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Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Reading Round-Up: May/June 2021

Book stack

Summer is upon us once again, and I don't know about you, but I'm loving the warmer weather and longer days. It's also the perfect time to enjoy those sizzling summer reads - from cute holiday romances to tense, nail-biting page-turners.

So, what have I been reading over the last two months? Read on to find out!

Monday, 28 June 2021

Book Review: Family First by Tony Millington

Family First by Tony Millington book blog tour banner

AD* | A man is shot dead in a pub car park. Detective's Monteith and Watson are sent to investigate. Within days, several more men are murdered and it quickly becomes clear that a serial killer is targeting ex-prisoners. But without a motive how do you find the person responsible?

Friday, 25 June 2021

Book Review: An Endless Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley

An Endless Cornish Summer by Philippa Ashley book cover

AD* | Rose Vernon is headed to a quiet Cornish village – to find the man who saved her life.

For Rose, every day is a gift. She narrowly survived a life-threatening illness and owes everything to her anonymous donor. Determined to thank him, Rose follows a trail of clues that lead her to the little Cornish fishing village of Falford.

But things become complicated when Rose is drawn into local life, becoming involved in the legendary Falford Regatta and meeting the handsome Morvah brothers – one of whom might just be the man she’s looking for. But which one?

Can Rose find the answer she’s searching for, or will she lose her heart before the summer is over?

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Book Review: The Orange Grove by Rosanna Ley

The Orange Grove by Rosanna Ley book cover

AD* | Holly loves making marmalade. Now she has a chance to leave her stressful city job and pursue her dream - of returning to the Dorset landscape of her childhood to open Bitter Orange, a shop celebrating the fruit that first inspired her.

Holly's mother Ella has always loved Seville. So why is she reluctant to go back there with Holly to source products for the shop? What is she frightened of - and does it have anything to do with the old Spanish recipe for Seville orange and almond cake that Ella keeps hidden from her family?

In Seville, where she was once forced to make the hardest decision of her life, Ella must finally face up to the past, while Holly meets someone who poses a threat to all her plans. Seville is a city full of sunshine and oranges. But it can also be bittersweet. 

Will love survive the secrets of the orange grove?

Monday, 14 June 2021

Book Review: The River Between Us by Liz Fenwick

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AD* | A forgotten house and a secret hidden for a century…

Following the breakdown of her marriage, Theo has bought a tumbledown cottage on the banks of the River Tamar which divides Cornwall and Devon. The peace and tranquillity of Boatman’s Cottage, nestled by the water, is just what she needs to heal.

Yet soon after her arrival, Theo discovers a stash of hidden letters tied with a ribbon, untouched for more than a century. The letters – sent from the battlefields of France during WW1 – tell of a young servant from the nearby manor house, Abbotswood, and his love for a woman he was destined to lose.

As she begins to bring Boatman’s Cottage and its gardens back to life, Theo pieces together a story of star-crossed lovers played out against the river while finding her own new path to happiness.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Book Review: The Lucky Escape by Laura Jane Williams

The Lucky Escape by Laura Jane Williams book cover

AD* | ONE CANCELLED WEDDING

When the day finally comes for Annie to marry Alexander, the last thing she expects is to be left standing at the altar. She was so sure he was Mr Right. Now, she has no idea how she could have got it so wrong.

ONE UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTER

After a chance meeting with Patrick, an old friend who reminds her of who she used to be, Annie takes a vow of her own: she’ll say yes to every opportunity that comes her way from now on.

ONE SPARE TICKET FOR THE HONEYMOON


Could a spontaneous trip with Patrick be the way to mend Annie’s heart? She’s about to find out as she embarks on her honeymoon – with a man who’s not her husband...

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Book Review: The Family Tree by Steph Mullin and Nicole Mabry

The Family Tree by Steph Mullin and Nicole Mabry book cover

AD* | The DNA results are back. And there’s a serial killer in her family tree...

Liz Catalano is shocked when an ancestry kit reveals she’s adopted. But she could never have imagined connecting with her unknown family would plunge her into an FBI investigation of a notorious serial killer…

The Tri-State Killer has been abducting pairs of women for forty years, leaving no clues behind – only bodies.

Can Liz figure out who the killer in her new family is? And can she save his newest victims before it’s too late?


Thursday, 10 June 2021

Book Review: Widowland by C.J. Carey

Widowland by C.J. Carey book cover

AD* | To control the past, they edited history. To control the future, they edited literature.

London, 1953, Coronation year - but not the Coronation of Elizabeth II.

Thirteen years have passed since a Grand Alliance between Great Britain and Germany was formalized. George VI and his family have been murdered and Edward VIII rules as King. Yet, in practice, all power is vested in Alfred Rosenberg, Britain's Protector. Britain is the perfect petri dish for the ideal society, and the role and status of women is Roseberg's particular interest. Under the Rosenberg regulations, women are divided into a number of castes according to age, heritage, reproductive status and physical characteristics.

Rose belongs to the elite caste of Gelis. She works at the Ministry of Culture rewriting literature to correct the views of the past. She has been charged with making Jane Eyre more submissive, Elizabeth Bennet less feisty and Dorothea Brooke less intelligent. One morning she is summoned to the Cultural Commissioner's office and given a special task.

Outbreaks of insurgency have been seen across the country. Graffiti has been daubed on public buildings. Disturbingly, the graffiti is made up of lines from famous works, subversive lines from the voices of women. Suspicion has fallen on Widowland, the run-down slums inhabited by childless women over fifty, the lowest caste. These women are known to be mutinous, for they seem to have lost their fear. Before the Leader arrives for the Coronation ceremony, Rose must infiltrate Widowland and find the source of this rebellion.

But as she begins to investigate, she discovers something that could change the protectorate forever, and in the process change herself.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Book Review: Recipe for Mr Right by Anni Rose

Recipe for Mr Right by Anni Rose book cover

AD* | A sprinkle of luck and a dollop of fate...

Ruby Brooks is a little sceptical when her horoscope says she’s going to have a fabulous year – especially when she loses a boyfriend and a job in quick succession. Plus, a rogue kitchen fitter has run off and taken everything, including the kitchen sink!

So, Ruby takes luck and fate into her own hands with an unusual resolution – she’ll enter ten competitions a day, whether they’re for her dream Japanese holiday or a year’s supply of dog food (she doesn’t have a dog), and win her way to happiness.

But when a Valentine’s Day prize from a local restaurant results in chef Adam Finder (and his dog, Brutus) appearing in her life, is that luck or fate? And will Ruby ultimately find out that true happiness doesn’t need to be won?

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Book Review: Waiting to Begin by Amanda Prowse

Waiting to Begin by Amanda Prowse book cover

AD* | 1984. Bessie is a confident sixteen-year-old girl with the world at her feet, dreaming of what life will bring and what she’ll bring to this life. Then everything comes crashing down. Her bright and trusting smile is lost, banished by shame - and a secret she’ll carry with her for the rest of her life.

2021. The last thirty-seven years have not been easy for Bess. At fifty-three she is visibly weary, and her marriage to Mario is in tatters. Watching her son in newlywed bliss - the hope, the trust, the joy - Bess knows it is time to face her own demons, and try to save her relationship. But she’ll have to throw off the burden of shame if she is to honour that sixteen-year-old girl whose dreams lie frozen in time.

Can Bess face her past, finally come clean to Mario, and claim the love she has longed to fully experience all these years?


Monday, 7 June 2021

Book Review: Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka

Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka book cover

AD* | A teenage girl wonders if she’s inherited more than just a heart from her donor in this compulsively readable debut.

Seventeen-year-old Chloe had a plan: work hard, get good grades, and attend a top-tier college. But after she collapses during cross-country practice and is told that she needs a new heart, all her careful preparations are laid to waste.

Eight months after her transplant, everything is different. Stuck in summer school with the underachievers, all she wants to do now is grab her surfboard and hit the waves - which is strange, because she wasn’t interested in surfing before her transplant. (It doesn’t hurt that her instructor, Kai, is seriously good-looking.)

And that’s not all that’s strange. There’s also the vivid recurring nightmare about crashing a motorcycle in a tunnel and memories of people and places she doesn’t recognize.

Is there something wrong with her head now, too, or is there another explanation for what she’s experiencing?

As she searches for answers, and as her attraction to Kai intensifies, what she learns will lead her to question everything she thought she knew - about life, death, love, identity, and the true nature of reality.


Thursday, 3 June 2021

Book Review: Monstrous Design by Kat Dunn

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AD* | 1794, London: Camille and Al are desperately hunting Olympe's kidnapper. From the glamorous excesses of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens to the city's seedy underbelly, they are caught in a dangerous game of lies and deceit. And a terrible new enemy lies in wait with designs more monstrous than they could ever imagine... Can Camille play on to the end or will she be forced to show her hand?

In Paris, the Duc is playing his own dangerous games. With Ada in his thrall, old loyalties are thrown into question. The Battalion are torn apart as never before, and everything – Ada's love for Camille, her allegiance to the battalion itself – is under threat. 

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Book Review: Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn

Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn book cover

Camille, a revolutionary's daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl's no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?

In these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she's forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.