The Perfect Friend – Barbara Copperthwaite

She’ll do anything for you…

My name is Alex, and my world has been shattered.
My husband has left me.
My children won’t speak to me.
My friend Carrie is the only person I have.
She’s the only one I can trust to keep all my secrets.
She’d never do anything to let me down.
Would she?



My review

Don’t we all love to have that one good friend? The one you would give everything to and know you will get the same in return? But then again, this seems more like a perfect friend and they don’t really exist, do they?
Reading this book felt like watching a tennis match. When you thought you had it figured out, the ball changed camp and you were forced to look at the story from a different angle and start your own investigation all over again. And I can assure you this happened more than once! This kept me reading with interest the whole time and I hated it when I had to put the book down to do something else.
The story was built exactely the way I like it : the way it messes with your mind and makes you think about striking up friendships in the future … or maybe you are the one not to be trusted … 5 stars.

Thank you, Barbara Copperthwaite, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

The people behind the crime, from the perpetrator to the victim and beyond, are what intrigue Barbara Copperthwaite.

She was raised by the sea and in the countryside, where she became a lover of both nature and the written word – the latter leading to a successful career as a journalist. For over twenty years people have kindly and bravely shared with her their real experiences of being victims of crime. Now, through fiction, Barbara continues to explore the emotional repercussions.




A Single Journey – Frankie McGowan

Harriet has begun to despair of her life.

With a failed relationship behind her, a business on the rocks and a flat that’s falling apart around her ears, she could really use some luck.

Elena Banbury, née Guseva, an elderly but imposing Russian woman who is Harriet’s neighbour and landlady, frequently entertains the punters at Harriet’s jewellery stall with tales of the palaces of St. Petersburg and the treasures of Fabergé. But Harriet sometimes feels, guiltily, that she could do without the endless errands that seem to fall to her as Elena’s friend.

Then, unexpectedly, when Elena dies, she leaves all her worldly goods to a grateful Harriet. In time, however, it becomes clear that others are shocked by Harriet’s good luck, too. Shocked… and very, very unhappy.

Challenged in court by Elena’s family who live in Berlin, Harriet is forced to give up her inheritance and long-dreamed-of plans for a new business, and start her life again. But with her reputation in tatters and the memory of Elena tainted, Harriet knows a great injustice has been done.

Against the advice of her friends, family and lawyers, Harriet sets off on her own, very singular journey to Berlin.

In the weeks that follow she meets rich and poor, the glamorous and the criminal, the honest and the secretive, and begins to see that perhaps she has something to learn from them all. Something to learn about herself, and something to learn about her priorities.

She knows she has to fight for justice. But, when she meets the scholarly, perceptive Neil, who generously tries to help Harriet in her mission, but who is struggling with a complicated marriage, she must also decide if she’ll fight for love, too.



My review

I really liked the cover and it is very well chosen in order to connect with the contents. It, immediately, made me think of family, lovers or friends losing contact over the years.
One thing is for sure : there is a lot going on in this book. That’s why I needed to read this when I was alone with nothing to distract me. You really have to give it your full attention in order to be able to pick up all the twists and turns. That makes the reading slower but not less enthraling. The past is mixed with present and the pages are filled with regrets and (lost) love. And then there is the question of loyalty …
The story was sometimes a bit confusing to me and I had to read some small parts twice in order to be able to follow again. To me it was not always clear where the past stopped and the present began.
Overall, it was a good read and although money often makes the world go round, people should never forget that what goes around comes around. 3 stars.

Thank you Frankie McGowan and Endeavour Ink.


About the author

My career began on teenage magazines before joining Fleet Street writing features for among others, The Sunday Times, The Times, The Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror (where I was an assistant editor and columnist).
Later as a magazine editor and while bringing up Tom and Amy, my now grown up children I launched and edited New Woman and  Top Sante before switching to writing the first of my novels. My short stories have been published in a variety of magazines, including You, (Mail on Sunday) Women’s Own, Home and Life, Image (Ireland), Redbook (US) The Lady  and Woman’s Weekly

More recently I was asked to adapt two of my novels, A Kept Woman and  A Better Life  into screenplays and my latest novel,  A Single Journey is available now. All my novels have reached the top twenty on Amazon which is the best feeling ever for any writer, but this year two of them, A Kept Woman and The Italian Lesson, both went to Number One in Australia for which I was thrilled and grateful to all those lovely people who bought them.
I am currently working on a new novel – well, I say working on it, what I mean is I’ve got a title for it, A Short Break – and the name of the heroine so all I need now is to try not to lose the plot.

Marmalade Martini – Julie Forester

‘You won’t believe what happened last night…’

For Jamie Barker, London life is one long cocktail of wealthy clients, after-hours bars and one-night flings with all the wrong women. Who cares, as long as it keeps her best friend off her back about commitment, right?

But one night, she drops her keys: a simple slip that sets off a chain reaction of discoveries, misunderstandings, hope and heartache. As the dark secrets of Jamie’s past begin to catch up with her, she finds out that loyalty can be deceptive, and true love might be within her sights – if she can only work out where to look.



My review

When I want to read a book, I first of all have to like the title and cover. If those two don’t attract me, I won’t even pick it up to read the blurb. When that entices me and all three boxes are ticked, I can finally sit down, relax and enjoy. Well, this book had me won over in seconds. I really felt like reaching out, grabbing the glass and sip it while diving into the story.
The contents did not dissapoint. It’s not only about a woman looking for love and finally also commitment as well but also about danger, family and secrets being revealed. What’s life without that one friend who is always around and you can count on? Or can’t you?
I liked the fluent writing style with descripions that make the story come alive. Often a debut has much lower standards than this one.
I have the feeling we can look forward to a second part … I certainly wouldn’t mind.

4 Stars

Thank you, Julie Forester for giving me the book to read and review.


About the author

The arts, in all their forms, have been an interest and hobby throughout the author’s life – from painting and drawing to live music and theatre. Writing novels has been one creative seed that has been growing and gathering momentum for many years, so the chance to become a published writer was an opportunity that she wasn’t going to pass up!

She lives outside north London with her wife, and their 18 year old deaf cat, Amelie – a gentle, sweet-natured little old lady.

Surrounded by beautiful countryside, it is not unusual, after a long Sunday walk, to find her in their quirky little local pub, rehydrating with a pint of craft ale!

As a frequent visitor to the UK’s vibrant capital, London is the inspiration and setting for her debut novel, Marmalade Martini. Following the success of this first book, and prompted by reader-request, Forester is currently embarking on the sequel – Rock & Rhubarb.

The Island Villa – Lily Graham

When Charlotte’s husband James tragically dies, he leaves her an unexpected gift – her grandmother’s beautiful villa, Marisal, on the Spanish island of Formentera.

As she begins to explore her new home, and heal her broken heart in the warm golden sunshine, Charlotte discovers that her grandmother Alba has been keeping secrets about her life on the island. Intrigued by her family’s hidden history, Charlotte uncovers a devastating love affair that put many lives at risk and two sisters torn apart by loss.

Can the heartbreaking truth of the island’s dark history finally be laid to rest? Or will the secrets of the past shake the new life and love that Charlotte is close to finding?



My review

When you loose someone you love very much, you feel like the world has come to an end. It’s hard to cope and then you receive his gift …
This story takes you on a journey to a Spanish island. No, it’s not a tale about sun, sand and beach. There is a lot more to it. You are taken back in time and brought back to the present. Little by little you fall back on your feet enveloped by the history of your ancestors and new friends. You realize you have a lot to live for and it’s your turn to keep the past alive. Even though you miss that one person you would like to share it with, he will always be with you, having secured that big part of your heart.
I liked the set up of the book and I was fascinated by the historical part. Although it happend several years ago, it is the base of who and what you are now. I truely enjoyed it. 5 stars.

Thank you, Lily Graham, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

Lily has been telling stories since she was a child, starting with her imaginary rabbit, Stephanus, and their adventures in the enchanted peach tree in her garden, which she envisioned as a magical portal to Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree. She’s never really got out of the habit of making things up, and still thinks of Stephanus rather fondly.

She lives with her husband and her English bulldog, Fudge, and brings her love for the sea and country-living to her fiction.


The Photograph – Debbie Rix

Italy, 1958: Rachael is a young widow with a small child. After a lifetime of running for survival, of not knowing who to trust and where to call home, she finds herself in a place of safety. On a sun-drenched Italian island for one carefree summer the troubles of her past fade away and she falls in love. But will Rachael’s new-found happiness bring her further heartache?

England, 2017: Sophie has a handsome husband, a gorgeous house in the English countryside and a successful career as an anthropologist. But the one thing she longs for is a baby of her own. As she struggles to conceive, cracks begin to appear in her marriage. So Sophie throws herself into her work and tries to seek comfort in childhood memories of her beloved grandmother Rachael.

One afternoon, Sophie finds a forgotten letter and an exquisite silk bracelet hidden in Rachael’s old writing desk. Intrigued, she begins to unravel the extraordinary story of her grandmother’s past – and a secret that has the power to change everything…



My review

Usually I don’t really like historical stories, but something in the blurb made me change my mind and read it. I am so happy that I did. It is simply gorgeous.
I love the way the past and the present are alternated and slowly you see the two parts come together and become one.
It’s always nice to learn something from a book especially when it’s woven into the story and you don’t get the feeling you are back at school. I was so fascinated by the part about the silk that I looked it up.
This book is a mixing bowl of a whole range of emotions and the result is top-shelf.     5 stars                                                                                                          Thank you, Debbie Rix, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

Debbie Rix has had a long career in journalism, including working as a presenter for the BBC.  Her first novel, The Girl with Emerald Eyes was set around the building of the tower of Pisa and she has since released Daughters of the Silk Road and The Silk Weaver’s Wife. Debbie writes heartbreaking historical novels about love, tragedy and secrets.

The Invitation – Keris Stainton

When Piper James unexpectedly gets a message from her insanely hot teenage crush Rob Kingsford, inviting her to their school reunion, her heart flips. She hasn’t seen Rob in eight years – and he’s always been the one who got away.

Throw in some old friends (and frenemies), a sister on the edge of a meltdown and a few too many cosmos and you have all the ingredients for a real night to remember… Will Piper and Rob finally get together, the second time around?



My review

I think it’s quite clear that nobody is perfect, but some seem to think they are and therefore are allowed to call people names. Do they ever take the time to consider how hurtful they are? No, of course not. To them it’s fun and to humiliate seems to be their second nature. Sometimes I wish they could be, even only once, on the receiving end …
It takes a strong person to stand above this all, be happy with what nature gave them and encourage people to do the same. To this, I doff my cap.

The book is about the importance of family, second chances and friends.
This story makes you smile but makes you reflect as well. 4 stars.

Thank you, Keris Stainton, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

Keris lives in Lancashire with her husband and two sons. She’s written a bunch of books for young adults and children, and is obsessed with Twitter, tea, and 1D.

The Cottage on Sunshine Beach – Holly Martin

Melody Rosewood loves her new home in idyllic Sandcastle Bay. The beautiful little cottage on the edge of Sunshine Beach, with its bright yellow door and view of the sea has captured her heart. And she loves being close by to her family and best friend Tori Graham.

Life by the sea is pretty much perfect, there’s just one thing missing…

Gorgeous Jamie Jackson, with his cheeky grin and adorable puppy, works as a sculptor opposite Melody’s jewellery shop. From the moment he and Melody meet sparks fly. But despite their instant attraction, a past heartache is holding Jamie back.

As Melody starts to make a life for herself in the close-knit, quirky seaside community, she realises Jamie could be the one for her. But as the two of them take a chance on romance, it’s one dating disaster after another. Are they destined to always be just good friends?

Or will Melody finally find her happily-ever-after in Sandcastle Bay?



My review

What is not to love about this book? I, for sure, cannot mention one thing. It’s like coming home when you read about that little village at the beach again and meeting up with the characters of the first book. It feels like coming together with old friends.
The story shows us that we don’t have to change into something we are not to please other people. No matter who or what you are, there is always someone you loves you. The book is full of love and romance but there is room enough for parts that make you smile or even laugh out loud. That makes it a fun read without ever being cheesy.
This author has such a lovely writing style that you want to keep on reading. You are transported from your home to the sunny beach in Sandcastle Bay, a place I would not mind living either.
I would be very sad to see this series come to an end, so I hope the author has a lot of inspiration left. 5 stars.

Thank you Holly Martin, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

Holly emerged onto the Chick Lit scene by winning the Belinda Jones Travel Club short story competition – and has not looked back since.  Her adult fiction debut, The Guestbook, hit number 5 in the Amazon chart and she has now signed a 2 book deal with Bookouture.


The Date – Louise Jensen

Something bad has happened to Alison Taylor.

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future.

By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her.

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her. She can’t recognise her friends and family. And she can’t recognise the person who is trying to destroy her…



My review

Okay, I am jealous. Jealous of people who can write like this. From the first page you know you can better fasten your seatbelts and check that your airbags are in mint condition, because I can assure you that you will need them in good working order!
Your brain will have a hell of a job keeping up with what your eyes are registering. Once the plot is being unraveled you realize what emotions can do to people.
This book is a rollercoaster where psychological twists keep piling up, just the way I like it.
Last night I had about an hour to read but I wanted to put it on hold until this morning so I could finish it with my mind still fresh. Once I dropped my son at the bus stop, I sat down to pick it up again. Everything else had to wait.
Overall the story was gripping and unputdownable. It gave me the creeps and it touched my heart. 5 stars.

Thank you Louise Jensen, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

Louise Jensen always wanted to be Enid Blyton when she grew up, and when that didn’t happen she got a ‘proper’ job instead.

Several years ago an accident left Louise with a disability and she began writing once again, to distract her from her pain and compromised mobility. But writing turned out to be more than just a good distraction. Louise loves creating exciting worlds, dark characters, and twisted plots.

Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, sons, a dog and a rather naughty cat, and also teaches mindfulness.


The Almost Wife – Jade Beer

Three women, three white dresses, three big days all set… but only two will make it up the aisle, and only one will marry. An unforgettable page-turner about love, family and life’s unexpected second chances.

Jessie has always known she doesn’t belong. Only her fiancé Adam makes her feel good enough, exactly as she is. Jessie wants everything to be perfect for their lavish wedding day, but she’s already cracking under the pressure of pretending to be someone she’s not with her demanding future in-laws.

Dolly works hard to keep up appearances – but what’s the point of only eating salad when her boyfriend Josh is never home to appreciate the result? Dolly is sure he’ll change once they’re married with a family; Josh did say he wanted those things… right?

Emily couldn’t be happier: she’s got funny, loving parents, a loyal fiancé and a job she looks forward to. Everything’s ready for their intimate country wedding… until some shocking news sends her life spiralling out of control.

Perfect strangers on the first page, Jessie, Dolly and Emily’s paths will cross in the most unexpected of ways. And as their stories collide, their lives will take a turn you’ll never predict.



My review

One of my favourite series on tv is ‘Say yes to the dress’ because I love looking at wedding dresses. Needless to say I was very pleased when I read it was about as much as three brides. I secretly hoped that I would get a glimpse of their attire and I was really spoiled.
But this book is about so much more. Three brides, but three totally different women.
One really selfish girl who comes to her senses, one who refuses to be a doormat anymore and takes her life in her own hands and one whose world comes crashing down.
All three stories are beautiful and filled with emotions. You want to shake the first girl for being the way she is now, you are encouraging the second one for being so brave and you feel your heart break in a million pieces for the third one.
The book is an emotional journey filled with tears of happiness and sadness. 5 stars.

Thank you Jade Beer, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

I’m Jade. I’m a novelist, mother to two young daughters and the editor of Conde Nast Brides.

I love writing about women and all the challenges we face in our daily lives. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredibly talented women throughout my career as a journalist and editor – ones who juggle the most all-encompassing careers with family and friendships and everything else that life throws at them. They often make it look so easy. But we all know it’s not. And that need to present one version of yourself to the world, while keeping the grittier, less polished reality under wraps, is a thread that runs strongly through my debut novel, The Almost Wife.

In my day job as the editor of Conde Nast Brides, I share my working life with editors of some of the glossiest, luxury brands in the world – Vogue, Tatler, Glamour – and I have the enormous priviledge of travelling the world and sitting front row at beautiful fashion shows and working with the world’s leading florists, cake makers and stylists. But I also take a daily peek into the lives of young women who are engulfed in one of the most exciting times of their lives – planning their wedding days. This, above everything else, is the really fun bit. Being on the front line if you like. Hearing their thoughts, fears, worries and ambitions for the future. This really powerful cocktail of glamour and reality dances across every page of The Almost Wife and is currently being poured into my second novel which is due out in October this year.

Although work places me full time in London, my heart is in the countryside where I live with my husband and our two daughters. The Cotswolds is where my husband and I used to spend romantic weekends plotting our future together long before children came along and is now where I watch them both run free, hoping I will keep them close for many years to come.

Take a peek inside my life on Instagram @jadebeerbrides

One Summer Weekend – Juliet Archer

One summer weekend can change everything … 

Alicia Marlowe’s life as an executive coach is well under control – until she meets her new client, Jack Smith. Jack’s reputation precedes him and Alicia knows immediately that he spells trouble. Not least because he reminds her of someone else – a man who broke her heart and made her resolve never to lower her guard again.

Taking Jack on as a client is a risk, but one that Alicia decides to take for the good of her career. As long as she keeps him in his place, she might just make it through unscathed. But Jack has other ideas – including a ‘business’ trip to the Lake District. One summer weekend with him is all it takes to put Alicia’s carefully organised world in a spin …



My review

When you look at the cover and you see the clear blue sky and it’s as if you can feel the sun on your face, you hear the birds sing and you can smell the flowers. It seems like there is no care in the world, but you know that with this kind of books, the road to a happy end is often bumpy and winding. Here it’s no different. After a game of attraction and rejection, a few misunderstandings and the much needed reconciliation, two people are reunited and live happily ever after.
That’s what I like about this genre. No matter how many obstacles, love always wins.
A nice read where the coachee learns from the coach and vice versa. 4 stars.

Thank you, Juliet Archer and Ruby Fiction.


About the author

Juliet Archer writes award-winning romantic comedy for Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction. She has been known to spend many happy hours matching irresistible heroes with their equally irresistible chocolate counterparts – watch out for the dark nutty ones!

Her debut novel, The Importance of Being Emma, won the Big Red Read Book of the Year 2011 Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the 2009 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. Her second novel, Persuade Me, was shortlisted for the 2011 Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read Award.

Juliet was born and bred in North-East England and now lives in Hertfordshire. She gives talks all over the UK and in the USA about the classic authors who inspire her work. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Jane Austen Society. Her non-writing career has spanned IT, acquisitions analysis, copy editing, marketing and project management, providing plenty of first-hand research for her novels.

You can find out more about her books and talks at http://www.julietarcher