Thursday, 26 February 2015

Creature Comforts- Trisha Ashley

Fall in back in love with life in this gripping read about fate and second chances.
The eagerly awaited new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author.

Izzy has broken off her engagement to her feckless fiancĂ©e Kieran and returned to her childhood home – the sleepy village of Halfhidden.

She soon realizes that life in the village is anything but peaceful – for one thing she’s living with her mad aunt Debo and her pack of dogs, and for another, Izzy has a lot of unanswered questions.

When she was a teenager, Izzy was involved in a terrible accident, involving various inhabitants of Halfhidden. As she sets out to discover what actually happened on the night of the accident, she realizes that her painful past is actually standing in the way of her future happiness. So when a handsome stranger comes to Halfhidden will she let love back into her life?

Izzy believes that she is responsible for a car crash that killed a friend, when she was only 16. Various parts of the memory of that night seem to be coming back to her and when she returns to Halfhidden she is keen to speak to everyone who was part of the interviews and investigations of that evening.
She’s back to her childhood home after breaking up with her fiancĂ© Kieran and is setting up her own business selling clothes inspired by work she’d done setting up self supporting businesses in India, with the local women. They have inspired her with beautiful fabrics and she is keen to make a success of her new venture and helping her aunt to save the Desperate Dogs ‘sanctuary’- where she’s unable to turn any dog in need away. She takes on the ‘desperate’ ones- but they are trying to find loving homes for them. Unfortunately her aunt hasn’t been so proactive taking care of the business side and there are many unpaid bills.
There are threats to close them down and the new owner of the estate seems to be unhappy to have the ramshackle kennels on his property.
Their past lives are linked by tragedy and when Izzy and Rufus get to know each other better- there is a spark between them. You can’t choose your family after all!
I absolutely loved the cast of characters – feeling like I was getting to know the villagers as they come together to plan a haunted trail to rejuvenate the local businesses. I loved the idea of visiting pretty cafes, local galleries and an evening listening to terrifying ghost stories in the snug. Where can I book?! I loved the dogs adding more character to the story.
A really gorgeous read- I’d love to return to Half Hidden and visit more of the villagers. 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Ice Twins- S K Tremayne

This is a really creepy read. Angus and Sarah lost one of their twins in a tragic accident and both seem to be covering up different thoughts and beliefs about what happened on that day. 

Angus has been left his grandmother’s house on a remote Scottish Island that can only be reached by boat or the mudflats at low tide. He thinks they should make a fresh start there. It is a very beautfiful spot – but makes you wonder whether the isolation was good for any of them.

Kirstie their surviving daughter suddenly announces that she is Lydia and they buried the wrong daughter. She is haunted by her sister’s memory and disturbing thoughts.

With their marriage seemingly unravelling in front of their very eyes and a very troubled little girl to deal with- can they make their way through this.

So many twists with information being released that makes things more chilling.

With many thanks to Net Galley and Harper Collins Uk for the chance to read this great thriller.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Silent Scream- Angela Marsons

Available on Amazon from today.

Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…

Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult-sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …

Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.

But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.

As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?

My review
This was an absolutely stunning read- a real page turner. It's my favourite read of the year so far- and I know we're only a few days in. I think it will be in my top 5.

The books starts with a suggestion that members of a home for troubled teens are covering up something terrible. The detective assigned to the case where they have found a body buried next to the home, had a troubled childhood herself and she can really empathise with the victims.

As the ex members of staff continue to meet grisly ends Kim has to discover who is behind this awful crime and just why is it happening.

She's a bit of a loose cannon because she works the way she wants to work- not strictly within police procedures. I like the relationship with her work partner.

You wonder whether each person they interview is 'the one' and why?

There are really touching scenes in the book where your heart breaks.

I highly recommend this one for any crime readers.

Many thanks to Bookoutre for the chance to read their first crime thriller- you really picked a wonderful book. I am looking forward to seeing others and more books by this author too. The publication date is the 20th February- pre order it now and book a day to enjoy the book

A 5* read for me.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Autumn Getaway

This was a lovely read. Part one of a new series and I may have to read the next one straight away.

Lydia is invited to a weekend at a beautiful hotel, where her college room mate is marrying. She's left her little boy with her newly 'ex' husband and is looking forward to meeting up with old friends and enjoying some quality time- enjoying the spa facilities, walking in the grounds and catching up with her friends. You really feel as though you are on the girly weekend with them and a guest at the beautiful wedding!

She meets Sam as she is checking in- when he picks up her luggage and there is an instant attraction even though she is only newly divorced. He seems to be the perfect man and they meet up over the weekend, as he is related to the best man.

The rest of the books will follow their long distance relationship and I can't wait to catch up with them again.

Many thanks to Booktrope and Net Galley for a copy of this book. It was a great introduction to a new author for me and I can't wait to read more by her.

Monday, 2 February 2015

The Unexpected Consequences of Love- Jill Mansell

The Unexpected Consequences of Love
By Jill Mansell
Sourcebooks Landmark
Women’s Fiction
February 3, 2015
ISBN: 9781492602088

Sophie has no interest in finding love. But what happens when love finds her?

Sophie Wells is a successful photographer with a focus on putting the past firmly behind her. When Josh Strachan returns to the seaside town of Cornwall from the States to run his family’s hotel, he can't understand why the fun, sexy girl has zero interest in letting him—or any man for that matter—into her life. He also can't understand how he's been duped into employing Sophie's impulsive friend Tula, whose crush on him is decidedly unrequited. Both girls remain mum about the reasons behind Sophie’s indifference to love. But that doesn’t mean Josh is going to quit trying…

Buy THE UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE by Jill Mansell: Amazon | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound |Kobo

With over 9 million copies sold, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Mansell writes irresistible and funny romantic tales for women in the tradition of Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella. She worked for many years at the Burden Neurological Hospital, Bristol, and now writes full time. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.

Connect with Jill Mansell: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


“Nearly done… Oh, it’s you.” Turning, she glimpsed him in the doorway and straightened up. Nodding at Griff, she said, “Have you come to get him? He’s shattered now. I’ve just finished the shoot.”
“I know, I saw the family driving off. And I am sorry. Dot did warn me about the door-opening thing,” Josh admitted. “I just forgot about it. Can I blame it on the jet lag?”
She gave him a look. “Only if you’re a complete wuss. You’ve had a whole week to get over it.”
Her eyes were bright and sparkling, silver-gray with very white whites. Her well-defined eyebrows were dark but tipped with gold and there was a smudge of mud on her left temple.
It wasn’t an expression he’d ever thought of using before, but it occurred to him that she had joie de vivre.
“True.” He dipped his head in acknowledgment. “All my own fault. So how did it go in the end?”
“Come over here and I’ll show you.” Leading the way across the room, she picked up her camera and began scrolling through the shots, starting with the half dozen or so pre-Griff originals, then on through the second stage of the shoot.
“These are great.” Josh nodded at them, genuinely impressed. “So it ended up not being such a disaster after all.”
“Thanks to me being a complete genius,” she agreed happily. He liked her attitude. “What’s your name?”
“Hi, Sophie. I’m Josh.”
“I know. Haven’t you noticed everyone whispering about you since you’ve been back?”
“Not really. Well, maybe a bit. You don’t take much notice after a while.” He paused. “Do you have a business card?”
She took one from an envelope in the side pocket of her black canvas camera case and handed it over.
Sophie Wells Photography. Portraits, Weddings, Commercial was written in silver on a black background, along with her contact details. Josh noticed that as well as the bracelets on her left wrist there was a key attached to a plain silver bangle. He reached out and touched it briefly. “What’s this for?”
“It’s the key to my secret Swiss bank account.” “Amazing. I didn’t know Swiss banks used Yale locks.”
A dimple appeared in her left cheek. “I started wearing it after I locked myself out of my flat three times in one week.”
“Look,” said Josh. “I still feel terrible about the photos.” “No need. I told Emma I’d do them for free.”
“But that means you’re losing out. Which is even worse.” Sophie shook her head. “They all like what we ended up doing instead. Emma’s still happy to pay.” “But their clothes…”
“They live on a farm. She says the mud’ll come out in a boil wash.” “But when I came back here with Griff, she was in tears.”
“I know, but you weren’t actually to blame for that. Relax,” Sophie said cheerfully. “It’s your lucky day. You’re off the hook.”
Women, he’d never understand them. Still, it was a positive result. Somewhat distracted by her eyelashes—were they also gold- tipped beneath the mascara?—Josh said, “Fine then. So long as you’re sure. Can I ask you a personal question?”
“You can try.”
He was charmed by her easy smile, playful humor, and feisty can-do attitude. Okay, and her body was pretty amazing too. “Are you single at the moment? Or seeing someone?”
If she were, he would have to say with good-natured regret, “Well, that’s a real shame,” and leave it at that.
“Me? Oh no, I’m not seeing anyone.” Sophie shook her head. “Completely and utterly single, that’s me.”
Excellent. Enjoying her honesty, Josh said, “So would you like to come out for dinner with me one evening?”
“It would have to be an evening.” Sophie nodded gravely. “Otherwise it wouldn’t be dinner; it’d be breakfast or lunch.”
“Definitely evening,” he agreed. “We could do it tonight if you like.” This is going so well.
“Oh, I can’t.”
“Yes, bit short notice. Friday, then? Or Saturday? You choose, whenever suits you best.”
But even as he was saying it, Sophie was shaking her head. “Sorry, no… I mean, thanks for asking, but I can’t meet you for dinner.”
“Right.” Taken aback, Josh said, “Not at all?” “No.”
“Okay. That’s fine.” It wasn’t remotely fine. What was going on? Did she have a small baby at home, or an elderly relative who couldn’t be left unattended? “Am I allowed to ask why?”
Her eyes sparkled. “Oh dear, are you offended?” “Of course not,” lied Josh.
Sophie gave him a who-are-you-kidding look. “I think you are. Don’t be. I’m just pretty busy right now.”
“So maybe in a coucouple weeks?” He couldn’t quite believe he was still asking.
“Look, thanks again, but no thanks. I just don’t really want to go out to dinner with…anyone.”
Aaaand another knock-back.
“No problem.” Josh wished he’d never started it. “Sorry.”
He managed a rueful smile. “Hey, all I need is a few months for my ego to recover. I’ll be fine.”
“It’s not you.” Sophie’s mouth was twitching. “It’s me.”
Okay, now she was making fun of him.
“Well, obviously,” said Josh.

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This is an absolutely wonderful read. A 5* read. This was a lovely book- set in Cornwall which is always a winner for me. It follows some 'troubled' souls denying themselves new relationships that would seem perfect for them. We see how their past lives have affected their reluctance to allow themselves to fall in love again. Two leading men, two young females who are best friends and a smattering of older characters blend to make a very warming story.