Friday, 9 October 2015

Pretending to Dance- Diane Chamberlain

A new Diane Chamberlain book is always a treat- and this one was a great read.
Molly and Aiden want to adopt a baby but he doesn't know the full details of her childhood. Molly has distanced herself from all of her relations- but just what is she hiding from him. They are sent details of a young girl hoping to place her baby and have to put a profile together to get her to pick them!
I loved all the characters- we get the insight into why she has distanced herself from her past.
You can imagine Morrison's Ridge and all the people who live there.
With many thanks to Net Galley for the chance to read this wonderful book.

Four Weddings and a White Christmas

his was a lovely festive return to Cherry Pie Island. Although this is part of a series, it could be enjoyed as a great Christmassy stand alone read.
Hannah is designing wedding dresses for some of the local brides and you get caught up in the family atmosphere getting the dress ready for the first brides big day. She also meets Harry, who is a chef working in America. Their first meeting doesn't go that well- but there is a spark between them and it's great to see a relationship possibility running through the book.
The characters are like old friends and the setting , especially when the snow falls, makes you truly believe that you are there with them all. We also return to the Dandelion cafe which sounds such a wonderful place.
The cover really would pull you towards it on the bookstand and I'd love a paper copy for my favourites shelf at home. It's one of those series I can't wait to read.
With many thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for a copy of this book.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

The Things we do for love- Alice Peterson

I always really enjoy Alice Peterson books and this one was no exception. She draws such wonderful characters and touches subjects sensitively. She always carries out extensive research which shows. She has a wonderful writing style.
January looks after her young daughter, who has cerebal palsy, on her own. She grew up with loving grandparents. The book switches easily from the past to the present. January lost her own parents when she was a baby.
There is also a wonderful dog character in the book- which I’ve come to expect to see in one of Alice’s books! I love canine characters in books.
A lovely account of family relationships full of love and romance which draws you in and makes you relax into the armchair with a lovely cuppa and the knowledge that you are reading a wonderful story.
With many thanks to Net Galley for the chance to read this beautiful book

Sunday, 6 September 2015

The Misadventures of a Playground mother- Christie Barlow

I loved this book about life in a country village and having to endure the mums at the school gate every day.
The scenes made me smile along and wonder just what else could happen!
Rachel is ambushed by Penelope and finds her planned holiday to her villa in Spain turned into a joint trip, without her even having being asked. I was so indignant for her I found myself telling my husband what Penelope was up to next..
New friendships are formed and seemingly in the unlikeliest of places at times. I loved the holiday descriptions- even though it had me bristling on their behalf!
I found I missed the first book in this series- so I will be buying that for my kindle and I’m keen to catch up on their future plans mentioned at the end of this book.
With many thanks to Bookoutre (one of my favourite publishers) and NetGalley for a copy of this book. Another 5* read for me.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Stirred with Love- Marcie Steele

This was such a wonderful read- for a fairly short book it packs a lot of heartwarming and heartbreaking scenes.

Chloe and Kate answer an advert for staff for a coffee shop after wanting to make a change in their own lives. Chloe sees it as a chance to spread her wings before Uni and Kate needs to escape her life and make changes.

Lily the owner wants to renew the coffee shop and enlists their help to make an adorable sounding Coffee Stop. You get to know the builders, Lily's friends and the new customers. Will there be a spark of romance anywhere?

I loved the scenes between Lily and the 'girls'- she sees them as the daughters she never had. You could just feel the coffee shop providing everyone with the chance to regroup and enjoy the camaraderie and friendship and heal.

I was so sorry to come to the end- maybe there is a chance to return to the Coffee Stop at some point?!

With many thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for the chance to read this wonderful book.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Raincoats and Retrievers- Cressida McLaughlin

Another lovely book in the Primrose Terrace Series. Cat can't help getting involved in the lives of the people she dog walks for. She just wants to make everyone's lives better. She manages to meet up with Mark - but is Joe holding a secret torch for her too? She gets involved in another local cause and it's lovely to see the residents come together again.

I can't wait for the last part of this story set at Christmas.

With many thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this book

Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Sea between us- Emylia Hall

This book has everything that would draw me to choose a book. It has a gorgeous atmospheric cover, it’s set in Cornwall and has a beautiful writing style. I enjoyed her previous book, too.
Robyn is saved from drowning by one of her neighbours- Jago. It links their lives forever from that point. They follow different paths in life- but will fate bring them back together at some point in the future? The characters are really well drawn and have you rooting them.
I was drawn in from the start and completely lost myself within the pages and the beautiful Cornish scenery. Another book that I wish could have gone on forever!
With many thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book.

 Another 5* read for me.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Tea Planters Wife- Dinah Jefferies

What a beautifully written, atmospheric book. It takes you back to the sights and sounds of 1920’s Ceylon- you can see the rich colours and imagine life alongside Gwen.

Gwen joins her husband on a tea plantation after they marry- but life isn’t how she’d imagined it would be. Secrets and tensions are all around her and sadness pervades. The characters are so well drawn you can imagine sitting down to ‘tea’ with them.

It educates you on a different culture and era and expectations of the time. I love books like this. The covers are also absolutely stunning and would draw you straight across the bookshop to add it to your basket.

I'd like to thank Net Galley for a copy of this lovely book to review.

The second book I’ve read set in Dartmouth this summer- and I’m really keen to go and visit again now! The setting is obviously wonderful! The characters are so well drawn that you can imagine knowing them in real life. It’s exciting to see that there are plenty more Marcia Willett books to add to my ‘tbr’ list.
Evie is left the house when her husband dies rather than his son Charlie. As it has been passed down the family this comes as a surprise. Charlie’s wife isn’t happy when Evie lets his cousin stay in the house and you can feel the family tension. When Charlie visits one weekend lives are changed.
I loved the Regatta weekend- brought back memories of childhood holidays in Dartmouth. The way the house is described makes you want to search through the holiday brochures to book a week there!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Nantucket- Nan Rossiter

Such a bittersweet story about young love set in such an idyllic spot. I'd love to have a house on a remote island and be able to sail! I do love a good American story.
Liam and Cadie met as youngsters whilst Cadie was on a summer break. Her father wouldn't allow them to have a relationship and Liam has held a part of his heart for Cadie over the ensuing years.
I really felt for both Liam and Cadie and loved the way the whole story unfolded. A very emotional book that demands that you keep reading and find out what happens to them.
With many thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this book- I will definately look for more books by Nan Rossiter. I loved this one.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Five Go Glamping- Liz Tipping

I loved this book- the book starts off in Birmingham, which is my home town. It’s always nice to picture familiar places.
It covers a glamping trip with a group of friends who are all at a stage in their life where they either want to be settling down or moving forward in glittering careers.
The scene is set when the car breaks down just outside the festival site and a gorgeous man helps them out. Will this glamping trip turn out to be a break they enjoy or a torture resembling girl guide trips? There is a nod to the Famous Five adventures too!The ‘New Age’ people add a lot of humour and depth to the story and there are interesting friendships and relationships under review. I loved Brian the dog!
I will be keen to read more by Liz Tipping- this looks to be a debut novel.
With many thanks to Carina UK and Net Galley for a copy of this book.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The little kiosk by the Sea- Jennifer Bohnet

This book was such a treasure. I loved every page and was so sad when it came to an end. I could quite happily return to Dartmouth to learn more about how the characters get on when the book ends.

Sabine and her brother run a kiosk that books boat trips - and it's under threat of closure. They are the hub of the community. Her best friend who she last saw 30 years ago suddenly turns back up in Dartmouth and they easily catch up with the lost years. But just why did she leave and why is she back.

I love the way that the stories entwine between the characters and you get family relationships being tested, romances trying to flourish and long lost secrets and hurt.

It was lovely to read about places I know well and it's made me want to revisit Dartmouth again!

Another winning book from Carina UK- with many thanks to them and Net Galley for a copy of this book. I was delighted to find that there are several more books by Jennifer Bohnet that I can catch up on.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe

I was so excited when my pre publication copy of Milly's book arrived. It's great being part of Team Milly.

I literally couldn't put this one down. I loved The Ladies who launch which was released on 1st June and introduced us to the Sunflower Cafe. I hope we hear more from Lady Muck and The Sunflower Cafe.

A group of disgruntled cleaners meet there once a month to air their problems and enjoy an afternoon tea. The owner closes especially for their meetings.

Connie discovers that her husband who owns Diamond Shine has been unfaithful over the last 24 years, she and the office manager vow to bankrupt his company and open their own rival one, Lady Muck.

The characters are all so well drawn that you fall in love with them AND the people they clean for. I loved Cheryl and her relationships with her clients. Astrid made me laugh out loud. Some of their stories pulled at the heartstrings, whilst others made you smile and cheer them on.

I was willing Connie on, to make a success of Lady Muck and leave her husband regretting losing her. She meets Brandon who is a chocolatier and wants to make her smile and enjoy chocolate again. Who could resist such a knight in shining armour? 

I finished this one sitting in the sunshine and was trying to make the last few pages last longer!!!!!! 

I loved that Team Milly were mentioned in the acknowledgements! Made me feel special for a moment!
The latest Milly is ALWAYS a treasure- I just wish I had more to catch up on. Hope the next one is already in production!

With many thanks to Milly and her publishers for an early copy of this book.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Pippa's Cornish Dream- Debbie Johnson

5* read
When Pippa lost her parents, she found herself looking after her brothers and sisters, social workers,a farm and holiday rentals rather than studying at Oxford. She has a lot on her plate- her teenage brother has gone off the rails a bit and she dreads every phonecall.

When one of the holidaymakers arrives early, he seems familiar. He seems a bit aloof, even though he is stunning!!!!

This book is full of everything-romance, family dynamics, teenage rebels, the Cornish coast and the farm characters. The characters are drawn so that you feel you know them and care about them. You feel for Pippa- who hasn't had a boyfriend since she took over the care of her siblings. Ben has taken her heart- but can they see the way forward or get over the past?

It makes you want to go and book a holiday rental and visit the local coves!

With many thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for a copy of this book.

Friday, 12 June 2015

A Mother's Story- Amanda Prowse

I loved this book. I enjoyed Amanda Prowse's writing style and was drawn into the book very quickly. I wanted to know exactly what had happened and the book cleverly weaves Jessica's diary entries with her earlier life.

Jessica and Matthews wedding day was lovely, and their friends were well written. Topaz was a particular treasure and the way he fitted into already well established friendships. Both families are lovely and the scene at the baby shower particularly amusing.

They are so in love that the news that they are expecting a baby should be the best news ever. But will things run smoothly- exactly what has happened to Jessica and where is she now?

The book covers post natal depression and the traumatic way it can affect lives and how misunderstood it can be.

I can't wait to read more by Amanda Prowse.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Summer Challenges

I'm taking part in two challenges this summer- one is the Paperback Summer- where I am going to try and read 12 books from the bookshelf. The photo shows the initial selection- but have just had 2 new ones which will jump towards the top of the pile! So we'll see how many I manage.

The initial selection is very exciting- a couple of prizes, the Team Milly copy, some finds at a car boot sale the week before the challenge and a few older ones.


1. Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe 5* (4/6)
2. A Mothers's Story- Amanda Prowse
3. Some Kind Of Hero - Donna Hay

We received a preview copy of this one from Team Milly. Connie discovers that her husband of 24 years has been unfaithful most of their marriage. She vows to ruin his cleaning company by setting up on her own as Lady Muck. The office manager is going to join her. The present cleaning staff meet once a month at the cafe to air grievances- and Connie is hoping to persuade them all to join her- whilst she's pretending to be Marilyn the cleaner.
You get to know the customers and the cleaners and really drawn to them all.
a 5* read.
2. A Mother's Story- Amanda Prowse
I loved this book. I enjoyed Amanda Prowse's writing style and was drawn into the book very quickly. I wanted to know exactly what had happened and the book cleverly weaves Jessica's diary entries with her earlier life.

Jessica and Matthews wedding day was lovely, and their friends were well written. Topaz was a particular treasure and the way he fitted into already well established friendships. Both families are lovely and the scene at the baby shower particularly amusing.

They are so in love that the news that they are expecting a baby should be the best news ever. But will things run smoothly- exactly what has happened to Jessica and where is she now?

The book covers post natal depression and the traumatic way it can affect lives and how misunderstood it can be.

I can't wait to read more by Amanda Prowse.

With many thanks to LoveReading for a copy of this book

This challenge is to read 20 books on either a summer theme, with a summer related title, a summery cover- or the author has a summery name!!!!!!!! I love books set by the coast- but with all my NetGalley review books - I'm not sure how many of these I will manage. I have just had the new Lucy Diamond one- which is screaming to be read.
1. Summer By the Sea- Jenny Hale 4*
2. Pippa's Cornish Dream- Debbie Johnson 5*
3.Sunshine and Spaniels- Cressida Mc:Laughlin 5*
4.Summer Fling and Dancing Dreams- Sue Watson 5*
5. The Riviera- Karen Aldous 5*

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Lives Between Us- Theresa Rizzo

How far would you go to save the one you love?

Reporter Skylar Kendall has run from commitment all her life, pushing people away before they leave her, until her niece worms her way into Skye’s heart and settles in tight. Skye relaxes into a career she enjoys and relishes being a doting aunt.

Then her niece becomes gravely ill. Unable to bear yet another loss, Skye is determined to find a cure, but the girl’s only hope lies in the embryonic stem cell therapy Michigan Senator Edward Hastings repeatedly opposes. When Skye fails to find alternative treatment in time, she vows to end the senator’s political career.

Curious about the woman behind the scathing articles on his best friend, Mark Dutton pursues Skye. Dating Mark gives her access to Hastings’s life and secrets that would launch Skye's career and satisfy her need for retribution… Only she hadn’t counted on falling in love.

Can she avenge the lives lost to politics at the expense of her new love and friends?

My Review
4* read
The author got in touch with me and asked whether I would like to read a copy of her book. I had it downloaded on Net Galley and put it to the top of my tbr pile.

I was quickly drawn into the book. I loved the scenes between Sky and her niece Nicky who had a heart problem. She took supplies in for a pyjama party to give her sister and her husband a night off. Conventional medicine is not helping and the only thing that may help- stem cell therapy is opposed by the senator.

She tries to get him to rethink his policies and then vows to ruin him. She is devastated that he stands in the way of the medical research that could help so many people.

As the book evolves you realise that everyone has their own standpoint on something like stem cell research and what constitutes illegal practice- and that personal circumstance may force you to face up to your personal beliefs. 

The characters are all tied together either by work or personal friendships and I loved seeing behind the scenes on the ski trip and the blooming relationship between Sky and Mark. They are both shaken by past experiences and afraid to fully commit, drawing back when they are ready to take their relationship to a new level. Can they ever learn to trust each other fully and is one of them hiding more than they should?

It makes you think about the home life behind public office. A Senator (or one of our politicians) is elected to serve the public- but they also have a private family life and they may be a totally different person at home. Can you form an opinion solely on their public persona?

I loved every page and will be keen to read more by Theresa.

This week in books.

A new blog meme that I found whilst browsing! Something I must try and remember!

The books I've discovered this week! I absolutely loved Fairytale Beginnings. It really did have a magical feel about it- and who wouldn't want to live in a fairytale castle with a man like Cameron!

Milly Johnson released Ladies who launch and it felt like catching up with old friends and was a fantastic introduction to the Sunflower Cafe featuring in her new book that I can't wait to start! I thought I'd read it as soon as it landed on the mat- but have a few books I agreed to review.

One of those was The Lives between us by Theresa Rizzo. She'd seen one of my reviews and asked if  I'd be interested in reading her book. I am really enjoying it. It deals with stem cell research and I love the way the characters are drawn. It's really drawn me in - so will be really pleased to write a review for this one.

I have signed up for a couple of challenges- one is the Paperback Summer- to read some books off the bookshelf during June, July and August. As I read mainly on my kindle now- it's a great excuse to read some of those lovely books waiting for me on my bookshelf. I've set a  target of 12 and they will PROBABLY include these ones.

I won The Chateau on the lake on Adele's blog and can't wait to read that one, Summertime was won on Good Reads and is one of the Richard and Judy collection this year.

I also signed up to read 20 Summertime books- with either a summer theme, summer cover or summer title. This one might be more of a struggle to complete as I have so many books that I requested on Net Galley that it doesn't leave much chance to read those books at the back of the kindle. But I love summer time reads set at the coast- so we'll have to see how I cope with that one! I guess a couple in the photo above might count!

As soon as I finish The Lives between us I can start the book I've been waiting to read as soon as it arrived!

It's been great being a part of Team Milly- we've received the last two books before publication and now have a special group on facebook.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Fairytale beginnings- Holly Martin

Milly works for a Heritage company that take over certain buildings when the owners are struggling to maintain them. She is called to look over Clover Castle and falls in love with it's fairytale look. It has turrets and a moat and only needs to be painted pink to belong in a Disney film. She is also strongly attracted to the owner- even though they are both very wary with relationships.

Everyone in the village is against Cameron, as he had to let them go from working in the castle due to lack of funds.

Milly looks round the castle and tries to find out how old it is and whether her company is likely to be able to help Cameron.

After meeting some of the old ladies in the village she is roped into appearing in the summer festival and is told she needs to convince Cameron to take part- to heal the rift with the village.

I loved the characters- who wouldn't want a Cameron in their life!!!!!! The villagers were very cleverly drawn and the ghost made her appearances throughout. I was rooting for them to get together- through all the twists and turns and reservations they had at letting their heart rule their head.

The castle sounded absolutely beautiful and I'd love to stay there!

With many thanks to Bookoutre and their really charming library of books and Net Galley for the chance to read this one. It will stay with me for a long time. Really charming and romantic.

Ladies Who Launch- Milly Johnson

An ebook exclusive from Milly!

I absolutely loved catching up with Selina and Angie from Here Come the Girls. The introduction to the Sunflower Cafe was lovely- it sounds like a very inviting place to enjoy time with special friends. 'It just wants you to sit down and forget the world outside for a bit'. Wouldn't we all love somewhere to escape to and enjoy the afternoon with a tasty cake and cup of tea. I can't wait to read Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe now! This book was great to curl up with on the sofa- with a nice cuppa whilst the rain came down outside. In my head I could be on the cruise and then nestled in a really cosy cafe with my best friend.

Thanks for a great read Milly.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Recipes for Melissa- Teresa Driscoll

Melissa is handed a journal on her 25th birthday. She lost her mum when she was 8 and before she died she had started a journal to pass on some treasured memories and family recipes. She really struggled with the loss of her mum as a child and just tried to block it out and avoid mention of her. As she reads through the pages and looks at the old photos certain little glimpses into her childhood come back to her.

She is in a relationship but is scared to take the next step- losing her mum at such a young age has made her wary of trying to love a child or giving her whole heart to her partner. When he discovers she's had the journal- whilst they are on holiday, he seems to understand her a little more.

You can feel the mum's pain and anguish, full of love for her daughter as she writes her journal entries for her daughter to read when she is old enough to take in the words.

The book weaves skillfully back to memories of her childhood through the journal, her dad's reluctance to have a new relationship and how protective he still feels over his daughter and her relationship.

Such a moving book- full of love for her child and her husband. What a treasure for Melissa.

Many thanks to the publisher Bookoutre and Net Galley for the chance to read this one. Bookoutre never fail to deliver a brilliant read.

The Art of Baking Blind- Sarah Vaughan

Eaden and Sons are running a baking competition to find the new face for their baking campaigns. Mrs Eadon wrote The Art of Baking in the 1960's and the book is still very popular. The new campaign will use many of her recipes.

Five contestants are chosen and they travel down to the family home every weekend to take part in a baking competition where the winners release a clip on YouTube. Jenny is an older lady and her children are leading their own lives and her husband has just started training for a marathon and is making disparaging remarks about her love of baking and her weight. You really feel for her. Claire has a little girl and has put her dreams on hold to look after her. Vikki has given up her job to be with her young son- but does she crave more from life? Karen presents a very polished exterior and has a very rich husband- but what secrets is she hiding to the outside world? Mike is looking after his children after losing his wife.

Although this is a competition there is no elimination process and the contestants get to know each other and feel protective about each other. They are all juggling problems at home and wondering whether they should continue with the competition but all have reasons for wanting to win!

I loved the relationships- both at home and between the contestants. You felt a part of the whole competition and readers will probably have their own favourite for the winner.

Highly recommend this one and send many thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for the chance to read this one.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Raving about Rhys- Jessica Ryland

Callie is a young girl who works at Bay View Care Home. She enjoys her job and loves chatting to the residents. But she often falls foul of her boss who is not very tolerant with her.

She met her older boyfriend when he came round to assess the care home for his employer. But life with him means stopping in when girls her age are going out having fun.

Her favourite resident Ruby has a grandson that everyone presumes is a figment of her imagination as he never seems to visit.

I loved the scenes where Callie took the residents out - her sense of responsibility for them. She's capable of taking charge and I loved the ending.

This was a short novella- but it has made me go straight into reading her book Searching for Steven. A new author for me- but I can see me following her work! I wanted Callie's life to improve and was rooting for her!

With many thanks to the publisher- So Vain books and Net Galley for a copy of this book.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Evil Games- Angela Marsons

Silent Scream was already in my top five reads of the year so far- and I was so excited to get approved to read the new one. Angela Marsons has joined my top list of authors and I can't wait for the next one! I enjoyed this one as much - if not more than Silent Scream.

I loved everything about Evil Games- I couldn't wait to read more. I had 25 minutes left on the kindle this morning and I only get a 20 minute lunch break. I was distraught! I had to dig it out of my bag as soon as I left work to get the final few minutes read- I left it on a real cliff hanger!

I loved the character of Kim again- she has a great working relationship with her team. They accept her approach and there were some very touching exchanges between her and her partner. I think we were exposed to a couple of chinks in her armour in Evil Games. I loved the fact that she had to take the dog home and the way he helped her. Who can ignore the healing qualities that a dog can offer! Even a hint of a possible romance to come.

I loved the investigations and characters involved. I held my breath at one point. There truly were Evil Games running through the pages- very clever.

With many thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for a copy of this book.

I would highly recommend this one.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Paperback summer

I've signed up for this challenge to read some paperbacks off the shelf this summer. I went a bit mad requesting NetGalley review books- but do need to tackle some of those loyal paperbacks on the shelf.

I had set myself a target of 30 books off my bookshelf this year - as I am mainly a kindle reader lately. But I think I'm going to set myself a target of 12 REAL books! I have so many lovely books waiting for me!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

We are all made of Stars- Rowan Coleman

What a wonderful book- it had me drawn in from page one and I really couldn't put it down. I have to buy a paper copy for my 'favourites' bookshelf.

A cast of characters centre around the Marie Francis hospice and Stella is the connection to the main stories in the book. She works nights at the hospice, spending time with the patients and their families to avoid being home at the same time as her husband. He suffered horrific injuries in Afghanistan and hasn't been the same man since he returned. They feel their relationship is in trouble and are dealing with it by avoiding each other.

Stella talks to the patients and helps them write letters to their loved ones, to be delivered after their death to hopefully bring some comfort and something to hold on to in the midst of grief. Some will their loved ones on to look forward and move on.

One day she's asked to write a letter that tears her apart- should she go with her heart or her head and what consequences will there be?

Hope is a young girl who is recovering at the hospice after suffering a particularly severe infection. She has a lovely male friend who brightens up the evenings at the hospice for most who come into contact with him. She has plans and wishes and hopes her friend will help her enable them. I loved the scenes between them.

This book really has everything, hope, heartbreak, relationships in peril, new relationships, a cat who is all things to all men and loves to visit the hospice to bring comfort for those feeling low. I kept turning the pages hoping to find that certain stories were resolved and willing others on to achieve their hopes and wishes. Every character pulled at the heartstrings and drew you into their circumstances leaving you completely involved with their lives.

I adored The Memory Book and We are all made of stars joins my list of favourites. 

With many thanks to the publishers and Net Galley for the chance to read this wonderful book ahead of the publication date.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Coming Up Roses- Rachel Lucas

When her parents decide to go on a gap year in their retirement years they ask her to look after the house and get the garden in shape. After a traumatic break up- she relishes the chance to hide away in the little village. But eventually she realises that she needs friends around her. An unlikely friend comes in the form of the old gardener who looked after many of the village gardens.

She also makes 2 friends, Jo and Elaine. Elaine is the headmasters wife and Jo is a counsellor at the school. They are all looking for friends - so their friendship blossoms.

As she gets to grips with the garden she settles well into village life, even agreeing to go to local meetings and judging at the annual village show.

Are her friends as happy as they seem, is her new 'beau' everything he seems to be?

This was such a lovely read- you felt a part of the village and got to know all the locals. The characters are so well drawn, you can really imagine sitting down with a drink in the local 0r popping round for Coffee in Elaine's beautiful house and Martha Stewart lifestyle.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Among a thousand stars- Jo Bartlett

What a treasure of a book. I'm so glad that I spotted this one on NetGalley.

Ashleigh and Stevie enjoy working together on some assignments for Glitz magazine. He's a stylist and she's a photographer. They have known each other a long time and are best friends and work well together. He's very flamboyant- but great to spend time with.

Their friendship comes across as really special and they look out for each other. They inhabit a different work/home life. Work is obviously surround by celebrities and it's wonderful to lose yourself in that sort of world for a while. There are also many scenes by the Kent seaside where Ashleigh has a home. . I could just imagine walking on the beach whilst I was reading.

They have an assignment to help boost the positive profile of one star and Ashleigh gets work offers when her stunning photography of the young star is published.

There are some really amusing and some really touching scenes as they negotiate through the 'glitzy' world of showbiz and some of the stars they come across.

Ashleigh is wounded on the romance stakes and when their boss shows interest, she's not sure whether there could ever be a future. There are lots of obstacles in their path and heartbreak aswell. But I loved the whole romantic journey that they negotiate. I really want to read more!

Various family relationships are shared and Ashleighs mum is very quirky and you can just imagine cringing when her latest escapade comes to life.

Jo Bartlett has a website and I was delighted to find that I will be able to devour more very soon!

With many thanks to SoVain Books and Net Galley for a copy of this book.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Game of Scones- Samantha Tonge

A perfect summer read which makes you want to escape to the little village of Taxos, which is set in Kos.

Pippa spent many happy childhood summers in Taxos where her parents own a home. She spent a lot of time with Nikos and loves his family like her own. After settling into a financial city job she hasn't been back in years.

Her boyfriend has arranged for them to spend three weeks there, with only a few business meetings on his behalf. It should be a blissful holiday. But is everything perfect- are they ready to take the next step in life.

When she returns she sees that the little village has been hit hard by the recession and things are difficult for the locals. They still greet her fondly and she tries to make plans to help boost this little town.

She is renowned for her scones - and just reading about all the different sorts she creates makes you really wish you could visit Pippa's pantry and settle down for the afternoon!

The description of Greek village life was lovely, all the businesses pulling together. It made it the type of place I would love to visit and the cast of characters would be great to meet as friends!

Well recommended as a holiday read to lose yourself in. If you are not jetting off this summer, settle down with A Game of Scones and you will feel as though you've had a great holiday in Taxos! Might inspire you to bake some scones- maybe in time to settle down to watch Wimbledon- with champagne and strawberries and enjoy your own staycation!

Many thanks to Carina Uk who never fail to deliver a great book and Net Galley for a copy of this book.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Some Kind Of Wonderful- Sarah Morgan

What a great return to Puffin Island. Brittany returns after breaking her wrist on an archaeological dig. Unfortunately she finds that the pilot flying her home is her ex husband who walked out on her after 10 days. She tries to give him the impression that she's moved on and he has no effect on her- but the more time they spend together, the more the early spark they shared tries to reignite itself.

He has trouble letting his feelings go because he had a very troubled childhood and Brittany wonders whether he'll ever be able to move on. She wants him to accept that they could have a future together.

There are some lovely scenes where he does show that he cares- but is still unable to accept it to himself. By the end of the book I was really rooting for him and now can't wait to read the next instalment in this great series.

Many thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this book.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Truly, Madly, Greekly- Mandy Baggot

I absolutely loved this book. I lost myself in the Greek atmosphere and couldn't put the book down.

Ellen and Lacey have gone to a nice resort to research it's suitability for a wedding venue for Lacey. Once there Lacey seems to have forgotten she's supposed to be looking at menus, settings and meeting the wedding planner.She's concentrating instead on the delights of the entertainment team and the all inclusive drinks.

One of the team has noticed Ellen and wonders what is behind her reserved outlook- why hasn't she smiled on a holiday where she should be totally relaxed. He includes her in water aerobics, limbo dancing, trips to local places of interest. It seems they are both hiding hurt inside. Will they manage to 'heal' each other.

It's always great to find a new author (to me) who already has a lovely back catalogue of books for me to devour. I can't wait to read more by Mandy Baggot.

Many thanks to Bookoutre and Net Galley for this wonderful book to read and review.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Hidden - Emma Kavanagh

Emma Kavanagh


A gunman is stalking the wards of a local hospital. He's unidentified and dangerous, and has to be located. Urgently.

Police Firearms Officer Aden McCarthy is tasked with tracking him down. Still troubled by the shooting of a schoolboy, Aden is determined to make amends by finding the gunman - before it's too late.


To psychologist Imogen, hospital should be a place of healing and safety - both for her, and her young niece who's been recently admitted. She's heard about the gunman, but he has little to do with her. Or has he?

As time ticks down, no one knows who the gunman's next target will be. But he's there. Hiding in plain sight. Far closer than anyone thinks...

My review

I really enjoy books by Emma Kavanagh. This one is a real psychological page turner. The concept of a gunman running around a hospital is a really scary one.

Aden McCarthy is looking for him and he's trying to overcome inner turmoil by stopping this man before it's too late- will he find him in time? He's a police Firearms officer. Is Imogen in danger? She didn't really pay the gunman much attention initially.

Emma certainly has the right background to write with such suspense.

"Emma Kavanagh was born and raised in South Wales. After graduating with a PhD in Psychology from Cardiff University, she spent many years working as a police and military psychologist, training firearms officers, command staff and military personnel throughout the UK and Europe. She lives in South Wales with her husband and young sons."

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