Saturday 30 April 2016

Cover Reveal Escape to the Riviera by Jules Wake

A new read from Jules Wake which publishes: 30th June 2016 in EB and PB

So what's this one all about?

Some of you may have read Jules Wake before, and we’re delighted to be publishing her in paperback this summer! Also… THAT COVER. Can you even stop gazing at it? Me neither.

In St Tropez, anything can happen…

Carrie Hayes leads a perfectly nice life, with a perfectly nice job, and a perfectly nice boyfriend called Alan.

But Carrie’s life wasn’t always like this. As a young, wild drama student, she married fellow actor, Richard Maddox, after a whirlwind romance. Life back then was full of possibilities and when Hollywood beckoned, Richard followed, leaving her behind.

Now an A-list superstar, Richard’s life couldn’t be more different to Carrie’s, so when their paths cross in glamorous St Tropez, she can’t help but wonder what might have been.
But with lovely, sensible Alan in tow, Carrie knows she needs to do the right thing. The only problem is, Carrie and Richard never quite got round to getting a divorce…

And here's the finished product!

Lose yourself this summer on the French Riviera – the perfect read for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jane Costello.

Friday 29 April 2016

Cover reveal! No Turning Back byTracy Buchanan

First exciting cover reveal of the weekend, what a bumper weekend for some fabulous Avon releases soon!

So here's Tracy Buchanan's new one which publishes28th July 2016, EB and PB

What's it all about?

You’d kill to protect your child – wouldn’t you?

When radio presenter Anna Graves and her baby are attacked on the beach by a crazed teenager, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her daughter.

But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister.

A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the ‘Ophelia Killer’, responsible for a series of murders twenty years ago.

Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life…?

And here it is.....

How exciting! Roll on July!

Thursday 28 April 2016

Guest Review: Casting Off: The Canal Boat Cafe Book 2 by CressidaMcLaughlin

Summer Freeman has embarked on a new life afloat. She’s taking the Canal Boat Café on a scenic journey and is meeting old friends and new. Among the new is Claire from the bohemian boating community who is keen to take Summer under her wing. Mason, the handsome photographer from Willowbeck, seems intent on tracking her down, but Summer has discovered that Mason isn’t all that he seems to be.

Summer starts to feel a real sense of freedom amongst wandering river folk, but she soon finds herself missing Willowbeck… And Mason, whose articles she has been reading online. Will Summer embrace the nomadic lifestyle or will she find herself drawn back to Willowbeck, the place she loves best and where Mason is waiting?

Review: This short story is the second in a series of tales from Cressida McLaughlin about the Canal Boat Cafe, as its name suggests, a cafe set on board a canal boat. It follows on from All Aboard, in which we meet the owner of the cafe and follow her return to the boat after a period of absence. 

In this instalment, Summer Freeman, who has taken on the running of the cafe following the death of her mother who originally set up the business, has moved on from its once permanent mooring in the peaceful little town of Willowbeck. When she settles in another town further along the canal, she meets new friends and experiences what it is like to join a group of traders based on other canal boats. It all turns out to be quite different from how things were previously. However, friends from Willowbeck keep in touch and there is once again a hint at possible romance with Mason, who Summer met at her former mooring.

As with the previous book, I enjoyed this continuing tale of life on the canal. It is very well told, with descriptions of not only the sights and sounds of day to day existence on the water, but also of delicious cakes that Summer and her friend Harry create for the cafe. Unfortunately, there is also a more sinister part of this type of life that rears its ugly head in a frightening episode. 

I can only reiterate what I said in my review of the first part of this series. Although this is a short story, it has been written with depth and substance. I can't wait to see where Cressida takes us in the next part when it is released. 

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Review: Appleby Farm by Cathy Bramley

Freya Moorcroft has wild red hair, mischievous green eyes, a warm smile and a heart of gold. She’s been happy working at the café round the corner from Ivy Lane allotments and her romance with her new boyfriend is going well, she thinks, but a part of her still misses the beautiful rolling hills of her Cumbrian childhood home: Appleby Farm.

Then a phone call out of the blue and a desperate plea for help change everything…

The farm is in financial trouble, and it’s taking its toll on the aunt and uncle who raised Freya. Heading home to lend a hand, Freya quickly learns that things are worse than she first thought. As she summons up all her creativity and determination to turn things around, Freya is surprised as her own dreams for the future begin to take shape.

Love makes the world go round, according to Freya. Not money. But will saving Appleby Farm and following her heart come at a price?

Review: I listened to this book on audiobook and it took me from commute to plane journey, reachng it's crescendo at 37000 feet! Having only read one part of Ivy lane,  was worried thT the would be spoilers in this books for Ivy Lane as a whole, unfortunately that was right but I would rather have finished the whole of this book than wait and go back so I don't mind too much really but just. Warning, if you want to read Ivy Lane NOT knowing what is going to happen, read that before reading this book! 

Freya was an interesting character, she seems fairly headstrong and fairly independent. She also sometimes struggles to make decisions and is stubborn when it comes to getting her own way, or the way that she sees as right. In the very beginning of the book, I don't think I really liked her but as it went on I definitely warmed to her as she had her family at heart and wanted to do best by them. She has some very close friends in the book and they definitely help buoy her along when it comes to the decision making-thank goodness. There are some interesting male characters in this books I was definitely a little more interested in finding out what was going on with them than Freya herself. Her aunt and uncle provide grounding to the plot and definitely drive the storyline forwards. 

The storyline itself jumped around quite a bit, from Freya saving the farm, to her starting her own business. although the two do tie in together, they seemed like separate priorities to the character but with tenuous links provided by secondary characters. There of course is a love story or two along the way and I was very satisfied with the developments there for Freya and the ending in that respect! Because of the issues I had with some of the plot, the book seemed to drag in places and so I switched off a little. I did enjoy the ending and the resolution for all of the characters, but as with Ivy lane, I would love to see a spin off with a secondary character from this novel sometime soon! 

Sunday 24 April 2016

Cover reveal! Time After Time by Hannah McKinnon

Ok, here's a fab new cover reveal for you all, Time After Time by Hannah McKinnon is released on 2nd June & I've heard hits a real page-turner. So here's the cover that everyone's talking about. C

Here's what it's all about....

Hayley Cooper, a powerful but now struggling lawyer, fantasizes about what her life would be like if only if she’d made different choices. It’s understandable; the past two years have been hell. She barely sees her kids, her boss is trying to sabotage her, and her marriage is falling apart.

Burnt out, Hayley goes to sleep wishing for a different life. When she wakes up married to her first boyfriend, one she has not seen in over twenty years, she realizes there might be some truth in the saying “be careful what you wish for”. Over a single weekend, like Ebenezer Scrooge, Hayley gets to see her life on other side of the white picket fence – not just with her first ex, but with each of her past loves. But is the grass always greener, and will she ever want to go home?

It looks great-can't wait to read!

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Review: My Map Of You by Isabelle Broom

Holly Wright has had a difficult few years. After her mother's death, she's become expert at keeping people at a distance - including her boyfriend, Rupert.

But when Holly receives an unexpected letter explaining that an aunt she never met has left her a house on the Greek island of Zakynthos, the walls she has built begin to crumble. Arriving on the island, Holly meets the handsome Aidan and slowly begins to uncover the truth about the secret which tore her family apart. 

But is the island where Holly really belongs? Or will her real life catch up with her first?

Immediately I saw the cover of this book, with its sea, sand and bougainvillea-covered buildings, I knew that I wanted to read it. Isabelle Broom is a new author to me and I was interested to see what the story was all about. It didn't pull me in straight away, but once I got into it, I really couldn't put it down.

The main character is Holly Wright. She is living an existence that certainly doesn't match the cover to begin with - working in London for an online clothing retailer and in a relationship with boyfriend Rupert. However, her world is turned upside down by a letter from solicitors in Greece informing her that an aunt she did not know existed has left her a house on the beautiful Island of Zakynthos. Holly is not the most confident of people, but decides to go off and take a look at this property. What she finds is not just a house, but a whole family history of which she had previously been unaware.

I really loved the character of Holly and the way in which she flourishes as the story progresses. Isabelle Broom has written this so well. I could almost smell the Greek food, feel the sand of the beaches between my toes and feel the sunshine warming my bones. It brought back memories of my visit to this self same island as Holly visits all the tourist attractions as well as the quieter, unspoilt parts. Of course, Holly meets lots of new people on the island, all of whom I found  lovely, likeable characters. The list includes the local shop keeper, the ex-pat who owns the local bar, and, of course, the dishy Irish vet, Aidan, who lives next door. The story has great depth to it. It's not just a simple romance; the way in which Holly's story emerges is very powerfully told, and there were parts that had me in floods of tears as well as the happy moments.

This book would definitely make great holiday reading, although it should come with a warning that it may have you dashing to the travel agent to book another holiday on a Greek island. It certainly had me yearning to return. I look forward to reading more from Isabelle Broom.

Thursday 14 April 2016

Guest Review: The Canal Boat Cafe Book 1 by Cressida McLaughlin

Summer Freeman returns to the waterside village of Willowbeck to rescue the Canal Boat Café, her late mother’s picturesque narrowboat, which has run into choppy waters. A family friend, Valerie, has been trying to keep things afloat, but the coffee machine is jammed, the cake offerings are paltry, and not all of the locals want to see the café succeed.

Help comes from the boat next door, in the shape of handsome wildlife photographer, Mason and his naughty Border Terrier, who are showing more than a passing interest in Summer and her adorable Bichon Frise, Latte. But is Mason being honest about himself? Or does he have something to hide?

As her life and the community of Willowbeck begin to entwine, Summer finds herself setting sail on a new adventure. Will the anchor of a steady life on land be too strong, or can Summer learn to cut loose and embrace life afloat?

Review: This is a charming short story from Cressida McLaughlin, author of the Primrose Terrace series of ebooks. All Aboard is the first in a succession of tales about the Canal Boat Cafe: as the name suggests, a cafe contained within a narrow boat.

The central character is Summer Freeman, whose mother established the cafe and ran it until her death. We meet Summer as she is returning to the boat for the first time since her mother's death, and after a period of 8 months. She is struggling with the decision of whether to restore the cafe to its former glory and run it as a business, or stick with her sign-writing career. There is encouragement from her mum's old friend and fortune teller, Valerie, and her own best friend, Harry, but opposition from some of the locals. There is also the hope of some romance for Summer in the shape of Mason, a wildlife photographer who lives in the boat moored next to hers with his lively terrier dog.

I loved the idea of this 'floating cafe' and life on the canal. The descriptions were so good that you could almost smell the coffee, taste the lovely cakes and scones that Summer makes on board, even though she claims to be no good at baking, and even feel the boat bob gently up and down. Fortunately, there seems to be a plentiful supply of passers by on the towpath and passing boats to keep the cafe busy. I also liked the fact that events that have happened in Summer's past are hinted at from the beginning of the story and begin to unfold as the tale progresses.

Although this is a short story, it is not without depth and substance. Cressida has done a good job of packing a lot into the 6 chapters and whetting the appetite for more. It ends on a cliff hanger, and I, for one, can't wait for the next instalment to be published. 

Monday 11 April 2016

Review: Making it Up As I Go Along by Marian Keyes

'Fabulous shoes, my badly made stews, an Antarctic cruise and ten pounds to lose. Having to schmooze when I'd far rather snooze. Skin care and bad hair and what should I wear? All kinds of views, which I hope will amuse . . .' 

Welcome to the magnificent Making It Up as I Go Along - aka the World According to Marian KeyesT - A bold, brilliant book bursting with Marian's hilarious and heartfelt observations on modern life, love and much, much else besides. Such as? you are determined to ask. Well, how about her guide to breaking up with your hairdresser? Or the warning she has for us all after a particularly traumatic fling with fake tan. There's the pure and bounteous joy of the nail varnish museum. Not to mention the very best lies to tell if you find yourself on an Arctic cruise. She has words of advice for those fast approaching fifty. And she's here to tell you the secret secret truth about writers - well, this one anyway. 

You'll be wincing in recognition and scratching your head in incredulity, but like Marian herself you won't be able to stop laughing at the sheer delightful absurdity that is modern life - because each and every one of us is clearly making it up as we go along.

Review: I love a bit of non-fiction to break up the novels apeverything now and again and some non-fiction from one of my favourite fiction writers is a double treat! I really enjoyed reading Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes and so I knew I would love this one too. Boy did this book made me laugh, and when I put it into the context of the fact that I was reading this whilst travelling on my own on an 8 hour flight surrounded by business men, that just shows you how funny it was! 

The structure of the book is fabulous and lends itself really well for dipping in and out of. There are several columns that have been written for various publications in each chapter, as well as some that have been previously unpublished and so each column or article only lasts for a few pages but links with the previous and the general theme of that chapter. Marian also helpfully includes a cast list, explaining who each person is, including the  celebrities that appear in her writing! Needless to say I really loved the structure, and this book would be amazing for reading on your commute, or for that snatched few moments of peace at home! 

The articles themselves are about all different kinds of things. I really liked hearing all the different kinds of make up she has and the nail varnish museum. The travel section is also fabulous because Marian just voices all the various travel anxieties and annoyances we all have when going on holiday or travelling for work, so so funny! The thing that I liked best about the articles was how honest they are. She talks about her writing, her health, her family and television and every single word she writes is spoken straight from the heart and completely to the point. 

This was a really pleasurable read and certainly entertained me on a long flight! If you've only got short amounts of time to read this book would suit you too because of the short structure, but it would also be fab gobbled up all in one, in any order you want. I holy recommend this from one of my favourite writers! 

Friday 8 April 2016

Review: The missing by CL Taylor

You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them. Or do you…?

When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire Wilkinson, blames herself. She's not the only one. There isn't a single member of Billy's family that doesn't feel guilty. But the Wilkinson’s are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn't until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.

Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.

A mother's instinct is never wrong. Or is it?

Review: I am so in awe of this authors writing and the way her words can have such an effect on a reader. I spent a lot of this book being completely led down one route only to find that it was a dead end and this process repeated again and again. I felt worried for missing Billy, I felt suspicious of literally all the other characters at anyone time and I had my ideas about 5 different possible endings, only to have the ending be something completely unexpected. Cally Taylor's books are always hard to review without a) giving the plot away and b) being too gushy. Don't worry there are no spoilers here, I just loved the plot and I'm going to stop there. 

There are always interesting female leads in this authors novels and this latest is no exception. Claire is a really interesting character who definitely undergoes a transformation as the book goes on. She is a wife and a mother but also a freind and a confident. She is the blue that holds this whole novel together and it is interesting that we follow this story along with Claire. The other members of the family and other close friends and neighbours were interesting characters and were so well written that they could have been our own siblings, fathers and neighbours. They all bring something else to the story and all provide a plot twist of their own, some more than others! 

I really liked the structure of this novel. There aren't flashbacks so to speak, things are written chronologically but we do have chapters interspersed with instant messenger/text conversations. We never find out who these messages are between or when they took place. All is reveLed at the end, don't worry but I thought they were at least 4 different people having these conversations. This add another level to the whole plot line and also gives clues to the mystery here without you even knowing that each of the conversations are clues-so cryptic. 

I read this book in 2 sittings. I literally spent my Thursday devouring it gasping in public and telling everyone about this book. The way it is written is so clever and compelling I defy anyone to pick it up and not be sucked in straight away. If this is your first CL Taylor novel then you are in for a treat, if you are already a fan, then you won't be let down! Clear your schedules because this book will not be one you can put down! 

Thursday 7 April 2016

Review: These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton

A novel about love. Raw important love. Small, beautiful love. And what happens when the person you love cannot be yours… Perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman, Jane Green and David Nicholls.

Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.

Kate has always loved Charlie - they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn't always follow the journey it should.

But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won't it…?

Review: I was hooked into this novel the moment I picked it up. I read the first 20% on a train and the last 60% on a plane! that's just how compelling a read this is-you want to devour whole chunks of it at a time! This book takes place over nearly 40 years tracking two girls, cousins, their friendship, their family and their own loves and lives. I really liked that fact that this novel was about female friendship but without a focus specifically on that. The underlying theme is their relationship but this is explored through several occasions that they both attend. Some are happy occasions, some are sad occasions and some are seriously disastrous. The fact that it is told through these occasions means that you've got interesting weddings/parties/gatherings to look forward to in addition to wanting to catch up with these women and their lives. 

The structure of this books reads very much like One Day, which is one of my favourite novels and so it made for a very easy read. Some chapters are longer than others but you find yourself uttering those inevitable words 'one more chapter' because of the twisty nature of the plot, you literally have no idea what is going to happen next. I really loved the events that took place because this authors deals with all the issues that life throws at us, death, illness, alcoholism, pride, friendship, unrequited love. You name it it's covered here. These issues aren't thrown in your face though, they are just a matter of fact as you read through about Kate and Becca and so you just take them as they do, very much in your stride, but all the time, willing things to go right for these women, wanting them to have a happy ending. 

I definitely warmed to these characters but my fabourite character of all was secondary character Charlie. It's very hard to talk too much about him without giving away any spoilers but he is so down to earth, despite a few wobbles along the way I loved him dearly the entire time, I really loved the relationship he has with Kate's father, something which really stuck with me after I finished the books. Just as much as I was willing the women to have a happy ending, I was willing Charlie to have a happy ending too. 

This book was pure joy. You will get swept up in the emotion of it all and feel things along with these characters as they do. I definitely gasped out loud more than once when I was reading this book, which is fairly embarrassing when you are in ecomonomy on a long haul flight but the people stuck in the row adjacent to me as well as in front and behind, clearly should have been reading this book too, then they would understand! Definitely something which, if you've not already bought it should be going in your holiday reading pile this year! 

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten bookish people you should follow on Twitter 8.4.16

I know I'm posting on the wrong day but I'm just blaming the 7 hours time difference at the minute so let's just go with top ten Tuesday on a Wednesday yeah?

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

So could totally list a whole load of authors you should be following on here but instead I'm goingtno o list the book enthusiasts and the bloggers because honestly, these are the people who are amazing to talk about books with and champion each and every book they love and so they are the ones you definitely need to be following on twitter. 

1. Rea @bookreviewbyrea blogs at for all things women's fiction! 

2. Laura @midnightstar3 blogs at for a mix of romantic comedy, crime and YA.

3. Zarina @zarinatweets a contributor for Novelicious and go to person for all fabulous events! 

4. Rebecca @beccasbooksuk blogs at and also has novels to read! 

5. Amanda @onemorepage blog at for all things women's fiction and all the upcoming books you need to know about! 

(Laura, Julie, Amanda & Rea)

6. Sam @sam_smith73 blogs at a fellow teacher with a mix of YA, MG  and women's fiction

7. Kevin @bookevin_ blogs at mainly YA but some fab Rom Coms in there too! 

8. Julie @julieboon blogs at boons a fellow women's fiction lover!

9. Kelly and Amy @compellingreads blog at

10. Debbie @snugglingonsofa blogs at a champion of YA and MG as well as Sophie Kinsella!

So there you have it, a list of people to go and follow on twitter if you don't already! 

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Blog Tour! Review of The Night That Changed Everything by Laura Taitand Jimmy Rice

Rebecca is the only girl she knows who didn't cry at the end of Titanic. Ben is the only man he knows who did. Rebecca’s untidy but Ben doesn’t mind picking up her pieces. Ben is laid back by Rebecca keeps him on his toes. They're a perfect match.

Nothing can come between them. Or so they think.

When a throwaway comment reveals a secret from the past, their love story is rewritten.

Can they recover from the night that changed everything? And how do you forgive when you can’t forget?

The Night That Changed Everything is a funny, feel-good and bittersweet story, told in alternate chapters by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice.

Review: ok so I just finished this book and I just want to shout all about it. This is the first book this year I've totally wanted to give more than five stars to and shove it into the hands of passers by-I loved it! Ok now that's the gushy bit over and done with, what did I love so much about it? Firstly this book is a dual narrative, which I LOVE, and so we got to see the story from both sides. The books is also broken up into sections so it jumps about a bit in terms of time so that we can really understand how each of the characters read/saw a situation that occurred. This dual narrative also meant that this was an extremely fast read. I read this is three sittings, which as you'll know right now is a major achievements in my busy life! 

I loved the characters that Jimmy and Laura wrote, not just Rebecca and Ben but the supporting characters too, Jamie was the lynchpin that held things together, Jemma and Russ were pure comedy value and Tom and Danielle played important friendship roles as well. I really loved Jemma as a character, she was so funny and I would really really like to find out what happens next for her. In terms of being 'team Ben' or 'team Rebecca' I'm definitely more of a team Ben, although I loved reading the sections of Rebecca's story as much as I loved reading his story. The characters are so well developed that, as I sit here writing this, I miss them and wonder how they are all getting on! 

This book gave me all the feels. I know that everyone says that but I literally laughed out loud in public places, exclaimed OH MY GOD in several sections and bawled my eyes out more than once (thankfully only one of those occasions was in public). The storyline was tight and took place over a couple of years, the setting was really easy to picture and the characters felt real. I don't want to say too much more about this book because a) I don't want to gush too much more, b) I don't want to spoil a anything for you and c) I want you to stop reading this and go ahead and read the book, it'll be the best fun you'll have in 400 pages this month! 

Thank you Laura and Jimmy for having me on your blog tour! 

Monday 4 April 2016

Cover Reveal: Summer at the Cornish Cafe by Phillipa Ashley

So apologies, this was meant to go up last night but, as I'm currently in the states, I had issues with time differences and security settings etc. so better late than never, here is the cover of the new Phillipa Ashley novel: summer at the Cornish Cafe.

So summery and lovely right?!

So here's what it's all about...

Demi doesn’t expect her summer in Cornwall to hold anything out of the ordinary. As a waitress, working all hours to make ends meet, washing dishes and serving ice creams seems to be as exciting as the holiday season is about to get.

That’s until she meets Cal Penwith. An outsider, like herself, Cal is persuaded to let Demi help him renovate his holiday resort, Kilhallon Park. Set above an idyllic Cornish cove, the once popular destination for tourists has now gone to rack and ruin. During the course of the Cornish summer, Demi makes new friends – and foes – as she helps the dashing and often infuriating Cal in his quest. Working side by side, the pair grow close, but Cal has complications in his past which make Demi wonder if he could ever truly be interested in her.

Demi realises that she has finally found a place she can call home. But as the summer draws to a close, and Demi’s own reputation as an up and coming café owner starts to spread, she is faced with a tough decision . . .

A gorgeous story exploring new beginnings, new love and new opportunities, set against the stunning background of the Cornish coast. Phillipa Ashley has written a feisty, compelling heroine who leaps off the page and encourages you to live your summer to the full.

Recommended for readers who loved Summer at Shell Cottage, The Cornish House, Tremarnock and Poldark.



And here's what other fab authors are saying about it...


“Warm and funny and feel-good. The best sort of holiday read.” Katie Fforde

"Filled with warm and likeable characters. Great fun!" Jill Mansell

This book is out on 5th May to help get you in the mood for a wonderful British Summer!