When I’m not writing, you’ll find me with a book or two on the go. I love finding a book to get lost in; the sort you just can’t put down. I always write reviews and place on Amazon because I know how important they are to the author and other buyers and I share good books on my Facebook and Twitter pages.
I read and review for net galley and I’ll be adding any good reads from net galley onto this page when the books are due to be published. If you enjoy women’s fiction with a touch of romance or a thriller, you’ll find my favourite of the month listed and rated here.
The Wife Between Us
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I devoured this entertaining page turner in two days. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and whether there would be another twist. I can’t go into the plot because of ‘spoilers’ but I can tell you the characters are compelling and this is a tightly plotted thriller with no annoying loose ends. Every bit of back story is part of the journey and all is revealed in the end. Brilliant!
I Let You Go Clare Mackintosh ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A thriller and police procedural with twists to keep me enthralled. I loved this book and stayed up late to finish it . It had mixed reviews and I was so glad to find that the characters and their actions were credible yet it was exciting. I bought this late in its day but well worth it and I’m now a fan of Clare. Glad there are more to read!
You Me Everything Catherine Isaac 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Jess is bringing up William on her own but, to please her mother, she agrees to take him to France for his tenth summer to encourage his father to bond with him. Adam isn’t a hands on father and it seems the plan isn’t working. What can Jess do to bring about a change? Does she really want to? I warmed to Jess and enjoyed this novel about whehter to make single parenthood work or whether to rekindle a relationship and the friend and family dilemmas were woven into the story with skill to add to the whole novel. A great read.
The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I enjoyed this perfectly delightful story of imperfect characters who were full of surprises and drew me into their village life. I’ve eaten several slices of cheesecake whilst reading it and would love to taste a sample of Marnie’s with its secret ingredient.. I raced through the book enjoying it’s twists and turns and ,I won’t include spoilers, but I loved the uplifting ending. Millie Johnson can tell a great story and her characters are always compelling and heartwarming.
The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Sarah is in her late thirties when she falls deeply in love and has a few perfect days with Eddie. They both know it is something special but then he doesn’t get in touch as he promised. She has been ‘ghosted’ yet she is sure their connection was genuine. What can have happened? Can she take heed of her friends’ advice to move on? Of course not! Sarah and Eddie involve us in their story of love, secrets, grief and dilemmas and have us rooting for a happy ending. Thanks to net galley for this copy.
December 17 THIS IS DUE FOR RELEASE IN Jan 2018
Faking Friends – Jane Fallon ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amy and Mel have been friends since
they were kids. Or have they? Is Mel capable of friendship? Does Amy make too many excuses for Mel?
This story is told mainly from Amy’s point of view with a few chapters given over to Mel which give insights into her selfish devious mind. It tells of a broken romance and a toxic friendship but shows how getting even with best friend Mel and her fiancé Jack is not as rewarding as Amy thinks it will be. Can Amy cut the ties with Mel, find freedom and find true friendship?
The dialogue sparkles, we see how Amy is attracted to the fun and lively side of Mel’s character so Mel is not a two dimensional ‘baddie’ and we meet other great characters such as Kat and Geoff. The plot twists and turns with an added love interest called Simon putting in an appearance to confuse the issue.
I was rooting for Amy to find a way out of the whole sorry mess she had landed in and loved the way she developed more backbone.
Another brilliant read from Jane Fallon.
The Image of you : I thought I knew you but you’re a liar – Adele Parks ⭐⭐⭐
I haven’t liked the titles of the last two Adele Parks books and would not have bought them if I hadn’t liked so many of her previous books. Tag lines such as, “I thought I knew you. But you’re a liar” reminds me of trashy magazine headlines. For me, this book was disappointing on many levels. The main deception that the novel hinged upon was obvious from the beginning. I can’t say much about the far-fetched plot because it would include ‘spoilers’ There were holes in it and I couldn’t suspend disbelief. I like Adele Parks writing style and so I stuck with the novel to the end but was left feeling disappointed that this talented writer is moving away from her well thought out novels about characters with depth and joining the ‘ grip lit’ gang with silly plots and two dimensional characters.
Anything You Do Say. Gillan McAllister ⭐⭐⭐
I found this novel hard to get into. The two stories in alternating chapters pulled me out of each storyline in a jarring way. After a few chapters, I just read the reveal narrative first and then the conceal narrative afterwards and this was a way to finish the book. I didn’t warm towards the main characters, I thought both plots were far-fetched and I was glad to reach the end each time. I have give three stars because I did like the author’s writing style.
I received a copy from net galley for a fair review.
My Summer of Magic Moments Caroline Roberts 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
It is never too late for a romantic summer read and, as I was lucky enough to be in Spain during Octber, I took this along to read. I enjoyed Clare’s story immensely and, having experienced her cancer journey first hand, I like the way she moved on with her life.
When Clare takes a quiet break in the beautiful Northumberland coast she doesn’t expect to find a handsome hunk who enjoys skinny dipping at break of day as a neighbour. After a magical moment of dancing on the beach, do Ed and Clare fall for one another? True love never runs smoothly does it?
Sept 2017 The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde Eve Chase ⭐⭐⭐⭐
An eerie story about a missing child is interwoven with two other stories of different timelines. Five years after Audrey Wilde vanishes, her cousins stay with her parents. Many years later, Jessie is enchanted by the house and wants to make it a family home for herself, her husband and daughter and her teenage stepdaughter Bella. What does Bella find out?
This is a beautifully written atmospheric novel and, at times, the plot drew me into the lives of the characters. I preferred the story of the sisters in the fifties to the present day story and this is unusual for me as I love contemporary fiction.
Thanks go to the publishers and net galley for sending me this in return for an honest review.
The Man I Thought you were Leah Mercer 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
What makes a caring husband walk out and leave his wife, his job and his home? Anna doesn’t know but she’s determined to find out. Mark does not want Anna to find him but faces a difficult journey and a search of his own. This novel explores how well we really know our partners and their past history and reveals how secrets can return to haunt you as it tells the love story of Mark and Anna from both viewpoints. A sad yet uplifting novel full of engaging characters facing dilemmas and struggling to deal with them. I enjoyed reading this Leah Mercer novel as much as her first. I received a copy of this from net galley in exchange for a fair review.
Last Seen Alive Claire Douglas 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This one is for psychological thriller fans who like a page turner with twists right to the end. A well crafted tale where everything is not as it seems. When a couple decide to exchange properties and take a week long break in Cornwall what can go wrong? We become embroiled in Libby and Jamie’s story and, because their characters are well drawn we want to know more. It’s hard to say more without revealing parts of the plot.
I was sent this by net galley in exchange for a fair review.
The Break Marian Keyes 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
When Amy’s husband, Hugh, decides to take a six month sabbatical from their marriage it disrupts the entire family and the repercussions extend to Amy’s friends too. Amy finds that, in some ways, her whole life has changed but the stress of the daily grind remains the same. What brought their marriage to this point? Is Hugh the only one to blame for ruining their relationship? What is the impact on their three girls? How will Amy deal with the break and Hugh’s planned return? Can Amy love someone new? This is not just about Amy and Hugh and their relationship, the whole family of strong female characters, Amy’s colleagues and her friends play their own part in the drama. I have enjoyed all of Marian Keyes novels and find her characters live with you even when you put the book down. I’m sorry I’ve finished it. This is a fair review in exchange for a copy from netgalley and I’ll be buying a paper copy when it is published. July 2017
When She Was Gone Lisa Jewell – 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I love Lisa Jewell’s writing and this lived up to all of my expectations. I highly recommend it without reservation.
Laurel, who has grieved for her missing seventeen year old daughter for years, goes through a turbulent time after a chance meeting with an attractive man in a cafe. As the story unfolds, we find out that things aren’t quite as they seem and Laurel may finally get the answers about her daughter, Ellie, she has been looking for.
Lisa explores the breakdown and the reformation of family relationships after a tragedy with insight and this draws the reader I into the family’s story. Laurel’s relationship with her daughter Hannah has been neglected and her marriage to Paul failed after her grief for Ellie, her golden girl, took centre stage in her life.
Floyd, a complex flawed character, is written with compassion. He is brilliant at Maths but struggles with relationships and we can see why he made the choices that result in a mess of tangled relationships.
This novel springs surprises right to the end and I would like to thank net galley for sending me a copy to review.
The Postcard Fern Britton – 3 ⭐⭐⭐
I enjoyed reading The Postcard by Fern Britton which I received from net galley in exchange for a fair review. It takes the reader to a Cornish village full of interesting characters and interests us in the ups and downs of their lives.
Penny Leighton (career woman, vicar’s wife and new mother) has everything she thought she wanted but she isn’t content. We see how her past has shaped who she is and we watch her slowly come to terms with her new role. Penny’s sister, Suzie, is a manipulative character who tries to stir things up in the village but the villagers are all quite astute. Ella, an illustrator is visiting but stays longer than planned and become involved with the community. The women are strongly drawn characters and I was drawn into their world.
The men are not so vividly portrayed and Simon, the vicar, seems, to me, to be a weak character who cannot understand Penny or provide her with the emotional support that she needs. It’s hard to imagine Penny ever having fallen in love with Simon and her affection for him seems to be much less than that for her daughter. She treats him quite badly at times and he doesn’t say much.
Ella’s story and her reason for visiting Trevay, to find out about an inheritance, drags on through the book and is totally unresolved. I think this cliff hanger is rather clumsily leading the way for a sequel about Ella. I just found that a solicitor keeping her in limbo for so long was unrealistic and she got news in an email which meant that her months of hanging around in Cornwall hadn’t been strictly necessary. For me, this partly revealed storyline jarred rather than intrigued.
The Magic of Ramblings Kate Field 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I had to buy this when I saw that Kate had won the Joan Hessayon award for promising debut authors. I loved the setting of a Gothic old country house, the reclusive lady Frances who lived there and the way the community helped Cassie, who arrived to be Frances’ companion, to rebuild her self esteem and her life. The addition of a bearded doctor with a short fuse but kind eyes brought the perfect blend of tension and romance into the story . I’m sure you’ll love it and you’ll want to visit Ramblings .