Archive | March 2016

 The Way We Were – Sinead Moriarty – Blog Tour.

Sinead Moriarty blog


I have the wonderful pleasure of being chosen to be on the “The Way We Were’ Blog Tour.

I read the book when it came out in hardback a few months ago, and thought it was absolutely fabulous.

So without further ado here is what i thought .

My review …

Back of the book :

What if you lost your husband and you had to hold your family together ?

And what if, after the hard and traumatic years, when you feel you and your children have finally put the pain and agony of his loss behind you, the man you believed gone forever turns out to be alive and well ?

And he want to come back into your lives.

Could you – Should you – let him ?

For Alice and her teenage daughters Jools and Holly, it can never go back to being how it was. But can it bee anything else ?

What I Think :

The book begins with Alice starting a new life and getting engaged to Dan. Ben, her husband and father of her two girls, Jools and Holly has been gone for two long years, he is presumed dead. He was a top surgeon and had been asked to go to Eritrea in East Africa to perform surgery on a diplomat, however a couple of days into the trip there was an accident and it was thought that he had been blown up in a car bomb. Alice has had to cope with her grief and her children’s grief also. Her brother, Kevin has been her rock, finally she feels able to move on.

Its at her engagement party to Dan that she receives a phone call that changes everything, Ben is alive and coming home, will Alice be able to give him what he wants so badly ….?

The book then jumps back two years to tell Alice and Ben’s Story…

This really is an unputdownable book, about when the worst happens, or when you think it has, how you can cope and move on with a little help from your family and friends. I think this is quite heart wrenching on places, however its quite a lovely story of how love and family will always win through.

Expertly written characters, that really get deep in the heart of you. I really wished that I had a brother like Kevin, he was so loving and caring and really helped Alice move on.

I really love Sinead’s books she has a real knack of writing about real life and making it special and really lovely, even if the subject matter is hard at times.

I give this wonderful book 9/10.

A big Thank you to for sending me a review copy of the book.

Out now from all good bookshops


sinead Moriarty

That Girl From Nowhere – Dorothy Koomson – Blog Tour.


Blog tour

Hello Lovely Book People …

I have had the honour of being chosen to be on the blog tour of Dorothy Koomson’s wonderful new book ‘That Girl From Nowhere’ thats out in paperback this week.

I read it when it came out in hardback (I just couldn’t wait for the paperback as I’m a real Dorothy fan ! ) so here is my review and also an extract of this lovely story …

Don’t forget there is also a chance for you to win a Fujifilm instax camera, all details are at the bottom of the blog list. 🙂


Hope you enjoy … 

Extract ….


‘Miss Smittson, it’s good to see you again.’
‘You, too, Mr Wallace,’ I reply. I smile at him and shove my hands into the pockets of my combat trousers to avoid having to shake hands with him. I’ve met him twice before – both times I’ve had to do it and both times his hand has been hot and clammy. The images of what he could have done to get it that way were a horror movie that played constantly through my head.
Mr Wallace, in a shabby, too-tight black suit, offers me his hand to shake. I hesitate. The rest of him seems dry and normal, I wonder if he’d accept a hug instead? It would get me out of touching his hand without seeming rude and it’d be altogether better for my mental health. He pulls a smile across his face, sticks his hand out a little bit further. Defeated, I offer up my hand to be encased in his moist, sweaty palm. The touch of him sends a shudder through me and I can’t take my hand away fast enough, but not too fast in case he notices and his feelings are hurt. Maybe he can’t help being sweaty-palmed, maybe he has a condition and it’s not his fault. Maybe the horror movie in my head has got it all wrong and he doesn’t do unsavoury things in his car before he meets clients.
Mr Wallace’s attention strays to the older woman with wavy brown, grey-streaked hair who stands silently beside me. He smiles curiously at us both, waiting for an introduction.
Mum has obviously noticed how reluctant I was to shake the estate agent’s hand so has taken to holding her bag in both hands, rendering them incapable of being shaken when I do the introductions.
‘Mr Wallace, this is my mother, Heather Smittson,’ I say. ‘Mum, this is the estate agent who’s dealing with renting the flat.’
Immediately, Mr Wallace’s face does that thing. ‘That thing’ most people who don’t know my family do: he double-takes, then rapidly moves his gaze from one of us to the other, wondering why the visuals don’t match the words. After the staring comes the perplexed, suspicious frown and, right on cue, Mr Wallace’s confusion develops on his face until he is frowning very hard indeed at us.
We’re in the car park of a beautiful, reddish-yellow-brick, art deco block of flats on Hove seafront. This is going to be my new home, the place for my fresh start. Everything bad is three hundred miles away and in that place called ‘the past’ while everything good is here, and about to happen in that shiny new destination called ‘the future’.
Except little snags like this, a man who is nearer to Mum’s age than mine, giving us his version of Paddington Bear’s hard stare because he doesn’t understand why Mum is my mother and why I am her daughter. To him, it surely shouldn’t be possible.
Mum suddenly needs something from her handbag, and she pops the black leather rectangle open and starts to ferret furiously through it. Clearly what she is searching for is so important the world might end if she doesn’t find it RIGHT NOW. What she is actually doing is her version of ‘Lalalalalala not happening’, which she does every time she might need to explain our situation. If the handbag thing doesn’t work, she’ll simply wander off, pretending that she doesn’t know we’re in the middle of a conversation.
With Mum making it clear with every root through her meticulously organised bag that she isn’t going to be forthcoming, Mr Wallace returns to me. It’s now my job to explain. I’m supposed to say, ‘I’m adopted’. To let him know that Mum and Dad did the whole white parents taking on black children thing well before various celebs made it fashionable. He stares at me, I stare at him – he wants answers to his unasked questions, I’m not giving them. I haven’t got the energy.
That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson is published on 24th March by Arrow, price £7.99 in paperback. Share your favourite photo and its story to #ThatGirlMemories to win a Fujifilm Instax 8 camera.

My Review ….

Back of the book :

‘Where are you coming from with that accent of yours ?’ He asks.

‘Nowhere,’ I reply. ‘ I’m from nowhere’

‘Everyone’s from somewhere’ he says.

‘Not me’, I reply silently.

Clemency Smittson was adopted as a baby and the only connection she has to her birth mother is a cardboard box hand-decorated with butterflies.

Now an adult, Clem decides to make a drastic life change and move to Brighton, where she was born. Clem has no idea that while there she’ll meet someone who knows all about her butterfly box and what happened to her birth parents.

As the tangled truths about her adoption and childhood start to unravel, a series of shocking events cause Clem to reassess whether the price of having contact with her birth parents could be too high to pay …

What I think :

Clemency has just moved from Bristol to Brighton. Clem was born in Brighton but then adopted when she was a baby. She has moved back because her relationship of almost 20 years with Seth has broken up. She is renting a Flat on the sea front with her adopted mum, Heather. Clem’s adopted dad, Don has recently died of Cancer so that’s why she’s staying with Clem. She has never really wanted to find her ‘birth’ family because she’s never felt the need, she’s always been happy with her ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’. However there always was a member of her ‘family’ that she never quite got on with, and that is her ‘cousin’ Nancy. She is a bit of a bitch and she’s always told Clem that she’s not her ‘real’ cousin, so she doesn’t really count. With that always lurking in the back of her head, she decides maybe its time to think about that ‘Other’ family.

She only has one thing from when she was adopted her from her birth mother, and that is a Large box that is painted with very pretty butterflies. She keeps her most favorite photos in there.

Clem is a jewellery maker, she takes rings and necklaces etc and ‘re-loves’ them, makes them into other things One day whilst she’s at a care home talking to a resident there about re-loving her jewellery, she meets a girl that looks just like her. She wonders how this could be, however it turns out that this girl ‘Abi’ is actually her ‘Birth sister’, and so Clem’s journey begins to find and meet her ‘birth’ Family …

Dorothy has written Clemency so well that you really feel for her, I really can’t imagine not knowing who gave birth to me and who I really am, I myself would really want to go digging about to find out exactly what happened back then and why. I also really felt for her ‘Mum’ Heather, having only just lost her husband, she now believes that she is also going to lose her child to her ‘birth’ mother who gave her away all those years ago only to want her back again now.

it’s such a fantastic story about families and past happenings that refuse to stay in the past. It also questions whether things should be left there or revisited and addressed. Quite simply this a truly beautiful story about one girls journey to find herself with all the happiness and heartache that entails.

I have always loved Dorothy’s books, she always has such a knack of getting right into the heart of the matter. I think this one has got to be the best one of the lot, it has such fantastic characters and so many things happening right from the start and with all the small and big secrets that emerge along the way, this is one unputdownable book.

I give this fabulous book 10/10.

Published by Century (Penguin House)

I purchased my copy at Tesco £7.00.


Blog tour



The Mistake I Made – Paula Daly.


Paula Daly


Back of the book : 

We all think we know who we are.

What we’re capable of.

Roz is a single mother, a physiotherapist, a sister, a friend. she is also desperate.

Her business has gone under, she’s crippled by dept and she’s just had to explain to her son why someone’s taken all their furniture away.

But now a stranger has made her an offer.

For one night with her, he’ll pay enough to bring back from the edge.

Roz has a choice to make …


What I think : 

Roz is a single mother to George. Her husband, Winston, had an affair, then left her with a lot of financial problems. She used to have her own business as a physiotherapist, but that folded when she was going through her divorce. she now works at a big, faceless clinic and is being paid the minimum wage. she bearly makes enough money to make ends meet. only the other day the bailiffs came and took all her furniture away.

She has a snobby sister called Petra, who’s married to the lovely Vince. They have  a daughter Clara. Its at her sisters house that she meets Scott and his wife Nadine. They seem to have it all, and Petra is very impressed. Roz seems to be too, until Scott visits Roz at the clinic and tells her that he wants to spend the night with her and he’ll pay her for the privilege. Is the offer all that it seems …. ?

Wow !! Indecent Proposal or what ?

I really did like this book, it grabbed me up and sucked me in right from the start. I did think however that Roz is slightly gullible, I mean, I, myself would never, in a million years, sleep with someone for money, whatever my financial situation was. I also felt that Roz’s sister only was very snobby and quite overbearing at times.

As the book progresses you realise that there is more to it than just an “indecent proposal’ and there is quite a few sinister things going on. With so many twists and loads of turns that make you sit up and think, it really was hard to put down.

Although this book is very much a thriller I did detect a small amount of humour running through the book as well. And with an almighty twist at the end it all adds up to be quite a brilliant book.

I give it 9/10.

Published by Corgi on 10/03/16.

I purchased my copy from Waterstones  £7.99.

Keep You Close – Lucie Whitehouse.

lucie Whitehouse


Back of the book : 

The brilliant young painter is found dead in her snow – covered garden.

Rowan Winter, once her closest friend, knows it wasn’t an accident.

Marianne had vertigo, paralysing vertigo.

She would have never gone that close to the edge ….


What I think : 

Rowan and Marianne were childhood/teenage friends, however due to an argument when they were in they’re late teens they haven’t spoken for about ten years.

When Marianne, who is now quite a famous artist, is found dead in her own back garden, everybody thinks that she killed herself by jumping off the roof. When Marianne’s mother Jacqueline, rings Rowan to let her know what has happened and to invite her to the funeral, Rowan knows that it can’t be suicide as Marianne was scared of heights and would have never have been that close to the edge, she knows that someone must have pushed her.

As Rowan discovers more about Mariannes life she realises that her death wasn’t an accident/suicide and she sets out to discover who did this to her friend…

This is a really excellently written book, with so many twists and turns. You think you’ve got it worked out and then something else happens and you think ‘No’ and you have rethink it all !

Its keeps you right on the edge of your seat right until the end. I was having a reading slump when I discovered this gem of a book, but it certainly got me out of it, I couldn’t put it down.

I give this great thriller 8/10.

Published by bloomsbury Circus on 10/03/16.

I purchased my copy from WHsmith for £9.99.

You Sent Me a Letter – Lucy Dawson.

Lucy Dawson


Back of the book : 

At 2am on the morning of her fortieth birthday, Sophie wakes to find an intruder in her bedroom. The stranger hands Sophie a letter and issues a threat : open the letter at her party that evening, in front of gathered family and friends, at precisely 8pm, or those she loves will be in grave danger.

What can the letter possibly contain ?

This will be no ordinary party ; Sophie is not the only person keeping a secret about the evening ahead. When the clock strikes eight, the course of several people’s lives will be altered forever.


What I think : 

Sophie is woken in the early hours of her fourth birthday by a man sat by the side of her bed. He hands her a letter and tells her that she must open it at 8pm that night, at her party. She must read this letter out loud to everybody gathered there. He also tells her if she tells anybody or doesn’t turn up, he will hurt her nearest and dearest, he also says that he’ll be watching her.

Sophie is engaged to Marc, who has two children, Isabelle and Olivier with his very glamorous ex wife Claudine who lives in France. Claudine doesn’t like the idea of Marc being with Sophie as she wants him back herself. She does everything she can to prevent Marc from seeing the children.

Meanwhile Marc is busily arranging to make Sophie’s birthday party into a surprise wedding that Sophie knows nothing about !

Sophie is also hiding a secret of her own.

Who is behind the mysterious letter, is it the ex wife or is someone else behind it all ?

When I received a wedding invitation out of the blue from someone I didn’t know I really wondered what was going on, then when a couple of days later  I got the review copy of the book through the post all was revealed.

As thrillers go, this is not too bad, however I did think in several places it was slightly, little bit far-fetched. I mean, if I found a strange man sitting in my bedroom, after I’d finished screaming the place down, I would have certainly rang the police. I also wouldn’t be able to wait hours and hours to see what was in the letter either.

Having said all of that though, I did find it quite a good read, I really needed to know how it all ended, so I read it only in a couple of sittings. I was quite surprised at the “twist” at the end, I didn’t guess it at all.

I give this book 7/10.

Published by Corvus on 03/03/16.

A very big Thank you to Alison Davies at Corvus for the Wedding Invite and the review copy of the book :).


The Girl Who Came Back – Susan Lewis.


Susan Lewis

Back of the book : 

When Jules Bright hears a knock on the door, the last person she expects to find is a detective bringing her the news she’s feared for the past three years.

Amelia Quentin is being released from prison.

Jules’s life is very different now to the one she’d know before Amelia shattered it completely. Knowing the girl is coming back,  she needs to decide what to do. Friends and family gather round, fearing for Jules’s safety. They know that justice was never served ; every one of them wants to make the Quentin girl pay.

The Question is, what will Jules do; and which of them – she or Amelia – has most to fear ?


What I think : 

The book begins with a family on holiday, (at this point we don’t know that it’s Amelia as a child on holiday with her parents) on a boat Cruiser, when the child, for no apparent reason, pushes the Mother overboard. We don’t find out until much later on in the book that the Mother doesn’t survive and exactly who it is. Fast forward sixteen years to Jules Bright opening the front door to former officer D.S Lawrence informing her that ‘Amelia Quentin’ is being released from prison. We don’t know how she is connected to Jules and her family, we just know that Jules is very upset by it.

The story then weaves back and forth from past to present to tell the story of what exactly happened and who ‘Amelia’ is.

I must admit I did have some trouble getting into this book at first, as the book is made up of ‘flashbacks’ it does get very confusing as to whether you are in past or present. Having said that though, once I did get used to the ‘time travel’ aspect of the book, I really did enjoy it. It was also really nice to be  reintroduced to D.S Andrea Lawrence – Andee for short, from Susan’s earlier book – Behind Closed Doors, again.

As you would expect from a Susan Lewis novel there are many twists, turns and lots of intrigue. I found myself putting the book down, trying to figure out what was exactly going on. However that is no bad thing as I love a few cryptic clues to keep you on your toes !

You don’t find out how and why Jules is like she is now for quite a while into the book, but when you do you wonder quite just how she did survive everything that life threw at her. There was just one thing that I thought probably wouldn’t happen was the fact that Jules didn’t remember who Andee was when she first knocked on the door, they had spent so much time together previously, that i felt she would know her straight away.

This is very much as book about family and how you all stick together when the unthinkable happens.

I give this book 9/10

Published by Century on 25/02/16.

I purchased my copy from WHSmith £12.99.