Wednesday 10 April 2024

Guest Review: The Wedding of the Year by Jill Mansell

Love, friendship and secrets revealed as the sun beats down on dazzling blue Cornish seas . . .

It's set to be a perfect day - until the chauffeur is asked to keep driving the bride around the church. This wedding definitely isn't going as planned.

Lottie is a guest at the wedding when she sees Max. No kiss has ever matched the last one they shared fifteen years ago. They were on the brink of a beautiful love story, until a shocking event tore them apart. Now here he is, still ridiculously good-looking, teasing Lottie in the old way - and that overwhelming electric attraction is back. But Max is way out of bounds.

Freya owes Cameron everything. But she doesn't love him. Which is a shame, because they're about to be married.

Ruby has been the perfect wife. When she discovers the truth about her husband, her response is reckless and delicious. But after that, nothing will ever be the same again.



Review: I always look forward with great anticipation to the annual offering from Jill Mansell, expecting a thoroughly entertaining read. Her novels are always full of well-developed characters and dramatic storylines. This book is set in Cornwall. I was not sure what to expect from the title, but its dramatic opening had me hooked from the start.

The story begins in the church in the village of Lanrock, where Freya is about to walk down the aisle towards her groom, Cameron. However, the wedding is suddenly halted by Ruby, the vicar’s wife, who has just made a shocking discovery. Her actions are just the beginning of a chain of events that will impact on more than one marriage. In the congregation are old acquaintances Lottie and Max. They have quite a history, a budding romance in their teens having been abruptly brought to a halt by events outwith their control. However, it seems that although there is still a spark there, there are still major obstacles in the path of their relationship nevertheless. Meanwhile, it appears that the interruption to Freya’s wedding may have been fortuitous for her, as she is unsure if she really loves Cameron, and she may now have time to find a way to wriggle out of their relationship.

This was a delightfully entertaining book with multiple storylines involving the various characters from the village of Lanrock and beyond. They included several particularly strong women. I loved the drama of the opening pages of the book, with one shock after another. Ruby proved a much stronger person than villagers realised; she was not taking any nonsense from anyone. I was also struck by Freya’s actions in dealing with her situation. She had an idea of how to act and stuck to it. Lottie and Max’s story was reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet’s situation, but fortunately they found a different solution from the star-crossed lovers. I loved their story most of all. I can highly recommend this enjoyable book, full of drama and romance, and certainly never a dull moment.

To order your copy now, just click here!

Saturday 6 April 2024

Guest Review: Hurricane: The Plane that Won the War By Jacky Hyams

Britain’s first-ever wartime fighter plane, the Hawker Hurricane, shot down more enemy planes than any other fighter. It was the true aviation hero of the Battle of Britain.

Often eclipsed by the legend and aerial heroics of the Spitfire, the Hurricane was the authentic warhorse of aviation history. Stable, rugged, less expensive to build – and far more easily repaired and maintained than the Spitfire – the ‘Hurri’ as it was affectionately known, proved to be the most fearsome fighter plane in aerial combat – at a time when Britain’s survival was at stake like never before.

In 1940 the Hurricane made its mark: more than half of the 1,200 German aircraft that were shot down in the war were taken down by HurricanesAt the time, the RAF could call on 32 squadrons of Hurricanes and 19 Spitfires: the Hurricane was, in fact, the dominant British fighter plane, developing a reputation as a plane that could take more than a few hits from the enemy – and continue to fly. The Spit was the aviation thoroughbred, superb until damaged. The Hurri was much stronger. The skilled airmen came from all over the world; one of them from RAF 80 Squadron would later become a very famous author – Roald Dahl.

Using documents, letters and first-hand accounts, this is the historic untold story of the Hawker Hurricane and the lives of the men and women who flew, helped design and construct, fit and worked behind the scenes of the ‘Hurri’, all contributing in ways big and small, to its outstanding success as a legend of the Second World War.


Review: This is a book about the Hawker Hurricane, a British fighter aeroplane that saw service during the Second World War. The first prototype flew in 1935 and the aeroplane first entered service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) at the end of 1937. It served with distinction throughout the Second World War (1939-1945) in all the major theatres of this conflict, although it was becoming obsolete and replaced with more modern designs towards the end of the war. Its finest hour was in the Battle of Britain during the summer and early autumn of 1940. Although often overshadowed by the more glamorous Supermarine Spitfire, the Hurricane’s design was simpler (parts of it were fabric-covered), meaning that it could be built more quickly and was easier to repair following damage. During the Battle of Britain, 32 squadrons of Hurricanes were available to the RAF, compared to 19 squadrons of Spitfires, and Hurricanes shot down more enemy aircraft than did Spitfires. In fact, the highest scoring squadron during the battle was 303 Squadron, a Polish squadron that flew Hurricanes.

The author has set out to redress this imbalance in the reputation of the Hurricane. By using first-hand accounts, she has provided personal histories of the men, and women, who designed, built, flew and maintained the aeroplane. In a comprehensive history of this aeroplane, its wartime roles in Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Far East are described. However, the text contained many factual errors. She describes SS troops in Germany prior to the outbreak of war as wearing khaki uniforms, whereas it was the SA (Sturmabteilung), the main paramilitary “enforcers” during Hitler’s rise and early years in power, that wore khaki uniforms, hence their nickname of “brownshirts”. She has converted a pilot’s pre-decimal daily pay of 11 shillings and 9 old pence to 40 pence in decimal currency, whereas the correct conversion is 59 pence. In addition, throughout the book, the designation of the German fighter aeroplane Messerschmitt 109 alternates between Bf 109 and Me 109. I also thought that some of the accounts could have been enhanced by the inclusion of more detail. She describes how the Polish 303 Squadron became operational on 31 August 1940. However, the circumstances as to how this came about are omitted. On the previous day during a training flight, one of the pilots Ludwik Paszkiewicz broke formation and shot down an enemy aircraft. His squadron commander officially reprimanded him but privately congratulated him and recommended the squadron become operational. Similarly, in the account of the battle for Malta, the arrival of naval supply convoys in November and December 1942 are described, but the earlier and most famous convoy, Operation Pedestal in August of that year is not mentioned.

I found the book to be a fairly comprehensive history of this famous, if unglamorous, fighter aircraft. However, I feel that greater attention to detail and more rigorous proofreading, together with inclusion of more detail could have elevated a reasonably good book into a very good book.

To order your copy now, just click here!

Thursday 4 April 2024

March 2023 Reading Wrap Up

 March was tough, I was very motivated to read everything on my TBR but this term at school has just been mind-blowingly busy and fast and really really hard so I've listened to some aduiobooks but nowhere near what I thought I would get to!

I only read audiobooks this month:





Wednesday 3 April 2024

Guest Review: Chasing a Highland Dream by Lisa Hobman

Since having to drop out of her design degree, Bella Douglas has been unlucky in just about everything life has thrown at her.

She’s lost more jobs than she cares to remember and despite her Granny Isla’s best attempts to set her up with every eligible bachelor in the Scottish Highlands and she’s still single.

Currently PA to her best friend, aka, Lady Olivia MacBain, at the 17th century Drumblair Castle, Bella is yet to find a role that sets her soul on fire. But when disaster strikes for Olivia, Bella steps into the breach to rescue her best friend from a fate worse than a bad interior designer.

When Bella and her Granny Isla find themselves homeless, they relocate to the castle where a handsome new neighbour brings mystery, intrigue and a spark of romance.

Is Bella finally on the track to find true happiness? Or do more catastrophes lie ahead? And does true love hide where you least expect it?


Review: This is the second book in The Highlands series from this author, following on from Coming Home to the Highlands. I very much enjoyed the first book in the series, and was looking forward to finding out what would happen to the characters in this sequel. I listened to the audio version, which was beautifully read by one of my favourite narrators, Eilidh Beaton. Although the book is part of a series, and I loved rekindling my acquaintance with many of the characters, it can equally be read as a standalone if you missed the last book.


This time, the story centres on aspiring interior designer Bella Douglas, best friend and personal assistant to Lady Olivia McBain at Drumblair Castle.  Bella lives in a cosy cottage with her elderly grandmother, Isla, a lovely lady always on the lookout for a husband for her granddaughter. Although Bella had to drop out of her design degree, she still has an interest in that field. She is delighted therefore when she has the opportunity to put her skills to good use in designing some properties at the castle. After a flood in Isla’s cottage leaves Isla and Bella homeless, they move temporarily into the castle where Bella meets neighbour Aiden, and a relationship develops between the two. However, all is not quite right with this handsome man, and it seems that Isla suspicions about him may have been spot on. Is it possible that the Mr Right might have been right in front of Bella all along?


It was great to return to Drumblair Castle and meet up with the people there in this romantic story, which is packed with interesting characters and the lovely scenery of the Scottish highlands. Bella is such a kind and cheerful young lady, happy to give up her studies to look after her grandmother. Isla is also a wonderful character, with a host of malapropisms that had me laughing throughout. The new neighbour they encountered was distinctly dodgy and had alarm bells ringing in my head from the word go. Just as well that Isla had picked out another more reliable companion for her granddaughter. I can happily recommend this highland romance and indeed all of Lisa Hobman’s books that I have read so far.


To order your copy now, just click here!

Tuesday 2 April 2024

April 2024 TBR: It's Getting a Little Repetative Now!

 Be honest, are you getting tired of seeing the same books on here month after month? I keep including them because I do genuinely want to read them all and I'm excited to do so!

February Releases I Still Want to Get To



April Releases




May Releases



Nonfiction



And of course, Alice Oseman







Wednesday 27 March 2024

Guest Review: The Lifeboat Sisters by Tilly Tennant

Escape to Seaspray Cottage on the Cornish coast, with its stunning views of honeycomb sand beaches and aquamarine seas, where Ava is about to discover the man of her dreams might be closer than she thinks…

Twenty-five-year-old Ava Morrow smiles through her tears as she links arms with her two older sisters. They’re surrounded by the friendly locals from the tiny village of Port Promise who’ve come together to celebrate her father’s life. As she and her sisters swap memories over cider in the pub garden, the sun warm on her shoulders, the seagulls diving for her crisps, Ava feels something close to peace. At least she knows she has friends and family who love her, even if she might feel a bit stuck in the place she’s lived in all her life.

And yet the next morning, waking up in her cramped caravan, she can’t ignore the feeling that her life is at a standstill. Determined her father’s legacy should never be forgotten, Ava makes the brave decision to train as a lifeboat volunteer alongside her best friend Harry, the one person who can make her smile in the toughest times.

As they learn how to save lives in the winter-blue Cornish waters, Ava begins to see Harry in a different light. Ava’s sisters think working on the lifeboats is risky, and Harry is the only person who understands what she needs to do. What’s more, she’s finding it increasingly difficult to ignore the depth of his sea-green eyes and the sun shining on his sandy blonde hair.

But just when Ava decides she can no longer hide her feelings for Harry, he reveals a devastating secret about the night Ava’s father died. With her world turned upside down, Ava has an important decision to make. Should she open her heart to Harry and take a chance on love? Or will the secret he has shared drive her away from him and the new life she loves?



I have decided to review what is actually a collection of three books set in the small Cornish seaside village of Port Promise, and featuring three siblings from the Morrow family. In common with their father and ancestors before him, all have strong connections with the village’s lifeboat station and a strong desire to save the lives of those at sea.


In the first book in the series, The Lifeboat Sisters, we meet Ava Morrow, the youngest of the three sisters. She is currently teaching watersports to locals and holidaymakers. At the beginning of the book, the sisters are mourning the loss of their father during a rescue at sea. Despite being acutely aware of the dangers, Ava is keen to train as a lifeboat volunteer and join her brother-in-law Killian and best friend Harry serving on the local lifeboat. Her mother and sisters are strongly opposed to any more of the family endangering their lives in this way, and Ava turns to Harry as someone who understands her desire to help others in this way. However, she gradually begins to realise that she is developing more than just feelings of friendship for Harry.


The second book in the series, Second Chances for the Lifeboat Sisters, features middle sister Clara Morrow. Trained as a chef, she is living with artist fiancĂ© Logan in a flat in Port Promise and planning their wedding in the village, while helping friend Cormac run his fish shack. Logan is not totally at home in the village, and when he inherits a house in London, he is keen to return there and set up home with Clara after they are married. Clara can’t imagine life without her mother and sisters close by and doesn’t want to let Cormac down. It seems that she and Logan now have very different ideas for the future. Which life should she choose?


The final book in the series, A Secret for the Lifeboat Sisters, focuses on the oldest Morrow sister, Gaby. She is married to Killian and has two children. Her belief that she has a happy and strong marriage has been challenged recently as Killian has become withdrawn and is apparently hiding secrets from her. Relations become strained between them and when she finds that he has concealed something that threatens radically to change the family dynamics, she is unsure how to act. However, when it seems that Killian’s life is in danger, she realises what is most important to her.


I have enjoyed these three books, and learning about these sisters from such a close-knit family, and indeed community. The girls are all very different in temperament and ambition, but share their love for family and home. The little village of Port Promise is well described, and sounds just the kind of place I would like to visit and stay for a while. The lifeboat station is central to the whole community and the stories bring home to the reader just how important this service and the volunteers who run it are for anyone in or on the sea. The books are well worth a read and best read in order.


To order your copy now, just click here!

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Guest Review: The Accidental Housemate by Sal Thomas

Cath Beckinsale is in a jam. She’s a single mum of three, with her 40th birthday in sight and a precarious hold on employment. And she can’t quite let go of her late husband Gaz, whose ashes are still in an urn on the kitchen table.

To make ends meet a student lodger seems like the perfect solution – after all, what’s one more child in the house? But when Dan flies in from the US with guitar and chest hair on display, it’s immediately clear that he’s no teenager, but someone who quickly sends life in an unexpected direction.


Review: This is the first book by this author, and I’m happy that I spotted it on my library’s website. I was attracted by its interesting title and eye-catching cover, but was unprepared for just how much I was going to enjoy the story within. Right from the first few words, I was hooked and it had my attention until the very end.


The story concerns single mother Cath Beckinsale, who is struggling to make ends meet while bringing up her three children after the death of her partner Gaz, whose ashes are sitting on the kitchen table and who she often consults. When an unscrupulous colleague gets her into trouble at work and she loses her job, Cath agrees to take in a lodger as a source of income. However, when he arrives, the lodger turns out to be not the American teenager student she was expecting, but Dan, still from the USA but more of her age group. She doesn’t take to Dan to start with, but he begins to ingratiate himself into the family and to change her life in ways she had never considered.

This is one of the funniest books I have read and would recommend it to absolutely anybody who enjoys a good laugh. Having said that, you feel it shouldn’t be so funny since there are some really serious issues in the past and along the way for Cath and her family, but some of the situations she finds herself in are just hilarious. I loved the way that handsome and laid-back Dan came along and turned everything upside down for the family like some kind of fairy godfather. This is definitely not just a standard romcom but a story with true depth and a message that it is possible to turn fortunes around, told with a good dose of humour. I can’t wait to read the next book from Sal Thomas.

To order your copy now, just click here!

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Top ten Tuesday: Books I'm Worried I Might Not Love As Much The Second Time Around

 

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. 

This is a great list. I only started re-reading a few years ago and I think this was part of the reason so...














Wednesday 6 March 2024

Guest Review: I Remember Paris by Lucy Diamond

Jess Bright, single mum and journalist, feels her life has stalled. So when she's offered a writing job in Paris for the summer, she leaps at the chance to go. Hasn't she always felt that she left a piece of her heart in the city years before?

Her subject is the iconic artist Adelaide Fox, whose personal life has been steeped in scandal and intrigue. Now approaching eighty, she's ready to tell her side of the story - and serve up some scalding-hot revenge in the process.

Amidst a stormy working relationship, Jess and Adelaide must face up to their pasts. As passionate affairs, terrible betrayals and life-changing secrets surface, there may be more surprises in store than either of them dared imagine . . .



I am a great fan of Lucy Diamond’s writing and was looking forward to being taken on a trip to Paris with her latest book. It certainly didn’t disappoint; I was quickly immersed in Parisian life and missed the city when the book was finished. I love the bright yellow cover, which invites the reader into the city with its well known landmark. 


The story features writer and journalist Jess Bright who has recently separated from her cheating husband and is currently trying to relaunch her career while bringing up her teenage daughters single handed. When she is given a chance to travel to Paris for an assignment, she jumps at the chance to return to the city where she lived for a while in her youth. The job involves writing the life story of artist Adelaide Fox, who is now in her 80s and ready to ‘tell all’. It turns out she has had a life peppered with scandal and rumour, and that revenge is one of her main motives for writing her memoirs at this point in her life. Adelaide is not the easiest person to work with and Jess finds herself involved in many confrontations with the artist. Fortunately Adelaide’s nephew, Lucas, is on hand to smooth things over as necessary. As her summer in the city progresses, Jess finds herself being drawn to Lucas and wonders if her feelings are reciprocated. She also thinks back over her time in Paris as a younger woman.


I found this a powerful and well-written story that stayed with me long after I finished the book. It has so many facets to it, from the simple development of the relationship between Jess and Adelaide, to their intriguing and eventful individual stories from the past, and then the possibilities for their futures. Of course, through Lucy Diamond’s excellent descriptive writing, I also enjoyed a tour of the sights of Paris and could almost smell the garlic and taste the wonderful French dishes Jess herself was experiencing. I can definitely recommend this book to any other readers looking for an escape to another world and another time. 


To order your copy now, just click here

Monday 4 March 2024

February 2024 Reading Wrap Up

 Well that book hangover from reading the new CL Taylor novel Every Move You Make certainly stayed with me throughout most of February and so, despite picking up and starting 3 or 4 things, I only managed to read 1 book in the month of Februay. Please tell me it wasn't just me that struggled this month?!

I listened to the audiobook of:



Saturday 2 March 2024

Guest Review: Abyss: The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 By Max Hastings

The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis was the most perilous event in history, when mankind faced a looming nuclear collision between the United States and Soviet Union. During those weeks, the world gazed into the abyss of potential annihilation.

Max Hastings’s graphic new history tells the story from the viewpoints of national leaders, Russian officers, Cuban peasants, American pilots and British disarmers. Max Hastings deploys his accustomed blend of eye-witness interviews, archive documents and diaries, White House tape recordings, top-down analysis, first to paint word-portraits of the Cold War experiences of Fidel Castro’s Cuba, Nikita Khrushchev’s Russia and Kennedy’s America; then to describe the nail-biting Thirteen Days in which Armageddon beckoned.

Hastings began researching this book believing that he was exploring a past event from twentieth century history. He is as shocked as are millions of us around the world, to discover that the rape of Ukraine gives this narrative a hitherto unimaginable twenty-first century immediacy. We may be witnessing the onset of a new Cold War between nuclear-armed superpowers.

To contend with today’s threat, which Hastings fears will prove enduring, it is critical to understand how, sixty years ago, the world survived its last glimpse into the abyss. Only by fearing the worst, he argues, can our leaders hope to secure the survival of the planet.






Review: For 13 days, from 16th October 1962, the world stood on the brink of possible nuclear conflict as the two superpowers of the day, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, faced-off over the deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba. This book is the author’s account of the events leading up to, during and after those 13 days, which is usually referred to as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

In 1959, a socialist revolution in Cuba led by Fidel Castro overthrew the American-backed government. Castro became the country’s Prime Minister and pursued an agenda of socialist policies. This earned the enmity of America and led to many disaffected Cubans emigrating to America. In April 1961, a group of these Cuban exiles, trained by America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and with the acquiescence of the newly-elected American President John F. Kennedy, attempted an unsuccessful invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. The American administration, feeling humiliated, imposed trade embargoes on Cuba and made plans secretly to overthrow Castro. Cuba felt isolated and, fearing another American invasion, turned to the Soviet Union for economic and military support. As well as providing this aid, the Soviet Union’s Premier Nikita Khrushchev also came up with a plan to deploy covertly nuclear missiles, together with supporting technical and military personnel, to Cuba over the summer of 1962. These installations were photographed by American aerial reconnaissance missions in mid-October so that, despite Soviet denials, the Americans were aware of the nuclear deployment 90 miles from their south-east coast, precipitating the crisis. There followed 13 days of tense negotiations, together with an American naval blockade, before President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev drew back from the abyss and reached a compromise by which the Soviet nuclear missiles were withdrawn in return for America undertaking not to invade Cuba.

Max Hastings has used eyewitness interviews, archive documents and diaries in order to research this book. In addition, President Kennedy had installed tape recorders in the White House so transcripts of the meetings of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council during the crisis are available. As the author himself acknowledges, no such records of the deliberations in the Kremlin in Moscow are available, so there is some imbalance in the historical archives. Nevertheless, I found this a well-researched and very comprehensive account of a dramatic period during the 20th century. As well as accounts of the leaders Castro, Kennedy and Khrushchev and other politicians and top military personnel involved, the book provides an insight into the reactions of ordinary servicemen and civilians during this period. As well as detailing the actions of America and the Soviet Union, the book also has accounts from the perspective of the Cubans and America’s NATO allies. Throughout the book, the author does not shrink from giving his sometimes forthright views about the individuals involved. I found it to be a detailed and very interesting account of a dramatic period that should appeal to all enthusiasts of modern history.

To order your copy now, just click here!

Friday 1 March 2024

March 2024 TBR: New Book Releases and Nonfiction I Want to Read

 Ok, we will take a moment to recognise the fact that I did not read very much in the month of February but it's a short month so I am definitely forgiven for that! There will be a lot of holdovers from last month but there are also a few new things I want to read this month!

March Releases (I've read but want to highlight!)




February Releases





Nonfiction



Book vs Movie





Alice Oseman






Thursday 29 February 2024

Guest Review: A Villa with a View by Julie Caplin

Lia Bathurst had always dreamed of escaping to the white sandy beaches and turquoise blue seas of the Amalfi coast – but that dream hadn’t included meeting her real father. A father she had never even known about until a few weeks ago! Yet here she was, standing outside the gates of a gorgeous pink villa being refused entry by the insufferable – and insufferably handsome – Raphael Knight, her father’s business manager.

When an old black and white photo proves Lia’s claim to be true, Raph is determined to make sure this stranger, with her long caramel waves and infectious smile, doesn’t have an ulterior motive. Even if that means not letting her out of his sight.

As temperatures rise, and not just from the heat of the Mediterranean sun, could Lia and Raph’s forced proximity lead to something more like… amore?



Review: This book is part of Julie Caplin’s very enjoyable Romantic Escapes series, the stories in which are set in a range of different countries, with a cast of characters who often crop up in more than one story. In this book, the author transported me to the Amalfi coast of Italy, with its rugged countryside and picturesque fishing villages, as illustrated on the book’s bright cover. 


The story centres on textile artist Lia Bathurst, who is spending the summer in the beautiful village of Positano. As well as looking for inspiration for a project she is working on, Lia is hoping to meet the man she has recently discovered is her biological father. It has come as a shock to her that her mother has kept his identity secret all these years. Unfortunately, her father, Ernesto, is a famous film star and Raph, his stepson and business manager, will not allow her to contact him. When it emerges that Ernesto may well be Lia’s father, Raph is still suspicious of her motives. Afraid that Lia might be a fortune hunter, Raph keeps close to her, but can he ignore the obvious attraction that develops between them?


I loved this well-written, will-they won’t-they romance, and expect other readers will also. The story is brimming with strong, interesting and mainly likeable characters and full of scenes evoking familiar tastes and vistas of Italy. I liked Lia, a very determined, inspiring heroine searching for her true origins. I also admired Raph for his loyalty to his stepfather, but found it hard to like him for the first portion of the book when he appeared arrogant and judgemental. His fun-loving brother, Leo, injected quite a bit of humour into the book, making him a likeable character, but there was an underlying seriousness to his personality. Someone I really liked was Raph’s mother, who ably ran a large household and cooked the most delicious-sounding meals with very little effort. This was an entertaining addition to this series; I’m already looking forward hopefully to a next book.


To order your copy now, just click here!

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Guest Review: The Library on Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow

Growing up in foster care, Elle Cooper always felt a piece of herself was missing. Now, as her thirtieth birthday approaches, she’s ready to find it. But when instigating the search for her birth mother leads to a whole host of unexpected events, this librarian’s quiet life suddenly gets very loud!

With new friends, old flames and surprising influences keeping Elle busy, she soon starts to see that there’s more to life than where you came from – and that where you are right now, and who you have in your corner, is what might just matter most of all…



Review: This is the 13th book in the Love Heart Lane series from this author. It was published previously as Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, and has been adapted to fit into the present series. The stories in this series feature inhabitants of the small highland village of Heartcross and the nearby town of Glensheil, each one introducing one or more new character as well as reuniting the reader with well-loved faces from previous books. All the books, including this one, can be read as a standalone story. As usual, this book contains a helpful map showing locations within Love Heart Lane that feature in the stories.

The central character in this book is librarian Elle Cooper. She loves her job in the Love Heart Lane library, where she works alongside friend Pippa, and new member of staff Aiden. Elle has had a troubled past, having been moved as a child from one foster family to another until she was finally placed in her teens with Irene, who has been like a mother to her ever since. Now, with her 30th birthday round the corner, Elle wants to try and find her birth mother, and perhaps even her father. However, Elle’s search results in a series of shocks for her that just keep on coming, and her quiet existence is suddenly transformed in more ways than one.

I have enjoyed all of the books in this series so far, but, for me, this is probably the most emotional read so far. Elle was a lovely person, and as her story emerged with each page, her amazing, strong personality was revealed. The story of her early years was quite heartbreaking to read. As you might expect from a librarian, Elle had a great love of books and a favourite author who she longed to meet, but she was unsure if she had it in her to write a book of her own. The story underlined the importance in all our lives of true friends. Elle was lucky in having so many people who cared for her, including a caring and supportive foster mother. I loved her best friend Pippa, different in so many ways from Elle, but always there ready to help out and add some humour to any situation. As with previous books in the series, the wonderful community spirit present in Love Heart Lane shone out and in addition the storyline contained a satisfying dose of romance for more than just Elle.

To order your copy now, just click here!