Thursday, 26 May 2022

Guest Review: Beach House Summer by Sarah Morgan

 A marriage in the spotlight

Joanna Whitman’s high-profile marriage held more secrets than she cares to remember, so when her ex-husband dies, she doesn't know what to feel. But when she discovers that he’s left behind a pregnant young woman, Joanna is forced to act. She knows exactly how brutal the spotlight on them both will be…unless she can find a way for them to disappear.

A beach house hideaway
Ashley Blake is amazed when Joanna suggests they lie low at her beach house in her sleepy Californian hometown. Joanna should be hating her, not helping her. But alone and pregnant, Ashley needs all the support she can find.

A summer of new beginnings
Joanna's only goal for the summer is privacy. All Ashley wants is space to plan for her and her baby's future. But when an old flame reappears, and secrets spill out under the hot summer sun, this unlikely friendship is put to the test…



Review: Sarah Morgan is one of my very favourite authors. Ever since I discovered her books, I have looked forward to each and every new title. They are always filled with solid storylines, well-developed characters and amazing locations. This one is no exception; I was hooked from the beginning and charmed by the principal characters and stunning Californian setting.


The story concerns two women, whose lives are brought together by one man. Forty-year-old Joanna was once married to celebrity chef Cliff Whitmore, who cheated on her regularly during their marriage. When he dies in a car crash, the press are at Joanna’s gates hounding her and speculating on the identity of pregnant teenager Ashley Blake, who was also in the car when it crashed. However, Joanna knows from first sight exactly who the girl is and finds herself compelled to help her. They make their way to the charming small coastal town of Silver Point, Joanna’s childhood home, and attempt to hide from the press in her secluded beach front house. Having left the town and cut all ties suddenly twenty years previously, Joanna is surprised to find the community offering acceptance and support for her and Ashley. Ashley is surprised by Joanna’s offer of friendship and protection, but shares her desire to be left be left in peace to build a new life. In Joanna’s case, she finds her old life, and particularly an old boyfriend, Nate, is something she can’t escape, but with Ashley’s encouragement can she rekindle lost relationships?


I absolutely loved this new novel from Sarah Morgan. The storyline was so compelling that I found myself completely immersed in the characters’ world every time I sat down to read. Joanna is an amazing woman, first to have put up with an awful husband for so long and then to have taken a lost, pregnant teenager under her wing without question. I’m sure not many women in her position would have done that. It was great to see Ashley blossom as time goes by and she realises that Joanna really does want to help her, and what’s more that she can help Joanna as well. As for Joanna’s house - I could almost see Ashley’s eyes growing bigger and bigger as she toured inside and outside the property; mine were as well. I loved that every room has a reading nook! A private beach and the ocean on your doorstep; what more could anyone want? Then there was the town of Silver Point - what marvellous community spirit there was amongst its inhabitants. Although all is explained in the text, I’m not sure how Joanna could bring herself to leave in the first place, never mind stay away for twenty years. This story is a real rollercoaster of a read. There is drama, tragedy, emotion and the very best romance. A really heart-warming story for any reader. 


To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US


Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Review: A Wedding at Sandy Cove Part 1 (Always a Bridesmaid) by Bella Osborne

 This will be Ella’s eighth time down the aisle…

Ella has made it her mission in life to find every bride in their dream dress.

But every time she sends one of her happy customers off to the altar with a perfect, ivory silk gown, she thinks of those seven, hideous bridesmaid dresses hanging in her own closet.

She’s about to add another one, too, because her best friend’s wedding is now only months away. And this one, in a muddy shade of brown, might be the worst dress yet.

Ella is excited for her friend to have the perfect seaside wedding, but every discussion about flowers and centrepieces makes her feel more alone than ever.

So, Ella finally accepts her friends’ pleas to set her up on a blind date.

Ella is set to meet a handsome, gym-going estate agent. But a mix up on the night throws her into the path of Kit, instead.

Kit is most definitely not the man she was supposed to meet, but he could end up changing her life in ways she never thought possible…


Review: What a great start to a new series! We've all been in jobs with horrible bosses but Ella definitely wins for worst boss in the world! Ella is a great character to spend most of this first in a series with because she is just so relatable. She has a dream but she has squashed that dream in order to follow what she believes to be the right path but then things come along in Ella’s life to push her further and further away from that path, unexpected things, the kind of things that happen to all of us as we get older.

Ella also has really great friends and one of them is getting married, obviously being the talented seamstress she is, Ella is sorting out the bridesmaids dresses for the bride, but nothing tests a friendship like a wedding does it? Again something that we can almost all relate to, it is such a right of passage being a bridesmaid for a close friend but worrying about what she is going to have you walk down the aisle in.

The third member of Ella’s friendship group is another big player in this book. She is a lawyer dealing with messy divorces, if that doesn’t make you cynical about marriage, I don’t know what will! We get a few chapters from her point of view and I really liked that insight into the other side of the friendship group. I can’t wait to hear more from her.

Then throw Kit into the mix, he has some secrets for Ella and is determined to make her push her own boundaries. I don’t yet know what he is going to bring to the table as the book progresses but I know he will definitely cause some excitement and will certainly shake things up for Ella. I can’t wait to read the next instalment in this series, I need it in my hands right now-highly recommend A Wedding at Sandy Cove!

To order your copy now, just click here!








To order the paperback of all 4 parts just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Memes I Love 24.5.22

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. 

Ok I know this was supposed to be quotes but memes are basically quotes aren't they?


















Monday, 23 May 2022

Review: The Summer Fair by Heidi Swain

 Beth loves her job working in a care home, looking after its elderly residents, but she doesn’t love the cramped and dirty house-share she currently lives in. So, when she gets the opportunity to move to Nightingale Square, sharing a house with the lovely Eli, she jumps at the chance.
 
The community at Nightingale Square welcomes Beth with open arms, and when she needs help to organise a fundraiser for the care home they rally round. Then she discovers The Arches, a local creative arts centre, has closed and the venture to replace it needs their help too – but this opens old wounds and past secrets for Beth.
 
Music was always an important part of her life, but now she has closed the door on all that. Will her friends at the care home and the people of Nightingale Square help her find a way to learn to love it once more…?


Review: Another reliable treat from Heidi Swain. If you’re feeling despondent about the world, or anything else for that matter, this writer can be trusted to show you the light and make you feel just that little bit more positive again. I always love meeting a Heidi Swain main character because they always begin a book at a crossroads in their life, always need a little bit of a pick-me-up and a shove in the right direction again and Beth is no exception. But you know that Heidi Swain is going to look after her. 

One of the things I loved about Beth was how independent she is. This is not necessarily through choice but she is on her own in this world and she has chosen to make the ost of it as opposed to turning it into a sob story. She can see that her home situation has to change and her job situation is not ideal but she takes those obstacles and decides to do something about it. And of course along come Nightingale Square and the residents within. 

Returning to a much-loved location from thai authors creations always feels like returning home and when we have a new character entering that setting you can’t help but find yourself saying ‘oh I can’t wait for them to meet…’ and ‘oh I hope they enjoy…’ because you feel a sense of ownership over that location, that’s the power that this writer gives her settings. It was great to catch ujp on the action in the square again although I feel like we might have been inside almost all of the houses now and that has me a little worried!

As well as helping someone back on the path to happiness, a Heidi Swain novel always has a romance element in it and I LOVED the meet cute in this one. You almost don’t see it coming and then it’s like that moment in The Office where you say “oh ok it’s happening, everyone stay calm’ its a wonder. Another aspect of this novel that I loved which I don’t think has been a highlight of a Heidi Swain book before was music. I loved the musical side of it and the power that music is given throughout the book. I know singing makes me happier and so it was great to see it in black and white on the page here. 

Summery and just lovely I highly recommend The Summer Fair from Heidi Swain. 


To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Guest Review: Date With Betrayal by Julia Chapman

In the seventh novel in Julia Chapman’s Dales Detective series, Date with Betrayal, betrayal is rife in the idyllic Yorkshire Dales as Samson O’Brien, owner of the Dales Detective Agency, is targeted by a hitman. Can Bruncliffe save him? 

Death is coming to Bruncliffe: its target is Samson O’Brien.

Oblivious to his impending date with fate, Samson is busy juggling a number of cases at the Dales Detective Agency. Too busy, in fact, to notice his partner behaving oddly.

Because Delilah Metcalfe knows what is coming. A hitman. Sent from London with one objective: to finally silence the troublesome O’Brien before his corruption case can make it to court.

With Samson’s life in peril, and betrayal around every corner, Delilah has no choice but to call in favours from all of her Bruncliffe connections in order to counteract the menace threatening to engulf the Dales town.

The only trouble is the townsfolk have long memories and deep grievances when it comes to Samson O’Brien. Trust must be earned and they will take some convincing before they put themselves in danger in order to save him.

And even then, it might not prove enough . . .



Review: This is the seventh book in the Dales Detective Series set in the glorious Yorkshire Dales and featuring suspended police officer Samson O’Brien and Delilah Metcalfe who runs the local dating agency. The pair share offices in the town of Bruncliffe where they investigate cases referred to the Dales Detective Agency, ably assisted by Delilah’s faithful Weimaraner Tolpuddle. At the beginning of the book, the author has helpfully included a map of Bruncliffe showing places that feature in these stories. Although this is a series, each book can be read as a standalone, but I have enjoyed reading each one in order as they have been released. I have, in fact, listened to the audiobook in most cases, and always enjoy the narration from Elizabeth Bower.

There has been a thread running through each book connected with Samson’s suspension from the police force and his impending corruption case, suggesting that someone doesn’t want him giving evidence in court. All this comes to a head in this story, when Delilah is tipped off that a hitman is on his way to kill Samson. She decides to take matters into her own hands and rally the townspeople to protect the detective while he is completely oblivious and hard at work on other cases. The only problem for Delilah is that there is some ill feeling against Samson connected with the way in which he left the town many years ago. Somehow, she must find a way to convince people to help her. In the end, help in this matter comes from an unexpected source and an elaborate chain of events is established to identify and deal with the hitman when he turns up. Will this be enough to save Samson from this unknown assassin?

I have loved all of the stories in the Dales Detective Series, but I would have to say that I consider this the best so far. The tension kept me on the edge of my seat while some of the antics of the townspeople had me laughing out loud. What skilled writing to combine the comedy with the drama in this way. As always, I have enjoyed meeting the recurring characters in this series. They are the usual mix that you might typically find in a small town in the Yorkshire Dales, with their dry humour and no-nonsense approach to life. I am already looking forward to the next book in the series; there are hints here as to what Samson and Delilah will be investigating next.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read 17.5.22

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. 

Ooo this is really exposing me now isn't it? Shall I include the library books that I get and then just let the loan run out before reading or not?