blog tour · book review · family · historical fiction · relationships · WWII

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Resistance Girl

The Resistance Girl

Two women. One heartbreaking secret.

Paris, 1943.

Sylvie Martone is the star of French cinema, and adored by fans. But as Nazi officers swarm the streets of Paris, she is spotted arm in arm with an SS Officer and her fellow Parisians begin to turn against her.

However, Sylvie has a secret – one she must protect with her life.

Paris, 2020.

Juliana Chastain doesn’t know anything about her family history. While her mother was alive she remained very secretive about her past.

So when Juliana discovers a photograph of a glamorous French actress from World War Two amongst her mother’s possessions, she is in shock to find herself looking at her grandmother – especially as she is arm in arm with a Nazi Officer…

Desperate for answers, Juliana is determined to trace the journey of her grandmother. Surely there is more to the photograph than meets the eye?

But as she delves into Sylvie’s past, nothing can prepare Juliana for the tales of secrets, betrayal and sacrifice which she will uncover.

A heart-wrenching story of love and war, perfect for fans of Pam Jenoff and Suzanne Goldring.

Purchase Link – https://buff.ly/3dHGHqQ

Author Bio

Jina Bacarr is a US-based historical romance author of over 10 previous books. She has been a screenwriter, journalist and news reporter, but now writes full-time and lives in LA. Jina’s novels have been sold in 9 territories.

Social Media Links
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/JinaBacarrNewsletter

Website: https://jinabacarr.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JinaBacarr.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JinaBacarr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jinabacarr/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/LadydeGrey/videos?view_as=subscriber

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jbacarr

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jina-bacarr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/50392.Jina_Bacarr

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jinabacarr/

https://bookandmainbites.com/JinaBacarr

My Review

Guess what? It’s another book set in WWII. And, you know what else? I really enjoyed it. Quelle surprise! I guess I am a creature of habit.

When Juliana Chastain sorts through her late mother’s possessions, she finds an old photograph of her grandmother, arm in arm with a Nazi officer. Is this why her own mother never told her about her family’s past? Was her grandmother a Nazi collaborator? And who was her grandfather? The man in the photo? All these questions left Juliana with no other option than to find the answers, even if it meant going to France herself.

Told through the eyes of Sylvie Martone (grandmother) and Juliana (granddaughter) the story spans the generations and secrets hidden for decades finally come to the surface.

Sylvie always wanted to be an actress; it was her childhood dream. So when the chance came, so left the convent where she was raised and headed for the bright lights of silent movies. Her talents were recognised, and the “talkies” brought her even more success, making her the sweetheart of the French film industry with fans throughout the country.

When war broke out, Sylvie was noticed by the invading Nazis who loved how she was idolised by the nation. Having her on their arm, they believed, would give them a certain gravitas with the French citizens. Instead, it drove her fans away and left her labelled as a collaborator.

Yet, Sylvie was anything but. She used her position to help her fellow neighbours and colleagues, enabling them to escape the Nazi regime. Yet none of this was ever declared, for reasons Juliana has to discover for herself as she attempts to clear her grandmother’s name and restore her reputation as a much-loved filmstar.

The story plunged deep into Sylvie’s life, her necessary dalliances with the Nazi officer, as well as her one true chance for love. As Juliana learnt more about her grandmother, she became ever more determined to bring the truth to the fore. Following her grandmother’s films, notes, and recordings she was able to connect with her in so many ways, even as far as understanding who was important in her own life.

It was a captivating read, highlighting the realities of war with sensitivity and understanding. While Sylvie and Juliana got to tell their stories, and Juliana discovered the truth about her grandmother, it became ever more tragic that her own mother never took the chance to know that truth. Secrets certainly led to the three women having different takes on history.

I’d recommend this to fans of WWII historical fiction who enjoy the deep dive into believable and heart-wrenching stories.

My thanks go to Boldwood Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book. This review is given voluntarily.

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crime · friendship · mystery · relationships

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Limelight

Limelight

Life is dangerous. No one survives it. Enora Andressen makes a series of mind-blowing discoveries when her friend disappears.

Actress Enora Andressen is catching up with her ex-neighbour, Evelyn Warlock, who’s recently retired to the comely East Devon seaside town of Budleigh Salterton. The peace, the friendship of strangers and the town’s prestigious literary festival . . . Evelyn loves them all.

Until the September evening when her French neighbour, Christianne Beaucarne, disappears. Enora has met this woman. The two of them have bonded. But what Enora discovers over the anguished months to come will put sleepy Budleigh Salterton on the front page of every newspaper in the land

Purchase Links

http://severnhouse.com/book/Limelight/9121

Author Bio

Graham Hurley is an award-winning TV documentary maker who now writes full time. His Faraday and Winter series won two Theakstons shortlist nominations and was successfully adapted for French TV. He has since written a quartet of novels featuring D/S Jimmy Suttle, and three WW2 novels, the first of which – Finisterre – was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. The first three titles in the Enora Andressen series, Curtain Call, Sight Unseen and Off Script, are also available from Severn House. After thirty years in Portsmouth, Graham now lives in East Devon with his wife, Lin.

Social Media Links

Website: https://www.grahamhurley.co.uk/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/135794.Graham_Hurley

Twitter: @seasidepicture

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

My Review

The story begins with Enora heading to Prague with her partner’s ashes, only to be stopped at customs and told she can’t take the ashes on board. Rather than leave them behind, she instead leaves the airport and sets off to visit her friend, Evelyn, in Budleigh Salterton.

The opening scenes are beautifully written, drawing me effortlessly into Evelyn’s relaxed lifestyle away from her previous life in London. Enora is welcomed by Evelyn’s friends , especially her French neighbour, Christianne, with whom she can chat in French and enjoy their shared cultural heritage.

Then Christianne disappears. Has she taken her own life? Enora learns that Christianne has Motor Neurone disease, for which there is no cure. But was she so desperate to end her life? Did Christianne’s partner, Andy, know of her plans? Did he help her? Was he alone?

Limelight raise many issues as the police investigate first Christianne’s disappearance, and then later her death. Suspicions abound among the close-knit community and the police seemed determined to find someone to charge with the “crime”. Are Evelyn’s other friends complicit in Christianne’s death? (Evelyn herself is never implicated, yet Enora who has only recently met Christianne is … because of the very close (and French) friendship they had formed. To me, that felt a little forced to propel the plot forward, but as I’ve not read any of this author’s previous books, I don’t whether that is his style of storytelling.

The police investigation is also a little contrived and, for me, seems an unlikely portrayal of how a police force would investigate such a case. That said, with fiction, anything is possible.

This is a slow-burner of a mystery, with a very understated crime at its core. The debate as to whether there has been a crime at all does form a central feature of the story. Of course, it’s a valid discussion point, and I congratulate the author in weaving the theme of euthanasia into his mystery so beautifully.

Limelight is a gentle mystery with a solid message about euthanasia. It encourages discussion well beyond the last page which can only be a good thing. There’s a heart-warming element to the story when looking at how the friendship of Evelyn and Enora has lasted, and how strong the community spirit and commitment to each other is in Budleigh Salterton.

The characters meander through the story, ably assisted by beautiful prose, stunning scenery, and a vibe that is captivating and engaging. Not your average crime mystery at all, but one that will keep you thinking about the story even when you’ve finished reading.

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Cover Reveal ‘n’ Book Review – Buried Treasure

 

Buried Treasure

“I found Buried Treasure a compelling read. It was so many things: a love story, a hunt for clues to lost secrets, and a fascinating look at how our past experiences shape us, and how we can heal even after damage. The characters were wonderfully well drawn. ”

Jane thinks he sees her as shallow and ill-educated. Theo thinks she sees him as a snob, stuffy and out of touch.
Within the ancient precincts of the university the first encounter between the conference planner and the academic is accidental and unpromising. Just as well there’s no reason for them ever to meet again. But behind the armour they’ve each constructed from old scars, they’ve more in common than divides them. Both have an archaeological puzzle they are driven to solve. As their stories intertwine, their quest to uncover the past unearths more than expected.

 

 

Author Bio

Gilli Allan began to write in childhood – a hobby pursued throughout her teenage. Writing was only abandoned when she left home, and real life supplanted the imaginary kind.
After a few false starts she worked longest and most happily as an illustrator in
advertising and only began writing again when she became a mother.

Living in Gloucestershire with her husband Geoff, Gilli is still a keen artist. She draws and paints and has now moved into book illustration.
All of her recent books TORN, LIFE CLASS, FLY or FALL and BURIED TREASURE have gained ‘Chill with a Book’ awards.
Following in the family tradition, her son, historian Thomas Williams, is now also a writer.

Links 

BURIED TREASURE

mybook.to/BURIEDTREASURE

Find Gilli’s other books TORN, LIFE CLASS and FLY or FALL at 

author.to/GILLIALLAN

Contact Gilli at

http://gilliallan.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/gilli.allan.1

https://twitter.com/gilliallan

My Review

The title of this book caught my attention, together with the mention of an archaeological puzzle.  I expected mystery and red herrings, but wasn’t ready for the slow-burning, burgeoning romance that ensued, particularly between the two main characters Jane and Theo.

The prologue instantly intrigued, but then, if I’m honest, I struggled to get into the crux of story.
For the first 20% (Kindle reader here 😉 ) neither Jane nor Theo “excited” me to the extent that I cared enough about them.  Early chapters contained a lot of flashbacks and backstory which made it hard to follow. I was constantly flicking back to get facts straight in my head.

Things became much more interesting after that, though, so my perseverance paid off. The couple, with such different backgrounds and life experiences, seemed incompatible – or, possibly they fulfilled the old adage that opposites attract. They clearly had different treasures to uncover, and all that earlier backstory made sense of their behaviour and expectations.

I loved the detail of the archaeological explorations – as I knew I would – and that aspect of the story shone for me with a believable, and obviously well-researched setting. Much as I chose to read this book for the mystery of finding treasure, it became a much more character-focused story with a solid, emotional element running through it.

A story that proved to be much more than it said on the cover.

 

 

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blog tour · book review · mystery · relationships · romance

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Buried Treasure

Buried Treasure

Their backgrounds could hardly be further apart, their expectations in life more different. And there is nothing in the first meeting between the conference planner and the university lecturer which suggests they should expect or even want to connect again. But they have more in common than they could ever have imagined. Both have unresolved issues from the past which have marked them; both have an archaeological puzzle they want to solve. Their stories intertwine and they discover together that treasure isn’t always what it seems.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07SN5NWJ2

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SN5NWJ2

 

Author Bio

Gilli Allan began to write in childhood – a hobby pursued throughout her teenage. Writing was only abandoned when she left home, and real life supplanted the fiction.

After a few false starts she worked longest and most happily as a commercial artist, and only began writing again when she became a mother.

Living in Gloucestershire with her husband Geoff, Gilli is still a keen artist. She draws and paints and has now moved into book illustration.

Currently published by Accent Press, each of her books, TORN, LIFE CLASS and FLY or FALL has won a ‘Chill with a Book’ award.

Following in the family tradition, her son, historian Thomas Williams, is also a writer. His most recent work, published by William Collins, is ‘Viking Britain’.

Social Media Links 

https://accentpressbooks.com/collections/gilli-allan

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gilli-Allan/e/B004W7GG7I

http://twitter.com/gilliallan (@gilliallan)

https://www.facebook.com/GilliAllan.AUTHOR

http://gilliallan.blogspot.com

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1027644.Gilli_Allan

https://romanticnovelistsassociation.org/rna_author/gilli-allan/

My Review

The title of this book caught my attention, together with the mention of an archaeological puzzle.  I expected mystery and red herrings, but wasn’t ready for the slow-burning, burgeoning romance that ensued, particularly between the two main characters Jane and Theo.

The prologue instantly intrigued, but then, if I’m honest, I struggled to get into the crux of story.
For the first 20% (Kindle reader here 😉 ) neither Jane nor Theo “excited” me to the extent that I cared enough about them.  Early chapters contained a lot of flashbacks and backstory which made it hard to follow. I was constantly flicking back to get facts straight in my head.

Things became much more interesting after that, though, so my perseverance paid off. The couple, with such different backgrounds and life experiences, seemed incompatible – or, possibly they fulfilled the old adage that opposites attract. They clearly had different treasures to uncover, and all that earlier backstory made sense of their behaviour and expectations.

I loved the detail of the archaeological explorations – as I knew I would – and that aspect of the story shone for me with a believable, and obviously well-researched setting. Much as I chose to read this book for the mystery of finding treasure, it became a much more character-focused story with a solid, emotional element running through it.

A story that proved to be much more than it said on the cover.

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book review · chick-lit · Contemporary Romance · humour · NetGalley · relationships · women's fiction

Book Review – One Summer in Santorini

One Summer in Santorini

by Sandy Barker

There was something in the air that night. . .

Sarah has had enough of men. It’s time to rekindle her first true love – travel – so she books a sailing trip around the Greek islands with a group of strangers.

The very last thing Sarah wants is to meet someone new… But then a gorgeous American man boards her yacht and she knows she’s in trouble. And when she also encounters a handsome silver fox who promises her the world, she realises that trouble really does come in twos.

Will Sarah dive into a holiday fling, embark on a relationship, or stick to her plan – steer clear of men, continue her love affair with feta, and find her own way after all?

What others are saying …

The perfect holiday read to escape with this summer for fans of Annie Robertson’s My Mamma Mia Summer and Mandy Baggot’s One Last Greek Summer.

‘A summery romantic debut from a fresh voice in romantic fiction. Made me want to pack my bags for the Greek islands this instant!’ Phillipa Ashley, bestselling author of A Perfect Cornish Summer

‘A fun and flirty escapist read.’ Samantha Tonge, bestselling author of Knowing You

My Review …

A feast for the eyes with beautiful scenes of the Greek islands, a feast in general with plates of delicious Greek food, and lashings of sharp, witty humour to give you belly ache.

The story began well, with Sarah’s funny and relatable view of her break-up with Neil as told to her sister before she set off for her ‘get over it all’ jaunt around the Greek isles. On a whim she’d booked the trip – a ten-day break on a boat with strangers! And why not? After Neil, she deserved some ‘me’ time, and where better than halfway across the world, on a boat in the the middle of the ocean. If that’s not escapism, then I don’t know what is.

As we found out though, Sarah is not the luckiest of travellers – and this time was no different, losing her driver’s licence and wallet before the trip even began. Her bad luck jinx seemed to follow her everywhere, although spotting a cute American at the bus station, and then again on her bus … well, it took the edge off things. And, well, whaddya know he’s on the same trip too! Things were looking up. Or were they?

Her fellow passengers on the boat turned out to be the nicest bunch ever, restoring her faith in strangers and really helping her to relax and live in the moment. Even her roommate Hannah – a bit odd at first – became a trusted friend.

But it was her relationship with the cute American, Josh, that drove the story. She hadn’t planned on meeting anyone, let alone being as attracted to him as she clearly was. He, too, was on board just for the travel and the experience, having never left the US before, and he was most certainly not looking for love.

Despite both Sarah and Josh recognising the mutual attraction, there was a lot of ‘will they / won’t they’ going on, and this was exacerbated further with the arrival of James, aka the Silver Fox, an older, rich man who made no bones about being attracted to Sarah. She knew exactly where she stood with James; with Josh it was never totally clear, although there was a hint of jealousy when Josh realised he had a rival.

In between the ‘romance that could have been’, the group took in some amazing sights, ate some wonderful food and, as a result, bookings to Santorini will probably skyrocket as more readers learn of its beauty and that it has the best tomatoes in the world!

Saying goodbye was never going to be easy; Sarah had made some strong bonds with her fellow travellers. But as she headed back to London for a final week with her sister before flying home to Sydney, her dilemma was never more evident.

Josh, despite occasional signs to the contrary, seemed to just want a travel ‘bud’, whereas James was much keener and determined to meet up with her while she’s in London.

What’s a girl to do? She wanted a BIGGER life, but can she handle the options available to her? I guess we’ll find out in the next book. Looking forward to it already 🙂

I enjoyed this story, the imagery drew me in, the food made me drool, and the witty asides made me chuckle. I’ll definitely be back for seconds.

My thanks to Sandy Barker, Avon Books UK and Netgalley for a copy of this book. This review is all mine, and made of my own free will 😉

As always,

blog tour · book review · book trailer · friendship · relationships · romance · series

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Dinner in the Sky

The Dinner in the Sky

After a shocking confrontation with an unexpected encounter, Constance tries to piece her life back together and is on a mission to finally move on.

The thought of having her friends near is comforting as they take time out of their busy online lives and meet up at their favourite place, A Cupful of Dreams Café. Everyone seems happy enough until cracks begin to show and all is not as good as it seems. Constance tries desperately to keep positive as there’s so much to look forward to: shopping for posh frocks, dinner at The Shard and a movie premiere.

As things start to look rosy, a few odd tweets begin to pop up from nowhere. At first, they seem innocent, but as the weeks go by and premier night draws near, not only do the tweets increase but they become more obnoxious.

By the time Constance and her chums arrive on the red carpet, she’s determined to work out who the troll could be and to keep them from spoiling her evening. However as Constance soon learns, the troll wants to destroy far more than that!

Breathtaking views of London.

Posh frocks and Paparazzi

But there’s definitely trouble in the air …


Purchase Links

Amazon UK 

Amazon US 

Book Trailer

Spotify Playlist of the whole series


 

Author Bio

Anne John-Ligali is a writer and found of Books and Authors UK, a website that features author interviews, cover reveals, blog posts, features and reviews. She loves all things books, going to book events and meeting other book worms.

She has written her first series and is currently writing her first novel.

When Anne is not writing she is likely to be playing with her kids, going for walks in the park, watching Netflix or thinking up more stories.

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and held a number of IT jobs in the city.

Anne continues to write romantic comedies, women’s fiction, and has the desire to write a non-fiction book and a few children’s books.

Author Social Media Links

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anne_johnligali/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneJohnLigali

Author FB: https://www.facebook.com/annejohnligali/

http://www.annejohnligali.com

Anne’s Book Blog Links – Books and Authors UK

Books and Authors UK: www.booksandauthors.co.uk

Books and Authors UK Twitter: https://twitter.com/BooksNAuthorsUK

Books and Authors UK Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Books-and-Authors-UK-674729805905507/

 

My Review

3.5/5 stars

As the third, and longest, book in the series this is another good story with great characterisations. The relationships between the friends are all very believable. There is a strong family theme, with Constance living with her autistic son and having a very solid role model in her own mum. As a single mum, due to her son’s useless father, Constance does everything she can to make her son’s world a safe and happy place. Her love for her son comes through in bucket loads.

There are nice touches of humour throughout, and the conversations between the friendship group of authors and their other halves are so natural, you can imagine being in the group yourself.

The descriptions of characters and settings are really well done. My favourite line being “his face is dry with enough shaving bumps to grate a good piece of cheese” 🙂 If that doesn’t create an image in your mind, then you’re not trying hard enough.

While the descriptions are sublime, some scenes tend to drag with every piece of action being shown, which subsequently slows the whole story down. Another pass with a proofreader wouldn’t go amiss either as attention to detail (of which there is a lot) wavers on occasion (For instance, while the name-dropping on the red carpet with Idris Elba is hilarious, there’s also mention of the Breakfast TV hosts Pierce Morgan and Susannah York, which made me wonder whether the author had made up her own version of Piers Morgan & Susanna Reid.)

The author element of the story is interesting as a couple of them plan to publish their new books; the cover reveals are great fun, if a little unusual. Nonetheless, this is a gentle, easy story – reading all three books will give depth to the many characters – and I enjoyed reading about the eclectic mix of friends, who despite their obvious differences really do care for and support each other. A Cupful of Dreams Café sounds like a delightful place, and when the group meets up there those encounters are both funny and sad. Romance features for a few of the members, whose partners become as vital to the story as the authors themselves.

The message of hope, love and reaching for your dreams comes through loud and strong. And there’s a soundtrack too – what a great idea. Enjoy!

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cover reveal · friendship · relationships

Cover Reveal – The Secret: Violet’s Story

The Secret – Violet’s Story

(Life on the Moors – Book 3)

It’s been two years since glamorous and ambitious Violet Smith fell head-over-heels in love with blacksmith Jimby Fairfax, and moved back home to the North Yorkshire village of Lytell Stangdale to be with him.


Life couldn’t get much sweeter. Their romance is blooming and Romantique – the business she set up with Jimby’s sister Kitty, designing luxurious underwear and burlesque costumes with the odd wedding dress throw in – is thriving.


But on a romantic weekend break, a face from her past triggers a series of events which send Violet into turmoil. She finds herself with no alternative but to reveal a secret she’s buried deep for the past sixteen years. A secret she hasn’t shared with anyone, not even her best friends, Kitty and Molly, and they share everything.


With the revelation forcing a wedge between herself and Jimby, heartbroken Violet fears that he won’t ever be able to think of her in the same way again and won’t want anything more to do with her.


As ever, Kitty and Molly rally round, offering their advice and support but Vi is worried that keeping her secret was just a step too far for Jimby.


Will she succeed in showing him their love is strong enough to overcome it?


The Secret – Violet’s Story is book 3 in the Life on the Moors Series.

Pre-order Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RNLR4M5

UShttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RNLR4M5

Publication Date: 8th July

Author Bio

Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming stories with happy endings.

Social Media Links 

Blog: Eliza J Scott – elizajscott.com

Twitter: Eliza J Scott – @ElizaJScott1

Instagram: Eliza J Scott – @elizajscott

Facebook: Eliza J Scott – @elizajscottauthor

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/ElizaJScott

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/authors/eliza-j-scott

 

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book review · consequrnces · family · NetGalley · relationships

Book Review – Lost Daughter

Description:

If you think photos aren’t important… wait until they’re all you have left of your child.

Your life isn’t perfect, but you’re still happy. Your husband has stuck by you and he’s a good dad. Your daughter Becca makes your heart explode with love.

And then, in the time it takes to say ‘bad mother’, there’s no longer a place for you in your own family. Your right to see your child has disappeared.

Life goes on in your house – family dinners, missing socks and evening baths – but you aren’t there anymore. Becca may be tucked up in bed in Rose Cottage, but she is as lost to you as if she had been snatched from under your nose.

Everyone knows you deserve this, for you what you did. Except you’re starting to realize that things maybe aren’t how you thought they were, and your husband isn’t who you thought he was either. That the truths you’ve been so diligently punishing yourself for are built on sand, and the daughter you have lost has been unfairly taken from you. Wouldn’t that be more than any mother could bear?

A heart-wrenchingly emotional drama for fans of Lisa Wingate, Jill Childs, and Jodi Picoult.

My Review:

4/5 stars

This story was a slow burner for me, and I had no idea what Rachel had done that was so wrong (so wrong as to be asked to leave the house by her husband and daughter!) until two thirds through. When the truth came out, the irony was that she hadn’t been the only one at fault. Her husband, Mitch, was not averse to using her own past against her (Rachel’s father was abusive too) With all fingers pointing at her, was it any wonder she felt she was going crazy.

The story centred on three women who had each lost a child in one way or another – this wasn’t a loss as in death though. The three ladies met as a group to support each other. The group’s founder, Leona, had given her daughter up for adoption many years ago. Viv had given birth to a son with special needs at a time when it was common to place such children in an institution. (Viv, however, had maintained contact with her son, but didn’t have the relationship with him that she would have wanted) And then there’s Rachel, who was asked to leave the house by her husband AND daughter, and with whom her relationships were never the same again.

The story dealt with how they came to terms and tackled their loss. Group support was a key feature, particularly for Rachel and Viv. Their resulting friendship was genuine and meaningful. Leona, on the other hand, was more selfish in my opinion, and had only her own interests – and secrets – in mind.

Few of the characters were actually likeable in this story, with only Viv & her son, Aidan, standing out from the start.
Rachel was hard to like at first because we just didn’t get to know her completely, she seemed confused, needy, dramatic but by the end I rooted for her and so wanted her to be happy.
Her husband Mitch was by far NOT the perfect specimen of mankind he seemed to think he was.
Leona came across as nice and genuinely friendly at first, until it seemed she was really only trying to recreate what she had lost all those years ago. While her situation with her child, and her subsequent relationship worked out in the end, I’m not sure I would trust her.
Rachel’s daughter, Becca reacted in a way that was the most understandable, reacting to what she knew – or thought she knew. She, like her mother, was misled too.
Viv proved to be a lovely, lovely lady who regretted her actions of the past and did her best to make up for it. Her relationship with Aidan was charming and sweet, motherly and yet fragile. She treated Rachel in much the same way, and was a great friend to her.

This wasn’t as thrilling a read as I had initially expected from the blurb, but it was nonetheless fascinating and compelling in an altogether different way. It was more about the consequences of a single action on those involved, and how life can change dramatically in an instant. A thought-provoking read, looking at the fragility of relationships and how one wrong move can last a lifetime.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC.

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blog tour · New start · relationships · romance · starting over

Blog Tour – Worth of a Penny

The Worth of a Penny

Sweetheart Penelope Davies is what her daddy calls gullible, right after he told her she was stupid and worthless. With her cheek red from being slapped by him, and her heart trampled by a worthless boyfriend, she packs up and follows her half-brother to Fox River, North Carolina, in need of a fresh start.

Dominic MacKenna is the youngest of five brothers, the friendly one with a killer smile and easy laugh. His brothers are all grown up, and one by one they’re flying the nest, leaving him out of sorts and unsure of his place. Who is he if not the youngest MacKenna?

Penny falls in with the MacKenna brothers, welcomed in as family, and offered the kind of love and support she never knew existed. With a new job and a lot of determination, she is finding out what she’s capable of. The last thing she needs now is to fall in love with the most notorious flirt in town.

Dominic falls for the sweet strong girl with a penchant for random facts and quirky homemade dresses. All he wants is to show Penny how wonderful she is, how smart and funny, and how desired and loved—even if he has to do it as her friend.

Purchase Link – mybook.to/theworthofapenny

Isn’t that one gorgeous cover! Makes you believe summer is just around the corner, doesn’t it?

About the Author

Jess B Moore is a writer of love stories. When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her talented and stubborn children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.

Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family. She takes too many pictures of her cats, thinking the Internet loves them as much as she does. She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.

Her novels combine her interests in family, music, and small towns into thoughtful tales of growing up and falling in love.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: https://jessbmoore.com
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/authorjessb
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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjessb/

For reviews, interviews and more, check out these blogs:

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blog tour · book review · chick-lit · contemporary fiction · emotions · family · fun · relationships · women's fiction

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Love Punked

Love Punked

by Nia Lucas

Love Punked

When her life is irrevocably altered by a post-Rave tryst on her mother’s floral patio recliner, Erin Roberts’ long-standing relationship with Humiliation takes her down a path that’s not so much ‘less well trodden’, more ‘perilous descent down sheer cliffs’.

Armed with a fierce devotion to her best friend and the unrequited love for the boy she might have accidentally married at age seven, when Erin falls pregnant at sixteen, life veers off at a most unexpected tangent.

Her journey to adulthood is far from ordinary as Erin learns that protecting the hearts of those most precious to you isn’t balm enough when your Love Punked heart is as sore as your freshly tattooed arse.

Whilst raising football prodigies and trying not to get stuck in lifts with Social Work clients who hate her, Erin discovers that sometimes you have to circumnavigate the globe to find the very thing that was there all along.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK 

Amazon US 

My Review:

Love Punked is a book that draws you in, holds on tight and takes you on a roller coaster journey through the trials and tribulations of teenage Erin Roberts’ life. With memorable references to the 90s that will bring a smile to your face before making you laugh out loud, the author perfectly captures the scene. But it is with her well-drawn characters that she will really steal your heart. Erin – Ginger Feist – has a unique way of dealing with anyone who threatens her status quo: attack, attack, attack! She wears her heart on her sleeves, and will defend those close to her like the lioness she is.

Jay – Jamal Watson – is the ‘older man’ who, after a fumble an Argos recliner in her dad’s garage, goes missing for nigh on a year, enjoying life at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, only to be released to the news that Erin has given birth to his twin sons. He does the honourable thing and seeks her out to find she is doing really well thanks to her wonderfully supportive family and amazing friends.

However, having the father of her sons in their life is of vital importance to Erin, and soon Jay feels exactly the same. Both turn out to be amazing parents; they mess up now and then, but they adore their boys with every piece of their heart and soul. They even find themselves able to love each other. However, this ‘love’ comes at a cost. Determined to be the best parents they can be, both forgo the true adult loves of their lives in order to be the fabulous family unit they are.

This is a story – a long one – of doing your very best for your children, no matter the heartbreak that it causes.This is where Lucas is so deftly able to showcase her skill at creating believable characters. In fact, these are not characters, these are real, live people. The type you will meet every day, but whose struggles you may never realise.

Balanced with the most delightful touches of humour I’ve read in a long while, the story of Erin and Jay (as well as their boys, friends and family, and especially their sacrificial relationships with Gio and Casey) will hook you in and hold your attention. Emotion pours off the page, it’s all-encompassing and generous. Lucas  doesn’t shy away from anything – which explains the length of the book – but nor is she excessive or repetitive.

An outstanding debut novel (although it would benefit from another round of proofreading / editing).

If you’re in any doubt about reading this, then don’t be. You’ll be in for a treat if you get on the roller coaster. Just be prepared for a bumpy ride!

About the author:

I am a UK-based author of Contemporary women’s fiction who is passionate about telling the stories of strong, sympathetic, entertaining and engaging female characters and the lives that they lead.

My Welsh heritage and my life as a practising Social Worker with teenagers and their families heavily influences my work as does my love of all things 90’s and an adolescence spent immersed in clubbing culture.

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