Sunday, 10 December 2017

The Truth & Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr

Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . . 

Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro. Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things.

And realises her life has been a lie.

Her mother and father aren't hers at all. Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they'll never think to look - the favelas.

But there she learns a terrible secret - the truth about her real parents and their past. And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago.

This book is classed as YA fiction but I don't care I love the stories Emiy Barr tells. 

I would imagine that the moral of this story (if there is one) is ...If your parents decide there are some things you are best not knowing then please believe them because things could be much worse if you find out. 

When we meet Ella we realize that something is not quite right. Ella is trying to suppress a voice from inside her that wants her to do bad things. She doesn't want this to happen but sometimes she can't help it. One day Ella is taken out of school by her parents and taken straight to the airport. Her phone is taken from her and soon all three of them are on a flight to Rio,no explanation given. Once there Ella needs to take matters into her own hands and find out why her usually dull,quiet and over protective parents have moved her to a foreign country and are acting very strange. 

Wow! What a roller coaster ride this story is. I was so afraid for Ella when she found out what she wasn't supposed to know. I was also surprised at how resourceful she became especially when she had the stress of keeping the other voice inside her satisfied. 

I can't say much more without giving the plot away. This book is not just for the YA market it is for anyone and it kept me turning the pages. Once again Emily Barr has came up with a cracking good story. 

I think I would go for the paperback over kindle this time as there's not much difference in price.

The Woman at 72 Derry Lane by Carmel Harrington

On a leafy suburan street in Dublin, beautiful, poised Stella Greene lives with her successful husband, Matt. The perfect couple in every way, Stella appears to have it all.
However at number 72 however, lives Rea Brady. Gruff, bad-tempered and rarely seen besides the twitching of her net curtains, rumour has it she’s lost it all…including her marbles if you believe the neighbourhood gossip.
But appearances can be deceiving and when Stella and Rea’s worlds collide they realise they have much in common. Both are trapped in a prison of their own making.
Has help been next door without them realising it?

This is my first read with this author and I wasn't disappointed. This book provoked all kinds of emotion in me. I laughed at the Irish humour, I was angry at  how some people have to live and I cried at the very sad parts of the story. The book tackles domestic abuse,agoraphobia and a live changing disaster. 
My favourite character was Sky,I was amazed at the strength and compassion she found when she needed it. Rea's story was sad but fixable and only she knew how to fix it. My heart went out to Stella and I willed her to stand up for herself. Charlie was hilarious, kind,lovable and an asset to anyone's life. Matt? Well the less said about him the better although I would have liked to have known a bit more about his back story.

My only complaint would be that the author seemed to think that sixty was old ! How very dare she! 
I must say she made me feel old when she described Rea at sixty, but I'll give her that that might have just been because of Rea's problems. 
I enjoyed this story, couldn't put it down and shed tears,what more can you ask from a book? 

Out now for kindle or paperback.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman with extract.

Meet Jay.
Small-time dealer.
Accidental jihadist.
The one man who can save us all?
Javid – call him Jay – is a dope dealer living in West London. He goes to mosque on Friday, and he’s just bought his pride and joy – a BMW. He lives with his mum, and life seems sweet.
But his world is about to turn upside-down. Because MI5 have been watching him, and they think he’s just the man they need for a delicate mission.
One thing’s for sure: now he’s a long way East of Hounslow, Jay’s life will never be the same again.

I'm delighted to be today's stop on the blog tour for East of Hounslow the debut novel by Khurrum Rahman. I was slightly hesitant when I was asked to review this book. It is nothing like my usual read and way out of my comfort zone but I'm so glad I said yes.
At first I didn't know what to think of Jay. He was a small time drug dealer always ducking and diving. 
He used bad language, he was violent, irreverent, loyal,funny, he was lost in a life that if you scraped the surface you would find he didn't want. The funniest part of the book is when he realizes that he has actually been asked to work for MI5, no joking around, they have really asked him. 
Although the subject matter of this book is serious it is peppered with humour throughout. At times I was on the edge of my seat, reluctant to turn the page in case what I feared would happen did happen.
The book takes the reader on a journey of how some young men are  indoctrinated into terrorist organizations, sometimes being part of something is better than being part of nothing.
There are other characters in the story we get to know well like, Jay's best friend Idris who is a police officer and Parvez, Jay's childhood friend and neighbour who is the cause of Jay getting into a whole lot of trouble.
There are a few surprises and twists in the book especially at the end when the author pulled the rug from under me and upset me greatly.
I said at the beginning that I didn't know what to think of Jay but by half way through the book I had grown to love him and when you read it you will understand why. It is a book relevant to the times we live in. 
Even if this is not the usual genre you read I recommend you give this book a chance as I'm sure like me you will say it's a really good read and a great debut novel.
The paperback is large and I thought it would take me ages to read it but the print is big and it was easy to read.
I have just read that the author is writing a follow up book to this story and hopes to make it a trilogy.
That makes me happy as I'm now thinking there is another twist to the story....fingers crossed.

The publishers have very kindly sent me an extract from chapter one of the book. Enjoy! 
Published tomorrow in paperback or kindle here and I'm sure all bookshops.

Part One
An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
– Mahatma Gandhi 
My name is Javid Qasim. I am a Muslima British born Muslim. Do you know how many times I have been pulled over by the police since 9/11? Once. And that was because I was nonchalantly jumping lanes without indicating my intentions to my fellow drivers. I got a ticking off from the Fuzz who were quite happy to forego the paperwork and give me a friendly warning. They didnt even search my careven though the stench of skunk was unmistakeable. To this day I am proud to say that I've never had my fingerprints taken.

Do you know how many times I have been racially abused
since 7/7? Not even once. I get called Paki every daybut not in the – what the fuck did you call me? – way. In my circle its a term of endearment. You seewe know who we are. And what some may see as an insultwe see as a badge of fuckinhonour. The word Pak means pure and the word Pak means clean. And if you didnt know thatthen consider yourself educated.
Im not stupid or naïve. I am aware of exactly what is happening around me but youve got to play the game otherwise you might as well carry a big fat kick me sign on your back. Dont walk around wearing a sodding shalwar and kameez with a great big dopey beard and drive around in a fuckinHonda. Thats when you get pulled over and thats when you get racially abused. But not me. Why? Cos I play the game.
I know the plight of my Brothers and I know the struggle of my Sisters and I feel for themevery fuckinone of them. But what do you want me to do about it? Noman. Its not my war. Call it religion or call it politics or call it greed. It all amounts to the same thing: bloodsheddevastation and broken homes. Why would I want to get my head into something like that? Especially since my life has basically been one sweet ride – not too different 
from my latest acquisitiona black BMW 5 series. Its only two years oldless than thirty on the clock and its comfortable as fuck which is essential in my line of workas I spend a helluva lot of time in my car. Its my mobile office. I picked it up for a cool twenty G. I paid over the odds but fuck itI could afford it as business was ticking.
I was sitting in my ride at the back of Homebase car park in IsleworthWest Londonwaiting on a customer. He was late which would normally piss me off but I was otherwise distracted by all the shiny buttons and gadgets on my new whip. The speakers sounded sik and my nigga Pac never sounded so good as he rapped about dying young. I clocked my patron approaching and I couldnt help but frown. This was exactly what I was talking about. Hes wearing a plain white suit shirt tucked into his tracksuit bottomsfinished off with a pair of Bata flip flopslooking like he just stepped off the fucking boat. I know for a fact that hes forever being targeted because he looks like a fucking freshy. No-one likes a freshy. He looked around the car park and I realised I hadnt told him that Id replaced my Nova. I flashed my lights at him and his smile widenedat the sight of my Beemer. He approached and walked around it whistling appreciativelytaking special notice of my customised rims. I slid my window down and told him to get the fuck in. He did and he slammed the doorhard. I bit my tongue.
Youre late‚’ I said.
SorryBrotherI just came straight from the Masjid. Didnt
see you there. Then I remembered its only Thursday. You only ever come for Friday PrayersJavid‚’ he saidlaughing at the unfunny observation.
We shook hands and the deal was done. He left with a fistful of Hounslows premium and I with a fistful of dollars. He slammed my door and toddled off in his ridiculous outfit. I hate that fuckinsanctimonious prick. In the space of a minute he vexed . We shook hands and the deal was done. He left with a fistful of Hounslows premium and I with a fistful of dollars. He slammed my door and toddled off in his ridiculous outfit. I hate that fuckinsanctimonious prick. In the space of a minute he vexed me twice. Firstlyhe took a swipe at me because I dont go the Masjid day in day out. It doesnt make me any less of a Muslim than he is. So what if he decides to grow a beard and I decide to grow marijuana? Im still a Muslim. I couldnt care less if you sit in Aladdins eating your Halal Inferno Burger whilst I sit in Burger King eating a Whopper. I am still a Muslim. Ill drink when I wantIll curse and Ill fuck and Ill gamble and Ill get high. So what!? Read my lips. I. Am. Still. A. Muslim. I believe in Allah and only He can judge me. Not you. Or anyone else who walks this land.
Secondlyhe called me Javid. No-onebut no-onecalls me Javidnot even my Mum. No self-respecting drug dealer is called Javid. No playa is called Javid. Girls dont wanna be giving out their phone number to a guy called Javid.
Seriously. Call me Jay. 

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Return of the Magi by P.J. Tracy

Emil Rice has a silver tongue and sticky fingers, the only problem is that his charm always gets him into trouble and he's never been very good at not getting arrested. Twenty-two times he's been caught and twenty-two times he's sworn never to steal again, but it's on his twenty-third arrest when Emil realises he may have picked up more than he bargained for. Sentenced to community service at a secure mental health facility, Emil is unwillingly befriended by two elderly female patients who believe he is the final part of a big cosmic plan that will change their lives forever...

I promised myself I wasn't going to read any Christmas books this year as I find they are all very similar but this one breaks the mold. A Christmas story about a thief ? Well that's different! 
The story begins with Emil who's eight years old being driven by his mum to spend Christmas at his grandparents house. He comes across as a kind little boy so when we next hear of him years later it's such a surprise to find out that he's a repeat offender and has been in and out of prison most of his life. I'm not going to go into what the rest of the story is about as there are plenty of spoilers on Amazon without me adding to them. Especially since this is a short story.
I'll just say that I really enjoyed it and it made me laugh out loud. I liked Emil even although he was his own worst enemy. I liked the other characters in the book and their own stories of what they are doing at Christmas. I could see this as a film with Eddie Murphy playing Emil and Maggie Smith as one of the two sisters Emil meets. A book that will warm your heart and make you laugh. I would love to read more about Emil. 
Out for kindle download at 99p.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

The Betrayals by Fiona Neil

None of them would forget that week on the wild Norfolk coast.

Best friends Rosie and Lisa's families had always been inseparable.

But that summer, Lisa had an affair with Rosie's husband Nick.

And now, after years of silence, she sends Rosie a letter begging for help. A letter which exposes dark secrets.

Daughter Daisy's fragile hold on reality begins to unravel.

Teenage son Max blames himself for everything that happened that long hot summer.

And Nick must confront his own version of events.

Lisa has betrayed her best friend Rosie in the worst possible way, she has stolen her husband.

The two couples and their children holiday together every year until the year when Lisa and Nick develope a liking for each other. 

Rosie's daughter Daisy has anxiety and OCD and these events are the start of a downward spiral for her  and it nearly kills her mother coping with it. Her brother Max has always been her protector but as he gets older he realizes that by helping her he is also enabling her continue with her OCD.

Years later and Daisy is well again but a letter that comes in the post from Lisa to her mum sets off her illness and no one feels able to cope with it all over again.

This story is told from four different viewpoints so we get perspective on how things are interpreted by each person. I learned quite a lot about O.C.D which must be horrific to live with. Nick,in the story is doing research on memory and how it works and it fitted in with the story well as we learn about false memory and how people who recall everything in great detail from the past aren't always right.

I sympathized with Max and the heavy weight that his sister's illness has placed upon him as well as his own grief over his parent's divorce. 

I did find this hard to put down and I enjoy books where I learn something. It also has a surprising ending. This is the first book I've read by this author but she has a few published on Amazon. 

Out in paperback or kindle .

Friday, 10 November 2017

The Snow Globe by Judith Kinghorn

As Christmas 1926 approaches, the Forbes family are preparing to host a celebration at Eden Hall. Eighteen-year-old Daisy is preoccupied by a sense of change in the air. Overnight, her relationship with Stephen Jessop, the housekeeper’s son, has shifted and every encounter seems fraught with tension. Before the festivities are over, Daisy has received a declaration of love, a proposal and a kiss – from three different men. Unable to bear the confusion she flees to London and stays with her elder sister. 

By the following summer, Daisy has bowed to the persistence of the man who proposed to her the previous year. When the family reunite for a party at Eden Hall and Stephen is once more in her life, it is clear to Daisy she is committing to the wrong person. Yet she also believes that family secrets mean she has no choice but to follow her head instead of her heart. Will love conquer all, or is Daisy’s fate already written?

Daisy, daughter of the big house thinks her father is wonderful but when she overhears that he has had a mistress for years her life suddenly feels very different. The treasured snow globe given to her by her him and put on display at Christmas becomes an object of loathing. Things escalate when  her father's mistress is invited for Christmas dinner and three men make Daisy the object of their affection. 

As Daisy's mother leaves for an extended European trip,Daisy,not wanting to be left with her father and deciding between the three men runs to her sister in London where more secrets are revealed to her.

If you're missing Downton Abbey then this book could be for you. The rich owners,the servants, the class system, adultery and of course,love are all there in this book. 

A great read by Judith Kinghorn. This is the first of her books I have read. I don't know why she has escaped my notice as I love books set during the war as are hers. I better sort that out right now. 

Out for kindle £1.99

Ella's Journey by Lynne Francis

Ella is trying to put the past behind her, but the past won’t always stay hidden.

The truth is, Ella is hiding from a scandal. A scandal that drove her family out of their beloved Lane End Cottage in the tiny Yorkshire village they had lived in all their lives. A scandal that her sister Alice was blamed for.

But Alice is no longer here. So it’s up to Ella to pick up the pieces and do the best she can for the family she loves so dearly.

Ella’s luck finally changes when she gains work in service at Grange House, a gentleman’s residence on the outskirts of York. But can Ella keep her position there? Or will she follow in her elder sister’s footsteps…

I love a good trilogy, it means I can revisit the characters in a book I have grown to love. Ella's Journey,a debut novel by Lynne Francis is part of a trilogy called The Mill Valley Girls and I'm looking forward to the second book.

Set in Yorkshire just before,during and after the First World War this book is a story of love,injustice,class, but most of all it's about families. 
Leaving her mother and siblings behind in their small Yorkshire village  Ella has to take up a position in a big house on the outskirts of York. Ella's family is poor,living in a small cottage and relying on money sent back to them from Ella. 

She can't believe the grandeur of the big house as she is shown the rooms she will clean and lay fires in. I almost felt I was there myself while reading the description of the house. I could feel Ella's sadness at missing her family and being thrust into a strange environment. She settles in but fears that the scandal her sister was implicated in back home may be found out by her employers.

War comes along and changes things. Male servants  leave to fight, females join the land army or leave to work in munition factories for better pay. The rich families are having to learn that they can't have it all their own way any more as class barriers are broken down.
I really enjoyed this story. It did take a few chapters for me to settle into it but after that I couldn't put it down. Quite a surprising ending rounded it off for me.
 A really great first novel by Lynne Francis and I'm looking forward to book two in the trilogy. 

In Kindle ...99p..... and paperback

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Pool House by Tasmina Perry

A Summer To Die For

To Jem Chapman, it's the chance of a lifetime. An invitation to join a group in an exclusive Hamptons house-share, who could say no? But when she discovers what happened last summer, Jem can't help but feel a chill.

A young woman was found drowned in the house's pool. The housemates said Alice was troubled. She'd been drinking. She couldn't swim...

A Secret To Kill For

As Jem gets to know her glamorous new housemates, she realises each has something to hide. What really happened last summer? And who would go to any lengths to keep a person quiet?

Jem and her husband Nat are living the dream. They have moved from London to an apartment in New York. Nat has a good job with a magazine and has a great social life. They have just been offered a share in a holiday house in the Hamptons, so...what's not to like? 

Well the fact that the couple who house shared before them dropped out because one of them,Alice drowned in the pool at the house. Why hasn't Nat explained this to the unsuspecting Jem? 

I'm always in for a good read when I pick up a book by Tasmina Perry. Nothing is ever straightforward in her books. Her last few books were of slightly a different genres and now with this book we're back to the writing style of her first books. No matter what, I've enjoyed every book of hers I've read and I enjoyed The Poolhouse too.

As Jem decides to find out why Alice went near the pool when she couldn't swim and had been drinking she discovers that some people would rather she stopped asking questions,is Nat one of them? 
Get yourself a glass of wine and a big bar of chocolate and curl up at the fire in a comfy chair and just....ENJOY!

Out in paperback in all bookshops and supermarkets or download it for kindle for 99p! You couldn't even buy a fancy coffee for that price!

Friday, 13 October 2017

The Man I Thought You Were by Leah Mercer

One fine autumn evening, Anna returns from work and starts making dinner, eager to welcome home her husband, Mark. It’s just like any other day in their ten-year, Pinterest-perfect marriage—until he says he’s leaving her.

Discovering that the man she thought she knew better than anyone else is capable of abandoning it all sends Anna reeling. She believed the life they’d built together—and the bright future they’d imagined—counted for everything. How can he walk away?

The truth is Mark is battling secrets of his own—secrets Anna knows nothing about. A painful past and an uncertain future threaten to bring his life down around him—and he’ll do anything not to expose her to that.

But unravelling the past is lonelier than Mark could ever have imagined and, as the days turn to months, Anna worries the separation will break them forever. Can she bring him back from the brink of self-destruction before it’s too late, or will she discover that she never really knew him at all?

Anna's husband Mark tells her he's leaving her after ten years of marriage. Anna has no idea why and Mark offers no explanation,he just leaves.

When we find out why Mark has left  I felt annoyed with him. I realise there were hidden events in his life that made him act the way he did but I still found his reasoning difficult to understand.

I liked Anna's character and the journey she takes us on trying to find where her husband is and the real reason why he left. I even liked Mark's father, although he knew he had made mistakes in the past he admitted the and was ready to be a better dad.

I didn't gel with Mark throughout the book until near the end of the story, but I never quite forgave him for what he put Anna through.

Another good read from Leah Mercer who's books keep getting better and better. If you haven't read her before,give her a try.

Out in kindle or paperback. Kindle download is £1.98

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry

The 19th of January, 1996 . . . I'll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the same day I developed my first crush on a girl.
Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after our wedding day, Jemma was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma she had no memory of me,of us,of the love we shared.
That's when I started writing her letters. The stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we'd experienced together.

What can I say about this book? It grabbed my heart and squeezed every emotion it could find from it.
Jemma and Braxton have been neighbours and friends since childhood. They have been married for nineteen days when tragedy strikes and Jemna is left in a comma. Braxton is devasted and stays by her bedside until she awakes. 

When Jemma comes round from the comma she has no memory of who she is or of the life she had.
Braxton's world collapses again when Jemma orders him out of her hospital room. He has no idea how to get throught to her,then someone suggests writing his feelings down in letters to her. This becomes the first of nineteen letters he sends to Jemma, nineteen is a significant number to them.
We hear their story through the letters and what a beautiful story it is, but can Jemma ever find her way back to Braxton and the life she lived? 

The other characters in the book have good sub plots too, Jemma's parents,Braxton's father,and two of Jemma and Braxton's friends.
Set in Australia this story is so beautifully written it will break your heart and stay with you long after you have closed the book.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The House by Simon Lelic

The heart-stopping thriller about a husband and wife who are hiding something from each other, and from you...This book won't let you go until you've found out the truth. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly, Gillian Flynn and Fiona Barton.

Whose story do YOU believe?
Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.
So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.
Because someone has just been murdered outside their back door. And now the police are watching them.

I'm delighted to be today's stop on the blog tour for The House by Simon Lelic.
Jack and Sidney bid for a house in London. The have tried to buy one many times before but because of the London house market have always been outbid for a property.
This time is different. Despite there being many bids for the house and despite their bid not being the highest it is sold to them.
The house is sold as seen and is full of the vendor's possessions. It seems he found love and moved to Australia to be with his girlfriend leaving everything behind..
Jack and Sidney are too happy to care but Jack does have a nagging doubt that everything is not as it seems.
They have forgotten the saying that,if something is too good to be true it probably is.

Jack and Sidney's problems all begin with the house and now the find themselves accused of murder.
They decide to write down everything that happened since they bought the house. Each telling their side of the story in alternate chapters.
This book held my interest all the way through. There is a sub plot when Sidney meets a young girl Elsie who reminds her of herself. Trying to help the girl Sidney tells her the story of her childhood and we are drawn into the lives of this woman and young girl.

So much happens in this book,it twists and turns and you don't know who is doing the twisting.
Can Jack and Sidney's relationship survive someone determined to destroy it?
This is the first book I have read by this author and I really enjoyed it. I thought at first it was a ghost story, which it isn't but it's full of nervous tension and keeps you on the end of your seat.

find it on Amazon here

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

What would you do if you learned the life you live is a lie? 

Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

This is the first book by Amanda Prowse I have read and I throughly enjoyed it. The family in the story went from having a luxurious lifestyle to losing the father and breadwinner and then losing everything else.

 This is not what the story is about. It's about the human spirit,it's about change, but most of all it's about family and who is there for you when your life changes,who turns their back on you and who stays around.

Although I didn't cry reading this story there are parts which are very sad. I wanted to reach out to Nina's two boys,one a teenager and one only ten. Nina found out a lot of things about her marriage after her husband died. She thought she had the perfect life but didn't realise that he had isolated her from friends and family,put her in a bubble and when the bubble burst she had no one.

The only negative point I have to make about this book is that is too short with less pages than most novels I read. 

£2 for kindle download. Also out in paperback.

The Break by Marion Keyes

Amy's husband Hugh says he isn't leaving her.

He still loves her, he's just taking a break - from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in South East Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it.

Yes, it's a mid-life crisis, but let's be clear: a break isn't a break up - yet . . . 

However, for Amy it's enough to send her - along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers - teetering over the edge.

For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? Will Amy be the same woman? 

Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then so is she . . . 

What would you do if your husband said he was going on a break from your relationship for six months? He was leaving you to cope with the children,the house, the bills and your job. I would certainly have more to say than Amy did. So Hugh swans off to Thailand and Amy is left,all she makes him promise is he won't post photos on social media for her friends to see. Amy also has her own agenda, a crush she had on a guy a few years ago and didn't act on it but if Hugh is free to do what he wants,is she free too.?

The best part of this book is Amy's Irish family, especially her parents and her sister. I did have a good laugh at their antics. Amy's mother is driven mad with the father's dementia and is finding solace outside of the home re- inventing herself and becoming well known on the Internet.

I didn't feel so invested in the main story of Hugh and Amy. This is mainly because we didn't get to know Hugh before he left. We don't know what his reasons were except that he wanted "a break," don't we all? He told Amy there would be no contact from him for six months, no texts or phone calls so we never got to know the story from his point of view. The ending was predictable and by that time I didn't care for either of them. The Irish family saved the book in my opinion.

At £9.99 for a kindle download,I'd wait until the paperback edition is published.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Another Woman's Husband by Gill Paul

Two women who challenged the Crown.

Divided by time. Bound by a secret...

Rachel's romantic break in Paris with her fiancé ends in tragedy when the car ahead crashes. Inside was Princess Diana. 

Back in Brighton, Rachel is haunted by the accident, and intrigued to learn the princess had visited the last home of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, only hours before the crash. Soon, the discovery of a long-forgotten link to Wallis Simpson leads Rachel to the truth behind a scandal that shook the world.

At the age of fifteen, carefree Mary Kirk and indomitable Wallis Warfield meet at summer camp. Their friendship will survive heartbreaks, separation and the demands of the British Crown until it is shattered by one unforgivable betrayal...

Gill Paul has become one of my favourite authors. I describe her books as being set in a special time in history with the added question, "What if ? " And that's where Gill Paul weaves her imagination into a true historical story.

Like many of the people who will read this book I remember the death of Diana and the controversy surrounding it very well indeed. I knew the story of Wallis Simpson from television dramas and newspaper stories. I knew nothing of Wallis's early life or who her friends were or how she managed to get herself in the position of being in the company of a future king. 

She was quite a gal and I am unsure whether she ended up with David (ex King ) by default or whether she really loved him. I found a lot more out about her husband Ernest and his life which was interesting too.

The way the author introduces a connection between Wallis and Diana is very clever. After reading this book I googled lots of facts about Wallis Simpson and was surprised to discover that most of this book is true, there is only a very small part of it didn't happen....or maybe it did and we just haven't been told. You'll have to read it for yourself to find out.

At 99p for a kindle download it's a steal!

The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry

Growing up in a quiet Yorkshire village, Roxanne couldn’t wait to escape and find her place in the world in London. As a high-powered fashion editor she lives a glamorous life of perennial singlehood – or so it seems to her sister Della. But when Roxanne gets her heart broken by a fashion photographer, she runs away, back to Della’s welcoming home above her bookshop in Burley Bridge.

But Burley Bridge, Roxanne discovers, is even quieter than she remembered. There’s nothing to do, so Roxanne agrees to walk Della’s dog Stanley. It’s on these walks that Roxanne makes a startling discovery: the people who live in Burley Bridge are, well, just people – different from the fashion set she’s used to, but kind and even interesting. Michael, a widower trying to make a go of a small bakery, particularly so. Little by little, cupcake by cupcake, Roxanne and Michael fall into a comforting friendship.

Could there be a life for Roxanne after all, in the place she’s spent 46 years trying to escape?

This is the second book in the Rosemary Lane series. I enjoyed the first one,The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane and I was looking forward to his one.

Roxanne has made it in life. She has managed to escape the boring village she was brought up in and is now a London fashion editor on a glossy magazine. Roxanne loves her life and shares it with her equally successful photographer boyfriend Sean.

Things suddenly change at the magazine and new brooms are brought in which shatter Roxanne's working life. Life with Sean looks like it's going down the plug hole and this prompts Roxanne to seek peace back in her home village where her sister runs the local bookshop. 

Reading this book was like putting on a nice warm,cosy jumper, familiar and safe. I was happy to be back in Rosemary Lane. I would love a job in the bookshop it sounds devine. But this book is about the bakery and although we meet the owner Michael and his family I would have liked the story to have been about them and their bakery more than it was. 

Roxanne was the centre of the story and I suspect book three might be about her too. The descriptions of the village and surrounding countryside and the people who lived there made me want to pack my case and open a shop of my own right next to the bookshop.

Friday, 25 August 2017

I Know Where She Is by S.B. Caves

On the tenth anniversary of her daughter Autumn's abduction, Francine receives an anonymous note containing just five words: I KNOW WHERE SHE IS
When a young woman approaches her the next day claiming to have sent the letter Francine wants to dismiss it as a cruel, twisted joke.
But the stranger knows things that only Autumn would know.
It soon becomes clear that Francine must go to dark places in order to learn the truth about her child’s kidnapping.
She will discover that danger comes from unexpected sources. She will do things she never imagined herself capable of.
But will Francine get her daughter back......or is it too late.

Well that was a traumatic read. At one point I found the subject matter quite disturbing and put the book down thinking I couldn't read anymore. I picked it back up again...I was hooked and I had to find out what happened next.
I'm not going to say anymore about the story,the synopsis says enough. The book was fast paced,never a dull moment. 
Francine,the mother shows us the power of a mother's love. Her belief that her daughter Autumn is still alive after ten years and the feeling that she can feel her near is so powerful.
I found the disturbing parts a bit unbelievable but who knows what goes on in some parts of the world, there are many people with strange ideas of right and wrong.
Most of the book had me on the edge of my seat,biting my nails and unable to stop reading. Although I couldn't read it in bed as it would have kept me awake all night.
What a great debut novel but why isn't it out in paperback? I think it will be,must be soon.
I'm actually a wimp when it comes to reading thrillers or tense stories so I'm pleased I got to the end of this book. I have a question for the author if he reads this, " We know this story is not over so can we please have a sequel?" Give me another year and I will have plucked up courage to read it.
Go on it if you dare! 
 Can't believe this book is 99p for kindle.