Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Our Little Secret - Claudia Carroll

Our Little Secret 
by
Claudia Carroll


About the book… 
A sparkling story about what happens when you let someone into your life… but they turn out to want more than you’d bargained for!

Sarah Dee has the perfect life. A high-flying job in a law firm, a beautiful daughter and a house to die for. So how does she find herself looking in through the kitchen window while another woman enjoys it all?

When Sarah takes pity on a struggling young graduate who can’t get a job, she thinks she’s doing the right thing. She’s being kind, generous and helpful to others, as she always is. But as Sarah allows the younger woman into her home, her law firm and even her family, is there more to this pretty youngster than meets the eye? And could this be a good deed that goes further than expected?

Read an Exclusive Extract...

As it happens, I was plan-free right through till the following Monday morning. If I was very lucky I might get to see an episode of House of Cards that I hadn’t seen before on Netflix and maybe, just maybe, I might even chance a sneaky glass of Pinot Grigio when I had the house to myself. 

As you could see, it was set be another wild weekend in the life of Sarah Keyes.

‘No, just a quiet one for me.’

‘Say no more,’ Lauren smiled very sweetly. ‘I get it. A romantic Friday night in with your husband, am I right?’

‘A romantic night in with who?’ I asked, looking up at her, confused.

‘Your husband,’ she said, two chocolate-brown eyes blinking innocently back at me. 

‘I’m not married,’ I replied, just a bit too quickly. ‘At least, not any more I’m not.’ 

‘Oh, I’m so sorry, me and my big mouth,’ Lauren said, blushing very prettily as she rubbed a dollop of cuticle cream in. ‘It’s just that you’re wearing a wedding ring, so I assumed—’

‘Separated.’

‘Ahh,’ she said, nodding. ‘I see. Do you have children?’

‘Just one. Darcy. She’s sixteen.’

‘I’m sure she’s a wonderful girl,’ Lauren said diplomatically. 

Oh yes, a wonderful girl all right, I thought. If you overlooked the sudden downturn in her school results ever since Tom and I broke up, the mitching off school, the sulkiness, the violent mood swings and don’t even get me started on the amounts of cash that seem to disappear out of my purse on a daily basis

Back then my brain melted with the guilt of how badly Darcy had been dealing with the whole separation. And, of course, every time I tried gently to broach the subject with her, I’d either get the sulky silent treatment or else her bedroom door slammed square in my face. 

‘Absolutely,’ I agreed, with as bright a smile as I could muster. ‘Darcy’s a terrific kid, thanks.’

Buy Links: 
Amazon UK: Amazon.co.uk
Amazon USA: Amazon.Com

About the author… 
Claudia was born in Dublin and is a graduate of UCD, the College of Music and of the Gaiety School of Acting. Since then she has worked extensively as an actress on the Irish stage, but is probably best known for her role as TV’s Nicola Prendergast in the long running Dublin soap opera, ‘Fair City.’










My thoughts…
Come back at the end of the tour to read my review.

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Sunday, 11 February 2018

The Reunion by Samantha Hayes

The Reunion
by
Samantha Hayes

About the book… 
They were all there the day your sister went missing. 

Who is lying? Who is next?


THEN – In charge of her little sister at the beach, Claire allowed Eleanor to walk to the shop alone to buy an ice cream. Placing a coin into her hand, Claire told her to be quick, knowing how much she wanted the freedom.

Eleanor never came back.

NOW – The time has finally come to sell the family farm and Claire is organising a reunion of her dearest friends, the same friends who were present the day her sister went missing.

When another girl disappears, long-buried secrets begin to surface. One of the group hides the darkest secret of them all…

If you loved Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, this gripping psychological thriller packed full of twists and turns will be impossible to put down. 

Buy Links: 
 myBook.to/TRSocial
Amazon Uk - http://amzn.to/2BWU7ux

About the author… 
Samantha Hayes grew up in a creative family where her love of writing began as a child. Samantha has written eight thrillers in total, including the bestselling Until You’re Mine. The Independent said “fantastically written and very tense” while Good Housekeeping said “Her believable psychological thrillers are completely gripping.” Samantha’s books are published in 22 languages at the last count.
When not writing, Samantha loves to cook, go to the gym, see friends and drink nice wine. She is also studying for a degree in psychotherapy. She has three grown-up children and lives in Warwickshire.


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

As soon as I heard Samantha Hayes had a new book out I jumped up and down and said 'yes please' to the blog tour. I didn't know the title, nor had I read the blurb - that is how much I love this author.  The first book I read by Samantha Hayes was 'Until You're Mine' and I was absolutely blown away. I have devoured each of her subsequent books and find them totally captivating and engaging.  Each one an intricate tale that has you guessing right until the final pages.

My expectations for The Reunion were high and Samantha Hayes met them and some. The Reunion is centred around a group of friends and family brought together by Claire to try and bring back happy memories for her dad who is now suffering from Alzheimers.  They are friends that spent more of their weekends and holidays at her parents farm than they did at their own homes. With her mum and dad acting as surrogate parents to them all, that was, until the day they were all at the beach and Leni (Eleanor), Claires sister went to the shops for ice-cream and never came back.

This is a thriller that has a devastating, sad story that appears to be mirrored over twenty yers later. Deliberately or a coincidence?  That was one of my first questions as I submerged myself in the plot. The story is told from several perspectives and from both the past and the present.  

The Reunion is woven with several plot twists and sub plots that originally seem separate with no connections, they had me guessing at possible solutions only to find I was wrong each time.  Samantha has intricately stitched up this story like a patchwork quilt - all of the pieces once put together make for a gut wrenching, heart pounding emotional read. There were so many times I thought I had it all wrapped up only to find I was way off the mark. and when the answers come with the end of the book I sat back open mouthed - words failed me.  This is a book that has an unthinkable storyline running through the heart of it.  Yet, I promise you'll be as hooked as I was, it that will make you sit back and be thankful it was just a book, it's not real - yet it so easily could be!

In case you haven't guessed, I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it - it's a psychological thriller with a plot that is so intricacy woven it will leave you guessing right until the end.  I sat open mouthed, just quietly thinking when I finished and i still have questions a week later - WHY?  I so need to re-read this again!!


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Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Black Heart - (Detective Dan Riley Book 1) by Anna-Lou Weatherley

Black Heart
by
Anna-Lou Wetherley

About the book… 
There’s a letter on the floor covered with blood next to a heart-shaped box of chocolates. The note says: ‘My beautiful darling, I’m sorry, please forgive me.’

When the body of a man is found with his wrists slashed in a London hotel room, it appears at first to be a tragic suicide. But Detective Dan Riley suspects there is more to this case than meets the eye and the pathology report confirms his worst fears – the victim was poisoned and suddenly Dan is dealing with a murder inquiry. 

Then he makes a disturbing discovery, uncovering links between the victim and a woman calling herself Goldilocks on an online dating site. Is she seeking revenge or something more? 

Still grieving the devastating loss of his girlfriend and unborn child in a car accident two years ago, Dan throws everything he has into the investigation. Yet just as Dan begins to piece together the clues of this complex case, the body of a woman is found in her bed with identical wounds. 

Dan is on the trail of a twisted individual who is much closer than he realises. Can he overcome his own demons and stop the killer before it’s too late? 

An all-consuming and totally unputdownable read that will have you holding your breath to the very last page. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza and Karin Slaughter. 

Buy Links: 
 myBook.to/BHSocial
Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/2nLxp3g

About the author… 
Anna-Lou began her career as a dancer but a moped accident in Ibiza put paid to those aspirations and so she went back to her first and one true love – writing! She re-trained as a journalist, specialising mainly in women’s interest and celebrity, becoming the Editor of J-17 and Smash Hits as well as writing for a host of women’s magazines.
Anna-Lou has written three Adult Fiction titles – Vengeful Wives and Wicked Wives, both published by Avon in the UK and Bookouture in the US and Canada and Pleasure Island published by Bookouture.


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

This is first book in a new detective series by Anna-Lou Wetherley an author I haven't previously read although I believe this is a new genre for her.  

Anna - Lou Weatherley packed so much into the opening chapter of this book I couldn't help but be engrossed. What is quite obviously an elicit, steamy meeting in the penthouse suite of a luxury hotel is turned on its head as 'Goldilocks' as we come to know her commits a murder that had me is nauseatingly transfixed.  I couldn't stomach to read as the story unfolded and yet I couldn't not turn the pages. I got to the end of the chapter and had to take stock. Asking myself the question - could I actually read this book, yet even as I thought it my fingers were turning the page. 

Chapter two and we are introduced to Detective Dan Riley, I really liked him, he had a dogged determination, attention to detail and that good old hunch that is often found in detective novels.  He was sent to the hotel to investigate an apparent suicide and almost instantly he picks up details that are so subtle they are almost invisible.   

Anna - Lou's descriptions of both people and scenario's was superb.  The characters both complex and haunting.  Dan is almost a shell of a person, he clearly has a bleeding heart, we are privy to his inner voice and thoughts and it's clear he hasn't got over a tragic death that was close to home.  He needs something/someone to drag him out of the abyss and has turned to on-line dating and buried himself in his work. 

It takes longer to un-ravel the character of Goldilocks - she is beyond cold and calculating and as the story went and her actions played like a cinema reel across my eyes I just wanted to get to the end of the book - he crimes so horrific and pre-meditated my stomach churned constantly. 

Black Heart is told from both the killer and the investigative points of view and also from the inner turmoil and voices of the central characters, it is a shockingly brilliant book that I highly recommend.  It's one of the fastest reads I have read in a long time, not because the plot moved quickly - that was expertly drawn out to induce panic and fear into the reader.  But, because I wanted the book to end before the most horrific crime of all could be enacted.

Huge thanks once again to Kim at Bookouture for her on the mark recommendation.


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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The Daughter - Lucy Dawson

The Daughter
by
Lucy Dawson

About the book… 
You lost your daughter. You will never forgive yourself. Now someone's determined to make you pay… 

Seventeen years ago, something happened to Jess’s daughter Beth. The memory of it still makes her blood run cold. Jess has tried everything to make peace with that day, and the part she played in what happened. It was only a brief moment of desire… but she’ll pay for it with a lifetime of guilt.

To distance herself from the mistakes of the past, Jess has moved away and started over with her family. But when terrifying things begin happening in her new home, Jess knows that her past has finally caught up with her. Somebody feels Jess hasn’t paid enough, and is determined to make her suffer for the secrets she’s kept all these years.

Buy Links: 
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2DMA2Nh
Amazon US: http://a.co/fefgeev

About the author… 
Bestselling author Lucy Dawson has had six books published, and her work has been translated into numerous languages. Lucy read Psychology at Warwick University before working as a magazine editor. She now writes full time and lives in Devon with her husband and children.






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

Oh my giddy aunt - what an addictively captivating book, I read this on the last day of 2017 and was totally gripped, so much so I kept delaying getting ready to go out and celebrate the New Year.  Just one more chapter......, the pages practically turned themselves.

Lucy Dawson certainly knows how to grab your attention. The story begins with a gut wrenching tragedy, how do you pick yourself up from a situation that would be every parents living nightmare?!  The storyline literally explodes off the page, leaving so much debris in its wake - sifting through the remains is gut wrenching and sheer torture. Jess and husband Ben are plunged into an abyss and Jess in particular can't seem to find a way to crawl out.  It's not the first trauma she's had to endure and the sheer pain and tragedy of this story are palpable as the past meets the present.  Strange things keep happening but who was responsible and why?  These are the questions I tried to second guess.

The twists and turns of this story are like shooting stars, one after another exploding across the pages as I gasped at the sheer horror, torment and reality as Jess tries to pick her way through the debris of her life as bit by bit she is sent mad with torment.  

I formed opinions and ideas about each and every character and tried without success to second guess how they all fitted together in this maze of hurt, anger, deceit, revenge love and hate.  This is a book that will touch your heart, will make you gasp and cry out, the sheer tension and emotion fizzes from the pages.

Thank you so much Bookouture for the opportunity to read and review this outstanding book
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Thursday, 26 October 2017

Christmas at the Falling Down Guesthouse - Lilly Bartlett

Christmas at the Falling Down Guesthouse
by Lilly Bartlett

About the book… 
Put your feet up and tuck into the mince pies, because you won’t have to lift a finger to enjoy this Christmas!

Too bad the same can’t be said for single mother and extremely undomestic goddess, Lottie.

When her beloved Aunt Kate ends up in hospital just before Christmas, Lottie and her seven-year-old daughter rush to rural Wales to take over her B&B. A picky hotel reviewer and his mad family are coming to stay, and without the rating only he can bestow, Aunt Kate will lose her livelihood. 

But Lottie can barely run her own life, let alone a hotel. How will she manage to turn the falling-down guesthouse into the luxurious wonderland the reviewer expects? And could mysterious taxi driver, Danny, who agrees to help her, turn out to be the real gift this season?

As the snow sparkles on the trees and hot chocolate steams in your hand, snuggle into the delicious magic of Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse. 


About the author… 
Lilly Bartlett’s cosy romcoms are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.
Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best friend-girl power comedies under her own name.

Michele Gorman is the USA TODAY bestselling author of several romantic comedies including the Single in the City series and The Curvy Girls Club. Born and raised in the US, Michele has lived in London for 16 years. She is very fond of naps, ice cream and Richard Curtis films but objects to spiders and the word “portion”.

Michele is represented by the Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency (www.hardmanswainson.com) and published by Penguin and Avon/HarperCollins.


My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book by the PR team at Notting Hill Press in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to give.  I loved the cover and title of the book and I am a total sucker for a Christmas tale.

Lottie receives news that her aunt has been involved in a car accident and is in hospital.  She and her daughter Mabel were travelling to Wales to spend Christmas with her anyway so pack everything up and head off to Wales a few days early.

Lottie finds herself in a bit of a pickle, her aunt Kate has been put in an induced coma and it's clear she won't be out of hospital for Christmas when the B & B she runs is expecting a very important guest - a reviewer, who Kate was hoping would give the B & B a much coveted star rating to help improve her business.

It's been years since Lottie had visited her aunt in Wales because her aunt always came to London to stay with her so she wasn't really prepared for the mammoth task she found herself lumbered with, add to that the chef and cleaner going awol for Christmas and the chaos is just about to begin.

This really is a festive read with a difference, Lottie makes the taxi driver who took her to and from the hospital an offer he couldn't refuse and the hilarity began.  Lottie has never run a B & B before and is shocked at the state of her aunt's home, particularly has she has a booking for a reviewer over Christmas.  Her aunt has always been there for her so she is determined to put on a 'good front' for the reviewer so sets about the task of performing a few miracles.

For a novella Michele didn't half pack everything into this book.  There were high's and lows and everything in-between.  There were scenes that were sad and touching, scenes that had me cringing and groaning out loud and others that were so hilarious I laughed until I cried.  There was Christmas cheer and even a little romance.  This really did turn out to be a Christmas with a difference for everyone.

The days before the reviewer arrived went by in a blur and before we knew it he arrived with his brother and family in tow - all's I can say is WOW!  There are so many things I'd like to say about their Christmas stay but don't want to spoil it, you need to read it for yourselves.  Suffice to say if you fuse Fawlty Towers with Can't Cook Won't Cook, DIY Disasters and scenes from a Charles Dickens novel you'll have some idea of what I mean.

I loved the main characters in this book.  Lottie was an absolute dream of a character, nothing seemed to faze her and she met every challenge thrown her way, turning every negative into a positive.  A glass is half full sort of person, she is just the sort of person you'd want fighting in your corner.  Mabel was just adorable, 7 years old going on 70, often coming out with sayings previously uttered by the adults around her - out of the mouths of babes!  As for Danny, he really did turn out to be the taxi driver with a difference.  He also had depth to his character and a story that'll bring a lump to your throat in one breathe and swooning in the other.

I highly recommend this novella to everyone, it's a book that will definitely raise a laugh and have you wishing for Christmas but perhaps not a stay in a welsh B & B without fully googling it first!  Thank you Michele this was a ray of sunshine on the rainy afternoon that I read it.

A Cosy Candlelit Christmas - Tilly Tennant

A Cosy Candlelit Christmas
by Tilly Tennant

About the book…
All singleton Isla wants for Christmas is to be left in peace, but a surprise trip to the Alps means there’s a chance for romance in every snowflake that falls…

It’s the week before Christmas and Isla McCoy has just received an unexpected gift: a letter announcing she is due a life-changing inheritance, but only if she’s willing to make amends with the father who abandoned her. 

She has absolutely no intention of forgiving him, but who could resist an all-expenses-paid trip to the French resort of St Martin-de-Belleville? 

There she meets smooth-talking Justin and nerdy glaciologist Sebastian; two very different men, with two very different agendas. Torn between her head and her heart, Isla finds herself utterly lost in a winter wonderland of her own feelings. 

Surrounded by twinkling candles and roaring log-fires, Isla’s resolve finally begins to melt. But will she learn how to reconnect, not only with a whole new family, but with herself and her heart?

A gorgeously heart-warming festive read to help spark a little romance in those long winter nights. Perfect for fans of Jane Linfoot, Debbie Johnson and Jenny Colgan.

Buy Links: 
UK ðŸ‡¬ðŸ‡§ http://amzn.to/2vYdYri 
US ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ http://amzn.to/2f1wRpk

About the author… 
Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing. She wrote a novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. In 2016 she signed to the hugely successful Bookouture and is currently working on her tenth Tilly Tennant novel. She also writes as Sharon Sant, where she explores the darker side of life, and Poppy Galbraith, where things get a little crazier. Find out more about Tilly and how to join her mailing list for news and exclusives at www.tillytennant.com


My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book by Bookouture, Tilly Tennant's publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This is something I am more than happy to do.

It's no secret I love Tilly Tennant books, each one is like a returning friend that makes me smile the whole way through.  Add to that that this is a Christmas read, I couldn't have been happier.

Isla was brought up in a single parent family from a very young age with just her mum.  Throughout her life her mum painted her dad in such a bad light, abandoning them bot that when an unexpected heritance arrives with a condition attached  - Isla is torn.  Her dad wants to meet her and make amends.  If she is prepared to go to the snowy, french alps and reconcile with her father she gets the inheritance.

Tilly did a fantastic job of setting the scene and the tension and anguish Isla feels is palpable as her mum puts pressure on her to ignore the request.  The emotional tug of love was so very life like.  Isla loves her mum and hates her dad but wants to hear face to face why he so callously abandoned her and left her to grow up without a father.

As ever Tilly adds romance for our leading lady in not just one but two suitors - their characters as different as chalk and cheese.  My heart melted one one page and was fired up, inwardly shouting out to her as the story unfolded.

A perfect read about family relationships, love, friendship and characters that are multi-faceted set in the perfect location of St Martin-de-Belleville in the French Alps - I so wish I was going there for Christmas.

I highly recommend that everyone puts this engaging, realistic book at the top of their Christmas reads - it's not all fluffy snow, hearts and romance it has depth, warmth and character.  Huge thanks to Noelle at Bookouture for my copy.

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Monday, 16 October 2017

Invisible Women - Sarah Long

Invisible Women
by Sarah Long




About the book… 
Tessa, Sandra and Harriet have been best friends through first crushes, careers, marriage and the trials of motherhood. After twenty years of taking care of everyone else's every need, they've found themselves hitting the big 5-0 and suddenly asking themselves: 'what about me?!'

Sandra has a sordid secret, and Harriet is landed with her ailing mother-in-law. Tessa is looking for something to fill the gaping hole left by her youngest daughter's departure for uni, where it seems she's now engaged in all sorts of unsavoury activities, if Tessa's obsessive late-night Facebook stalking is anything to go by.

When Tessa impulsively responds to an online message from an old flame, she soon finds herself waiting at Heathrow Airport for The One That Got Away. 

But what will the plane from New York bring her? The man of her dreams, or a whole heap of trouble? 


And could this be the long-awaited moment for Tessa to seize her life, for herself, with both hands? 

Buy Links: 
Amazon UK
Amazon US

About the author… 
Sarah Long worked in publishing before giving it all up to move to Paris with her husband and three children. She is the author of And What Do You Do? and The Next Best Thing. Following several years of the Parisian experience, she now lives in London










Contact Links: 
Publisher

My thoughts…
I was given a copy of this book by the author's publisher in exchange for an honest review, this is something I'm more than happy to do.

I was drawn to this book for several reasons.  Firstly the cover, wow, when everything around us is losing it's colour and the mornings and evenings are dark, grey and wet this book just shouts vibrancy, fun, happy, summer - it made me smile just looking at it. Secondly, it's a book about three friends approaching the unspeakable age - 5 0 - something I can relate to - in seven weeks, two days exactly I too will hit that unspeakable number - something I'm secretly dreading.

Three friends Tessa, Sandra and Harriet have been friends for years, sharing their lives as they found love, married and had children.  Somewhere along the line, twenty plus years have gone by and the girls have found themselves adrift.  The roles of devoted wives and mothers have taken their toll and with the approach of 50 comes introspection - what is their purpose in life, they are and feel to all intents and purposes invisible - somewhere along the line they've lost their identities and purpose, a sense of loss for a life spent devoting their time to creating loving, happy homes. They've reached their goals - then suddenly realise - actually, they had helped their family achieve their goals but they've lost themselves in the process.

Such a fab, insightful book - it was like being a fly on the wall getting to know the characters warts and all - reading about their relationships with each other and their families.  It was an easy read with some light undertones but a really serious heart. It's times like significant birthdays that make you question what you're doing with your life and make you realise you need to grab it with both hands and live.  I'm at the point where I question how much time I spend doing the things I think I should be doing or need to do as opposed to the things I want to do and getting the balance right is tricky.  Tessa, Sandra and Harriet are no different and each approach their lives in different ways.

Sometimes in life we can lose sight of who we are and what path we are treading - Sarah Long insightfully guides the three friends along a track allowing them to make mistakes, rely on each other and re-discover the correct route to a place where they feel valued and happy within themselves.

Thank you so much for such a lovely read that was more serious than I initially thought it would be but also more enlightening and thought provoking.  A book for women of all ages - a reminder that all women, friends, children, parents and wives are also individual people too who deserve to make and live their own dreams too.

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