Monday, 28 August 2017

The Woman at 72 Derry Lane by Carmel Harrington




On a leafy suburban street in Dublin, beautiful, poised Stella Greene lives with her successful husband, Matt. The perfect couple in every way, Stella appears to have it all. Next door, at number 72 however, lives Rea Brady. Gruff, bad-tempered and rarely seen besides the twitching of her net curtains, rumour has it she’s lost it all…including her marbles if you believe the neighbourhood gossip.
But appearances can be deceiving and when Stella and Rea’s worlds collide they realise they have much in common. Both are trapped in a prison of their own making.
Has help been next door without them realising it?

I get very little time to read now and so I am very careful when picking a book to read, I need something that is going to pull me in from the first page and make me switch off from the hustle and bustle of every day life. When one of my favourite authors sent me a copy of her latest release The Woman at 72 Derry Lane along with a pack of tissues because this Queen of emotional writing always leaves me sitting like a blubbering wreck, I knew that I could trust in this authors writing to pick me up and lose me whole heartedly through each of the pages.

We are introduced to two women Stella and Rea who are neighbours who strike up an unlikely friendship when they gradually realise they are more alike than they would like to admit. Both women are trapped, Stella in a brutal and unforgiving marriage to a fowl excuse for a human being Matt and Rea in her own personal prison who has lost everything and everyone and can not step out of her comfort zone to her freedom. When Stella reaches breaking point she reaches out to Rea for help and the pair form a strong bond and both want to see each other live the happy lives they both deserve.

I always come to expect a devastating topic weaved through the pages of a Carmel Harrington novel and she addresses both domestic abuse and agoraphobia in this one which in itself was enough to get emotions and my temper running high. I drew hope from seeing both Rea and Stella drawing strength and support from each other and I was very much enjoying their storyline and then there was a new storyline weaved in a little way through the book that threw me off. At first I was a little put out that this other storyline was interrupting my time with Stella and Rea and I really couldn't see any connection this had to the ladies but the more snippets we were given of this other storyline the more my interest was piqued and I found myself coming full circle and wanting to know more about this than Rea and Stella’s story! 

This part of the book was breath-taking, the utter horror and desperation grew with each chapter and it was so compelling and what added to the tragic storyline is it was loosely based on a real life event that shook the nation. I really don’t want to say anymore on this part of the book as for me it was this that made the book such an exceptional, emotional and thought provoking read that will stay in your head and heart for a long time to come.

Strangely enough this book didn't have me flooding with tears, it actually had me feeling bereft and numb and continually thinking about all those that were involved with the devastation and wondering how those who survived are coping in life today.

Once again Carmel Harrington has delivered a remarkable, thought provoking and emotional storyline that will capture the heart of every reader and shatter it in two





Kindle                      Paperback

Friday, 18 August 2017

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel


The girls of the Roanoke family - beautiful, rich, mysterious - seem to have it all. But there's a dark truth about them that's never spoken.
Lane is one of the lucky ones. When she was fifteen, over one long, hot summer at her grandparents' estate in rural Kansas, she found out what it really means to be a Roanoke girl. Lane ran, far and fast. Until eleven years later, when her cousin Allegra goes missing - and Lane has no choice but to go back.
She is a Roanoke girl.
Is she strong enough to escape a second time?


This is going to be a hard review for me to write as my thoughts on this book are so mixed. I don’t want to give too much away but the main plot focuses on a form of sexual abuse that has never sat comfortable with me and as soon as it was revealed in this book I was unsure whether to carry on with the book but on the other hand the authors writing style flows so effortlessly and she gets straight to the point without drawing the storyline out unnecessarily which made this a fast-paced gripping read.
The Roanoke girls are like any other family, these girls are “special” Everyone is envious of the beautiful girls, men are instantly attracted to them, girls are bitterly jealous of them but if they knew what really made these girls special they would feel relieved that they are not a Roanoke girl.
Secrets that have been covered up by this family for years are threatened to be revealed when Allegra goes missing and Lane has no option but to return back to the terrible home desperate to find her.
The only way I can describe this book is like going past a car crash and knowing you shouldn’t look but curiosity always wins! 
The storyline was predictable but I wanted to carry on reading to see how things reached the conclusion I was expecting to lay ahead. It was impossible for me to warm to any of the characters because they were not the type of people I would ever be able to relate to but I was still intrigued to see what would become of this family.
The author delivers the disturbing psychological issues that the characters has in great detail so I can assume that she has done a lot of research when it comes to this part of the book. I also found it easy to visualise the settings of the book especially the random carvings that Allegra often left.
This is a really twisted and disturbing read that I am sure will divide many readers in their opinions, it certainly has something as I sped through this book so quickly but I think this is more in thanks to the authors writing style rather than the storyline as it is not a book that I would pick up again and because of the subject matter I don’t feel this would be a book that I would comfortably recommend.

Paperback                Kindle

Friday, 11 August 2017

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling



Verity Love – Jane Austen fangirl and an introvert in a world of extroverts – is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and her fictional boyfriend Peter is very useful for getting her out of unwanted social events. But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated.

Johnny could also use a fictional girlfriend. Against Verity’s better judgement, he persuades her to partner up for a summer season of weddings, big number birthdays and garden parties, with just one promise - not to fall in love with each other…


The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts was one of my top reads of 2016 and I have found it impossible to let Posy and her quaint little Bookshop go so I was over the moon when I found out that Annie Darling was bringing us a sequel, True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop.

This time our main character is Verity, who you may remember from the first book even though she had a smaller roll. Verity is perfectly happy living the single life but her friends and family have other ideas and so to keep them off of her back and to stop them constantly trying to set her up she invents a boyfriend but when she is followed by her nosey friends who are keen to meet her mysterious man she has to think quick and enlists the help of an unexpected guy to help her cover her tracks.

Johnny never expected that evening to be that eventful but he sees a great opportunity for Verity and himself to help each other out over the next few weeks and so they agree to pretend date so they can get a break from blind dates and matchmaking.

The dangerous thing when you adore a book so much and long for a sequel is that you have incredibly high expectations and you expect to have all the feels from the first book flowing through the pages of the second book. This sequel is an enjoyable read that I found myself eagerly turning the pages wanting to see how Verity’s love life was progressing but I really felt like the book was missing that special spark that was found in the first book. I am sure if you were to read this book as a standalone you would thoroughly enjoy it but those reading this after reading book one will not be able to help but compare to the two. It didn’t have that warm cosy and community vibe going on that was so inviting in the first book but it does have a great sense of wit which I loved.

I loved seeing glimpses of the previous characters from the first book, I must admit that I was hoping that Posy was going to have a bigger role in this book but that is just because of how much I loved and related to her character. Verity herself is a difficult character to warm to as she has high barriers up and comes across as a prickly character at times but when she spends time with Johnny gradually I felt her guard coming down at times and I began to really care for her character and long for her to find the happiness she deserved. Johnny was also a character who had me on a rollercoaster as some times I loved him and thought he was just what Verity needed but then at other times he would say something that would throw my opinion of him in the complete opposite direction.

I did enjoy this book and I would recommend anyone who is looking for a light hearted romance to take away with them this Summer but I would just give anyone who fell in love with the first book a heads up that this although an enjoyable read, it doesn’t leave you with that longing for a follow on this time around.




Kindle                            Paperback

Thursday, 27 July 2017

This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh

What happens when you get the second chance you never expected?

Abi is living her happy ending. She's in remission and is ready to make the most of her second chance at life. But during Abi's illness her family has fallen apart. Her husband John has made decisions that are about to come back to haunt him, while her teenage son Seb is battling with a secret of his own.
Set to the songs on Abi's survival playlist, this is the story of what happens next as Abi tries to rebuild her family. Can she bring the people she loves most in the world back together again... before it's too late?

This Beautiful Life is the first book I have read by Katie Marsh and having now finished this powerful and emotive read I know it on't be my last as this book is sure to leave a lasting impression on me.

The storyline introduces us to a family who have been through a desperate time with mum Abi fighting cancer and now she is in remission it shows the effects that the fight has had on the whole family and how as a sufferer it completely changes your outlook on life in the immediate aftermath. We also hear from her son Seb and how he has coped but he is hiding his own challenges which he is determined to hide from his parents. Husband John who was a rock all the way through now sees his marriage falling apart and he can't put it right.
This was such a raw emotional read that will touch each and every reader it was so honest and realistic and was delivered with such sensitivity and detail. I have read a number of books now with cancer patients as our main characters but this storyline was unlike any I had read not being afraid to show that Abi still has her flaws and makes mistakes just like anyone else. Seb is also hiding something he is trying to come to terms with which again was very insightful and dealt with so tenderly.
I love how we hear from both Abi and Seb's points of views which gives even more depth to their characters and makes their stories even more poignant hearing from both of their thoughts. Another wonderful touch was the playlist that compliments this book, at the beginning of each chapter we are treated to another new song which Abi dedicates to her loved ones.
The ending is one of those that has you shouting at the pages " YOU CAN'T FINISH THERE" but in hindsight having now taken a day or two to complete this review it is actually a perfect realistic ending to an honest plot.
This was an insightful and heartfelt read that will stay on my mind for a long time to come. This author has really touched my heart with her beautiful writing style I can not wait to delve into another of her novels even if it is to have my heart broken all over again!


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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage by Heidi Swain

When Lottie Foster’s grandmother’s best friend Gwen dies, she leaves Lottie her lovely home, Cuckoo Cottage.

Lottie loves the cottage but Matt, a charming local builder, points out that beneath its charm it is falling apart. Luckily he is always on hand to help with the problems that somehow seem to keep cropping up. But is he just a bit too good to be true? Certainly Will, Lottie’s closest neighbour, seems to think so.

Lottie plans to set up her own business renovating vintage caravans. She hasn’t told anyone about the project she has cooked up with Jemma from The Cherry Tree CafĂ© to repurpose Gwen’s old caravan and turn it into a gorgeous tearoom.

But before she can finally enjoy living with her legacy she must uncover who she can trust, and who to avoid. And with two men vying for her attention, will she also find love?




Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage is the latest release by Heidi Swain and sees us returning to the idyllic village of Wynbridge with the introduction of a new main character the lovely Lottie Foster. When Lottie’s grandmothers best friend passed away she left Lottie her home, Cuckoo Cottage, hoping that this would give Lottie the chance to make a real life for herself. As Lottie begins to put down her roots and starts playing with ideas on how to utilise the land which comes with her new home it soon becomes clear not everyone wants to see her settle at Cuckoo Cottage.

I have read all of Heidi’s books and I love that so many of the previous characters are all weaved into this storyline and that we re-visit Skylark Farm and the delightful Cherry Tree Cafe. This book can easily be read as a stand alone but having read the previous books this one just felt like reuniting with friends.

You can expect witty moments from early on in this book and a typical love triangle between Lottie her helpful builder Matt and delightful neighbour, it was a little predictable but never the less a joy to read as we watch events unfold and testosterone flow! The community spirit comes across strongly in this book, no one can keep a secret as everyone knows everyone business and yet they all rally round and help each other.

I don't want to give away any spoilers so I am not going to say too much but I rather hoped we would see the development of Lottie’s idea come to light as Heidi has great descriptive writing and I was eager to watch Lottie develop her vision.

I thought this was a wonderful light read and fans of Heidi Swains previous books will not be disappointed as her character and charm from her previous books are all found in this new release.


Kindle                    Paperback

Monday, 3 July 2017

Last Seen by Lucy Clarke


I am kicking off the blog tour for this fabulous read by a much loved author of mine Lucy Clarke.
I have been desperate to share my review for Last Seen for weeks so I am thrilled that I can finally now shout about it from the roof tops!


Seven years ago, two boys went missing at sea – and only one was brought to shore. The Sandbank, a remote stretch of coast dotted with beach huts, was scarred forever.
Sarah’s son survived, but on the anniversary of the accident, he disappears without trace. As new secrets begin to surface, The Sandbank hums with tension and unanswered questions. Sarah’s search grows more desperate and she starts to mistrust everyone she knows – and she’s right to.
Someone saw everything on that fateful day seven years ago. And they’ll do anything to keep the truth buried
My Review


The Queen of the sea is back with her new novel Last Seen which is just as gripping and twisty as her previous books but has a slightly darker feel to the storyline.

Seven years ago two little boys Jacob and Marley swam out to sea but only one is brought back, the events of that day has had a big impact on the friendship between the boys mothers Sarah and Isla.
On the 7th anniversary of the accident, Jacob disappears and Sarah is desperate to find her son but trying to find him will mean many secrets will need to be revealed.

I was captivated the whole way through this book. The characters were all so well developed but strangely for me I didn't warm to any of them because this storyline has you questioning each and every character and their motives so because you are too suspicious of everyone you don't allow yourself to trust and warm to any of them. Usually if there is not a character I love it really puts me off a book but I didn't feel this way with this novel and I think that is because the plot was so strong with so much uncertainty and mystery that I was desperate to get to the bottom of the events all those years ago as well as the present day.

I can honestly say at no point could I have predicted what was revealed in this twisty book, I had my suspicions that a certain character definitely had a lot to hide but then I suspected everyone! If you love an unpredictable storyline that constantly leads you down the wrong path then you will love this book.

What I have always loved about Lucy Clarke's writing is her connection and descriptive writing she has when writing about the sea, this woman must have been a mermaid in a previous life! This book again is set around the sea with a tragic accident occurring in the waters and the author brings out the mystery of the sea which holds many secrets never to be told.

At different points in the book I found I was shocked, disturbed, angry, suspicious and I also questioned how far I would go to protect a love one so this book will take you on a real journey of emotions.

This is another must read by Lucy Clarke so be sure to grab a copy next time your in town.



Friday, 30 June 2017

Amber Green Takes Manhattan Blog Tour


I am thrilled to be on the blog tour today for Amber Green Takes Manhattan which is the latest release by Rosie Nixon. Those of you who follow my blog will remember I read the first Amber Green book last year, The Stylist, and absolutely loved it so I was over the moon to find out our beloved Amber was making a return.

Joining me on the blog today is author Rosie Nixon who is kindly going to answer some questions about the new book and about her writing.


Amber Green Takes Manhattan is your sequel to your debut The Stylist which was a fabulous hit last year, tell us a little bit about what we can expect in this book and can it be read as a standalone?
Yes, I’d like to think that the book can definitely be read as a standalone – that was important to me because I know that not everyone will have read The Stylist. It’s set in New York and it sees my central character Amber Green relocate from London for a few months with her boyfriend. It involves fashion shows, photo shoots and a host of escapades as Amber tries to make her name as a stylist in the Big Apple. I found it interesting to bring social media into the second book, Amber is encouraged by her agent to up her social media following and has a baptism of fire on Instagram with a fashion faux pas that goes viral – your worst nightmare! There are lots of funny moments. The book is also about navigating her first serious relationship. After I finished writing The Stylist I couldn’t get Amber out of my head and wanted to know what was going to happen next in her life. It was so much fun to write.

I loved Amber Green from the moment I met her in The Stylist, is she or any of your characters based on people you know and have your friends questioned you as to whether a character is based on them?
Of course, you can’t help but be influenced by situations you’ve been in and people you’ve met when you’re writing a book. I certainly was influenced by a number of experience I’ve had in New York, LA and London. My husband found it quite amusing reading about Amber Green because her relationship is an important part of it and he would say ‘isn’t he a bit like me?’ or ‘that situation sounds a bit familiar?’ and I would say ‘No darling, of course not, it’s complete fiction!’  There are definitely elements of me in Amber, I can’t help that, I very much see the funny side in situations and she’s got a great sense of humour, accidentally ending up in hot water but her heart is in the right place and she’s not a walk-over. I also have a very close friend called Chrissie and we've shared lots of travelling adventures – there’s probably a bit of her in Vicky which I think she’d be quite happy to hear because Amber and Vicky have a really special friendship and lots of fun together.

What was the last book that you read, do you find much time to read?
I have to say I read so much for work in my capacity as Editor-in-chief at HELLO!, I’m constantly reading other magazines, websites, social feeds and newspapers to keep on top of everything that reading a book is a real luxury and something I don’t get to do as often as I’d like. I just finished The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo, and it’s brilliant, I really enjoyed it. It was one of those books that you don’t want to end. I have two very young children so I love reading bedtime stories to them and when I go to bed myself I’m asleep immediately – I try and read half a paragraph and then I’m out!

You are a very busy woman, what tips can you give for writing a novel around a demanding job and where is your favourite place to write?
I think if you want to do something badly enough, when it’s a real passion of yours, you somehow manage to find the time. Writing is something that I love doing, it’s real escapism for me. so even though time is short it’s something that I can’t wait to do. I wrote a lot of Amber Green Takes Manhattan on my maternity leave with my second son and it was quite nice to have an excuse to pop to a coffee shop on my own when somebody was around to look after the baby. I’ve always enjoyed having a busy life and I think it’s important to find that balance. Luckily I write quickly when I’m in the zone and Amber’s voice came very naturally to me. It’s not easy and I don’t claim to be Super Woman, because I have weeks when I feel like it’s all too much and others where everything seems to be working well and I get lots done. It’s all a juggling act.

Do you plan on revisiting Amber Green in future books or do you feel like her journey will come to a natural end in this book?
I don’t like the thought of saying goodbye to Amber just yet. I have got an idea in mind for a third Amber Green book, and I’ve sketched out a rough plot. I can see it being a trilogy and then it will probably be time to say goodbye.

Thank you for taking the time to come and talk to us Rosie.
AMBER GREEN TAKES MANHATTAN IS OUT NOW!



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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Summer of Impossible Things By Rowan Coleman



Today it is my stop on the blog tour for The Summer of Impossible Things by one of my favourite authors Rowan Coleman and I will be sharing my review on her upcoming novel.


If you could change the past, would you?

Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death.

Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977.

At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own?
 


My Review


Having been a fan of Rowan Coleman for years I look forward to each of her releases and this time it feels like the longest wait ever for the release of The Summer of Impossible Things. Now if I am being completely honest here for the first time I was a little bit apprehensive when I read the blurb for this book because I am not a fan of time travel whether it be book or film so this wouldn't have been a book that I would have picked up if it was by another author but I have such admiration for this authors writing that I decided to give it a try.

When Luna and her sister Pea discover that their mother had been keeping a heartbreaking secret from them all their life they make the trip back to their mothers childhood home where Luna soon discovers that she has a remarkable ability to go back in time and potentially right the wrongs all those years ago.

It was a very cleverly thought out plot and Rowan delivered the storyline with her usual addictive and descriptive writing style which made this an enjoyable read. What really shined through in this book was the desperate love Luna had for both her mum and her sister Pea she was willing to literally sacrifice everything without hesitation to be able to protect the ones she loved which made my heart go out to such a selfless beautiful character.

As ever Rowan Coleman has delivered a compelling read with a unique plot with characters that you instantly warm to and a storyline that is unpredictable from start to finish.

This is definitely one of those books that will get you thinking about the changes that you would make if you could go back in time, but each little change could make a dramatic change of direction in your life for the good and the bad so maybe we should just deal with the hand we are given.

I enjoyed this book, maybe not quite as much as all of her other books but that is purely for the fact that the topic is not my kind of thing so anyone who does love time travel will love this book because it is so well executed. 



Hardback               Kindle


Thursday, 15 June 2017

My Sister's Wedding by Vicky Pattison

The Ashworth sisters couldn't be more different. Becky is focused, driven and about to marry her lovely fiancé, Daniel Balfour. Lizzie, on the other hand, bounces from one temp job to another, keeps falling for the wrong man and is a whirlwind of chaos in Becky's otherwise well-ordered life. But they love each other fiercely and the Ashworth way has always been family comes first.
As preparations for Becky and Daniel's wedding get underway, it soon becomes clear that the Ashworth way is not the Balfour way. Daniel's family have never thought Becky was good enough for him but he loves her and that's always been enough for the happy couple. But when Lizzie gets caught in the crossfire between Becky and the Balfours, Becky and Lizzie find themselves drifting apart at a time when they need each other the most. Will they be able to repair the damage before Becky walks down the aisle?


Vicky Pattison's latest novel My Sisters Wedding is by far her best book yet. The storyline focuses on the Ashworth sisters Lizzie and Becky who have such a strong bond and yet they couldn't be more different with Lizzie who can't hold down a job or a relationship and seems to crash at her best friends or sisters house because she doesnt have a permanent residence! Becky however has a steady career and lives with her now soon to be husband but the problem is she has the in-laws from hell who will not be pleased when they find out about the upcoming nuptials.

As with Vicky Pattison's previous books her voice shines through in this novel but I feel this time it doesn't feel like the characters are based on her, the characters are developed well and each bring something special to the storyline. Pattison's experiences when it comes to the media and effects that they can have on relationships and friendships really shows in this book where at times the attention is thrilling but on the other hand as both Lizzie and Becky found out can also become so unbearable and can put relationships to the test.

Nicole who was Becky's sister in-law to be was VILE! She was a character you despise from the first meeting and one that you really want to see Karma catch up with. As much as she was a prickly character she actually brought a great amount of drama to the storyline and at times humour too. I loved both Lizzie and Becky they were both lovely girls and there strong sister bond, although put through the test in this book, still had each others back and show strong solidarity.

This was such a fast paced read that can easily be read in one sitting and fans of Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk will love this book as it had a very similar feel to these ladies books. If you love a splash of romance, scandal, drama and friendship then you will love this book. I hope Vicky Pattison revisits these characters briefly in a future novel to see what becomes of the lovely sisters and unbearable Nicole.


Kindle                      Paperback

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Holiday in the Hamptons by Sarah Morgan

She’s moved on…
Felicity Knight loves New York. But when she spots her ex-husband in the city, Fliss is desperate to escape!
He’s moved back…
Vet Set Carlyle is back from California to establish his own practice and settle down. When he learns that his ex Fliss still lives close by, that future is looking a whole lot brighter…
Will a perfect escape bring them back together?
With the help of his adorable dog Lulu, and a sprinkling of beachside magic, Seth is determined to make Fliss see he’s never stopped loving her!

When I need a light romantic and uplifting read I always turn to author Sarah Morgan as her books are the perfect choice and never disappoint. Her latest release Holiday in the Hamptons tells the story of Fliss and Seth and for those avid fans of Sarah Morgans books will likely remember Fliss and her twin sister Harriet from her previous books with the work they done for Urban Genie so I already felt like I knew these characters and I couldn't wait to read their story but don't worry if this is your first book by this author as you don't need to have read the previous trilogy to be able to read this book as Fliss and Harriet were only supporting characters.

After a young whirlwind romance that ended in such devastation Fliss and Seth have been separated for 10 years, they have both built successful careers and have been enjoying life but they both have been unlucky in love but could that be because they still hold a piece of each other's heart? 

This was such an enjoyable read that was fast paced with short sharp chapters making it perfect holiday reading. The storyline was full of romance and the chemistry between Fliss and Seth was obvious from their first meeting. 

I havent read many books that have twins as central characters but that was one of the things that I loved about this book not just the strong bond between the sisters but it also helped to bring humor to the book with Fliss pretending to be her sister which just goes to show however much twins look alike they have completely different personalities and skills.

Although this was a real feel good read there was also a more emotive part to the story surrounding Fliss's childhood and how it has affected her growing up and having this weaved into the storyline was perfect as it gave a little more depth to the slightly predictable storyline.  

This was such a pleasant read, I thoroughly enjoyed Fliss's story and I really hope we are treated to Harriet's story next.



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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Island of Secrets by Patricia Wilson

The story started at dawn on the fourteenth of September, 1943 . . .'

All her life, London-born Angelika has been intrigued by her mother's secret past. Now planning her wedding, she feels she must visit the remote Crete village her mother grew up in.

Angie's estranged elderly grandmother, Maria, is dying. She welcomes Angie with open arms - it's time to unburden herself, and tell the story she'll otherwise take to her grave.

It's the story of the Nazi occupation of Crete during the Second World War, of horror, of courage and of the lengths to which a mother will go to protect her children. And it's the story of bitter secrets that broke a family apart, and of three enchanting women who come together to heal wounds that have damaged two generations.


Often when I see a book that promises to be great for fans of much loved authors of mine, my heart does an excited little lurch but typically when I pick up the book I am more often than not left disappointed and confused by the lack of any connection to the authors storytelling or writing style. When Island of Secrets by Patricia Wilson came onto my radar I loved the look of the cover and the sound of the synopsis, I then saw on the cover the sticker advertising " Great for fans of Victoria Hislop". Now I am a huge fan of Victoria Hislop and I have never found another author that I would comfortably say fans of hers would like so I was a little apprehensive but I was eager to see what this book had to offer.

Angie has always been kept in the dark about her mums family but she is now desperate to get to the bottom of why her mum left her family and the little village in Crete where she grew up and in a hope to bring all the family together again for her upcoming wedding she decides to travel to Amiras to meet her family and get some answers but is she really ready to discover the truth?

This book just blew me away and it is worthy of the big statement on that little sticker! I was so captivated by this storyline and I found myself flying through the pages eager to see what revealed next but in the same breathe wanting to savour each chapter as I really didn't want this book to end.

There is so much to love about this book from the stunning traditional setting of the little Villages in Crete which were described so eloquently, the tight knit families who hold such strong traditional family values but right at the heart of it all is the courageous story of such a remarkable woman Maria who is Angie's grandma. Her story tore my heart in two, she was a character who had seen and experienced way to much in life and her desperation as a mother to protect her children and the devastation she was dealing with at the same time was just unthinkable. As Maria was telling Angie her story she told it over a number of days as it was emotionally draining but I was eager to return to her story.
I am ashamed to say that I was ignorant to the atrocious war crimes committed during the occupation of Crete by the German forces in WW2 but after reading this harrowing account it really has encouraged me to find out more. 


There are a lot of focused characters in this book but they all molded around each other really well and they were easy to work out who was who without confusion. There is everything from love to family feuds and secrets to the devastation and loss. The plot is unpredictable from start to finish so I was engrossed and hanging on each and every word. This book will leave a lasting impression on me and will be one that I will find myself recommending to everyone I meet. SO YES fans of Victoria Hislop you will love this book! This will easily be in my top 5 reads at the end of the year.


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Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Last Piece of my Heart by Paige Toon

Meet Bridget, a successful travel journalist with ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a novel. But, after numerous rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition: Nicole Dupre died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel, and the family need someone to finish it. Bridget is just thankful to have her foot in the publishing door. But as she gets to know Nicole’s grieving family, and the woman behind the writing, Bridget’s priorities begin to change …




It is that exciting time of the year again when a new Paige Toon novel is released into the wild and bookworms get ready to race to the bookshops to get their copy and let me tell you her new novel The Last Piece of My Heart will not leave fans disappointed.

Our main character Bridget is a travel journalist who also has a relationship blog but when she gets an incredible opportunity to write the sequel to a bestselling book she jumps at the chance.

Author Nicole Dupre died leaving behind only mere notes for her sequel and her family are keen to have the sequel released but husband Charlie who is still grieving and looking after their baby daughter cannot bare to have Nicole’s books leave the house so there is only one option which is for Bridget to move to Cornwall to work from his home!

Can Bridget deliver a sequel that both the family and readers will be happy with and how will Charlie cope with having Bridget in the family home working on his dead wife’s book?

Once again Paige Toon captured my heart from the start of this book. Bridget was an easy character to love and her infectious humor and warmth shone through the pages and I could see that she would be the one to help Charlie with his grief. Charlie was a very creative character and a true gentleman too, he was still in the early stages of grief when we first met him but he was doing his best to raise their baby daughter.

The book focuses on loss and love which are both topics I love to find in books as in one instant your heart is being broken in two but then there is the uplifting and warming feel to a good romantic storyline too.

I loved the gentle wit that flowed between Bridget and Charlie, I looked forward to their Pizza nights when the pair seemed to be able to relax and humour each other. What really touched my heart though was when Bridget opened up to Charlie about her reasons for not having her own children and that in turn set a beautiful path of watching Bridget form such a beautiful relationship with April and this is what I will always remember from this book.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although it didn’t knock my favourite off the top spot it was still such a beautiful and touching read.


Paperback                Kindle

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Final Giveaway!


The Final Giveaway!
A copy of The Hourglass 
A Weekly Organiser 
A beauty and the beast mug perfect for any bookworm!



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Giveaway number 4


This is the second to last giveaway and up for grabs this time is a Hardback Copy of The Night Visitor by Lucy Atkins and a Bookish notebook.



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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Giveway number 3


Here is Giveaway number 3, I couldn't resist doing a Lesley Pearse giveaway as in my opinion Dead to Me is Lesley Pearse at her best.

This is also a worldwide giveaway but please read the T&Cs
GOOD LUCK!



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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Giveaway number 2


Let's carry on with the celebrations with Giveaway number 2!
Again this is open worldwide but please read the T&Cs 

Up for grabs is a copy of  Lyrebird for fans of Cecelia Ahern, I have yet to read this one but have seen many good reviews on this book so hopefully it will be one the winner loves. Also included is a sticker weekly organiser and a pen.

Good Luck!


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The Light we Lost by Jill Santopolo

11th September 2001. Lucy and Gabe meet in New York on a day that will change their lives – and the world – forever. As the city burns behind them, they kiss for the very first time.
Over the next thirteen years they are torn apart, then brought back together, time and time again. It’s a journey of dreams, of desires, of jealousy, of forgiveness – and above all, love.
As Lucy is faced with a devastating choice, she wonders whether their love is a matter of destiny or chance.
…what if this is how their story ends?



The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo is such a remarkable debut that captured my heart. The authors voice shouts from the pages and it feels as though she is talking directly to the reader in such an open and honest way that soon pulls you in and melts your heart.
Lucy and Gabe had such a powerful and intense romance but when they both have to make an important decidion regaring their passion for their careers and wanting to make a difference to the world their relationship comes to an emotional end. As Lucy tries to get on with building her life her thoughts constantly return to Gabe, can she truly ever feel the love she has for Gabe with someone else or are they destined to be together again?
This book will leave a lasting impression on me as I found that it was such a thought provoking read that had me looking back at my life and the choices I have made and how different my life may have been if I had taken a different path and I am sure that every reader who falls in love with this book will find themselves looking back at their life choices.
Lucy was such an honest and passionate character who like all of us is not perfect and makes her own mistakes and faces her own struggles but we watch her as she grows and faces these different moments and choices through her life and we can feel her raw emotion and pure love that she has so even when she is making wrong choices your heart still goes out to her as you know what led her to her actions.
Although at times I felt that Gabe was selfish I still couldn't help but admire his passion and the work that he done but I just felt like he was missing out on the most precious gift in life and with each communication with Lucy I was longing for him to return.
You will definitly have your heart strings pulled and may ever shed a tear too as by the time I had finished this book I just sat feeling emotional and drained at the same time. If you are looking for an compelling romance that also covers loss and looks at life's paths then this book will blow you away. I can not recommend this book enough and I am really looking forward to future releases by this author.




Kindle                          Hardback

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