Thursday, 28 May 2020

The Babysitter - Phoebe Morgan

On the hottest day of the year, Caroline Harvey is found dead in Suffolk. Her body is left draped over a cot – but the baby she was looking after is missing.  
Hundreds of miles away, Siobhan Dillon is on a luxurious family holiday in France when her husband, Callum, is arrested by French police on suspicion of murder.

As Siobhan’s perfect family is torn apart by the media in the nation’s frantic search for the missing baby, she desperately tries to piece together how Callum knew Caroline.
What happened that night? Was Caroline as innocent as she seemed – or was she hiding a secret of her own?
The thrilling new book from the number one digital bestselling author of The Doll House and The Girl Next Door.
My Review:After reading Phoebe Morgan’s previous books I have become a firm fan and was very excited about this release.

Caroline is found murdered and the baby she was watching has disappeared. Prime suspect is Callum who had been having an affair with her. Callum and his family have just arrived in France on holiday when the police call to arrest him. Wife, Siobhan, daughter Emma and sister-in-law Maria are astounded and return home under pressure from people demanding answers. It soon becomes clear that everyone has their own secrets, some are just more deadly than others.

The story is told from several viewpoints, which I like as you get to see things from different perspectives and points of view, makes it quite exciting. You also get to know what happened in the run up to her death as well as the aftermath. There are clues as you read through, but you only get an inkling of what really happened – the twists in this were unexpected.
I was adamant I knew who had killed Caroline and what had happened to the baby, but I did keep changing my mind throughout.

The book is very well written and nicely paced, you don’t feel as though it is being rushed nor goes too slow. Phoebe Morgan has a great writing style, with stories that thrill and keep you hooked from start to finish. 

I highly recommend The Babysitter for fans of thrilling, dramatic reads. 

About the Author:Phoebe Morgan is an author and editor. She studied English at Leeds University after growing up in the Suffolk countryside. She has previously worked as a journalist and now edits crime and women’s fiction for a publishing house during the day, and writes her own books in the evenings. She lives in London and you can follow her on Twitter @Phoebe_A_Morgan.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

A Cornish Summer Holiday -Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green

The Little Duck Pond Cafe girls are looking forward to a well-earned break in the Cornish seaside town of Pengully Sands, where Sylvia’s sister, Aggie, owns a holiday home. With the glorious golden sands, sparkling azure sea and an ice-cream parlour only yards away, it seems like the perfect location to relax and watch the surfers riding the waves (and maybe even have a go themselves). But when they arrive, the girls find it’s not quite the seaside idyll they were expecting. The house is less ‘holiday home’ and more ‘creepy, dilapidated haunted house.’ Gracie, who runs the ice-cream parlour, has problems of her own and the last thing she needs is a bunch of high-spirited girls arriving to disturb the peace and isolation she craves. And when a handsome stranger looks set to destroy her livelihood, it seems like the last straw. Will Gracie get her happy ending - and maybe even make friends with the girls next-door? This wasn’t the relaxing break the Little Duck Pond Cafe girls were expecting, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be the holiday of a lifetime!

Purchase Link -

My Review:

I adore this series; I have raved about it with every new release, but it’s the truth. It always shoots straight to the top of my reading pile.

A Cornish Summer Holiday at the Little Duck Pond Café is the tenth book on the series (wow!) and it is just as special as the others. If you haven’t read any of the series so far, you can read this as a standalone very easily, but I do recommend you catch up with the others. This is the first in the series that is not set in our favourite little community -the girls have decided to take a holiday.

Pengully, Cornwall is our setting and we are introduced to Gracie. The story is told from her point of view as well as the Little Duck Pond Café Ladies, which I really enjoyed.

Gracie is going through a difficult time and, as many of the ladies from the café have had to do in the past, she needs to figure out who she is and what she needs to do moving forward. Things have not been easy for her and the arrival of the café ladies is not a welcome addition.

As the story progresses, we see our favourite ladies do their best to renovate their holiday home, look after each other through problems as well as befriending and supporting Gracie.

I love the different characters we have grown so used to over the series, each are different yet complement each other – forming a formidable friendship group who stick together throughout anything.

Rosie Green writes in such a lovely way, we connect with each character, laugh along with their fun but really feel their pain too. Easy to read, with fun and heart-warming moments throughout.
I already look forward to the next in the series – long may it continue!! 

Author Bio:

Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by 'the baddies'.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all - unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Her series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘Lemon Drizzle Mondays at the Little Duck Pond Cafe', is out now.

Rosie is currently writing a full-length book, ‘Lucy’s Great Cornish Escape’, which – in a fun twist – will feature favourite characters from the Little Duck Pond Café series.

Follow Rosie on Twitter -

Thursday, 21 May 2020

The Plus One Pact - Portia MacIntosh

What if your plus one could be the one...?
Cara has officially run out of men. Her most recent dates have gone from bad to worse, and when her dating app informs her there is no one left in her area to choose from, she is at a dead end.
But with a summer of events ahead of her, she needs to find a solution, fast; someone to keep her company at the never-ending weddings, family gatherings and gender reveal parties that she can’t face going to alone. 
So when she meets handsome, confident, Millsy on a night out she may be in luck. They could not be more different in personality, but he too has a summer of events ahead and is desperate to get his family off his back about finding a ‘nice girl’. What if they made a pact to help each other out and be a plus one for the summer? Just as friends of course...? 

A brand new romantic comedy from bestseller Portia MacIntosh, perfect for fans of Zara Stoneley, Sophie Ranald and Mhairi McFarlane.

My Review:
An uplifting, easy to read, romantic comedy to lift your spirits.
The Plus One Pact is a story about two people finding their perfect match, someone who will take them as they are and not expect them to change.

Cara is kind, good with people but unlucky in love, just not finding the right kind of guy especially , and Millsy, the devilishly handsome and charming man she meets who seems to good to be true, and far too popular with the ladies for Cara.
This witty, romantic tale is very cute. It is probably a tad predictable for some, but I don’t see what is wrong in that. I enjoyed their adventures, the laugh out loud moments entertained me throughout. I was willing Cara to see what was right, slap bang in front of her. Millsy is a fun-loving guy, very good with the ladies. I loved their friendship, getting each other in and out of scrapes was fun.

I think this story shows it may be worth expanding our horizons at times. It’s a light-hearted tale, well written and really enjoyable, take a look if you want something fun to read. 

Purchase Link:  

Author Bio:
Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of 12 novels, including It's Not
You, It's Them and Honeymoon For One. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real life experiences.

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Tuesday, 19 May 2020

The Minute I Saw You - Paige Toon

The brand new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author Paige Toon. The perfect summer read for 2020!

Some people believe that it’s possible to fall in love simply by gazing into another person’s eyes . . .

When Hannah and Sonny meet, a spark ignites that is hard to ignore and impossible to forget. Weeks later, their paths cross again, but Sonny appears distant and reluctant to meet Hannah’s eye. It soon transpires that Sonny is at a crossroads. He’s committed to making serious life changes – ones that can’t and won’t include romance.

Hannah has her own reasons for wanting to keep their budding friendship platonic. Plus, she’s only in town temporarily, housesitting for her uncle. But as the summer hots up and the chemistry between them intensifies, Hannah and Sonny discover that there’s more to each other than meets the eye...

My Review

Breathtakingly heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Paige Toon just melts my heart every single time. I absolutely adored this latest release from Paige. 'The Minute I Saw You,' had me from the very first word, I couldn't put it down - not that I even wanted to!

I enjoyed the bubbling chemistry between Hannah and Sonny, from the moment they met it was clear there was something special between them and that made their second meeting all the more surprising as something had fundamentally changed. 

Both characters have led lives that would set them apart from others, both are hurt, living with scars from traumas that are very different. Hannah and Sonny are struggling with their own secrets but feel so drawn to one another. The blossoming friendship is a joy to behold. 

I enjoyed watching Hannah and Sonny get close, seeing their friendship grow and evolve throughout (without them realising how close they were actually getting). I loved the rest of the additional characters – Bertie for one will having you laughing but Matilda and Archie will prove extra special too. 

I don't want to talk about the story too much, it is so special that I want you to discover Hannah and Sonny's history for yourself. I will say my heart broke a little, the secrets and surprised were not what I expected. I think we all try to guess what may happen, or what the dramatic twist may be and I hadn't predicted this at all, well not completely. 

I love that Paige doesn't shy away from things, takes something so unique and creates a beautiful story that is empathetic yet enjoyable. She writes with such delicate care and consideration. 

 The Minute I Saw You is a very poignant love story. It was funny, romantic, frustrating but essentially very moving. Every aspect is written sensitively and ensured I loved both Hannah and Sonny equally. 

I cannot recommend it enough. Paige Toon never fails to deliver an absolute beauty of a book. 

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Just My Luck - Adele Parks

It's the stuff dreams are made of - a lottery win so big, it changes everything.
For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes. Over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they've discussed the important stuff - the kids, marriages, jobs and houses - and they've laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner.
But then, one Saturday night, the unthinkable happens. There's a rift in the group. Someone doesn't tell the truth. And soon after, six numbers come up which change everything forever.
Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth £18 million. And their friends are determined to claim a share of it.
Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks returns with a riveting look at the dark side of wealth in this gripping take on friendship, money and betrayal, and good luck gone bad...
My Review:

They say, ‘be careful what you wish for’ and this book encapsulates that perfectly. This twisted tale of greed and betrayal will have you on the edge of your seat, highlighting the appalling lows that some people would stoop to because of greed.

You would thinking hitting the jackpot would bring you endless happiness and you wouldn’t have to worry about a thing ever again – how wrong this can be,

Full of backstabbing, this group of characters are willing to pay each other off, lie, cheat and steal to get their hands on what they believe is rightly theirs; years of friendship and loyalty goes out the window and leaves some wondering who they can actually trust anymore. I enjoyed how it made you think, asking yourself those moral questions that if you were in this position how you would cope.

I liked Lexi; she is calm, not wanting to be extravagant and mindful of others. She wants to use the money to help others, selfless and not at all greedy unlike those around her who get carried away very quickly. Jake seems to change for the worse instantly, flashing the cash and showing off.

There is so much to this story, I had some ideas of what could happen as I read through, but I wasn’t expecting the darker twists along the way, with some dramatic, emotional scenes.

As with all of Adele Parks’ books the writing keeps you engaged, it’s full of emotion with characters you feel strongly about. I think at times you get swept away with the lavish lifestyle that the money can create, so the inclusion of Toma and his story balances perfectly. He is suffering, handling loss and grief, desperate to find justice for his wife and child.

A surprisingly dark tale spun from what many may dream to be the best moment of their lives. I recommend this one completely. An Adele Parks fan, I never fail to enjoy her writing, this is her 20th book in 20 years – an amazing achievement and testament to her storytelling skills. I look forward to what will come next.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Escape to the French Farmhouse - Jo Thomas

Can she find her recipe for happiness?

Del and her husband Ollie moved to a beautiful village in Provence for a fresh start after years of infertility struggles. But six weeks after they arrive, they’re packing the removal van once more. As Del watches the van leave for England, she suddenly realises exactly what will make her happier… a new life in France – without Ollie.

Now alone, all Del has is a crumbling farmhouse, a mortgage to pay and a few lavender plants. What on earth is she going to do? Discovering an old recipe book at the market run by the rather attractive Fabian, Del starts to bake. But can her new-found passion really help her let go of the past and lead to true happiness?

A heart-warming tale about reclaiming your life, set amongst the lavender fields of Provence. Perfect escapism from the author of Late Summer in the Vineyard and The Honey Farm on the Hill.

My Review:

A wonderfully enchanting adventure in an idyllic, dreamy French setting.

Jo Thomas is one of my absolute ‘go-to’ authors, I’m always swept away to a glorious destination with fantastic characters, and a heart-warming tale – oh some of the most divine, mouth-watering foods and drink.

Escape to the French Farmhouse is uplifting, emotional and a delight to read. I devoured it in almost one setting and it the story stayed with me for days after I’d finished. Jo Thomas transported me and the writing evoked emotion and I could feel the sunshine, smell the lavender; I could believe I was there and with Del & Co.

What a woman Del is, driven daring and compassionate, I really admired her. I marvelled at Del’s progression throughout the book, her courage rewarded, and confidence restored. Her ability to make people feel better whilst trying to heal her own wounds is lovely, she builds her own family and deservedly finds the community, love and life she craved.

Such a great cast of characters, I was laughing and gasping throughout, a smile on my face one minute but then upset the next, I really did buy in to the emotions of many characters.

I always love the descriptions of yummy treats, foods, and drinks and this did not disappoint, I was intrigued using lavender in so many ways and would love to try some myself now.

I couldn’t recommend this one more if you are looking to be whisked away, escape from current times and take in the delights of this French community. An uplifting, romantic tale that does not disappoint.

About the Author:

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before  moving on to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Sing me a Secret - Julie Houston

About the book
The four Sutherland sisters have all had very different paths in life, but one secret and a slighty tense production of Jesus Christ Superstar are about to bring them all back together again…

When the news that pop-superstar Lexia Sutherland is returning to Westenbury, not everyone is thrilled by the news – including Lexia. There are too many memories she doesn’t need to face – or need re-surfacing. Meanwhile, Juno Sutherland just wants a little peace and quiet.

As the local village doctor, she’s got her priorities in order; kids, job, husband, tenacious pony, a role in the village musical… So when the sexy new locum turns up – and steals her office – the last thing she needed was to be hit with rising temperatures and an over-active imagination.

Will these sisters be able to uncover the past, deal with the future and put on the performance of a lifetime?

My Review:

A charm of a book, a gorgeous read that will have you laughing out loud and will warm your heart. If this is a snapshot of village life, then I would love to be part of this kind of community.

As with families there are secrets as well as the emotional ups and downs but as you read through the story you do see strong family bonds, sisterly love, and support as they work through problems and situations.

Brilliantly written, I immediately felt like I knew these characters and that they were friends who I cared for.  Overcoming adversity, using the power of song to come together with each other and the community.

Julie Houston writes with nice attention to detail; characters feel realistic and the story develops at a lovely pace.

A genuinely uplifting book that I recommend for those looking to get lost in a book.

Highly enjoyable!

Buy links:

About the author

Julie Houston is the author of THE ONE SAVING GRACE, GOODNESS, GRACE AND ME and LOOKING FOR LUCY, a Kindle top 100 general bestseller and a Kindle #1 bestseller. She is married, with two teenage children and a mad cockerpoo and, like her heroine, lives in a West Yorkshire village. She is also a teacher and a magistrate.