The Road Trip – Susanne O’Leary

Have you ever wanted to press the escape button?
Maddy and Leanne are in need of a miracle.

Maddy can’t bear to wash another pair of her husband’s Y-fronts and if he continues to drone on about golf she might just scream.

Leanne can’t stand living with her overbearing mother for a second longer and she’s one disapproving eye roll away from a nervous breakdown.

But their luck changes when they win the lottery.

Setting off from Dublin, Maddy and Leanne lease a red convertible, winding through Europe and heading for the sun-drenched French Riviera.

But the pair have their own reasons for their adventure. Maddy has never forgotten her summer romance of twenty years ago with a gorgeous Frenchman and Leanne plans to track down the father who abandoned her as a child.

Amongst glorious sunsets and buckets of bubbly, Leanne and Maddy are searching for answers after years of wondering ‘what if?’. But there might just be some surprises in store along the way…

 

 

My review

They say that money can’t buy you happiness and there is no doubt about, but it can open doors to certain opportunities that would not have been possible otherwise. It can give you the chance to escape from things and put your needs first instead of those of others.
This story is about friendship, love lost and found, about living the dream or waking up.
Some parts were totally over the top that they were funny, others were heartbreakingly sad.
When I reached the last chapter, I was afraid that I would not get all my questions answered. I was very relieved to see that I will have my answers in the next book. I can’t wait to read what happens next.
Overall it is a trip down a bumpy road that (hopefully) will be evened in the sequel in order to lead to happy ending for all the characters. 4 stars.

Thank you, Susanne O’Leary, Bookouture and Netgalley

 

About the author

Susanne O’Leary is the bestselling author of more than 20 novels, mainly in the romantic fiction genre. She has also written three crime novels and two in the historical fiction genre.

The wife of a former diplomat, she has also been a fitness teacher and a translator. She now writes full-time from either of two locations, a rambling house in County Tipperary, Ireland or a little cottage overlooking the Atlantic in Dingle, County Kerry. When she is not scaling the mountains of said counties, or doing yoga, she keeps writing, producing a book every six months.

www.susanne-oleary.co.uk

 

 

Oh Crumbs – Kathryn Freeman

Sometimes life just takes the biscuit …
Abby Spencer knows she can come across as an airhead – she talks too much and is a bit of a klutz – but there’s more to her than that. Though she sacrificed her career to help raise her sisters, a job interview at biscuit company Crumbs could finally be her chance to shine. That’s until she hurries in late wearing a shirt covered in rusk crumbs, courtesy of her baby nephew, and trips over her handbag.

Managing director Douglas Faulkner isn’t sure what to make of Abby Spencer with her Bambi eyes, tousled hair and ability to say more in the half-hour interview than he manages in a day. All he knows is she’s a breath of fresh air and could bring a new lease of life to the stale corporate world of Crumbs. To his life too, if he’d let her.

But Doug’s harbouring a secret. He’s not the man she thinks he is.

 

 

My review

‘Never judge a book by its cover’ is a sentence you often hear. But it’s a fact that that cover is exactly what you see in the first place. To me it’s very important because it tells me straight away whether I want to read it or not. The same thing happens with the title. When he appeals to me, I will read the book of not, it will remain on the shelf.
For this book I can already tick those two boxes.
But not only this is important. The first sentence often makes or breaks a story for me as strange as this may sound. Box three ticked as well.
And that leaves the story itself of course. Well, that is easy. I loved it. It is a fluently written read with lots of banter that makes you smile but sometimes you also have to keep a tissue handy.
I had the feeling there was room for a sequel? Or even two or three? I would not mind it at all. 5 stars.

Thank you Kathryn Freeman and Choc Lit.

 

About the author

Kathryn was born in Wallingford, England but has spent most of her life living in a village near Windsor. After studying pharmacy in Brighton she began her working life as a retail pharmacist. She quickly realised that trying to decipher doctor’s handwriting wasn’t for her and left to join the pharmaceutical industry where she spent twenty happy years working in medical communications. In 2011, backed by her family, she left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self-employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) the romance in her life is all in her head. Then again, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.

The not so perfect mother – Kerry Fisher

Maia is a cleaner for ladies who lunch. With mops and buckets in tow, she spends her days dashing from house to house clearing up after them, as they rush from one exhausting pilates class to the next.

But an unusual inheritance changes the lives of Maia and her children, as they join the highly exclusive world of Stirling Hall School – a place where no child can survive without organic apricots and no woman goes a week without a manicure.

As Maia and her children try to settle into their new life, Maia is gradually drawn to the one man who can help her family fit in: Mr. Peters, a teacher at Stirling Hall School. But is his interest in her purely professional? And will it win her any favors at the school gate?

 

 

My review

This certanly is a fun read. I had my smiling a lot but sometimes my heart broke in one thousand pieces as well.
A mother always tries to do everything for her children but when there is not a lot of money available it’s hard. You are forced to make choices and sometimes it is not easy to decide which are the right ones.
I also think that there is no such thing as the perfect mother. If you put your children’s needs first and you want the best education to give them a good start in life, that makes you come pretty close to perfection in my eyes.
The story was well and fluently written and if you like to know how someone can go from underdog to topdog, this book will be right up your alley.
If you take a look at my rating, you know I truely enjoyed it. 5 stars.

Thank you, Kerry Fisher, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author

Born in Peterborough, Kerry Fisher studied French and Italian, and taught English in Corsica and Spain before climbing to holiday rep and grape picker in Tuscany. She eventually returned to England to ‘get a proper job’, and spent two years in features at Essentials magazine. She now lives in Surrey with her husband, two teenagers and a very naughty lab/schnauzer called Poppy.

Kerry’s first novel, The School Gate Survival Guide, was published by Avon, HarperCollins in 2014. Her second book, The Island Escape, came out in May 2015. It won first prize at the York Festival of Writing for the opening line: ‘I was wearing the wrong bra for sitting in a police cell’.

www.kerryfisherauthor.com

 

The bakery at Seashell Cove – Karen Clarke

A warm welcome and delicious chocolate gateau are always on the menu at the Bakery at Seashell Cove – and this summer, romance is in the air…

Meg Larson thought she had everything she wanted: she works in the local bakery, she’s months away from marrying her high-school sweetheart, and home is beautiful, sunny Seashell Cove, where the sky is blue, the sea is turquoise and the sand is golden.

Except that the bakery is up for sale and her fiancé Sam’s more interested in bikes than their relationship. When Meg receives shocking news about her family, he’s on a cycling tour and ignoring her calls – and posting selfies on Facebook with a female cyclist he looks far too cosy with…

Luckily the bakery’s estate agent, Nathan, is understanding and funny, and as the summer goes on an unexpected friendship blossoms. When the bakery is given a second lease of life under a mysterious new owner, Meg realises a change might be exactly what she needs too.

Will Meg find the happy-ever-after she dreams of in Seashell Cove?

 

 

My review

This kind of books have covers that already put a smile on my face, even before I have read one single word. They make me want to sit down, put a ‘do not disturb’ signal on the door and read.
Love, romance, betrayal, misunderstandings and of course the happy ending are some of ingredients that are needed to create a story in this category. It ticked all the boxes for me.
I felt like I could smell all the delicious creations Meg was making and the recipe at the end of the book was a surplus.
A story well constructed and thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. 5 stars.

Thank you, Karen Clarke, Bookouture and Negalley

 

About the author

After giving up her job as a library assistant, Karen now writes full-time. She’s had over 300 stories published in women’s magazines in the UK and abroad, and has written three paranormal romantic comedies, published by Little, Brown/Corsair. When she’s not writing she reads avidly, walks dogs at her local rescue centre, and is eagerly awaiting the next season of The Walking Dead. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.

www.writewritingwritten.blogspot.co.uk

Follow Me Home – D.K. Hood

‘Don’t you agree Detective? That some people deserve to die? I’ve killed the first. I’ve killed the second. Now will you catch the others, or do I have to kill them too?’

The body of Amos Price lies in a pool of blood on the polished floor of an otherwise empty house. With no signs of a break in, and no clues left at the scene, Detective Jenna Alton is at a loss.

But as the team begins to unpick the life of the reclusive victim, they discover a disturbing link between Amos and the disappearance of several young girls in the county going back years.

Days later, another brutally murdered body is found, in a remote motel on the outskirts of town. Ely Dorsey was killed in a frenzied attack and Jenna fears not only that the murders are connected to the missing girls, but that the killer hasn’t finished yet.

As Jenna tries to work out who will be next, the killer suddenly starts sending her deputy, David Kane, messages. Is she being taunted? Or does the murderer want to be caught? And will Jenna discover who’s behind these killings before more people die?

 

 

My review

You know them, those books that drag you in from the very first page. Well, this is one that can be put on that list as well. Until the last chapter the author succeeded in keeping the killer a secret and I kept racking my brain, but I would never have guessed who it was.
Although killing somebody is never to be accepted, but in this case I have to admit I felt sympathy.
I only have one remark. To me sheriff Alton was rather harsh and impolite sometimes towards her collegues. I can’t compare her to how she was in the other books because I did not read them, but maybe it had something to do with the kind of crimes that were being comitted and that she was so eager to solve everything that she acted this way.
Overall a very gripping story that kept my attention for the full 100%. 4 stars.

Thank you D.K. Hood, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author

Born in London, D.K. traveled extensively before settling in sunny Australia. Her interest in the development of forensic science to solve crime goes back many years. She is an avid reader of crime, mystery and thrillers. Writing in this genre has been an exciting adventure for her but nothing could top the thrill of receiving a proposal for her first submission,  ‘Don’t Tell a Soul’ from commissioning editor Helen Jenner at Bookouture. D.K. looks forward to sharing her spine tingling stories with you.

www.dkhood.com

 

The Ex-Wife – Jess Ryder

You’ve got everything she wants …

Newly married Natasha has the perfect house, a loving husband and a beautiful little girl called Emily. She’d have it all if it wasn’t for Jen, her husband’s ex-wife who just won’t leave them alone …

Then Natasha returns home one day to find her husband and Emily gone without trace. Desperate to get her daughter back, Natasha will do anything even if it means accepting an offer of help from Jen. But can she trust her? And do either of them really know the man they married?

 

 

My review

Oh boy, if you think the prologue messed with your head, wait untill you read the rest of the story. It’s not only a bumpy road but it’s one full of twists and turns as well.
You don’t know who you can trust and who speaks the truth and if you finally decide someone is on your side, you realize you were wrong or were you right after all?
This book is full of emotions. It’s full of suspense, but your heart will be affected as well. Normally the tension dies down at the end of a story because everything is resolved and revealed, but in this case it does let you go. The thread still lingers…
5 stars well deserved.

Thank you, Jess Ryder, Bookouture and Negalley

 

About the author

Jess Ryder is the pseudonym of Jan Page, author, screenwriter, playwright and award-winning television producer.  After many years working in children’s media, she has recently embarked on a life of crime.  Writing, that is. So she’s very excited about the publication of her debut thriller Lie to Me. Her other big love is making pots.

www.jessryder.co.uk

 

One summer – Jenny Hale

This summer will change everything…

Alice Emerson is in need of a new beginning. Broken-hearted after her beloved grandfather passes away and her relationship falls apart, she makes a pact with her best friend Sasha. Swapping city living for the beautiful sun-bleached beaches of the Outer Banks, they launch an ice cream shop together in the crumbling house by the sea where Alice spent blissful childhood holidays.

As Alice and Sasha settle into the close-knit community, making friends with the locals and tempting them with their delicious recipes, Alice finds herself falling for the warm charm and golden smile of mysterious doctor Jack Barnes. Spending time together during sunshine-filled days and long romantic evenings, Alice starts to wonder if he could be the one for her?

But just when Alice’s summer couldn’t be more perfect, she discovers an old letter tucked away in the beach house. It contains a family secret that turns Alice’s world upside down and makes her question everything she’s ever known. And then Jack complicates their summer romance with an unexpected offer…

Faced with a difficult decision, will Alice and Jack follow their hearts and find true happiness this summer?

 

 

My review

It was a lovely summer read with a lot of descriptions, so it made you feel as if you were there as well.
Some things were maybe a bit to good to be true, but hey, it’s a book and not real life and books are made for dreams to come true, aren’t they?
If you are somewhere on a beach as well or if you are enjoying the sun elsewhere or maybe you keep the book for reading while there is a storm outside, I am sure you will enjoy it if you like to read about romance, friendship and family with all the ups and downs that they bring. 4 stars.

Thank you, Jenny Hale, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author

When she graduated college, one of Jenny’s friends said “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day”. Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to her.

Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t. Whilst she didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children and hundreds of thousands of words later, Jenny finished her first novel, Coming Home for Christmas, which became an instant bestseller.

www.itsjennyhale.com

Now she’s gone – Alison James

She took a mouthful of the sweet liquid and started to feel a pounding in her head. Arms went around her waist and she was half lifted and half pulled. The last thing she was aware of was her head hitting a step…

Sixteen-year-old Emily had everything to live for. A bright, beautiful teenager with a promising future ahead of her. But in one night her life is cut short. The police say it’s an accident. But her parents think she was murdered.

When Detective Rachel Prince is called in to investigate the shocking death at the height of the Edinburgh festival, her instincts tell her that things are not as they first appear. Something is very wrong.

As the case takes an unexpected turn, Rachel discovers a chilling link with the suspicious death of another international student, who stayed in the same house as Emily two years before.

Just as Rachel finds herself on the hunt for a serial killer, a painful relationship from her own past catches up with her. And Rachel must decide what is more important – catching the killer or keeping her own secrets?

 

 

My review

I never thought it would be possible that my reading list could get any longer, but once again I have discovered an author that I want to follow.
Although I suspected somebody rather soon (and for once I was right), it did not diminish the reading pleasure at all, because the story was so well constructed and gripping.
I also liked the way DI Prince and her DS work together. We also get a glimpse of her personal life, but at the same time the author never lets your attention be pulled away too much from the crime scene. She always makes sure that we keep our eye on the ball. The only thing left to do was to read and enjoy, which I did. 5 stars.

Thank you Alison James, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author

I was born in the Cotswolds but spent most of my formative years abroad. I studied languages at Oxford, then became a journalist and author, returning to university after my two children to take a law degree. After a three-year stint as a criminal paralegal, I worked as a commercial copywriter and then a TV storyliner, before coming full circle to write fiction again.

 

Summer at the little cottage on the hill – Emma Davies

Take an endless stroll through wild meadows and breathe in the sweet aroma of flowers in full bloom. The first ever guest at the little cottage on the hill is looking for an escape, but her past is not far behind her…

Thirty-two-year-old ‘ice queen’ Isobel slams the cottage door and pulls the curtains shut. She has just six weeks to practise for a secret project that could save her career and no one must know she is here.

When Tom, the local thatcher with eyes as blue and deep as the ocean, hears the sound of her violin on the breeze he feels a tug at his heart-strings that reminds him of happier times. Who is this mysterious new lodger, and why does she look so familiar?

Desperate to find out more, Tom is devastated when Isobel refuses to enjoy everything the farm has to offer. He won’t give in, but just when it looks like Isobel is coming out of her shell, someone recognises her and the troubles from her past threaten to take away everything she has been working towards.

Will the lessons Isobel learned at the little cottage help her to stand up and face the music? Will Tom ever find a way to unlock the emotion she needs to move on?

 

 

My review

They often say that you don’t have to judge a book by it’s cover and they are right. But I do feel that a cover reflects the emotions of the story and you can deduct more or less the general feel of the story that the author has in store for you.
Here I felt I was in for romance but with a deeper meaning to it as well.
I had not read part 1 and of course I missed some of the background of the characters, but I had no trouble picking up this one.
It was beautiful and one particular moment, I felt like Tom : tears in my eyes and goose pimples galore.
It does not matter how many problems you have, when the right people are by your side, you can accomplish anything.
While I am waiting for part 3, I will keep myself busy reading part 1. 4 stars.

Thank you, Emma Davies, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author

Emma once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun, humorous, and not necessarily true anecdote about herself for their website. She wrote the following: ‘I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.’ Well the job didn’t work out but she’s now a forty something mother of three and happy to report the rest of her dream came true.

She now lives in rural Shropshire with her husband, three children, and two guinea pigs where she writes full time from a shed in the garden

What Holly’s husband did – Debbie Viggiano

Holly Hart has been married for fifteen blissful years to hubby Alex. Well… if you don’t count last Christmas, when she accidentally found a load of flirty texts on Alex’s phone. But every marriage has its ups and downs and Alex had a perfectly reasonable explanation… so why can’t Holly forget what she saw?

With the help of best friends Jeanie and Caro, as well as their handsome neighbour Jack, Holly resolves to settle her mind once and for all with a bit of sneaky detective work. So what if her husband isn’t exactly Brad Pitt? He’s hers, and if someone else is trying to steal him she wants to know who…. But the truth is way more shocking than Holly ever anticipated. Can Holly, let alone her marriage, ever recover from what she discovers?

 

 

My review

It’s not eays to be funny, but this author certainly knows how to make you laugh.
The book is full of humour and makes you realize that even if you have known people for several years, you might not know them as well as you thought you did. Life is full of surprises, but not all of them are good ones.
Who is sending those texts to Holly’s husband? Come and join Holly on her journey towards the truth. Fasten your seatbelts, because it surely is a bumpy road.
No worries, because there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and Holly, well, you simply have to love her. 5 stars.

Thank you Debbie Viggiano, Bookouture and Netgalley.

 

About the author

Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary.

She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her children return home from uni bringing her much joy… apart from their gifts of dirty laundry.

www.debbieviggiano.co.uk