Book Review:Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

I discovered Jessica Redland books last year and I was excited when I heard her new release would be about hedgehogs, a creature I adore. The blurb grabbed me and I could not resist the book cover. As soon as I was invited to the tour I grabbed the opportunity, thrilled I would be able to read the book sooner- thank you Rachel Random Resources. Times like this I love being a book blogger.

 

Book Review: Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

 

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow Cover

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

Title: Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow

Author: Jessica Redland

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Release Date: 2nd July

 

Blurb:

Can love really be found when you stop looking for it…?

As Samantha Wishaw watches the love of her life marry another woman, she’s ready to give up hope of finding her happy ever after.

But when a chance encounter leads Sam to find friendship in Thomas – a lonely, grumpy elderly widower living at derelict Hedgehog Hollow – her life is about to change forever.

Glad to have a distraction from family feuds and match-making, Sam vows to fulfill Thomas and his wife, Gwendoline’s, dreams of restoring Hedgehog Hollow to its former glory, and to open a hedgehog rescue centre.

Throwing herself into the task at hand, little does Sam realise that the keys to love and happiness may also be found at Hedgehog Hollow, when she least expects it…

Escape to Hedgehog Hollow this summer with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting, feel-good read.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/2xrmxAo

 

My Thoughts

My excitement for this books release was more than justified; I lost count on how many times I cried while reading it but do not runaway with the idea that it is a sad book; yes, it has its emotional scenes but it is overwhelmingly warm, funny and uplifting. The characters sneak into your heart especially Thomas Mickleby (I love his name) and Sammie. It is this deep connection that allowed me to experience their feelings, hence the sobs. Tissues are required.

The principal character, Sammie, is lovely and someone I would love to have as a friend even if she is underappreciated by many around her.  I related to Sammie within the first few pages and the more her life was revealed, the more I cared. Many of Sammie’s experiences with toxic relationships hit a nerve and they were dealt with in a sensitive, loving way. It highlights how family members influence our lives for the better and worse and in turn help form our personalities. The depth of characterisation drew me into the story before I met the hedgehogs, and there are many references to them. Hedgehogs are one of my favourite animals, and reading about them made me reminisce about the hoglets we cared for over a harsh Yorkshire winter. It was a special experience, but very pongy at times. The hedgehog storyline has been well researched and a lot of information is dripped into the story so anyone who reads this will come away learning something about these delightful creatures and their plight for survival.

The setting for Hedgehog Hollow is stunning.  I currently live in the Wolds, and the descriptions in this novel capture the essence of the landscape perfectly. I longed to be there and sit with Sammie and Thomas to experience the meadow in its full bloom.

The relationships Sammie forms with the people she meets have a magical quality about them, especially between her and Thomas.  I enjoyed watching them grow and evolve into a family-like bond. This is a story about friendship, hope,  and learning to believe in your ability to shine.

Would I recommend?

Yes, I have read a couple of her previous novels and love her warm style, but this one is special. A paperback will purchased for my forever shelf for future rereads. It is emotional, uplifting and full of spiky lovable creatures to warm the heart further. I did not want the story to end, so I am grateful it is the beginning of a series. Just make sure you have hankies nearby.

 

Author Biography

 

Finding Love - Author

Jessica Redland

 

Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

Social Media Links:

 

Instagram –https://www.instagram.com/JessicaRedlandWriter/

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/JessicaRedland

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JessicaRedlandWriter/

Own website – https://www.jessicaredland.com/

Blog – https://jessicaredlandwriter.wordpress.com/

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jessica-redland

Mailing list sign up – http://bit.ly/JessicaRedlandNewsletter

 

Thanks again Rachel for inviting me to this tour and an advanced copy of this delightful book to review and give my honest opinion.

Happy reading and stay safe,

Love

 

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Book Extract: Warbringer by Aaron Hodges

July is here and I am delighted to bring you an extract from Warbringer by Aaron Hodges to celebrate its 2nd year book birthday. Enjoy!

Book Extract: Warbringer by Aaron Hodges

 

Warbringer Cover Final

 Warbringer by Aaron Hodges

Title: Warbringer

Author: Aaron Hodges

Publisher: National Library of New Zealand

Release date: 2nd July 2018

 

Blurb:

Centuries ago, the world fell.
From the ashes rose a terrible new species—the Tangata.
Now they wage war against the kingdoms of man.
And humanity is losing.

Recruited straight from his academy, twenty-year-old Lukys hopes the frontier will make a soldier out of him. But Tangata are massing in the south, and the allied armies are desperate. They will do anything to halt the enemy advance—including sending untrained men and women into battle. Determined to survive, Lukys seeks aid from the only man who seems to care: Romaine, the last warrior of an extinct kingdom.

Meanwhile, the Queen’s Archivist leads an expedition deep beneath the earth. She seeks to uncover the secrets of the Gods. Their magic has been lost to the ages, yet artifacts remain, objects of power that could turn the tide of the war. But salvation is not all that waits beneath the surface. Something else slumbers in the darkness. Something old. Something evil.

Purchase Links

UK –  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08653PM1L/

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08653PM1L/

Extract:

 

Prologue – The Warrior

Romaine shivered as a breeze shook the treetops and somehow found its way through a gap in his clothing. He pulled the cloak tighter around his shoulders, eager to keep the winter cold at bay. The soft thump of falling snow came from nearby and he chuckled as two of his companions flinched. Settling himself more comfortably in the saddle, he flicked the lieutenant a glance.

“Want me to check it out?” Romaine asked, voice serious but the hint of a smile betraying his mirth.

The lieutenant scowled, though Romaine noticed the man loosened his sword in its scabbard before urging his mount onwards. Shaking his head, he let the lieutenant take the lead. The four other scouts fell in behind Romaine, nervous eyes on the dense forest to either side of the deer trail.

They were right to be nervous. Ten miles south of the Illmoor River, they were deep in no man’s land, far from the paved roads and walled cities of the northern nations. This was Calafe, a land of seemingly endless forest and great plateaus of tussock, of rugged hills and racing streams, with only the occasional settlement to prove the existence of humanity. This was his country, his home.

Or at least, it had been, until the Tangata.

Another tremor slid down his spine, though this time it had nothing to do with the cold. For ten years he’d fought to halt the Tangatan advance, ten long, brutal years of war. He’d been a simple woodsman once, but everything had changed with the destruction of their southern fortress, the Castle of Agzor. For a century it had barred the Tangata from the kingdoms of man, but with its battlements broken, its citadel cast down…nothing could halt the enemy advance.

And so those ten years of battle had proven futile. Just a few short months past, the last of Calafe’s territory had been lost. The allied armies had fought for every patch of earth, but in the end it had not been enough. The tide of the Tangata could not be stopped.

It had pained Romaine to leave behind his nation. Most of the Calafe army had already fallen by then, and yet more of his fellows had chosen to remain with the rearguard. They had been overwhelmed before the ships could return for them. Injured aboard one of the vessels, Romaine had been forced to watch as his comrades perished.

Thankfully, the enemy had not yet sought to strike across the Illmoor river. Some said they would remain in the south, but Romaine knew it was only a matter of time before they came. After all, people had once said the same of the Agzor Fortress, that it would stand forever against the beasts.

Romaine’s horse was struggling now, the snowdrifts growing deeper as they tracked their way eastward into the foothills of the Mountains of the Gods. Ahead, the lieutenant started to curse. Grimacing, Romaine edged his gelding alongside his superior.

“We’d best turn back,” he grunted. He didn’t bother with any honorifics—he rode with the Flumeerens, but he was not one of them. “If we press hard through the afternoon, we might make the crossing before nightfall.”

The lieutenant flicked Romaine an irritated glance. He was a young man, still in his mid-twenties, the son of some minor noble. Romaine could almost see the gears turning behind his eyes. Reaching the river before dark meant shelter over their heads and a hot meal for the night. But if they abandoned their path and missed some enemy movement…

“A little further,” the lieutenant replied finally. “We’ll turn around if the way becomes impassable.”

Romaine responded with a grunt. Pressing his horse forward, he continued along the trail, eyes on the way ahead. The storm had come upon them unexpectedly in the night, howling through the fir trees like a beast unleashed and burying the world in white.

They should have turned back then, but the lieutenant was new, still earning his stripes. Their orders had been to spend three days scouting for signs of the enemy. This being only their second, Romaine should have guessed the lieutenant would be hesitant to return. No doubt he feared the failure would be a black mark against his name.

It was an infuriating thought—evidence that the Flumeeren did not truly understand what came for them. They and the dregs of Perfugia might have fought alongside Calafe this last decade, but it had never been their land at risk, never their families, their very way of life.

That was about to change.

For if they could not stop the enemy at the Illmoor, Flumeer would be the next to fall.

Returning his thoughts to the present, Romaine scanned the path ahead. The snow had thinned again and the horses were making better progress. At least the fresh snow made Romaine’s task easier; not even the Tangata could move in these conditions without leaving tracks—

Romaine pulled sharply on his reins, bringing his horse to a stop. Beside him, the lieutenant cursed, but Romaine didn’t spare the man a glance. His eyes were on the trees, scanning the upper branches, the shadows beneath the broad trunks, seeking sign, however small, of an ambush. The wind had fallen off now, and he saw no movement. He let out a sigh as the others began to murmur. Breath fogged before his face as he returned his gaze to the trail.

Two sets of bootprints led away from them in the snow.

“What is it?” the lieutenant asked sharply as he got his horse under control. He had not noticed the tracks.

“Tangata,” Romaine replied.

The word cut through the whispers like a knife. Silence fell like a blanket over the six riders. The men looked to Romaine, faces as white as the snow all around them. Romaine might have laughed, if not for the racing of his own heart. Unlike the others though, it was not from fear.

This land had been abandoned months ago. There was no one left, not of his people, at least. It meant the general’s fears were true. The Tangata were moving north.

 

Author Biography

 

Warbringer Aaron Hodges Author Picture

Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and explore the world. During his travels he picked up an old draft of a novel he once wrote in High School (titled The Sword of Light) and began to rewrite the story. Six months later he published his first novel, Stormwielder, and hasn’t looked back since.

http://www.aaronhodges.co.nz/

https://www.facebook.com/Aaron-Hodges-669480156486208/

 

I hope you have enjoyed the snippet of the book. Why not visit the other blogs on this blitz to find out more about this book.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Book Review: The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly

Earlier this year I read the Book Lover series and the first one, The Book Lovers became one of my favourites on my forever shelf. When Rachel’s Random Resources invited me to this tour, I quickly agreed because I knew I would be in for a treat.  Scroll down to see if it matched my high expectations.

Book Review: The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly

The_Beauty_Of_Broken_Things-Victoria_Connelly review cover

The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly

Title: The Beauty of Broken Things

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Amazon Publishing UK

Release date: 9th June 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Blurb:

United by tragedy, can two broken souls make each other whole?

After the tragic loss of his wife, Helen, Luke Hansard is desperate to keep her memory alive. In an effort to stay close to her, he reaches out to an online friend Helen often mentioned: a reclusive photographer with a curious interest in beautiful but broken objects. But first he must find her—and she doesn’t want to be found.

Orla Kendrick lives alone in the ruins of a remote Suffolk castle, hiding from the haunting past that has left her physically and emotionally scarred. In her fortress, she can keep a safe distance from prying eyes, surrounded by her broken treasures and insulated from the world outside.

When Luke tracks Orla down, he is determined to help her in the way Helen wanted to: by encouraging her out of her isolation and back into the world. But Orla has never seen her refuge as a prison and, when painful secrets and dangerous threats begin to resurface, Luke’s good deed is turned on its head.

As they work through their grief for Helen in very different ways, will these two broken souls be able to heal?

Purchase Links

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

Aus: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

My Thoughts

The tone of this book was different to the Book Lovers series, but I loved it and it showcased Victoria Connelly’s ability to write a more emotive, slightly darker novel delving deeper into the subject of grief and adapting to a different life after tragedy.

One thing this has in common with the series is her knack of bringing ideas, objects and hobbies alive with the descriptions inciting all the reader’s senses. In the Book Lover’s series it was reading, music and colour. The reader experiences the joy and pleasure along with the protagonist, and in this instance; it is photography and gardening. The beautiful prose allowed me to capture Helen and Orla’s passion for photography and the smell of the garden and allotment. I became immersed in the plot immediately with the opening scenes with Helen. She may only have been in the opening chapter but the essence of her is the thread binding the two central characters and I would love to know more about her and experience life in her eyes for a while. Her viewpoint was uplifting.

Luke’s grief and bewilderment leapt off the page as he makes the decision to find his wife’s elusive friend. The setting of his destination is stunning and has given me another place to visit on my Bucket list. Along with Orla’s fear of the outside world it gave an insight into mental health after trauma and life-changing experiences. It handles the raw pain of grief in a sensitive manner. I loved watching the blossoming friendship between Orla and Luke and the emotional journey they go through to heal.

All characters have depth, including those with smaller roles like Bill and his friends. The community spirit made me long to live in the village with him and his wife. It is the small details like her knitting that add to the depth of characters bringing them alive.

This novel is about true love, friendship, courage and learning to live your life appreciating every snapshot small and large.

Would I recommend?

Yes. It is set in a beautiful location and there are many memorable characters to cherish including One Eye, the dog who I would love to own.  It is an emotional read which left me feeling warm, upbeat and full of hope and also longing for more. I can’t wait for her next release.

Author Biography

Victoria Connelly Author Photo (1)

Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly studied English Literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.

Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

Social Media Links

Website: www.victoriaconnelly.com

Instagram: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Facebook: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and the advanced copy so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Coming Home to Heritage Cove by Helen J Rolfe

It is the weekend and I am happy to share my review for Coming Home to Heritage Cove by Helen J Rolfe as part of her blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources.

Book Review: Coming Home to Heritage Cove by Helen J Rolfe

 

COMING HOME TO HERITAGE COVE_FRONT_RGB150dpi

Coming Home to Heritage Cove by Helen J Rolfe

Title: Coming Home to Heritage Cove

Author: Helen J Rolfe

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Independent

Release date: 9th June 2020

Blurb

Welcome to Heritage Cove, the little village by the sea brimming with character, community and friendship, and the perfect place to fall in love this summer…

Melissa rushes back to Heritage Cove when Barney, the man who’s been like a father figure to her since she was a little girl, ends up in hospital. After an absence of five years, her return isn’t going to be easy, especially when she bumps into Harvey, the love of her life and the man she’s never been able to forget.

For reasons he couldn’t explain at the time, Harvey changed his mind about going with Melissa to start afresh as they’d planned, and life moved on for the both of them. But with Melissa back in the village and determined to stick around to help Barney, they can’t avoid each other forever. Melissa knows she let so many people down by staying away for so long, but she and Harvey blame each other for what happened and neither of them is willing to admit to being in the wrong.

When Barney insists on cancelling the Wedding Dress Ball, the charity fundraiser he holds every year in the stunning barn on his property, Melissa and Harvey realise they’re going to have to pull together. Otherwise the man they once knew might be gone forever. And when they unearth a secret Barney has never shared with anyone, they go in search of answers to not only ensure the ball runs this summer, but to bring back the Barney they know and love.

Back in the cove after all this time, Melissa gets to see the life she left behind and it’s time to deal with what it was that drove her away in the first place.

Beneath the summer sunshine in Heritage Cove, the sea sparkles, the heat rises and new love, reconciliations and the answers to an old love story could bring changes for everyone.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B086YYZF27

US – https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Home-Heritage-Cove-delightfully-ebook/dp/B086YYZF27

My Thoughts

We have had a few soggy days here in Yorkshire which provided the perfect opportunity to curl up with Helen J.Rolfe’s new book, Coming Home to Heritage Cove for some much needed escapism and sunshine as promised by its vibrant cover.

This is a novel about second chances for Melissa and Barney. Melissa returns to the lovely scenic Heritage Cove after spending time in London building up her career and is on the verge of starting a new chapter of her life with her boyfriend, Jay. An email saying Barney is in hospital throws all her plans in the air.

I loved the close relationship between Melissa, Harvey and Barney and for me this was the thread I enjoyed most. Barney stepped in as a surrogate father when they needed him and now they are returning the help. The relationship is a testament to the idea people do not have to be related to form a family. The antics of Melissa and Harvey’s childhood in his barn made me smile, and their backstories tugged at the heart. The time spent away gives Melissa a new perspective on the village and people she was avoiding as she struggled with grief and a desire to spread her wings. All topics covered were dealt with sensitively.

The star of the novel was Barney with his crotchety ways now he is infirm and reliant on others. He reminded me of my own grandparent which drew me into the story as did the mystery of the origins of the ball he held every year until his fall. I think I am in the minority in the appreciation of the Wedding Dress Ball;  the concept of re-wearing your wedding dress felt odd to me which made it hard to visualise but I am assured they are successful fundraisers and it did not distract from the essence of the story.

Would I recommend?

It is an uplifting, warm and emotional romance set in a delightful coastal village. The descriptions make you feel you are there, making it a good book to escape into.

Author Biography

Author Photograph Helen Rolfe (4)

Helen J Rolfe

Helen J Rolfe writes romantic fiction and contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries where she thinks her readers might like to escape to.

Helen J Rolfe also writes for Orion Books under the name Helen Rolfe.

Born and raised in the UK, Helen graduated from University with a business degree and began working in I.T. This job took her over to Australia and it was there that she finally turned to what she loved and studied writing and journalism. She spent a while freelancing for women’s health and fitness magazines, volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases, and eventually began writing fiction in 2011. And now, she thinks she may just have found her dream job.

Helen currently lives in Hertfordshire, UK, with her husband and their children.

Social Media Links –

Helen loves to hear from readers so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. She can be found at:

www.helenjrolfe.com
https://www.facebook.com/helenjrolfewriter
https://twitter.com/hjrolfe
www.instagram.com/helen_j_rolfe/

Thank you Rachel for inviting me to the tour and copy of the delightful novel for me to give my honest review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: The Book of Us by Andrea Michael

I am excited to kick of this blog tour and share my review for The Book of Us by Andrea Michael.

Book Review: The Book of Us by Andrea Michael

The Book of Us cover

Book Review: The Book of Us by Andrea Michael

Title: The Book of Us

Author: Andrea Michael

Publisher: One More Chapter, Harper Collins

Release Date: 6th March 2020

Genre: Women’s fiction, Adult fiction

Blurb

The Book of Us is a story of the complexity of forgiveness and the friendships that change our lives forever. Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Jojo Moyes and Diane Chamberlain.

We’ve got some important things to talk about. It’s time.

Cass and Loll used to be inseparable. They met at university and they made sense, like two halves of a whole. They had planned their lives around each other, writing down their dreams in The Big Book of Our Life – the things they wanted to achieve, the places they’d go after they finished university. But then one night changed everything.

Seven years later, Loll receives a letter from her old friend. The coming year will be the year they both turn 30, but Loll might be making it to 30 alone. Cass has cancer. Loll had believed she would have her whole life to come to terms with Cass’ betrayal, but time is running out. Cass’ final wish is to complete The Big Book of Our Life, but has enough time passed to heal old wounds?

Purchase Links

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2UOqpnW

Waterstones – https://t.co/8R8nkwzQKV?amp=1

My Thoughts

The blurb gave a hint that tissues were required while reading this novel, but I was unprepared by how many I would need. The opening chapter had not finished before a lump formed in my throat; the description of Cass’ ability to soothe Lauren’s pain made me long for my best friend from school. It hit a nerve and the shared loss of a close friendship lured me into the story.

The writing has depth as it explored the complex relationship between Lauren and Cass. Throughout there was a sense of unresolved angst and mystery over what happened to end the friendship and more tears ensued when it was revealed. There were lighter moments as they follow the plan written in their book of their lives and Veronica was a delight to read about.

The novel covers many topics including death and all were handled sensitively as it took me on an emotional, heart tugging journey across the world. It highlighted the importance of friendships and how the camaraderie between women can guide you through the darkest days. By the end of it, I wanted to plan a big girly meet up once lockdown is over and hold my friends tight.

Would I recommend?

This is not a book to read while feeling fragile but is highly recommended. It is a powerful  book about friendship and Cass, Loll and Vee will stay in my heart for a long time. I am on the edge of tears just thinking about them. If you love the movie Beaches, you will love this book. Just stock up on hankies and prepare yourself for an emotional ride.

Author Biography

Andi-1202-2

Andrea Michael

Andrea Michael writes books to explore complicated relationships. Having trained in using writing for therapy, she really believes in the magic of stories to change your life. Failing that, sparkling wine and obnoxious sing-a-longs also do the trick.

Andrea works in content marketing, and runs Writing for Wellbeing workshops. She lives in Hertfordshire with her fiancé and their crazy cat, and can be found reading in a comfy corner or digging something at the allotment.

You may also know her from her romantic comedies written as A L Michael.

Andrea is represented by Hayley Steed at Madeleine Milburn. The Book of Us is her thirteenth book. She’s hoping it’s lucky.

 Social Media Links –

Twitter @almichael_

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Andreamichaelwrites/

Instagram @andreamichaelwrites

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for this copy of this heart tugging read to review and give my unbiased opinion.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Katie signature pink

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Book Review: Son of Secrets by N J Simmonds

Nearly three years ago, I shared my review for an amazing book, The Path Keeper by NJ Simmonds.  The new adult novel blew me away with the pace, plot and characters. It was the beginning of a series; I longed to read more. I waited and, like many others, reread my treasured copy while we waited for news about the sequel’s release. The release was delayed but I am excited to say the waiting is over. The second book of the Indigo Chronicles, Son of Secrets is here! I was lucky to receive an advanced copy to review and it was one of those books I have been desperate to shout about ever since. Scroll down to see why. 

Book Review: Son of Secrets by NJ Simmonds

The Indigo Chronicles Book Covers

Son of Secrets by NJ Simmonds


SON OF SECRETS BLURB:

Ella has been waiting for Zac for three years. She’s convinced he’ll return for her, but fate has other plans. When Josh is thrown back into her life, Ella has a choice: step back on to her rightful path, or wait for the one who dared her to rebel.

But Ella’s not the only one missing Zac. Luci has been searching for her blue-eyed boy over two millennia and will stop at nothing to get him back. Even if that means hunting down the only girl he ever loved.

From Tuscany 5BC to 17th century witch hunts, Ella, Zac, Luci and Sebastian’s lives have been forever intertwined. The time has finally come to complete the circle.

In a fight against destiny – who will win?

LINKS:

njsimmonds.com
Facebook 
Instagram 
Twitter   
Goodreads
Amazon pre-order

My Thoughts

Oh, my! My love of the first novel in the Indigo Chronicles, The Path Keeper, is immense. I’m lucky enough to own a physical copy of the original run and it holds a treasured spot on my forever shelf. The wait to read this second instalment has been excruciatingly long, but it was worth every second.

Fate is battling to right itself after the heart stopping conclusion of The Path Keeper and the characters are reintroduced along with new ones. Ella is as feisty as always and handles her pain in her own way. She was never going to be a weeping damsel in distress and I respect and love her for it. The sorrow she and Zac feel leaps off the page and her step-brother’s hatred gave me goosebumps. It is an emotional, soul ripping read and the writing is more developed than before which I did not think was possible.

The introduction of Luci is inspired and is a character I will always remember and aspire to be for her strength and clarity. The novel blends historical events, fantasy and emotions perfectly to produce a study of the treatment of women in the past and present as well as exploring how the fear of strong women and those who refused to fit to the constraints set by stereotypes triggered the hysteria surrounding witchcraft. 

With angels galore, and passion sizzling between characters, it is definitely not a YA book. The central theme of reincarnation is captivating and with the well-developed characters and many twists and turns it kept me reading through the night. NJ Simmonds  has cast a spell on an idea to create something amazing.  I’m going to struggle to find a better book to read this year and a reading hangover is looming.

Would I recommend?

Yes, get it now and if you have not read The Path Keeper, you need to add it to your shopping basket. This is a series you can not read out of sequence. Son of Secrets is an emotional, thrilling novel of empowerment, grief, magic and eternal love.
I will be counting the days to read the sequel. It is one for my forever shelf. In fact I can not wait to get a hard copy of the series to admire.

Author Biography

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N J Simmonds

N J Simmonds is the author of the fantasy series The Indigo Chronicles – she also writes Manga comics and is one half of Caedis Knight. Her stories are magical, historical and full of complex women. page-turning twists and plenty of romance. Originally from London, she now lives with her family in the Netherlands.

Thank you NJ Simmonds for inviting me to this tour and the advanced copy. If you would like to know more about the book or author visit other blogs on this tour for extracts, interviews and discussions on the characters. 

Love 

 

SON OF SECRETS blog

Book Review: Winter’s Gift by Florence Keeling

It’s the weekend and I’m pleased to share my review for Florence Keeling’s Winter’s Gift.

Book Review: Winter’s Gift by Florence Keeling

Winter's Gift Cover

Winter’s Gift by Florence Keeling

Title: Winter’s Gift

Author: Florence Keeling

Publisher: Crimson Cloak Publishing

Release Date: 15 Nov. 2018

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Winters-Gift-Florence-Keeling-ebook/dp/B07KDWRWXP/#ace-4131440328

UShttps://www.amazon.com/Winters-Gift-Florence-Keeling-ebook/dp/B07KDWRWXP/

Blurb:

A heart warming, feel good romantic comedy.

‘I absolutely adored this book. It gave me all the feels! A charming read full of warmth and heart.’ ***** Kim the Bookworm

Bea Winters is in desperate need of a fresh start. Being bullied at work is not her idea of fun and she longs to follow her dream of becoming a published author. When an advert appears in her local paper to work in a publishing house in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale, it sounds too good to be true.

She strikes up an instant friendship with gorgeous aspiring author, Eddie Richards and her dashing millionaire boss Scott Summers

But all isn’t as it seems in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale.

How does the local clairvoyant know her name? Who does the little black dog that keeps appearing belong to and why does she keep bumping into the mysterious Charlie?

As she starts to unravel the truth, it seems that everyone in Bea’s life is keeping secrets.

An uplifting romantic comedy that will warm your heart – perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews.

My Thoughts

This is warm, comfort read which despite its title is not a Christmas novel but a romance following Bea Winters as she embarks on a new life. Many scenes are set on the canal on the canal reminding me of many holidays on a barge growing up. These memories and the delightful plot made me enjoy reading this gentle novel.
Bea is an aspiring writer and takes a leap of faith to move to Bloomsdale in Yorkshire after a serendipitous meeting. She discovers there is more to the village and characters than she imagined. It has a slight supernatural edge kept me guessing and involved in the story as secrets were revealed.

Would I recommend?

Yes. It is an upbeat, warming novel ideal for for a sunny day or to escape the stresses of life.  I am looking forward to reading more of her books.

Author Biography

Florence Keeling adopted for her pen-name her Great Grandmother’s name, chosen because of the shared birthday of April Fool’s Day. She is married with two teenage children. Born and raised in Coventry, England she now lives just outside in Nuneaton. Reflected Destinies is her first novel.

Florence Keeling also writes for children under the name of Lily Mae Walters.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/florence.keeling.7

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KeelingFlorence

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/florence.keeling/

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour, a copy of the book so I give my honest, unbiased opinion and introducing me to a new author.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Scenes from a Country Bookshop by Victoria Connelly

This is my final day on this tour for the Book Lovers series. I am pleased to share my review for the forth book in the Book Lovers Series by Victoria Connelly, Scenes from a Country Bookshop. If you have read my previous reviews for the first three books, The Book Lovers and Rules for a Successful Book Club  and Natural Born Readers you will know I binge read these in a few days. This one was no different. Scroll down to find out more.

Book Review: Scenes from a Country Bookshop by Victoria Connelly

Scenes from a Country Bookshop - Victoria Connelly

Scenes from a Country Bookshop by Victoria Connelly

Title: Scenes from a Country Bookshop

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Release Date: 6th Nov 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

BLURB

Love can sometimes be really complicated…

Josh Nightingale has always been married to his books. Happy to run his bookshop in the small town of Castle Clare, he’s never really had time for romance and truly believes that he’s never going to fall in love. But, when April Channing opens a new shop opposite his, everything changes.

Sweet and attentive one moment, abrupt and aloof the next, Josh really can’t understand April at all. What exactly is going on? Josh is pretty sure that the answer can’t be found in a book.

Join the Nightingale family once again for this deliciously heartwarming novel, the forth in The Book Lovers series, by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and A Weekend with Mr Darcy.

My Thoughts

This novel is all about colour. Josh lives his life in books  as his home testifies this with his boring beige walls. He is happy living in a fantasy world which is a trait I can understand. April is the opposite and is a colour magpie, like myself. I related to her appreciation of colour and bohemian ways. This is an aspect I love about this series, I relate to many of the characters which adds an extra layer of enjoyment and involvement in the story. It makes you turn the page. The new characters introduced in this book are adorable and I would love to meet them in real life.  It is difficult to say more about the novel without giving away any spoilers but I enjoyed the twists and unexpected events. 

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is a lovely addition to the Book Lovers series. Overall, this series highlights an author with deep characterisation and observational skills making her novels a delight to read and love. The words bring the Nightgale family and Castle Clare alive giving the reader a chance to escape and enjoy. My TBR list has grown with the recommendations of the fictional book club and they have encouraged me to explore different music and appreciate things a little bit more.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

 

Thank you for Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Natural Born Readers by Victoria Connelly

I am pleased to share my review for the third book in the Book Lovers Series by Victoria Connelly, Natural Born Readers. If you have read my previous reviews for the first two books, The Book Lovers and Rules for a Successful Book Club, you will know I binge read these in a few days. This one was no different. Scroll down to find out more.

Book Review: Natural Born Readers by Victoria Connelly

Natural Born Readers - Victoria Connelly

Natural Born Readers by Victoria Connelly

 

Title: Natural Born Readers

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Release Date: 26th Sept 2017

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

BLURB

Can the past always be forgiven?

Ben Stratton and Bryony Nightingale. Everybody thought they’d be together forever. But, when Ben leaves the small market town of Castle Clare to travel the world, Bryony is heartbroken, seeing his departure as the ultimate betrayal.

Throwing herself into her work running the much-loved children’s bookshop, Bryony determines to forget Ben and to start dating again. But Ben doesn’t make it easy for her, sending her postcards filled with his love and posting her foreign editions of all the great romantic novels from the countries he’s travelling through.

Then, after six long years, the unexpected happens and Ben returns, determined to win Bryony back. But will she forgive him and does he have the courage to tell her the truth about why he left her?

Natural Born Readers is the third book in the warm-hearted Book Lovers series by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and A Weekend with Mr Darcy.

MY THOUGHTS

There are five Nightingale siblings and this book focuses on Bryony. Of all of them, she is the character  I relate to most from her love and philosophy about colour to her delightful children’s book shop. If I ever fulfilled my dream it would be this. There were times, I thought Victoria Connelly had borrowed my fantasy place and written it into her novel. The descriptions of setting are immersive making it a wonderful place to escape to.

Whereas The Book Lovers largely focuses on the passion of books, and second novel is dedicated to music,  the passion in Natural Born Readers is between the characters. The adoration of books is still threaded throughout as it delves into whether the childhood sweethearts, Bryony and Ben can become lovers as adults. The joy of gardening encouraged me into the garden and luckily the tantalising descriptions of baked products are few, otherwise I would have needed a new wardrobe in a bigger size.

WOULD I RECOMMEND?

Yes! Like the other book in the series, this is a gentle, compelling romance which is an ideal escape during lockdown. The warmth of the Nightingale family shines on every page making it is a beautiful read.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

 

Thank you for Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly

Today the sun is shining and I am thrilled to bring you the second book in the Book Lovers Series,  Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly. My review for the beautiful first book The Book Lovers can be found here.

Book Review: Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly

Rules for a Successful Book Club - Victoria Connelly

Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly

Title:Rules for a Successful Book Club

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Release Date: 14th Feb 2016

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

Blurb

Everyone deserves a second chance at love, don’t they?

Polly Nightingale never meant to fall in love again especially not with a biker thirteen years her junior. But then Jago Solomon enters her life with a guitar strapped to his back, and Polly and her six-year-old son, Archie, know that they’ve never been happier.

But what happened three years ago when Polly’s husband, Sean, went missing? And what will it mean for Polly and Jago if her past ever catches up with them?

Join the Nightingale family once again for the second in The Book Lovers series by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls.

My Thoughts

I was eager to start this book after reading the Book Lovers, and I was not disappointed. All the favourites from book one including Sam and Callie return to provide another few beautiful and calm hours in Castle Clare. Polly Nightingale and her son, Archie is the main focus as the cope with the turmoil of her missing husband. The love of books still shone through to my delight but so does the the evocative sounds of music. The author has an ability to describe the senses that make them tingle. The scenes of Jago teaching Archie the guitar are moving, realistic and shows the depth and talent of writer to get into the character completely.

Would I recommend?

Yes! Like the first book in the series, this is the ideal escapism for these turbulent times. It is calm, gentle romance and a delight to read.

Author Biography

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

Victoria Connelly

Thank you for Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love