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Wednesday, 21 July 2021

The Secret Notebook by Julia Wilde




About the Book

 A view to the past…

When Izzie Dean’s beloved nan, Molly Blackshaw, passes away, Izzie returns to the Blackpool bungalow where she grew up, to say goodbye once and for all. When Izzie’s homecoming reunites her with her first love, Justin Swift, every emotion that Izzie has repressed since the day he broke her heart comes rushing to the surface. But then an unexpected discovery changes everything.

Between the pages of the battered secret diary Molly kept during WWII, Izzie discovers a story of love, heartbreak, and the incomparable hardship of life in a world at war. Reading her grandmother’s words soon puts her own story into perspective, and suddenly Izzie realises that the only thing holding her back from happiness, might be herself. Now she just has to convince Justin that they deserve a second chance at forever…

Title:      The Secret Notebook

Author:  Julia Wild

Published By: One More Chapter

Publication Date: 8th July

Links to buy:  UK:  Amazon      US:  Amazon

Pre-order the paperback Waterstones


Our Review

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Secret Notebook as it was just gorgeous from beginning to end. When Izzie packs up her grandmother's house she finds a secret notebook and through it she discovers the story of her gran's first love. I found the chapters about Molly were so evocative about lost love and the fragility of life throughout the war. I could feel every emotion that she went through so vividly because of the beautiful way it was written. I could practically see and feel the notebook absolutely bursting with letters and pictures.

I also loved Izzie's story too which unfolded around her finding the diary. I also loved the way she was able to get to know her gran as a young woman and see the trials and tribulations that she went through. The way she spoke about her gran and grandpops was full of love and the fact that she could share their story with someone close to her was so lovely. I'm really going to miss reading this gorgeous story.

Sincerely

Book Angel x


About the Author

Hello there!

I was born near Manchester, am married and live in Bedfordshire and have three fantastic youngsters - all adults now.

After years of submitting to the Romantic Novelists Association in the 1990s, I came through the Scheme to win the New Writers Award (now the Joan Hessayon Award) with Dark Canvas, my first published book. Illusions, which was originally published in 2002, also won an award - the RNA's Romance Prize in 2003.

I love to read romantic intrigues, thrillers, suspense and love stories, love writing them too - turning what first appears simple into something far more mysterious! Always, my books start with... 'Oh, what if...?' a wonderful, tingling question, the story developing as I work.

As well as a variety of jobs in a craft shop, solicitors, a bank, a nightclub, and I worked most recently in local libraries for 18 years and when the cutbacks came, I took redundancy and am taking some time to be self-employed, doing what I love best - escaping into the writing world with a head full of dreams and story themes.

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Suspects by Lesley Pearse



Welcome to Willow Close, where everyone is a suspect . . .

Nina and Conrad best thought they'd discovered their dream home.
But on the day they move in, a body is found - the victim attacked and killed in the woods.
As police start to question the residents, they discover that they all have their own secrets.

Behind each door, strange and even dark things are happening . . .

Now everyone is a suspect. And no one is safe.

Title: Suspects
Author: Lesley Pearse
Published By: Penguin 
Publication Date: 24th June 2021
Links: UK:  Amazon         Waterstones



Our Review

Nina and Conrad Best moved into their new home in Willow Close and straight into the middle of a nightmare scenario. The body of a young girl is discovered in the park nearby brutally murdered and now everybody is a suspect. 

The couple soon discover that most of their neighbours are quite unpleasant and have something to hide. One by one the façade of ordinary lives behind each door falls away and the investigation shines the spotlight on them and unearths secrets that they would prefer to stay hidden. Soon they all begin to suspect each other and then nobody is safe.

I needed to concentrate at the beginning as the neighbours were introduced house by house as there were quite a few of them but once I got used to who was who then I was able to get lost in the plot as the tension increased.  

The ending was very thought provoking and unsettling and quite heart breaking as the life stories of some of the characters were revealed.

Sincerely

Book Angel x 


 About the Author

Lesley Pearse was told as a child that she had too much imagination for her own good. When she grew up she worked her way through a number of jobs, including nanny, bunny girl, dressmaker and full-time mother, before, at the age of forty-nine, settling upon a career that would allow her gifts to blossom: she became a published writer. Lesley lives in Devon and has three daughters and three grandchildren.

Find out more about Lesley and keep up to date with what she's been doing:

Follow her on Twitter @LesleyPearse

Follow her on Facebook @LesleyPearseAuthor





Wednesday, 12 May 2021

A Taste of Home by Heidi Swain



Fliss Brown has grown up living with her mother on the Rossi family’s Italian fruit farm. But when her mother dies, Fliss finds out she has a family of her own, and heads back to England with Nonna Rossi’s recipe for cherry and almond tart and a piece of advice: connect with your family before it is too late…

Fliss discovers that her estranged grandfather owns a fruit farm himself, on the outskirts of Wynbridge, and she arrives to find a farm that has fallen into disrepair. Using her knowledge gleaned from working on the Rossi farm and her desire to find out more about her past, Fliss rolls her sleeves up and gets stuck in. But what will she discover, and can she resurrect the farm’s glory days and find a taste of home…?


Title:         A Taste of Home

Author:     Heidi Swain

Published By: Simon & Schuster UK

Publication Date: 29th April 2021

Links:   UK: Amazon    US:  Amazon

Waterstones

WHSmith

  

Our Review

First of all I just need to say that I fell completely and utterly in love with this book from the first page. In fact even before that it was when I heard the title. 

I’ve loved all of Heidi’s books ever since I read The Cherry Tree Cafe and discovered Wynbridge for the first time. 

A Taste of Home has everything I love in a book. Firstly the beginning was set in the beautiful Puglia where I’ve been on holiday so that brought back lovely memories. I felt as though I was with Fliss on every part of her journey as she meets the grandad that she never knew she had. Her relationship with her grandad was beautiful and I loved how they became firm friends, this also tugged on my heartstrings as it reminded me of the wonderful relationship I had with my grandad. 

The delicious dishes that Fliss cooked were wonderfully described and left me longing for a taste of the mouthwatering meals that reminded her of her Nonna. The other ingredients in this wonderful story consisted of two hunky men, the trouble is Fliss had to work out which one was the baddie. I loved how she made friends with all of the other characters from Heidi’s previous books and the coming together of the community. 

I loved every second of reading this book and think that Heidi Swain has completely excelled herself with this book about family and the unbreakable bonds that tie us together. Evocative and deliciously uplifting. 

Sincerely
Book Angel x


About the Author

Heidi Swain is the Sunday Times Top Ten best-selling author of SLEIGH RIDES AND SILVER BELLS AT THE CHRISTMAS FAIR. Her other titles include The Cherry Tree Café, Summer at Skylark Farm, Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market, Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage, Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland, Poppy's Recipe for Life, The Christmas Wish List, The Secret Seaside Escape and The Winter Garden.

Heidi lives in beautiful south Norfolk with her family and a mischievous cat called Storm. She is passionate about gardening, the countryside, collecting vintage paraphernalia and reading. Her tbr pile is always out of control!

Heidi loves to chat with her readers and you can get in touch via her website heidiswain.co.uk/ or Twitter @Heidi_Swain

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Primrose Park by Christie Barlow



Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what

Vet Molly has always been career driven and focussed on caring for her animals, but when she meets a gorgeous Mystery Man at a conference and their connection is off the charts, well, one night off work won’t hurt anyone…except the next morning he’s vanished and all Molly knows about him is his first name.

Three months later, back in Love Heart Lane, everyone loves the story of Molly's amazing one-night stand.  It's so unlike her! But when Mystery Man turns up walking his dog through Primrose Park and their night together seems to mean nothing to him, Molly needs her friends and neighbours more than ever. And especially when she’s left with the most unexpected of surprises…

Title: Primrose Park

Author: Christie Barlow

Published By: One More Chapter

Publication Date:  30th April 2021

Links:  UK:  Amazon    US:  Amazon


Our Review

Primrose Park is the sixth in the LoveHeart Lane series and I have to say it’s my favourite book of Christie’s so far. I loved it. Molly McKendrick is such a lovely character but boy does she have a lot thrown at her in life. I loved the beginning when she met Cam the hunky guy from the hotel she was staying in. I also loved how her relationship developed with Darling and Dixie who she came to love a lot. 

It was lovely seeing the characters from all the other books pop up and the sense of community really shone through. 

There are a couple of real nasty characters in the book as well and they literally made my blood boil with their sinister shenanigans.  Especially the way one of them was so judgemental of Molly and expressed his misogyny and sexism. 

I was absolutely devastated when I found out what happened to Primrose Park as it all sounded so beautiful and I felt it was almost like a character itself but thankfully there was an amazing outcome to that. 

I absolutely loved the story and really hope to see these characters again in Christie's future books. I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series. 

Primrose Park is just gorgeous, a charming and delightful hug in a book perfect to read on a lovely summer's day in the garden or snuggled up by the fire. Christie Barlow has created an amazing community in Heartcross, one that feels just like home.


Sincerely

Book Angel x


About the Author

Christie Barlow is the number one international bestselling author of fifteen romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty's Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.
Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
When Christie isn’t writing she co-presents The Book Show on Radio Northwich, enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.
Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.
Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Twitter - @ChristieJBarlow
Facebook – Christie Barlow Author
Instagram – christie_barlow


Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Wife Support System by Kathleen Whyman



We’ve got the balance all wrong. Instead of living with our partners, struggling to do everything by ourselves and only seeing each other now and then, we should do it the other way round. We should live together and see them now and then.

Erica knows her suggestion sounds extreme, but when her nanny leaves without notice, she’s extremely desperate. Polly and Louise aren’t convinced, but when circumstances force them to move into Polly’s enormous but run-down house, they have to admit that life’s much easier when the childcare and workload is shared.

At first, communal living seems like the answer to all their prayers - childcare on tap, rotas for cleaning, and someone always available to cook dinner (no more last-minute pizza delivery!). But over time, resentment starts to grow as they judge each other’s parenting styles and bicker over cleaning, cooking and whose turn it is to buy toilet rolls.

And as one woman has her head turned by a handsome colleague, one resorts to spying on her husband and another fights to keep a dark secret, they need each other more than ever. But can Polly, Louise and Erica keep their friendship and relationships strong? Or will their perfect mumtopia fall apart?

Essential reading for anyone fed up with never-ending housework/homeschooling/preparing healthy meals that their kids reject … Fans of Why Mummy Drinks, Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life? and Beth O’Leary won’t want to miss this one!


Title:        Wife Support System

Author:    Kathleen Whyman

Published By: Hera Books

Publication Date:  29th July 2020

Links:  UK:   Amazon      US:   Amazon


Our Review 

Wife Support System was a real tonic, especially during a long and tiresome lockdown. Firstly what a brilliant idea for three busy mums to move in together during the week so they could help each other out with childcare and chores. I mean what could possibly go wrong? The answer to that is just about everything. From the opening lines I was laughing out loud at the hilarious antics of these three friends and the laughter continues throughout. I can completely understand why Kathleen Whyman’s second book was shortlisted for the Comedy Women in Print award as her witty sense of humour absolutely shines through in the writing. 

Living together exposed each of the womens’ faults not just to each other but more importantly to themselves and they didn’t particularly like what they saw. After lots of hilarity things get very real as Erica, Polly and Louise have to face up to their mistakes and decide how they can shape their futures for the best. I found it quite moving when one of the friends reveals their deepest, darkest secret which was completely unexpected. 

A brilliant story filled with laughter, friendship and love. I loved it. 

Sincerely

Book Angel x 


About the Author

Kathleen Whyman is an author and freelance journalist.

Her debut novel, Wife Support System, was inspired by her own feeble attempt to juggle a career with childcare, never-ending house ‘stuff’ and, outrageously, occasionally some time for herself. She is still struggling.

Kathleen’s novel Second Wife Syndrome has been shortlisted for the Comedy Women in Print prize 2020.

Both novels are contemporary, humorous, women's fiction.

Kathleen writes a column for Writers’ Forum magazine and contributes to the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s magazine Romance Matters. She also wrote short stories for Jackie magazine in her teens. These were, thankfully, never printed.

Kathleen lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two daughters.

Find out more about Kathleen and sign up to her newsletters at www.kathleenwhyman.com.

Follow Kathleen on Twitter @kathleenwhyman1, Instagram @kathleenwhymanauthor and FaceBook @kathleenwhymanauthor

Photo @ Alexa Loy Photography


Monday, 12 April 2021

Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove by Kim Nash

When thirty-four-year-old Nellie Wagstaff loses her job and discovers her fiancé is a cheating scumbag in a single day, she feels like the world has come crashing down. And that’s before the solicitor’s letter, along with a request to visit a place she hasn’t thought about for a very long time.
Heartbroken, Nellie escapes to the beautiful seaside town of Muddleford in Dorset, where she discovers she’s inherited more than she ever bargained for. Nellie never knew why her mother stopped talking to her sister, but now childhood memories of Muddleford come flooding back: long hot summers, the sea glistening beyond the sandy cove... and a stolen kiss with a boy called Jack.


Jack, now a devilishly handsome vet, has the local pet owners swooning over him, and as Nellie and he become close once more, and she gets used to gossiping with the locals and sipping wine at her beach hut with sand between her toes, she’s sure she can feel sparks flying once more. But just as she thinks she might be able to open her heart again, her newest frenemy, the glamourous Natalia, tells her a secret about Jack that changes everything.

Nellie will never know why her mother and aunt parted ways. She’ll sell the house, forget about Jack, and get back to real life. Because there’s nothing for her in Muddleford... is there?

An utterly uplifting and completely hilarious summer read about learning to trust yourself and of finding love and friendship in the least expected places for fans of Jessica Redland, Heidi Swain and Holly Martin.


Title: Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove
Author: Kim Nash
Published By: Amazon
Publication Date:  30th March 2021
Links: UKAmazon       US:  Amazon



Our Review

Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove is enchanting, uplifting and bursting with laughter and love. 
Nell was a character that I really took to my heart. She hadn't had the easiest life and unfortunately was treated badly by the people she should have been able to trust. So when she turned up in Muddleford Cove I was really rooting for things to go her way which they did for a while until something happened which forced her into changing direction again. 

I fell in love with Nell and loved her special childhood memories of life in Muddleford Cove and of Auntie Lil. The fondness they had for each other came across very strongly and I felt so sad at the way they were torn apart and all those years they missed out on. The description of the house was amazing and I could visualise myself sitting in Auntie Lil’s chair overlooking the sea and when I read about the gorgeous beach hut I just wanted to move in straight away. I loved how 'at home' Nell felt as soon as she walked into Auntie Lil's house and even though she missed her greatly she could sense her through the welcoming atmosphere of the house.

This is Kim’s fourth fabulous book and I already knew I was going to love it when I saw the cover of it which I now know depicts the story perfectly. I loved every minute of reading or should I say racing through Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove and can promise it has everything you could possibly need in a romance novel, a gorgeous setting, a sexy hunk and plenty of gin. I love an older character in a book and although Lil is no longer with us she was definitely a huge presence in the book which I thought was a lovely touch. Reading Kim Nash’s books is like spending time with a close friend, comforting and touching with lots of laugh out loud fun. I absolutely cannot wait for the next one.

Sincerely
Book Angel x


About the Author

Kim Nash is an author of uplifting, funny, heartwarming, feel-good, romantic fiction and has always wanted to write books since she was a little girl.

Her latest book is Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove.

Her book published in June 2020, Sunshine and Second Chances, was shortlisted for the 2020 Amazon Kindle Storyteller Award.

She lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter rescue dog Roni, is Head of Publicity for publisher Bookouture (part of Hachette UK) and is a book blogger at www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.

Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association's Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can't quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA as an author.

When she's not working or writing, and in non-Covid times, Kim can be found walking her dog at Cannock Chase, reading, writing, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie, and binge watching box sets on the TV. She's also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs and organises local and national reader/author events.

Amazing Grace was her debut novel which came out in April 2019.

Escape to Giddywell Grange is Kim's second novel and was published in September 2019.

Sunshine and Second Chances is Kim's third novel and was published in June 2020.

Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove is her fourth book and was published in March 2021.

Connect with Kim on Social Media here:
Twitter: (@KimTheBookworm) https://twitter.com/KimTheBookworm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimTheBookWorm/
Instagram: @Kim_the_bookworm










Thursday, 25 March 2021

The World At My Feet by Catherine Isaac




 

The secrets that bind us can also tear us apart…

1990. Harriet is a journalist. Her job takes her to dangerous places, where she asks questions and tries to make a difference. But when she is sent to Romania, to the state orphanages the world is only just learning about, she is forced to rethink her most important rule. 

2018. Ellie is a gardener. Her garden is her sanctuary, her pride and joy. But, though she spends long days outdoors, she hasn’t set foot beyond her gate for far too long. Now someone enters her life who could finally be the reason she needs to overcome her fears.

From post-revolution Romania to the idyllic English countryside, The World at My Feet is the story of two women, two worlds, and a journey of self-discovery that spans a lifetime.


Title: The World At My Feet

Author: Catherine Isaac

Published By: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 18th March 2021

Links: UK:  Amazon    US:   Amazon

Waterstones

WHSmith


Our Review

This is such a heart wrenching story about Ellie who is an Instagram gardening sensation but for the past two years had been unable to leave the house as she suffers from Agoraphobia. Luckily her parents live just a hundred yards away so they are always on hand if she needs them. 

The book also features Harriet’s story, she is a war reporter and goes around the world raising awareness of conflicts and such like. It is through Harriet that we learn about the awful conditions in the orphanages in Romania which I remember seeing on the telly when I was younger and being very upset by. It’s unbelievable that people could allow this sort of thing to happen to children where babies don’t bother crying because no one will comfort them. 

The writing is beautiful, the descriptive text sophisticated and is able to convey the emotions of the two main characters so well and their stories intertwine so wonderfully. I was rooting for Ellie to hopefully overcome this debilitating condition and get out there to enjoy the life she deserves. Although the book deals with a heartbreaking subject it is not gloomy and depressing it is quite the opposite in fact and I found it to be so uplifting. 

Ellie’s journey was a difficult one for her to get through but she had the love and support of her parents and sister and a special someone who all gave her the comfort of feeling safe. I’m so pleased that Catherine Isaac has raised awareness for this charitable cause because although the orphanages are almost gone and those that remain are immensely improved they still need lots of help to find a family for each and every one of those children. 

Evocative and uplifting, a story about love, family and belonging and shows that sometimes we need to face our past before we can move on to the future.

Sincerely

Book Angel x  


About the Author

 

I write life-affirming stories about self-discovery and family secrets - and my latest, THE WORLD AT MY FEET, is published in the UK in March 2021.

The book will be my third written as 'Catherine Isaac'; my previous two, MESSY, WONDERFUL US and YOU ME EVERYTHING, have been translated into 24 languages, while a movie adaptation of the latter is currently in development by Lionsgate and Temple Hill.

Before those, I wrote romantic comedy for over a decade, under the pseudonym 'Jane Costello'.

I love hearing from anyone who's read my stories, so please do write an Amazon review or get in touch with me on Instagram @catherineisaacauthor, Twitter @CatherineIsaac_ or Facebook @Catherineisaacauthor.

You can also sign up to my monthly newsletter at www.catherine-isaac.com

I live in Liverpool, with my husband and three boys, which is where my writing career began, as a trainee reporter on the Liverpool Echo, back in the late 1990s. These days, as well as my writing, I also love running, playing tennis, renovating our 178-year old house and reading a lot of books.