Monday, 14 December 2020

The Flip Side by James Bailey

I'm delighted to take part in The Flip Side Blog Tour!

"It's love . . . what could go wrong?

When Josh proposes in a pod on the London Eye at New Years' Eve, he thinks it's perfect.

Until she says no.

And they have to spend the next 29 excruciating minutes alone together.

Realising he can't trust his own judgment, Josh decides from now on he will make every decision through the flip of a coin.

Maybe the coin will change his life forever.

Maybe it will find him find the girl of his dreams . . ."

This debut book from James Bailey is an absolute breath of fresh air and I loved it.  It's rare for me to actually laugh out loud at a book but, with this book, I did on multiple occasions!

I thought the story was just so different to other stories I've read; a seemingly bad decision to propose on NYE sends Josh on a different course as he makes the decision to flip a coin to see if this makes him make better decisions for the next year.  His friends think he's crazy but will it pay off?

The characters in this book are great and they really do jump off the page and come to life.  From Josh's friends and family all the way to Josh's pub quiz team's quiz enemies, they all brought something wonderful to the story.  I can definitely see this being made into a film!

There's plenty of travel in the book too and great descriptions of places that Josh ends up visiting!  With Rome being my favourite city, I also loved that it ended up here!

Having finished the book, I've realised that it is actually quite unusual to have a romance told from the male perspective and this added an extra dimension.  

This book isn't just funny, it's sad, thought-provoking, romantic, fairytale like and real all at the same time.  The perfect book to curl up with this winter and escape the difficulties that 2020 has brought us!

It's really hard to believe this is a debut novel!  James Bailey has a bright future and I, for one, can't wait to read more!

The Flip Side is out now and available on Kindle here (prices correct at time of writing):

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Twenty Years a Stranger by Deborah Twelves

"Is it possible for anyone to really know another person?

That is the question Grace King must ask herself when she receives an email informing her that the man she has been married to for the last twenty years is an accomplished con-man, leading multiple lives with at least four different women. Worse still, she learns he has children with these women, but Daniel always told Grace he didn’t want children…
In a split second, Grace’s world is torn apart. She is forced to face up to the fact that her marriage is a sham and the enviable lifestyle she enjoyed with Daniel was all based on lies and deceit. With Daniel suddenly threatening to go bankrupt, Grace decides to turn amateur detective in an attempt to salvage anything she can from her old life and avoid financial as well as emotional ruin, but can she cope with what she finds out?  
As increasingly disturbing secrets about Daniel emerge, events spiral out of control and Grace begins to see just how far he is prepared to go to protect those secrets. A dangerous game of cat and mouse ensues, but it is clear there can only ever be one winner. Pushed to breaking point, Grace is about to discover what she is truly capable of.
Everyone has choices and those choices always have consequences.
Based on true events, this compelling story is filled with twists and turns and sadness and laughter that will keep readers gripped until the very last moment."

I'm delighted to be taking part in the Twenty Years a Stranger blog tour; welcome to today's stop!

Twenty Years a Stranger is split into three separate parts and each of those is a great read!  The book is split into chapters showing different characters and their story.  I found the first part to be the hardest to keep up with as I got to know the vast array of characters, however, I soon got grips with this and that's when the rollercoaster really began.

Daniel is just a complete disgrace and it gets worse and worse as you continue to read.  I just didn't know where the story was going to turn next and I actually gasped at the last line of the book as I couldn't believe it was over!

I loved that it is based on true events and I gather it is the first in The Stranger Series and there are two more books to follow!  I, for one, am definitely looking forward to finding out what happens next in The Stranger Series!

Twenty Years a Stranger is out now and available to download on Kindle on buy in paperback here:

Friday, 27 November 2020

Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe by Morton S Gray

"Run away to the little beach café this Christmas ...

Five years ago at Christmas, solicitor Justin Sadler made the decision to leave his comfortable existence behind and move to the coast. Since then, he’s tried his best to ignore the festive season and, as he sits in the little beach café and reflects on that fateful night when his life was turned upside down, he expects his fifth Christmas alone to be no different to any of the others since he made his escape. 

But when he encounters a mystery woman on the beach, he soon realises he may have found a fellow runaway and kindred spirit. Could Justin finally be ready to move on and let Christmas into his life again?"

I think we're all looking forward to Christmas 2020 coming and this book definitely got me into the Christmas spirit!  

Justin doesn't like Christmas (and he's got a pretty good reason for that!) whereas Sylvie is Christmas-mad; will Sylvie be able to reignite Christmas joy in Justin (and something else at the same time)?  Throw into the mix a meddling mother and a villain step-brother and the ride for Justin and Sylvie won't be smooth!

This isn't just a romance; there's also a crime / mystery element to this story which sets it aside from the standard Christmas romance!

I really enjoyed the book and I was a bit sad when it ended.  I'd love to read more about where Justin and Sylvie end up.  I was so engrossed in the story that I got a bit of a shock when it ended, sooner than I had hoped as it left me wanting more!

I believe this is book 5 in the Borteen Secrets series; I haven't read any of the previous ones and didn't feel like anything was missing.  However, I'll definitely be looking out for Borteen Secrets books in the future!

Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe is out now and available on Kindle here (price correct at time of writing):

Monday, 2 November 2020

House of Christmas Secrets by Lynda Stacey

This year we’re just going to have a nice, normal Christmas… 

Last year’s Christmas at Wrea Head Hall didn’t quite go to plan which is why Jess Croft is determined this festive season will be the one to remember, for the right reasons. And she has plenty of reasons to be hopeful, she’s going to marry the man of her dreams, Jack Stone, seven days after New Year’s Eve.  

However, as family secrets are revealed in hidden letters and two unexpected guests turn up on the doorstep, Jess is left wondering whether her life will ever be the same again. 

Can Jess and Jack still experience a peaceful festive season that they had imagined or are there some problems that even Christmas can’t fix?

This book is the sequel to House of Secrets and I strongly recommend that you read them in order.  Whilst this second book focuses on the story of Jess and Jack (both characters we meet in the first book - Jess is Maddie's sister), this book follows on from the first and is set about a year later.

I loved House of Secrets so much that I immediately searched out Lynda Stacey to see if she had any other books I could read and I was delighted to find she had written a sequel.  I absolutely was not disappointed!!

Alongside the story of Jess and Jack, we also get the story of Bastion and Lily (and we get to see more of Nomsa).  It's a exceptionally difficult ride for Bastion and Lily but it's delightful at the same time.

This book left me wanting more (in a good way)! I found it so easy to read as I was so engrossed in the story and the pages just kept turning.  A Christmas read with a dark edge to it.  

Reading Lynda's commentary at the end of the book, I also discovered that Wrea Head Hall is a real place and I'd love to visit!

House of Christmas Secrets is out now and is available on Kindle or in paperback (prices correct at time of writing):


Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Escape to the Little Chateau by Marie Laval

 Will Amy’s dreams of a Provençal escape come true? 

There are many reasons Amy Carter is determined to make Bellefontaine, her farmhouse hotel in the French countryside, a success. Of course, there’s the time and money she’s put in to making it beautiful, but she also has something to prove – particularly to people like Fabien Coste.

Fabien is the owner of the nearby château, and he might just be the most arrogant, patronising man Amy has ever met ... unfortunately, he’s also the most handsome. 

But as rumours circulate in the local community and secrets about the old farmhouse begin to reveal themselves, Amy quickly sees the less idyllic side of life at Bellefontaine. Could Fabien be the man to help prevent her Provençal dream from turning into a nightmare? 

My favourite thing about this book has to be Fabien Coste; following a spiky first meeting between Fabien and Amy, inevitably, they can't stop thinking about each other.  I loved the way Fabien looked out for Amy when she first arrived despite her protests!

Amy is completely new to the area and has her work cut out to get Bellefontaine ready and make it a success.  She could really do without the distractions of unwelcome bumps in the night!

This book has a much darker side to it than you'd realise from its front cover!  There is a history to Bellefontaine that started long long ago and Amy may regret getting mixed up in; but will she stick it out or will she sell up and move back home?  

I found that there were a lot of characters to keep track of in this book alongside the Roman / Greek history side of the story which made me use some brain power!  

The suspense element of this suspense romance really gets going in the latter part of the book and I actually gasped at one point.  It's a pretty dark story but the romance also shines through it all.

I read this in one go on a very rainy October day! An author I'd definitely consider checking out again in the future.

* I received a free advanced copy of this book from Choc Lit in exchange for an honest review *

Escape to the Little Chateau is out now (Happy Publication Day!!) and can be purchased here:


Thursday, 1 October 2020

Search for the Truth by Kathryn Freeman

 Sometimes the truth hurts … 

When journalist Tess Johnson takes a job at Helix pharmaceuticals, she has a very specific motive. Tess has reason to believe the company is knowingly producing a potentially harmful drug and, if her suspicions are confirmed, she will stop at nothing to make sure the truth comes out.

Jim Knight is the president of research and development at Helix and is a force to be reckoned with. After a disastrous office affair he’s determined that nothing else will distract him from his vision for the company. Failure is simply not an option. 

As Tess and Jim start working together, both have their reasons for wanting to ignore the sexual chemistry that fires between them. But chemistry, like most things in the world of science, isn’t always easy to control. 
I adore a ChocLit hero and heroine and this book has the strongest of heroes and heroines.  Search for the Truth also has an unusual setting in the pharmaceutical industry and it makes for some seriously explosive chemistry!  

I loved the storyline which felt so different.  I was completely torn between Jess outing the truth for her family and her unexpected feelings for Jim, turning protective of him despite her investigations and her ultimate dilemma of being honest with him.  

As the book reached its conclusion, a massive part of me didn't want to read on as I could see the direction that Jess and Jim's relationship was going in and I felt caught up in Jess' dilemma but, at the same time, I couldn't bear to stop!  It's an emotional rollercoaster of a book but I adored it.

Jim isn't just a looker, being the George Clooney of the industry, but he has good morals and an important part of storyline follows Jim trying to change the ethics of the industry.  The reader sees the real man behind Jim, his relationship with his mother and the hurt he's experienced in the past.  

Jess is a strong women but with hidden insecurities and a huge passion for shoes.  She ends up in a very difficult situation and I loved reading about her journey and how she handles it.

Another delightful read from Choc Lit; I don't think I've ever been disappointed by this publisher.

Search for the Truth is out now and available on Kindle and in paperback (prices correct at the time of writing):


Wednesday, 23 September 2020

A Wedding on the Riviera by Evonne Wareham

 A return to the Riviera on the trail of a runaway groom ...

When out-of-work actor Ryan Calder attends a wedding as the plus-one of successful businesswoman, Nadine Wells, he doesn’t expect to get in a scuffle with the groom.

But Ryan has a good reason. He recognises the groom from another wedding where the same man made a quick getaway, taking the wedding money and leaving a heartbroken bride in his wake. It seems he's struck again, and Nadine's poor friend is the target.

Ryan and Nadine decide they can’t let it happen to another woman, so with a group of friends they hatch a plan that will take them to the French Riviera, hot on the heels of the crooked groom. But could their scheme to bring him to justice also succeed in bringing them closer together?

I loved the sound of the plot line of this book and it was an intriguing plot and really different.  I enjoyed the story although I had so many questions along the way as to the detail of how they lured the conman in to their plan (this part of the story falls more into place than I had imagined).  However, it's a good journey from Bath and Bristol to the French Riviera...

I also loved the camaraderie of the group that come together to bring the runaway groom to justice and the different relationships within that group.  Ryan is one of the less confident Choc Lit heroes I have come across but I still adored him and I thought his self-awareness made him all the more desirable!

I read this as a standalone book but, having read the author's note at the end of the book, I now know that it follows Summer in San Remo which means that readers get to revisit Cassie and Jake as they feature in this book too.  However, there's no need to read as part of a series if you don't want!

A story of deception, camaraderie, life decisions, romance and wedding bells!

* I received a free advanced copy of this book from Choc Lit in exchange for an honest review *

A Wedding on the Riviera is out now (Happy Publication Day for yesterday!!) and can be purchased here:

Thursday, 17 September 2020

House of Secrets by Lynda Stacey

"A woman on the run, a broken man and a house with a shocking secret…

Madeleine Frost has to get away. Her partner Liam has become increasingly controlling to the point that Maddie fears for her safety, and that of her young daughter Poppy...

Desperation leads Maddie to the hotel owned by her estranged father – the extraordinarily beautiful Wrea Head Hall in Yorkshire. There, she meets Christopher ‘Bandit’ Lawless, an ex-marine and the gamekeeper of the hall, whose brusque manner conceals a painful past.

After discovering a diary belonging to a previous owner, Maddie and Bandit find themselves immersed in the history of the old house, uncovering its secrets, scandals, tragedies – and, all the while, becoming closer.

But Liam still won’t let go, he wants Maddie back, and when Liam wants something he gets it, no matter who he hurts…"

This is the first thriller which I've read that was published by Choc Lit and boy did I love the combination of the famous Choc Lit hero / heroine and a thriller!

This is actually an incredibly difficult book to review without giving too much of the story away as it really isn't completely predictable.  Let's just say I felt completely aggrieved for Maddie at certain points of the story which were just unfair; a sign I had really bonded with the characters and was living this book alongside them.  I hated Liam with a passion (he's a real baddie) but I adored Bandit and the way Poppy takes to him from the very beginning.  There are some other 'non-main' characters who also stand out and we get to see more of these in the follow up to this book, House of Christmas Secrets (which I adore).

I loved the interaction with the past which is brought to life through the diary of a previous owner which is found and I loved watching that unravel and finding out how that links to the present and the future.

This is a book filled with sparks and I was truly surprised to find out that this book was Lynda Stacey's debut book; it's incredibly good!  I have already finished the sequel to this book - House of Christmas Secrets - and I intend to work my way through all of Lynda's other books one by one!  A new favourite author for my list - you can see more about Lynda here.

House of Secrets is out now and can be purchased here on Kindle or in Paperback (prices correct at time of writing):


Saturday, 5 September 2020

Coming Home to Seashell Cottage by Jessica Redland

For Clare O’Connell, home is where the heart aches…

Since the age of sixteen, Clare O'Connell has lived her life by four strict rules:

1. Don't talk about Ireland

2. Don't think about Ireland

3. Don't go to Ireland

4. Don't let anyone in

And so far, it's worked well. She's got a great career, amazing friends, and she's really happy. The future is all that counts, isn't it?

However Clare is about to realise that you can run from the past, but you can't always hide from it…

When her boss insists she travels to Ireland for work, Clare finds herself drawn back to the village of Ballykielty – the home of her family, and the home of her secrets. The one place where vowed never to return to again…

With the door to her past now wide open, the first three rules have gone out of the window. Will Clare stick to rule number four?

Can she be brave and face up to her family and the demons of her past?

The fourth and final book in The Welcome to Whitsborough Bay series focuses on Clare who we've seen in the previous two books in the series.  I wasn't sure about Clare in the previous books but she really becomes herself in her book.  Whilst I knew Clare had a past that had affected her, I would never have guessed from the previous books what was coming in terms of Clare's back story.

It's almost impossible to write this review without giving things away.  All I'll say is there are a lot of surprises in this book and I was completely torn as to what I wanted to happen!

This is a very emotional book of family differences, friendship and facing your past!

The great thing about a series is you also get to catch up with other characters and this series is no exception; you also get to see a little more of Sarah and Elise (and Auntie Kay).

I've very much enjoyed The Welcome to Whitsborough Bay and will definitely check out some more of Jessica Redland's books.

Coming Home to Seashell Cottage is out now and can be purchased here on Kindle or in paperback:


Sunday, 30 August 2020

Blog Tour: Do Her No Harm by Naomi Joy

One unsolved murder. A best friend determined to right the wrongs of the past.

On the 21st August Tabitha Rice disappeared without a trace. All the signs point to murder, but no signs point to a murderer. The easiest answer is her husband, Rick. But he protests his innocence and there is little proof he is the murderer. 

Annabella knows there is more to the story than what the police are telling. Tabitha was her best friend and she vows to uncover the truth. 

As Annabella delves further into the past, she uncovers sides to Tabitha that she never saw coming, and she finds herself asking the question... Was this murder? Or is there more to Tabitha Rice's story than meets the eye?

I'm delighted to finish off the blog tour of Do Her No Harm...

This book starts off with a scene from five years ago and I instantly wanted to know what happened to Tabby.  The book is split into different parts and alternates between different points in time (now, 5 years ago and 15 years ago) and the reader hearing different sides of the unfolding story and past of the characters (Annabelle, Tabitha and Rick).  This works well and I didn't find it confusing (unless I tried to read the book in short bursts as it's difficult to keep track); the story flows well and kept me wanting to know more.

Most of the 'action' takes place in the final part of the book and some readers may find the early parts a little slower than they were hoping for; this is not a fast paced thriller but it is a good read.  The early parts of the book really set the history of the characters and the disappearance of Tabby but the drama doesn't come for some time.

I had no idea throughout the book what had happened to Tabby; I had a couple of theories but they didn't come close to the truth which I found out only as I saw the story unfold on the pages.  I found the conclusion to be tied up and didn't leave me with any outstanding loose ends.

There are also some serious underlying themes in this book surrounding mental health affecting more than one of the characters we encounter.  A book of mystery, deceit, revenge and suspicion.

Do Her No Harm is out now on Kindle (free with Kindle Unlimited) and in paperback (prices correct at time of writing):


Thursday, 27 August 2020

Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove by Jessica Redland

When it feels like everything is against you, sometimes you just need a little bit of hope...

Married to her childhood sweetheart for over twelve years, Elise feels like starting a family is the next natural step. However her husband, Gary, has other ideas…

Suddenly single, Elise is completely heartbroken and struggling to start over on her own. But when she's enlisted to be bridesmaid to her best friend, Sarah, she has to put on a brave face, put her own feelings aside and find a way to get over Gary. Fast.

So when she meets handsome, recently-divorced, Daniel, she thinks he could be just what she needs. But why can’t she shake the feeling that he must be too good to be true?

Will she ever be able to take that leap and trust again?

This is the third book in the Welcome to Whitsborough Bay series and the focus of this book is Elise.  This book does follow on from New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms and so you do get to revisit some old characters - in particular, Sarah and Claire.  We also get to see Auntie Kay again which I loved.

In the previous book, the focus is on Sarah who has spent her whole life dreaming of being married, whereas this book focuses on Elise who dreams of becoming a mum.

I'm discovering that Jessica Redland is great at creating characters; the good and the bad!  Elise's journey was a little unexpected to start with, however, I loved going on it and I adored the ending which, for me, was just perfect and just what I'd been longing for!

A story of opening up about your past, being your true self and plain old fashioned romance.  Another book of Jessica's which I read within 24 hours of starting it!

Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove is out now and can be purchased here on Kindle or in paperback (prices correct at the time of writing):


Thursday, 13 August 2020

The Butterfly Cove and The Lavender Bay Series by Sarah Bennett

"A year of taking chances…

Mia is finally putting the past behind her and pouring all her savings into renovating a crumbling guesthouse in peaceful Butterfly Cove. But when her first guest, Daniel Fitzwilliam, arrives it’s soon clear that the tranquil seaside village has a few surprises in store!
Kiki is hoping for a fresh start after her marriage falls to pieces – and her sister’s guesthouse by the sea is the perfect escape. Yet when Aaron Spenser offers to share his cottage until she’s back on her feet, she realises she may have found more than just a new home…
Nee knows that returning to Butterfly Cove means facing Luke Spenser, the man she impulsively married, then left in the middle of the night. Running away was the biggest mistake of her life – but could coming home for Christmas be the best decision she’s ever made?
Three delightfully feel-good romances, perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Rachael Lucas and Hilary Boyd."


"Could love be just around the corner?

Beth returns home to Lavender Bay to restore the beloved seaside shop of her childhood to its former glory. She never intended to stay for long, but she can’t help falling back in love with everything she left behind – including local chef Sam Barnes. But will he convince her to stay?
Eliza is hoping for a fresh start on the coast after her marriage fell apart. Meeting local farmer Jack Gilbert wasn’t part of the plan – and for him to be quite so gorgeous, too. So when her husband turns up, she must choose between the man she knows everything about or the man who makes her heart race!
Libby loved growing up in Lavender Bay, but finding love isn’t easy in this sleepy little town – until handsome Owen Coburn turns up! And as the snowflakes begin to fall, she realises she’s falling for him. But will the secret Owen has been keeping destroy everything…"


I have recently reviewed each of the three books in both The Butterfly Cove Series and The Lavender Bay Series by Sarah Bennett which you can view here (and if you've read any of these, you'll already know that I loved them):

I can't help but go on about how much I have come to love Sarah Bennett's writing and the characters, settings and stories that she gives to us!  

Having read these two series, I've come to adore the pattern of the series Sarah creates - each book in the series having the same location, being linked to a different season of the year and focusing on one of three people covered by the series.  The Butterfly Cove Series follows three sisters and The Lavender Bay Series follows three friends.

As well as the three main characters, there is a huge array of other characters within each series and they really do feature in all the books regardless of whether it is "their" book so you get to really follow their journey fully and I absolutely love this!

The series have so many common threads, however, Sarah is extremely talented as she still manages to make each series and each story completely unique and delightfully different in its own way.  

I found them all to be highly emotional, I think because I was so connected with the characters and cried at various points throughout all of the books.

Sarah creates real fairytale stories and I think I read each series within a week because I just couldn't put them down!

Saturday, 8 August 2020

New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms by Jessica Redland

"Sometimes love can bloom where you least expect it…

For Sarah Peterson, it’s time for change. Coming out of a dead end relationship and having had enough of city life, she just needs to escape and have a fresh start – a new job, a new home and a new lifestyle.

So when her Auntie Kay unexpectedly offers her the opportunity to take over her flower shop, Seaside Blooms, the timing could not be more perfect. She could escape to the beautiful seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, start a new chapter in her life – and learn how to run a business!

But, as she packs up her life in London, she isn't prepared for the discovery of a clairvoyant reading that's been missing for twelve years. All of the predictions have come true, except one: she's about to meet the man of her dreams. Oh, and his name is Steven…


I loved this book even more than the first in the Welcome to Whitsborough Bay series.  Whilst it is part of the series, it can be read alone as it is stand alone to the first book in the series other than one character who we've met before.  However, the rest of the series follow in chronological order so best to be read in the correct order!

The characters are fantastic in this book - I loved Auntie Kay and I loved Sarah's Steven!  Whilst I don't necessarily believe in being able to predict the future, I loved the clairvoyant reading and how, when Sarah discovers it, so much of it has already become true.

Sarah's journey, away from London and having a new start, is a fabulous one to go on her with.  I read the book within 24 hours of starting it and jumped straight into the next in the series, Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove.

New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms is out now and can be purchased here on Kindle or in Paperback (prices correct at time of writing):


Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Making Wishes at Bay View by Jessica Redland

"Callie Derbyshire has it all: her dream job as a carer at Bay View, finally she has found the love of her life. Everything is perfect.

Well, almost.

Ex-partners are insistent on stirring up trouble, and Callie’s favourite resident, Ruby, hasn’t been her usual self. 

But after discovering the truth about Ruby’s lost love, Callie is determined to give Ruby’s romantic story the happy ending it deserves. After all, it’s never too late to let love in again. Or is it?"

The characters in this book are larger than life; the villains (yes, there's more than one baddy!) are particularly unpleasant and the heroes are quite lovely.  

I have to admit that my favourite part of the story was Ruby and her 66-year long love story which I loved seeing come to a conclusion.  This was the part for me that made me properly grin and brought a tear to my eye.

 Making Wishes at Bay View is the first in a four book series (Welcome to Whitsborough Bay) and I'm going to be diving straight into the next book, New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms.

This is a story which isn't just "chick lit"; it covers adoption and the rejection / unwillingness to engage that comes with it, difficult family relationships and tales of long lost loves!

Making Wishes at Bay View is out now and can be purchased here on Kindle or in Paperback (prices correct at time of writing):


Saturday, 18 July 2020

One Summer in Italy by Sue Moorcroft

"When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.
So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.
Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…"

One Summer in Italy brings together the story of three individuals, Sofia, Amy and Levi.  I easily warmed to all three of them although I found Amy a little annoying, or I suppose "young", at times which I guess is good character writing as she is a teenager!

The romance element of this book is less at the forefront than I remember from Sue's other books and I felt friendship was more of the dominating feature.  However, Levi is a typical Sue Moorcroft hero and this isn't to be ignored! 

I loved the setting in Italy and the hotel that Amy and Sofia work in and found it really easy to visualise.  

 A story of friendship, family, secrets, travelling and, of course, love!  I found it to be an extremely easy read, ideal for a relaxing summer break!  I've never been disappointed by Sue Moorcroft yet...!

One Summer in Italy is out now and can be purchased here on Kindle or in Paperback (prices correct at time of writing):


Saturday, 11 July 2020

The House by the Sea by Louise Douglas

"When Edie’s mother-in-law, Anna DeLuca, dies, she is relieved. 

Edie blames Anna for the accident that destroyed her family. So, when her will lures Edie to Sicily and the long-abandoned Villa della Madonna del Mare, she sees through Anna’s games.
Suspecting Anna is meddling from beyond the grave to try to reunite her and her ex-husband Joe, Edie is determined to leave Italy as soon as possible. But before she can, the villa starts to shed its mysterious secrets.
Who are the girls beside Anna in her childhood photos, and why has one of them been scratched out? Why does someone, or something, want them to leave the past untouched? The villa is a place where old ghosts feel at home, but does their legacy need to be laid to rest before Edie and Joe can move on…"

At times I found Edie slightly annoying with her need to constantly refer to her little boy who died in an accident when he was young, however, I imagine that a mother's loss is all consuming so who can blame her really?
I got past this and generally I really enjoyed the story which I got into such that I needed to keep turning the pages.  The location and the characters really came to life for me and I found it all very easy to visualise.
The ultimate trajectory of Edie and Joe was fairly obvious from the beginning but it was a nice journey to watch them go on and there were other twists and turns, together with interesting characters, along the way to hold my interest.
It is a story of loss, love, secrets, abusive relationships, and learning to share with one another.

The House by the Sea is out now and can be purchased here on Kindle or in Paperback (prices correct at time of writing):