Wednesday 28 July 2021

Reading & Travel Vlog: Review of The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell


Guest Review: Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop by Jessica Redland

Sometimes you just need a little Christmas magic to make your wishes come true...

When master chocolatier, Charlee, takes the leap to move to the picturesque seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, she is determined to follow in her grandfather's footsteps and set up a chocolate shop.

Luckily, she finds the perfect location for Charlee's Chocolates on beautiful Castle Street... Now she just has to refurbish it in time for Christmas!

With a useless boyfriend and countless DIY disasters, Charlee doesn't know if she'll make it in time. With no 'traditional' family to support her, she feels lost in her new surroundings and the secrets of the past are weighing her down.

But the warmth and festive spirit of the Whitsborough Bay community will surprise her, and when plumber, Matt, comes to the rescue, it might be that all of Charlee's dreams could come true this Christmas, and she could learn what family really means...

Escape to Castle Street for the perfect uplifting, festive read from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.

Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop was originally released as Charlee and the Chocolate Shop. Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features several new chapters.

Review: This book was originally published under the title Charlee and the Chocolate Shop, but has been re-released under this new title after some editing and addition of new material. Like many of Jessica Redland’s books, it is set in the fictional North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough Bay. Having read many of her other books set in this location, I enjoyed meeting up with some of the other residents of the area. Despite references to characters from other books, this can be read as a standalone. 

The story follows the fortunes of Charlee, who has been brought up by her grandparents near the city of Hull, where her grandfather owned a very successful chocolate shop. Having learned the craft from her grandfather, Charlee is now a master chocolatier and dreams of setting up in business herself. When her boyfriend, Ricky, suggests a move to Whitsborough Bay, Charlee is overjoyed to find a suitable property there in Castle Street, a delightful cobbled row containing several individually-owned shops. However, her once perfect boyfriend proves himself less than perfect when it comes to helping her get her new business up and running in time for the prime Christmas shopping period, and is in fact spending less and less time with her. Fortunately, she discovers that her fellow traders in Castle Street are more than willing to lend a hand in an emergency. She is also lucky to find handsome plumber Matt, who saves her new premises from disaster and helps with other jobs as well. Charlee can’t help comparing him with Ricky, but, despite signs of mutual attraction, Matt already has a fiancée with whom he is planning on setting up home. Christmas over, the story moves on to the festive season one year later and shows the reader how Charlee is fairing; what, if anything, will have changed?

I found this book a quick and easy read and enjoyed every page; I can wholeheartedly recommend it. I have read many of Jessica Redland’s books set in this Whitsborough Bay street and loved revisiting many of its business owners in this story. I only wish it was a real location where I could stroll along looking in the shop windows. I very much liked Charlee, although I thought her a little blind when it came to Ricky; I could see from the start that he wasn’t to be trusted, but he turned out to be even more of a scoundrel than I thought! Of course, I couldn’t help being attracted to plumber Matt. His fiancée clearly didn’t deserve or appreciate him and, like Charlee’s best friend Jodie, I was hoping that he might see that someone more suitable was right in front of him. In addition to the central characters in the story, there are many others with interesting back stories, and a few surprises. Once again, Jessica Redland has described the beauty of this seaside town so well that readers will wish that they could visit. I’m already looking forward to the next story from this author; her books always hit the mark for me.

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

Monday 26 July 2021

Review: The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman

 Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio is looking to fill the rosters of their new shows, enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls—anxious, desperate, and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the horde of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive arena of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor takes a dark twist when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her. 

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity.

Actress and author Catherine Steadman has written a gripping thriller set in a world close to home that asks the question: In a city where dreams really do come true, how far would you go to make the unreal real?

Review: Wow this was such a clever idea for a story. When I started reading this I was dropped right into this glamorous setting with some not so glamorous auditions with a protagonist who is battered and bruised emotionally, what a way to start a book. I loved the Hollywood setting, I loved the idea that there are a lot of people from out of town or out of the country in one place and I loved the idea of the mystery behind the Hollywood sign itself. Such a great premise for a book. 

Mia was a really interesting character to get to spend the book with. She is a strong woman who has been hurt and needs to build herself back up again. Everyone seems to think that her interest in Emily and the situation she finds herself in is just because she needs to get over her heartbreak and focus on something else. What we have to remember though, is that Mia is an intelligent person, she has a lot about her, she has won awards for her talents after all. I really liked getting to know Mia. She is not someone I would ever come across in real life and so it was great to get to spend time with her over the course of the book. 

The twists and turns in this book are just brilliant. By the time you get to the second act, you have no idea who is who and what is what the web is tabled so intricately and the story line woven so tight. I did find myself looking at others with suspicion and starting to question what I thought to be true in my own life whilst reading-I love when a book does that to me. I don't often listen to a thriller/mystery on audio because I often find myself missing out on details but this one was an exception. The book is narrated by the author herself and she does a great job in emphasizing the right words and phrases to make sure you know what is sure to be vital information later down the road. 

Catherine Steadman has done it again, had me on the edge of my seat and desperate to read more to find out what is going on with the famous Emily in Hollywoodland. I really loved this and highly recommend. 

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

Friday 23 July 2021

Review: The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

'Mum, there's some people here from college, they asked me back to theirs. Just for an hour or so. Is that OK?'

Midsummer 2017: teenage mum Tallulah heads out on a date, leaving her baby son at home with her mother, Kim.

At 11 p.m. she sends her mum a text message. At 4.30 a.m. Kim awakens to discover that Tallulah has not come home.

Friends tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a pool party at a house in the woods nearby called Dark Place.

Tallulah never returns.

2018: walking in the woods behind the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started as a head teacher, Sophie sees a sign nailed to a fence.

A sign that says: DIG HERE . . .

Review: The great thing about a Lisa Jewell novel is the intricate details that she includes, details that briefly come up somewhere in the book and mean so much more than you realise at the time. The details of characters and the details of settings and events. This book is so reliant on those details and that's what I loved about it so much. 

Another thing that Lisa Jewell has always done well is to keep up with changes in trends and changes in technology. So many authors shy away from this but when you read a novel from this author you can be sure that popular trends and technology will features. This is a great because when you go back and read them years later, there is a sense of nostalgia fro the time the book was set. I loved the fact that Instagram and travel vlogging features so widely in this book. I felt like I could relate to the characters in the book more because of that. 

As always with a Lisa Jewell novel, we get fed details slowly but surely throughout the book. There are multiple time lines through a variety of narratives but all come down to one thing, the night she disappeared. I just loved the fact that we get details from one perspective and then we switch to another perspective meaning that we have to wait until we're back with that character/timeline before we can see the impact of what has just happened. 

Tallulah and Kim are interesting characters. Even though Kim plays such a vital role in the book, she is Tallulah's Mum after all, we don't get told a lot of details about her. We learn of her as a mum and a grandma and we know that she has had this awful thing happen to her but that is about it when it comes to details about her. We are fed a lot more information about Tallulah but as usual this information is revealed slowly but surely. I love the fact that we have queer representation in this novel and I liked the part that views on peopler's sexuality plays an important part of the plot in this case. 

I listened to this book on audiobook and the narrator did a great job. You do have to be paying close attention when listening, however, to make sure that you haven't missed a change in timeline or narrative. I would say that if you can read this book as an ebook or a physical book, that would be the better choice. I adored the fact that this book was structured into multiple parts and there are reveals towards the end of each part meaning you're compelled to keep reading and find out what the next part has in store. 

I loved the structure, I loved the detailing and I loved the intense pressure of the storyline in the latest Lisa Jewell novel. The Night She Disappeared will have you questioning what you know and turning the pages to find the answers that you need. 

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

Wednesday 21 July 2021

Guest Review: Primrose Park by Christie Barlow

The gorgeous new book in the heartwarming and bestselling Love Heart Lane series!

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what

Vet Molly has always been career driven and focussed on caring for her animals, but when she meets a gorgeous Mystery Man at a conference and their connection is off the charts, well, one night off work won’t hurt anyone…except the next morning he’s vanished and all Molly knows about him is his first name.

Three months later, back in Love Heart Lane, everyone loves the story of Molly's amazing one-night stand.  It's so unlike her! But when Mystery Man turns up walking his dog through Primrose Park and their night together seems to mean nothing to him, Molly needs her friends and neighbours more than ever. And especially when she’s left with the most unexpected of surprises…

Review: This is book 6 in the Love Heart Lane series from Christie Barlow. I have read all of the books in this series, set in the Scottish highland village of Heartcross, and have been looking forward to reading this new addition and catching up with some familiar faces. Although there are always recurring characters in these books, each, including this one, can be read as a standalone. As with the rest of the series, this book has a bright, attractive cover that invites the reader into its pages.

This story centres on vet Molly McKendrick, who lives in Glenshiel, the town neighbouring Heartcross. While attending a conference on dog training, she meets a man to whom she has an immediate attraction that proves to be mutual. After a somewhat passionate evening together, she finds that he has suddenly and completely disappeared. All she knows about him is that he is called Cam and he is a dentist; she can find no trace of him. Three months later, when exercising her dog in local Primrose Park, she bumps into Cam, but he pretends not to remember her and is quite disagreeable. As time goes on, Molly continues to meet Cam from time to time, keen to discuss their evening together. She also becomes quite involved in the Heartcross community and Primrose Park in particular. Although she and Cam have shared interests, can she see a future with this man?

I very much enjoyed this book. It was nice to meet up with some familiar characters from previous stories in this series. There are also a few new people in addition to Molly and Cam, but some of them are not at all pleasant. Molly was a lovely person, but Cam was a little unpredictable, although why came to light as the story progressed. In addition to the humans, there is a loveable little dog in the story, loyal but fierce when the situation demands. I’m sure that other readers will enjoy this book as much as I did and be keen to catch up with the rest of the series if they haven’t already done so.

To order your copy now, just click here!

Tuesday 20 July 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That I Read In One Sitting


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.

I do always write in my review if I read a book in one sitting but it's quite nice to reflect like this on those books I read a while ago. 

Monday 19 July 2021

Blog Tour: Review of The Beginners Guide to Loneliness by Laura Bambrey


It is my stop on the blog tour for The Beginners Guide to Loneliness by Laura Bambrey. The paperback of this gorgeous book comes out in the UK on 22nd July. The ebook is already out now and you can click here to order your copy. 

Here's what it's all about:

Tori Williamson is alone. After a tragic event left her isolated from her loved ones, she’s been struggling to find her way back to, well – herself. That’s why she set up her blog, The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness, as a way of – anonymously – connecting with the outside world and reaching others who just need a little help sometimes.
When she’s offered a free spot on a wellbeing retreat in exchange for a review on her blog, Tori is anxious about opening herself up to new surroundings. But after her three closest friends – who she talks to online but has never actually met – convince her it’ll do her some good, she reluctantly agrees and heads off for three weeks in the wild (well, a farm in Wales).
From the moment she arrives, Tori is sceptical and quickly finds herself drawn to fellow sceptic Than, the retreat’s dark and mysterious latecomer. But as the beauty of The Farm slowly comes to light she realizes that opening herself up might not be the worst thing. And sharing a yurt with fellow retreater Bay definitely isn’t.  Will the retreat be able to fix Tori? Or will she finally learn that being lonely doesn’t mean she’s broken . . .

Review: Oh my goodness I loved going on this journey with Tori so much. From the very beginning of the book I was on her side and cheering her on. It was so interesting to go on a very different journey of self discovery with a character who had a very different job and a very different way of life. 

When Tori signs up to go on this well being retreat she is skeptical and I think i was too and yet she knows its a step she must take and a journey she must go on and the best part about the whole story is that we get to take that journey with her. Tori is a such a deep character, it takes a whilst to get to know what makes her tick and her thoughts and fears and I think that Tori felt the same way about herself. I loved getting to know her and spend time unpacking some of her issues with her. 

The whole retreat takes up the majority of the book, which I wasn't expecting, but it was a great escape and brought with it a whole rage of fun activities and amusing situations as well as a full cast of intriguing characters. I loved getting to meet the other people at the retreat and find out what the journey meant to them. I definitely took a while to warm to some of them but I loved getting to meet Dennis in particular. 

This book is definitely an unexpected gem. I don't think the title does it justice for what exactly you're going to find between the pages. I loved reading this and I highly recommend it. 

To order your copy now, just click here

Friday 16 July 2021

Review: I Followed The Rules by Joanna Bolouri

Have you heard of The Rules of Engagement? It's a book that promises to teach you to find the man of your dreams in ten easy steps. Unsurprisingly, I don't own a copy. What is it, 1892?

But I'm a journalist, and I've promised to follow it to the letter and write about the results. Nevermind that my friends think I'm insane, I'm stalking men all over town and can't keep my mouth shut at the best of times.

My name is Cat Buchanan. I'm thirty-six years old and live with my daughter in Glasgow. I've been single for six years, but that's about to change. After all, I'm on a deadline.

I Followed the Rules and this is what happened.

Review: Oh why did I wait so long to read this novel? This was so much fun. It is set in my favourite city of Glasgow and lots of locations I was familiar with were mentioned. On top of that, the main character who is wonderfully bold and speaks her mind shares the same name and spelling as me-meant to be!

I love the idea of trying out a dating experiment in the name of journalism and so I knew that this book was going to pique my interest but I love the level of detail that it went into comparing dating following and not following the rules. Catriona is a great character to spend the book with because she gets herself into some right situations but she owns everything that she does and I love how much she speaks her mind. She works hard to provide for her daughter but she also likes to have a laugh and knows how to make time for herself. 

There were some seriously funny moments in this book as well as more poignant moments when things really do become clear that it is a man's world out there and the rules of engagement were not designed with anyone but HIS best interests at heart. I loved how open and honest this book is through main character Catriona. If you like character driven books that are sex positive and also laugh out loud funny then you will definitely enjoy this one!

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

Thursday 15 July 2021

Review: It's Better This Way by Debbie Macomber

After divorce shatters her family, one woman's struggle to pick up the pieces finally leads to a new beginning--but is the past truly behind her? #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber explores the powerful intersections of love and family in this poignant novel.

It's been nearly six years since Julia Jones had her heart broken. After her husband became involved with another woman, she did everything she could to save their marriage, to no avail. Their two daughters continue to stand by Julia in the wake of their father's behavior--and they've had a tough time getting along with the other woman who became their stepmother. Distraught after selling the family home, Julia moved into a condominium complex that offers the warmth and charm of a fresh start. Now, having settled into her new community and sold her successful interior design business, she's embraced a fulfilling new life, one that doesn't seem to need a man in it. Her beloved father's trusty saying is ringing truer than ever: It's better this way.

But when Julia meets a handsome new resident in the building's exercise room, she can't help but be drawn to him. Heath Johnson is a welcome change from the men she's encountered on the occasional--mostly disastrous--dates her sister has eagerly planned for her over the years. As she and Heath, a divorcé himself, begin to grow close, their friendship blossoms into a love neither of them had expected. However, they soon realize that combining families, even with four adult children, presents inevitable challenges.

When a dramatic revelation threatens the happiness they've found, Julia and Heath must reconcile their love for their children with their love for each other. If they can't, their bright future together may be nothing but a dream.

Review: This was the first Debbie Macomber novel that I have read. A couple of her festive offerings have been on my radar but I think I picked a good one to start with. This book is comfortably predictable but features a meaty cast of characters that so you can find someone you can identify with somewhere in there. I do like a second chance romance especially when there are some interesting complications along the way. 

I really enjoyed the setting of this book. I have visited Seattle and the pacific north west a few rimes but this gave me a different view, from the perspective of these characters. I enjoyed getting out and about with these new friends and seeing more of what the area has to offer. 

Although I enjoyed reading about Julia and her relationship with Heath as well as her relationship with her ex and her daughters, I really loved the storyline involving Carrie. I would have loved to have learned more about here, perhaps a little more meat in her parts of the novel would have turned this from an enjoyable read to a favourite book. 

I will probably try something else from this author again though. I listened to the audiobook of It's Better This Way and I would listen to something else from that narrator again. 

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

Wednesday 14 July 2021

Graphic Novel Reading Vlog: Reading My Library Books Before They Have To Be Returned!


Guest Review: A Wedding at the Cosy Castle on the Loch (Book 4) by Alice Ross

This is the fourth short story in The Cosy Castle on the Loch series. You can read our review of part one here and part two here!

Lottie Palmer has hit an all-time low. Hurtling towards thirty at a worrying speed of knots, her life is a million miles away from where she’d imagined it would be at this stage. And the fact that her entire family is so wrapped up in her brother’s wedding to gorgeous model, Saskia, is doing nothing for Lottie's dwindling self-esteem.

Being unceremoniously dispatched to a wet and gloomy Scotland one week before the wedding to help with the arrangements, Lottie is not best pleased. But when the sun does eventually appear, she finds herself warming not only to beautiful Glenduff Castle, but also to one of its very handsome – and very married – residents.

Can the castle work its magic and help Lottie find a way to turn her life around? Or will she return home even more miserable than when she left?

Review: This is the fourth in a series of short stories centred around Glenduff Castle, now a luxury hotel in the Scottish highlands. Following the castle’s conversion into a hotel, it has grown in popularity and is also gaining a reputation as a wedding venue. I have been following this series and enjoying seeing the effects visiting the hotel has on various characters. Each story in the series can be read as a standalone.

This story centres on Lottie Palmer, who has been sent to the hotel in advance of her brother’s upcoming marriage to make sure that all preparations are proceeding as planned. Her life is not too happy, as she has recently lost her job and is becoming dissatisfied with her long-term relationship and especially with partner Dan. Being sent to the wilds of what she believes to be a boring and rainy land is like the last straw. However, things are not as she expected. The hotel is, of course, lovely and there is the bonus of a very attractive and attentive reporter, Zach, who is writing an article on the wedding. As she settles into her new surroundings, Lottie soon begins to realise that she could change her life from the one that she left behind just a few days ago.

I have been enjoying this entertaining series of stories. Each one focuses on a different character, with a few recurring characters appearing in the background. All have an element of humour, but I found this one funniest of all so far. It had me chortling away as I read. Poor Lottie had her work cut out dealing with the amazing demands of the bride-to-be as well as remembering the surname of the reporter she was trying not to find appealing. I can definitely recommend this story with its beautiful setting and amusing situations.

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

Tuesday 13 July 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Titles That Are Questions


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.

Ah this is such a fun topic, let me know in comments other titles you know of...

Monday 12 July 2021

Review: When's It Due Sophie Drew by Katey Lovell

What can you expect when you are expecting?

Sophie Drew has been dealt the mother of all surprises – she’s having a baby!

Socialising with other mummies-to-be tempts Sophie into setting up a wish list at a local baby boutique. Although most of the items are unnecessary luxuries, she still finds herself lusting after designer changing bags and hi-tech prams.

When some of the most expensive items from her list start arriving, Sophie thinks her boyfriend Max has been splurging but when he denies it, Sophie is surprised.

Sophie is determined to find out who is sending the gifts and why.

Will she find the answer she is looking for and can Sophie finally have everything she ever hoped for?

A heart-warming look at life, When’s it Due, Sophie Drew? explores the emotional aspects of trying to conceive and being pregnant with sensitivity and humour.

Review: Ah this was such a great follow up to Nothing New For Sophie Drew, it made an excellent second book in the series. I love that we got to know Sophie so well in book 1 that we just got to carry on her adventures in book 2. I don't think you HAVE to have read book 1 in the series to enjoy this book but I think you will have a great appreciation of Sophie is a character and her own personal journey if you have read book one. You will also get to know a lot about side characters Max, Tawna and Eve if you have already learned what makes them tick in Nothing New For Sophie Drew. 

One of the things I loved about Sophie in book 1 was her attitude to life and her positivity and that definitely carries through to this novel even though she has been thrown the ultimate curveball, a surprise addition to her life. I love how her positivity works alongside boyfriend Max and his own take on the pregnancy and then her friends Tawna and Eve. I feel like we get to know Tawna a little deeper in this book. She was a bride to be in book 1 and that was all consuming and so we get to see the woman behind the veil in this latest installment and I do feel like seeing Eve and Tawna as best friends to someone who is about to have a baby is just a different dynamic. 

I really loved how open and honest Katey Lovell is in her writing. Things aren't always rosy for her characters in any of her books and she is honest about their money woes or their troubles to get their life together and this book is no exception. Often when you read about a character who is pregnant the pregnancy or brith fears are often glossed over but I feel like we get to live Sophie's pregnancy with her, the good the bad and the ugly and it is so refreshing to read about in a romcom where the ugly bits often get forgotten about in the quest to get to the tiny baby with the tiny outfits and the perfect parental pictures. So bravo to Katey Lovell for creating a real life character who has a real life pregnancy. 

This book was a great follow up to Nothing New For Sophie Drew and I loved getting to know Sophie even better and on another level in When's it Due Sophie Drew. It was also great getting to meet some new side characters including fellow mum Iris. If you're squeamish when it comes to pregnancy, fear not there is nothing too graphic here and what you actually have is a lovely story about a first time mum, her partner and her friends. I so enjoyed this book and I can't wait to see what happens in book 3!

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

Thursday 8 July 2021

Did I Read ANY of The Books on my TBR? June 2021 Reading Wrap Up


Review: Home by Penny Parkes

 A gripping and heartfelt story about overcoming the past and finding where you belong.

Anna Wilson travels the world as a professional housesitter – stepping into other people’s lives - caring for their homes, pets and sometimes even neighbours. Living vicariously.
But all Anna has ever really wanted is a home of her own – a proper one, filled with family and love and happy memories. If only she knew where to start.
Growing up in foster care, she always envied her friends their secure and carefree lives, their certainty and confidence. And, while those same friends may have become her family of choice, Anna is still stuck in that nomadic cycle, looking for answers, trying to find the courage to put down roots and find a place to call home.

Compelling, rich and evocative, Home is Anna’s journey to discovering that it isn’t where you settle down that matters, but the people you have around you when you do. 

Review: I love when we get a book about an unconventional character or an unconventional lifestyle because life isn’t all black and white and we all have our own paths and our own journey and so meeting Anna and finding out about her journey was really special and something which I desperately needed in my reading life.

It was brilliantly frustrating that we get information about Anna’s past drip fed slowly throughout the course of this novel and yet we know that her past is what has shaped her and why has made her who she is today. I love that we get to see the ‘now’ before finding out about the ‘then’ but you have that desperation as a reader to find out as much as you can about ‘then’ because Anna has obviously been affected negatively by it.

It’s so interesting that Anna has chosen to live life through other peoples houses. Her last obviously inspired a lot of this and she is essentially homeless. It just shows that someone without their own home can come in many shapes and forms. I love that Anna is so successful at her job and we do get to find out more and more about why that is. I’ve done some house sitting in my time and it was so intriguing to read about someone who does that full time!

This book also explore the concept of found family and friends often being more of a family than those we grew up with. This is often seen in movies and TV but i don’t think that we get enough of it in books. Kate has such a great relationship with Anna and I loved watching their friendship grow and change as these two women did. I know I will be thinking about where the two of them are now for a long time.

We also get a glimpse into the foster system and what it take for a child to be removed from a home which again is generally only explored in books that are specifically about that issue and not just as part of the main characters life and background. I love that we are getting more of that in general fiction and I think Penny Parkes made some brave but necessary choices when crafting Anna’s story and her character.

This book definitely made me think and opened my eyes to some issues I hadn’t really given much time and attention. I enjoyed the slow feed of information but do be warned, Anna’s story will consume you when you’re reading it.

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

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Guest Review: The Little Orchard on the Lane by Tilly Tennant

Sit back on a sunny Somerset terrace and watch Posy fall for the neighbour she loves to hate, whose melting brown eyes and taut muscles are almost as annoying as his hot temper…

When twenty-seven-year-old Posy arrives at picture-perfect Oleander House in the Somerset village of Astercombe, she is enchanted. Adopted when she was just a baby, Posy is excited to re-connect with her birth family and help out on the family cider farm with its old stone walls and bees buzzing in the hedgerows.

There’s just one tiny problem – her new next-door neighbour, haughty, handsome vineyard-owner Lachlan. Lachlan has taken an instant dislike to Posy, and after a furious argument when she ventures on his land, she’s pretty certain there’s not a heart of gold beneath his frosty exterior.

Yet as she falls in love with the flower-filled hedgerows and apple-green fields of her new life, she discovers more about her grumpy neighbour. Even though he acts like the world is out to get him, she can’t ignore the sad expression in his dark eyes.

And when Posy discovers the heartbreaking secret that is tearing Lachlan apart, she understands why he has shut the door on the world and vows to help him, as well as the vineyard, which has fallen on hard times. Yet just as Lachlan lets Posy in, a terrible night threatens to destroy everything she has begun to care about and puts someone she loves at risk. Will her dream life in the country come at an awful price?

Review: I am a great fan of Tilly Tennant’s writing and was looking forward to reading her new book with its summery cover promising a bumper crop of apples and perhaps romance. The story lived up to my expectations; I was quickly immersed in the world of Tilly’s characters and found the book a quick and easy read, perfect for summer or any other time of the year.

The story revolves around Posy, who was adopted as a baby and is meeting her birth family for the first time at the age of 27, nobody having known of her existence until then. Her only living relatives, her uncles, live in a grand house in the village of Astercombe in Somerset, where they run a cider farm. Posy has been brought up in London, and has trained as an interior designer. She is absolutely charmed by the countryside around her uncles’ property and the friendly people in the village, and is delighted to be able to spend some time there and learn about their orchards and cider production. However, the neighbouring property is a vineyard owned by Lachlan, a dour scotsman who seems to have taken an instant dislike to Posy. Whilst others give the man a wide berth, Posy determines to find out what is behind his gruff exterior and at the same time help him restore the fortunes of his vineyard. Just as they seem to have reached an understanding, a near tragedy almost forces them apart again, but is there some attraction between them?

I enjoyed reading this uplifting story about Posy discovering a new life and secrets about her past and can recommend it to other readers. The author’s descriptive writing conjured up images in my mind of the picturesque countryside and wide open spaces that so appealed to Posy and her adoptive mother. All of the characters in the story are likeable in their own ways, but I think I liked Posy’s adoptive mother most of all; she is so respectful of Posy’s feelings on discovering a ‘new’ family even though it could change their relationship. I loved the sound of the little village of Astercombe and would love to go and explore. This is a perfect book for anyone wishing to escape from events in the real world for a few hours and get lost in Posy’s world instead.

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

Tuesday 6 July 2021

Reading Vlog: Can I Read All The Books On One Bookshelf?


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For the Rest of 2021


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 so this topic was last week but I decided to go in a different direction and so I'll be posting my most anticipated books for the rest of 2021 today!

Books Without Covers Yet...

When's It Due Sophie Drew by Katey Lovell Out July 12th