Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A Review of The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week by Fiona Walker - Four **

A Review of The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week by Fiona Walker - Four **


Jenny loves to house-sit, looking after a stranger's enviably perfect home and pretending to be someone else - just for a bit. Her latest booking is a beautiful, dishevelled old rectory in the Home Counties owned by the uber-successful Lewis family. Freed of teaching duties for the summer, and her own teenagers spending time with her objectionable ex, Jenny readies herself for a life of walk-in larders and sparkling water taps.

Battling to control the riotous family dog and stay cool in an unrelenting heat-wave, she discovers skeletons in the Lewis closet that further threaten to disrupt her idyll. But then a seductive new friendship offers her a surprise second chance: to open herself up to love again and to finally live life on her own terms.


I have read a couple of books by Fiona Walker and they are usually light hearted romps with slightly OTT characters. This is a very different kettle of fish. 

To start with, it seemed to be going the usual route with almost slap-stick comedy but once Euan appears, things get somewhat darker. It becomes a very emotional, almost tortuous book. The fact that it all takes place during a heatwave adds to the passion and sexual tension.

I felt sorry for poor Roger but he never really stood a chance once Jenny and Euan met. 

The ending was lovely and almost felt like a reward for the reader - having come through some heavy times with Jenny! 

All in all I think I preferred this more serious book - and Gunter was fabulous!

Monday, 30 March 2015

A review of Australian Secrets by Fiona McCallum - Five **

A review of Australian Secrets by Fiona McCallum - Five **


Current affairs reporter Nicola Harvey has everything – she’s part of Australian television’s A-list, has a wealthy, successful fiancé and a classy apartment in Adelaide. But appearances are deceiving and Nicola’s sensing a problem. So, when her boss sends her on an extended research trip, she’s happy to get away for some country-style relaxation. 

When Nicola arrives in the little town of Nowhere Else, nothing is as she expected: there’s no spa and all the locals are tight-lipped except the handsome stranger from the plane, who’s keen to entertain her! 

The deeper Nicola digs for a story, the more time she spends with rugged Alex and she realises coming here wasn't a mistake. In fact, Alex may just unlock the mystery of her past. And hold the key to her future happiness...


Really enjoyed this book. Although English, I lived in Australia for 3 years and enjoy stories set in Australia.

This is the story of Nicola, a talented tv media journalist and how her life changes dramatically after being sent to the outback to cover a story about the drought, leaving in Adelaide her partner of 8 years, Scott.

For me, this was a great story of hope and family. I really liked Nicola and all her weaknesses and admired her strength in face of considerable adversity!

It's an easy read - I read it in 2 sittings - perfect holiday reading! I'll definitely look out for more Fiona McCallum books.

Amazon UK: Australian Secrets

Friday, 27 March 2015

Review of The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson - Five **

Review of The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson - Five **


Annie has a secret. But if she's not going to tell, we won't either. It's a heart-breaking secret she wishes she didn't have - yet Annie isn't broken, not quite yet. Especially now there's someone out there who seems determined to fix her.

Kate has run away. But she's not going to tell us why - that would defeat the point of running, wouldn't it? It's proving difficult to reinvent herself, however, with one person always on her mind.

Scratch beneath the surface and nobody is really who they seem. Even Annie and Kate, two old friends, aren't entirely sure who they are any more. Perhaps you can work it out, before their pasts catch up with them for good . . .

A gripping and unpredictable story of two young women running from their pasts. We defy you to guess the twist . . .


This is one fabulous book! It's a guessing game from beginning to end and has more twists and turns than a mountain pass! I was close but not close enough! Kate and Annie are wonderful characters and I particularly liked bold and funny Kate. At one stage I gasped out loud and froze. I couldn't believe what I'd just read!

The contrast between the lives of Annie and Kate are so well written and I love the interaction between Kate and the grooms and Annie and Le Cloob.

Even the ending had a twist and I was so disappointed when I finished it. I wanted to start all over again! Please, please read this wonderful book!!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

A review of Mightier than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer - Four **

Sorry for the lack of posts - my son broke his hand, my ex had a break in - you know - all life's trials at once! And speaking of trials - I did manage to read Mightier than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer, which includes 2 trials!

So here is the review:

A review of Mightier than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer - Four **


Mightier than the Sword opens with an IRA bomb exploding during the MV Buckingham's maiden voyage across the Atlantic - but how many passengers lose their lives?

When Harry Clifton visits his publisher in New York, he learns that he has been elected as the new president of English PEN, and immediately launches a campaign for the release of a fellow author, Anatoly Babakov, who's imprisoned in Siberia. Babakov's crime? Writing a book called Uncle Joe, a devastating insight into what it was like to work for Stalin. So determined is Harry to see Babakov released and the book published, that he puts his own life in danger.

His wife Emma, chairman of Barrington Shipping, is facing the repercussions of the IRA attack on the Buckingham. Some board members feel she should resign, and Lady Virginia Fenwick will stop at nothing to cause Emma's downfall.

Sir Giles Barrington is now a minister of the Crown, and looks set for even higher office, until an official trip to Berlin does not end as a diplomatic success. Once again, Giles's political career is thrown off balance by none other than his old adversary, Major Alex Fisher, who once again stands against him at the election. But who wins this time?

In London, Harry and Emma's son, Sebastian, is quickly making a name for himself at Farthing's Bank in London, and has proposed to the beautiful young American, Samantha. But the despicable Adrian Sloane, a man interested only in his own advancement and the ruin of Sebastian, will stop at nothing to remove his rival.


I have read all Jeffrey Archer's books. They're not Great Literature but they are good stories and he is an excellent storyteller. As usual with the Clifton Chronicles, it took me a couple of chapters to get back into the story but once I remembered the characters and their histories I was up and running. Some good storylines but a couple I found somewhat far-fetched - one of the reasons for the four stars.
I'm not sure if I'm getting more critical but he seems to finish each storyline before starting the next - with the exception of the libel trial. So the book almost turns into a series of short stories about interconnecting characters.
Seb is developing nicely, as are the many characters involved with the business. But Harry and Emma appear to be taking on saint-like qualities. I only hope they appear more human in books 6 and 7!
All in all, an enjoyable read - though not sure it was worth over £7 on my Kindle!
And be warned - the ending is very, very abrupt!

Monday, 16 March 2015

A Review of Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Review of Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan - Five **

Blurb: Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn't be happier. Because Polly is in love: she's in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she's in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she's in love with her boyfriend, Huckle.

And yet there's something unsettling about the gentle summer breeze that's floating through town. Selina, recently widowed, hopes that moving to Mount Polbearne will ease her grief, but Polly has a secret that could destroy her friend's fragile recovery. Responsibilities that Huckle thought he'd left behind are back and Polly finds it hard to cope with his increasingly long periods of absence.

Polly sifts flour, kneads dough and bakes bread, but nothing can calm the storm she knows is coming: is Polly about to lose everything she loves?


It was lovely to immerse myself in Cornwall once more and meet all the characters from Little Beach Street Bakery. This book continues the story and was an absolute joy to read. 

Pressures on Polly and Huckle's relationship, their home in the lighthouse, changes at the bakery and the reappearance of Selina all blend together wonderfully in a woven tale about life on a Cornish island. I find Jenny's descriptions so colourful and her characters are all so very three dimensional. In fact, I am often surprised when I look up, to find I am not actually in Mount Polbearne!

Got very emotional over Neil - that Puffin deservedly stars in a children's book by Jenny now. Such a lovely little bird - "eeping" away :) 

Personally, I think these two books should form the foundation for a TV series! Think it would be wonderful.

Really hope we can have at least one more book based in Mount Polbearne!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Review of Taken by a Dragon by Felicity Heaton

Review of Taken by a Dragon by Felicity Heaton - Five*


Possessed by a need to save a beautiful Amazon warrior from the vision he witnessed, Loke snatched her from the midst of the battle between the Third and Fifth realm of the demons, and carried her to his home deep in the black mountains of Hell to protect her. But as the fierce little female awakens, he finds she’s anything but grateful, and his dragon instincts roar to life to warn she might be more to him than an enemy—she might be his fated female. 

Anais remembers meeting a handsome warrior in the heat of battle, a man who was her enemy but who looked at her with eyes that held dark heat and wicked promises. When she wakes to find that same dragon shifter has taken her captive, desire is the last thing on her mind, but escaping him to return to Archangel, the hunter organisation she works for, sounds less than appealing when he reveals the reason he took her—to stop her from dying. 

Can Loke protect Anais from the dangers of his realm and how far will he go to save her from the future he keeps witnessing? Can Anais resist the fierce attraction that burns between them as hot as fire and stay true to Archangel or will her heart be taken by the dragon?


Felicity Heaton never lets you down! If you're into fantasy, romance and scorchingly hot alpha males and sex, then she will never, ever disappoint. I loved her "Her Angel" and the Vampire Romance series but have moved away from fantasy recently. So I was delighted to receive a copy of this in return for an honest review.

Loke is a dragon shifter and Anais is a human and this book is the story of the start of their love. As you can imagine, there are more than a few obstacles to overcome!

Loke is HOT and I don't just mean his fire breathing! Aquamarine eyes do something, don't they? The difficulties seems insurmountable but Felicity believes in happy endings and this was no exception. Although I was holding my breath at times!

Amazon US: Taken by a Dragon
Amazon UK: Taken by a Dragon

Monday, 9 March 2015

Review of Red Dirt Duchess by Louise Reynolds

A review of Red Dirt Duchess by Louise Reynolds - Five *


When English society playboy Jonathan Hartley-Huntley is sent to outback Australia after a disastrous affair with his editor, all he wants is to take a few pictures, do a quick interview and get back to his usual life of luxury as soon as possible. Until he meets his host, the irresistible Charlie Hughes, and suddenly the back of beyond is a lot more appealing.

Running the pub is a labour of love for Charlie and she has no desire to ever leave the tiny town of Bindundilly. That is, until Jon discovers an old painting that raises questions about both their lives. Charlie impulsively decides to follow him to London, and as the feelings between them begin to deepen, she starts to wonder if there's more to life than the pub. But at Jon's family home, the magnificent Hartley Hall, they become acutely aware of the differences between them, and it soon seems clear they have no future together – especially if Jon's mother has her way. 

Family and tradition threaten the course of true love in this warm and witty novel from the author of Outback Bride and Her Italian Aristocrat.


I read Louise's novella A Kirribilli Christmas and enjoyed it so much that I was delighted to accept this book and wasn't disappointed!

It's the story of Charlie, the proprietor of a remote outback pub in Australia, and Jon, a minor aristocrat in England. He is a journalist and they meet when he is covering a flood in the outback.

The contrast between Charlie's lifestyle and Jon's is dramatic but they manage to overcome this huge gulf and fall in love. But there is an elephant in the room in the shape of Jon's duty to provide an heir to the title. And Charlie doesn't want to be wooed if it's only for her child-bearing qualities! So their differences need to be sorted out. Jon's mother doesn't help - she is the epitome of British upper class reserve verging on the bitchy!

I'm not going to reveal any spoilers but the problems find answers in very unexpected ways!

I like the way Louise writes - her characters are vivid, with strong personalities. And there is a lot of humour in the books (the characters in the pub are a scream!)

I shall definitely look for more of her books :)

Amazon UK: Red Dirt Duchess
Amazon Australia: Red Dirt Duchess

Saturday, 7 March 2015

A review of Miranda's Mount by Phillipa Ashley

A review of Miranda's Mount by Phillipa Ashley - Five*


When Miranda finds herself fighting for her home, her job and her heart, sleeping with the enemy may not be the best tactic... 

With no family of her own, Miranda Marshall has developed a healthy respect - some would say obsession - with other people's histories. As property manager of a spectacular island castle in Cornwall, she's made St Merryn's Mount one of the UK's most popular heritage attractions. While she may have the castle running like clockwork, Miranda hasn't bargained on its sexy owner returning to claim his birthright. 

Dark, handsome and with a rakish reputation, Jago St Merryn not only looks like a pirate but is intent on flogging the Mount to a soulless leisure corporation. Miranda faces the battle of her life as she tries to persuade him to face up to his past and continue the St Merryn dynasty. But Jago has his own reasons for jumping ship and when he throws down the gauntlet to Miranda, she's forced to delve into painful memories she'd much rather keep hidden . . . 



Just reread this for the second time and it was just as good as the first time! Miranda has a job I would have loved in a place I have always loved! It is obvious from the writing just how much Phillipa loves Cornwall!

I love Phillipa's feisty females and Miranda is probably the best one! She fights tooth and nail for what she believes in and the ending is like a fabulous reward for her and the readers! And, as always, the hero is gorgeous!!

More please!!

Amazon UK: Miranda's Mount
Amazon US: Miranda's Mount

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Review of You Belong to Me by Samantha Hayes

A review of You Belong to Me by Samantha Hayes - Five*


The compelling new psychological suspense novel featuring DI Lorraine Fisher, from the author of Until You’re Mine and Before You Die. Perfect for fans of S J Watson and Sophie Hannah.

Fleeing the terrors of her former life, Isabel has left England, and at last is beginning to feel safe.

Then a letter shatters her world, and she returns home determined not to let fear rule her life any more.

But she's unable to shake off the feeling that someone who knows her better than she knows herself may be following her.

Watching. Waiting.

Ready to step back into her life and take control all over again.


This is not my usual reading genre but it hooked me and kept me to the very last page. I raced through it! I normally don't like reading books written in 1st person present tense, but I soon got used to it. And enjoyed the fact that all the main characters shared the narrative. It is a story about stalking and possession and very, very scary at times. 

As a psychological thriller it ticks all the boxes. I felt so sorry for the women - Alex and Izzy - and their helplessness in the face of a stalker. I also felt sorry for Lorraine, the policewomen, in her helplessness to try and do something about the stalker.

I confess that I had resolved some of the case by the time we reached the final chapters but certainly not all of it! And for that reason I kept reading - to see if I was right and was so glad I did because there were more twists to the tale that even I could have envisaged.

This was my first Samantha Hayes novel and it certainly won't be my last!

I was given a copy of this book on Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Publication date: 12 March 2015

Amazon UK: You Belong to Me
Amazon US: You Belong to Me

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

A review of Three Twisted Stories by Karin Slaughter - Four*

A review of Three Twisted Stories by Karin Slaughter - Four*


From the hallucinatory noir story 'Go Deep' to the twisted short stories 'Necessary Women' and 'Remmy Rothstein Toes the Line,' this collection showcases the Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author’s dark humour, limitless imagination, and masterly command of voice and character. 

('Go Deep' and 'Remmy Rothstein Toes the Line' also available as single stories and 'Necessary Women' also available as part of a bundle with 'The Mean Time')


Anyone buying these stories and expecting Karin Slaughter's usual cop fare will be very disappointed! The clue is in the title. This is a collection of a novella and two short stories. They are very dark, sinister, and, surprisingly, humorous. I read all three to the end but can't say they were my cup of tea. However, they were well written and I enjoyed the black humour. I'm sure readers who enjoy darker literature will find them excellent!

Creature Comforts by Trisha Ashley

A review of Creature Comforts by Trisha Ashley - Five**


Fall in back in love with life in this gripping read about fate and second chances.
The eagerly awaited new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author.
Izzy has broken off her engagement to her feckless fiancée Kieran and returned to her childhood home – the sleepy village of Halfhidden.

She soon realizes that life in the village is anything but peaceful – for one thing she’s living with her mad aunt Debo and her pack of dogs, and for another, Izzy has a lot of unanswered questions.

When she was a teenager, Izzy was involved in a terrible accident, involving various inhabitants of Halfhidden. As she sets out to discover what actually happened on the night of the accident, she realizes that her painful past is actually standing in the way of her future happiness. So when a handsome stranger comes to Halfhidden will she let love back into her life?


I started this book yesterday and have just finished it. I have always loved Trisha's books about Sticklepond and to read a book about a close village called Halfhidden was wonderful!

The story revolves around Izzy and Rufus. They have an awful lot of baggage from their backgrounds and the love story takes almost second place as they resolve all the issues before allowing themselves the freedom of loving each other.

As usual, there are village shenanigans, larger than life characters - and some very obnoxious people! I love the way Trisha describes village life, with everything revolving around a few important places - the pub, the spring and the Dog Rescue.

The dogs are wonderfully described and I so want a Babybelle! There is so much going on with the dogs and the humans I was worried I'd lose track of the plot, but Trisha keeps the reader fully informed and I raced through the book! It was one of those books that you are desperate to know what the ending is, but don't want it to end at the same time.

Heavens knows what I'll read now - my head is full of dreams, angels and large, hairy dogs!

Amazon UK: Creature Comforts
Amazon US: Creature Comforts

Monday, 2 March 2015

Haven't forgotten you all! Trying to sort out my reading into some sort of sensible order! Thought I'd done just that, then got side-tracked by Trisha Ashley's new book Creature Comforts. So I'm disappearing to read it 😊