Merrily Ever After by Cathy Bramley #festivefiction #contemporaryfiction #chicklit @orionbooks #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Merrily Ever After by Cathy Bramley. This is a title I saw on NetGalley and decided to request for review. What a wonderful story this was and my thanks to Orion Books for accepting my request to read this.

Merrily Ever After

Two strangers. One big secret. And a Christmas to remember . . .

Merry has always wanted a family to spend Christmas with, and this year her dream comes true as she says ‘I do’ to father-of-two Cole. But as she juggles her rapidly-growing business, wedding planning and the two new children in her life, her dream begins to unravel.

Emily is desperately waiting for the New Year to begin, so she can finally have a fresh start. She has always put her family first, leaving little time for happiness and love. When her beloved father Ray moves into a residential home, she discovers a photograph in his belongings that has the potential to change everything.

As past secrets come to light, will this be a magical Christmas for Emily and Merry to remember?

MY REVIEW

This was such a gorgeous story to read and it is based around two women. They live in the same town but don’t actually know each other. One runs a candle shop the other works as a school secretary.

Merry has a wonderful-sounding shop that sells candles, the name of the shop is Merry and Bright and it sounds amazing. It is the run-up to Christmas so it is a naturally busy time, she also has a wedding to get ready for.

Emily has settled for a secretary job as it fits better with her father. He has dementia and is becoming more confused, Emily looks after him but has to contemplate a change for him into a care home.

A chance meeting between the two women happens while Emily and her Mum are out shopping, when they bump into each other again they recognise each other. However, Emily knows something about Merry now and isn’t sure how to broach the subject.

If you are after a book that will tug on the heartstrings then this is one that should be on your list to read. Yes, it is a festive-themed book as it does include Christmas markets, a wedding and the obvious festive season. This is simply a time of the year, the story that hides underneath the glitter and baubles is one that is simply gorgeous.

Both women are facing changes ahead for different reasons, and the sense of family is strong in each woman. I have to be so careful about what I say as there are so many wonderful moments within this story, there are several layers that are gradually unwrapped and believe me when I say you may need a tissue or more.

This is a story of discovery and of acceptance. Looking towards the future and allowing changes to happen as well as settling some secrets of the past. I do hope I have intrigued you with this title and you pick it up to read because it is fabulous. One for fans of contemporary fiction, festive fiction, and families and it is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cathy Bramley is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, Appleby Farm, Wickham Hall, Conditional Love and The Plumberry School of Comfort Food. She lives in a Nottinghamshire village with her family and a dog.

Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted, romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has been always an avid reader, never without a book on the go and now thinks she may have found her dream job!

Merrily Ever After

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

The Siege by John Sutherland @policecommander @Tr4cyF3nt0n @orionbooks #compulsivereaders #crime #thriller #mystery #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Siege by John Sutherland. This is a fabulously tense, thriller that had me absolutely hooked. Also, very Happy Publication Day to you John 🙂

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging for my copy of this book from the Publisher – Orion Books.

Nine hostages. Ten hours. One chance to save them all.

Lee James Connor has found his purpose in life: to follow the teachings of far-right extremist leader, Nicholas Farmer. So when his idol is jailed, he comes up with the perfect plan: take a local immigrant support group hostage until Farmer is released.

Grace Wheatley is no stranger to loneliness having weathered the passing of her husband, whilst being left to raise her son alone. The local support group is her only source of comfort. Until the day Lee James Connor walks in and threatens the existence of everything she’s ever known.

Superintendent Alex Lewis may be one of the most experienced hostage negotiators on the force, but there’s no such thing as a perfect record. Still haunted by his last case, can he connect with Connor – and save his nine hostages – before it’s too late?

MY REVIEW

This was such a tense book and it soon became obvious to me that I was not going to put it down until it was finished. A brilliant story from start to finish.

As the synopsis shows, there are 9 hostages, and only 10 hours to save them. The story revolves around three main characters, Lee, Grace and Alex.

Lee is a young man who takes the 9 people hostage.
Grace is one of the hostages.
Alex is a police negotiator.

There are other characters that have supporting roles, but the focus is on these three. How they came to be in the situation they are in. But more importantly, this story gets under the skin of the characters, into their minds and this makes it a fabulously addictive read.

In some respects, this is a slow-paced story, tentative steps, planning, conversations, background and negotiations are all wrapped into the personal lives of the main three. While it is slower-paced, it is also so tense and tight that it feels as if it is a faster pace. I know this sounds very convoluted, but while the essence of the negotiations is controlled the feelings of those concerned felt fraught. I think it is the element of danger, the wonder of what will happen that add a thriller feel.

Each of the characters is introduced, and their individual stories are expanded on throughout the book. As a reader, it is great to see into the minds and lives of people in situations and also into their beliefs. This does have race and immigration at its core, but there is something that is much deeper to this story. It is a story of manipulation and of false or fake news, and how easy it is for people to believe in unsubstantiated facts.

I think this is a fabulous read, the atmospheric tension makes this a page-turner and the characters are so wonderfully portrayed. My thoughts at the beginning of the book were different by the time I had finished it. There is a wonderful message behind the story and it is one that really resonated.

This is a book for fans of tense, suspense-filled crime, thriller and with a wonderful psychological feel to it. I adored every part of this book and I would definitely recommend it. Now I have read a little more “About the Author” I can see this is a guy who definitely knows his stuff, this really shows within this story. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JOHN SUTHERLAND is a father of three who lives with his wife and children in south London. For more than twenty-five years he served as an officer in the Metropolitan Police, rising to the rank of Chief Superintendent before his retirement on medical grounds in 2018. John is a sought-after public speaker and commentator on a broad range of issues, who regularly appears on TV and radio and writes for major newspapers. His first book, BLUE, written and published while he was still serving in the Met, was a Sunday Times bestseller. It tells the remarkable stories of his policing life and describes his long road to recovery following the serious nervous breakdown that ended his operational policing career.

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

The Island by Adrian McKinty #NetGalley #PublicationDay #thriller #action @orionbooks #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Island by Adrian McKinty. This is one of those books that crosses many genres so I do think it will appeal to a great many readers.

My huge thanks to Orion Books who accepted my request to read and review this book via NetGalley.

IT WAS JUST SUPPOSED TO BE A FAMILY VACATION.

A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT CHANGED EVERYTHING.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF UNTIL THEY COME FOR YOUR FAMILY.

After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.

When they discover remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.

But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare.

When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.

Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.

Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

SOON TO BE A HULU ORIGINAL SERIES 

MY REVIEW

It was the cover of this book that caught my eye, I am not going to point out exactly what it was. This is one for those of you who like an intense thriller story and it is one I really enjoyed.

Tom Baxter, his wife Heather and his two children from a previous marriage are hoping to spend some time together. Tom is a Doctor and is in Australia as a keynote speaker. Having the rest of the family join him means they can get some time together as a family.

This family is disjointed, Tom is a busy man and while he does spend time with his children it isn’t enough. Heather isn’t really accepted by the children and there are reasons for that. The children are not a barrel of laughs either, but again there are reasons.

To stop any squabbling Tom and Heather take the children out for a drive in the hope that they will see some of the country’s animals. Taking a trip to an island should be a chance for the children to get photos and also get some good tales, a chance for some family bonding maybe! They didn’t bargain for what they encountered on the island though.

This is a fabulous read and one that I really found myself drawn into. The setting of the Australian Outback is brilliant and having an island makes this an even better scene.

The characters are a mixed bag, they whine, they argue, they try their best and then they have their world turned upside down, and for some of them, this isn’t the first time that they will have to deal with some tough stuff.

I really like the way the author has used the character’s personalities, traits and nuances. This is a great way of keeping the reader on the hoof and I was never quite sure who was really what they appeared. They all have something to hide and some do it better than others, but eventually, things do become clear.

The story is one that I enjoyed, the basic bones of it are about a family that is getting through life but not really doing together. It is a snapshot of an American family that has found themselves in a situation that they never would have imagined themselves in. This is one of those stories that you can imagine a film being made of, and I am not sure that I would actually want to watch it (I don’t do creepy, horror style movies) but I have to say the book was brilliantly done.

From a slower start and getting to know the characters this book gradually built up the pace, it became more intense and it was one of those that had me frantically flipping pages. I thought this was brilliant and it is one I would definitely recommend. 

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

The Lost by Simon Beckett @BeckettSimon @Tr4cyF3nt0n @orionbooks #compulsivereaders #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Lost by Simon Beckett. This is the first time I have read anything by this author, so what better way to start than with this #1 Jonah Colley

My thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for arranging my copy of this book and for my spot on the Blog Tour.

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A MISSING CHILD

Ten years ago, the disappearance of firearms police officer Jonah Colley’s young son almost destroyed him.

A GRUESOME DISCOVERY

A plea for help from an old friend leads Jonah to Slaughter Quay and the discovery of four bodies. Brutally attacked and left for dead, he is the only survivor.

A SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH


Under suspicion himself, he uncovers a network of secrets and lies about the people he thought he knew – forcing him to question what really happened all those years ago…

MY REVIEW

10 years separate two crimes, but what and is there a link is a question that Jonah Colley and other detectives want to know.

An old friend calls Jonah for help. Little does Jonah know what is to come. It will open old wounds and put him in the firing line as far as an investigation is concerned. How innocent is Jonah and what happened all those years ago?

This is the first time I have read a book by this author but I knew when I read the synopsis it was one I wanted to read. I do love a short synopsis and the one for this story is short, it is also very intriguing.

The author doesn’t hang about with this story and it progresses at such a good pace, it works so well with the story where time is something that is important. As the main investigation gets going it feels as if Jonah has to try and stay one step ahead.

I like how the author has woven the two timelines together so well, it has helped build a larger picture and it is also a way to gradually learn more details. The major details are trickled out and rather than being one large eureka moment, there are a series of realisations, that is until you get towards the end of the story and the final piece of the puzzle is placed.

This is a story that is quite complex as I now start to try and write my review, but while reading it there wasn’t a point where I felt lost or out of my depth. Instead, the author carefully laid the story out and it was full of double-crossing, lies, secrets and twists.

The story of Jonah is a heartbreaking one, it has tormented him for years and it gives such a brutal backstory which the author has used to build his character. There are dark and emotional themes in this story, there is cruelty that gradually unearths itself and it gives this a grittier edge.

This is one for those who like an intense, edgy, dark and atmospheric story. I thought it was an excellent read with some fabulously sneaky characters and also one that I found extremely addictive, so much so that this was a one-sitting read. I would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Simon Beckett is the No.1 International Bestselling author of the David Hunter series. His books have been translated into 29 languages, appeared in the Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller lists and sold over 10 million copies worldwide. A former freelance journalist who has written for The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent on Sunday and The Observer, the inspiration for the first David Hunter novel came after a visit to the world-renowned Body Farm in Tennessee introduced him to the work of forensic anthropologists.

As well as co-winning the Ripper Award in 2018/19, the largest European crime prize, Simon has won the Raymond Chandler Society’s ‘Marlowe’ Award and been short-listed for the CWA Gold Dagger, CWA Dagger in the Library and Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year.

In addition to the six David Hunter titles, the most recent of which is The Scent of Death, he has written five standalone novels, one of which, Where There’s Smoke, was adapted into a major ITV two-part drama.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour

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

Autumn at The Cafe at the End of The Pier by Helen Rolfe @HJRolfe #BookReview

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Today I am sharing my thoughts on Autumn at The Cafe at the End of The Pier by Helen Rolfe. This is part of a series that I absolutely love and have eagerly anticipated each instalment. You can get a copy of this one from AMAZON UK

Synopsis:

Looking for love this autumn? You’ll find it at The Café at the End of the Pier… A feelgood novella and the continuation of the Café at the End of the Pier series.

Autumn brings golden leaves and crisp days to Salthaven-on-Sea – but inside the Cafe the lights are glowing, the hot chocolate is warming, and romantic sparks are flying…

Jo has found her place at the heart of the seaside community, her blind dates are fizzing with chemistry, and this season she plans to bring young and old together with her pumpkin-carving event. But Jo must also find a way to heal the rifts in her own family, even if it means facing up to some home truths.

With the mystery of Jo’s own secret admirer to unravel, there are bound to be fireworks this bonfire night at The Cafe at the End of the Pier…

My Thoughts:

Autumn has arrived at The Cafe at the End of The Pier as the busy summer rush of visitors finally starts to slow. It gives Jo a chance to catch her breath a little before thinking about Halloween and her special themed evenings.

This series is a bit special as I have followed Jo through the seasons. She is an asset to the community and is revelling in her business. It is hard work and she is still upbeat. From originally helping her Grandparents run their cafe, Jo now runs it herself and her grandparents pop in to give her a hand. Even though Jo has her own take on the cafe it still has the charm and love that her grandparents instilled.

There are a few things in this book that start to answer some of the questions that arose in the very first book, and yes you really need to read the previous stories to completely get what going on. There is a family rift, a secret admirer and not all is revealed and there are still questions to be answered… this author does like to keep her readers wondering and speculating. So as one secret is revealed another is continuing to keep me in the dark. I have my suspicions about a who… well actually I have a couple of choices but I do have a favourite… I think!!

This is very much a warm, heartwarming series and this book keeps that sense of returning to see old friends feeling as I began the story. The cafe is welcoming and full of warmth and as its autumn, hot chocolate in abundance. Sumptuous sounding cakes, lashings of soups and savouries still tantalize the taste-buds and all mixed in with friends and family to add the icing on the cake. All I need now is the cherry to top it off, roll on Christmas at The Cafe at the End of The Pier…

This is perfect for escaping into and is ideal for readers who like women’s fiction, general fiction with a hint of romance and a big slice of family and friendship, one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

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Helen J Rolfe writes romantic fiction and contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Helen writes some books in series as listed below, but all can be read as standalone books:

Magnolia Creek Series
1. What Rosie Found Next
2. The Chocolatier’s Secret
3. The Magnolia Girls

New York Ever After Series
1. Christmas at the Little Knitting Box
2. Snowflakes and Mistletoe at the Inglenook Inn
3. Wedding Bells on Madison Avenue
4. Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin – coming December 2018!

Helen J Rolfe also writes for Orion Books under the name Helen Rolfe. Her new series, Cafe at the End of the Pier, is out in 2018 and begins with a free Valentine’s short story. The series can be read in the following order:

Valentine’s Day at the Café at the End of the Pier
Spring at the Café at the End of the Pier
Summer at the Café at the End of the Pier
Autumn at the Café at the End of the Pier
Christmas at the Café at the End of the Pier

The Little Café at the End of the Pier is the bind-up version of all the Café at the End of the Pier stories in one and will be released January 2019.

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 studied writing and journalism and began writing for women’s health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn’t missed the I.T. world one little bit, although the I.T. skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website.

After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.

To learn more about Helen and her writing, find her at: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram

See the Series so far…

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

Summer at The Cafe at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe @hjrolfe #BookReview

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I am absolutely over the moon to be sharing my thoughts on “Summer at The Cafe at the End of the Pier” by Helen Rolfe. Get your copy here at Amazon UK. I am not going to lie I love this series a huge amount, so much so that I have already got the rest of the series pre-ordered 🙂 If you have read this series have you noticed what is being published on 27th December (lots of happy dancing and whooping 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!)

If you have not started this series…. Why Not ! 😦 Make amends and get a copy of the first book HERE it’s free by the way and it is a great little novella that marks the start of this fabulous series.

Synopsis:

Searching for love this summer? You’ll find it at The Café at the End of the Pier…

Since moving to Salthaven-on-Sea to help her beloved grandparents run their charming little café at the end of the pier, Jo has blossomed.

The café is at the heart of the community, and Jo is determined to serve up a little romance to her customers alongside her delicious cooking. As summer sizzles, her plans to bring the town’s lonely hearts together on blind dates, each with a specially designed menu, are finally getting into full swing…

Spring in Salthaven brought new friendships, lost loves, and a little flirtation… But as a fresh opportunity threatens to tempt Jo away from the town, will she find where she belongs – and her own love story – at The Café at the End of the Pier?

A perfect feel-good summer read, for fans of Debbie Johnson and Cathy Bramley

*****

Readers love The Cafe at the End of the Pier:

A beautifully written feel-good story that will make you smile’

‘Loved the characters and couldn’t wait to turn the page’

‘What an absolute delight!’

My Thoughts:

Each new instalment is like catching up with old friends. With the cafe being the centre of the series, I like to think of myself as sitting at a corner table listening in to the local gossip and seeing new people whilst drinking a mug of black coffee and eating one of Jo or Molly’s scrumptious culinary creations.

So through the previous stories I have got to know a little about the cafe and its owner Jo, how her life has changed since running the cafe. A few months in and the work is hard, the days are long but the rewards are definitely worth it. There is a downside however as she realises that things break, things need replacing, these are the standard run of the mill problems and give her pause for thought.

The old characters are still here and I gradually get to know a little more about them and their lives. New characters are introduced to me, though they are regulars to Jo and the cafe. A nice amount of romance is in the air as she tries her hand at match making again, and who is on the horizon for Jo? There are a few contenders and I know who I would like to see her matched up with!

There are ongoing themes from the previous stories regarding a rift, the match making, Jo’s personal life and also that of her grandparents and mum. This is where I advise reading this series in order as you build up a relationship with the characters and discover the things that make them who they are and discover how the community of Salthaven clicks.

These are wonderful stories set in an idyllic seaside cafe and it’s surrounding area. I work in a cafe/ restaurant/ice cream parlour and so know the ins and outs of working in this environment and the author really does have several aspects of the business down to a tea (pun intended 😉).

The author has built a fabulous community around the cafe and it is a hub for grandparents, parents, teenagers, couples and those who are alone. They have been incorporated into a story that has some realistic scenarios and by the end of this book there was a definite Oooohhh moment, a sneaky ending and roll on the next one.

If you are after an escape for an hour then you really must pay a visit to the Cafe at the End of the Pier series, it is charming and delightful with a warm welcome, some fabulous food and company with a side order of romance. An Absolutely Highly Recommended from me.

About the Author:

2krhc8k2oi7ko3vv94v986teti._SY200_Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Helen also writes for Orion Books under the name Helen Rolfe. Her new series, Cafe at the End of the Pier, is out in 2018 and begins with a Valentine’s short story.

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 studied writing and journalism and began writing for women’s health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn’t missed the I.T. world one little bit, although the I.T. skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website.

After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.

To learn more about Helen and her writing, find her at:

Website – FacebookTwitter

The Pier Books:

The next one “Autumn at The Cafe at the End of the Pier” is available for preorder at Amazon UK

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

#BookReview | Spring at The Cafe at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe | @HJRolfe @orionbooks

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“Spring at The Cafe at the End of the Pier” by Helen Rolfe in the second in this series of short stories.  Published by Orion Books and available on AMAZON UK as an eBook.

Synopsis:

Spring is coming to The Café at the End of the Pier… A feelgood novella and the start of a brilliant new series…

Jo has settled into running her grandparents’ little café at the end of the pier in Salthaven. She’s given it a spring-clean and a spruce-up and she’s getting to know the locals and starting to enjoy life by the sea.

But when her Harry, her ex-boyfriend, turns out to be her new accountant, feelings from the past start to flood back. He’s here to help sort out the café’s finances, which Jo’s grandparents left in a mess, but Harry seems to have a hidden agenda and Jo isn’t entirely sure spending time with him is a good idea.

Jo throws herself into her new plans for the café – turning it into a real café of love by arranging blind dates for some of the regulars. Her own love life might be non-existent, but it doesn’t mean she can’t bring a little bit of magic to the locals who have made her so welcome. This time she chooses single-dad Ben and doctor Jess. Will they find love at The Café at the End of the Pier?

And will Jo manage to put aside her feelings for Harry in order to give the café the future she dreams of for it…?

My Thoughts:

This continues on from “Valentines Day at The Cafe at the End of the Pier”, where Jo helps out at the cafe.  Now she is running her Grandparents cafe for four months and is really getting a feel for her regular customers, and realising that there is more to the business than she originally expected.  Paperwork, need I say more?

Helen has done it again for me with this book.  This book for me is very believable, I work in a cafe/ restaurant in Cornwall, a rural but near the coast location.  I love the way author has picked up on all the little aspects of this type of business, not just the achy feet, the customer nuances but also the behind the scenes aspects.  But then wrapped around this busy cafe is the story of Jo, she has a chance at a new start.  Her return to her home town means she will have to deal with an ex boyfriend, she will have to leave the bitterness of their separation behind her.

Helen gives wonderful descriptions of the cafe, the people, the town and the food.  I have a feeling that this author has a thing for cakes and smoothies as she describes them wonderfully.  I can close my eyes and see this cafe from the descriptions Helen has woven, if only it were real so I could eat those cakes. Into this there is the romantic side of Jo, too busy to look for love herself, she sets about trying to link up a couple of her customers.

I was gutted by the time I got to the end of this book, I was totally immersed in the story.  It is a wonderful story that meanders through the life of Jo, and the romantics will be spoilt for choice.  A perfect, quick read that is beautifully written feel good story that will make you smile as you read.

I love this series and I am eager to read the next one in June. Highly Recommended.

About the Author:

2krhc8k2oi7ko3vv94v986teti._SY200_.jpgHelen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

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 studied writing and journalism and began writing for women’s health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn’t missed the I.T. world one little bit, although the I.T. skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website.

After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.

To learn more about Helen and her writing, find her at: Website  ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

The Series:

There are a further two books, to follow this series, I have already pre-ordered them, but at the time of publishing this post the covers are not available :o) xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a share or like would we wonderful. 🙂 xx

#BookReview : Down The River Unto The Sea by Walter Mosley : @orionbooks @NetGalley

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Today I am sharing my thoughts on “Down The River Unto The Sea” by Walter Mosley.  It is published by Orion Publishing Group and available for purchase on 8th March 2018.  Pre order in various formats HERE.

Synopsis:

Joe King Oliver was one of the NYPD’s finest investigators until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault, a charge that lands him in the notorious Rikers Island prison.

A decade later, King is a private detective, running his agency with the help of his teenage daughter, Aja-Denise. When he receives a card in the mail from the woman who admits she was paid by someone in the NYPD to frame him all those years ago, King realises that he has no choice but to take his own case: figuring out who on the force wanted him disposed of – and why.

At the same time, King must investigate the case of black radical journalist Leonard Compton, aka A Free Man, accused of killing two on-duty police offices who had been abusing their badges to traffic drugs and women into the city’s poorest neighbourhoods.

In pursuit of justice, our hero must beat dirty cops and even dirtier bankers. All the while, two lives hang in the balance: Compton’s, and King’s own.

My Thoughts:

Joe King Oliver (AKA King) has spent time in Rikers Island Prison, after three months he is released.  He didn’t commit the crime he was accused of, it was a set up.  Ten years later he is running a P.I business and when the chance to look into his own case along he cannot resist, he wants to know who was behind his incarceration.

I will admit to being a little bit conflicted with this book and finding that writing my thoughts a little bit of a challenge.  On the one hand there are several things I liked about the story, such as King, a damaged, emotionally (and physically) scarred personality, I liked his back story and his progression through the psychological scars that he still carries with him.  Now the confusing (for me) bits.  The cast is huge, there are so many players, secondary characters and just pop in and gone characters that I found I was loosing track of who was who.  Also there are two cases being investigated within this book, that of King and then another that he is investigating.  They are both strong and I think they were too strong to run together, I wanted to read them as separate stories and feel I would have got a better understanding of them.

Even though there were some elements of this story that didn’t work for me or that I struggled with, this is a book I would still recommend.  It is a strong, complex crime, mystery,thriller with  King as the main protagonist who is gritty, emotional and interesting.

My thanks to NetGalley and Orion Books for my eARC of this book, my views are my own and unbiased.

About the Author:

91ancIK9iHL._SY200_Walter Mosley is one of America’s best loved authors. He is the author of the internationally bestselling Easy Rawlins series, and his novels include Devil in the Blue Dress, which was made into the acclaimed film of the same name starring Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle. His books have been translated into 23 languages and have sold more than 3.5 million copies to date. He lives in New York City.
Website

Author photo (c) Chip Cooper

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#BookReview : Valentine’s Day at The Cafe at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe @HJRolfe @orionbooks

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I have a novella by Helen Rolfe to share with you today.  “Valentine’s Day at The Cafe at the End of the Pier” is the first in a series of up coming stories published by Orion Books.  It is available to purchase in eBook format.  Click HERE for Amazon UK link. At the time of writing this book is currently #free

Synopsis:

Searching for love? You’ll find it at The Café at the End of the Pier…

When Jo’s beloved grandparents ask for her help in running their little café at the end of the pier in Salthaven-on-Sea she jumps at the chance.

The café is a hub for many people: the single dad who brings his little boy in on a Saturday morning; the lady who sits alone and stares out to sea; the woman who pops in after her morning run.

Jo soon realises that each of her customers is looking for love – and she knows just the way to find it for them. She goes about setting each of them up on blind dates – each date is held in the café, with a special menu she has designed for the occasion.

But Jo has never found love herself. She always held her grandparents’ marriage up as her ideal and she hasn’t found anything close to that. But could it be that love is right under her nose…?

My Thoughts:

Jo is given the chance to leave her job and relocate to help out in a cafe run by her grandparents, Molly and Arthur. With Valentine’s Day looming on the horizon Jo learns the story of her Grandparents’ engagement.
This novella is the “perfect lunch time read”. It is a beautifully told little story, it has charm and warms the heart in a lovely way. For being a novella it made an impact, enough for me to pre-order the next two books in this series.
A definite recommended read from me, it’s perfectly charming and totally yummy. I have the next two books in the series on pre-order and I am looking forward to see what happens next.

About the Author:

CATLKB - authorpic1Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

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 studied writing and journalism and began writing for women’s health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn’t missed the I.T. world one little bit, although the I.T. skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website.

After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.

To learn more about Helen and her writing, find her at: Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website

The following books in the series are available for pre-order on Amazon UK.

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Or go and get your own copy 🙂 xx

 

#BookReview : Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit : #GrippedByFear : @orionbooks : @NetGalley : #PublicationDay

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Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit and translated by Imogen Taylor. It is available for purchase in various formats and is published by The Orion Publishing Group.

Synopsis:

You’d die for your family. But would you kill for them?

Family is everything. So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour – a man who doesn’t listen to reason, whose actions become more erratic and sinister with each passing day? And those you thought would help – the police, your lawyer – can’t help you.

You become afraid to leave your family at home alone. But there’s nothing more you can do to protect them.

Is there?

My Thoughts:

This is quite a different book. It is based around the authors experiences of being stalked. We are told from the outset of the crime that has been committed, who committed it and who the victim was.

It is written from the viewpoint of the main protagonist, Randolph. The author states at the very beginning that Randolph is a version of himself.

So initially we start in present day when Randolph has just phoned the police to report the murder. We are then taken back to Randolph’s childhood, his years growing up in a still divided Germany, how he met his wife Rebecca and his life after. These details, for me, provide the main crux of the story, they are wrapped around the events leading up to and including the murder that takes place.

The murder was the result of Dieter, the neighbour and his unhealthy obsession with Randolph and Rebecca’s family. Dieter has accused them of abusing their children Paul and Fay. He is initially friendly towards the family when they move into the flat above him, but soon things change and he begins a reign of terror.

So essentially there are two stories running in this book, that of Randolph and his life story, then, that of Dieter and his terrorising of the family. There is a huge amount of information in this book and explores a vast array of topics, such as, status, class and culture, as well as lots of observational accounts of living in a divided Germany at a time of great change. It is a good genre spanning book with crime, thriller, psychological aspects and fiction.

This book is written as an account of events, it is set at a good pace with well described and developed characters. I would recommend this book to readers of Crime and Thriller, Psychological Thriller and also Fiction.

My thanks to Orion Publishing and NetGalley for my copy of this eARC.  My views are my own and are unbiased.

Praise for the Book:

What critics are saying about FEAR:

‘I’m intrigued by Dirk Kurbjuweit’s novel FEAR, about a stalker living downstairs’ – LIONEL SHRIVER, THE OBSERVER

Remarkable’ – THE OBSERVER

‘Addictive… There’s a twist at the end that is worth waiting for’ – INDEPENDENT

‘A terrifying study of a family threatened by the tenant living downstairs’ – WOMAN&HOME

‘Brilliantly done to play on every parents’ deepest fears’ – FIONA BARTON, bestselling author of THE WIDOW

What readers are saying about FEAR:

‘Thought-provoking, intelligent and genuinely chilling. It’s quite possible that we are all just a few provocations away from cold-blooded murder’ – ELIZABETH HAYNES, author of INTO THE DARKEST CORNER

A terrific, original thriller – I loved it’ JOANNE HARRIS

‘FEAR makes us sympathetic to violent revenge, accessories to murder’ – HERMAN KOCH, author of THE DINNER

‘I loved it. So rich and claustrophobic’ – RENEE KNIGHT, author of DISCLAIMER

‘The most original thriller of the year’ – NETGALLEY

‘Expertly constructed, highly entertaining and thought-provoking’ – Cloggie, Amazon reviewer

‘If you’re looking for a thriller with psychological insight, I highly recommend this one’ – Marjorie, Amazon reviewer

‘Not your usual thriller’ – Fiona, Amazon reviewer

About the Author:

Dirk Kurbjuweit is deputy editor-in-chief at German current affairs magazine Der Spiegel, where he has worked since 1999, and divides his time between Berlin and Hamburg. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize for journalism, and is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels, many of which, including FEAR, have been adapted for film, television and radio in Germany. FEAR is the first of his works to be translated into English.

 

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