Out For Revenge by Tony Bassett @tonybassett1 @rararesources #policeprocedural #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Out For Revenge by Tony Bassett. This is the 4th book in the series and as is usual, it is the first one I have read. This a very good intro to this author and series and one I am looking forward to catching up on.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of the book.

Out For Revenge
When notorious gangland boss Tadeusz Filipowski is released from prison, several people start looking over their shoulder.

A volatile character, not shy of picking fights, Filipowski plans to expand his drugs empire and put his competitors on a backfoot. That’s until he turns up dead. Very dead.

DS Sunita Roy of the Heart of England police is handed the case but it’s a challenge to find the killer of a man with so many enemies.

DCI Gavin Roscoe would lend more support but he is busy nailing down suspicions of corruption plaguing the force.

Soon, however, the investigations will bump into one another. And unless Roy and Roscoe can get to the bottom of the mystery, they could well become the next victims.

OUT FOR REVENGE is the fourth gripping standalone mystery in the Detectives Roy and Roscoe crime fiction series by Tony Bassett.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK or US

MY REVIEW

This is the 4th book in this series and the first one I have read. These books can be read as stand-alone, and the author does provide any background that is relevant.

This is a police procedural and one that I really enjoyed. Based around Birmingham and Midlands area, the Detectives are DS Sunita Roy and DCI Gavin Roscoe, they are looking at different cases that actually share similarities. Having two cases brought together and figuring out the answers makes for an intriguing story. This is added to when there is another murder and more danger for those who are involved in the investigations.

I really enjoyed this book, I did find it a little bit of a challenge initially to get up to speed with the characters, but the author does give details to help make them memorable, such as an officer being shot in a previous book, or a character helping in an investigation. These little details are the things that help when you come into a series midway. This does, however, work very well as a stand-alone and I liked how the author brings things very close to home and makes things personal. I am not going to say too much as I don’t want to give anything away.

Having a mix of murder, gangs and drugs is a great way of keeping a story going, but then this story has an extra scrummy plot in it! It is one that kept me on my toes and wanting to discover how this was going to pan out.

I do like police procedurals that have complex storylines and this one had, several things happening and woven in together to create a wonderful read. Plenty of tension and drama and also a glimpse into the home lives of the main characters.

If you are a fan of police procedurals and crime thrillers then I do think this is a book that you would enjoy. It is one I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I am a semi-retired journalist who was born in West Kent. While growing up, I spent hours reading and writing, and, from an early age, nursed an ambition to become first a journalist and then a novelist. My theory was that, in order to write novels, one had to have life experiences to colour one’s writing and one could obtain those experiences through journalism.

I was fortunate enough to be named Time-Life Magazine Student Journalist of the Year in 1971 in a competition organised by the National Union of Students. At the time, I was editing the student newspaper at Hull University, where I gained a BA Honours degree in History and Political Studies.

After six years working on provincial newspapers in Sidcup, Worcester and Cardiff, I became a freelance journalist in London. For 24 years, I was a reporter on the staff of the Sunday People (now part of Reach plc, formerly Trinity Mirror). Over the years, I sold tens of thousands of stories to national newspapers, including the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, The Sun, Daily Star, Daily Telegraph and London Evening Standard. I helped cover the Jeremy Thorpe trial at the Old Bailey for the Evening Standard. I broke the news in a Sun newspaper exclusive in April 1989 that Bill Wyman, the Rolling Stones guitarist aged 52, was to marry 18-year-old Mandy Smith. I bought 200 blank MOT forms to expose a trade in fake certificates.

My speciality was tracking people down. For instance, I found evidence about Rod Stewart’s secret love child Sarah Streeter by tracing a retired adoption agent through a library ticket. On one occasion, I took an escaped gangster back to prison. Some of my stories can be read on my website (see below); others are generally available online. For thirty years, I was also employed as a birth and marriage researcher mainly for the Mail on Sunday, Sunday Mirror, Sunday People and The Sun.

I have a grown-up son and four grown-up daughters who all live in South Wales.
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The Potter’s House by Hannah Ellis @BooksEllis @Rararesources #romance #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Potter’s House by Hannah Ellis. This is the 4th book in this series and I adored this one as much as the previous ones. It is a series that is best read in order as you get to meet the characters as they arrive on the Isles of Scilly.

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 fabulous book.

The Potter’s House
Sometimes facing up to the past is the only way to create a better future…

Since the tragic death of his father, Lowen Treneary has kept to himself in his pottery studio on the remote island of Bryher.

His quiet life is just the way he likes it.

Until Pippa comes along.

The local café owner plunges his peaceful existence into chaos and brightens his days while she’s at it.

Soon, he has an employee livening up his workplace with her determination to make his studio more profitable… and a growing attraction to Pippa which he’s trying hard to ignore.

Just as he starts to warm to the idea of letting people into his life again, a crisis hits the island, causing old memories to crash to the surface.

Can the events of the present help to heal wounds from the past? And will Pippa still accept Lowen when she learns the secrets he’s been keeping from everyone around him?


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

Back again on the Isles of Scilly with the Treneary family. This is the 4th book in the series and each book has focused on one of the siblings. This time it is the turn of Lowen. He has been a character in the books but keeps his distance, which has made him a little bit of an enigma and I couldn’t wait for the author to get to him.

Lowen lives on Bryher, runs a pottery and supplies pots to Pippa who runs the cafe on the main island.

Lowen’s story is a little different to the others in the family and I will let you discover for yourself what the author has to tell you. He is a bit of a grumpy recluse, this is very different to the friendly and almost overbearing siblings. He delivers his pottery to Pippa but there is always a comment or a sarcastic comment between them. Neither really knows why, but it takes the blunt force of Pippa’s niece, Mia, to get past his gruff exterior.

Mia is like a breath of fresh air for Pippa. She has just finished uni and taking the summer to work in the cafe to save money for a year of travelling. The thing is that there isn’t really much for Mia to do in the cafe, but she has her eyes set on a different place to work.

The author doesn’t give much away in the synopsis, but if you have read the series then you are aware of the grief that this family went through. It has left a sort of rift, and anger that seems to simmer. Even though the islands are a lovely and wonderful place they are dangerous, it is something that the Trenearys know all too well.

While the author focuses on one particular member of the family, she doesn’t forget to keep up to date with the goings on of the others that have already had their turn in the spotlight. This for me is an essential part of the book as the family bonds are shown in each book and show how the family work together.

This is another gorgeous story that gives the reader a chance to step away and visit the islands, a chance to wander around the Potters House and discover more about living and working on the Isles of Scilly.

This is one for those who love to read contemporary fiction and romance novels where family and friendships are strong. Another wonderful book in the series and one that I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hannah spent many years working in childcare before deciding she’d like to write books. When she’s not busy writing she likes to read, drink tea and eat chocolate. She also enjoys yoga and jogging.


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Payback by Edie Baylis @ediebaylis @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #ganglit #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Payback by Edie Baylis. This is a fabulous series and Payback is a brilliant next episode. This is an excellent series for fans of gangland crime thrillers.

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

Payback
Revenge will come at a price…


With his once thriving casino business now in ruins, Seb Stoker is certain about two things: One – he will rebuild bigger and better than ever. And two – someone will pay for torching his club.


But until that day comes, Seb has bigger things to worry about and a business deal that could make or break them all…
Sam Reynold knows Seb is out for revenge, and she’ll do anything she can to help him. But Sam has her own enemies and battles to fight – ones much closer to home.


With pressure mounting for both of them, tensions run high.
And payback will be deadly.


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

Just when you think you have read the best book in the series, the author once again comes up with another fabulous read to take that spot. Payback is brutal and so deviously twisted and if you have been following the series then you will be aware of the main characters of Sam and Seb.

Sam has arranged for her mum to go into rehab and Seb is trying to get his money together to rebuild his club. Together they are the golden couple, but the last book showed their weaknesses and left them vulnerable. Still coming to terms with what they have lost and the people that have appeared from their pasts, they still have some work to do. This is where the title is, once again, ideal for this book as it is about Payback.

I do like the combination of Seb and Sam, they are a good couple and she has proven herself tough enough to stand up to Seb and his men. Seb works on the wrong side of the law, having a detective on the payroll is advantageous, but sometimes things still work against you.

The book is brutal at times as the author brings the world of gangland crime to the forefront. Family is important and so is the respect that their names bring. Not everyone respects the name though and this is where the tensions are evident as well as people wanting their part of the pie. The only thing is with these people, they will want to take what they can.

The danger is once again apparent from the outset, the deceiving and conniving that the characters deal with is great. It meant I was kept constantly page-turning to find out if plans would work or if they would go awry. As we all know even the best-laid plans usually have some sort of kink, in the world of Sam and Seb though this kink could mean death.

If you are a fan of gritty gangland crime that has a fabulous ongoing story then this is a series you should have on your radar. There is mayhem, murder and brilliant characters so keep you on your toes. While this is about crime there is also a strong family bond within this series and this is something that I have been enjoying. Another brilliant book in the series and another one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Edie Baylis 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 gang-lit series, set in Birmingham, was published in January 2022.


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Queen of Diamonds by Gillian Godden @GGodden @rararesources @Boldwoodbooks #crime #thriller #gangland #bookreview

I am, delighted to share my review today for Queen of Diamonds by Gillian Godden. I have read the previous books in the series and I am thoroughly enjoying them.

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

Is the Diamond reign over?


Head of the Diamond family, Patsy is determined to make a success of husband Nick’s gangland empire – whatever the cost. Nick was ruthless and cold-blooded, but he built a legacy that Patsy wants to protect.


So when a mysterious woman from Nick’s past turns up claiming to be Patsy’s new business partner, she senses trouble. Karen Duret demands Patsy’s help, but it comes with a catch. If Patsy refuses, Karen threatens to expose the Diamond family’s darkest secrets…


Patsy needs the help of her trusted allies more than ever, but when a rival gang start a turf war, the stakes suddenly become deadly.
Torn between loyalties, Patsy knows that blood will be spilled. And as battle commences, the question on everyone’s lips is – who will be crowned the queen of diamonds?


Purchase Link – AMAZON

MY REVIEW

This is the 3rd book in the Diamonds series; they are all fabulous reads. This latest one see’s Patsy Diamond take a step further into her role as the head of the Diamond family and taking on the role of her late husband, Nick. He was ruthless and his work ethic was based on fear. Patsy, however, believes there is a better way of gaining trust and respect. Has she got what it takes though?

This is a brilliant book and sometimes quite hardcore as Patsy makes her mark in the gangland area of Glasgow. In previous books, she has had a lot to deal with, but now she wants to make changes and this means making deals with some of the worst of the worst. As Patsy comes across as quite aloof, the rich bitch, the well-dressed and manicured lady. It gives her a cold and uncaring persona, but she has a few surprises for people and I think she surprises herself with how much she now enjoys this challenge. She has to prove herself.

This one is a gritty and complex story and I adored it. There have always been things that have sprung up out of the woodwork in this series, and before you think there are no more surprises to come, you would be way off the mark. Yet again there are more surprises for the Diamonds and it could jeopardise the family business.

In a world of secrets, death, drugs, prostitution, money laundering and murder you need to be sure of those who are closest to you, a right-hand man is essential to help keep the day-to-day running of the business. There is an awful lot for Patsy to organise and with new deals and alliances to be forged, she really does have her work but out for her. If this isn’t enough there is also something far closer to home that requires her attention, if she gets this wrong it will destroy her.

The author has once again written an amazing book that I devoured in one sitting. It shows the strong woman that Patsy needs to be and it was a side that I didn’t expect to see. While she is strong she is also vulnerable and this brings out a nice balance to her character. Yes, she is naive, but she is also analytical in how she thinks things through and she will not be duped or made a fool of. I have really enjoyed seeing how the author has brought Pasty, the wife of Nick Diamond into the forefront and she is now beginning to stand on her own feet. She is not someone’s wife, she is Patsy or Mrs Diamond and she doesn’t take fools lightly.

Yet again the author has created a fabulous and dangerous story for her characters. This one speeds along at a great pace and there is a real sense of things potentially going very wrong. This is a book for those who love their gangland crime and 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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A Child for the Reich by Andie Newton @AndieNewton @rararesources @OneMoreChapter_ @Harper360 #historicalfiction #NetGalley #bookreview

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

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

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

Purchase Links – Harper Collins – US UK

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MY REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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Wicked Girls by Heather Atkinson @HeatherAtkinso1 @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #thriller #gangland #crime #bookreview

Today I am delighted to share my review of Wicked Girls by Heather Atkinson. This is a brilliant gangland-style thriller, and, as with other books I have read by this author, it is another fabulous read.

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

Cousins Valerie and Toni McVay have been best friends forever, and when you’re a McVay you need all the friends you can get.
When Toni’s twelfth birthday is marred by a terrible crime, the wicked path of the girls looks set. A decade later, the McVay family aren’t the unstoppable force they once were in the Glaswegian criminal underworld but Frankie McVay, the up-and-coming prince, is determined to restore the family to its former glory by whatever means necessary. And the whole family are expected to help.
His sister Toni shares her brother’s blood lust but Valerie dreams of a quieter life, and when she meets and falls in love with Seb, as straight as Frankie is bent, as kind as Frankie is wicked, Val sees her way out.
Can she escape a family that is determined to own the city, and to keep Valerie firmly in their violent grasp? And will Toni ever let her best friend Val turn her back on the bloody secret they have shared for all these years…


Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

This is a brilliant read and if you are a fan of gritty and tough gangland-style genres with strong female leads then this is one you should have on your list.

Toni and Val are cousins, they stand by each other through thick and thin and always have each other’s back. The story starts in a shocking way when the girls are 12 years old, it gives a brief intro as to why Toni especially is so ferocious as she gets older. The main bulk of the story is told a few years later, Toni is coming up to her 20th birthday. When I say ferocious, she really is, but don’t underestimate Val, many have and many have realised their mistake.

The girls have always known the lifestyle they have been brought up in is a violent one. They are part of the McVay family and you don’t mess with them, especially Toni’s brother Frankie. Just his name is enough for people to back off unless, of course, you are one of the rival families.

While Toni is definitely happy with her lifestyle, Val is not so much and wants more of a normal life. Toni would call it boring, but this is where the girls do differ. With Val wanting a different life it means that there are going to be times when she has to make some tough decisions. This becomes more evident when she finds a “nice, normal boyfriend”, Seb shares the same interests, but he is a student and has a different calling in the way he sees his future.

I really enjoyed the dilemma that the author set out for Val. While she wants to continue a relationship with Seb, she doesn’t want him to know how violent her family actually is. At some point, it is obvious that he is going to meet them though.

The relationship between Val and Toni is great and I can see why the girls are as they are. But having different futures is something that doesn’t cross Toni’s mind. Val has a job which Toni sees as pointless as Frankie pays them for doing the ‘odd job’ for him.

These girls are tough, they know how to look after themselves and they are not averse to using whatever means necessary to prove their point. The author has had to make these two tough and the back story of Toni when she was 12, gives relevance and a reason. The story focuses mainly on Val, I liked this as it meant I could see a different side to her, while Toni is the strong and quick-tempered one, Val is more the thinker, the planner and the plotter. It is this difference that means Val can see the bigger picture.

The tension of this story gets better and better as you read it. The sense of danger lurks on each page and it did make me wonder how on earth these two girls were going to get through. The ending of the book is quite a shock, and it gives a really good conclusion.

This is a tough and at times shocking story, it is full of tension and there are some great twists. the characters are fabulous and there are definitely some I was rooting for. If you like gangland crime thriller stories then this s one you definitely should have your eye on. It is one I would also recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Atkinson is the author of over fifty books – predominantly in the crime fiction genre. Although Lancashire born and bred she now lives with her family, including twin teenage daughters, on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. Her gangland series for Boldwood, set on the fictional Gallowburn estate in Glasgow begins with the title Blood Brothers.

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Driven by Kerena Swan @KerenaSwan @rararesources #crime #mystery #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Driven by Kerena Swan. This is the second book in the series, and the first I have read! Check further down the post to also stand a chance of winning a paperback copy of the 1st book 🙂

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour for this fabulous book.

Every mother’s worst nightmare
It was only for a couple of minutes, while dropping Noah off at nursery. Little did Melanie realise that leaving her sleeping son in the car would end up being the biggest regret of her life.

A teenage challenge turns sour
For teenager Woody, stealing cars with his new friend helps alleviate the tedium of a life of poverty and boredom. This isn’t what he wants to do with his life but for now, he feels accepted. Except on this occasion, his actions have consequences that could change his life forever. Is it too late to turn his life around?

How far would you go to save those you love?
While DI Paton is on the case of the missing child, he is quickly drawn into a web of deception that hits dangerously close to home. He soon finds himself torn in two, not knowing which way to turn: save his career or his family? Will he be able to crack the case before he himself cracks?


Purchase Links – Amazon UKUS

MY REVIEW

I really liked the synopsis for this book, it suggests that there are three stories wrapped in the cover. There is also more to this than the synopsis suggests, so I had better be careful what I mention!

This is the 2nd book in the series and it is the first one I have read. I did get the feeling that there is more to be garnered from reading the first book, but Driven does work well as a stand-alone.

DI Paton is struggling with balancing his home life and his work life. This does lead him to make the odd mistake, but when it involves the kidnapping of a child there can be no mistakes.

There is also the part that involves the teenager, Woody, now I know what he did was awful but I have to say I had a bit of a soft spot for him as I learnt more about him.

From discovering a child has been kidnapped to the story as it ended was a fabulous journey that was full of tension, suspicion and more than a few shocks and twists along the way.

The story flowed at a wonderful pace and because of the various characters and the different subplots, it kept me eagerly turning the pages. This is one of those stories that you don’t want the author to swap between the characters because you need to know what happens to them. Obviously, this is the format of the story and it is a great way of keeping me reading it means I start to suspect and usually get various things wrong. There were some wonderful routes that the author took and these did surprise me.

It is a book where you may think about a character one way only to find that there is a history that has shaped them. Stereotyping people is a great way of setting the reader up to get their suspicions and observations wrong. The storyline is tense and it is actually quite dangerous and not necessarily for the most obvious of reasons.

I really enjoyed this one and I do like the little teaser that the author has left for the next book. This is a series I can definitely see myself carrying on with, I do like Paton’s sidekick or left-in-command!

For a police procedural with a twist, I really enjoyed this one. One for crime and mystery fans and also one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Before coming to Hobeck, Kerena had published three novels, Dying To See You, Scared to Breathe and Who’s There? and has built a solid fan base around her writing career thus far. She is a juggler extraordinaire: driving forward a successful care business she runs with her husband yet finding time to write. She loves to write, here and there and everywhere when she’s not working. We don’t know how she does it but we are glad that she does! Kerena talks about her writing, her influences and how she came to Hobeck in this video.

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Win a paperback copy of Blood Loss by Kerena Swan (Open to UK Only)


*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Summer Escape (Isles of Scilly #3) by Hannah Ellis @BooksEllis @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #family #friendship #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Summer Escape by Hannah Ellis. This is the 3rd book in her Isles of Scilly series and each book is a fabulous story to read. They can be read as standalone, but they do work much better when read in order.

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 fabulous book.

Single-mother Beth desperately needs a break.


Grieving the loss of her mother, she sets off to the Isles of Scilly with her five-year-old daughter, Ellie.
Their holiday cottage is utterly charming, but it’s meeting Trystan – the owner of the cottage – that makes Beth’s stay so perfect.
When their holiday fling starts to feel like something more, she knows she’s in trouble. Her life is in Plymouth, while he lives in London. Besides, Trystan has already admitted he’s not ready for a family.


Is he prepared to take a leap of faith for Beth and Ellie? And with the odds stacked against them, can they find a way to make their relationship last beyond the lazy days of summer?

Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

Oh, it was so nice to go back to the Isles of Scilly for the 3rd book in the series. The previous books have focused on one of the Island families, this time it is the turn of Trystan. He lives and works in London but does come back to the Isles when he can. This time when he returns he can’t stay in his usual cottage.

In the cottage are Beth and her daughter Ellie. They had been on holiday for a week and the weather had been awful, quite typical for my neck of the woods. They are convinced that they should stay on for a few days more as the weather has now brightened up. The cottage belongs to Trystan and his mum rents it out for him, so he is just going to have to stay with her for a few days.

This is another gorgeous story from this author. Each time I come to this series I am hooked. The close family on the island is great to come back to and the banter they have with each other is great. Trystan has recently split from his partner of 10 years. Beth doesn’t have an obvious partner, but she does have a daughter.

Bringing two people together is a nice idea, but there are other circumstances that also need to be considered especially when there is a child involved, I have to say I liked how the author approached this and how there were some awkward situations. Nothing, however, should be taken for granted, as Beth is a single Mum she is very protective of her daughter and after all, they are only on holiday!

This is a wonderful and tentative story that works its way along at its own pace, not too rushed and at times with some amusing outcomes. It was a chance to learn more about the family and especially Trystan and I am delighted to see who the author has her sights set on for the next story!!!

This is one for those who like a holiday romance, contemporary fiction, family and friendships and a really wonderful heartwarming story. I would definitely recommend this one, and also the previous ones in the series.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

– Hannah Ellis spent many years working in childcare before deciding she’d like to write books. When she’s not busy writing she likes to read, drink tea and eat chocolate. She also enjoys yoga and jogging.


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The Highland Girls at War by Helen Yendall @HelenYendall @rararesources #WWII #saga #historicalfiction #Giveaway #historicalromance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Highland Girls at War by Helen Yendall. This is the first book I have read by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from her.

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

Can the Highland girls prove everyone wrong? Don’t miss this poignant and heartwarming WW2 novel for fans of Rosie Clarke, Dilly Court and Rosie Archer, from the author of A Wartime Secret.

Scotland, 1942.
The Lumberjills, the newest recruits in the Women’s Timber Corps, arrive in the Scottish Highlands to a hostile reception from doubtful locals. The young women are determined to prove them wrong and serve their country – but they’re also all looking for something more…

Lady Persephone signed up to show everyone she’s more than just a pretty face – but it’ll take more than some charm and her noble credentials to win handsome Sergeant Fraser over.

Tall, strong Grace has led a lonely life working on a croft, with just her mother for company. All she wants is to find her place in the world – even if that’s a thousand miles from home.

And Irene misses her husband terribly, so until he returns home from the frontline, she’s distracting herself with war work. But one distraction too far leads to devastating consequences…

Can the Lumberjills get through their struggles together – even when tragedy strikes?

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON – UK US

MY REVIEW

This is the first time I have read anything from this author and this book was a wonderful one to read. The setting is Scotland during WWII. As some women join the WVRS or become LandGirls, there is another group they can enlist with, this is The Womens’ Timber Corp. I seem to remember something about this but I am not sure from where. The WTC was set up in 1942, the aim was for women to take over the forestry jobs of the men who had to go to war.

The story focuses on a small group of women, you couldn’t get a much different group as they come together to do what they can to help. A mix of Scottish women, a couple are married, some are engaged, some come from other jobs and there is even an English Lady!

The author brings this group of women together and over the course of the story, they start to form friendships. The work is tough, some that have come from crofts or small holding are more used to the physical work, whereas others come from shop or factory backgrounds. Each of them though odes brings their own personality and it seems that all have a reason to be there.

The women are not the only ones in the forest, there are some Candian Lumberjacks that have been stationed close by. The girls much prefer their own nickname, the Lumberjills. Living in close proximity there are dalliances between the two groups. There is going to be heartache somewhere down the line.

The author has woven a group of strangers that have a job to do, it also turns out they have a point to prove. Working a very tough job that is seen as being “men’s work” gives the girls a push to do the best they can. As the months roll on the camaraderie between the women grows, and solid friendships are formed.

This was a wonderful glimpse into a group that I had heard about and it definitely made me search for more information about the WTC. The author has mixed a factual group that played its part in their service to the war effort and worked some wonderful storylines into the story. This was a wonderful one to read and if you are a fan of WWII historical romances and sagas then you are really going to enjoy this one. A story of friendship, support and overcoming the odds. A great cast of characters and I was sorry to get to the end of the story. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Helen Yendall has had dozens of short stories and a serial published in women’s magazines over the past twenty years and now writes female-focused WW2 novels. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
She studied English and German at Leeds University and has worked in a variety of roles: for a literary festival, a university, a camping club, a children’s charity and in marketing and export sales. But her favourite job is the one she still has: teaching creative writing to adults.
Although a proud Brummie by birth, Helen now lives in the North Cotswolds with her husband and cocker spaniel, Bonnie. When she’s not teaching or writing, she likes reading, swimming, tennis and walking in the beautiful countryside where she lives.

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Giveaway to Win a £15 Amazon Voucher & a Scottish Goodie Giftbag (worth £37) from Highland Fayre (Open to UK Only)


Goodie Gift Bag Contains:
Brodies Scottish Breakfast Tea (x20)
Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Company Ground After Dinner Coffee (56g)
Mackays Scottish Three Berry Preserve (340g)
Paterson’s Luxury Shortbread & Biscuit Assortment (185g)
Nevis Bakery Cherry Cake
The Cocoa Bean Company Milk Chocolate covered Caramels with Red Ribbon (100g)
Presented in a Natural Eco-Friendly Jute Bag 

To stand a chance of winning this very yummy-looking goodie bag you can enter HERE – Good Luck xx

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Empire by Michael Ball @mrmichaelball @rararesources @ZaffreBooks #historicalfiction #romance #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Empire by Michael Ball… yes that Michael Ball! This is a fabulous debut novel that I adored and I was so lucky to have got a spot on the Blog Tour for this book.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Tour and for arranging my e-copy from the publisher, Zaffre Books, via NetGalley.

Welcome to The Empire Theatre

1922. When Jack Treadwell arrives at The Empire, in the middle of a rehearsal, he is instantly mesmerised. But amid the glitz and glamour, he soon learns that the true magic of the theatre lies in its cast of characters – both on stage and behind the scenes.

There’s stunning starlet Stella Stanmore and Hollywood heartthrob Lancelot Drake; and Ruby Rowntree, who keeps the music playing, while Lady Lillian Lassiter, theatre owner and former showgirl, is determined to take on a bigger role. And then there’s cool, competent Grace Hawkins, without whom the show would never go on . . . could she be the leading lady Jack is looking for?

When long-held rivalries threaten The Empire’s future, tensions rise along with the curtain. There is treachery at the heart of the company and a shocking secret waiting in the wings. Can Jack discover the truth before it’s too late, and the theatre he loves goes dark?

Musical theatre legend Michael Ball brings his trademark warmth, wit and glamour to this, his debut novel.

Enjoy the show!

Purchase Links – AMAZON UK US

MY REVIEW

I really didn’t know what to expect when I first saw this book, and I only glanced at the synopsis to know it was one I wanted to read. The author has trod the boards of theatres around the world and so it makes sense that his first book would be set in a theatre.

The Empire is a theatre that has pretty much been left to its own devices. It is owned by the Lassiters, but neither really seems to take a huge amount of interest. The day-to-day running is done by Grace, a young woman with a passion for theatre. Not officially in charge, but knows that she needs to organise things to keep it running. The behind-the-scenes crew go about doing what they need to. When Jack is told to go and see Mrs Lassiter for a job it is Grace who he sees. Mrs Lassiter is in the US still in the morning over the death of her husband. As there seems to be no one really paying attention to the Empire, it seems that another businessman sees an opportunity to take advantage.

The author brings his passion for theatre, musicals and variety to every page of this wonderful novel. There are stories within stories and some real mysteries that are wonderfully woven into this tale of family disagreement, rivalry and blackmail. Underneath all of this though is the dogged determination of those who do not want to go down without a fight. It is their stubbornness and belief that gives magic to this story. They add glamour and glitz if you like.

While this is a story about grief and getting on with your life it is also about accepting mistakes from your past. There are a few juicy little secrets that the author has snuck into this story and it is one that had me hooked from the very first pages.

As well as the story of The Empire, this is also a story about certain characters as well. It is the everyday lives and working relationships of those who work in the theatre. They are a family and they have close bonds and therefore loyalties. This is something that I adored, as the author took me through the mazes behind the scenes, to the offices, the foyers, the dressing rooms and the stage.

The story has a bit of everything in it, so it is a romance, a mystery, it has loss and regret and hope for the future. Set between the wars in the 1920s this has the glamour and glitz of the music hall and variety shows. This is where the author really did work his magic so well. There were several times when I got goosebumps reading this book. Whether it be the cast getting a scene right, someone singing and dancing at an unexpected moment or when the cue for the show is called. The emotions and feelings that this book oozed were spo0t on for me.

This is a fabulous story and one that I really adored. It has the razzmatazz and the glamour, it also has the shady and the undesirable, but all the way through this story the feeling of “the show must go on” is one that resonated with me. No matter what the pitfalls there is always something to work toward, whether it is in the belief of others around you or accepting that you are capable of being successful, there is always a glimmer of the possible.

This a fabulous debut novel from someone who knows the industry, the history, the backstage and centre stage of theatres. A time when Jazz was making its way across the Atlantic and the roaring 20s was making itself heard. It is an addictive story and one I would absolutely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Ball OBE is a singer, actor, presenter and now author. He’s been a star of musical theatre for over three decades, winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical twice, he’s also won two BRIT awards and been nominated for a Grammy. Michael regularly sells out both his solo tours and his Ball & Boe shows with Alfie Boe and has multiple platinum albums. The Empire is his first novel.


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