Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Guest Post - Ideas and Inspiration by Kelly Florentia - Blog Tour

When my cousin read a very brief sex scene from my novel recently, she was mortified, even told me she went red! “Why?” I exclaimed, “It isn’t me! I just wrote it about someone else.”

I think her reaction is quite common when the reader knows the author, especially when you write in the first person, as I do. They automatically place you as the protagonist. But to be honest, apart from expressing myself through my characters at times and writing the odd scenario (mostly funny things that happen to me or someone I know), I’m not a bit fan of the truism when it comes to writing. I’m not sure if this is because my life is just too dull, or simply because I love the escapism of my craft. I thrive on getting lost in a fictional world, making things up, creating characters, scenes, conflicts, using my imagination.

And this brings me on to the most frequent question that I’m asked, ‘So, where do you get your ideas from?’ I wish I could say that I’ve got an ideas guru on speed dial feeding me storylines, or an App that’s updated regularly with decent plots. But the truth is, inspiration comes quite naturally. An idea will just ping into my head, followed in quick succession by ‘Oooh, imagine what would happen if…’ It could manifest from a comment, a conversation, something I hear or read, or even from something I’ve worked on before. Ideas are simply everywhere. No Way Back started as a short story of about a thousand words. When I reached the end, I didn’t seem to want to stop. The questions were flowing and badgering me for answers. I knew it had potential, that there was so much more to be told. So I created new characters, threw in a love-triangle, a heroine with a bit of a shoe obsession, and No Way Back was written.

I like to write about things that readers can resonate with - everyday dilemmas, things that life throw at us either directly or indirectly. No Way Back is a story about love, heartbreak, and friendship. Although I injected some humour into the story, the characters do go through quite a lot of difficulties and upheavals. I won’t give too much away because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but one of the characters has a near death experience and as a result, goes on to have OBEs (out-of-body experiences). I must admit, it was a fascinating subject to research and to write about (I love my job!) and I hope that my readers will find it spellbinding, too!

Thank you so much Kelly for this great post. 


Kelly Florentia was born and bred in north London, where she continues to live with her husband Joe. No Way Back, released 21st September, is her second novel. 

Kelly has always enjoyed writing and was a bit of a poet when she was younger. Before penning her debut The Magic Touch (2016), she wrote short stories for women’s magazines. To Tell a Tale or Two… is a collection of her short tales.

Kelly has a keen interest in health and fitness and has written many articles on this subject. Smooth Operator (published in January 2017) is a collection of twenty of her favourite smoothie recipes.
As well as writing, Kelly enjoys reading, running, yoga, drinking coffee, and scoffing cakes. She is currently working on the sequel to NO WAY BACK.

When two eligible and attractive men are vying for your heart, it should be the perfect dilemma...

Audrey Fox has been dumped by her unreliable fiancé Nick Byrne just days before the wedding. Heartbroken and confused, the last thing she expects when she jumps on a plane to convalesce in Cyprus is romance. But a chance meeting with handsome entrepreneur and father-of-one Daniel Taylor weaves her into a dating game she's not sure she's ready for. Audrey's life is thrown into further turmoil when she discovers on her return to London that Nick has been involved in a serious motorcycle accident that's left him in intensive care. Distraught yet determined to look to the future, Audrey must make a decision - follow her heart or listen to well-meaning advice from family and friends? Because sometimes, no matter what, it's the people that we love who can hurt us the most...

Twitter: @kellyflorentia

Book Review - Christmas at Mistletoe Cove by Holly Martin - Blog Tour

Amazon UK
Title: Christmas at Mistletoe Cove
Author: Holly Martin
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 22nd September 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

Christmas has arrived at Hope Island, promising snowflakes, surprises and plenty of seasonal joy. So snuggle up and fall in love at Mistletoe Cove …

Growing up on Hope Island, Eden Lancaster always believed that if you wished hard enough for something, dreams really could come true. But Eden’s greatest wish is also her biggest secret: she has been completely in love with her childhood friend, the charming and attractive Dougie Harrison, for as long as she can remember. And he has no idea. 

When Dougie leaves his successful life in New York to return home to Hope Island for good, Eden can’t escape her feelings. Her heart is full of hope that her romantic dreams are finally, at long last, going to come true…

This Christmas could change everything. But can a lifelong friendship really turn into the perfect romance? And will Eden get the happily ever after she’s always wished for?

It certainly isn't Christmas unless there is a Holly Martin book, and this has surpassed expectations.  Dougie is one of the most romantic heroes that I have read about, and it was only a few pages in when I fell head over heels in love with him. 

Eden has been in love with Dougie all of her life, and she is half dreading his permanent return to Hope Island as he has never expressed interest in her in that way. Yet within a few days of his return Dougie was like a man on a mission to make Eden fall in love with him. 

There is even plenty of wooing (don't recall the last time I read about some good old romantic wooing!), and some remarkably impressive gestures as Dougie attempts to make all of Eden's wishes and dreams come true. 

This is the sort of book that not only will turn a cynic into a romantic, but also into a believer of fairy dust and magical wishes.  Mistletoe Cover besides having an incredibly Christmassy sounding name is just a fabulous cove that plays a huge part in Eden and Dougie's story. 

The festive feeling is very present in this book, with the week long Christmas festival on the island. I loved the couples snowman building competition, the mince pie flavoured pancakes were inventive and anything with sleigh rides and Christmas gifts is a winner for me! 

This is the third book set on Hope Island, and can easily be read as a standalone. The focus is on Eden and Dougie and fans of the previous two books will be delighted to see the continuation of Bella and Freya's stories too. 

Fully of romance, wishes, beautiful setting, great friendship, and just all around great feelings, this is a wonderful story that was a delight to read.  I'm just worried that future book boyfriends won't measure up to Dougie, in terms of thoughtfulness and all around sex appeal! 

Christmas at Mistletoe Cove is simply wonderful and whether you curl up with some mulled wine, or read it in the middle of summer, it is a story well worth reading and enjoying, if you like loveable characters and a big helping a romance!

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for this copy which I have read honestly and voluntarily. 

Please follow along with the rest of the blog tour. 

Author Bio:

Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books

Author Social Media Links:

Monday, 25 September 2017

Book Review - The Little Village Christmas by Sue Moorcroft - Rachel Reads Randomly Book #70

Amazon UK
Title: The Little Village Christmas
Author: Sue Moorcroft
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 9th October 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

Alexia Kennedy – interior decorator extraordinaire – has been tasked with giving the little village of Middledip the community cafĂ© it’s always dreamed of.

After months of fundraising, the villagers can’t wait to see work get started – but disaster strikes when every last penny is stolen. With Middledip up in arms at how this could have happened, Alexia feels ready to admit defeat.

But help comes in an unlikely form when woodsman, Ben Hardaker and his rescue owl Barney, arrive on the scene. Another lost soul who’s hit rock bottom, Ben and Alexia make an unlikely partnership.

However, they soon realise that a little sprinkling of Christmas magic might just help to bring this village – and their lives – together again…

Interior decorator meets brooding woodsman, who has a baby owl, in the long awaited return to Middledip, which features so huge storylines that kept the drama high, not to mention sparks flying between our two main characters, in a superb story. 

Lets start with Middledip a location that Sue Moorcroft fans will recognise instantly, as its been home to a few of her previous books. Although I have read some of those, its been a while so the familiarity I personally hoped for wasn't there, but it didn't matter, as you didn't need to know anything going into the book. That being said there were a few characters mentioned, where my thought was yes! I've read the book they feature a lot in. 

Alexia is looking forward to working on the project that will ultimately launch her career and allow her to leave Middledip for bigger and brighter jobs.  It is the refurbishment of old pub The Angel, and turning it into a community cafe. 

The night of the wrecking party, she meets Ben the local tree surgeon and lets just say things become a bit awkward between them after that night and subsequent morning.  Not least because the funds for the  community cafe are discovered missing, which sets into place the chain of events for most of the book. 

Ben moved from one small village to this one, in part to be closer to his uncle Gabe, and because he had personal problems of his own. He is looking after Barney who has a great character for an owl and always raised a smile from me whenever he was in the scene. 

There are many surprises along the way and I was drawn into the action immediately and despite being busy in my real life I was continually longing to be back in the book to see how things were going, and how everything would turn out in the end.  

As always with  a Sue Moorcroft book I was thoroughly enjoying the story, location, characters and their various situations. It deals with  a few different issues, and discovering the truth as to what led Ben to Middledip was very interesting, and I'm not sure how I would have coped in his situation when various truths began to emerge. 

Finally for those that love leaving books with Christmas in the title until December, don't worry Christmas actually plays a very small part in this book, and its more of a autumn/winter book than one that will make you reach for the mistletoe! 

Thank you to Netgalley and Avon for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

This is the bit where I normally thank you for voting last week, tell you I appreciate it and remind you to take part again. Well all of that is completely true  so thank you.

But special thanks this week has to go to Sue Moorcroft herself, who within an hour or two of last week's vote post going live, had engaged her #TeamMoorcroft into action and my twitter and comments were filled with votes for The Little Village Christmas before I was even awake!  What a great way to start a day! 

Rachel Reads Randomly - Vote #71

Thank you everyone for your input last time. The results of the last vote were:

0 Votes - Out of Practice by Phoebe Fox
1 Votes - Summer at Willow Farm by Heidi Rice
6 Votes -  After I've Gone by Linda Green
9 Votes -  Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan
14 Votes -  The Little Village Christmas by Sue Moorcroft

I believe this week's result was a great example of what happens when one author decides to rally her fans! I always love seeing the reaction not just from readers, but also the authors whose books are in this feature, and I thought Sue Moorcroft was brilliant this week! I also thoroughly enjoyed the book too! 

Normally I would wait until October, but I seem to have less time to read at the moment, so I'm moving this over to the festive version until I run out of Christmas books! That and it turns out there are exactly 3 months to go! This is purely as I only like reading them at this time of year, and never like having too many left over year to year! For the next couple of months, there will only be 3 choices each week due to the smaller pool to pick from. I have added in this year a few of the wintery sounding books too, just for a bit of variety!  

Below is my initial theory for this feature, and then a bit further, what you are all waiting for... This weeks's vote! Enjoy!

I am also awful at deciding what book to read next, as I often have about 10 titles or authors jumping into my brain at any time, shouting at me to read them, and I tend to worry I have made the wrong decision while reading a perfectly good book. I am hoping this will save me having to make at least 1 choice a week, while possibly providing a review to the site of a book you all either love or are curious about yourselves. 

So what I am proposing, is my lovely loyal readers of Rachel's Random Reads, select one book for me to read a week, and I will post the review the following week. 

This week's random numbers are...

And the books these numbers correspond to are...

So the 5 choices with my gut feeling responses are:

4 - Nine Ladies Dancing by Cat Lavoie - I couldn't resist downloading this last year, but I don't really recall anything about it, so could be interesting for all of us if it wins
12 - For The Love of Christmas by Kate Forster - I have loved Kate Forster's first few books and I think this should be good too. 
14 - Festive Feast by Michel Gorman - Compilation of 3 of Michele Gorman's previously released festive short stories in one easy bundle. 

These are all older Christmas releases some that I think I've had on my kindle for a year or two at least, so its definitely about time I read these.  Will be very curious to see which one wins this week! 

And authors, if its your book up on this feature, feel free to take part, vote for yourself, or stir up excitement amongst your fans! 

Pick your favourite or the one you most want me to review, or just the one you are curious about, and leave me a comment below, before midnight on Wednesday. 

I look forward to seeing what I will be reading over the weekend, courtesy of you all. 

The explanation if you haven't seen the feature before. 

How is this going to work?

Every Monday, I am going to have a post like this, which is going to have some choices on it. I am planning on using random.org to select 7 random numbers, to coincide with my spreadsheet of unread books.  

I will from that produce a list of hopefully 5 books, I reserve the right to veto any books, and will give reasons for them, if it occurs.

I will take screenshots and post them, of the chosen books, and also give you my instinctive reactions to the choices (without checking blurbs or any other info about them, which could be interesting as there are probably many forgotten about books on my spreadsheet!). 

Your task is to post a comment on this post, with the book you would like me to read this week. At midnight on Wednesday I will take a tally of the votes and the book with the most, I will read and review for the following Monday, where you will also get a new choice post. 

In the event of a tie, I will chose which one appeals most, for the Monday review, and possibly try and read and review the other to appear when I can. 

I am hoping this will provide some variety to the books appearing, and will let me potentially read or discover some great authors that I have wanted to read but not got around to yet.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Book Review - Practice Makes Perfect by Penny Parkes

Amazon UK
Title:  Practice Makes Perfect
Author: Penny Parkes
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 29th June 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

The Practice at Larkford has suddenly been thrust under the spotlight – and its nomination as a ‘NHS Model Surgery’ is causing the team major headaches. Dr Holly Graham should be basking in the glow of her new romance with fellow doctor, Taffy – but she is worried that the team is prioritising plaudits over patients, and her favourite resident, the irreverent and entertaining Elsie, is facing a difficult diagnosis. Add to that the chaos of family life and the strain is starting to show.

Dr Dishy Dan Carter’s obsession with work is masking unhappiness elsewhere – he can’t persuade girlfriend Julia to settle down. It’s only as Julia’s mother comes to stay that he realizes what she has been hiding for so long. Alice Walker joins the team like a breath of fresh air and her assistance dog Coco quickly wins everyone round – which is just as well, because Coco and Alice will soon need some help of their own. Can they pull together and become the Dream Team that the NHS obviously thinks they are?

Having read Practice Makes Perfect I’m not utterly convinced that the setting of Larkford and The Practice would be a perfect setting for a soap opera or sitcom. There is so much drama and so many different storylines and characters all of which are really interesting that it keeps you reading page after page. 

Not only do we see a return of the four main doctors, but we also see the introduction of a new young doctor Alice to the surgery in addition to her assistance dog Coco. It was from the moments they were first introduced that I could tell that they would be rather integral characters and rather special too. 

It is great to see the continuing stories of Julia, Dan, Taffy and Holly and wow do they manage to fit a lot into tot his book between them. Julia’s continual media ambitions, while struggling to contain her family demons. Dan is caught up in a turbulent relationship, but is another woman just starting to catch this eye, he is also big on championing the Practice in the Community project, and I loved hearing about some of the fundraising. While Holly and Taffy are adjusting to living together and the twins, Ben and Tom are a handful while being thoroughly entertaining. 

Of course it’s not just the doctors lives the book focuses on, there is also Grace the admin woman who seems to be great at firmly keeping the doctors in line. And then there are the people in the community, including some recurring characters that I was eager to see the return of like Major and Elsie. 
This is a story about realistic characters facing the everyday challenges that normal working people face, including their bosses entering them into a high profile bet for their unique management style, the tug between mother and daughter relationships, sibling rivalries, and loads of other examples of things that are easy to relate to. 

Yes this is quite a long book, but I really didn’t feel like a slog, in fact it was a delight to read, with Dan and Taffy providing a fair amount of comic relief, in a story that has many facets to it. I believe Practice Makes Perfect could be read as a standalone, as prior intimate knowledge of the previous books isn’t required. As a returning reader to the series, I was incredibly pleased to discover it really didn’t take long to feel like part of the community in Larkford again. 

I am already incredibly eager to read the next book in the series, and can’t wait to see what the charismatic residents of Larkford will get up to next! 

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Fab Firsts - Q&A with Jason Hershey

Fab Firsts is my regular Sunday feature, that is going to be highlighting books that are firsts. When interviewing authors, it will be about their first book, as well as other firsts in their lives. When reviewing books for this feature, there will be a mix of debuts, first books in a series, the first time I read an author, and possibly other firsts depending on what I can think of!

If you are an author wanting to take part in Fab Firsts then please do email on gilbster at gmail dot com and I'll whizz the questions over to you.

I hope you enjoy this look at a variety of hopefully fabulous firsts, while making some sort of dent in my review and paperback TBRs which are my current main focus!

Introducing Jason Hershey, a debut author.

1) Can you tell us a bit about your first book? 

My book is entitled “To Die To Live” and it is about a teenager named Theo who has struggles assimilating to his new environment and the people around him. It takes the loss of a friend for him to discover his “spark” to live life and to attempt to reach his full potential.

2) What was your original inspiration to become a writer, and to write your debut? 

I have always dabbled in writing, yet this book sprang from a desire to reach my full potential. I took aspects of my life growing up, as well as friends and fiction, to create, I believe, a very relatable and real character that readers can instantly relate to.

3) How long did it take you to write your first book? 

The whole book, from concept to final editing took about three months. Most of it was the editing part as the story tended to write itself.

4) If you could do anything differently in retrospect, what would you change about your debut, or how you went about writing it? 

I can honestly say that I have enjoyed everything about writing, marketing, and distributing it. The one thing I would change, if I had to pick one, would be I wouldn’t wait so long to write it. I would of wrote it years ago.

5) Was your first book self or traditionally published, and how did you go about making that decision? 

This was my first book and I decided to self-publish it. I loved the fact that the books success, or failure, would be completely on me. I am responsible for everything that this book accomplishes. I wanted control over cover design, where it was released and the final product. Plus it was a lot of time to contact agents and stuff, when I could just be doing everything myself and getting it out to the public. 

6) Do you have any tips for other first time authors? 

Write, write, write. Write your stories, your poems and your songs. Get them down on paper and watch them grow. Treat them like your children and nurture it. You will absolutely be surprised how it ends up.

Tell us about your first…

7) Book you bought
To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the best stories ever

8) Album you purchased

My first album was Michael Jackson, Off The Wall. Great album from an extraordinary artist.

9) Sport you enjoyed participating in

soccer. I came home in third grade and told my dad I wanted to play and he was not on board. With come coxing from my mother, he reluctantly signed me up and before you know it he was a coach for over 15 years.

10) ..choice of alternative career if you weren’t an author

I’m a teacher now, so that is my fall back option if this writing thing doesn’t work out.

) …toy that you recall loving
Growing up I loved my G.I. Joe characters and all the vehicles that came along with it. Nothing fancy like now, simple and imaginative.

12) … time you realised you were good at something
When I received my first college scholarship to play football. That’s when it dawned on me that I might be good at that sport.

13) … time you were really scared

The theme music to “Unsolved Mysteries” always scared the beejeezies out of me growing up. I hate that music to this day.

About Jason Hershey

I have been a teacher for over 10 years, teaching everything from early childhood to high school. I have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas, where I also played football. I am originally from Phoenix, Arizona and currently reside in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio with my family. This is my first book.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Book Review - The Picture House by the Sea by Holly Hepburn

Amazon UK
Title: The Picture House by the Sea
Author: Holly Hepburn
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Purchased 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 10th August 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

The picture house by the sea is the Palace at Polwhipple – a lovely art deco cinema, nestled in front of azure Cornish seas. But it is long past its heyday now, and its only saving grace is Ferrelli's, the family run ice-cream concession in the foyer, which is widely known as the best ice-cream for miles.

So when Ferdie, the owner of Ferelli's, breaks his leg, his granddaughter Gina drops everything to come and help out. But when she arrives she is dismayed by the state of the cinema, which she remembers fondly from summer holidays when she was little, and she is determined to give it the makeover it deserves. Along with local renovation expert Ben, she sets about reviving the Palace to its former glory. 
But the cinema needs more than a lick of paint. Its very future is under threat from a developer with greed in his eyes. Can Gina save the place before it is too late?

A dream of a book for Gelato lovers and cinema lovers alike, and it works incredibly well for fans of Cornwall, and trying to save small businesses against adversity. Not to mention the Italian grandparents, a renovations expert and some really imaginative ideas, some fantastic cosplay opportunities, plus new and old friendships. 

Pretty much if you are a fan of this sort of genre of books, then The Picture House by the Sea is a book you should look out for, as its a wonderful read. Yes in parts I could sort of guess what may be happening in advance, but I was so caught up in the book that i didn't really mind. 

I thought the names on each of the 4 parts of this story were so cleverly thought out, and I love how each part introduces three things each time, a new movie for the picture house to show, a new flavour of ice-cream and a new cocktail. 

I enjoyed Gina's character and her determination to succeed in the restoration of the picture house, but also to learn how to make gelato and start trying to think of her own new flavours. Gina has a long term boyfriend back in London, but also reconnects with her old friend and renovation expert Ben. 

Ben was great, he was a bit nerdy with his love of steam trains which just added to his overall charm.  Gina's nonno and nonna, are typical Italian grandparents, and I loved the way her grandmother was able to walk rings around Ferdie without him fully realising. 

The descriptions of the Picture House were great and I could really picture how it must have looked in its heyday and how Gina encounters it now. The name of the town Polwhipple is great, every time it popped up I smiled. I also loved the descriptions of the various flavours of gelato, and of the events that Gina is putting on. 

This is the first complete book I have read by Holly Hepburn, as I still need to read parts 2-4 of her previous book, and I thoroughly enjoyed the authors writing, and know I will definitely be reading more by her in the future. 

Friday, 22 September 2017

Book Review - Reach For the Stars by Colleen Coleman

Amazon UK
Title: Reach For The Stars
Author: Colleen Coleman
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 21st September 2017
Rating: 4 Stars

When Evelyn Dooley married her high-school sweetheart, James, she thought she was set for life. Now she’s 28, single, and fleeing to Dublin from her small hometown to avoid the gossip surrounding their break-up.

This was not in her five-year plan.

Then a chance encounter with gorgeous musician Danny leads to an unlikely friendship, and soon the pair are running music nights together. Surrounded by new friends and a welcoming community, Evelyn is building a life that she really loves – and sparks are beginning to fly between her and Danny…

But when her savings run out and home beckons, Evelyn has to choose. The safe, comfortable life she left behind, or a new adventure with Danny? Will Evelyn flee back to the familiarity of her ex, or reach for the stars and take a leap into the unknown?

Such an apt title, as the book is all about Reaching For the Stars, and trying to achieve your potential, oh and the S Club 7 song by the same name does make one appearance too! 

I really took to Evelyn quite early in her book, even while her marriage was falling apart. It was relatively amicable and then her first steps at striking out on her own, by leaving her small town and moving to the big city of Dublin. 

I loved Evelyn's attitude to everything, and was laughing a lot at the scene where she first meets a teaching recruitment consultant! She then makes a rather rash decision and from there the book became even more engaging. 

Danny and Evelyn's friendship was great, in fact I just really liked Danny and his busking, and general good naturedness. I also really enjoyed the other men that Evelyn meets in the pub, as well as the history of the pub itself. 

Reach For The Stars is a charming, and uplifting story, where Evelyn's life changes for the better as a result of her being reminded to reach for the stars. And this message is also carried forward when she starts taking on a mentor role to a troubled teen, which again is a sub plot that I really enjoyed reading. 

This is an entertaining story, written in an easy to follow style, and I really wasn't sure how it was going to end until I got to that point.  

Thank you to much to Netgalley and Bookouture for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Cover Reveal - Only One Woman by Christina Jones and Jane Risdon

The second I spotted the words new book, cover reveal and Christina Jones all on the same email in my inbox, I knew I had to take part. Very excited that Christina has written a new book, and also want to wish Jane Risdon a lot of success.

So what is it that has got me so excited? Well take a look for yourselves.

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

Publication Day: 23rd November 2017

Pre-order now on Amazon UK

Book Review - Keep You Safe by Melissa Hill

Amazon UK
Title:  Keep You Safe
Author: Melissa Hill
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ 
Publication Date: 21st September 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

A mother always knows best. Doesn’t she?

What if your choice for your child could harm someone else’s?

Every mother faces impossible choices. Vaccination is one of the hardest. For single mum Kate O’Hara, there was no decision to make. Her daughter Rosie is one of a small percentage of Irish children who can’t be vaccinated against measles. All Kate can do is hope that her little girl is safe.

For mummy blogger Madeleine Cooper, it was a leap of faith she wasn't prepared to take when she and her husband declined controversial measles jabs for their daughter Clara. All she can do is pray that it’s the right decision.

But when classmates Clara and Rosie both become sick will Kate pay for Madeleine’s choice?

A stunning and addictive new book club read from beloved bestselling Irish author Melissa Hill that explores every mother’s worst fear

Thought provoking, unputdownable, utterly addictive, full of emotion in places, and incredibly well researched is just about the best way I can sum up this new direction for Melissa Hill.  

Focusing on a topic that can be controversial, vaccinations, and the book manages to put forward all manner or arguments for and against the topic, it rationalises the two very different reasons that Madeline and Kate made to not vaccinate their children, and takes you on a rollercoaster ride. 

It feels like a book that was really in two distinctive parts. The first main part of the book focuses on the two families, and how they cope when their children become ill with measles. You are with them every step of the way and in the case of one family things don't go smoothly. Which brings us onto the second main part of the book which I can't talk about as I can't phrase things the way I want without giving major spoilers. 

There was a very small section in the middle of the book which felt slightly flat to me, but that is because its the transitional bit between the aforementioned two main focuses. 

At the heart of this all Madeline and Kate want is to keep their children safe, they just have completely different approaches and situations. One is a single mother, the other is a parenting blogger who courts publicity. 

My own opinion towards each character altered over the course of the book, at times I found myself more sympathetic to one than the other. The chapters generally focused on one of the two perspectives at a time, and I felt I really got an idea as to how both of the families would react to certain situations. 

I have been a fan of Melissa Hill books for many years, and the second I saw the blurb for this, although it felt a lot more serious, I knew I had to read it. And wow was I right, I found it as quick to read as her previous works, but 1000 times more unputdownable, its compulsive reading at its best, and I had to know how everything was going to turn out. 

Keep You Safe is touching, its brilliant, the story is relevant and relatable too, with some great characters and flowing writing. I couldn't have enjoyed this book more. 

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Book Review - The Season For Second Chances by Ruth Saberton

Amazon UK
Title: The Season For Second Chances
Author: Ruth Saberton
Format reviewed: 
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Notting Hill Press
Publication Date: 21st September 2017
Rating: 4 Stars

The Season for Second Chances

At the close of a hectic year, Grace Anders is looking forward to a quiet Christmas at the family home in Cornwall. Tucked away on Bodmin Moor, Hallows House is the perfect place to relax by the fire and catch up with loved ones. The last thing Grace expects, or wants, is the arrival of warring family members or the unexpected return of the man who broke her heart a lifetime ago.

But as the weather closes in and people arrive at Hallows to shelter from the blizzard, family feuds and old heartaches have to be set aside. Can a sprinkling of snow and some Cornish Christmas magic make this the season for second chances after all? 

Lovely novella that takes in Christmas Eve and shows the strange happenings of the season, as friends, family, exes, neighbours for a rather unexpected Christmas. 

It is rare for it to snow in Cornwall, so for it to be a white Christmas as people are travelling along the Bodmin Moor to Hallows House adds an added layer of complexity to their journey.  The descriptions of being out in this snow were realistic but equally terrifying. 

Or at least I have to assume the reason I barely got any sleep after reading the first half of this novella, was the thoughts of the snow moors, and not being able to see properly running through my mind, while I was hearing rain outside in all directions, which sort of added to the atmosphere. 

This  is a great snapshot of a whole bunch of different characters, their circumstances, and how a chance meeting with others is going to change their lives for the better. 

The Season For Second Chances is a good showcase for Ruth Saberton's writing, her descriptions and love of Cornwall. It was an shortish story that fitted a fair bit of drama into it and kept my interest until the end. 

Thank you to Ruth Saberton for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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