Wednesday, 29 April 2015

It Started at Sunset Cottage by Bella Osborne

It Started at Sunset Cottage by Bella OsborneHello all,


BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Kate Marshall is slowly getting her life back on track after losing her fiancé. As an author she has been able to hide herself away from the world and its expectations – but now one of her books has been optioned for a film and Hollywood suddenly comes knocking on her door!

When Kate is given the opportunity to stay at a beautiful country retreat and concentrate on the screenplay, it’s an offer she can’t refuse. Encouraged by her best friend, sharp-tongued single mum Sarah, Kate sees it’s finally time to stop letting life pass her by.

Looking for confidence and inspiration in the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, the last thing Kate expects is for Timothy Calder, A-list actor and leading man in the movie adaptation of her book, to turn up on her doorstep, hoping to lie low after his latest tabloid scandal! But after a rocky start, with Tim narrowly avoiding death by watering can, they find they have a few things in common: a liking for Lady Grey tea, walnut whips and bad ‘knock knock’ jokes. Actually, the bad jokes are just Tim.

As an unlikely friendship begins to blossom, and with circumstances repeatedly throwing them together, is Sunset Cottage where both Kate and Tim’s lives will really start?







MY REVIEW:

I must start off by mentioning what a great book cover! It is definitely eye-catching.
This is Bella Osborne's debut novel and she is off to a great start. There was a great cast of characters and for anyone who loves chick-lit, this book has a bit of everything from romance, heartache, family drama and even a wee bit of a mystery thrown in.
Now most of the plot is in the book description but not only is the novel about Kate and Tim - it is also about her best friend Sarah and Andy and the gorgeous Amy. They play a pivotal role in the book as they deal with the past. Bella did a great job of intertwining their stories. I particularly loved Didi's character.

This is definitely worth a read and I look forward to more from Bella Osborne.

Enjoy!



https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1254979697?book_show_action=false






Kind regards,
Ailish

Monday, 27 April 2015

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons




Dear Reader,



BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…

Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult-sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …

Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.

But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.

As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?






MY REVIEW:


This is Bookouture's first crime novel and everywhere I look on Twitter somebody is talking about this book and with such great reviews, I just had to read it!

This is Angela Marsons debut novel featuring kickass heroine D.I. Kim Stone. I have read about countless investigative teams, but the team in Silent Scream was so brilliantly created, with some intriguing and realistic characters, all who have a role to play in this book but it has two standout characters - D.I. Kim Stone and her partner Bryant.

At the start Kim Stone almost seems like your typical female detective but as the novel progresses we learn that she has had a troubled past and due to her upbringing she takes no nonsense from her colleagues and ignores the rules. She is clever,sassy, determined, and sarcastic with a passion for motorbikes that made me like her instantly. She is such a fantastic character but underneath is a sensitive side. Her partner, Bryant, married with a family but so committed to his job is the perfect side kick for Kim. I loved the banter between them. He was well able for Kim's sharp tongue!
Not only does Angela allow us to read from Kim's perspective, but we also get to hear the story from the soon-to-be victim's point of view. I do not want to give too much away about the plot as it is in the book description but it is a gripping story and just when you think you know who did it, there is a fantastic twist.

I cannot wait to meet Kim and the gang again.

This is a must read!


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1246387396?book_show_action=false




Enjoy!


Kind regards,
Ailish

Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood

Dear Reader,

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty GreenwoodBOOK DESCRIPTION:

Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she's been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother.

Things aren't going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras!

When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads – by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady.

The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda’s guides still work. It's going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off.

MY REVIEW:


I am bursting with excitement about this book! I cannot begin to tell you all how much I LOVED it. It had everything that you want in a chick-lit book but what I must mention first is the cover which is just stunning and just screams 'read me'


So The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is about Jessica Beam and boy does she know how to have a good time - she is the life and soul of any party. Although she is not so good with responsibility and turning up for work on time. She suddenly finds herself down on her luck with no home or job, so Jess seeks out her long-lost Grandmother Matilda and it turns out that things are not going so well for Matilda either. She is in a lot of debt and her renowned 1950's Good Womanbooks are out of print, and are not likely to be reissued. So this is where Jess comes in handy when they are thrown a lifeline. They have to prove that the Good Woman guides can still work in today's modern society and who better to play the 1950's Good Woman role than Matilda's outspoken granddaughter. Jess has to capture the heart of playboy Leo Frost but not as herself of course, but as a 1950's Good Woman.

Jessica Beam is one of my favourite fictional characters that I have met. There has to be a sequel - we have to meet her again! This was such a quirky, feel good, romantic story with plenty of laughs on every page. A great cast of characters that will not be forgotten.

This is a must read!


Enjoy!


Kind regards,
Ailish



Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Return to Mandalay by Rosanna Ley

Return to Mandalay by Rosanna LeyDear Reader,




BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Eva Gatsby has often wondered about her grandfather Lawrence's past, and exactly what happened to him in Burma during the Second World War. But it is only when Eva's job as an antiques dealer suddenly requires a trip to Mandalay that Lawrence finally breaks his silence and asks her to return a mysterious artifact of his own - a chinthe - to its rightful owner.

As Eva arrives in Burma her mission soon proves dangerously complicated, and the treasure she is guarding becomes the centre of a scandal that will have far-reaching consequences. Caught between loyalty and integrity, Eva is determined to find the truth about her grandfather's past, of her own family origins, and of the red-eyed chinthe itself - enigmatic symbol of the riches of Mandalay.







MY REVIEW:




Well this was the first book I have read by Rosanna Ley and I cannot wait to read her others!

Our story begins in Bristol, England where we meet Eva Gatsby who repairs and restores old pieces of furniture in The Bristol Antiques Emporium. Her employers ask her to travel to Mandalay to verify some antiques but before Ava travels to Burma she is summoned by her grandfather, who needs her to do something very important to him. He gives Eva a 'chinthe' which has travelled between two different worlds. Eva is determined to find out everything about her grandfathers past.
Rosanna keeps us engrossed by not only switching between characters but between the past and present too so we really grasp each characters history. Especially in the case of Eva's mother, Rosemary who played a pivotal role in the novel. We get a sense of sadness, that life has been hard for Rosemary including loosing her husband and of the struggled relationship she has with Eva and her father.

This was such a gorgeous story and Rosanna is an incredible storyteller. I have completely fallen in love with Return to Mandalay. The descriptions of Asia were magnificent - it was almost like we were travelling with Eva, seeing the same sights, smelling the same scents. She really brought the country and the people alive on the page.

This is a must read!


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1249301731?book_show_action=false


Enjoy,


Kind regards,
Ailish

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson

Dear Reader,

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Annie has a secret. But if she's not going to tell, we won't either. It's a heart-breaking secret she wishes she didn't have - yet Annie isn't broken, not quite yet. Especially now there's someone out there who seems determined to fix her.

Kate has run away. But she's not going to tell us why - that would defeat the point of running, wouldn't it? It's proving difficult to reinvent herself, however, with one person always on her mind.

Scratch beneath the surface and nobody is really who they seem. Even Annie and Kate, two old friends, aren't entirely sure who they are any more. Perhaps you can work it out, before their pasts catch up with them for good . . .


A gripping and unpredictable story of two young women running from their pasts. We defy you to guess the twist . . .






MY REVIEW:


I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this book. I mean wow - where to start!

This is one of those books that would be very easy to spoil so I cannot give too much away. There is a great cast of characters all of which have been well developed. It is written from a dual perspective alternating between Kate and Annie who are harbouring their own secrets but Lucy isn't going to tell us so our investigative skills will be put to the test.

We meet Kate first who starts as a trainee at a stable yard but she has no experience of horses but has to make a go of it as she has nowhere else to go and no one must find out where she is.

Annie, a masseuse, who after a tragic incident during her childhood has never been the same but when she meets the handsome Stephen, suddenly she feels that good things are finally happening but it is all a bit quick?

This was such a clever and riveting story with an amazing plot and the twist had me sitting up straight and gobsmacked! If you have not read this book yet then put it on your 'to read' list immediately it will not disappoint


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1243658730?book_show_action=false




Enjoy!


Kind regards,
Ailish

Sunday, 12 April 2015

I Do Not Sleep by Judy Finnigan



Dear Reader,

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

From bestselling author, broadcaster, journalist and Book Club champion Judy Finnigan comes an unputdownable and wonderfully moving story of the enduring power of a mother's love.
Do not stand at my grave and weep 

I am not there; I do not sleep.

Five years ago, Molly Gabriel lost her 20-year-old son, Joey, to a terrible sailing accident. His empty boat was found washed ashore on the rocks -- but his body was never found. Now, Molly has returned to the sands of Cornwall haunted by his death, unable to accept he is gone. Joey was an experienced sailor and died on a calm sea -- things just don't add up and Molly cannot let it go. Desperate for answers she turns to Joey's best friend, Ben, to go back to what really happened that day.

MY REVIEW:

This was a beautiful and sensual novel about a mother grieving for her suposedly dead son. Five years ago Molly lost her son Joey in a tragic sailing accident. Now Molly has returned to Cornwall after her husband Adam and son Danny arrange a family holiday in the hope that it will bring about some closure for Molly.
We go on an emotional journey with Molly who relentlessly tries to piece together and  find answers to what really happened to Joey which brings about a surprising outcome for all concerned.
This is not a beach read by any means due to its content but it is so beautifully and sensitively written you can't help but be drawn in

.
Really enjoyed it


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1251889797

Kind regards,

Ailish 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

The Tea Planter's Wife by Dinah Jefferies

The Tea Planter's Wife by Dinah JefferiesDear Reader,


BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper is newly married to a rich and charming widower, eager to join him on his tea plantation, determined to be the perfect wife and mother. But life in Ceylon is not what Gwen expected. The plantation workers are resentful, the neighbours treacherous. And there are clues to the past - a dusty trunk of dresses, an overgrown gravestone in the grounds - that her husband refuses to discuss. Just as Gwen finds her feet, disaster strikes. She faces a terrible choice, hiding the truth from almost everyone, but a secret this big can't stay buried forever . . .





MY REVIEW:


First off I want to thank Dinah Jefferies for sending me an early copy of The Tea Planter's Wife to review.

Wow what a story! I immensely enjoyed this sensitive, thought provoking narrative which was beautifully told. We meet nineteen year old Gwen Hooper who has just arrived in Ceylon to join her new husband at the tea plantation. The year is 1913 and little does Gwen know of what lies ahead. Her husband Laurence is distant to begin with and then his scheming sister arrives on the scene. When Gwen begins to get a hand of her new home disaster strikes resulting in guilt, betrayal and unknown secrets.
Dinah Jefferies paints beautiful descriptions that give you a real sense of the era and of Ceylon with a backdrop of the attitudes to race and prejudices of that time and explored colonialism elements which made this novel much more than an escape.

This is a story that will stay with me. It is a must read! I look forward to more from Dinah Jefferies.

I have this review posted on Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1249302289


Enjoy!

Kind regards,
Ailish

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Lizzie Marshall's Wedding by Emily Harvale

Dear Reader,




BOOK DESCRIPTION:



Can love set you free?

Becky Cooper hasn’t got time for romance. She’s a thirty-two year old widow, struggling to raise her daughter and come to terms with the past, so a man is the last thing she needs.

Her friends disagree, and when Max Bedford arrives in the village, they decide he’s perfect for her; he’s gorgeous, rich and divorced. But Becky’s already met him and feels he’s far from perfect; he’s rude, arrogant and annoying – and anyway, he wouldn’t be interested in her.

To his surprise, Max is very interested in the feisty woman he’s just rescued and whilst he’s not looking for a serious relationship, dating her could be a lot of fun.

When Becky is employed to organise Lizzie Marshall’s Wedding, introducing her to Max’s ex-wife and a group of people whose lives seem even more complicated than her own, she begins to discover she’s not the only one with ‘baggage’
.
Can love set her free, or will Max Bedford break her heart?








MY REVIEW:




This novel catches up with some of the characters from Emily's first novel, Highland Fling although you do not necessarily need to read them in order. I must say I enjoyed this book even more. I won't go in to detail of what the book is about as it's all mentioned in the book description.
 It was a quick and fun read with plenty going on. Great cast of characters with some laugh out loud moments.
I wasn't too keen on Max in the first book but he definitely came up trumps in  Lizzie Marshall's Wedding
Looking forward to more from Emily Harvale




Enjoy!






Kind regards,
Ailish








Thursday, 2 April 2015

Highland Fling by Emily Harvale

Dear Reader,








BOOK DESCRIPTION:



Sometimes a weekend can change your life.

Lizzie Marshall left London, and her husband Max, after his affair. But running a B&B in the Scottish Highlands is not as easy as she’d hoped – and using her maiden name doesn’t mean she’s over him.  Max Bedford can still twist her around his little finger – most of the time.
Jack Drake’s getting married in two weeks, but he’s having doubts about his fiancée, Kim Mentor. A weekend in Scotland with five of his friends will cure his pre-wedding nerves – won’t it?
Jane Munroe’s too busy sorting out her friend Lizzie’s love life to worry about her own. Besides, the man she’s fallen for, clearly isn’t interested. Perhaps she should look elsewhere for love?
Iain Hamilton vowed he’d never marry again after his wife’s death, and as a forty five year old farmer, a thirty two year old woman from London is the last person he should be interested in – so why can’t he stop thinking about her?
Highland Fling is a humorous tale of love, friendship and life’s little complications.




MY REVIEW:

This was a warm and witty romance.
The story is mostly from Lizzie and Jack’s point of view, but we do see extracts from the supporting characters.
The novel centres around a stag weekend in Scotland. Most of the characters live in London so the story takes you there, too. Lizzie runs a B&B in the Scottish Highlands after fleeing London when her husband, Max had an affair. But is she over him and advice from her best friend Jane who is unable to sort out her own love life does not help matters. Max wants Lizzie back but she trust him?

Jack Drake is having doubts about his fiancée, especially as he is not sure how he came to be engaged in the first place! but does he love her enough to marry her? So he is hoping that a weekend in Scotland with his friends, will help him make a decision.

Then we have forty-five year old farmer, Iain Hamilton who said that he would never marry again, but he can't stop thinking about a woman from London.

When Jack and his friends arrive at Lizzie’s B&B for a long weekend, love seems to be on everyone’s mind but with plenty of plots and twists, more than one person is in for a surprise.
 
This is an enjoyable and easy read about a group of people whose lives are closely entwined in ways that they never thought possible.


Looking forward to reading Lizzie Marshall's Wedding which is a continuation of Highland Fling


Enjoy!


Kind regards,
Ailish



Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Croissants and Jam by Lynda Renham

Dear Reader,







BOOK DESCRIPTION:



Annabel Lewis (Bels) has two days to get to her wedding in Rome but her journey is beset with one disaster after another as fate takes its turn. Will the stranger she meets on the way get her to her wedding on time or will he change her life forever? Come with Bels on her humorous romantic journey to see if she marries Mr Right or if destiny takes her in different direction...





MY REVIEW:



This was the first book that I read by Lynda Renham and it will not be my last! This book has all the ingredients of good chick-lit, the heroine who is a walking disaster, the domineering, uptight fiancé, the best friend and the interfering mother, for whom no one is good enough for her daughter except Mr Right.  It is jam packed (pardon the pun!) with humour and if you want something that will make you laugh your socks off and you are in need of some serious cheering up, then this is the perfect book for you. 




Most of the book was set in England, France and Italy and with some of the descriptions you felt like you were actually right there with them especially in the French countryside with the vivid scenic descriptions that Lynda gives us.




Annabel Lewis is on route to her wedding in Italy but every conceivable obstacle is about to get in her way. Starting off with her flight getting delayed for an annoying, yet handsome, passenger who is late, and then having to make an unscheduled stop in France for a medical emergency, it seems like Bels, will never make it to her very impatient fiancé in Rome. Unless, she takes up the offer of the handsome stranger who offers her a lift. But of course what Bels doesn't know is that after plenty of calamities (and there are a few!) her life is taken in a totally different direction and her love for her fiancé will be put to the test 




This is a wonderful novel full of enjoyable characters and scenes that will just make you laugh out loud.






Enjoy!






Kind regards,
Ailish








Christmas in the Snow by Karen Swan

Dear Reader,







Book Description:





No secret stays buried forever...

In London, the snow is falling and Christmas is just around the corner - but Allegra Fisher barely has time to notice. She's pitching for the biggest deal of her career and can't afford to fail. And when she meets attractive stranger, Sam Kemp, on the plane to the meeting, she can't afford to lose her focus either. She learned to shut off her emotions long ago and only her sister and best friend Isobel knows why. But when Allegra finds herself up against Sam for the bid, their passion quickly turns sour.

In Zermatt in the Swiss Alps, a long-lost mountain hut is discovered in the snow after sixty years and the last person expecting to become involved is Allegra - she hasn't even heard of the woman they found inside. But it soon becomes clear the two women are linked and, as she and Iz travel out to make sense of the mystery, hearts thaw and dark secrets are uncovered, long buried by the snow.

With glamorous locations and heart-breaking twists, Christmas in the Snow is all you need in your stocking for a truly decadent Christmas holiday. The perfect gift - even if it's just to yourself.


MY REVIEW:


I loved loved loved this book! Christmas in the Snow is a page turner that is impossible to put down. A glamorous tale of high stakes, money, secrets and forbidden love.

We meet Allegra Fisher whose life revolves around her job as a hedge fund manager. She may not remember the last time she went out on a date or had to cancel on her friends after a last minute crisis at the office, but she would not have it any other way. Unlike her sister Isobel, who is a home-maker who spends her days looking after her son Ferdy, Allegra wants to keep on climbing the corporate ladder till she reaches the top. Allegra is working in a male-dominated industry which is not easy and she has to work twice as hard as any of her male counterparts to prove that she is the equal of any man. She is about to pull off a very important deal and there is no time for any distractions not even if they come in the shape of the gorgeous Sam Kemp!

Allegra is used to fighting her corner and knows that the only person she can rely is herself. She might be drawn to Sam and attracted to his laid-back charm and good-looks, but when she realises that he is standing between her and the deal of her career, she soon realises that she must continue to keep her eyes on the prize. But of course keeping Sam at arm’s length proves to be easier said than done and not only does Allegra have a stressful career to contend with, but she has the added stress that is the guilt she feels at having to put her mother Julia, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s in to care.


This tale then takes us to Zermatt, in the Swiss Alps where the remains of a woman are discovered and the last person expecting to be involved in this case is Allegra. To get to the bottom of this mystery both herself and her sister Isobel travel to Zermatt to uncover the connection that links their family to a derelict hut in Switzerland. Past family secrets come to light and Allegra and Isobel soon find themselves in the middle of a  hidden past that others have gone to great lengths to keep that way.


Christmas in the Snow is packed with exotic locations, well developed characters, family drama, juicy secrets, and romantic intrigue. Karen Swan knows how to grab her reader’s attention from the very first page and to keep those pages turning and with Christmas in the Snow she has truly outdone herself once again.


Enjoy!




Kind regards,
Ailish