Archive | April 2018

The Fear – C.L Taylor ~ Blog Tour.

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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.

 

The Sapphire Widow – Dinah Jefferies – Blog Tour

The Sapphire Widow book cover

Back of the book : 

Ceylon, 1935.

Louisa Reeve, the daughter of a successful British Gem-trader, and her husband Elliot, a charming, thrill-seeking businessman, seem like the couple who have it all. Except what they long for more than anything : a child.

While Louisa struggles with miscarriages, Elliot is increasingly absent, spending much time at a nearby cinnamon plantation overlooking the Indian ocean. After his sudden death, Louisa is left alone to solve the mystery he left behind. Revisiting the plantation at Cinnamon Hills, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn towards the owner, Leo, a  rugged outdoors man with a chequered past. The plantation casts a spell, but all is not what it seems. And when Elliot’s shocking betrayal is revealed, Louisa has only Leo to turn to …

What I think : 

Louisa is married to Elliot, who works for her father as a gems trader. To everyone they seem to have the perfect life, however that is not the case. All Louisa has ever wanted is a child, but she has had three miscarriage’s and a still born daughter. So her dream of having a child is seems very far away. Elliot spends a lot of time away from Louisa, Seeking thrills, diving off high rocks and sailing. He also goes to the cinnamon plantation, that he has shares in, a lot, he never seems to be at home for longer than a couple of days at a time.

When suddenly, on the day of their wedding anniversary, Elliot is killed in car accident, when he should have been sailing, everything that Louisa thought was true becomes a lie.

Louisa has to work out the truth from the lies before she can move on …

Another fabulous book from the wonderful Dinah Jefferies.

As you would expect, its a tale full of love, lies, friendship and heartbreak, all set in a far-flung country in the long and distant past. What a page-turner, set in Ceylon in the 1930’s amongst the tree’s of a cinnamon plantation this is Dinah at her best, you can almost smell the heat.

What I love the most about Dinah’s writing is that it so descriptive, almost like you are there standing under a huge palm tree ( or Cinnamon tree in this case !) watching the story unfold.

A beautiful, gentle read, that’s just like a huge hug ! it picks you up and keeps you really engrossed until every last word.

I have always been a huge fan of Dinah’s, ever since I was sent her very first book when I was starting out in the reviewing world, and I have never been disappointed, her books just seem to get better and better. In fact I would say this is her best yet !

I give this beautiful read 10/10.

5 gold stars

Published on 05/04/18 by Viking (Penguin Books)

A huge Thank you to Georgia Taylor for the review copy of the book.

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The Wildflowers – Harriet Evans.

The Wildflowers

Back of the book :

Tony and Althea Wilde. Glamorous, argumentative … adulterous to the core.

They were my parents, actors known by everyone. They gave our lives love and colour in a house by the sea – the house that sheltered my orphaned father when he was a boy.

But the summer Mads arrived changed everything. She too had been abandoned and my father understood why. We Wildflowers took her in.

My father was my hero, he gave us a golden childhood, but the past was always going to catch up with him … it comes for us all, sooner or later.

This is my story. I am Cordelia Wilde. A singer without a voice. A daughter without a father. Let me take you inside.

What I think :

The Wilde’s (The Wildflowers as everyone called them) are a super-glam family that came down to ‘The Bosky’, a beach house overlooking the Dorset coast. Every summer they had many parties there and invited lots of up-and-coming actors and singers.

Madeline (Mads for short) found them fascinating, she spies on them a lot and knows everything about them, she also knows all their secrets. Mads writes everything she finds out about the Wilde’s in a exercise book that she found hidden in the porch of The Bosky  after they left for the summer one year. The exercise book had been hidden in a bird book.

Mads hasn’t had the best of lives, her mother died giving birth to her baby brother, most of the time she’s at school and in the holidays her Aunt Julia comes back from Australia to look after her. In the summer so goes home to Dorset with her dad. They have a house just up the path from the Wilde’s. Her father is quite abusive, he hits her and locks her in places and leaves her on her own a lot. All she wants is to be loved and looked after. Then one day, Tony Wilde literally knocks into her, he takes her home with him and its then that she finally gets to know the Wildflowers. But even then, even when she knows  the Wildflowers and they love her, she cant stop writing in that old exercise book ….

There are several timelines in this book, ‘NOW’, ‘Summer 1975 onwards’ and Wartime- Tony’s childhood.

This really is a sweeping, glittery family saga. Its full of love, lies and heartache with a few secrets thrown in for good measure. Marvellously written characters that jump out of the page at you and stay with you for days to come. I could really imagine being a guest at one of their fab parties standing on the porch of the house with a very alcoholic drink and your hand.

I quite liked the charismatic, adulterous Tony (an actor, darling !) and the gorgeous red-headed Althea and their two very spoilt children Cordeila and Bendict.

Such a beautiful story,  its really well worth reading, it had sat on my TBR pile for months and now I wish I had read it straight away.

I have always loved Harriet’s books and  wait in anticipation for the next one to be published, I think this is probably her best yet.

I give this book a very well deserved 10/10.

5 gold stars

Published by Headline review on 22/02/18 on eBook and on 05/04/18 in Paperback.

A huge Thank you to Helena at Headline for the very early review copy of the book.

She knew she would not sleep, not now she had looked back, down into the darkness again. Yet through that airless night as she lay with the duvet thrown off the bed, hot and restless, arms spread wide, eyes fixed unseeingly at the ceiling, Cord could only remember the good times.                                                                              

They had been the Wildflowers, and they had been so blissfully, gloriously happy – Hadn’t they ? Before she – and it was her, the fault was all hers – had deliberately dismantled it all. 

Bit by Bit. A family’s happiness. Her Family …. 

Our House – Louise Candlish.

Our House

Back of the book : 

There’s nothing unusual about a new family moving in at 91 Trinity Avenue. Except it’s her house. And she didn’t sell it.

When Fiona Lawson comes home to find strangers moving into her house, she’s sure there’s been a mistake. She and her estranged husband, Bram, have a modern coparenting arrangement: bird’s nest custody, where each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons at the prized family home to maintain stability for their children. But the system built to protect their family ends up putting them in terrible jeopardy. In a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanors, the nest comes tumbling down.

Now Bram has disappeared and so have Fiona’s children. As events spiral well beyond her control, Fiona will discover just how many lies her husband was weaving and how little they truly knew each other. But Bram’s not the only one with things to hide, and some secrets are best kept to oneself, safe as houses.

What I think : 

The story is told from three different perspectives : ‘ The Story’, ‘Fi’s Story’ told in the form of a vlog and ‘Bram’s -Word Doc’, which to all intense and purposes is a suicide note. So you find out what happened in ‘real time’ (The Story) and Bram and Fi’s accounts.

There are many twists and turns, just when you are just getting over one thing happening, something else, just as bad happens and you think WOW ! Just WOW ! Can it get any worse ? But then its does. I must admit I did gasp out loud quite a few times.

Bram’s character makes really bad choices. I don’t think that he’s really a bad person, but he’s just a very selfish one and he’s so misguided, very easily led. I really didn’t like him that much. But I felt really sorry for Fi, she’d been a long suffering wife long before the ‘house’ incident happened. She’s put up with a lot. This is the last straw for her, she absolutely loves her house.

The story keeps you right on the edge of your seat all the way throughout the book, its so skilfully written that you just can’t put it down until you get to the last page, you just have to see what happens.  It’s all very tense. Talking of the end, I really liked the subtle twist, it really makes you sit up and think. And on that note, its such a scary thought to think that this could happen to any of us …

Can’t wait for the next one !

I really loved this book and give it 9/10.

5 gold stars

Published By Simon & Schuster on 05/04/18

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