The Secret Keeper by Amanda James @amandajames61 @OneMoreChapter_ #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Secret Keeper by Amanda James. I didn’t realise that this was previously published as Summer In Tintagel, it is one of the authors’ earlier books and one that I had not read so I was delighted to read it. I am aware that some of the earlier titles are being republished by One More Chapter, a branch of Harper Collins. I did get an early copy of this book via NetGalley and I also have it on pre-order 🙂

Today also happens to be the publication day for The Secret Keeper and I would like to wish Mandy a very Happy Publication Day xx

63198246. sy475

When journalist Rosa Fernley’s ailing gran, Jocelyn, passes on a long-held secret of her past in her dying days, Rosa embarks on a quest to Cornwall to find answers and resolution to free her grandmother from guilt and pain as she leaves this earth.

But in the wild, beautiful landscape of Tintagel, Rosa encounters something she could never imagine as the past comes to life and walks the beaches once more. Unravelling the truth of what happened to the man her grandmother once loved and left leads Rosa on an unexpected journey, one which unlocks not only her gran’s secrets but the secrets of who – and what – Rosa truly is…

This book was previously published as Summer in Tintagel

MY REVIEW

This author is one of my favourites and her latest offering is a mystery that reaches back to an earlier generation. This particular book has a mystery to it and also a supernatural vibe that works so well within the story and also the setting of Tintagel in Cornwall.

Tintagel is a place that is of legendary tales, mysticism and magic. The seat of King Arthur and a welcoming place for all. Although when Rosa first arrives she doesn’t make a great impression, a visitor who doesn’t understand the essence of what makes a place special and then dismisses it is always going to receive a slightly chilled welcome.

Rosa is on a bit of a mission for her elder Grandmother who had visited Cornwall when she was younger and it had left its impressing in more ways than one. It is her Grandmother that tells Rosa she must visit the area and discover what she needs to know about her Grans story and also make headway into her own story.

This tale starts with a young child, it then skips forward to a present-day setting and leads the reader through the area around Tintagel, the shops, the locals and the sights around. As much as Rosa wants to enjoy her time she is also aware of her Grans wishes an also that her Gran is coming towards the end of her time. Life and death are linked, and the link that the author has sued for her story is one that is full of heartbreak but also of something wonderful.

The story is one that deals with the past and the present and in doing so also leads to potential futures filled with optimism, hope and excitement. Unexpected revelations and meetings prove hard at times but others give the nudge that Rosa needs to continue her quest. I did mention romance is part of this story and this is something that the author has woven in wonderfully. Not straightforward but it gives a great sense of hope to the reader.

This is a gorgeous written story that encapsulated the mysticism of Cornwall and also gives the reader a wonderful glimpse into village life in Cornwall. I adored this story and it was one that I had to read from start to finish in one sitting. It is one for those who like contemporary fiction and romance story that brings secrets of the past to the forefront and it is a book I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amanda James/A.K. James has written since she was a child, and as an eight-year-old, she asked her parents for a typewriter for Christmas. She never imagined her words would ever be published however. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true when she had her first short story published for a Born Free anthology. She left teaching in 2013 to pursue her dream full-time.

Originally from Sheffield, Amanda now lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the wild and beautiful coastline near her home. She loves writing uplifting books with a twist of magic, as she thinks the world needs more joy in it right now. Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

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

A Child for the Reich by Andie Newton @AndieNewton @rararesources @OneMoreChapter_ @Harper360 #historicalfiction #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted o0t share my review today for A Child for the Reich by Andie Newton. This is a heartbreaking and absolutely fabulous book and if you like reading about WWII then you want to have a look at this one.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour. This book is published by Harper Collins.

Rumours of the Nazis coming for Czech children swept through the villages like a breeze through the trees, and the story was always the same…
They wanted our children to raise as their own
Since her husband, Josef, joined the Czech resistance three years ago, Anna Dankova has done everything possible to keep her daughter, Ema, safe. But when blonde haired, blue-eyed Ema is ripped from her mother’s arms in the local marketplace by the dreaded Brown Sisters, nurses who were dedicated to Hitler’s cause, Anna is forced to go to new extremes to take back what the Nazis have stolen from her.
Going undercover as a devoted German subject eager to prove her worth to the Reich, the former actress takes on a role of a lifetime to find and save her daughter. But getting close to Ema is one thing. Convincing her that the Germans are lying when they claim Anna stole her from her true parents is another…

Purchase Links – Harper Collins – US UK

UK retailers – Amazon Kobo Apple

US retailers – Amazon Kobo Apple Barnes & Noble

MY REVIEW

I do enjoy reading books based around WWII, I often find there are things that I was not aware of. A Child for the Reich is one such book. There was a branch of the Reich that was responsible for collecting babies and children with the much sort after blue eyes and blond hair. This was seen as the perfect Arian child. If you were not German and you had the perfect baby or child then they would be taken, re-educated and then given to “Good German Families” to raise. In Poland, 200,000 children were removed by the NSV, these are the female version of the dreaded SS, these women were known as the “Brown Sisters”.

I had no idea about this practice so when I saw the synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it. After reading it I then had an internet search and discovered a few more horrifying facts about these kidnappings and what happened to those children afterwards.

The story is mainly about a Czech mother, Anna, who has no idea that her child is on a list to be taken until it happens. What follows is how Anna managed to discover where her daughter was taken and see how children were ‘Germanised’. This story is one of a mother’s heartbreak and determination while trying to avoid being discovered herself.

The story shows how the people of Czechoslovakia are being affected by the Germans taking over it country, their houses, businesses and it seems their families. The threat of being seen and reported is real and there is tension on the page as the author took Anna on her journey.

The regime in place for the children is awful and heartbreaking to read about as is the obvious struggle and pain of having your child stolen. This is not an easy read given the subject but my goodness it is one that I just could not leave alone. It wasn’t until I started to write this review that I realised it was 400 pages, I flew through this book in one sitting.

The author brings a horrifying and awful practice of taking children to be representative of Hitler’s vision of his Aryan race. Saying that I enjoyed reading this book feels wrong, but I did.

If you like your historical fiction set in Europe during WWII then this is one that should be on your reading list. It is a poignant and eye-opening read and it is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andie Newton is the USA Today bestselling author of The Girls from the Beach, The Girl from Vichy, and The Girl I Left Behind.
She writes gritty and emotional war stories about strong women. Andie holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in teaching. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, her two boys, and one very lazy cat.
You can find book club discussion questions on andienewton.com.

Social Media Links – Twitter FB Instagram

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @RandomTTours @OneMoreChapter_ #crime #thriller #mystery #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for 6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten. This is her first stand-alone book and I adored it. I have read all of the books in the DC Maggie Jamieson series and they are all excellent reads.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Thing Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour. For arranging my e-copy of this book from the publisher, One More Chapter via NetGalley.

ONE HOUSE
EIGHT KILLERS
NO WITNESSES

Jeanette is the manager of a probation hostel that houses high-risk offenders released on license.

At 3am one morning, she receives a call telling her a resident has been murdered.

Her whole team, along with the eight convicted murderers, are now all suspects in a crime no one saw committed…

MY REVIEW

As the short but snappy synopsis tells, Jeanette is the manager of a Probation Hostel when one of their residents is murdered. Given the reason for the residents being in the hostel, it becomes a mystery as to who could have murdered Danny Wells. Some would say he deserved what was coming, others that he deserved a second chance.

I really enjoyed the way this story was laid out. Done in quick chapters alternating between Jeanette, the killer and also a reporter called Sloane. The chopping and changing worked really well and the author, in my opinion, moves effortlessly between the characters and the pacing of the story is maintained.

There are a few characters in this story, not too many as to get confusing and they soon become memorable. I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the characters and this is down to the way the author has portrayed them. Not fully knowing their backgrounds until later in the story meant I was wrong-footed a few times as my opinion of them changed. It also meant I never really had a clue as to who the culprit was and why he committed the murder.

This is a procedural story in some ways as the police are obviously involved, but for me, it was also a fabulous mystery as I was taken into the different aspects of the hostel, the staff, the residents and also the views of a neighbour. The hostel had been received by the local community with anger. It had appeared in the news and this is why Sloane is taking such an interest in it.

Sloane does her own digging and makes her own inquiries. This doesn’t sit altogether well with the Detective in charge of the case, it also means she isn’t entirely welcome at the hostel. But, having a reporter as one of the investigators of the story means you get a different side to the case.

This is a fabulous story and one that had me hooked within the first couple of chapters. As there are different agencies involved there are various anacronyms, they are something that at times annoy me as I have to try and remember what the initials refer to. The author does explain the meanings and where necessary she mentions refers to basic procedures.

I have to admit something here, I really, really adored this one and I preferred it more than the DC Jamieson series. I do think this change of direction to a standalone was a great move, and while I do still look forward to reading more about Maggie, I do hope the author continues to go off track and mix things up. A cracking read and one that I would definitely recommend, ideal for fans of crime, mystery and thriller readers.

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 – Twitter – Facebook

CHECK OUT THE OTHER STOPS ON THE BLOG TOUR…

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

New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow #LoveHeartLane #contemporaryfiction #romance #NetGalley @OneMoreChapter_ #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for the latest book in the Love Heart Lane series. New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse by CHristie Barlow is a gorgeous read. If you have read any of the books in this series, then you are going to adore this one.

My huge thanks to One More Chapter for inviting me to read this title via NetGalley.

This is the 9/20 book in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. I really must get caught up with the rest of the reviews for this!

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what

‘A letter, a death, and a baby girl whose name will begin with “L”…’

When Heartcross’ resident clairvoyant tells Molly McKendrick to expect a whole lot of scandal and upset to blow in with the approaching winter storm, Molly doesn’t know what to think.

With a baby on the way any week now, and Christmas not far off, the last thing Molly needs is drama, but when she crosses paths with Bree, a sixteen-year-old homeless girl, and takes her in from the cold, secrets from the past flood the present and Molly, her partner Cam, and their son George, are soon experiencing a holiday season filled with unexpected festive surprises… 

MY REVIEW

This was a refreshing book to read as it has a right chilly feel as winter sets in at Heartcross in Book 9 of the Love Heart Lane series. Refreshing because I was sitting out reading this in a very hot garden at the beginning of July!

This book takes us back to the Old Bakehouse, obviously, the title gives this away and it was great to catch up with Molly and Cam. This is a lovely couple and they work together so well, but things are a little off with them and it’s not just down to Molly being pregnant. There is something more going on and things don’t improve when Molly brings in an unknown girl who was at the local shelter for those who are homeless. This is something that Cam normally would not have minded, but as I mentioned things are not quite as happy and rosy as they should be in the Bakehouse.

I adore this series and this latest book was great to read as it took us back to one of the couples featured in some of the earlier books. While getting the Bakehouse up and running has been tough, things could get tougher still and with the pressure of another addition to their family, he is a little wound up.

The community of Heartcross is a close-knit one, some families go back generations and some residents have lived there all their lives and have seen many comings and goings. There isn’t much that goes on without someone being in the know or at least noticing something that reminds them of things past.

Another story means getting to know the characters a little more and also a chance to introduce others. In this case, Bree, is a young girl who is homeless and a little edgy but has a heart of gold. The only thing is will anyone see past the stereotype of a homeless person image she has?

Once again there are a couple of very serious subjects tackled, there are some wonderful heartfelt moments and also a sense of dread. I will say that there are also a couple of damp-eye moments in this one as the story and the mystery of the past began to emerge.

If you have read any of the books in the series then you are going to adore this one. It can be read as a stand-alone but these are much better read in order. This is one for those who like a wonderful community, family and friendship feel of a story, some serious and fun moments and an all-around fabulous read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author

Christie Barlow is the international bestselling author of twelve romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.
Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
When Christie isn’t writing she enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.
Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.
Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

www.christiebarlow.com

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

The New Doctor at Peony Practice by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow @OneMoreChapter_ #NetGalley #romance #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The New Doctor at Peony Practice by Christie Barlow. This is the 8th book in the Love Heart Lane series, it can be read as a stand-alone as all of the books can, but they are much better read in order as you get to know the community.

My huge thanks to One More Chapter for the e-copy that I requested via NetGalley.

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what

All’s fair in love and…medicine?

Dr Katie O’Neil has only been in Heartcross a few hours when she finds herself already ruffling feathers – not least with medical school nemesis and new colleague Ben Sanders.

Katie’s the woman Ben loves to hate and until now he’d hoped he’d never set eyes on her again but now she’s back – and living next door!

When a charity boat race down the River Heart puts the two in direct competition, sparks fly. The winner takes it all, but who will it be? And will their prize be far more than they were expecting… 

MY REVIEW

This is the 8th book in the Loveheart Lane series, and I have read and loved every single one of them. Each book can be read as a stand-alone, and the series is set in the wonderful village of Heartcross.

The story is based at the Peony Practice surgery, taken over and is run by Dr Ben Saunders and receptionist, Helly. Since the retirement of Dr Taylor Ben has been working at full tilt, not any time for time off. He and Helly decide they need another doctor at the practice.

Dr Katie O’Neill was Ben’s nemesis at Uni, she was always top of the class, best of the best, and all-rounder achiever and he always played second best to her. He isn’t best pleased when it turns out that she is going to be the new Doc in the village and it doesn’t take her long to make herself at home.

If you have read any of the books in this series you will realise what an amazing community the author has created. Having read all the books I definitely look forward to returning, it is almost like returning to your favourite holiday spot and catching up with the people.

This story is one that has its share of serious topics, this time it is for family secrets and dementia that have a seat at the table along with the characters. The author has chosen and researched her subject well, as she always does. This one for me felt more personal as I work with the elderly, some of whom have different stages of dementia. The explanations and details the author includes are basic but important and it does give an insight into the different sorts of dementia. I liked how the author highlighted this disease but also mixed it with a storyline that works so well.

There are, as I mentioned family secrets, these were not ones I expected, but my goodness does the author work them so well into this story.

The highlight, or rather the focus of the story is the camaraderie and competitiveness between Katie and Ben, but since their time at Uni, they have changed. They manage a good working relationship, but will it last. How competitive are they really?

This is one for readers who love a heartwarming story, with a fabulous cast of characters and some serious topics. The community spirit is warm and welcoming and I adored this one a lot. I would definitely recommend it.

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

The Forgotten Beach by Amanda James @amandajames61 @OneMoreChapter_ #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Forgotten Beach by Amanda James. This is an author who writes some fabulous books, and I am really enjoying her latest ones that have a nice twist to them.

This is 2 of 20 in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

For Cornish artist Sennen Kellow that moment comes with the discovery of her late gran’s epic love story – a story that happened years before she ever met Sennen’s grandfather.

Now, as Sennen digs into her grandmother’s past and discovers a forgotten beach, a hidden poem, and a love that blazed brightly before Fate intervened, her search for answers leads her on a fated journey of her own. One which sees history repeating itself, and Sennen faced with a chance at the kind of once-in-a-lifetime love her gran experienced…but only if she’s willing to risk everything.

On the forgotten beach at the edge of the land,
lies a forgotten treasure beneath the sand.
A cup of kindness for Auld Lang Syne,
Sweeter than the finest wine.
In a parting glass from years gone by,
Dwells a magic strange to you and I.
Sup it down before you part,
to find the truth within your heart.
 

MY REVIEW

Oh, Amanda James, you have once again written a wonderful book. This one was absolutely fabulous.

Sennen Kellow is a local artist and shop owner. She is given a poem that her grandmother had written, there is a secret beach local to her. The only way to get to it is through the grounds of an old property, when her curiosity finally gets the better of her, Sennen decides to have a look and see what she can find out.

This is where she meets the rather abrupt, aloof and brusque owner of the property. A London lawyer who isn’t exactly charming, but does grant her a tour of the house and grounds. Not wanting to discuss why she actually has an interest in visiting as he doesn’t appear to be very open or pleasant.

The author has woven a tale that spans the generations and gives a wonderful account of families of the past. A time when money and status were paramount and marriage for love was worth nothing. The story gradually emerges and it is one that has some wonderful heartwarming moments as well as moments marred by grief.

While the situation for Sennen is intriguing, the author twists a wonderful comparison between the past and the present. It drew me further into the story and at times left me nervously turning the pages wondering if history would repeat itself.

I loved this sense of tension and the uncertainty that the author injects into this story. Using the past and the present, with mystery and romance and then twisting certain things to create a captivating story.

This is one for readers who love to read a contemporary fiction style story, that has echoes of the past, with a complicated and not necessarily straightforward romantic angle. I have to say this is a fabulous read and I loved to see mentions of characters from other books mentioned. While this is part of a series, you could read this as a standalone. But, if you did you would miss out on some wonderful storytelling from one of my favourite authors.

A cracking read from the first to the last page and also the author’s notes add a wonderful touch at the end. I would definitely recommend this book. 

The books in the series are…

Each of these can be read as stand-alone books as they are stories in their own right.

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

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.

58237429. sy475

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