Friday, 25 May 2018

Tell me A Secret by Samantha Hayes

Tell Me A Secret
Samantha Hayes

About the book… 
Tell her all your secrets and she’ll tell you all her lies…

Everything in Lorna’s life runs like clockwork, from her 6 a.m. morning run to the strict 60-minute counselling sessions she gives. It’s the only way she can deal with the terrible secret she carries.

When a new client arrives for his first appointment, Lorna feels her perfect life unravel in a matter of seconds. It’s Andrew, the man she’s spent the last year desperately trying to forget. It seems he can’t forget her either…

Against her better judgement she anonymously contacts him on a dating site. Messaging him could mean the end of her marriage and her career, but she needs to know if his motives are genuine.

When Andrew is found dead in his home, grief quickly turns to fear when messages from him continue to arrive on Lorna’s phone. Somebody knows her secret and wants to use it to destroy everything she has.

Will she risk her family and her sanity to keep her secret? Will she risk her life…? 

If you love twisty psychological thrillers that get under your skin, like The Girl on the TrainI Let You Go or anything by Louise Jensen, you’ll be utterly blown away by the jaw-dropping lies in Tell Me a Secret.

Buy Links:

About the author…
Samantha Hayes grew up in Warwickshire, left school at sixteen, avoided university and took jobs ranging from private detective to barmaid to fruit picker and factory worker. She lived on a kibbutz, and spent time living in Australia and the USA, before finally becoming a crime-writer.
Her writing career began when she won a short story competition in 2003 and her ninth novel, THE REUNION, was published in February 2018. Her novels are family-based psychological thrillers, with the emphasis being on 'real life fiction'. She focuses on current issues and sets out to make her readers ask, 'What if this happened to me or my family?'  

Contact Links: 
To find out more, visit her website
Or connect with Samantha on Facebook
And she's on Twitter @samhayes

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book by Samantha Hayes publishers Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.  This is something I'm more than happy to do.

Tell Me a Secret is a twisty, tense thriller mainly told from the lead characters perspective.  Lorna in theory has the perfect life, is a successful psychotherapist, is married to Mark a successful dentist and has two children a shared daughter Faye and stepson Mark.

As the story begins I got the impression that the perfect lifestyle was held together by a taught, invisible thread.  One slip and it would all unravel. She has a routine to end all routines and when it is thrown off kilter the tension is palpable, I could feel her heart beating.  She has a difficult relationship with her stepson, his natural mother died when he was a toddler and although he can't remember her he keeps Lorna at arms length with his dismissive, insolent stance.  Although to be fair Lorna thinks it's all about him not liking her but I think it's a lot to do with simply being a teenager and knowing what strings to pull.

Lorna breaks protocol and calls back a potential new client after he persistently phoned the practise insisting he has an appointment with her.  There begins the story and the threads holding her life together begin to fall.

OMG, Samantha Hayes has the ability to weave a plot so intricately you have no idea or clue as to what is really going on - the sub-text is always just slightly out of your grasp and just when you think you may have it sussed the story changes direction.

One thing I was sure of was this was a book with a lead character you wanted to shake - she literally has written her own destiny through a web of lies and deceit and has dug herself a hole that is just that little bit too deep to climb out of.  I swayed between not liking her at all and pitying her - the perfect lifestyle with synchronised timings for every aspect of it unnerved more than just a little and then bam, another Samantha Hayes ending to a book that was totally unexpected - HOW DOES SHE DO IT?! I haven't read one of her books yet that hasn't stopped me in my tracks, with mouth hanging open, slowly nodding my head - OMG OMG.

Another thriller that I highly recommend, Samantha Hayes is an author that is always on my wish list when a new book comes out.

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Thursday, 24 May 2018

Love, Lies and Wedding Cake - Sue Watson

Love, Lies and Wedding Cake
Sue Watson

About the book…
An absolutely hilarious, laugh-‘til-you-cry, romantic comedy about how life never quite goes to plan…

Faye is in crisis. You wouldn’t know it, because of the big fat smile on her face, but inside, she’s one step away from nuclear meltdown. And she shouldn’t be. Dan is the man of her dreams. And he’s just asked her to marry him.

But Faye’s been down the marriage road before and it ended up with her having Ryan Gosling fantasies while her ex-husband obsessed about the plumbing. Faye and Dan, on the other hand, have been living their lives to the fullest, travelling around the world, having sex under the stars... They've never argued about unrolling socks before putting them in the laundry.

Besides, even if she wanted to say yes, how could she move to the other side of the world? Because marrying Dan would mean living in Australia. Beautiful, warm and a gazillion miles from Faye’s daughter, Emma, a single mum with her own crazy little girl who both need Faye every single day. Leaving them – even for someone who makes her as happy as Dan – simply isn’t an option. 

Dan is offering Faye everything she ever wanted. So why does she feel like she’s about to lose it all?

The most screamingly-funny romantic comedy of the summer – about secrets, second chances and following your heart. Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson.

About the author… 
Sue Watson was a journalist then a TV Producer at the BBC until she realised that instead of working, she could stay at home, and write about exciting things like foreign travel and cake!

So far Sue's written twelve books, and some have been translated into Italian, German and Portuguese (she's big in Brazil!) Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where her days are spent baking (and eating) lots of cake, while making big life decisions about whether to have Caramel Chew Chew or Salted Caramel ice cream while watching 'My 600lb Life,' on the sofa

Contact Links: 
For more info visit Sue's website;
Sue would love to meet you on FaceBook at
Follow Sue on Twitter @suewatsonwriter

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Bookouture, Sue Watsons publishers.  This is something I'm more than happy to do.

Love, Lies and Wedding Cake is the sequel to Love, Lies and Lemon Cake both could be read as stand alone novels but why would you?  You get the back story to Dan and Faye's relationship and it's where it all began for my addiction to everything that Sue Watson has written.

Love, Lies and Wedding Cake was a total 'emotion fest'.  It was like a visit to the fairground.  Huge amounts of laughter and smiles as I rode the highs and lows of the big dipper,  Sue Watson is a natural comic, has great warmth and empathy with the ability to have you snorting with laughter one minute and choked with emotion the next.

It's decision time in Faye's life - Dan her, Australian tomboy has to return to Australia to help care for his dying brother.  This prompts him to ask Faye to marry him and go to live in Australia with him, he's always talked about his dream of opening a cafe/restaurant in sight of the Sydney Opera House after all and now could be the time.

They have a spontaneous, romantic, relaxed lifestyle - the timing is perfect isn't it?  But....Faye, divorced mother to single mum Emma and joint carer to Rosie her toddler, grand-daughter is torn. She can't let him go, he is the love of her life but she has her daughter and grand-daughter to think of too, they need her.  How could she leave them behind?

OMG, Rosie is utterly adorable and definitely rules the roost in every situation, she's way older than her years and has her eye rolling, hand on hip stance down to perfection.  She is an utter joy I could totally understand how Faye was incapable of making a decision - how could anyone leave this bundle of joy behind?

Fast-forward twelve months and imagine Bridgett Jones getting on a plane to Australia, A trip that was pure comedy gold, Faye suffers from verbal diahorea when stressed and constantly finds herself in situations that portray her as both physically and or mentally challenged.  In her head she can do sophistication with ease but the reality is somewhat different.  I literally cried laughing at the many 'situations' she found herself in and not to spoil it for other readers - I will definitely be wary of how I wear my swimming costume!!

This is a book about taking chances and letting go.  We only have one life and we should live it, embrace what comes our way and give our children wings - we'll always be mothers but our children need to feel independent too - who knows what they and us are capable of until we try. Regret in life the things we didn't do not the things we tried.

Love, Lies and Wedding Cake gets another thumbs up for me - Sue has done it again and got the recipe just perfect!  Sue is an author I'll never tire of reading, each and every book delivers what it says on the tin - escapism, laced with pure indulgence.  I'm on a salad and water diet ATM to shed a few pounds before my hols - OMG, the crazy amounts of food references and lashings of cake literally had me drooling.

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Friday, 18 May 2018

Dying Truth - Angela Marsons

Dying Truth
(Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 8)
Angela Marsons 

About the book…
How far would you go to protect your darkest secrets?

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.

As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead. 

With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable - whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim. 

Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price.

The utterly addictive new crime thriller from the Number One bestselling author – you will be gripped until the final shocking twist.

Buy Links: 

About the author… 
Angela Marsons is the author of the International Bestselling DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 2 million in 2 years.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read "Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people's".

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.

Her last three books - Blood Lines, Dead Souls and Broken Bones - reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.

Contact Links: 

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour for Dying Truth organised by Angela Marsons publisher, Bookouture.  This is something I am more than happy to do.

Whenever I hear Angela has written another book my heart begins to beat a little bit faster, each and every book from the very first one Silent Scream has pushed me to the edge of an abyss and then she somehow brings me back before I go into a total freewill.  That insight into how far you can push a reader and leave them gasping for air but exhilarated at the same time is second to none.  As she very well knows I've tried reading a bit faster to try to save lives but it doesn't work - I'm left bereft that the book has ended so quickly.

Where do I begin with book eight, you just know it's going to be a difficult read when children are the victims in a book and Angela Marsons has spared no punches with Dying Truth, in fact she socked one right below the belt this time. I normally read one of her books in a single sitting but life at the moment is pretty full on and it took me the best part of a week - only finishing it at lunchtime today, I've been an absolute wreck.  

OMG, I sat outside having lunch with tears rolling down my face - what have you done to me. I don't think I have ever been so distraught by a book EVER.  I'm finding it difficult to compartmentalise fact from fiction, such is Angela's style of writing.  Every word is like a true account totally mesmerising and compelling. 

Dying Truth is DI Kim Stone's biggest challenge to date, an apparent suicide and then another death at the same upmarket, private school.  The first victim jumps from the school roof and everyone assumes it's a suicide.  Everyone that is except Kim Stone - a second death at the same school has her radar on high alert, she's like a sniffer dog - she has her nose into every corner and doesn't rest until every clue and avenue has been explored.  She opens a pandora's box which leads to difficult situations and thoughts for everyone involved in the investigation.  It's so difficult to share how fantastic this book and Angela Marsons is without spoiling the story.

I more than highly recommend this book and each and every book she's previously written, but the best news is, there are at least eight more books in the series to come!!!!!

Huge thanks to Kim Nash and Bookouture for another totally captivating read and for allowing me to be part of the blog tour.

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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Fear - C. L. Taylor

The Fear
C. L. Taylor

About the book…
The million copy Sunday Times bestseller returns with a taut, compelling psychological thriller that will have you glued to the edge of your seat.

Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

Lou Wandsworth is used to being headline news as, aged fourteen, she ran away to France with her 31-year-old teacher, Mike Hughes.

Now 32, Lou’s life is in tatters – and she resolves to return home to confront Mike for the damage he has caused. But she soon finds that Mike is unchanged, and is focussing his attention on 13-year-old Chloe Meadows.

Determined to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, Lou decides to take matters into her own hands. But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as she tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that Lou could once again become his prey…

Buy Links: 
Amazon UK:

About the author… 
C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and have been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines.

In 2014, The Bookseller named C.L. Taylor as one of the year’s Bestselling Adult Fiction Debut Authors for The AccidentThe Lie and The Missing were Sunday Times top 10 bestsellers in paperback, and both books hit the #1 spot on the Kindle bestseller list. She has sold 1 million books to date.

Contact Links: 

My thoughts…
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Avon Cally Taylors publishers.  This is some thing I am more than happy to do.

When you see that tweet and Cally Taylor says she has submitted her final draft of a new book to her publisher the tense wait begins.  I received a copy of the book in the post and nearly died and went to heaven, it's fair to say that friends of mine who saw it on my coffee table literally died - they are totally in awe that I had my hands on The Fear before it was published!

I have loved every single one of CL Taylors books ever since I read The Lie and went to the book Launch in London - to hear her talk about the writing process and back story to the plot was incredible.  Each of her books take her up another notch in the WOW stakes.  How high can she go, there seems to be no limit.  The depth of feeling and emotion that is evoked when reading any of her novels is beyond palpable.

The Fear is centred around Lou a young woman who, as a fourteen year old thought she was in love with her 31 year old Judo instructor Mike, they runaway to France at his instigation and when the police catch up with him he is sentenced and sent to jail for a pitiful five years.  At fourteen, Lou couldn't see he was grooming her, he was able to because her esteem was low and her home life was a mess.  

Lou hadn't been back to her home town in fifteen years since her mum left her dad and they moved to London.  She returns, her father has dies and she moves back to her childhood home to confront Mike - she wants him to see how he ruined her life.

Her first glimpse of him on her return is like a camera shutter snapping closed - he's there, older, less fit but other than that unchanged - she's glimpses him kissing a young girl. This tips Lou over the edge and her life unravels as she sets out to save the girl from the life she has had to live because of Mike.  Little does she know she is really trying to save fourteen year old self.

Cally Taylor took me on a dark twisted journey that made my heart bump with fear, Lou is very vulnerable both emotionally and physically.  Her childhood home is remote and out of range of mobile signals, not an ideal place to entice her 'nemesis' yet at the same time the perfect place. 

This is a book that will touch your heart, will make you gasp and cry out, the sheer emotion leaps from the pages with Lou teetering on the edge, she thinks she wants to stop history repeating itself and isn't aware how vulnerable she still is herself.  It's shocking yet true to life, a story that we have sadly seen the basis of previously in the news.  When actions are driven by emotion and that emotion is fear and revenge anything is possible.  I'm sure I stopped breathing several times as I read The Fear - a title that is perfect for the emotions and feelings evoked for both the characters and readers alike.  

I highly recommend this book, C. L. Taylor is an author to put on your favourites list she has a writing style that is dark and twisted yet demonstrates an insight into the complex psyche of people that we live alongside every day.

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The Runaway Wife - Dee MacDonald

The Runaway Wife 
Dee MacDonald

About the book… 
One evening in early August, while mashing the potatoes for dinner, Connie McColl decides she’s had enough…

Connie is tired of solving one family crisis after another - usually involving her unruly grandchildren - while her husband Roger spends all day at his beloved golf course. Surely it must be time for her to shake off her apron and start living again?

So Connie packs a bag, gets in her little green car and drives off...

As Connie journeys from England to Scotland on an unexpected adventure, she finally begins to rediscover herself. And she starts to wonder, will she ever be ready to return home? Or will this summer change her life forever?

The Runaway Wife is an inspiring and joyously uplifting novel about being true to yourself. If you loved The Kicking the Bucket List and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry this book is for you.

Buy Links: 
Amazon Buy Link:
iBookstore Buy Link:
Kobo Buy Link:
GooglePlay Link:

About the author… 
Aged 18, Dee arrived in London from Scotland and typed her way round the West End for a couple of years before joining BOAC (forerunner of British Airways) in Passenger Services for 2 years and then as a stewardess for 8 years

She has worked in Market Research, Sales and at the Thames TV Studios when they had the franchise.

Dee has since relocated to Cornwall, where she spent 10 years running B&Bs, and only began writing when she was over 70!

Married twice, she has one son and two grandsons.

My thoughts…
I was given an early read of this book and asked to be part of the Blog Blitz in exchange for an honest review by Kim at Bookouture.  This is something I am more than happy to do.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book.  It hits the spot on so many levels.  Connie McColl, wife, mother, grandmother has had enough.  She's living everybody else life and doesn't seem to exist as a person worthy of living her own life.  She's living in a house she doesn't like, organising and running around after her husband and at the beck and call of her children - often the main carer of her grandchildren.

One summers evening she makes the decision to leave home, the turning point was the reality of the previous day.  A day that should have been significant in the calendars of the whole family but as usual, no-one remembered or acknowledged it with the exception of her friend Wendy.

Connie packed up her trusty but old car with everything she thought she might need for a prolonged trip away, left identical notes for her children and husband Roger and set off.  This was a journey that took her on a route down memory lane, encountering old friends and new at the same time as enjoying new and unexpected experiences.

I absolutely loved Connie and cried with laughter throughout the whole book.  It had hilarious, laugh out loud moments and at times lots of 'oh noes' and felt quite sad and emotional. I was totally absorbed and engaged in the plot, Dee MacDonald has written this novel in such a way it could be a diarised story of someone's real life - every single incident and encounter was plausible and felt right. I loved how Connie shed her inhibitions the more miles she put between herself and home. All the while making decisions and choices simply based on the opposite of what she would normally do or what would normally be expected of her.

The Runaway Wife is totally plausible in every way, I found it uplifting and I loved the idea that you could just set off and 'go with the flow' an idea so far outside of my comfort zone I found the whole premise a little daunting yet at the same time exciting and exhilarating.

As Connie journeyed between Sussex and Scotland Dee stripped away layer after layer of Connie's character to reveal a much lighter, happier person who knew her own mind and wasn't afraid to share her thoughts.   Dee eludes to Connie's relationships with her husband and children and without giving the game away I don't think I have ever been quite so blindsided by an ending to a book! Little hints and clues are revealed along the journey but nothing could have prepared me for it.

I highly recommend this book, it is right up there in my top three books I've read so far this year, I enjoyed it that much.  It'll make you smile, laugh and dream a little - what if............? The adventures and friends she makes along the way are equally important to the story, each and every one of them are important cogs thats propel Connie on her journey, offering friendship and support with no strings attached. 

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Friday, 20 April 2018

White Lies - Lucy Dawson

White Lies
Lucy Dawson

About the book…
Alexandra Inglis is a respected family doctor, trusted by her patients to keep their most intimate secrets. And if sometimes the boundaries between duty and desire blur… well, she’s only human.

But when Alex oversteps a line with Jonathan, one of her patients, she knows she's gone too far. Jonathan is obsessive, and to get what he wants he will tear Alex's world apart - threatening not only her career but her marriage and family too. 

Soon Alex finds she's capable of doing almost anything to keep hold of her perfect life, as it begins to spin dangerously out of her control…

A darkly gripping domestic drama of secrets and lies, from the bestselling author of The Daughter. Perfect for fans of Big Little Lies, Louise Jensen and The Couple Next Door.

Buy Links: 
Amazon UK:

About the author… 
I’ve been writing psychological suspense novels since 2008, when my first bestseller – His Other Lover – was published. I write full time (mostly on the playroom sofa) from my home in Devon, where I live with my husband and children. Before that, I used to interview the likes of Steps and SClub7 for a living, making absolutely no use whatsoever of my psychology degree from Warwick University, but it was a lot of fun. 

I'm addicted to writing about the extraordinary things that can happen to ordinary people - I like stories that jump in at the deep end, with a gasp. When readers take the time out to let me know they've stayed up all night because they couldn't put the book down, it makes my day. 

Contact Links: 
I really enjoy catching up with readers and always reply to emails. You can reach me at 
Twitter: @lucydawsonbooks 
 Facebook: lucydawsonbooks. 
Alternatively you can download a free short story of mine at 
or if you want to look at a lot of pictures of the beach and books that I'm reading, find me on Instagram at lucydawsonbooks.

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book by Kim at Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.  This is something I am more than happy to do.

Where to begin other than to say I didn't think anything could top Lucy Dawsons last novel The Daughter but I was wrong White Lies is outstanding.  Lucy has written a book that will chill you to the bone, a story that is shockingly believable yet unbelievable at the same time.  As I turned the pages my mind raced to unscramble the clues, believing I had it all wrapped up until the next chapter and everything I thought I knew was discounted.

White Lies is centred around Alex a doctor in her local GP's surgery and Jonathan a young seventeen year old that she has a chance encounter with whilst on a girls holiday in Ibiza only to come face to face with him in unexpected circumstances when she gets home.  Thats where the nightmare begins - or does it?

White Lies has many voices.  Each chapter is recounted by a different person, mainly told by Alex and Jonathan but Rob, Alex's husband and David her partner in the GP practice along with Cherry, Jonathans girlfriend each bring their voice and perspective to the story too.

I could feel the tension rising and literally taste the fear as the story spiralled round and round - there were so many differences of opinion and angles to the same story that it was impossible to have a clear certainty of what I believed. The incredible ability Lucy Dawson has to create characters that are not just mildly plausible but totally believable is something I admire greatly.  I lost myself totally immersed as if I was reading a true account written in the local media. 

It's frightening to be faced with the reality that decisions made or not made, little white lies told for the right or wrong reason can affect not just the circumstances or people present but ripple out way beyond an imaginable point and have such an incredible impact - literally chasing the course of peoples lives.  Our reputation is something we take years to build and yet it can be shattered in seconds by words or actions that in themselves are nothing!

Thank you so much AGAIN Bookouture, for another incredible read, this book was truly outstanding another one I'll be shouting about to everyone.

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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

A Home at Honeysuckle Farm - Christie Barlow

A Home at Honeysuckle Farm
Christie Barlow

About the book...
A family secret
One shocking argument and ten-year-old Alice Parker’s world was turned upside down. Her peaceful life at Honeysuckle Farm in the quiet rural village of Brook Bridge swapped for the bustling metropolis of New York City. Alice’s life was changed forever…
A second chance
Now, thirteen years later, Alice’s American dream is over. With her life in tatters, there is only one place Alice wants to be… home at Honeysuckle Farm. 
A forever home?
But secrets still swirl in Brook Bridge, and Alice is no closer to discovering the truth. And for some reason her new friendship with local heartthrob Sam Reid seems to be making the locals tense.
Sick of the lies Alice knows it’s time to lay the past to rest once and for all. But could the truth ruin her hopes of ever calling Honeysuckle Farm home again?

Buy Links: 

About the author… 
Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty's Countryside Dream, Lizzie's Christmas Escape, Evie's Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream and A Home at Honeysuckle Farm. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia.

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world. 

Contact Links: 
Twitter @ChristieJBarlow 
 Facebook page Christie Barlow author

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book by Rachel at Rachels Random Resources in exchange for an honest review.  This is something I am more than happy to do.

I was drawn to this book by the cover, spring was on it's way and it looked like it had arrived at Honeysuckle Farm.

A home at Honeysuckle Farm is set in the delightful village of Brook Bridge. It had english, chocolate box written all over it - picture perfect.  Of course the sun always shines and everyone is always happy when you live in a village which is why when I read books like this I want to up sticks and move to one.

The prologue personifies my image of village life exactly, all pretty houses and cute shops to amble in before settling down for afternoon tea in a fab cafe overlooking a babbling brook. That is until the happiness is shattered as Rose and her father, Alice's Grandie have an almighty row which sees them leaving their home, an annex attached to the  farmhouse owned by Grandie and heading to New York, where after a difficult start she settled down and made friends.  

Only a few pages in and what a lot of questions running round my head. What was the row about, what could Rose of done to be cut out of her fathers life? It was a very high price to pay for him, losing his grand-daughter at the same time. At first glance this was going to be a light, frothy book that did what it said on the tin but, it turned out to be much more than that - the story was intense, consuming and heart twisting.  

Thirteen years after leaving for America with her mother, Alice is back in  Brook Bridge having left her mother behind in America and is here because her Grandie is in hospital  She is very apprehensive about meeting him again after all these years - would she ever find out the truth behind their sudden departure, she hoped so.

Once again, Christie Barlow has written a book that is full of delightful characters that are interwoven into a local community.  The lows had me crying as hard as I smiled and laughed at the highs.  It really was a tonic, a proper pick me up.  It's the sort of book that once you pick it up and start reading you finish in no time and are left wondering how you've lost an afternoon without even blinking! This is the first of Christie's books I've read in a good while and was drawn back in as if I read the last one only yesterday!  It was better than any tonic you can buy in the chemist. 

If you love books that are wrapped up neatly in a classic happy ending then this is for you, it has it all, family, friendship, love, laughter, a sprinkling of sadness and a few little mysteries in the form of unanswered questions.  I love how she slipped straight back into the idyll that she left as a child, the community coming together to welcome her back into their folds.

This was truly delightful - huge thx to Rachel for organising the blog tour, Christie for giving me the perfect place to escape - heads off to Rightmove to find me a chocolate box house!! I'm hoping there's one for sale.

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