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: