Sunny Skies and Summer Kisses by Eliza J Scott @ElizaJScott1 @rararesources #romance #contemporaryfiction #family #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Sunny Skies & Summer Kisses by Eliza J Scott. This is part of the Life on the Moors series. It is a wonderful series and each book can be read as a stand-alone.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog tour and for arranging my e-copy of this wonderful book.

No matter how hard you fight it, love will always find a way…
Ever since she was a little girl, dance teacher Anoushka Cartwright has dreamed of opening her own dance studio near her home on her beloved North Yorkshire Moors. And when she gets the chance to do just that she can hardly believe her luck!
Life is sweet. Or it would be if it wasn’t for her relationship with Damon which has been growing increasingly toxic, much to her family’s concern. Critical of her dreams he can’t understand why she won’t move to the city of York and live with him. He refuses to accept their relationship is floundering until the day Anoushka breaks up with him.
Popular indie/folk singer, Gabe Dublin, hails from Southern Ireland. He’s been head-over-heels in love with Anoushka ever since he first set eyes on her at a wedding two years earlier. She’s the reason he keeps returning to the area, staying with his friends, Lady Caroline Hammondely and her husband Sim, at Danskelfe Castle. Gabe and Anoushka have become good friends, but she’s always made it clear they could never be anything more, which is tearing Gabe’s heart in two. He knows he won’t be able to love anyone else the way he loves Anoushka.
Her family and friends can see how perfect they are for each other but Anoushka is adamant, after her experience with Damon, she has no room for a man in her life. She makes a pact with herself to focus all of her attention on her dance school. And she intends to keep it. The only thing is, it’s not as easy as it seems.
When an unexpected situation throws them together, Anoushka’s feelings are exposed for the world to see. The question is, will she act on them or will she stay true to her promise to herself?
Join Anoushka and Gabe – and all the other Life on the Moors Characters – for the latest heartwarming visit to the characterful village of Lytell Stangdale in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors.

Purchase Links – AMAZON UK US

MY REVIEW

I have read quite a few of the Life on the Moors series, somehow along the way I have missed the odd one so it was great to catch up with the comings and goings in Lytell Stangdale. This story focuses on Anoushka, or Noushka as she is often referred to. If you have read any of this series, she is the stepdaughter to Kitty.

Noushka has finally had enough of her controlling boyfriend, no one seems to like him but she will not be pushed into a decision based on others’ opinions. These opinions, although, well-meaning, are not, however constant so Noushka feels she can make her own mind up about Damon.

After she finally makes her mind up, she is surprised at how he went storming off, but more surprising is when he tries to win her back. After all, she is nothing without him, she needs him to get away from the country yokels and make a success of herself! Yes, he is that sort of person, and the author does a cracking job of allowing this character to get under the readers’ skin.

The one thing about this series is the wonderful community spirit and friendships that are in abundance. The families are supportive, and Noushka soon finds that she has made the right decision. She just wished people would now leave her be and stop trying to set her up with Gabe, a singer and songwriter. They have been friends for ages and Noushka can’t see him as anything else. Besides, she has only just got out of a relationship and is not looking for another. Instead, she wants to finally achieve her dream of opening a dance studio.

They say things happen for a reason, and they happen when you need them the most. This is something that the author has really nailed in this story. As I mentioned, I have missed a couple of books, but the characters soon came back to me. Things are not a given and neither are chances. I love how the author kept tiptoeing around certain key points and didn’t hold back on things that help to explain more about how Noushka feels about things in general.

This is a really wonderful book and I was glad to come back to some wonderful and memorable characters. I adore this series and I am annoyed that I have missed a couple, but I will be back-tracking to read books 4 and 6!

This is the one really great thing about this series, each book can be read as a stand-alone, but obviously, you get to know the characters better if you read all the books. This latest book works well as a stand-alone, but then I had read Kitty’s Story, so I was aware of her storyline.

Fabulous story, ideal for fans of contemporary fiction, romance, family and friendships and with a wonderfully supportive community. I would definitely recommend this one.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Bio – Eliza lives in the North Yorkshire countryside with her family. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her kindle or working in her garden, fighting a losing battle against the weeds.
Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming romance stories with relatable female characters. Her books will always have happy endings.

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The Mensch by Leopold Borstinski @Borstinski @ZooloosBT #historicalfiction crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Mensch by Leopold Borstinski. While I am delighted to share I am also sad that this is the final book in the Alex Cohen series. It has been a fabulous series to read and an absolute pleasure to support in the Blog Tours.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this wonderful book.

How can a crooked man ever go straight?
Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen settles down in Florida surrounded by his wife and family. But his past life in the criminal underworld stalks his every move and when a bullet whizzes past his ear, he must decide whether to run or fight.


In his desire to go straight, Alex inserts himself in the East Coast porn film industry, only to find that the tentacles of the mob are clasped tight around his life. With the Feds using new laws to hunt down mob bosses, and rats in his own organization all too ready to testify against him, Alex must clean house before the authorities throw him in jail or the mob kills him to stop him ratting them out.


The seventh book in the Alex Cohen series is a historical thriller novel, which reveals the dying embers of Jewish organized crime in America. Leopold Borstinski’s crime fiction shines a light on the death of the old-style mob in an explosive finale.

PURCHASE LINK – HERE

MY REVIEW

Mensch is a Yiddish term for a person of integrity and honour (according to Google). Could you call a gangster a man of honour or someone with integrity?

In this final book in the Alex Cohen series, the author takes a glimpse, at times of the past, of Alex. From his beginnings when he arrived at Ellis Island to where he is in 1965. He started in The Bowery’s and has gradually emerged into a name that is revered i8n the gangs of the US. The author has had him in the mix and rubbing shoulders and swapping stories with Alfonse Capone, The Kennedys, Fidel Castro and Frank Sinatra.

As the years have passed, Alex has become a husband and a father, he has a close-knit group of friends and business partners. He has worked hard and has put himself in danger many times. and occasionally the lives of his family. He has known a vast number of people and some of them have walked away unharmed!

In this final book, Alex is contemplating his future. He has always said that certain parts of his business will become legitimate and others will go to his oldest and closest business partners and friends. As the author gradually approached the 70s, the once feared name of Alex has started to lose some of its impact. The FEDs have been around for many years, but recently the noose is tightening around the old-style gang bosses. Eager to remain free, there are some who are not averse to turning witness.

Alex has always had a motto and it is one that has been mentioned several times in each book. In this final book, it is mentioned even more. If you have followed the series then you will know to what I refer.

I have enjoyed this series from the very start, following the highs and the lows. The Mensch is a book that feels slower, and it sort of makes sense to me as Alex is starting to slow down. But, that does not for one moment mean he is relaxing and taking things easy. He is getting things in order and this means huge amounts of travelling for face-to-face meetings. I think by slower, I mean he is spending time thinking over the past, the present and the future. Life is going to change, what and when that change will be, well you are going to have to read this one to find out.

This is a series that is one for those who like historical fiction that is based around the gangsters of the US. From an unknown immigrant to one who has associated with the rich, the famous and the notorious. A fab series and a brilliant finale in this final book. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.
There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.
He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

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Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland @JessicaRedland @rartraresources @BoldwoodBooks #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland. I have followed this series from the very beginning and adored each of the books. So it is with sadness that I read this final book, I will miss the characters and the Hedgehogs.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher Boldwood Books.

It’s the countdown to Christmas at Hedgehog Hollow Wildlife Rescue Centre, and everyone is gearing up for a festive season to remember…
It should be the most wonderful time of the year for Samantha and Josh as they prepare for the arrival of their first baby. But life at Hedgehog Hollow rarely goes to plan and the pair are faced with adversaries, old and new, and unexpected challenges to overcome.
Fizz’s job at the heart of the rescue centre is a dream come true but her personal life is more like a nightmare. With her love life a disaster and her past about to dramatically catch up with her, she needs the love and support of her Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever.
As the snow falls over Hedgehog Hollow, will Samantha and Fizz find the Christmas miracle they need to overcome their heartache and find happiness?


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

Oh, this is such a bitter-sweet review as this is the final book in this series, although the author does mention the possibility of coming back to some characters mentioned. I for one hope that she does.

This has been a fabulous series and one that I have read from the very first when there was no rescue centre, when the house was run down and where an elderly man was alone. The author has created such a heartwarming series and each step of the way I have been hooked. Following the comings and goings of the people, the families and friends and obviously of the little prickle balls themselves.

This final book is another heartwrenching one, although it is also full of wonderful surprises and new starts. Yes it does have Christmas mentioned ( this book was released in September btw) and it was a refreshing book to read in the August sun.

Family and friends are looking toward Christmas, but it is going to be a strange one in some ways as things don’t remain the same. I did like the way the author didn’t make it excessively festive but concentrated on the close-knit family, extended family and close friends of those who have been part of Hedgehog Hollow over the years. Christmas is a time for remembering things and not all are good. there are some very tough times ahead for some of the characters as they have to admit things that they have kept hidden for far too long.

Sam and Josh are awaiting the arrival of their new baby, and this is one of the new starts I have mentioned. There is a sense of fear and excitement as they await the birth, but there is also plenty of other things going on in the story. It does have a feeling that the author has started to bring things to a close, but it has been done in such a wonderful and natural feeling way.

This book was a real emotional rollercoaster, there were so many moments when I had to swallow a lump in my throat or wipe away the odd tear so I could keep reading. I would love to share all these moments but I am deliberately avoiding this.

A vague-ish review as such as I don’t want to spoil any of the numerous and wonderful moments if you are still to read this one.

If you are a fan of contemporary fiction and romance with family and friends being the focus then you need to have a look at this series. There is romance, trouble, challenges, expectations and so many wonderful surprises throughout the series and also this final book.

This has been a fabulous reading journey and I have learnt more about hedgehogs and this has been incorporated into the storylines so well.

Fabulous series, with amazing characters and wonderful storylines that I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Redland writes emotional but uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast where she lives with her husband, daughter and sprocker spaniel. Her Hedgehog Hollow series, set in a hedgehog rescue centre, takes readers into the beautiful rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.


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Vendetta by Edie Baylis @ediebaylis @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #crime #thriller #gangland #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Vendetta by Edie Baylis, this is the 3rd book in The Allegiance series. I am loving this series and if you like gangland thrillers then this is one that should be on your radar.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley.

Who can you trust?


Once bitter enemies, Samantha Reynold and Seb Stoker’s powerful alliance enable their firms and casinos to go from strength to strength. With the families no longer in opposition, it seems that Sam and Seb are untouchable…


But not everyone is happy with the new power couple of the club world.


Unbeknownst to everyone, someone new wants to see Sam’s perfect life ruined. And they will stop at nothing to seek their revenge – even if it means destroying everything – and everyone – in their path.


With tensions high, Sam and Seb must put their trust in each other completely. But can they trust those closest to them? Or do they have a vendetta of their own?


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

This is the 3rd book in this series and while this could be read as a stand-alone book, I would suggest you read the series in order. There are several characters in this series that you are introduced to over the previous books, and, there are some ongoing storylines.

Sam Reynolds and Seb Stoker were rivals, but they both own businesses and they have gradually learnt to trust one another, so much so that marriage is on the cards. Sam has had a good upbringing and never fully realised how her father operated his business, so when she took over it was definitely an “in at the deep-end” move. Luckily she has had Seb there to help her and back her up, he along with his brothers own a casino. Both businesses work and there is now a problem with Seb, it leaves him moody and this unsettles Sam.

Now before you, you think this is just a story about Sam and Seb, there is far more to come. And boy does the author know how to turn the screws in this story, I found myself on the edge of my seat trying, and failing to work out how on earth the two storylines are going to add up. The second storyline is one that the author weaves brilliantly. It starts out tentative and then when things are in place the author then ramps up the tension and the danger.

With two storylines and also a few subplots, this is a fast-paced book and it suits this gangland thriller to a tee. Bringing in characters from the past and working with them as she has, the author has shown different sides to Sam and Seb. Sam is not quite the naive woman she was in the first book and Seb finds that he doesn’t want to risk Sam at all.

I adored how the author twisted the characters and had them do their worst. There are some mentions of prostitution and drugs, and to be honest it is part of the genre that these feature as part of the plot. They are tackled well and they do show a seedy side to casinos, clubs and the gangland scene.

This was addictive and at times brutal and I loved it. I think this is due to the fact that I have read each of the books in this series and I have grown to like some of the shadier characters. I know that they have dodgy and dangerous dealings, but the author shows a family and loyal side to these characters.

There is an ending to this book that I liked, yep a bit of a cliffhanger and I cannot wait to see what she is in store for Sam and Seb in the next book.

Fabulous series, tense, danger-ridden, and with a strong gangland thriller feel. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Edie Baylis is a successful self-published author of dark gritty thrillers with violent background settings. She lives in Worcestershire, has a history of owning daft cars and several motorbikes and is licensed to run a pub. She has signed a five-book deal with Boldwood and the first book in her new ganglit series, set in Birmingham, was published in January 2022.

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The Darkest Sin by D.V. Bishop @davidbishop #20booksofsummer #historicalfiction #crime #murder #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Darkest Sin by D.V. Bishop. This is the second book in the Cesare Aldo series and it is absolutely brilliant. My huge thanks must go to the wonderful Eva aka @noveldeelights who first introduced me to this series 🙂

This is book 19/20 in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge, and yes the final book has also been read!

The Darkest Sin is an atmospheric historical thriller by D. V. Bishop, set in Renaissance Florence and is the sequel to City of Vengeance.

Florence. Spring, 1537.

When Cesare Aldo investigates a report of intruders at a convent in the Renaissance city’s northern quarter, he enters a community divided by bitter rivalries and harbouring dark secrets.

His case becomes far more complicated when a naked man’s body is found deep inside the convent, stabbed more than two dozen times. Unthinkable as it seems, all the evidence suggests one of the nuns must be the killer.

Meanwhile, Constable Carlo Strocchi finds human remains pulled from the Arno that belong to an officer of the law missing since winter. The dead man had many enemies, but who would dare kill an official of the city’s most feared criminal court?

As Aldo and Strocchi close in on the truth, identifying the killers will prove more treacherous than either of them could ever have imagined . . . 

MY REVIEW

This is the 2nd book in the Cesare Aldo series and you really should read the first book City of Vengeance as part of this story has links to the previous. Also, the first book gives a brilliant introduction to Aldo as a person, as an investigator and also the people in the city of Florence in this time period.

Set in Florence in 1537, Aldo is asked to see about the reports of intruders but finds the body of a man in the convent of Mary Magdalen. It is inconceivable that a nun would be responsible, but how and why this has happened is something that Aldo may not even be asked to investigate in. Aldo works for the Otto, the administration of the criminal court at the time. The murder is on Church grounds and therefore not under the same jurisdiction.

Another Otto constable is looking into a missing man when he discovers a body. Constable Strocchi is a new recruit who was introduced in the first book, while he is still wet behind the ears, he does pick things up and is learning the art of dealing with the criminal and underworld elements. He is very principled, newly married and under pressure to get results.

This second book is fantastic, and while I loved the first one, this one is even better. I think this is due to the fact that I am already aware of the main characters, their roles, their personalities and traits. The does mention the cases and details of Strocchi and Aldo, but it is so much better to already know them before starting this one.

The two investigations are run separately, so the author does flit back and forth between the two. I love this as it means I am eager to return to each of the cases to see what has progressed. The cases are different in the way they are investigated, but the basics are the same. Trying to discover the leads, getting to the truth, recognise the lies and taking the time to think things over.

It was great to see Aldo and Strocchi working sep[erately as it meant I got more insight into each of the characters and also what they are thinking about. They obviously have different priorities in their lives and this is a great way of really getting under the skin of each character.

The cases are brilliantly worked out, morals and dilemmas I do love them. Putting a character in the firing line, yes I adore that as well. The author chose some interesting routes for his characters and this meant the story had a great pace, constantly evolving and throwing up different challenges.

This is a fabulous book and it definitely cements this series as one that I will definitely be keeping up with. This is one for those who like historical murder mysteries with a complex storyline that is also easy to follow when you are in the zone. I really didn’t want to put this one down and read it in two sittings.

Excellent storyline, and interesting characters, can’t wait for the next book and it is one I would absolutely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D. V. Bishop writes the Cesare Aldo mysteries set in Renaissance Florence. The first in the series, CITY OF VENGEANCE, won the New Zealand Booklovers Award for best novel and was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. Long listings include the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award, the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel, and the CWA’s Historical Dagger Award. The second Cesare Aldo mystery, THE DARKEST SIN, was published in March 2022.

Bishop was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship while writing CITY OF VENGEANCE. The novel won the Pitch Perfect competition at the 2018 Bloody Scotland international crime fiction festival and was a Sunday Times Crime Club Pick of the Week. Global bestselling author David Baldacci called the novel ‘a first-class historical thriller … a tour-de-force.’

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The Dark by Sharon Bolton #20booksofsummer #crime #thriller #NetGalley #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Dark by Sharon Bolton. This is the 5th book in the Lacey Flint series and it works very well as a stand-alone.

This is one I have had on my TBR for a while now and is why it featured on my #20booksofsummer list. This is 18/20 on my challenge.

ONCE, SHE SAVED HIS LIFE…
NOW, HE’LL TAKE HERS.

When a baby is snatched from its pram and cast into the river Thames, off-duty police officer Lacey Flint is there to prevent disaster. But who would want to hurt a child?

DCI Mark Joesbury has been expecting this. Monitoring a complex network of dark websites, Joesbury and his team have spotted a new terrorist threat from the extremist, women-hating, group known as ‘incels’ or ‘involuntary celibates.’ Joesbury’s team are trying to infiltrate the ring of power at its core, but the dark web is built for anonymity, and the incel army is vast.

Pressure builds when the team learn the snatched child was just the first in a series of violent attacks designed to terrorise women. Worse, the leaders of the movement seem to have singled out Lacey as the embodiment of everything they hate, placing her in terrible danger…

MY REVIEW

This is the 5th book in the Lacey Flint series and it works exceptionally well as a stand-alone. The synopsis for this book doesn’t really give much away but it does take a route that has an almost dystopian feel to it, it is an amazing psychological thriller that I absolutely adored.

Lacey Flint, a police officer for the Thames River Police. She lives, works, plays and essentially breathes on the Thames. It isn’t a shock when she happens to be on hand while off-duty with fellow work colleagues when a baby is snatched. The full repercussions of this crime are not known at this point and an elaborate search for the hidden and secretive members of a male-only group. The group is organised on the dark web, it takes experts within the department to try to uncover who they are, what their motives are and how they organise themselves. The limelight is on Lacey though as she is the one responsible for rescuing the baby.

As the investigation proceeds, it becomes more twisted and Lacey, DCI Mark Joesbury and the rest of the team are up to their eyeballs in trying to work out what is going to happen next. The threat is real, they have already proved their intentions. The online group are going viral, their message is heard and it is being acted upon by many. They are men that hate women, they are happy to threaten and scare women, and they are getting bolder. Women should be at home, they should support the men and be subservient, and they should not hold responsible jobs!

the author has taken a brilliant approach with this storyline, actually, it is more than one story and these have been brilliantly twisted and incorporated into each other to provide a thrilling and addictive story.

As I have not read any other books in this series I found this particular book to be a good one to start with as it does take the reader back in time to the main protagonist, Lacey. An event in her past provides something that the author has linked and connected to the present-day setting.

There is a large psychological aspect to this story as the theme of males hating females and then acting upon it and being led by online content becomes very believable. As the group gains momentum it becomes even more believable and the sad thing is that there are occurrences of this type of violence in the news on a regular basis along with many other forms of hate crime.

This is a thriller that is fast-paced, following Lacey’s story, the investigation, the increased threats and how things progress are brilliant. Everything is linked but how that eventually plays out took me by surprise. There are subtle hints along the way, but I didn’t realise this until I had been led to the fabulous conclusion.

Brilliant read, addictive, thought-provoking and with some great plot twists. I really enjoyed this one and I would definitely recommend it.

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Rough Diamonds by Gillian Godden @GGodden @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #crime #gangland #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Rough Diamonds by Gillian Godden. This is the latest in the series and the Diamond Ladies take the lead.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy via NetGalley

Rough Diamonds
Flawed, tough, unbreakable…


In the aftermath of her husband’s shocking murder, Patsy Diamond wants answers. Who was Nick really? Where is all his money? And who killed the man she once loved? Patsy knows exactly who to go to first – Nick’s pregnant mistress, Natasha.


Natasha might seem young and innocent, but Patsy’s certain the girl is hiding something. And the only way to find out what is to keep Natasha close and make her part of the Diamond family.


With the two women forming an unlikely bond, they begin to dig deeper into Nick’s secret life and discover things that shock…and terrify them.


Because Nick Diamond played a deadly game and if the women in his life want payback, then they are going to have to follow his rules – or break them and make their own.


But the strongest diamonds are created under pressure and these women are no exception…


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

This is the latest book in the series that focuses on the Diamond Family. Nick Diamond has been shot, and the repercussions of his death are far-reaching. Some will be pleased that he is gone, others though see an opportunity to take over his patch.

This latest in the series see’s the focus change to the women in the Diamond family, Mother – Victoria, Wife – Pasty, Mistress – Natasha and those who are close to the family who live in one of the rougher parts of Scotland.

Pasty is threatened and she starts to realise that there was more to her husband’s activities than just him being a solicitor and money launderer. She discovers that her husband Nick had more underworld business dealings than she had ever realised. Splitting her time between London and Scotland, Patsy desperately tries to discover the truth and where Nick had hidden the large amount of money that is missing.

Seeing the Diamond women step up and take charge was something that I really liked. The author didn’t change their characters at all but instead made them determined. It would have been easy to toughen them up, but this is not who they are. Now don’t get me wrong, they are not people to be taken advantage of and they do have a bite, so the author does just enough to give them what they can deal with at the right time.

While Patsy doesn’t come across as likeable, her character is determined, and she really isn’t a woman to be messed with. She has made decisions and will act on them, who they will benefit in the long run though, well we will have to wait and see.

While this is the next book in the series, it is also one that marks a new chapter in the Diamond family. New contacts, friendships and business partners are needed but who to trust to watch your back is something that you will discover as the story unfolds.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is one for those who like their crime thrillers with a gang-style kick to it, brutal at times but very addictive reading. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gillian Godden is a brilliantly reviewed writer of gangland fiction as well as a full-time NHS Key Worker in Hull. She lived in London for over thirty years, where she sets her thrillers, and during this time worked in various stripper pubs and venues which have inspired her stories.

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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 Retreat by Sarah Pearse @TransworldBooks #thriller #policeprocedural #NetGalley #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Retreat by Sarah Pearse. This is the second book I have read by this author, the first one The Sanitorium (full review HERE) was a tense and very addictive read.

My huge thanks to Bantam Books and Transworld Books for accepting my review request for this title via NetGalley.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Sanatorium, a Reese’s Book Club Pick, detective Elin Warner’s second outing, as she uncovers the truth behind the suspicious deaths on a stunning island getaway.

Most are here to recharge and refresh. But someone’s here for revenge. . .


An eco-wellness retreat has opened on an island off the English coast, promising rest and relaxation—but the island itself, known locally as Reaper’s Rock, has a dark past. Once the playground of a serial killer, it’s rumoured to be cursed.

Detective Elin Warner is called to the retreat when a young woman’s body is found on the rocks below the yoga pavilion in what seems to be a tragic fall. But the victim wasn’t a guest—she wasn’t meant to be on the island at all.

When a guest drowns in a diving incident the following day, Elin starts to suspect that there’s nothing accidental about these deaths. But why would someone target the guests, and who else is in danger?

Elin must find the killer—before the island’s history starts to repeat itself . . . 

MY REVIEW

This is the 2nd book in the Detective Elin Warner series, the first one being The Sanitorium that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Retreat took me a few chapters to get into as there were several characters to get used to and also different timelines. Once I started to recognise these I found it a much more coherent story. With the different characters there are back stories that the author has also given, these didn’t make much sense until I started to realise who was who and what their relationships are.

If you read the previous book you may remember that Elin has struggled and she still doubts if she is up to the job. When she gets sent to an island off the Devon coast to look into a suspicious death she really has to get her act together. The island has a mysterious past that has been fueled by hearsay, local legend and also murders in the past. Hoping to change the local and public image of the island by turning it into a luxury retreat.

This is a story that takes a while to get settled, but once I got to grips with things I found it really hard to put down. It has a tense air to it given its isolated location, the tales and also the overall general feel of the place. While some are there literally to unwind in the spas, pool and yoga lounges others can take advantage of the watersports. This is a rugged island that the owners have tried to tame for the benefit of its paying guests. This again is something that doesn’t altogether well with some.

This does get more complex as the story progresses, but it is easier to follow. There is more to this than a mysterious death and I do like the atmospherics that the author has brought into the book using the island itself almost as its own character. The island gives it a “locked room” feel and you can feel the danger looming.

As well as the crime and police procedural side of this story, there are also some personal stories, those of the main characters for this story and for the returning ones. AS this is the second book in the series the author is still fleshing out Elin and I am looking forward to getting to know her as the series progresses.

This is one for those who like tense crime, thriller, procedural murder and mystery novels. After the first few chapters it becomes very addictive and it is one that could be read as a stand-alone, but to be honest, this is only the 2nd book so why not read them in order. This is a book I would happily recommend.

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

No Escape by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk #crime #mystery #murder #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for No Escape by Robert Crouch. This is the 8th book in the Kent Fisher Mysteries series and I have loved each one. The series is brilliant as it follows Kent during his time as an Environmental Health Officer who also owns an animal sanctuary and is also a sleuth in his “spare time”. The series is best read in order as you do get a full image of Kent’s character and his life.

One reckless moment, so many lives

Gemma Dean goes missing one chilly October morning, leaving behind her phone. Texts hint at secrets far darker than Kent Fisher could ever imagine.

When a body is found in his burned-out car over a hundred miles away, murder brings the past crashing into the present with the first in a chain of painful discoveries.

Struggling to make sense of a past that threatens to devastate his future, Kent faces his most personal and challenging investigation so far.

But how will he deal with the fallout from one reckless moment that cost so many lives?

PURCHASE LINK – HERE

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE – HERE

MY REVIEW

Over the course of this series, Kent Fisher has dealt with murder and the mysteries that surround them. This latest book however brings murder and mystery to his doorstep. It leaves him questioning the past and the future especially when it is Gemma Dean that is missing.

Gemma is a character that has popped up before, Kent is smitten with her but not everyone is a fan of Gemma. Kent’s nearest and dearest offer their sympathies and are obviously worried about how Kent is dealing with the disappearance, others are not surprised. But when a body is found in his car there is obviously something more to this than a woman who has disappeared.

Turning to a personal side of this latest book, the author shares more of Kent’s past and also the enigma that is Gemma. Snippets and only a very small amount of information is known about Gemma. This leaves Kent stumbling around trying to discover more about her to see if he can find leads and also trying not to get in the way of the Investigating officers.

Having read every book in this series I liked how the author brings this more personal touch. Kent’s former job as an Environmental Health Officer gave him opportunities and access to databases. Now, he has nothing to go on as he no longer works for the EHO. Instead, he has to use his wits and a few trusted contacts to try to find any tiny details.

Seeing Kent in new circumstances was really interesting. He has become more vulnerable as he is more reliant on the information of others rather than discovering it himself. Frustration and the occasional outburst of anger are seen and again this is something that was interesting to read. I have the image of Kent as being more detached from his investigations, determined and focused, whereas now he is a little obsessive, abrupt and is taking far too many risks. This makes sense given the close nature of this mystery.

This story had a different vibe from the others, the characters are still around but the focus is well and truly on finding Gemma. The animal sanctuary is mentioned, but this does take a more understandable back seat, thank goodness he has a great group around him to keep him propped up and supported.

This was a very tense murder mystery for me, after all, it does involve one of my favourite fictional characters. The author has taken Kent on a dangerous road and there are repercussions for him and those around him. Things feel fragile as secrets and confessions are told and I am eager to see how the author deals with these as well as Kent’s next move into Private Investigator. A cracking read, one for crime, murder, and mystery readers and one I would absolutely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Do you love complex murder mysteries?

Do you enjoy a backstory and characters that develop as a series progresses?

Do you like a contemporary setting and humour?

Robert Crouch incorporates all three in his novels, drawing on his own experience in environmental health to create a sleuth for today’s world. Being neither a police officer nor a private investigator, he brings an original twist to the murder mystery genre.

To find out more please take a look at Robert’s website HERE

Or sign up for his newsletter HERE and receive a free copy of Fisher’s Fables.

Also on Twitter

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