One Summer in Italy – Sue Moorcroft ~Blog Tour.

sue moorcroft

Back of the Book : 

When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…

What I think : 

When I was first asked to review this book I must admit I wasn’t sure as I’d never read any of Sue’s other books, but I’m really glad I did. I really loved the way the author described the surroundings so that I really felt as I was in Italy with the sun on my face and not in my living room with the rain splashing against the windows.

There are some really lovely well-written characters that keep you enthralled, some I must admit I took to more than others.

This book has it all, secrets, lies, brand new friendships and death-bed promises. Just what you need to escape the trials and tribulations of everyday life. A perfect read for the beach.

Yes, all in all I really liked this quite fluffy read (and I don’t mean that in a bad way – just that it was very easy read) I will certainly be reading more of Sue’s books.

I give this lovely beach read 9/10.

5 gold stars

Published by Avon Books on 17/05/18.

A  huge Thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for the review copy of the book 🙂

Here for your reading pleasure is a extract of the book.

Extract : 

Emptying the second pannier, he glanced at the dark waitress, her upswept hair glossy beneath the sun. She looked about thirty to his thirty-five. A crisp black dress emphasised her shape and a white apron hugged her hips.

As he watched, she paused to speak with Amy, tray of empties aloft. She seemed to have the younger girl’s back, judging by the way she’d launched into battle in – impressively – both Italian and English. After watching for another second, he locked his panniers, grabbed his paintbox from the bungees securing it and took himself indoors.

Now he had the opportunity to study Casa Felice as he returned to the cool of the reception area, he found it charming. Where the walls were plastered they were painted white, but large areas of craggy russet stone had been left exposed, a contrast to the dark grey marble of floor and front desk. A wooden banister curved up alongside the stairs.

Room 303 proved as pleasant a surprise as the foyer had been, though oddly shaped. It held a modern bed and an eclectic mix of graceful furniture, and the bathroom was up to date and clean. Levi had booked a ‘superior’ room, all that was available at short notice, so was glad to see something for his extra seventy euros a night, especially the balcony that gazed over tiers of tilted terracotta roofs and the road curving down the hill into a jumble of buildings.

Montelibertà was a select but significant tourist destination, much of it made from the same rock it perched upon, like a little brother of the city of Orvieto to the north. Casa Felice stood on the edge of the town, secluded in its own grounds yet only a ten-minute walk from the centre. According to the website it boasted fifty guest bedrooms over three floors. The road outside, Via Virgilio,

led out of town to an extensive country park. Il Giardino, he reflected, was neatly positioned to tempt those who’d worked up thirst and hunger with a country walk.

Blog Tour Banner Sue Moorcroft

Five Years from now – Paige Toon.

paige toon -five years from now

Back of the book : 

What happens if you meet the RIGHT person at the WRONG time?

Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart.

Five years later, they find each other. Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they have to separate.

For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?

‘One day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened…’

What I think : 

This is Nell and Vian/Van’s story. We see them at five year intervals, starting with when and how they met, when Nell was 5 and then at 10, 15 years etc.

I have always loved Paige’s books, I’ve read them all and look forward in anticipation to her next book. I really do think that this one is her best yet !

Such wonderful characters and wonderful places. Each chapter is Nell’s age instead of numbered chapters, which did cause some confusion to begin with.

This book is like a big warm hug that makes you feel loved and wanted. There are some sad bits too, but in the main it’s a really lovely story. I do usually read a lot of thrillers and crime books so this one was a very welcome relief for me. I really loved it and didn’t want it to end, I actually slowed my reading pace right down towards the end to make it last longer !!

However, it did remind me a bit of ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls in as much as we only see them at set out intervals as we do in ‘One Day’ (‘One Day’ being one certain day, yearly and this book being five yearly)

On a final note, it did make me sit back and think about all my ‘Five years from now …’

I won this book on Twitter in a goody bag from @Thebooksandcity ‘spring blogger meet up’ so I was lucky enough to read it before everyone else.

All I can really say is go out and buy it. you won’t regret it its fab !

It gets a definite 10/10 from me 🙂

5 gold stars

Published on 17/05/18 by Simon and Schuster.

A huge Thankyou to Sara-Jade Virtue at Simon and Schuster ( books and the city) for the chance to win the spring blogger goody bag 🙂

The Brighton Mermaid – Dorothy Koomson.

the brighton mermaid

Back of the book :

Teenagers Nell and Jude find the body of a young woman and when no one comes to claim her, she becomes known as the Brighton Mermaid. Nell is still struggling to move on when, three weeks later, Jude disappears.

Twenty-five years on, Nell is forced to quit her job to find out who the Brighton Mermaid really was – and what happened to her best friend that summer.

But as Nell edges closer to the truth, dangerous things start to happen. Someone seems to be watching her every move, and soon she starts to wonder who in her life she can actually trust…

What I think : 

Best friends Nell and Jude are passing the beach late one night, 3am to be precise, they’d snuck out to go to someones party. When they find someone laying in the sand at the waters edge. It turns out that the poor woman had been murdered. (The girls were only fourteen at the time, and all Nell can remember thinking at that moment is that she wanted her to be just sleeping and not, you know what … ) The woman was wearing lots of bracelets on one arm and had a tattoo of a mermaid on the other.

The identity of the woman is never found and she ends up being nicknamed ‘The Brighton Mermaid’

A few weeks after the girls find “The Brighton Mermaid’ Jude goes missing. She just disappears into the night, never to be heard from again …

Fast forward twenty five years and there is never a day that goes past that Nell doesn’t wonder what happened to her best friend or how ‘The Brighton Mermaid’ got murdered. She has given up her job so she can dedicate all her time to finding out what happened to the two of them.

Nell’s younger sister Macy has a secret to tell about what she saw on the night that Jude went missing and it’s ruining her whole life … But if she tells what will happen … ?

And just who keeps on texting Nell that ‘He needs to see you’ …. ?

Then bad things start to happen, Nell is convinced that she’s getting closer to finding out what happened ….

This book is split into two timelines, which I did find quite find quite confusing to begin with. 1993 – outlines how the girls found the body and what Macy ( Nell’s sister) saw that night and Now – which tells of the fall out still going on from it now.

This as you would expect, is a expertly written book from Dorothy. She has this brilliant knack of being able to write a story, that from the moment you pick the book up and start reading, it has you involved in the story which makes it quite unputdownable. Lots of secrets and lies coming tumbling out, which keeps you in suspense till the end.

And talking of the end I really couldn’t have guessed it and its brilliant twist ( and believe me I did try !)

I think that this has got to be her best book yet ! I give it a very well-earned 10/10.

5 gold stars

Published by Century Books on 17/05/18.

A big thank you to Netgalley for the digital copy of the book to review.

Guilt – Amanda Robson ~ Blog Tour.

Guilt

 

Back of the Book : 

There is no greater bond than blood ….

Twins Zara and Miranda have always supported each other. But then Zara meets Seb, and everything changes. Handsome, charismatic and dangerous, Seb threatens to tear the sisters apart – but is he really the one to blame ? Or are deeper resentments simmering beneath the surface ?

A the sisters’ relationship is stretched to the brink, a traumatic incident in See’s past begins to rear its headband soon all three are locked in a conflict that will leave someone dead. The question is who ?

 

What I think : 

Two sisters, one is dead, who did it ? 

Twins Zara and Miranda have always been there for each other, no matter what.

Zara has moved in with Miranda so she can go to Uni in Bristol and so Miranda can keep an eye on her. Zara has had a few mental problems in the past, and was in therapy for it. But she’s doing well now, after the last time, six months ago when she self-harmed and nearly killed herself.

Then she meets the handsome Sebastian …

He’s very nice and has it all, but underneath he’s broken – something bad happened to him in his past which has made him this way. This leads him to try and manipulate the twins. He can’t seem to commit to Zara, and he flirt’s with Miranda. Just what is he up too and what does he want with the twins …?

The Book begins with a murder, one of the twins is dead, but which one ?

Told in the past and the present from the twins and Seb perspective’s this book covers some pretty grown up and difficult subjects, such as self harming, depression, drug use and rape. This book probably won’t be for some people, but I really liked it. I loved the way that it went from past to present from the characters points of view and you found our first hand how that character is thinking and feeling.

I was quite unable to put this book down it really was fast moving and really held my attention. I really did need to know which twin it was that had died and who had done it !

Go and buy it now, you won’t regret it !!

I give this brilliant thriller 9/10

5 gold stars

Published on 19/04/18 by Avon books

A huge Thankyou to Sabah Khan at Avon books for the review copy of the book 🙂

Here for your reading pleasure is a little extract of the book

Extract : 

Ten o’clock on Monday morning. Sitting at my desk. Anastasia Sudbury, our accountancy partner, is walking towards me, flanked by Sebastian, who is carrying a cardboard box. What can she want? Except for our assessments, she doesn’t usually communicate with staff as junior as Sebastian and me. She normally looks through associates as if they are air.

They arrive at my desk, Sebastian grinning like a fox.

‘Good morning, Miranda,’ Anastasia says.

That’s something. I didn’t think she could remember my Christian name.

‘Tax and Acquisitions are merging together for a new case, and Sebastian is coming to work with you for a while,’ she says, gesticulating towards him with her right hand.

He nods and his grin widens. Over-whitened teeth so perfect he should be in a toothpaste advert. She points at the empty desk space next to me. Sebastian sinks into his new chair and starts to unpack his box.

‘Notes on the acquisition you’re dealing with,’ Anastasia says, thumping a thick manila folder onto the middle of my desk. ‘Seb’s dealing with the acquisition cost. You’re sorting out tax liability.’

‘What about my current tasks?’ I ask.

‘Obviously they’ll have to be kept in the air too,’ she snaps.

I sigh inside. I’m already so busy. But what Anastasia wants, Anastasia gets. I know from experience it’s best not to argue with her. Although, for my sins, I’ve tried to no avail on a number of occasions. However difficult it is, I must cope with this.

‘OK. Fine. I’ll get on to it, right away,’ I reply.

‘Please do. I need the first indicative briefing in three days’ time.’

The Fear – C.L Taylor ~ Blog Tour.

img_0329

Back of the book : 

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that Mike is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat it’s self, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, its clear that she could once again become his prey …

What I think :

When Lou was just fourteen she fell in love and had an affair with her karate teacher, Mike Hughes. They ran away to France together, She thought that he loved her and was The One. But she was wrong, He all but ruined her life.

Lou is now an adult, she moved away to London from her home town in Malvern. She’s getting on with her life, she has a job and even quite possibly a boyfriend (well maybe not) So yes she’s definitely getting on with life.

Sadly she recently lost her father, so she’s going home to get all his affairs in order. She’s even got a new job !

Lou knows in order to get over what Mike did to her all those  years ago she going to have to confront him. She has found out where he lives and where he works. When she visits his place of work she has a shock, before she can confront him she see’s him with someone, and he’s kissing her and that someone is a teenager, a young girl who is only fourteen.  Mike might be older and a bit greyer but he hasn’t changed. Mike is a pedophile. It’s in that moment that Lou knows that she must do something to stop him ruining this girls life as he did hers …

But its very hard to get people to listen, and the police don’t seem to what to know either.

And Just who is Wendy .. ?

Why does she think that Lou is responsible for her life changing .. ?

This story is fabulous !!

Its written from the perspective of the three main characters, Lou, Chloe and Wendy. They each tell their own story and how they are all Involved with Mike. And how they  are all intwined together through him.

Cally as usual, has covered some really difficult subjects and really does write about it quite brilliantly. It really is another excellent twisty thriller that is made all the more real by the fact that the subject matter is something that is happening right now.

I really did enjoy this marvellous page-turner, I was on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book. I was anticipating everyones next move with the hairs on the back of my neck raised, not quite knowing what to expect next.

It could quite possibly be her best book yet !

I give this nail-bitingly brilliant read 10/10

Published on 22/03/18 by Avon Books.

A huge Thankyou to Sabah Khan at Avon for the review copy of the book.

(Also Thankyou to Netglley for the Digital copy).

Extract :

Chloe stands on the pavement outside school with her head down and her arms crossed over her chest as the other kids mill around her, laughing, chatting and nudging each other. When her he dad dropped her off before school he told her wouldn’t be able to pick her up until after four but she was to stand outside the gates and not move a muscle until he turned up. She didn’t reply, she just nodded, then swiftly said, ‘Yes, Dad. I promise I won’t go anywhere,’ when she saw the look on his face.

Tomorrow she has to skip school so she can go on holiday to Majorca for a long weekend to celebrate her dad’s birthday. When her dad first mentioned it she’d tried to get out of going. She was thirteen, she’d insisted, and she didn’t want to miss any school. She was sure Granny and Grandad wouldn’t mind if she stayed with them. She was hoping her parents would jump at the opportunity to get rid of her for a couple of days – days she could spend with Mike – but her dad insisted she come. If it was bad before, it would be hell on earth now. She’ll have to share a room with her brat of a brother and her dad wouldn’t let her out of his sight. She’ll be forced to wear a swimsuit and play with Jamie in the pool before being dragged along to hideous evening entertainment events.

Where the light gets in – Lucy Dillon.

Lucy Dillon

Back of the book : 

‘You know those cracks in your heart, Lorna, where things didn’t work out, but you picked yourself up and carried on? That’s where the fear gets out. And where the light gets in.’

It was Betty, defiant to the end, who sent Lorna back to Longhampton. If Lorna’s learned one thing from Betty it’s that courage is something you paint on like red lipstick, even when you’re panicking inside. And right now, with the keys to the town’s gallery in her hand, Lorna feels about as courageous as Betty’s anxious little dachshund, trembling beside her.

Lorna’s come home to Longhampton to fulfil a long-held dream, but she knows, deep down, there are ghosts she needs to lay to rest first. This is where her tight-knit family shattered into silent pieces. It’s where her unspoken fears about herself took root and where her own secret, complicated love began. It’s not exactly a fresh start.

But as Lorna – and the little dog – tentatively open their cracked hearts to old friends and new ones, facing hard truths and fresh promises, something surprisingly beautiful begins to grow around the gallery, something so inspirational even Lorna couldn’t have predicted the light it lets into her world . . .

What I think : 

I want to start by saying what a really gorgeous cover this book has, a lovely sky blue with gold writing and the most adorable little gold sausage dog. (Mine was a Review copy so i’m not sure if the actual published copy will be the same)

This lovely book has some really lovely characters and as I mentioned before a beautiful little sausage dog called Rudy, who at first seems to be scared of everything – bless him. It covers some really serious issues, like loss of a loved one ( almost straight away, which got me reaching for the tissues quite early on ! ) but also love and friendship, which lets face it we all need in our life. It really makes you sit back for a minute and think about things. But having said that its also really warm and touching at the same time.

I have always really enjoyed and looked forward to Lucy’s book’s and I really adored this one from start to finish.

Go and buy it now !

I give this one a very well-earned 10/10.

5 gold stars

Published by Bantam Press (Penguin Books) on 19/04/18.

A huge Thank you to Becky Short at Transworld books for the Review copy.

Read more at https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/1112420/where-the-light-gets-in/#hPjAQHgJ4pZlXxFV.99

The Lido – Libby Paige.

 

The Lido

 

Back of the book : 

Meet Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers…

Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims every day, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George.

Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She’s on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined to make something of it.

So when the lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. But for Rosemary, it could be the end of everything. Together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the pool is more than just a place to swim – it is the heart of the community.

The Lido is an uplifting novel about the importance of friendship, the value of community, and how ordinary people can protect the things they love.

 

What I think : 

Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, She and her friend Hope meet up in the coffee shop once a week for cake and chat. But what she likes the best is swimming at The Lido. Rosemary lives very close to The Lido, her balcony over looks the pool.

She swims everyday.

Kate is not really loving life. She works as a journalist at The Brixton Chronicle, most days all she wants to do is her shift then go home and hide in bed. She is really lonely and anxious.

Kate doesn’t swim, the last time she went it, must have been when she was thirteen and still at school ! However when she’s handed a story at work about the possible closure and sale of The Lido she becomes quite interested.

Rosemary and Kate meet when Kate starts to investigate her story. Over time they form a close friendship which changes both women in many ways.

Can these two very different women save The Lido and each other … ?

This is a very lovely heart-warming story of love, loss and of pulling together in times of crisis. And of course of life-changing friendships that appear in the most unlikely of places.

This gorgeous book is like a very big cuddle that makes you smile and think to yourself, ‘Oh that’s nice’.

It made me smile, it made me cry but most of all it made me feel good.

I really loved this debut novel and its truly beautiful characters. The only thing I need to say is, GO and buy this book !!

I give this fab book  9/10

5 gold stars

Published on 19/04/18 by Orion Books

I won my copy on a Twitter Comp, HUGE THANKS to Ben Willis.