Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey @Iona_Grey #LettersToTheLost @simonschuster #wonderfulbook #bookreview

Letters to the Lost cover

This is not the kind of book I would usually pick up with it being set in the war years.

I’m reading it long after it was first published and I have a friend to thank for the recommendation.

My friend is Kerry from https://chataboutbooks.blog/. She has been going on and on about how fabulous it was so when the opportunity came along to attend #ChaseBookfest in Staffordshire, where Iona Grey was one of the featured authors, me and Kerry jumped at the chance as it wasn’t far from where we live in North Staffs. We listened to the author read an extract from her latest book, and Kerry attended a Q & A session with tea and cake too. There was a pop up Waterstones shop and we purchased a paperback to have signed by the author. Kerry was astonished to realise that her review for another book by Iona Grey, The Glittering Hour, was ‘top Amazon review’ and the author knew who she was. It was a lovely moment to witness and Kerry had a real fan-girl moment. I also had my copy signed where the author wrote ‘Hope it’s not a disappointment’. It certainly wasn’t!! The Glittering Hour is now on my reading pile.

Description

Winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2016

1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London…

Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five.

… He promised to love her forever

Seventy years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess, a young girl hiding from problems of her own. And as Jess reads Dan’s words, she is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright and dimmed too soon. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late?

Now forever is finally running out.

My Thoughts

This has got to be one of my favourite ever books!

It has two stories running parallel, one set in the war years and the other in the present day.

Jess, a singer in a band, runs away from her abusive partner at the end of a gig and finds herself in a derelict cottage in a back lane in London. It’s obviously been empty for a while and has no services, but there are still a few belongings there from the previous occupant. She hides out in there and is surprised when a letter arrives. She opens it and finds it’s from Dan, an old guy in the USA, and he’s searching for a lost love from seventy years ago. She has a look around and comes across a box of letters, filed in date order. She has nothing else to do so starts reading them. The letters are from Dan to Stella during the war years. She is touched to read these and wants to help Dan in his search. Jess is discovered hiding at the cottage by Will, who is an heir hunter. Things don’t run smoothly here and after a few hiccups Will wants to search too.

The story of Stella and Dan was set in some incredibly difficult times during the war.

Stella is a girl with no family, educated in the poor school. She is still firm friends with Nancy who she’s known since those school days. Stella becomes a housekeeper at the vicarage and ends up marrying the vicar. It seems a perfect happy-ever-after partnership, but it is far from it.

A chance meeting between her and Dan at a bombed church is the spark.

Dan is a pilot stationed in East Anglia for the US Air Force. Reading about some of the bombing raids on Germany was very tough, and many of his comrades were lost in the war. We know that Dan is still alive, but not well, as we meet him as an old man at the beginning of the book. The worry of being a casualty of war is felt as his letters are read throughout the book.

I loved reading the letters and got a real insight into his feelings for Stella.

A truly beautiful love story.

Stella and Dan, Jess and Will will stay on in my head for a long time. I love how the two stories run seamlessly into each other. This book made me feel so many different emotions from sad to happy, I was totally swept along by the story. The ending was perfect and I finished it in tears.

I can’t recommend it enough.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; Paperback Original edition (23 April 2015)

Get your copy on Amazon UK here:- Letters to the Lost

A Proclivity To Prurience by Cheryl Butler #AProclivityToPrurience @cherylbuts @DamppebblesBTs @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

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Blog Tour 6th November

Today it’s my stop on the blog tour for A Proclivity To Prurience by Cheryl Butler. Many thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour.

My Thoughts

Definitely hot under the collar after this one!

Explicit – strictly 18+

A very real-feeling book with some controversial topics which really hooked me in.

Strong characters, making you have strong feelings for them……both like and dislike. I was touched by how much emotion I felt.

Social and family issues which I just can’t imagine.

I like an erotic novel and this certainly didn’t disappoint in that department.

Very well written with some words I had to look up, including the title!!

The ending was quite open, leaving me looking forward to the second and third instalments.

If you like something a bit different that pushes the boundaries then I thoroughly recommend this one.

Love the cover.

My reviews are short as I’m here to show off the book rather than my own writing ability.

Thanks to Emma Welton for the review copy in which I give my honest opinion.

Published in ebook and paperback formats on 24th May 2019 by Little Bee Publishing.

Get your copy here:-

Amazon UK A Proclivity To Prurience

Amazon US A Proclivity To Prurience

About the Book Front Cover - Copy

A Proclivity To Prurience: Obsession Comes With A Price (The Obsession Trilogy Book 1)

Joe’s controversial approach to life is fuelled by his fixation on Abbie, and a beautiful wedding offers the perfect opportunity for him to seduce her – everyone loves a wedding, don’t they? The only hurdle is Eddie – Abbie’s son and Joe’s best friend – but inebriated and forcing an end to the evening, he inadvertently assists Joe’s quest and a suitably indulgent night beckons. But what should have been a culmination of Joe’s eleven-year obsession descends into chaos and devastation, wrenching Joe from all he’s known for the majority of his life. Accustomed to getting what he wants, it’s not until he really gets what he wants that his world unravels and his control slips away. Be careful what you wish for, be careful who you wish for, for obsession comes with a price… but is it a price worth paying?

Explicit – strictly 18+

About the Author Author pic

Having worked in a variety of industries, Cheryl has met many interesting people and, with a profound interest in what makes them tick, she has spent a lifetime of asking ‘What would I do in that situation?’ and ‘What if things happened this way?’, creating a multitude of plots and twists that she had always dismissed until one storyline nagged her constantly and she decided to alleviate herself of the burden, committing her ideas to virtual paper. Assuming she would run out of steam five chapters or so in, she amazed herself by writing two novels within a year and A Proclivity To Prurience was born. It was difficult to write, given the themes, but Cheryl felt it was a story that would resonate in the current climate. Writing between a part-time job and raising two young children was a task in itself, but, every spare minute was spent doing so or thinking about doing so and her characters took on a life of their own.

Cheryl loves character-driven tales with a psychological edge and aims to produce that kind of work herself, and she’s not afraid to tackle issues that some may find difficult… other than horror – she can’t read or write horror as she scares far too easily!

Aside from writing and her family, Cheryl’s greatest passion is music and she can easily lose herself in a favourite album or song, rather like she does within a book she’s writing or reading, and a musician’s ability to move you on any level is pure genius.

Author Contact Details

Facebook @cherylbutsauthor

Twitter @cherylbuts

Website https://cherylbuts.wixsite.com/cherylbutlerauthor

Instagram: @cherylbutsauthor

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The Roommates by Rachel Sargeant #blogtour #bookreview #TheRoommates @RachelSargeant3 @HarperCollins #FreshersWeek #unilife

The Roommates Blog Tour Banner (updated)

Blog Tour 1st November

Today it’s my stop on the blog tour for The Roommates by Rachel Sargeant. Many thanks to the author for inviting me to take part and thanks to Harper Collins for the advance copy.

My Thoughts

I found this a great read. My first by Rachel Sargeant and definitely not my last.

Told from the perspective of four people, sharing first year accommodation at University. Four girls from very different backgrounds, trying to get along the best they can when they really don’t know anything about each other. That horrible feeling of being the newbie was in my stomach. They all seem to be hiding something too.

Imogen, or Imo as she likes to be known. Studying German and Business. She seems to have something that’s making her nervous. We find out little by little what it is, and why she has a reason to feel this way.

Amber, a blonde from the Home Counties (or is she?), studying Theatre Studies. She behaves very strangely at times and the other girls are wondering just what to believe about some of the things she says.

Phoenix, studying Mechanical Engineering. She is keeping her background hidden.

Tegan, studying Business Studies. A rich girl with a privileged background. She already has an entrepreneurial spirit. She drives a Mini convertible.

There is another roommate, Riku, a man. They rarely see him and he has parcels constantly arriving at the flat. The girls all wonder what he’s up to.

The girls attend a few Freshers’ Week activities and sign up to things that students do. When Amber goes missing on this first week Imo is very worried and starts investigating and is suspicious of everything. Tegan and Phoenix not so much, they wonder why she is caring so much about someone she’s only just met.

There is a mysterious man who they keep seeing too, is he a stalker?

Imaginations run wild.

The last few chapters were totally unputdownable as the race to find Amber neared conclusion, the roommates finally got some answers.

Beautifully written and very easy to read, I felt like I was there on campus with them.

An intriguing and suspenseful story that I highly recommend.

Thanks to the author, Harper Collins and NetGalley for the review copy in which I give my honest opinion.

Ebook Publication date 24th October 2019

Amazon.co.uk: The Roommates

Other formats: https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008331894/the-roommates/

The paperback is published on 28th November and will be available from bookshops.

About The Book The Room mates cover

Do you really know the people you live with?

THEY LIVE IN YOUR HOUSE
University is supposed to be the best time of your life. But Imo’s first week is quickly going from bad to worse.

YOU SHARE EVERYTHING
A stalker is watching her flat, following her every move, and Imo suspects that her new roommates are hiding dark secrets…

BUT DO YOU TRUST THEM?
When one of them suddenly disappears, the trauma of Imo’s recent past comes hurtling back to haunt her. And she begins to realise just how little she knows about the people she lives with…

FOUR STUDENTS. FOUR SECRETS. ONE DEVASTATING CRIME.

About Rachel Author pic (1)

Rachel Sargeant grew up in Lincolnshire. She is the author of Kindle Top Ten bestseller The Perfect Neighbours, a psychological thriller set in Germany. Her second novel with HarperCollins, The Good Teacher, is a detective mystery, featuring DC Pippa “Agatha” Adams. Her new psychological thriller, The Roommates, takes place during a university freshers’ week. She also wrote Gallipoli: Year of Love and Duty, a novel featuring Great War nurses on a hospital ship. This is loosely based on the 1915 diary of her husband’s grandmother, a nurse at Gallipoli.

Rachel has a degree in German and Librarianship from Aberystwyth University and a Masters in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. She spent several years living in Germany where she taught English and she now lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and children. Her hobbies are swimming, visiting country houses and coffee shops, and going to the theatre to watch quality amateur productions.

Find out more about her writing and reading on her website: https://www.rachelsargeant.co.uk/

Social Media Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelSargeant3

BookBub http://bit.ly/RachelSargeantBookBubfollow

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

 

Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza #bookreview @RobertBryndza @BooksSphere #NineElms #KateMarshall

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Description

A Kate Marshall Thriller, Book 1.

Robert Bryndza is ready to take the world by bestselling storm again with the introduction of Kate Marshall, a woman with a dark secret and a powerful sense of justice.

A DETECTIVE WHO WOULD STOP AT NOTHING

Kate Marshall was a rising star in the London Metropolitan police force. Young, ambitious and with a keen sense of justice, she solved several high-profile murder cases.

UNTIL A KILLER STOPPED HER IN HER TRACKS

But when Kate was tasked with tracking down a vicious serial killer, even her sharp instincts couldn’t help her find him – until he found her.

NOW, HE’S BACK FOR MORE

Sixteen years after her narrow escape, Kate lives a quiet life on the English coast, though her years with the police are still with her. And when one day she receives a letter from someone in her past, she is pulled back into the twisted mind of a murderer she knows only too well – and into a case only she can solve.

My Review – 5 stars

I am a huge fan of this author and he certainly knows it!!

I couldn’t wait to get started with this one. What a great plot. Robert Bryndza has the ability to hook me in straight away, and I sat outside in the sun and just indulged myself.

I like the fact that it isn’t actually a police procedural, rather more of a private investigation from characters who just couldn’t let it lie. Kate Marshall is now lecturing in Criminology at a University on the South Coast. She has an assistant, Tristan Harper. I like Tristan, early 20’s, tall, cropped hair, tattoos. I had a good visualisation of him. They made a good team. Forensic pathologist, Alan Hexham, was a guest lecturer at the University and provided valuable information to Kate. Since her days in the force are behind her she’s tried live a peaceful life. But, when a body is found, Alan Hexham contacts Kate due to the injuries he finds in the autopsy. They are just like a previous case. When another body is found Kate feels like a copycat killer is at large as the similarity to her last case is alarming. She just can’t help getting involved.

Kate receives a message from the parents of Caitlyn Murray about their daughter who went missing in the 90’s and she feels something isn’t quite right so offers to look into it.

A brilliant story, gripping and thrilling. Quite seedy subjects too. Unexpected twists and turns made for an unputdownable book. Really gruesome in parts, it made me cringe. But I just couldn’t stop reading, it’s packed with action. I feel like it’s something you’d see in the news, one of those horrible things that shocks the nation.

There was a horrible description of a waxy-faced redhead who, bizarrely, I felt I’d seen in my dreams/nightmares.

Towards the end I felt I could see the direction I thought it would take starting to unfold, I was panicking big-time!!

If you’ve never read any books by Robert Bryndza….why not?!

I’ve recommended Robert Bryndza’s books to people all over the world and everyone loves them, he’s a global superstar!! xx

Thanks to Sphere and NetGalley for the review copy of this this fabulous book in which I give my honest opinion.

Ebook Publication Date 1st November 2019

Get your copy on the link below:-

Amazon UK  Nine Elms

The Gift of Happiness by Holly Martin @HollyMAuthor #Bookreview #blogtour #TheGiftofHappiness

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The Gift of Happiness by Holly Martin, blog tour 28th October 2019

Thanks to Holly Martin for the early review copy and for inviting me on to the blog tour. I’m delighted to take part.

My Thoughts

Another favourite by Holly Martin.

I loved catching up with the goings on in the village of Happiness.

This is Ruby’s story. She is the best friend of Willow who featured in ‘The Little Village of Happiness’. It can be read as a stand-alone, but to give you more background on the village and residents I would recommend reading ‘Little Village’ first as it is fab! Check out my review here…. The Little Village of Happiness

The community has grown recently and most of the shops and cottages are taken.

Ruby is Christmas-mad and has taken on a vacant shop to convert into a year-round Christmas-theme. She arrives in December only to find out her shop has had a few issues and she can’t move in straight away. Ruby finds out she’ll be sharing floor space with an artist, which suits her for the time being.

Jacob Harrington is the brother of Willow’s boyfriend Andrew. Ruby and Jacob had some hot nights during the summer when Ruby was visiting for a few days. They had a connection and it’s certainly still there!

Some of the residents had me in stitches, especially Julia from the Post Office, Dorothy, Liz and brother Roger….they had no filter and always got straight to the point. They were terrible gossips! A nice side story about Megan and Lucas too. Some of the Christmas competitions were such fun, I like the Christmas cookie competition especially. Adding in the snowflakes made it an extra magical time.

I love Ruby’s story, and all the other residents of the village. Love, love love it!

Funny, steamy and hilarious! An absolute dream to read.

Holly Martin’s books have that sexy edge over other chick lit authors, makes them different.

Thanks to the author for the review copy in which I give my honest opinion.

Ebook publication date:- 25th Oct 2019

Paperbook available now.

Amazon UK link, paperback :- The Gift of Happiness

Amazon UK link, ebook:- The Gift of Happiness

About the Book The Gift of Happiness cover

The beautiful new story from the bestselling author of Christmas at Lilac Cottage. The magic of Christmas has arrived in the little village of Happiness, where snow falls and love is in the air.

This December Ruby Marlowe is relocating her little Christmas shop and everything she owns to the pretty seaside village of Happiness. With her best friend Willow already living there, and a heartbreaking past she’d rather forget, Ruby jumped at the offer of a cosy cottage and a fresh start on the Cornish coast. But she wasn’t the only one…

The last person Ruby expects to find in Happiness is her summer fling, the very gorgeous Jacob Harrington. He’s the only man who has come close to unlocking her heart, and therefore the one man she knew she could never see again. But now he’s here in the same village, and the chemistry between them is more electric than ever.

Falling in love again is something Ruby has vowed never to do. But Jacob is determined to change her mind.

As the village sparkles with Christmas lights and the snow begins to fall, can Jacob convince Ruby that love is worth the risk? And will Ruby accept the gift of happiness that Jacob is offering her before it’s too late?

Give yourself The Gift of Happiness this festive season, like a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows, you won’t want to put this deliciously heartwarming novel down. A gorgeous, feel-good love story to snuggle up with this winter. Perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Carole Matthews and Debbie Johnson.

Social Media Links:-

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

Twitter @HollyMAuthor

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Holly-Martin

 

The Last Wife by Nicola Marsh @NicolaMarsh @bookouture #TheLastWife #booksontour #blogtour #review

The Last Wife Blog Tour Poster

Books on Tour – 12th October 2019

Today it’s my stop on the blog tour for the new release from Nicola Marsh. Thanks to Noelle Holten for inviting me, I’m delighted to be part of it.

My Thoughts

A real page-turner. I liked the chapters written from each characters perspective. It was like a soap opera in book.

A tale of the Parker family. Mother and head of the family, Mary. Her daughter, her sons and their wives. The superficial world of the mega-rich. Privilege, entitlement, people who want for nothing.

So many secrets, and plenty of lies.

After receiving an email showing her sister’s in law compromising photos, Ria realises someone could be targeting the women in the influential family. And after a few incidents, her journalism instinct kicks in and she starts her own investigation. Of course she is worried for her daughter’s safety too.

Some glamorous people, with beautiful homes but it’s not all rosy….far from it.

Just when I thought I knew something it was twisted in another direction.

My reviews are concise as I’m here to show off the book rather than my own writing ability.

Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the review copy in which I give my honest opinion.

About the book The Last Wife cover

Trusting his family was her first mistake.

When Ria married Grayson, she worried she would never fit in with the Parkers, her glamorous sisters-in-law or the exclusive picture-perfect Chicago parties her mother-in-law throws. But Grayson said they could create their own family, and when their daughter Shelley was born, Ria finally had the life she had always dreamed of when she was growing up in foster care.

Everything changed when Grayson disappeared.

Until one morning, Grayson leaves the house for work and never comes home. Left to raise Shelley alone, Ria is forced to turn to her husband’s family, to let her mother-in-law into her life, allow her to babysit Shelley, and accept her financial support. She tries to ignore the feeling that her sisters-in-law never thought she was good enough. They say they have no idea what happened to Grayson, and she tries very hard to believe them.

But Ria is about to learn that every Parker wife has secrets.

And protecting her daughter might come at a terrible price…

Utterly compelling, The Last Wife is an emotionally-charged novel about what one woman will do to survive. Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Kerry Fisher and The Other Woman.

 Publication date 11th October 2019

Get your copy here:-

Amazon UK The Last Wife

About the Author Author pic

USA TODAY bestselling & multi-award winning author Nicola Marsh writes feel-good fiction with a twist!

She has published 68 books with Harlequin, Amazon and indie, and sold over 8 million copies worldwide.

She currently writes women’s fiction/rural romance for Harper Collins Australia Mira imprint, emotional domestic suspense for Bookouture and contemporary romance for Harlequin Dare.

Her first mainstream contemporary romance, BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD released to rave reviews, including a nomination for RWA’s RBY, Romantic Book of the Year.

Her first indie-pubbed contemporary romance CRAZY LOVE is an Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller, and was nominated for an ARRA award.

Her women’s fiction novel SAVING SARA with Lake Union hit the #1 kindle romance spot on Amazon UK.

Her young adult fantasy SCION OF THE SUN won a National Readers’ Choice Award for Best YA novel.

She’s also a Waldenbooks, Bookscan and Barnes & Noble bestseller, a RBY and National Readers’ Choice Award winner, is a multiple finalist for awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers’ Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and has won several CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Awards.

A physiotherapist for 13 years, she now adores writing full time, raising her two dashing young heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, barracking loudly for her beloved North Melbourne Kangaroos footy team, and her favourite, curling up with a good book!

Author Social Media links:

Website: https://www.nicolamarsh.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NicolaMarsh

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

 

4th Anniversary post. #firstblogpost #blogiversary Written In The Scars by Mel Sherratt #review @writermels #localandproud #Stoke #Staffordshire #TeamSherratt

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Here is a flashback to my first blog post on my 4th anniversary.

I knew nothing about book blogging until I met Mel Sherratt, an author local to me, at a library talk. Also at that library talk was Kerry Parsons. Mel introduced us. It’s opened up a whole new world to me.

Kerry set up her Chat About Books just a couple of days before I started my blog. Me and Kerry are massive fans of Mel, and we became part of #TeamSherratt.

I hadn’t heard of NetGalley, I didn’t even know what a galley was! I didn’t know what a hyperlink was, had to check the internet to teach me how to upload cover pictures etc, tagging, sharing, what is a ‘featured image’?….I know now, and if you don’t set one it uses the last picture on your post and that’s the one you see when you share! It was totally alien to me.

I’ve learned so much over the last 4 years about how to put a blog post together. Changed the look of my page a couple of times too. I now feel familiar with it all. I’ve made many bookish friends over the last few years. It’s such a lovely community, spreading the book love. Me and Kerry have become good friends and we even have our own author/blogger meet-up in Stoke which has been very successful.

I’ve added some proper titles and some tags to this as my original post was a bit sparse.

I still only write short reviews, that’s my style!

Written In The Scars by Mel Sherratt

Description Written in the Scars cover 2

Welcome to The Estate – where even the darkest times have their lighter moments…
Scars. Sometimes they’re visible. Sometimes they’re hidden deep within.

After years of living as a single parent, all Donna Adams longs for is someone to make her smile, to share hopes and dreams with, to keep her warm at night. But when that certain someone gives her the attention she craves, true love doesn’t always follow the right path.

Home from the army, Lewis is a changed man. Angry and consumed by grief, troubled by nightmares and flashbacks, his mind is worse now than ever. Shutting out what he’s seen isn’t easy, but he risks losing everything he’s come back to if he doesn’t, including his sanity.

Megan Cooper hides her scars for fear of being rejected. Mary Marshall can’t always remember how she got hers.

If the past could be erased to make a better future, we’d all want that, wouldn’t we? But life is never that easy for the residents of The Mitchell Estate…

WRITTEN IN THE SCARS is the fourth book in The Estate Series but each one can be read as a standalone novel.

My Review – 5 stars

Many, many thanks to Mel Sherratt for letting me have an Advanced Readers Copy. I feel privileged.

I’ve read all the previous books in The Estate Series and thoroughly enjoyed them.

The Mitchell Estate could be anywhere. I think we all know somewhere like it, decent areas and places we would avoid.

This one is centred around two families:-

Single mum Donna Adams and her two children Sam and Keera. And her mum, Mary.

Lewis Prophett, ex-army, back on the estate and living with his mum.

I jumped right in and got hooked straight away. The characters are so real. I feel all the emotions along with the characters…..happiness, sadness, shock etc. What I like about this book is it’s about everyday things going on in everyday life. People’s struggles that you don’t usually even think about.

And it has made me think.

It’s made me think about my own neighbourhood, and what people may be going through. Things you don’t see, hidden scars, PTSD, dementia.

It’s so well written, likeable characters. I felt like I knew them right from the start.

I recommend this book 100%, and all the others in The Estate Series.

Amazon UK link Written In The Scars