Book Review: Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir

I am pleased to share my review for Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir. This is my second book I have read by this author. The review for The Forgotten Children can be found here

Book Review: Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir

Crossing the Line

Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir

 

Title: Crossing the Line (A Giuseppe Bianchi mystery Book 1)

Author: Isabella Muir

Publisher: Outset Publishing for Sussex Crime and Mysteries

Genre: Crime

Release Date: 1st July 2020

Purchase: Amazon

 

Blurb:

 

Tragic accident or cold-blooded murder?

Retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi, travels to England to escape one tragic death, when he comes face-to-face with another. When the body of a teenager is found on a Sussex beach, Giuseppe is drawn to the case – a case with no witnesses, and a case about which no one is prepared to talk.
 
National news reports of a missing twelve-year-old in Manchester spark fear across the nation. The phrase ‘stranger-danger’ filters into public consciousness. Local reporter, Christina Rossi, already has concerns about her local community. Families are not as close-knit as they first appear.
 
As the sea mist drifts in and darkness descends, can Giuseppe and Christina discover the truth and prevent another tragedy?
 

My Thoughts

There is something nice about curling up with a crime novel which is on the gentle side, they are compelling and urge you to solve the crime without providing the horror and grit which can leave you uneasy. This novel filled that expectation with an Agatha Christie/Heartbeat type crime and conclusion. 

 Based in the 1960s in Eastbourne, it was a joy to read the description of the era when life was at a slower pace. Isabella Muir captures the time perfectly, making it easy to slip into the story with the Beatles on the radio and the news of JFK’s assassination still fresh in people’s minds. It follows an intriguing Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi, who I loved. He has a backstory I long to know more of and a calm, knowledgeable personality making him the ideal person to notice things others have missed. Together with his junior reporter, Christina Rossi, they set out to investigate the death of a young boy, George. The suspects all have secrets leading you to question who had done what as the story twisted and turned. I guessed some twists, but it did not stop me enjoying this adventure. 

The dynamics of Giuseppe Bianchi and his cousin’s family, the Rossi’s were complex and made me feel this is much to discover about them in the upcoming series. For these characters alone, I am putting the next books on my TBR list. The death of George was the thread holding the story together, but I felt it was not in the plot’s forefront as I expected but the novel is about the detective himself which made it a delightful read.  

 

Would I recommend?

If you are a fan of gentle crime novels in the vein of Agatha Christie, you are in for a treat. The seaside location makes it an ideal holiday read even if you are stuck at home. I am looking forward to the next ones in the series. 


Author Biography:

 

the forgotten isabella muir

Isabella Muir

 

Isabella Muir has been surrounded by books her whole life and – after working for twenty years as a technical editor and having successfully completed her MA in Professional Writing – she was inspired to focus on fiction writing.

As well as her newest title, The Forgotten Children, Isabella is the author of the Sussex Crime Mystery series.  These Agatha Christie style stories are set in the sixties and seventies and feature a young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke, who has a passion for Agatha Christie. All that Janie has learned from her hero, Hercule Poirot, she is able to put into action as she sets off to solve a series of crimes and mysteries.

Aside from books, Isabella has a love of all things caravan-like. She has spent many winters caravanning in Europe and now, together with her husband, she runs a small caravan site in Sussex. They are ably assisted by their much-loved Scottie, Hamish.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMuirAuthor/

https://twitter.com/SussexMysteries

https://isabellamuir.com/

 

Thank you The Fiction Cafe Book Club for giving me an advanced copy to review. 

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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 Review: A Shadow Beyond by Emma-Nicole Lewis

As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I needed to read it. Ever since I heard the story of Eyam on a school trip it fascinated me and somewhere I always wanted to revisit. In 1666  the village locked itself down to prevent the plague reaching others, a place of sacrifice for the greater good. For an author to take a place I loved and blend it into a book advertised as a must for Barbara Erskine fans, an author I adore, it seemed a match in heaven.

Book Review: A Shadow Beyond by Emma-Nicole Lewis

A Shadow Beyond

A Shadow Beyond by Emma-Nicole Lewis

Title: A Shadow Beyond

Author:  Emma-Nicole Lewis

Publisher: Twilight Moon Publishing

Genre: Historical Suspense Ghost Story

Release date: 28th Feb 2019

Purchase: Amazon UK

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmmaNicoleLewis

Website: http://emmanicolelewis.co.uk/

Amazon Author Page

Blurb:

For fans of Kate Morton and Barbara Erskine, comes a thrilling and beautiful dual-time novel, set in the present and during 1665 – 1666, when plague broke out in the Peak District village of Eyam. A Shadow Beyond is a heart-rending and chilling tale of sacrifice, love, obsession and tragedy.

Lost in the folds of time, behind one village’s brave sacrifice, is the tragic and chilling secret of Thornycroft Hall….

Locked away in the top quarters of Thornycroft, a large house on the edge of the historic village of Eyam, is a centuries old secret.

Escaping the chaos of a complicated break up, Kate Saunders travels to the Peak District to stay with her Great Aunt Edie who has suffered a fall. Thornycroft is the perfect bolthole for Kate, peaceful and providing plenty of distance from her obsessive ex.

But when Kate stumbles across a diary and an ancient bogwood jewellery box in the top of the house, the tranquillity she had expected is shattered. She is shocked to discover that Edie has been tampering with the supernatural and as Kate reads the contents of the diary, the shadows of Thornycroft’s past begin to stir.

Kate becomes fascinated by the history of the house and the legacy of the villagers who made a brave yet devastating decision during the outbreak of plague. The more she discovers, the more she realises that, hidden behind Eyam’s tragic story, is a dreadful family secret.

Stalked by her ex and restless spirits who harbour a dark secret, Kate realises she’s in danger – not only from the living, but from the dead.

As the haunting intensifies and layers of time peel away, Kate starts to uncover a chilling truth that has remained buried for centuries…

My Thoughts

This book was everything I wanted it to be. With a tagline mentioning one of my favourite authors, Barbara Erskine, I had high expectations and it did not disappoint. Eyam captured my imagination as a child, so walking through its streets and landscape in the present and past was fascinating. Both timelines drew me in, unlike some dual timeline books where there is always one you prefer more. I did not want the book to end.

It is a novel of two halves. In the present, Kate is dealing with a nasty breakup with fears of its ramifications and returning to Eyam to care for an aunt seems to be the ideal solution. The supernatural incidents and ghosts add tension into her life but are not full on horror, which adds credence to the plot and gives it a sense of authenticity. The sense of menace lurking in the shadows was well written, sending shivers down my spine.  I loved the characters, especially Nick who has his own problems to cope with. The way the past and present collided was very much like Barbara Erskine’s style but the history was more accessible, allowing me to be immersed in both heroines lives easily.

I found Rachel’s story absorbing and though I figured out one twist from the start; I feel it was one to lead the reader deeper in to the plot to see if they were right. It brought the sad disturbing tale of Eyam and its experience with the plague to life with eerie parallels with our current pandemic with social distancing and isolation. It adds poignancy to Rachel’s tale and an urgency to her plight. The grief of the town was tangible, making it an emotional read.

Would I recommend?

Yes, I loved this book and the author’s style. The balance of a contemporary ghost story and historical fiction was perfect giving an emotional, spooky and disturbing read. This would be ideal to read in October when the evenings draw in. It is one for my Kindle forever shelf to reread in the future.

I am relieved Emma-Nicole Lewis has a back catalogue of novels I can add to my TBR.

Thanks to The Fiction Cafe for a copy to review and give my unbiased, and honest opinion. You have given me a new favourite author to follow.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Katie signature pink

 

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: The Firebird Inheritance by Steven Turner Bone

It is Indie Author Week here in the UK so I am pleased to share my review for The Firebird Inheritance by Steven Turner-Bone,  a local independent author in East Yorkshire. I have always been fascinated with  the fall of the Russian family and the controversy around Anastasia’s death so this blurb caught my attention. Scroll down to see my thoughts.

Book Review: The Firebird Inheritance by Steven Turner-Bone

Firebird Inheritance

The Firebird Inheritance by Steven Turner-Bone

Title: The Firebird Inheritance

Author:  Steven Turner-Bone

Publisher: Independent

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: 6th June 2019

Blurb

The Russian Revolution is over. Tsar Nichols II and his immediate family are dead. Stalin holds the Soviet Union in an iron grip.
Anna Moreau sits in her Paris flat reading an article in the newspaper about the death of another wealthy French businessman when there is a knock on the door. An old man gives her a plain package, with the instructions to read its contents carefully, and then to leave Paris and to go into hiding as soon as possible.
Shocked by what she discovers in the package, Anna remembers the words repeatedly given to her by her adopted mother before she died.
‘If you find yourself alone and in need of help, go to England, and seek the assistance of Jason Parva.’
Anna runs for her life to the one person of whom her mother had told her so much, the English fighter pilot, whom she had nursed back to health after he was shot down during the Great War. Anna and Jason have no option but to go on the run with the Russian Secret Police hot on their trail.

My Thoughts

I previously reviewed Farewell to a Friend from the Mathew Fletcher series last year. It was based in the English Civil war, but this novel is a standalone and completely different in topic and style. The jump to the 1920s, an era I am more familiar, helped me slip into the story with ease and enjoy this post First World War adventure with plenty of spies, charm and stunning British countryside.

Injured Jason Parva returned from Kenya to his home, a village in East Yorkshire. This location is one I know well and I can say the detailed descriptions are accurate and they made me feel like I had travelled back in time. As always, reading about a familiar setting adds an extra dimension and depth to the story.

The true adventure begins when Jason meets Anna and they need to protect the Russian jewel. The cast of characters, tension and plot reminded me of  Agatha Christie’s work. I enjoyed the thrill of their journey throughout Britain in fear of their lives and watch their relationship evolve.

The conclusion was dramatic and full at action.

Would I recommend?

This is a genre I rarely read, but I loved this espionage adventure and would recommend it for fans of historical adventures and mystery.

Author Biography:

Me with books (2)

Steven Turner-Bone

Steven was born in Hull many years ago, and always loved history and stories. After having successful career in catering and IT he met his wife, Sue and started a family. Sue’s career as a computer programmer blossomed and it very quickly led to him staying home to look after the children whilst she hit the jet-set life of flying around Europe on work-related matters. He took on short term jobs whilst the kids were at school.

The family were close, so when it came to finding a hobby for them all fate came knocking, and they joined a 17th century historical re-enactment group. It added enormously to his knowledge of history, as well as them all being able to visit castles, stately homes and historical sites free of charge. It even led to him appearing as an extra in many television programmes and one film.

After being made redundant from the Probation Service as an admin clerk, and reading a novel on the English Civil War, he happened to make a comment to Sue about how poor the story was in the book.

‘Then you write one,’ came the reply. So he did, and it sold, and it kept selling, so he wrote book two, and book three, and book four, and now he is currently writing book five. Steven believes he has found what he was destined to do with his life and he loves it.

Social Media:

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

Website: https://steventurnerbone.co.uk

Thank you Steven Turner-Bone for a copy of your book so I could give my honest and unbiased review.

Love

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

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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

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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 

 

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Book Review: Cornish Connection by Amanda James

June is here. The sun is shining and the temperature is sizzling making it feel like a typical summer’s day. As holidays are off this year, it is the ideal time to jump into The Cornish Connection by Amanda James to visit a place special to my heart, Padstow.

Book Review: Cornish Connection by Amanda James

Cornish Connection

The Cornish Connection by Amanda James

Title: Cornish Connection

Author: Amanda James

Purchase: Amazon

Blurb:

Where extraordinary things happen…you’ll find Nancy CornishNancy and Charlie Cornish are happily married and live in Padstow, Cornwall. Nancy works in The Whistling Kettle Cafe and Charlie is a DS in the Truro police. Charlie’s a down to earth Cornishman, while Nancy, seemingly an ordinary member of her community, has an extraordinary gift. She is able to make psychic connections with those who have passed, and objects belonging to those still living.Charlie mostly tries to ignore that aspect of his wife’s personality, he can’t abide all that ‘mumbo jumbo’ as he calls it. Then, out of the blue, Nancy leaves her job and decides her mission in life is to use her gift to help others. This is not what Charlie signed up for, and he lets Nancy know about his feelings in no uncertain terms. That is, until he realises she might be a very useful detective…Helping Charlie find a missing teenager boosts Nancy’s confidence, and makes her determined to continue her work. People come to see her because they want her to find a long-lost friend or relative, an object that is dear to them, or a pet who’s gone missing. Helping people find happiness is Nancy’s main aim. Charlie, however, wants her to help him solve crimes.Will the couple find some common ground? Or will their connection be broken?The Cornish Connection – a beautifully told, thought-provoking and uplifting story. The perfect feel-good summer read!Perfect for fans of Emma Burstall, Fern Britton and Heidi Swain

My Thoughts

I knew by reading the blurb I would like this book but I was not prepared for its refreshing take on psychic investigations. The novel has a warm quality throughout and I connected to the character, Nancy immediately. I loved how her psychic ability is seen as something ordinary and it is those that disbelieve in her abilities who are the outsiders.

Part mystery/paranormal and part cosy village fiction, it is a novel with a difference and introduces a collection of characters to fall in love with. They all have their own stories which Nancy becomes involved with as she investigates their lives. Several themes are touched but it is an exploration of friendships, love and acceptance for the unusual. A thread I enjoyed and I look forward to seeing how it develops is how ghosts, psychic ability and a change in career can alter the dynamics of a marriage. How much of is it is related to the supernatural and how much is the growth of confidence Nancy is feeling? We will find out I’m sure.

It also made me fancy cake which to me is always a good sign of a good book.

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The story left me upbeat and in need of more, so I am glad it is the beginning of a series and I can read more of Nancy’s investigations in the future.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a perfect holiday at home read or ideal to snuggle under the duvet when you need some Cornish sunshine. I am happy to add it to my forever bookshelf for a comfortable reread.

Author Biography

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Amanda James

Amanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.

Amanda has written many short stories and has thirteen novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.

Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the wild and beautiful coastline near her home. She has many suspense/mystery novels set there. Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel, Behind the Lie, Another Mother, Deep Water, The Cornish Retribution, The Feud and Dark Deception. Amanda has two women’s fiction books. The Calico Cat, a family drama/coming-of-age, and The Cornish Connection, cosy crime with a psychic twist.

Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Twitter – @amandajames61

Facebook mandy.james.33

I am so pleased I was given a copy of this book to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion. It was a lovely treat.

I hope you are well and staying safe. Happy reading!

Love

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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