backseat.

For Maggie though, this is more personal, Kate is a colleague and also a friend. The author does bring the insecurities and worries from the previous case into this one and injects doubts. Maggie feels under more pressure and finds that her temper is frayed, her mood is short and I think the feeling of being on the edge of overwhelmed has been done so well.

This is story has a much more personal feeling, it is a story that explores Maggie’s emotions as well as how Kate deals with a stalker. For Maggie, the emotions and strain are more evident as she works in a team and so interacts with more people. I should also mention that there is another voice, it pops up occasionally and it is that of the killer.

Now, I did get the identity pretty early on, and I didn’t waver on my initial thought. Yes, I was right but the full extent of the why the crimes were committed was a revelation. It is a story about the journey rather than the who did it.

This is a police-procedural murder mystery book and one that general crime readers would definitely enjoy. I did and therefore I would recommend it.

About the Author…

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.

Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Subscribe to Newsletter : Twitter : FacebookBlog FB pageWebsiteBookbub Author page

Check out the other stops on the Tour…

After today I am taking a short break from social media so I will see you all soon 🙂 xx

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