Midnight In Everwood by M.A Kuzniar @HQstories #fantasy #MidnightInEverwood #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for a gorgeous story, Midnight In Everwwod by M.A Kuzniar. Also, I would like to wish the author a very Happy Publication Day for such a wonderful book.

I virtually attended an online event and saw an interview with this author. I immediately knew that this was a book I wanted to read and so immediately popped it on my wishlist. The amazing folks at HQ Stories sent me a surprise copy through the post!

A spell-binding retelling of The Nutcracker, filled with enchanted toys, decadent balls, fierce feminine friendships and a forbidden romance. For fans of The ToymakersCaraval and The Bear and the Nightingale.

There’s nothing Marietta Stelle loves more than ballet, but after Christmas, her dreams will be over as she is obligated to take her place in Edwardian society. While she is chafing against such suffocating traditions, a mysterious man purchases the neighbouring townhouse. Dr Drosselmeier is a charming but calculating figure who wins over the rest of the Stelle family with his enchanting toys and wondrous mechanisms.

When Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance, she discovers it carries a magic all of its own. On the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, she is transported to a snowy forest, where she encounters danger at every turn: ice giants, shadow goblins and the shrieking mist all lurk amidst the firs and frozen waterfalls and ice cliffs. After being rescued by the butterscotch-eyed captain of the king’s guard, she is escorted to the frozen sugar palace. At once, Marietta is enchanted by this glittering world of glamorous gowns, gingerbread houses, miniature reindeer and the most delicious confectionary.

But all is not as it seems and Marietta is soon trapped in the sumptuous palace by the sadistic King Gelum, who claims her as his own. She is confined to a gilded prison with his other pets; Dellara, whose words are as sharp as her teeth, and Pirlipata, a princess from another land. Marietta must forge an alliance with the two women to carve a way free from this sugar-coated but treacherous world and back home to follow her dreams. Yet in a hedonistic world brimming with rebellion and a forbidden romance that risks everything, such a path will never be easy.

PURCHASE LINK – Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

This is a retelling of the Nutcracker story, I am always a little dubious when it comes to retellings. The story of the Nutcracker always reminds me of Christmas, especially Christmas Eve, it is a fantasy, magical fairy tale that I adore. So, did Midnight in Everwood live up to my expectations? It most definitely did!

Straight from the outset, this book felt right, Marietta is a young girl who lives a life of privilege. Her parents have allowed her to attend ballet classes, but it has been known that this will not be something that they will support her in. She is, after all, a young woman with responsibilities, who needs to marry into the right position that will allow her parents to live in the upper echelons of society.

There is a newcomer to the neighbourhood, a mysterious and enigmatic man, an inventor of toys and mechanical creations of wonder. Mr Drosselmeier is enchanted by Marietta and he wants her to become his wife. Through one of his creations, she is transported into another world, where she is trapped.

I absolutely adored everything about this story, it has a gorgeous magical feel to it with wonderful descriptions that gradually built a vivid image in my mind as I read the story. Everwood is all glittery, sugary sweet with magic. All this glamour and glitz is a front, there are whispers, rumours and hints that all is not as it should be within this wonderland. The King is tyrannical, overbearing and greedy.

The story of the Nutcracker is one I love, there are hints of the original story and I could see the inspiration in this version. If you have not read the Nutcracker, well, it really doesn’t matter as this is a retelling of the story.

The author uses Marietta so well in this version, a strong upright young woman who has dreams of a future. She does not want to be wed to someone who will dictate to her or see her as a possession. She does not want to become a pawn for her parents to rise up through the ranks of society.

This is a wonderfully magical story. It is an adult fairy tale, a fantasy and I loved it. It was everything I hoped it would be, and dare I say a bit more as well. I would very definitely recommend this one.

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

We Watch You by N.S. Ford @nsfordwriter #WeWatchYou #PublicationDay #psychological #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for We Watch You by N.S. Ford. It is always exciting when a fellow Book Blogger gets in touch to see if you would be interested in reading her book. I love reading her BLOG and so I was obviously going to be interested in reading her book.

FOUR FRIENDS. THREE ENEMIES. TWO TRAGEDIES. ONE TERRIBLE TRUTH.

A small English town is rocked by the disappearance of a local woman, Tina. As the search continues, someone is targeting her former best friends for revenge. Lauren, Jess, Claire. They all hide secrets. Who knows what they did? Who’s watching them? The truth is stranger and far more sinister than they can ever imagine.

A dark, twisty thriller which will grip you until the very last page. 

PURCHASE FROM – Amazon UK

MY REVIEW…

I do love a short synopsis, and the one for this book is so tantalising. This is definitely an intrigue laden psychological thriller that has many twists.

The story did take me a few chapters to get to grip on the characters and the story. The chapters do alternate between characters and it is not immediately obvious who these are until you discover more about them in the story.

The story has a small-town feel, where the main characters have grown up and stayed there. Given that is a small place it didn’t exactly have that community atmosphere to it, yet there is something about the place. The main characters have been friends from school, one of these girls has now gone missing. With her disappearance there seem to be other events that could tenuously be linked, but are they linked and if so how.

The author has done a wonderful job weaving a story of secrets, mysteries and also of misdirection. It is sometimes a small and insignificant comment or sentence that suddenly becomes quite important later in the story. Very much a smoke and mirrors type of thing.

I liked the pacing of this book, starting at a good pace and towards the final chapters, it definitely picks up speed but doesn’t feel rushed. As for the ending, well that was interesting, it was something that had passed my mind earlier in the story but still came as a bit of a surprise. Yes, this is vague, but I m not giving anything up here!

This is a very intriguing story, it is a story that mentions elements of depression and mental health, it has a strong psychological tenseness, it has several mysterious threads and it is a very addictive read. I was a bok I found hard to leave, and wish that I had started it when I had a couple of days off rather than fitting it around work!

This is one for those who like a story that is in some ways quite complex as I now sit back and think about it, but it didn’t feel like that as I was reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this twisty journey and I would happily recommend it.

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

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian @NetGalley @vintagebooks #PublicationDay #mystery #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Never Saw Me coming by Vera Kurian. I received an invite to read this book and the synopsis definitely intrigued me. My review is my own and unbiased.

Meet Chloe Sevre. She’s a freshman honor student, a leggings-wearing hot girl next door, who also happens to be a psychopath. Her hobbies include yogalates, frat parties, and plotting to kill Will Bachman, a childhood friend who grievously wronged her.

Chloe is one of seven students at her DC-based college who are part of an unusual clinical study for psychopaths—students like herself who lack empathy and can’t comprehend emotions like fear or guilt. The study, led by a renowned psychologist, requires them to wear smart watches that track their moods and movements.

When one of the students in the study is found murdered in the psychology building, a dangerous game of cat and mouse begins, and Chloe goes from hunter to prey. As she races to identify the killer and put her own plan into action, she’ll be forced to decide if she can trust any of her fellow psychopaths—and everybody knows you should never trust a psychopath.

Never Saw Me Coming is a compulsive, voice-driven thriller by an exciting new voice in fiction, that will keep you pinned to the page and rooting for a would-be killer.

Publication Day is today so you can order HERE

MY REVIEW…

I really liked the premise for Never Saw Me Coming. Set in an American University, there is a small group f students who have been hand-picked to take part in a clinical study. They are supposed to be unknown to each other. What makes these students different to the others is that they are psychopaths.

The author builds up a good background for each of the main characters, they are introduced one by one and as such this makes it easy to remember them. Chloe is the main focus, as the synopsis tells you, there was a murder, she wants answers and she also wants to carry out her own personal plan.

I like how the author delved into the various different aspects that make up the mind of a psychopath. As someone who enjoys crime reads this was one that definitely caught my eye. The story does feel that it has some research and this does come across in the story as character traits are explored and as their stories emerge.

The author has blended crime and mystery as well as a psychological thriller style. It is not heavy reading and there are some good twists. I like how the synopsis suggests that the hunter becomes the prey and this added an extra edge. As Chloe has her own agenda she not only has to be careful of her own actions, but she’s also balancing study, and trying to keep ahead of her own stalker/ hunter.

This story has a nice edge to it. Part of me wants to say this is a YA thriller due to the college-age students but is also a good one for adults as well. There are times when I felt like this was more mystery than thriller, but there is definitely a darkness to it.

I did enjoy this and I actually enjoyed the student life aspect of the story as well as the obvious mystery side. It is one that would suit readers of various genres, but maybe not so much the hardcore psychological thriller ones. I would happily recommend this one.

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

The Fair Botanists by Sara Sheridan @sarasheridan @HodderBooks #histfic #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for an absolutely gorgeous book. I received a copy of The Fair Botanist by Sara Sheridan via Hodder & Stoughton Publishers. I would like to wish Sara a very Happy Publication Day for such a stunning book.

I have decided to add, or rather, swap this book into my list for #20booksofsummer reading challenge 🙂

It’s the summer of 1822 and Edinburgh is abuzz with rumours of King George IV’s impending visit. In botanical circles, however, a different kind of excitement has gripped the city. In the newly-installed Botanic Garden, the Agave Americana plant looks set to flower – an event which only occurs once in several decades. When newly widowed Elizabeth arrives in Edinburgh to live with her late husband’s aunt Clementina, she’s determined to put her unhappy past in London behind her. As she settles into her new home, she becomes fascinated by the beautiful Botanic Garden which border the grand house and offers her services as an artist to record the rare plant’s impending bloom. In this pursuit, she meets Belle Brodie, a vivacious young woman with a passion for botany and the lucrative, dark art of perfume creation. Belle is determined to keep both her real identity and the reason for her interest the Garden secret from her new friend. But as Elizabeth and Belle are about to discover, secrets don’t last long in this Enlightenment city. And when they are revealed, they can carry the greatest of consequences . . .

You can purchase a copy HERE or from local book shops.

My Review…

I absolutely enjoyed this book, it is a mix of historical fiction, romance and botany. It is set in 1822 in Edinburgh as the Botanical Gardens are being moved. There is excitement in the city as large trees and plants of various sorts are gradually moved to their new home. I did actually look this up on the internet and there is some really good reading regarding this move.

Clementina is a newcomer to the city, she is to live with her inlaws after the death of her husband. She is an artist and has an interest in plants, flowers and trees. She is a reserved woman, a little shy and has lived in the shadow of her deceased husband. Bella is the exact opposite, she also has a botanical interest and one that she hopes will make her fortune.

This was such a brilliant book to sit and read, I found a fabulous story that does have historical facts and of course there is the botanical part of the story. I thought this made fascinating reading as did the section at the end where the author gives more details as to her characters. Those who were real and for these, she did give a little more detail.

This is a historical fiction story, it has some romance, and also some mystery as there are things that occur. I really enjoyed how the author brought her characters together and there is a good mix of them and also different ages. It is a time when Enlightenment is in force, a time when peoples ideas are changing, people are becoming more vociferous. They are challenging ideals, society rules and etiquette and of course, there are those who will not abide by any change from the norm.

As the story progressed I found myself being drawn more and more into the story of the characters, they are, as I mentioned a wonderful. Just the right amount and they were easy to remember. Mentions of various historical figures were great and it helped keep me well and truly in the time and setting of the story.

This is a wonderful read and is one that I thoroughly enjoyed. One for those who like good historical fiction and romance, and one I would definitely recommend.

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

The Doll by Yrsa Sigurdardottir #NeyGalley #20booksofsummer #PublicationDay @HodderBooks #suspense #bookreview

Firstly, Happy Publication Day to Yrsa Sigurdardottir on her latest novel The Doll. This is my 6th book choice that I am delighted to share my review for as part of for #20booksof summer reading challenge.

My thanks to the publisher Hodder & Stoughton for my e-copy request via NetGalley. My review is my own. I still get the creeps when I see this cover!!!

It was meant to be a quiet family fishing trip, a chance for mother and daughter to talk. But it changes the course of their lives forever.

They catch nothing except a broken doll that gets tangled in the net. After years in the ocean, the doll a terrifying sight and the mother’s first instinct is to throw it back, but she relents when her daughter pleads to keep it. This simple act of kindness proves fatal. That evening, the mother posts a picture of the doll on social media. By the morning, she is dead and the doll has disappeared.

Several years later and Detective Huldar is in his least favourite place – on a boat in rough waters, searching for possible human remains. However, identifying the skeleton they find on the seabed proves harder than initially thought, and Huldar must draw on psychologist Freyja’s experience to help him. As the mystery of the unidentified body deepens, Huldar is also drawn into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freyja investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home.

What swiftly becomes clear is that the cases are linked through a single, missing, vulnerable witness: the young girl who wanted the doll all those years ago.

My Review…

I am so glad I had a digital copy of this book rather than a physical copy. I mean, that cover! It so creepy and unsettling.

The doll is discovered during a fishing trip by a young girl out with her mum and a family friend. Later that night the mother dies, the police agree that is was an accident. Rosa is adamant that she wasn’t and that her mum was murdered. She is ignored and her pleas fall on deaf ears.

This is a slower paced police procedural that is set in Iceland. It is a book in the Children’s House series but can easily be read as a stand alone. It did take me a while to get my head around the characters as initially a few were introduced over a short period. I did soon however remember who was who.

The plot of the story is one that is interesting and I was intrigued as to why the doll was so important. It wasn’t until the latter stages that I eventually got the answers. There is several plots going on in this story and it was complex but it did make sense during the reading.

It looks s heavier on the descriptions and details and even though I did like this it did slow the pace down considerably. Fine is you like a more in-depth procedural. It does add a tension and suspense aspect to the story as you have to wait longer for the clues to connect.

I enjoyed this story, a complex and intriguing crime thriller that I would recommend. 

AND JUST IN CASE YOU WANT TO SEE THAT COVER AGAIN…

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

A Cut for a Cut (Detective Kate Young #2) by Carol Wyer #ACutForACut #DetectiveKateYoung @carolewyer @AmazonPub @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #PublicationDay #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers to be opening the Blog Tour today and to share my review for A Cut for a Cut by Carol Wyer. This is the second book in the Detective Kate Young series. I read and loved the first book, An Eye for an Eye (full review HERE)and this second is also totally brilliant.

My thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this fabulous book via NetGalley.

I also want to take the opportunity to wish Carol a very Happy Publication Day xx

DI Kate Young can’t trust anybody. Not even herself.

In the bleak countryside around Blithfield Reservoir, a serial murderer and rapist is leaving a trail of bloodshed. His savage calling card: the word ‘MINE’ carved into each of his victims.

DI Kate Young struggles to get the case moving—even when one of the team’s own investigators is found dead in a dumpster. But Kate is battling her own demons. Obsessed with exposing Superintendent John Dickson and convinced there’s a conspiracy running deep in the force, she no longer knows who to trust. Kate’s crusade has already cost her dearly. What will she lose next?

When her stepsister spills a long-buried secret, Kate realises she’s found the missing link—now she must prove it before the killer strikes again. With enemies closing in on all sides, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to bring them down. But time is running out, and Kate’s past has pushed her to the very edge. Can she stop herself from falling?

Purchase Links – Amazon – UK or US

My Review…

Having read and loved the first book in this series, An Eye For An Eye I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second Detective Kate Young book. And Wow! what a story!

The author does fill in details about Kate and her life from the first book, but in all honesty, I would recommend reading the first book to get a proper idea of what Kate has been and is currently dealing with.

It is often the case that the lead detectives in fiction do have some trouble or scarring from their pasts. With Kate, however, this is something that she is not over dealing with, she is constantly reminded of her loss. I am not going to delve into this too much, but what the author did with this thread at the end of the book left me with goosebumps and also worried about Kate! Such a subtle sentence!

The case itself is brutal. A woman found dead with the word MINE carved into her skin is only the start of the investigation. Having only a small team at her disposal keeps Kate on the back foot to a certain extent. Lacking the resources but still having the pressure from those above doesn’t help her but her tenacity is something that keeps her going.

As the case intensifies the intrigue is built upon. Occasional italicised chapters add a very tense edge giving a more brutal, chilling psychological side to the story.

There is so much I want to say about the case, Kate’s personal life and the story in general. It is a brilliantly woven story and I am only just touching the edge of what happens. Fear of leaving spoilers and ruining it for those who have not yet read this is keeping this review vague.

With a personal story, a family reunion, pressure from the hierarchy it is a wonder Kate holds everything together. Is she holding it together or is she just hanging on? This is where the author has worked some magic, keeping Kate juggling so many things.

This is a brilliantly worked second book in the series and one that had me gripped. It is brutal, chilling, carefully worked and just amazing reading. One for those who like a gritty, crime, thriller and one I would very definitely recommend.

About the Author…

USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer writes feel-good comedies and gripping crime fiction.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in LITTLE GIRL LOST and demonstrated that stand-up comedian Carol had found her true niche.

To date, her crime novels have sold over 750,000 copies and been translated for various overseas markets.

Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post.

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy.

When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.

Social Media:

WebsiteBlogFacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestLinkedinGoodreadsYouTube

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

Yours Cheerfully by A.J Pearce #histfic #NetGalley @panmacmillan #publicationday #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce. This is the second book in The Emmy Lake Chronicles. I loved the first book Dear Mrs Bird and this second book is just as good.

My thanks to the publisher Pan Macmillan for my advanced e-copy that I requested via NetGalley. This book is also #3 in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

From the author of the “jaunty, heartbreaking winner” (People) and international bestseller Dear Mrs. Bird, a new charming and uplifting novel set in London during World War II about a plucky aspiring journalist.

London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK) is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.

When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.

Every bit as funny, heartwarming, and touching as Dear Mrs. BirdYours Cheerfully is a celebration of friendship—a testament to the strength of women and the importance of lifting each other up, even in the most challenging times. 

My Review…

I have been waiting for a follow on to Dear Mrs Bird and Yours Cheerfully is a fabulous 2nd book in The Emmy Lake Chronicles.

Emmy Lake wanted to be a war journalist, she did get a job but not quite the one she imagined. It was for an Agony Aunt Column in a magazine called the Woman’s Friend. Set during WWII Emmy is making her way in the magazine world. this magazine is a small friendly publication that is full of tips on clothing, making the best of what you have, gardening, cookery and of course advice.

The Ministry call on magazines to help recruit more women to work in a bid to help out the war effort. A chance meeting with Anne a mother of two gives her an insight into women working in the factories. the women are determined in doing their bit, but they feel they are being treated as men would be and that fact hey they have children and homes to look after is not being taken into account. This sets Emmy on something of a mission as the factory women become friends, she still has to be careful about what she writes due to censorship.

I loved how the author has continued the story of Emmy and also her good friend Bunty. There is enough information given to get an idea of the first book, but I would recommend reading it as it was such an excellent one.

Once again the author includes a letter from readers who seek advice during a worrying time. For young girls working for the first time, for mothers who have children to care for alone, she touches on how widows are treated and the conditions that women who are effectively single parents during wartime deal with in life.

The author has brought the style of the magazine, which was seen as one of the little publications for older readers into the forefront. Giving Emmy a larger role so that she is able to really get to grips with the working woman life. There is politics, there is a certain amount of elitism and snobbery and there is the old boy’s brigade that comes into play. But during all this, the author does remember that Emmy has a life outside of the magazine. One that involves her boyfriend Charlie.

Once again the author has created such an addictive read. She deals with issues of the day in such a way as it makes the reader care about the issues. Some of the things I was not aware of and it has been an enlightening read as well as an emotional one. It does have its moments of sadness but also many moments of hope. A gorgeous story and one for those who like historical fiction during WWII. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

Paperback Publication Day for: Into the Tangled Bank by Lev Parikian @LevParikian @alisonmenziespr @eandtbooks #nature #bookreview

I am delighted to re-share my review today for a book that I read and loved last year. Into the Tangled Bank: In Which Our Author Ventures Outdoors to Consider the British in Nature by Lev Parikian.

I did read the hardback copy of this book supplied by Alison Menzies from Elliot & Thompson publishers and today see’s the publication of the paperback version.

Let me share more about this fabulous book…

Lev Parikian is on a journey to discover the quirks, habits and foibles of how the British experience nature. He sets out to explore the many, and particular, ways that he, and we, experience the natural world – beginning face down on the pavement outside his home then moving outwards to garden, local patch, wildlife reserve, craggy coastline and as far afield as the dark hills of Skye. He visits the haunts of famous nature lovers – reaching back to the likes of Charles Darwin, Etta Lemon, Gavin Maxwell, John Clare and Emma Turner – to examine their insatiable curiosity and follow in their footsteps.

And everywhere he meets not only nature, but nature lovers of all varieties. The author reveals how our collective relationship with nature has changed over the centuries, what our actions mean for nature and what being a nature lover in Britain might mean today. 

My Review…

I really enjoyed reading this book as I followed Lev’s observations on how people and nature interact. Lev has such an easy style to his writing and as well as various facts there is also a nice level of humour. The book is littered with various interesting facts from history, nature and life.

Lev looks at various aspects of nature including our own gardens, parks and open green areas. He notices various things about human nature and how people with certain interest can chat about things for quite a while. As a gardener I found myself sniggering about they way gardeners can talk about “their patch” what they grow, the pests and bugs.

Lev’s observations of people in nature draw together different walks of life. From the dog-walkers, to the gardeners, the photographers to the birdwatchers. These observations make a really enjoyable read and many times I found myself nodding my head in agreement or as I read sections thought “this is me!”.

A book that is ideal for dipping in and out of, in fact I read most of this book sat in the garden have a break from the weeding, trimming and filling bird feeders and it was the perfect spot.

A refreshing read that I think various people would really enjoy, and I am sure any nature lover, or those who spend time outdoors and then reads this book will find themselves in it at some point. A good book about the observations of an author and one I would happily recommend, its a fabulous read.

Purchase from – AMAZON UK

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

Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage by Samantha Tonge @SamTongeWriter @Aria_Fiction @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #romance #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage by Samantha Tonge. This is a fabulous read and perfect now that we have more sunny days and the weather is warming up.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for arranging my e-copy of this gorgeous book. I would also like to wish Sam a very Happy Publication Day 🙂

Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage

A new start can come from the most unexpected places…

It’s been years since Lizzie Lockhart spoke to her parents. But she was safe in the knowledge she knew everything about them. Once upon a time, they were as close as could be. Until they weren’t.

After receiving the earth-shattering news of their passing, Lizzie decides it’s time to unearth some family secrets and find out just who her parents really were… starting with Streamside Cottage. A cottage Lizzie never knew existed, in a place she’s never heard of: the beautiful English village of Leafton.

Leaving behind London, and the tattoo parlour she called home, Lizzie finds herself moving to the countryside. Faced with a tight-lipped community, who have secrets of their own, Lizzie is at a loss for what to do, until her rather handsome neighbour, Ben, steps in to help.

As Lizzie finally begins to piece together the puzzle of her family history she realises she has to confront the truth of the past in order to face her future.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK or US Kobo

My Review…

Oh my goodness what a fabulous read Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage was. Lizzie discovers her parents owned a cottage when their will is read. The cottage is left to her Aunt Fiona, Lizzie knows nothing about the house.

The village of Leafton has that wonderful community feel and Lizzie feels at home after living in the buzz of London. She had led quite a sheltered childhood as her parents were overly protective, and I mean really over the top protective. Leaving home to go to Uni was an ey opener and this led to her starting to stand on her own two feet causing a rift between daughter and parents. Staying in the secretive property will give Lizzie a chance to find out more about her past and parents. But are the locals of the village willing to share their secrets?

This is such a wonderful read that I absolutely adored from the first few paragraphs. It is told in a now and past format, the way the past is told works well with the Now part of the story. It is told in gradual back steps through the years and links in with Lizzie’s discoveries. There are more secrets to be unearthed than the obvious and these cause more than a few emotional discoveries and admissions for some of the characters.

I really liked how the author used a tattooist as the main protagonist. Even though tattoos are more accepted there is still a stigma attached. It would have been easy to give Lizzie a harder time as she does have artwork adorning her skin, but the author went down a more acceptable route and I liked how it was woven into the story with explanations. I am slightly biased about tattoos as I do have three of my own.

The sense of things being secretive and hidden was wonderful, at times with the sense that there was something much deeper to come. Weaving the locals and their stories into the story of Lizzie was a really good way of adding intrigue. While the locals are supportive there is a feeling that there is more that needs to be told.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, it is one of family and accepting the past, of heartbreaking discoveries. While it is a rom-com and it has a nice romantic thread, this feels more serious as there are some more serious issues that are dealt with. It is one for those who like a romance with a touch more suspense to it and it is one I would definitely recommend. 

About the Author…

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and studied German and French at university. She has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris, and has travelled widely.
She has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

In 2014 her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction Best Ebook Award.
In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.
In 2019 she was shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Award.
In 2020 she won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award with her novel Knowing You, from publisher Canelo.

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Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman #GoodEggs #NetGalley @AllenAndUnwin #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman. Many thanks to Allen And Unwin who granted my request to read this via NetGalley.

Happy Publication Day to Rebecca as well xx

I do have to mention this cover. As I have read this book I can look at it and it just makes me smirk. A moody teen, a rebel Grandmother and a son who is at his limits 👍😂

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Meet the Gogartys; cantankerous gran Millie (whose eccentricities include a penchant for petty-theft and reckless driving); bitter downtrodden stepson Kevin (erstwhile journalist whose stay-at-home parenting is pushing him to the brink); and habitually moody, disaffected teenage daughter Aideen.

When Gran’s arrested yet again for shoplifting, Aideen’s rebelliousness has reached new heights and Kevin’s still not found work, he realises he needs to take action. With the appointment of a home carer for his mother, his daughter sent away to boarding school to focus on her studies and more time for him to reboot his job-hunt, surely everything will work out just fine. But as the story unfolds – and in the way of all the best families – nothing goes according to plan and as the calm starts to descend into chaos we’re taken on a hilarious multiple-perspective roller-coaster ride that is as relatable as it is far-fetched.

Good Eggs is a heady cocktail of that warmth and wit of Marian Keyes, Caitlin Moran and TV’s Derry Girls.

My Review…

This is such a lovely story of three generations of the Gogarty family. Millie, the 83-year-old grandmother, Kevin her son and then the teenage grand-daughter Aideen.

The synopsis does give a good idea that this is a story that is going to have a few chuckles, and it certainly does. Right from the get-go, I adored Mille, she is an elderly rebel and poor Kevin does have his hands full with her. Aideen is a troubled teen, she feels overlooked as her twin sister does tend to get more of the attention.

Between the antics of Millie and the antics of Aideen, Kevin is definitely stuck in the middle. I did feel for him as he is pulled from pillar to post. From one situation to another with often quite funny events in the midst.

This is a story that has a good heart to it, no matter what age you are or generation there is always something that you wish you had done. In some ways, this feels like a coming of age for all the generation involved. Realising that there are options and choices, that changes and chances are part of life.

This was a lovely contemporary fiction novel about a normal family, dealing with situations as they rise. At times it was quite serious as there are topics that the author deals with, but at the same time with a snigger of humour interlaced in between. It did make me chuckle as well as giving me that lovely warm heart-warming feel. One I would recommend to those who like a feel-good story.

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