Archive | March 2017

You Said Forever – Susan Lewis.

 

you said forever

 

Back of the book : 

Charlotte Goodman is living the dream.

Surrounded by family, friends and a stunning vineyard overlooking the ocean, it would be difficult for anyone to believe that she has had a troubled past.

However, haunted by the theft of a young girl, Charlotte begins to realise the enormity of something she did many years ago, and soon finds herself having to make the most harrowing decision any woman could ever have to face …

 

What I think : 

Charlotte and Chloe moved to New Zealand five years ago, before that Charlotte was known as Alex Lake and Chloe was known as Ottilie. Charlotte was a social worker that snatched Chloe from her abusive father, who went on to kill Chloe’s mother. (He is currently serving a prison sentence for that crime) and they both fled to her mother, who lives in New Zealand, after a few lovely months together, the British police caught up with Charlotte and Chloe and brought them both home. Charlotte was tried for kidnap, however because of certain circumstances she got off and was able to adopt Chloe. They both returned to New Zealand and with the help of her family, started a new life together.

Whilst on trial for kidnap, Charlotte met Anthony, a top notch lawyer who went to court with her and helped her get off the charges. They started a relationship and ended up getting married. When Charlotte returned to New Zealand Anthony went with her and fulfilled his dream of buying and running a vineyard.

Things went well to start with and Charlotte and Anthony had two more children, Cooper who is four and Elodie who is eighteen months. However, a couple of years on there’s trouble in her marriage, the vineyard has run into financial problems and Chloe has gone from a sweet child to a living nightmare.

Can Charlotte fix her marriage and sort Chloe out without seeking professional help or will she have to make some decision’s that she’ll regret forever …. ?

This is a follow up book from Susan’s previous books ‘No Child of Mine’ and ‘Don’t let me go’. I really love her books and was really excited to discover that Susan was publishing another book and it would be a ‘catch-up’ from Charlotte/Alex Lake. Her books are brilliant because she always writes about current and worthwhile topics, sometimes its hard to read but it always gets to the heart of the matter.

I really enjoyed this book, there are so many twists and turns, too many to mention really, that I really couldn’t put it down. Again the characters are superbly written, and so really believable.

All I can say is that this is another unmissable book from Susan, I give it a really well earned 10/10. 5 gold stars

Published by Century (Penguin, Random House) on 09/02/17.

I got my copy from WHSmith for £8.00.

About Last Night …. – Catherine Alliott.

about last night

 

 

Back of the book :

Molly has moved from London to rural Herefordshire, chasing the Good Life. Swapping the tube for the saddle, she is living the country dream.

Except that it isn’t really her dream. It’s her husband David’s. And David is, well, rather dead now.

Then a distant relative of her late husband kicks the bucket, leaving a London townhouse in her possession, and Molly dares to consider chucking it all in. Quitting the Good Life and going back to her good life.

But there is a problem. In the shape of a man already living in Molly’s new house. And when a face appears from her past, Molly is more confused than ever.

Will Molly’s London dream replace her muddy reality ? Do any of the men in her life really have honourable intentions ? And has she said goodbye to the country too soon ?

 

What I think :

Molly and David moved to the Herefordshire around five years ago. It was David’s dream to move to the country from the hustle and bustle of London. The only trouble is, that after only living his ‘dream’ for five and a half weeks, David had a car accident and died, leaving Molly and their three children, Lucy, Minna and Nico. Ever since David’s death Molly has struggled to make ends meet. What with running the farm, feeding the animals, Turning her hand at selling the oddest things and fending off the bailiff’s (even although her particular Bailiff, Tia is lovely) she realises that something needs to give.

Then out of the blue, David’s uncle Cuthbert dies, and seeing as she’s the only living relative left on David’s side of the family, it seem’s she’s inherited his house in London and quite a bit of money. She’s quite undecided on what to do for the best. Does she sell the farm and move to London, or does she Sell the house in London and do up the farm ?

There is however, a sticky point, there is a older gentleman already living at the house and how does the handsome Felix fit into the whole thing ?  When a face from her distant past returns into her life, bringing secrets she though she’d buried with David, she’s more confused than ever. What’s Molly to do  ?

I’m so pleased about this book, it seems far too long since Catherine published a new one. It was really worth the wait as this book is quite fabulous.

I really loved Molly’s character, she was so down to earth and normal, Her life mirrors half of the populations, apart from the inheritance of course ! It has some really excellent laugh out loud moments as well as some serious moments too. The relationship between Holly and her daughters is quite typical, however I did find Nico slightly spoilt. And don’t get me started on felix, I really didn’t like him at all !!

I really wanted to be Holly’s friend and try and help her through all those important choices she had to make. I also thought it was a fabulous ending too. Like I said at the start of this review this book was a long time coming but really worth the wait. I really hope the next one isn’t quite as long !

I give this really excellent yarn about love and family a really well-earned 9/10.

5 gold stars

Published by Penguin (Michael Joseph) on 09/03/17.

I purchased my copy of the book from Waterstones £9.99.

An Unsuitable Marriage – Colette Dartford -Blog Tour.

an unsuitable marriage.jpg

 

Back of the book :

When the worst happens, could your marriage survive ? 

Olivia had everything – a loving husband in Geoffrey, a thoughtful and intelligent son in Edward, a beautiful home in the somerset country side.

But all that changed when Geoffrey’s factory went bust and many of their friends and neighbours lost their jobs. Now homeless and facing bankruptcy, Geoffrey moves in with his recently widowed mother, whilst Olivia is forced to work as a housekeeper at her son’s elite boarding school.

With their marriage under intolerable strain, Geoffrey makes a mistake that has devastating consequences for the guilty and innocent alike. Has he torn his family apart, or can he find a way to bring them back together ?

 

What I think : 

Olivia’s life has been better, she used to have a lovely, big house called Manor farm, in the country. But all that changed when her husbands factory went bust. She’s now working and living as a house parent at the very posh school that her son Edward goes to.(she doesn’t know how much longer he can continue at the school, she’s hoping he can get a scholarship)  Her husband Geoffrey has moved in with his mother, who recently lost her husband, Geoffrey’s father. This causes a problem when Olivia comes home for the school holidays as she doesn’t get on with Rowena, her mother-in-law. Her Marriage isn’t all that great either, ever since everything that happened. Her hubby has discovered a new hobby – porn ! Olivia doesn’t know about his little habit yet, however its only time until she does. Edward is having problems at school as well, Can Olivia cope with this brand new life that she seems to be living or has something got to give … ?

I really enjoyed Colette’s first book so I was really excited to receive a copy of her next book, however I did think that she took this book in a slightly different direction than the last one.

There are some quite well-written characters, I thought that Rowena, Geoffrey’s mother was slightly misunderstood, all she wanted was to fill the gap that the death of her husband has left, by looking after her only son. I really wasn’t too sure about Geoffrey, he seemed a bit wet and ineffectual. Sadly, that was still my opinion when I finished reading the book. Olivia on the other hand was a very strong character, hell, she needed to be after everything that was happening !

I liked this book in as much as it was a good story about life, families and relationships the good and the bad.  It did take a few turns that surprised me, and it did think it ended how it should have done.

It is a good second novel from this talented novelist, I give it a well earned 8/10 (four stars)

four-stars

Published on 09/03/2017 by Zaffre (Midas Books)

A huge Thank you to Olivia Neilson from Midas Books for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.

 

 

A londoner by birth, Colette Dartford went to university in Bath and made it her home.  A scholarship to undertake a doctorate led to a career in health and social research, before she moved to California’s Napa Valley. Here she studied Viticulture and Enology and wrote her debut novel.

 

 

Obsession – Amanda Robson – cover Reveal.

I have the greatest pleasure of being able to reveal to you my latest Obsession ….

obession
OBSESSION

Publishing in eBook: 4th May 2017

Paperback: 1st June 2017.

 

One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could ?

It is a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life.

Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky. But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?

Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?

Obsession is a dark, twisting thriller about how quickly our lives can fall apart when we act on our desires.

Perfect for fans of B A Paris and Paula Hawkins.

 

The Good Daughter – Alexandra Burt – Blog Tour.

the-good-daughter

Back of the book :

What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed ?

Dahila’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existance travelling the country with her eccentric mother. Years later, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward : she has questions.

In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave like mounds on a neighbouring farm, Dahlia learns that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered …

What I think : 

Dahlia has returned home to the small town of Aurora, To take care of her mother, Memphis, who has gone a bit batty. And also to ask her mother about her childhood before its too late. Dahlia doesn’t remember much about her childhood, she knows she never went to school, and her mother said that she ‘home schooled’ her, but she can’t actually remember her mother being there much. She just remembers moving around a lot. These are the type of things that she needs to ask her about. She’s been home a for a little while when one day she goes out for a jog and finds a a woman almost buried in the woods. It turns out that the woman is still alive and in a coma, but no-one seems to know who she is. This incident for Dahlia starts to bring up forgotten memories, what secrets has her mother been keeping all these years … ?

Quinn is only young when her father meets and marries Sigrid. They don’t really get on, so when her father dies unexpectedly when she’s a teenager, she’s left to her own devices. Sigrid is on the lookout for another husband and doesn’t take any notice of what Quinn is doing. When Quinn gets herself a boyfriend, Bennito, she starts sneaking out at night to meet him, one night after Quinn and Bennito meet up, she decides to walk home through the woods. Its there she is attacked and raped by three men, and is injured quite badly. After around three months Sigrid tells her that its time to get herself  a husband. She goes to a house sale and it’s there she meets Nolan Creed. when after only a few months he asks her to marry him, she jumps at the chance. She moves to a small town and onto his family farm. Will she be able to bear to live there and will Nolan still want her when he finds out her secret … ?

I want to first say that I really enjoyed Alexandra’s first book ‘little girl lost’ so I was quite excited to read this one. I must admit, it does start off quite slowly and does take a while to get going. However once its gets into it stride it shapes up to be a brilliant novel.

I really did like this book, it has many twists and quite a few turns. It really does take you on quite a roller coaster ride. It is quite dark in places. I found the relationship between Dahlia and her mother quite odd, if I’m honest. Sometimes OK with each other and others like her mother hated her and sometimes like she didn’t even know her at all. But I think that if they’d have gotten on all time it wouldn’t have added to the atmosphere of the book.

I did have one compliant and that was I had trouble fitting Quinn and Aella in. You don’t find out who they are and how they fit until quite far into the book and if I’m truthful it did throw me a bit.

I enjoyed this book and give it 8/10 (4 stars)

four-stars

Published on 23/02/17 by Avon Books.

A very big Thank you to Avon books and Helena Sheffield for the review copy of the book in return for a honest review.

Here for your reading pleasure is an extract of the book :

Extract :

They stopped once for the night, in Albuquerque. The name of the city intrigued the girl, so she looked it up in the encyclopedia she carried with her. It was her most prized possession.

Albuhkirkee … She silently repeated the word until it lost all meaning. The girl caught herself drifting off into some paranoid daydream, not knowing what time it was or where they were going. They had never driven this far for so long, never had to pump gas so many times.

Weary with the burden of her heavy eyelids, she was drunk with sleep by the time her mother stopped at a hotel. Rodeside Inn, the sign read. All she’d remember later were the weeds that grew through the cracks of the concrete parking lot.

The next morning, her mother bought donuts at a drive-through and they got back on the road. The girl went to sleep, but when she woke up and looked out the window, the scenery hadn’t changed at all. After days on the road, she felt as if she was leaking electricity. The hours stretched, and she wished her mother hadn’t thrown her bag in the trunk of the Lincoln—she longed for her American Girl magazine and the jelly bean–flavored ChapStick.

She opened a bag of Red Vines, sucked on them, and then gently rubbed them over her lips until they turned crimson.

Running her fingers across the cracked spine of her encyclopedia—the first pages were missing and she’d never know what words came before accordion; a box-shaped bellows-driven musical instrument, colloquially referred to as a squeezebox—she concentrated on the sound of the pages rustling like old parchment as she flipped through the tattered book.

Her mother called her Pet. The girl didn’t like the name, especially when her mother introduced her. This is Pet, she’d say with a smile. She’s very shy. Then her mother moved on quickly, as if she had told too much already.

Pet, the encyclopedia said, a domestic or tamed animal kept for companionship. Treated with care and affection.

The girl opened the encyclopedia to a random page. She remembered when it was new, how the pages and the spine had not yielded as readily, and she wondered if the pages would eventually shed. She attempted to focus on a word but the movement of the car made her nauseous. Eventually she just left the book cracked open in her lap.

“My feet are cold. Can I get a pair of socks from the trunk?” she asked somewhere after the New Mexico/Texas border.

“Not now,” her mother said and checked her watch.

The girl fell asleep again and later awoke to the slamming of the car door. She rubbed her eyes and her surroundings came into focus: red brick walls, a large sign that read Midpoint Café, her mother standing by a pay phone only a few feet away, rummaging through her purse for change. It was noon and the girl felt ravenous as she stared at a display poster of fries and milkshakes in the café window.

“I’m hungry,” she called out to her mother.

“It has to be quick, we have to be somewhere,” the mother said, and the girl slid on her sandals in a hurry.

In the gloom of the dingy café, their knees touched under the narrow table. The mother opened up a newspaper left behind in the booth and scanned the headlines.

The girl had so many questions: Why are we rushing?; Who did you call?; Where are we going?; Why did we drive all the way from California to Texas?—she had the whole conversation planned out, knew exactly what to ask: short, direct questions that left no room for vague and elusive answers. The place was loud and crowded and the diners competed with one another to be heard, creating an overall atmosphere of raucousness. In the background, a baby cried and a waitress dropped a plate.

They ordered lunch—French fries and a strawberry shake for the girl, coffee and a Reuben sandwich, no sauerkraut, for the mother—and while they waited for their order to arrive, the mother excused herself. “I have to make another call, I’ll be right back.”

She ate and watched the diners and minutes later, her mother returned. She had seemingly perked up, now appeared bubbly, almost as if in a state of anticipation, and her eyes moved quickly. “Let’s play a game,” she said and opened the paper. “Tell me a number between one and twenty-two.”

The girl loved numbers. Numerology; belief in divine, mystical or other special relationship between a number and a coinciding event. The number 7 was her favorite one. 7 meant she was a seeker, a thinker, always trying to understand underlying hidden truths.

“Seven,” the girl said and silently recited random facts: seven ancient wonders of the world, seven days of the week, seven colors of the rainbow.

They ate silently, the girl devouring the fries, then taking her time with the milkshake, studying the people around her while her mother skimmed page seven of the newspaper. She wondered how naming a number of a page was a game to begin with, but her mother seldom answered questions posed to her, and so she didn’t ask.

The mother paid the check and the waitress counted out the change.

Just as the girl attempted to decipher the headline the mother had been studying, she called out to her. “Hurry up, Pet.”

The girl did as she was told.

Later, the mother rolled down the window and the girl watched her check her face in the rearview mirror. When a siren sounded, the mother licked her lips, fluffed her hair, and pulled into a dirt patch where three wooden posts formed an entrance with a cow skull nailed to its very top. An officer appeared next to the car.

“Your headlight’s out,” he said and scanned the car’s interior.

The police officer was lean with closely cropped hair and skin the color of nutmeg. The mother got out of the car, pulled her red scarf tighter around her head. Her hair fluttered in the wind, her clothes clung to her body, and her arms were tightly wrapped around her.

The girl noticed a boy in the back of the police cruiser. “What did he do?” she called out to the officer.

“He didn’t do anything. That’s my son, Roberto,” he said, “he’s just riding along.”

The next time the girl turned around, her mother and the officer were standing in the shade of a large oak tree. Her mother’s voice trailed toward the car like pearls rubbing gently against each other. The officer leaned back and laughed at something her mother said.

Later, the mother drove to a motel, where the girl fell into a deep sleep. The next morning, after free coffee from the dingy lounge and day-old donuts, they emerged from the Aurora Police Precinct with paperwork in their hands. When the girl read the paperwork, it stated Memphis Waller and her daughter Dahlia Waller had been robbed by the side of the road, including the mother’s wallet and identification.

Dahlia; flower, symbolic meaning of a commitment and a bond that lasts forever.

The girl did not ask questions. She was glad to finally have a proper name and no one, not even her mother, would refer to her as Pet ever again.

Later, she would remember that the sky was overcast and turning darker by the minute.

blog-tour-1

One Last Wish – Ella Harper – Extract.

ella-harper

 

I have the greatest pleasure of being able to bring to you an extract of Ella Harper’s wonderful new novel ‘One Last Wish’ that’s being published by Canelo on 27/02/17.

So without further ado, here is the extract.

Extract :

Even if she hadn’t known that Emmie had recreated date three, she would have guessed that she meant London Zoo.

Rosie grabbed her handbag and checked herself in the mirror one last time. She wasn’t sure how she felt about going to London Zoo with Nate. Things didn’t

seem quite as tense between them as they had been, she supposed. Which was strange because obviously the movie night had been a total flop. Rosie still had no idea where Nate had gone that night or why he had taken off the way he had. All she knew was that he had deliberately chosen to stay away. But somehow things seemed to have shifted. Just a fraction and it was almost imperceptible, but Rosie had sensed it.

Was it because he hadn’t turned up? Because he had chosen not to connect with her over something romantic and intimate that Rosie knew would have helped click a few things back into place, perhaps. And she felt sad about it, sadder than she had felt before they had started this whole treasure hunt thing. Because beforehand, everything had been guesswork. Missing the film felt deliberate. Rosie didn’t know for sure, but it felt deliberate and that made her feel confused and hurt.

Why would Nate do that?

She headed downstairs. At least Emmie was in safe hands today. And if anything should happen, she was exactly where she needed to be, so Rosie knew she would feel more chilled out today. Lily was a fantastic carer, but in a worst case scenario, there was nowhere better than the hospital for Emmie.

‘You look lovely,’ Nate said as he watched her walk down the stairs. He meant it. Rosie looked amazing.

Quite like her old self. She had colour in her cheeks and she looked fairly relaxed. Maybe a little wary. But Nate understood that. Rosie always worried about Emmie when she was due to spend time away from her but aside from that, Rosie had no idea why he hadn’t turned up to watch the film with her the other week.

Nate wondered how to broach that subject. He wanted to tell Rosie what had happened, but he might have to own up to the whole gambling thing then as

well and he wasn’t sure Rosie deserved that. Or could handle it on top of everything else. And he wanted to mention that note she had left him. Nate’s hand closed around it. He had carried it in his pocket ever since.

‘So Emmie is with Dr Tom all day?’ he asked, as he gathered up his keys and wallet.

‘Yes. She has some big assessment, apparently.’

‘Wonder what that’s all about.’ Nate gestured to the door and they left the house together. ‘But I guess it means that she’s in the right place. I mean if…’

Rosie gave him a half-smile. ‘I know. I thought the same thing. Silly, isn’t it? She’s been fine for such a long time but still…’

‘Yes.’ Nate nodded. He didn’t need to say any more.

He and Rosie both understood this aspect of Emmie’s condition in a way that no one else could.

 

 

 

One Last Wish by Ella Harper is published by Canelo on 27th February (£1.99 February)

 

Buy link: http://amzn.to/2lmypcx

Author Twitter: @Ella_Harper

Publisher Twitter: @Canelo_Co

Hashtag: #OneLastWishBook

 

 

DESCRIPTION

The unmissable new novel from the bestselling author of Pieces of You. For readers of Jojo Moyes and Amanda Prowse.

 

Rosie and Nate are facing the unimaginable. Their relationship is under strain with the devastating news their daughter Emmie has incurable brain cancer. They must do everything to support their child, but can they stop their marriage falling apart before it’s too late?

Unbeknown to her parents, Emmie is on a mission. Teaming up with her Aunt Lily, she is determined to make them see what brought them together in the first place – and make her parents fall in love all over again.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Ella Harper learned foreign languages, and imagined she might eventually get a glamorous job speaking French or Russian. After climbing her way up the banking ladder, Ella started idly mapping out the beginnings of a novel on an old laptop. When she realised her characters were more real to her than dividends and corporate actions ever could be, she left her job to become a writer.

For more information, please follow Ella on Twitter @Ella__Harper and on Facebook at /EllaHarperBooks.

The Silent Fountain – Victoria Fox – Blog Tour.

victoria-fox

 

Back of the book : 

Hollywood, 1978

Tragedy sends troubled film star Vivien Lockhart into the arms of Giovanna Moretti – and it seems her fortunes have finally changed. Until she meets his sister and learns that dark shadows haunt her new husbands past ….

Tuscany, present day 

Lucy Whittaker needs to disappear. But her new home, the crumbling Castillo Barbarossa, is far from the secluded paradise it seemed. Strange noises come from the attic. The owner of the house will never meet her in person.

The fountain in the courtyard is silent – but has never run dry …

Across the decades, Vivian and Lucy find themselves trapped in the idyllic Italian Villa. And if they are ever to escape its walls, they must first unearth its secrets ….

 

What I think :

Lucy needs to get away, she’s done something really ‘bad’ and needs some ‘thinking time’. ( you don’t actually find out what the ‘bad’ thing is until a lot later) Her friend Belinda, Bill for short, knows someone that has a house that needs looking after in Italy. So after having a telephone interview, she hops on a plane and heads off to Italy.

Almost as soon as she gets to the villa she realises things aren’t quite what they’re supposed to be. For instance, she’s never met the owner, just the rather abrupt maid instead. The attic is absolutely out of bounds to everybody, yet she hears weird noises coming from it every time she walks past the door. And what is it with the silent fountain out the front of the house …?

Vivian, a seventies film star, is the owner of the villa Castillo Barbarossa, shes bed bound now and really can’t bear to face the outside world, what has happened to make her retreat into her own world … ?

The story is told in two parts, 2016 and the 1970’s. The stories of both women are told in the now, which is Lucy’s story and in the Seventies, which is Vivien’s story from when she was a sixteen year old child with a brutal father. how she runs away from home and the struggles she faces as she rises to stardom.

I really liked the story and I loved the atmospheric feel, it really kept you on the edge of your seat really wanting to find out more about Vivien’s early life. I thought that the characters were the best that Victoria has written yet, so normal, in Lucy’s case and descriptive in Viven’s, I felt really sorry for her when she was a teenager with that awful father of hers.

But what I really liked even more was the change in direction that Victoria has taken. Don’t get me wrong, I really loved all her other books, but this one I thought, was more of a thriller than a bonkbuster ! I loved that it was slow burning with many twists and turns along the way. Slowly unravling the secrets that have been hidden in the walls of the villa.

I give this wonderful new direction of a thriller 9/10 (5 stars )5 gold stars

Published by HQ (Harper Collins) on 09/03/16.

A big Thank you to Olivia Neilson at Harper collins for the review copy of the book in exchange for a honest review