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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

The Brighton Mermaid by Dorothy Koomson

Teenagers Nell and Jude find the body of a young woman and when no one comes to claim her, she becomes known as the Brighton Mermaid. Nell is still struggling to move on when, three weeks later, Jude disappears.

Twenty-five years on, Nell is forced to quit her job to find out who the Brighton Mermaid really was – and what happened to her best friend that summer.

But as Nell edges closer to the truth, dangerous things start to happen. Someone seems to be watching her every move, and soon she starts to wonder who in her life she can actually trust…

Fast-paced and thrilling, The Brighton Mermaid explores the deadly secrets of those closest to you.

Title: The Brighton Mermaid
Author: Dorothy Koomson
Published By:  Century
Publication Date: 17th May 2018
Links:  UK:  Amazon       US: Amazon
                      WH Smith

Our Review

Wow this is one of the best books I've ever read.
It was mesmerising from beginning to end and the momentum of the plot raced along with intrigue and suspense in equal measures.
The story is told by alternating chapters between Nell and her sister Macy and also alternates between the present day and to the time of the discovery of the body, along with flashbacks to other occasions.
As a teenager Nell and her best friend Jude discovered the body of a girl on Brighton beach. The unidentified girl soon became known as The Brighton Mermaid due to a defining tattoo on her arm and the case remained unsolved even after 25 years.

I found the premise of the story absolutely fascinating as Nell spent most of her time trying to find out who the Brighton Mermaid was and what happened to her.
Also the fact that Nell and Jude's lives were changed so dramatically after this incident mostly due to the reaction of the police which involved racism towards them and their families. One nasty piece of work in particular called John Pope was determined to destroy them.
To say this book was unputdownable is a complete understatement, I enjoyed every last word of it and the book itself was so thick and felt great to be immersed in.

Nell is a flawed but immensely likeable character and I felt so sad for her for the way she was treated. The author has been very perceptive in relaying the feelings of teenage insecurities and how unkind words said to a teenager can have a profound affect on the rest of their life.

Dorothy Koomson is one of my favourite authors and this has become my favourite of all of her books. I see this as a blockbuster film or series on a par with Big Little Lies. I want to shout from the rooftops BUY THIS AMAZING BOOK!!!

Book Angel x

About the Author

Dorothy Koomson is the award-winning author of 14 novels and has been making up stories since she was 13 when she used to share her stories with her convent school friends. Her published titles include: The Friend, When I Was Invisible, That Girl From Nowhere, The Flavours of Love, The Woman He Loved Before, Goodnight, Beautiful and The Chocolate Run.

Dorothy’s first novel, The Cupid Effect, was published in 2003 (when she was quite a bit older than 13). Her third book, My Best Friend’s Girl, was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Reads of 2006 and went on to sell over 500,000 copies. While her fourth novel, Marshmallows For Breakfast, has sold in excess of 250,000 copies. Dorothy’s books, The Ice Cream Girls and The Rose Petal Beach were both shortlisted for the popular fiction category of the British Book Awards in 2010 and 2013, respectively.

Dorothy’s novels have been translated into over 30 languages, and a TV adaptation loosely based on The Ice Cream Girls was shown on ITV1 in 2013. After briefly living in Australia, Dorothy now lives in Brighton.

For more information on Dorothy Koomson visit

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Five Years From Now by Paige Toon

What happens if you meet the RIGHT person at the WRONG time?
Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart.

Five years later, they find each other. Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they have to separate.

For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?

‘One day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened…’

Title:  Five Years From Now
Author: Paige Toon
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date 17th May 2018
Links:  UK:   Amazon      US:   Amazon
                     W H Smith

Our Review

Heartbreaking and heart wrenching I actually felt physical pain in my tummy at the ending of this book.

I loved every second of it. It's almost like a modern version of Wuthering Heights if Heathcliff had been a nice person. Paige Toon has an amazing way of creating believable characters and delving into their and the reader's emotions and she doesn't hold back from breaking hearts.

Nell and Vian first meet at the age of five when he and his mum move in with Nell and her dad. It doesn't take long before they become inseparable until a tragedy occurs and their lives are torn apart. The book returns to their relationship every five years and we get to see them change from being filled with teenage angst into fun loving twenties and then become more mature as time goes on.

I loved both Nell and Vian so much as they were such lovely characters. Going through their teenage years took me back to when I was a teenager and the feelings I felt then were captured beautifully.
Sadly they go through a lot of heartbreak throughout this book but although the ending tears your heart out there is still such an uplifting feel to it and then wallop! the last line makes you want to sing.

I now need to lie in a darkened room to recover from this amazing love story

Book Angel x

About the Author

Paige Toon was born in 1975. A philosophy graduate, she worked at teen, film and women's magazines, before ending up at Heat magazine as Reviews Editor. She is very experienced at events and interviews and has a significant social media following. The One We Fell in Love With was picked for the Zoella Book Club. Her novels are bestsellers throughout Europe.

Visit Paige's website at to sign up to her free book club, 'The Hidden Paige', and say hi to her on Twitter @PaigeToonAuthor and

Friday, 1 June 2018

Sunshine & Sweetpeas on Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain

Kate is on the run from her almost-divorced husband who is determined to have her back, and she has found the perfect place to hide... a little cottage on Nightingale Square in Norwich, far away from her old life in London. But the residents of Nightingale Square don't take no for an answer, and Kate soon finds herself pulled into a friendship with Lisa, her bossy but lovely new neighbour.

Within a matter of days Kate is landed with the job of campaigning the council to turn the green into a community garden, meanwhile all the residents of Nightingale Square are horrified to discover that the Victorian mansion house on the other side of the square has been bought by developers. But when all hope is lost, the arrival of a handsome stranger is sure to turn things around!

Heidi Swain is the perfect summer read - you'll want to find your own green space, stretch out in the sun and dive into life at Nightingale Square.

Title:  Sunshine & Sweetpeas in Nightingale Square
Author: Heidi Swain
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date:  31st May 2018
Links: UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

Our Review

This book was an absolute delight to read and I can safely say it is my favourite so far.

The story focuses on Kate who moves away from the fictional village of Wynbridge, which features in all of Heidi's other novels, to leave behind a failed relationship and as soon as she finds the little cottage on Nightingale Square I immediately felt at home there and wished I could move in.

I found the story intriguing in parts and was flicking the pages quickly to try and find out what was behind the history of Prosperous Place the mansion which was on Nightingale Square, which sounded amazing.

I fell in love with Luke the hero and found some of the conversations he had with Kate really quite funny. I also really liked the new friends that Kate had made in her new neighbourhood and thoroughly enjoyed being on her journey with her as she settled into her new place.
I also enjoyed the trip back to The Cherry Tree cafe which featured in Heidi's first novel.

Reading this book about love, friendship and second chances is as lovely as that special time when spring turns into summer and will guarantee you a cosy warm feeling inside.

If you haven't read the other books by this author then why not? This one could be read as a standalone but you really should read all the others too.

Heartily recommended.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Although passionate about writing from an early age, Heidi Swain gained a degree in Literature, flirted briefly with a newspaper career, married and had two children before she finally plucked up the courage to join a creative writing class and take her literary ambitions seriously.

A lover of Galaxy bars, vintage paraphernalia and the odd bottle of fizz, she writes contemporary fiction and enjoys the company of a whole host of feisty female characters.

Heidi is now a Sunday Times Best-selling author who lives in stunning south Norfolk with her wonderful family and a mischievous cat called Storm.

Her debut novel, The Cherry Tree Cafe, was published on July 16th, 2015 and became an Amazon bestseller.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Oh My God What A Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen

Ever been a small town girl trying to make a life in the big city?

Meet twenty-something Aisling - that's pronounced Ashling - she can barely boil an egg let alone figure out what night bus to catch home.

But she's got a job in the big city, a flat and a boyfriend. She has an umbrella for rainy days, an electric blanket for cold nights and keeps her kitten heels firmly on the ground.

Until the day she accidentally ditches her only slightly useless boyfriend John. And finds herself in a spot of bother at work.

Is it time to pack up and go back to the sticks?
Or can Aisling fix the mess she's made?
What's a Complete Aisling to do?

Title:  Oh My God What A Complete Aisling
Authors:  Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
Publication Date: 3rd May 2018
Published By: Penguin, Michael Joseph
Links: UK:  Amazon    US:  Amazon

Our Review

What a lovely funny book with a touch of heartbreak and included one of the most touching moments that brought many a tear to my eye.

Aisling is a lovely girl who would do anything for anyone, she is well liked by all around her. As is typical of her age group she finds herself in a position where all of her friends are getting married one by one and so she gives her boyfriend an ultimatum.
This doesn't go too well and the story follows the ups and downs and how she deals with the aftermath of that.

The writing is fresh with a happy vibe and spoken in the wonderful Irish accent which I love, including lots of Irish turns of phrase.

This book will give you a lift and make you laugh out loud but it's not without it's more tender moments and some parts are truly heartbreaking as Aisling discovers the most important things in life and learns a bit about herself along the way.

This reminded me a bit of the TV series The Derry Girls which was hilarious as I imagine they would be like this when they grew up.

A refreshing book to make you laugh and cry as you immerse yourself into the life of a complete Aisling.

Book Angel x

About the Authors

Emer McLysaght is the former editor of The Daily Edge and has worked extensively in journalism and radio. You can follow her on twitter @EmerTheScreamer

Sarah Breen is a journalist whose work has appeared in Stellar, Image, U, The Irish Independent and The Gloss. You can follow her on twitter @SarahJayBee

(Source: Book cover)

Friday, 25 May 2018

The Chosen Ones by Carol Wyer

On a hot summer’s morning, a young father is found murdered in a cornfield, outside the quiet town of Colton. Tied to a post, arms spread wide; Detective Robyn Carter is reminded of the crucifixion, and she knows she’s looking for a killer with a twisted sense of right and wrong.

The victim’s girlfriend is devastated, unable to fathom how she will tell her sick little boy. Still reeling from her own loss, Robyn vows she will find the killer – no matter what.

But then a local doctor – a popular woman with a young family of her own – is found dead outside her surgery. There are similarities between her and the first body and Robyn must take another look at the picture-postcard town, where no one has any enemies.

Can Robyn untangle the hidden web of secrets, lies, and smouldering grudges, at the heart of this close-knit community, before another life is lost?

Title: The Chosen Ones
Author: Carol Wyer
Published By: Bookouture
Publication Date: 24th May 2018
Links: UK:  Amazon   US:  Amazon

Our Review

Another amazing heart stopping serial killer thriller from Carol Wyer.

This is the fifth in the series and DI Robyn Carter once again finds herself in the thick of an investigation when a man is found killed in horrendous circumstances. As always with Carol's books I almost felt as though I was part of the investigation and thoroughly enjoyed the line of questioning and how DI Carter and her team work together to solve the crime.

Carol manages to write the killer characters so well that for a time anyway you will feel some empathy for them as strange as that may sound.

As if the investigation isn't exciting enough then we find out more about lies she's been told and Secrets which have been hidden from Robyn since the death of her husband Davies. Each book has taken us further into the mystery surrounding the circumstances of his death.

There are quite upsetting scenes in the book but they are necessary as part of the story.

There are lots more books in the Robyn Carter series before this one and I thoroughly recommend you buy them all and binge read them as the next one will hopefully be out very soon.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Carol E. Wyer, who also writes as Carol Wyer, is an award-winning author whose humorous books take a light-hearted look at getting older and encourage others to age disgracefully. In 2017 she moved to the "dark side" and embarked on a series of thrillers. The first, gripping Little Girl Lost, shot to the #2 best-selling spot on Kindle #9 best-selling audiobook on Audible, and was also a USA Today top 150 best-seller.
Her book, Grumpy Old Menopause won The People's Book Prize Award for non-fiction 2015.
Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing 'Irritable Male Syndrome' and 'Ageing Disgracefully' and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines 'Woman's Weekly' featured in 'Take A Break', 'Choice', 'Yours' and 'Woman's Own' magazines and the Huffington Post.

To learn more about Carol, go to or follow Carol on Twitter: @carolewyer. Carol blogs at which featured in The Mail on Sunday

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Monday, 21 May 2018

Dreaming of St Tropez by T.A Williams

The perfect summer escape on the French Riviera. Sun, sea and secrets…

After a disagreement with a billionaire, architect Jess Milton is ‘let go’ from her job. However fortune intervenes – an elderly client asks Jess to dog-sit overweight, but loveable dog Brutus in St. Tropez.

Fed up with the mega-rich, Jess is reluctant to visit the playground of billionaires, but an all-expenses-paid trip and the promise of sunshine seals the deal.

Little does Jess know how much time she’ll be spending with the family living in St. Tropez. The sullen, but very good-looking David and his millionaire father are both welcoming but guarded, haunted by their pasts…

Can Jess bring some sunshine back into their lives – and, just maybe, find love in the process?

Title: Dreaming of St Tropez
Author Name: T.A. Williams
Publication Date: 7th May 2018
Published By: Canelo

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Extract from Dreaming of St Tropez

April that year was the coldest and wettest in England since records began. The rainfall in the first week alone was in excess of the normal figure for the whole month, and it just didn’t stop. The rivers were overflowing, towns were being flooded, the ground everywhere was sodden and muddy. Every morning, Jess and Hope drove round southwest London in the van, collecting a motley assortment of dogs from owners too busy, too lazy, or too infirm to walk them themselves. They drove up to Richmond Park and exercised them, rain, shine or thunder – and there was precious little shine.

Then, in the afternoons, Jess took another half dozen dogs on leads for a walk in the local park, doing her best to prevent them from either fighting or humping each other as they walked through the rainy streets to the park.

Ironically, one day she spotted something familiar.

Just before the turnoff for the park, there was an empty shop on a corner. It had obviously been a travel agency once, but now it was a pathetic shell, the windows boarded up – all but one corner. Through this, Jess was surprised to spot a poster that rang a bell. On closer inspection, with her nose pressed to the glass, she saw that it was none other than St-Tropez, and not dissimilar to the poster on Hope’s wall. Its corners were curling up and the ink was fading, but the brilliant sunshine, the blue sea and the luxury yachts were unmistakable. Fat cats or no fat cats, Jess had to admit that it looked appealing.

Every day, as the English skies continued to pour rain down on her and her collection of dogs, she glanced ever more enviously at this little slice of paradise. Maybe Hope wasn’t so wrong after all.

She started trawling though the Situations Vacant on specialist architecture websites, without finding anything that immediately leapt out at her, but she wasn’t worried yet. With the financial cushion provided by the payoff from Graham, she was able to take her time, confident that, sooner or later, the right thing would come up. She even started to consider taking a holiday somewhere warm and sunny. That had a distinct appeal. Anything to get away from the impenetrable gloom of England.

Then one day, as she was standing in the limited shelter provided by the branches of a massive oak tree, her phone started ringing. She was in the middle of wiping herself down after separating a German shepherd called Klaus from a golden retriever called Betty – she hadn’t been able to ascertain whether Klaus’s intentions had been amorous or aggressive, but Betty hadn’t appreciated them one bit. Jess, still smarting from the Drugoi incident, felt a considerable bond of sympathy with her. However, in the process of wrestling with them, she had slipped on the grass and now had a soggy bottom and muddy hands to show for it. Still muttering to herself, she wiped one hand on her jeans, pulled the phone out, and answered it.

‘Yes, hello.’

‘Hello, Jess?’

She immediately recognised his voice and wondered what he wanted.

‘Graham, I didn’t think I’d ever hear from you again.’

‘Well, yes, Jess… I know.’ He sounded apologetic, and for a moment Jess wondered if he was calling to offer her her old job back.

‘So, is there a reason for this call? I’m working at the moment.’ She kept her voice cold.

‘Working?’ He sounded surprised, but not half as surprised as he would have been if he could see her now, covered in mud. ‘It’s sort of about work that I’m calling.’

He hesitated, but Jess wasn’t doing him any favours. She remained silent until he started up again.

‘You remember old Mrs Dupont? The single floor extension in Highgate.’

‘Yes, of course.’ Mrs Dupont had been one of Jess’s favourite clients. Although no doubt worth quite a few million, she was pleasant, friendly, and totally unpretentious. ‘What about her? The job was finished three, four months ago and it’s all been signed off.’

‘I know, I know. It’s just that she wants you to contact her.’

‘I thought I was expressly forbidden from contacting any former clients.’

‘Yes… yes indeed, but she tells me this is something personal. Nothing to do with work.’

‘Something personal?’

‘Yes, personal. That’s what she said. Anyway, have you still got her number?’

‘No, I deleted it, along with all the other work-related numbers. I assumed that’s what you would have wanted.’

‘Yes, of course, good. But, if I give it to you again, please could you call her?’ Graham sounded almost pleading.

‘Yes, of course, but what’s this all about, Graham?’

‘I really don’t know, but she’s an important client and the customer’s always right.’

Jess couldn’t resist a jab. ‘Even when the customer insists you fire one of your employees?’

An awkward silence ensued. Jess waited until he broke it, and was unsurprised to hear him ignore her question.

‘Erm, thank you, Jess. I’ll text you the number.’

‘So, did Drugoi give you the contract?’

‘Erm, yes. Thank you again, Jess. Goodbye.’ She could hear the haste in his voice.

As she returned the phone to her pocket, she heard it whistle to signify the arrival of Graham’s text, but the call to Mrs Dupont could wait. She would make it later on, once she was somewhere dry and warm.

‘Right, come on, Betty, let’s carry on with our walk. And as for you, Klaus, just leave her alone. All right?’

As the golden retriever stood up, the German shepherd’s nose headed unerringly for her backside once more, but Jess was ready this time. She gave his lead a hefty tug and addressed him in her sternest pack-leader voice.

‘I said leave her alone, Klaus. Who do you think you are? A bloody oligarch?’

Thank you T.A for sharing this extract with us today and wishing you good luck with the rest of the Blog Tour.

Book Angel x

About the Author

T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Meeting Lydia by Linda MacDonald

Meeting Lydia explores the very relevant topics of childhood bullying, midlife crises, the pros and cons of internet relationships, and how the psychological effects of these affect the main character and those around her. Readers will be gripped by the turbulent life of Marianne who navigates the onset of menopause, an empty nest, a suspected errant husband and a demanding new obsession that pulls her in deeper as the story unfolds. Those interested in the psychology of relationships will enjoy this novel, as well as those who delight in an enthralling story with relatable characters and the powerful question of what happens when the past catches up with the present. This second edition has reworked the early chapters of the first edition, making for a pacy and shorter version more in line with the audiobook.

Marianne comes home from work one day to find her husband talking to a glamorous woman in their kitchen. Old childhood insecurities resurface, stemming from a time back at school when she was bullied. Jealousy rears its head and her happy marriage begins to crumble. Desperate for a solution - and introduced by her daughter to social networking - she tries to track down her first schoolgirl crush, the enigmatic Edward Harvey. But Marianne is unprepared for the power of email relationships ...

Title: Meeting Lydia
Author: Linda MacDonald
Published By: Matador
Publication Date: 22nd March 2018
Links: UK: Amazon

Our Review

Marianne is a woman that I have a lot in common with in that we are both pre-menopausal, we both have university aged children and loving husbands and neither of us like the M word (menopause) or the thought of getting older. Also I have a daughter called Lydia so that drew me to the title of the book.
With this in mind I found it really easy to relate to Marianne and completely understand why she would not be happy when her good looking husband Johnny brings home his colleague, busty blond Charmaine.
Him doing this gives her permission to use Friends Reunited to seek out a man she knew slightly at school and a lot of the book is told in emails to and from herself and Edward.

Marianna had quite a lot of angst to work through with regards to her school life as she was often bullied there and she clung on to the memory of Edward because he was a nice person. She told him things that she hadn't told her husband.
I enjoyed their conversations and also the conversations that Marianne had with her psychology class as I found them quite interesting because they explained possible reasons for people doing certain things, especially as the subjects she discussed threw up things that she was trying to work through in her personal life.

Holly was Marianne and Johnny's daughter and she was the bond that held them together. I really enjoyed their relationships.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it especially to women of a certain age as they will definitely recognise their own actions in some of the things that Marianne says and does.
The outcome of the book will provide hope to anyone in a similar situation and hopefully will encourage people to open up to their nearest and dearest.

A fun and intelligent read.

Book Angel x


Linda MacDonald is the author of four novels: Meeting Lydia and the stand-alone sequels, A Meeting of a Different Kind, The Alone Alternative and The Man in the Needlecord Jacket. All Linda's books are contemporary adult fiction, multi-themed, but with a focus on relationship issues.

After studying psychology at Goldsmiths', Linda trained as a secondary science and biology teacher. She taught these subjects for several years before moving to a sixth-form college to teach psychology. The first two novels took ten years in writing and publishing, using snatched moments in the evenings, weekends and holidays. In 2012, she gave up teaching to focus fully on writing.

Linda was born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria and now lives in Beckenham in Kent.

Follow her on Twitter @LindaMac1

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