#Review ~ The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry @Sabah_k @AvonBooksUK

Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane!

Picture

I am delighted to reveal an extract from Chapter 3 for you all to read….

‘Roxanne emerged from Leicester Square tube station and made her way through the crowds towards the nerve centre of women’s magazines. She stopped to buy her coffee from her usual kiosk and quickened her pace through Soho, more through nervousness than because she was running late. Her stomach tightened as she glanced up at her publishing company’s block. It was impressive from the outside, all blue-tinted mirrored glass, the kind of place a young wannabe might gaze up at and think, Oh to work somewhere like that! Wouldn’t that be so glamorous? Imagining grandeur, visitors were often surprised at the scruffiness of Roxanne’s magazine’s office.

In she walked, greeting her colleagues, some of whom were already lounging on mats on the floor. Marsha, who was already arranged in a cross-legged position, gave her an inscrutable look, so Roxanne flashed her a tense smile. To be fair, it wasn’t the actual yoga that most of the team objected to. It was having it foisted upon them every single weekday, in an environment that was hardly suited to it. Everyone was too crammed together on the stained, ancient carpet. This was a place for work, not for ‘connecting with the breath’. The beige walls were scuffed, the tiny kitchen equipped with no more than a cheap toaster, a kettle and a rather sour-smelling fridge housing a half-empty bottle of Baileys that Roxanne suspected had been languishing there since the 90s. Six magazine teams were based in the building, ranging from the glossy YourStyle to mass-market titles in the diet and fitness markets. Roxanne regarded exercise in the same way as she viewed the kale in her fridge; in other words, she knew she should involve herself with it, but would prefer not to, if possible.

In the office loos, Roxanne changed reluctantly into her yoga kit. There were certain items of clothing she simply couldn’t ‘do’. Culottes and waterfall cardigans fell under this banner, as did the cheap leggings she’d bought, begrudgingly, for these morning classes, hence being unable to bring herself to wear them for the journey into work. Now appropriately attired, she hurried back into the main office and plonked herself down on the consistently last-to-be-taken mat next to Marsha’s.

Throughout the class, she tried, unsuccessfully, to calm herself in readiness for her meeting. With Marsha twisting her skinny body into all manner of contortions a mere three feet away, it was virtually impossible. Perhaps Marsha had requested the ‘chat’ today just to establish her authority? If so, it really wasn’t necessary; there was no doubt that she was boss now, although it never even occurred to Roxanne to pull rank with her team. Despite her senior position, she wasn’t concerned about status at all. All she cared about was creating beautiful pictures and, alongside that, trying to keep her team happy and motivated so they could all work well together. That was what mattered’

I really enjoyed reading the second instalment of the ‘Rosemary Lane’ series and have bought the first book already – The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane which focusses on Della (who is Roxanne’s sister).

This story focusses on Roxanne who grew up on Rosemary Lane and couldn’t wait to leave for the bright lights and big city of London as soon as she turned 18, where she has forged a successful career as a Fashion Editor on a glossy magazine.

All is not well though and she eventually takes a break and goes back home to Burley Bridge to see her sister Della. Expecting to find the sleepy old village she has left behind she is surprised to discover the sleepy village is no more and following the opening of the bookshop, other shops have popped up and made the village more alive!

I loved the characters in Burley Bridge, they are just the type of neighbours I would like and I became quickly hooked on the storyline and interested to see how things would turn out. There are a couple of surprises but I found this to be a lovely easy read and have already recommended to friends who like to read similar books.

I can’t want to read the other instalments in this series as I’ve become quite attached to the lovely characters.

Bakery Blog Tour.png

 

Advertisements

#Review 99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter

99 Red Balloons: A chillingly clever psychological thriller with a stomach-flipping twist by [Carpenter, Elisabeth]

Published by Avon on 24 August 2017

About the Book:-

Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

My Review:-

I was lucky enough to win a copy of 99 Red Balloons on Twitter and couldn’t wait to delve in as I had heard good things about it.

There have been some similar books written recently with the same theme but this captivates you from the first chapter and doesn’t let go of you until you have turned the last page.

I was hooked from the first chapter which begins with a child abduction and you follow the emotions of several characters which I really enjoyed.

Considering this is the first book by Elisabeth Carpenter I thoroughly enjoyed the story she had woven and would find myself eager to read just another page at any opportunity.

It’s not an easy subject to tackle but I was gripped and desperate to find out how this story would pan out.

I found this to be a very well written and thought out story that I will recommend to others.

Thank you to Jacob Collins for my copy of this book.

 

Little White Lies and Butterflies by Suzie Tullett #BlogTour #LittleWhiteLiesandButterflies @SuzieTullett @SarahHardy681 @BombshellPub

Welcome to my turn on the Blog Tour of Little White Lies and Butterflies by Suzie Tullett!

Little White Lies and Butterflies

About the Book

‘Lydia knows first-hand that ‘having it all’ isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. As far as she’s concerned, when it comes to job versus family, it’s a case of one or the other. And whilst most women her age have spent year climbing the corporate ladder, shes’s made a career out of bagging her perfect man. Now nearly thirty and still single, Lydia wonders if she’d made the right choice.

Realising the time has come to take stock, she goes against her family’s wishes and goes travelling in the hope of finding a new direction. At least that’s the plan.

So when Sam comes along, she decides to tell a little white lie, re-inventing herself as a professional chef – not exactly the best new identity for a woman who can’t cook. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long and when her family show up unexpectedly things go from bad to worse…

Can Lydia find love? Will she ever learn to cook?

Little White Lies and Butterflies is a heart-warming comedy and finding your place in the world’

My Review

I really enjoyed reading this crazy madcap story of 29 year old Lydia, (soon to turn the dreaded 30!) who after a lifetime of searching for Mr Right and getting nowhere, decides to just one day leave and go and discover herself and decide what she really wants to do in Greece!

She turns up on the beautiful sounding Greek island of Kalymnos with no idea of what she wants to do and is immediately befriended by the Fatolitis family who own the Taverna and apartment she is going to be staying in.

When trying to brush off Sam, an eager climber, she tells a little white lie and another one and another one…….before she realises it she has reinvented herself as a professional chef who is in Greece to sample the local cuisine. It is here that the story starts and her lies start to unravel and she inadvertently finds herself agreeing to cater for the daughter of the Fatolitis family and her wedding…….in order to keep her secret, she also has to go on a date with Sam (who most definitely not her ideal man or so she keeps telling herself!)

To add even more stress into an already stressful situation, her family arrive in Greece!

I really enjoyed the easy flow of the writing and storyline, frustrating as Lydia can be, I liked her and although she isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, she is still striving for that perfect someone. Although she struggles with her family (don’t we all) she comes to realise they are HER family and they will be there for her.

The location was absolutely perfect and what I imagined a Greek Island to be. It is so well described that I felt I was there witnessing all the madness that Lydia kept getting herself into!

A lovely easy read – perfect to read on the beach or a perfect getaway to get through the winter months!

I would like to thank Sarah Hardy and Bombshell Books for issuing me with a review copy of this book and for asking me to participate on the Blog Tour.

The next stop of the Tour is Saturday 16th September!

BLOG BLITZ - Little White Lies.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lemon Tree Café by Cathy Bramley ~ Review #BlogTour #TheLemonTreeCafe @CathyBramley @hannahlbright29 @TransworldBooks

Welcome to my turn on the blog tour for The Lemon Tree Café by Cathy Bramley. This is my first ever tour so I am very happy to start with a book that I really enjoyed reading!

The Lemon Tree Café was published on 24 August 2017 by Transworld and is available in paperback. The book was originally published as a four part e–book serial. This is the complete story in one complete book.

 The Lemon Tree Cafe picture

When Rosie Featherstone finds herself unexpectedly jobless, the offer to help her beloved Italian grandmother out at the Lemon Tree Cafe – a little slice of Italy nestled in the rolling hills of Derbyshire – feels like the perfect way to keep busy. Surrounded by the rich scent of espresso, delicious biscotti and juicy village gossip, Rosie soon finds herself falling for her new way of life. But she is haunted by a terrible secret, one that even the appearance of a handsome new face can’t quite help her move on from.

Then disaster looms and the cafe’s fortunes are threatened . . . and Rosie discovers that her nonna has been hiding a dark past of her own. With surprises, betrayal and more than one secret brewing, can she find a way to save the Lemon Tree Cafe and help both herself and Nonna achieve the happy endings they deserve?

 

Cathy Bramley is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and having read her previous books I was eagerly awaiting the chance to read and review her new book.

The story begins with Rosie, who has just left her job and returns home and offers to work in her Nonna’s café before beginning the search for a new job. Nonna Maria, is a strong willed Italian lady who is still refusing to retire even though she is in her 70’. Having already sent Rosie’s mum packing when trying to help, Rosie has her work cut out trying to persuade Nonna that she needs to take it easy and maybe realise that no matter what age you are, love can still blossom when you least expect it..

I really loved reading this story, it wasn’t just your run of mill chick lit book and I genuinely cared for the characters, who were all different in their own ways with some harbouring some secrets………like a normal family! They weren’t perfect and they all had issues that are explored throughout the book.

Rosie delves deeper into Nonna’s background and why she left Italy and I found this part of the story so intriguing and also not at all what I was expecting which just kept me even more gripped!

Rosie’s story was also so well written and explained certain aspects of how she behaved. Although there are some difficult issues and storylines mentioned, they are handled well. As the story progresses I loved reading about the closeness of the family and how they pulled together when they needed to despite their differences.

I finished this book with a sigh and a little tear in my eye (and also very hungry after the wonderful food descriptions!) – I can highly recommend!

One of my other favourite authors, Trisha Ashley, has described this book as ‘delightfully warm with plenty of twists and turns’ and I think that just sums it up perfectly.

I would like to thank NetGalley for issuing me with a review copy of this book and Hannah Bright for asking me to participate on the Blog Tour.

The next stop of the Tour is Wednesday 30th August where it will be turn of the lovely Linda at Lindasbookbag.com

The Lemon Tree Cafe

 

In this Grave Hour By Jacqueline Winspear

In this Grave Hour

Published by Allison & Busby on 14 March 2017.

I was sent this book by Ailsa at Allison & Busby and although it took me a while to get around to reading it, I’m very glad I did.

Maisie Dobbs is fast becoming one of my favourite characters and I have loved reading about her characters progression throughout the stories. The first Maisie Dobbs book was set in 1929 and have progressed throughout the years until the latest which starts in 1939 just as war is declared. I’ve not read all the Maisie Dobbs stories so I am glad that I have some to catch up with!

“Britain is at war.

Returned from a dangerous mission onto enemy soil and having encountered an old enemy and the Fuhrer himself along the way, Maisie Dobbs is fully aware of the gravity of the current situation and how her world is on the cusp of great change.

One of those changes can be seen in the floods of refugees that are arriving in Britain, desperate for sanctuary from the approaching storm of war. When Maisie stumbles on the deaths of refugees who may have been more than ordinary people, she is drawn into an investigation that requires all her insight and strength.”

I really enjoyed this book, for me it was slow burner. Not in a bad way but I was so taken in by the descriptive writing that I didn’t want to rush it. It was interesting to read about how people felt about the prospect of another war, having already survived the Great War and losing many members of their family. The idea of this happening again must have been utterly heartbreaking.

Maisie Dobbs is back in the thick of it and is asked to assist in the investigation of a supposed robbery gone wrong where a Belgian refugee is found murdered. When a further body is found, it is up to Maisie to use every ounce of her investigative skills along with her ever faithful assistant Billy.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have noticed that I am reading more of this type where technology isn’t as advanced as it is now. Sometimes that isn’t such a bad thing..

Highly recommended from me and I will be eagerly awaiting her next book in this wonderful series.

Thank you again to Ailsa at Allison & Busby for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Cover Reveal: Fatal Masquerade by Vivian Conroy

Welcome to my blog which will be one of many to exclusively reveal the cover of the new Lady Alkmene Mystery written by Vivian Conroy.

Here is a little more information about the 4th book in the successful series featuring Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois….

“Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois are back in a gripping new adventure facing dangerous opponents at a masked ball in the countryside.

Masked danger…

Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!

But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…

This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined”

The book is published by HQ Digital on 4th October 2017 and is available to be pre-ordered on Amazon.

And…….HERE IT IS!! I can’t wait to read this!

On my August reading list..

I am trying to catch up with some of my never ending books and these are the ones I am looking forward to reading this month. I will hopefully read more but these are the ones that I am itching to read!

In the Still by Jacqueline Chadwick

Published by Fahrenheit Press (7 July 2017)

In The Still (Ali Dalglish Book 1) by [Chadwick, Jacqueline]

About the Book:

When Ali Dalglish immigrated to Canada she left behind her career as Britain’s most in-demand forensic pathologist & criminal psychologist.

Now, eight years later, Ali feels alone, and bored, and full of resentment. Suffocated and frustrated by her circumstances and in an increasingly love-starved marriage, Ali finds herself embroiled in a murder case that forces her to call upon her dormant investigative skills.

As she’s pulled deeper into the case of ‘The Alder Beach Girl’ and into the mind of a true psychopath, Ali is forced to confront her fears and to finally embrace her own history of mental illness.

In an increasingly febrile atmosphere Ali must fight hard to protect those she loves from the wrath of a determined and vicious predator and to ultimately allow the woman she once was to breathe again.

 

Safe by Ryan Gattis

Published by Picador (27 July 2017)

About the Book:

Set in LA against the backdrop of the 2008 financial crash, this is the story of Rudy Reyes (a.k.a. Glasses), a gangster-turned-double-agent who wants out of the high-stakes high-risk criminal life, and Ricky Mendoza, Junior (a.k.a. Ghost), a DEA safe-cracker with terminal cancer who’s got nothing to lose. When Ghost goes rogue and steals thousands of dollars from a safe that belongs to Rooster, an LA crime lord who happens to be Glasses’ boss, he endangers a deal Glasses had with a DEA official. As Ghost sets out to steal as much money as he can get his hands on – all with the plan to give it to those hit hardest by the crash – and Rooster gets ever closer to catching him, Glasses tries desperately to keep his plans on track.

Fast-paced and gritty, Safe is both a moving and human morality tale and an utterly immersive and heart-stoppingly suspenseful thriller.

 

The Silk Weaver’s Wife by Debbie Rix

Published by: Bookouture (19 July 2017)

The Silk Weaver's Wife: An utterly captivating and gripping story of passion, mystery and secrets by [Rix, Debbie]

About the Book:

The unforgettable stories of two women crossing centuries as past and present weave together in this beautifully moving summer read.

1704: Anastasia is desperate to escape her controlling and volatile father and plans to marry in secret. But instead of the life she has dreamed of, she finds herself trapped in Venice, the unwilling wife of a silk weaver.

Despite her circumstances, Anastasia is determined to change her fate…

2017: Millie wants more from her relationship and more from her life. So when her boss Max abruptly ends their affair, she takes the opportunity to write a feature in Italy.

Staying in a gorgeous villa, Millie unexpectedly falls in love with the owner, Lorenzo. Together they begin to unravel an incredible story, threaded through generations of silk weavers.

And Millie finds herself compelled to discover the identity of a mysterious woman in a portrait…

 

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Published by: Canongate Books (6 July 2017)

About the Book:

‘I am old. That is the first thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe. If you saw me you would probably think I was about forty, but you would be very wrong.’

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life.

Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover – working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he’d never witnessed them first-hand. He can try to tame the past that is fast catching up with him. The only thing Tom must not do is fall in love.

How to Stop Time is a wild and bittersweet story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change and about the lifetimes it can take to really learn how to live.

 

To Kill The President by Sam Bourne

Published by: HarperCollins (4 July 2017)

About the Book:

A blockbuster thriller from No.1 Sunday Times bestselling author Sam Bourne, in which Maggie Costello uncovers an assassination plot to kill the tyrannical new president.

The unthinkable has happened…

The United States has elected a volatile demagogue as president, backed by his ruthless chief strategist, Crawford ‘Mac’ McNamara.

When a war of words with the North Korean regime spirals out of control and the President comes perilously close to launching a nuclear attack, it’s clear someone has to act, or the world will be reduced to ashes.

Soon Maggie Costello, a seasoned Washington operator and stubbornly principled, discovers an inside plot to kill the President – and faces the ultimate moral dilemma. Should she save the President and leave the free world at the mercy of an increasingly crazed would-be tyrant – or commit treason against her Commander in Chief and risk plunging the country into a civil war..

 

All different in their own ways so I am looking forward to getting immersed in each of them!

 

The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club by Chrissie Manby (Review)


What an absolute joy to read. I found that once I had started this book I couldn’t stop until I had finished!

The book stars with Alex setting up a cooking class for beginners and we are introduced to: Bella, a solicitor with a job that appears to be taking over her life. John, a lonely 70+ widower who is still desperately sad at losing his beloved wife and Liz, a 40 something dental hygienist suddenly single after her husband rudely leaves her for a much younger lifestyle blogger!

We get to know each character through the chapters and begin to learn why they signed up for the class along with learning about Alex and what has made him what to help the students in his class.

This is such a lovely story and I loved each of the characters and finding out about their backgrounds. I was really routing for each character to find the happiness they each deserved. One of my favourite characters was Ted. Not human but in the form of a quite mischievous dog owned by Liz. He also goes through a transformation and helps Liz see what she actually wants! His antics were so funny to read about, I actually read them out loud to my partner as I’m pretty sure we have been through them too!

A lovely book which brought a tear to my eye in places but I wouldn’t have it any other way..

This lovely book is published on 24th August 2017 and is currently available to pre-order from Amazon for £1.99. 

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 

Freefall by Adam Hamdy (Review)

Freefall by Adam Hamdy. 

Published on 2 November 2017 

 

I was a big fan of Pendulum and thoroughly enjoyed the gripping storyline so I was happy to discover the next book had already been written!

 

Freefall carries on after the traumatic events from Pendulum and follows the characters of John Wallace, Christine Ash and Patrick Bailey as they try to come to terms with what happened to them. They are each battling their own inner demons and struggling to cope – they are in denial.

 

The tension in the book does not let up and there were more than a few times when I caught myself nibbling on my nails and holding my breath. Do not read this book if you have a nervous nature!

 

This is one of those books where you are desperate to read more, sneaking a couple of pages here and there, eager to read more but almost not wanting to know at the same time.

 

Adam Hamdy’s writing is so engaging you feel that you cannot look away. The tension is built up superbly and you feel that you are on this journey with them. It shows us that all our actions have consequences. No matter how big or small.

 

The author has succeeded in writing a second book as good as the first so I am eagerly awaiting other books!

 

Thank you to Netgalley who offered me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Name is Nobody by Matthew Richardson 


​I was lucky enough to receive an early review copy of this book and I couldn’t wait to start it! I love spy thrillers and after reading the back of this I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. 

Solomon Vine was a spy that never quite reached the dizzy heights of what people expected. After a routine interview goes wrong and a suspect is shot, Solomon is cut adrift and left out in the cold. 

That is until the Head of Division in Istanbul disappears and happens to be a close friend of Vine. He is offered an opportunity to claw his way back in… 

I enjoyed reading this and loved discovering some of the tricks that are used. The story moves at a fast pace which I loved as I like to have my head spinning when I’m enjoying a book! I found I couldn’t read fast enough and read at every opportunity. It reminded me of Charles Cummings (who I have recently discovered!) so I will definitely be looking out for other books by the author. 

Thank you Laura Nichol for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.